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Yummy Spicy Noodles

Yummy Spicy Noodles



3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

2 tablespoons chili pepper jam, ¼ cup sweet chili sauce, or mix 2 tablespoons of currant jelly with a healthy squeeze of sriracha sauce

1 ¼ cups hot vegetable stock or chicken stock

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce

6 tablespoons coconut milk



3 bundles flat rice noodles (about 14 ounces), or flat pasta noodles

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus more to coat noodles

5 baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 medium red onion, halved, thinly sliced

5 ounces broccoli, broken into small florets

3 cloves garlic freshly chopped

Chopped peanuts and cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)


Prepare sauce: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well, so that the hot vegetable stock softens the ingredients. Set aside while you prepare vegetables.

Cook noodles following package directions, but cook them about 1 minute less than suggested. Drain in a colander and toss them in a little sesame oil to keep them from sticking together. You do not want the noodles too soft, but still al dente, as they will be heated again in the vegetables and sauce at the end.

To prepare vegetables, heat the 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large skillet with deep sides over medium-high heat (or use a wok or big saucepan). Stir-fry all the vegetables together with the garlic for about 3 minutes, or until they are just starting to soften slightly.

Pour sauce onto vegetables in pan and simmer gently 4 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through but still have a good bite to them and are not too soft.

Stir in the cooked noodles. Toss together well and heat through. Serve garnished with chopped peanuts and cilantro or parsley.

  • Description:  This recipe comes from “Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking” by Mary McCartney, daughter of Paul McCartney. I personally changed this recipe to what I liked.
  • Makes:  4 to 6 servings


Mango Salsa

Ingredients                                                            Mango Salsa

  • 2 Mango’s diced
  • 1 Serrano Pepper finely diced, with the seeds
  • 2 Green Onion
  • ¼ cup Pineapple or fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 TBS Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper to taste



Dice mango’s, slice green onion and finely dice serrano pepper. Mix together in a decorative bowl.

Mix in juice, olive oil and cilantro then season with salt and pepper.

Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Store in an air tight container. Can be stored for 2 days.

I love to serve this with pork, fish or chicken. Try it with your favorite tacos! Healthy, spicy and delicious.


IL Mito’s Crab and Spinach Stuffed South African Panga

PangaPanga 2

Simple Bolognese


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 oz. pancetta
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground chuck beef
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

½ cup red wine
1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chiffonade
8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano


In a 6 quart pot, add extra-virgin olive oil. When almost smoking, add the pancetta, onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 8 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Raise heat to high and add the ground beef. Sauté, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the red wine, tomatoes, parsley and basil and cook over medium low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1/2 hour. Finish Bolognese with Pecorino Romano. Check for seasoning.

Read more at:

The only additions to her recipe were that I added 6 ounces of Pancetta and ½ cup red wine. I found that this adds some smokiness and sweetness to the overall taste.

Flank Steak Baguette

I saw this recipe on one of Bobby Flay’s grilling shows on Food Network. The original recipe called for sausage instead of Flank Steak. I came up with this recipe as an alternative to the original. I also lightly grilled the 1/2 inch baguette slices on the grill, buttering one side and placing the baguette butter side down. Please see the link at the bottom of this post for Bobby Flay’s recipe.


2 pounds Flank Steak                            

¼ cup Olive Oil

3 Cloves if Garlic
1/4 cup canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 large shallots
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling
2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta
2 baguettes, grilled
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Arugula or your favorite leaf lettuce for garnish


Marinate Flank Steak in ¼ cup of Olive Oil, freshly ground pepper, garlic cloves smashed and Red Pepper Flakes for 6-24 hours in a plastic bag.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill to high for direct grilling. Remove Flank Steak from bag (remove any Garlic or Red Pepper Flakes). Grill the flank steak (rare to medium rare) is desired. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing against the grain. Slice into thin slanted pieces.

While the steak is grilling, halve the shallots, leaving the skin on, and toss with a few tablespoons each of the canola oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put them on the grill and cook until charred and slightly softened. Cool slightly, remove the skins and chop.

Heat the remaining canola oil in a sauté pan. Add the chopped shallots, remaining vinegar, honey, thyme and red pepper flakes and simmer, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.

Arrange the cut Flank Steak on a platter with a bowl of the fresh ricotta, the shallot relish and toasted bread. Serve the bread topped with a dollop of the ricotta, a few pieces of steak and a spoonful of the relish, drizzled with honey and olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature. You can top with arugula or your favorite leaf lettuce.

To see Bobby Flay’s original recipe go to:

Read more at:



Spice Mix for chicken, recipe follows
3-pounds chicken wings
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Spanish onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
4 cups short grain Spanish rice
6 cups water, warm
Generous pinch saffron threads
1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed

1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed

1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 lobster tails
1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed
Lemon wedges, for serving


Special Equipment:

Large paella pan or wide shallow skillet



Rub the spice mix all over the chicken and marinate chicken for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Heat oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the chorizo until browned, remove and reserve. Add chicken skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from pan and reserve.

In the same pan, make a sofrito by sautéing the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on a medium heat. Then, add tomatoes and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. Fold in the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, and saffron. Add the clams and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. The shrimp will take about 8 minutes to cook. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for about 15 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, when the rice is filling the pan, add the lobster tails. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom, then it’s perfect.

Cook’s note: The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat.

Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges.

Spice Mix for Chicken

1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken; marinate for 1 hour, covered


Lora’s Thoughts: I found this recipe on the Food Network Website (Tyler Florence Ultimate Paella). His recipe used a 3 pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces. I substituted the chicken wings. The recipe has such a great diversity of ingreidence that I did not want big hunks of chicken; I wanted everyone to get a piece of chicken and still be able to get the great seafood and sausage. I also substituted ½ pound of shrimp with a ½ pound of mussels.


Why do paella? My daughter’s boyfriend took a trip to Turkey recently and brought me back a large supply of spices which included saffron; a key ingredient in paella. Please check out Turkish Spices under Pot Luck on my website.

Adam’s Beef Stew

Beef Stew: This is my nephew Adam’s Recipe (he is one of my favorites…love, love, love him). He, like his aunt and mom loves to cook). You can see his creativity in this recipe. He took the time to send me his recipe so  please enjoy!


3lbs Chuck Roast

2 Onions

3 Stalks of celery

2 Parsnips


Three sticks of carrots

Pack of Bacon

Red Wine

Beef Stock





Start out by cutting the bacon into lardons (Lardons are a French term for small matchstick-cut pieces of bacon or larding fat cut from the belly of pork) and cooking it in the Dutch oven till it is golden brown. While the bacon is cooking take the chuck roast and cut it into pieces and season it with salt and pepper. Still while the bacon is cooking coat the beef in flour. Once the bacon is cooked remove it with a slotted spoon and start cooking the beef in the bacon drippings. Cook on all sides till brown. Remove the meet and drain out any burnt oil out of the pan. Deglaze the pot with red wine and Beef stock and scrape the bottom of the pan. Now in the chopped up onion, mushrooms, parsnips, celery, garlic, thyme and rosemary into the pot. Once cooked for about 5 minutes at medium heat fill Dutch oven half way with beef stock and red wine. Cover and cook for ten minutes. Now add the meat and cover and simmer again for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350. While the stew is cooking on the stove add a spoonful of flour to thicken it a little bit and add the bacon back into the stew. Cover the stew and put it in the oven for 25 minutes to cook.



Lamb Stew/Bolognaise


2-LB Ground Lamb

2-TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2-Cloves chopped Garlic

1-Medium Onion, diced

1-Small Zucchini, diced

1-Small Parsnip, diced

1-Cup Red Wine

1-28oz Can Diced Tomatoes

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Brown Lamb with 1 TBS. Olive Oil. Remove from pan. Sauté Garlic, Onion Zucchini and Parsnip in the remaining 1 TBS. of Olive Oil until translucent (about 5 minutes). Return Lamb to pan. Add Wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Add Diced Tomatoes. Simmer covered for 1 hour.

This will be more like a stew.

Serve in a bowl with shaved parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

To serve a bolognaise, just simmer for about 3 hours covered. Serve over your favorite pasta. Remember the shaved parmesan and crusty bread!

Summer Vegetable and Noodle Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

 Summer is one of my favorite seasons for cooking, mainly because my parent’s garden begins to sprout a variety of vegetables and usually in mass quantities.  Every visit home usually ends with my dad sneaking out to the garden and returning with a baseball bat sized zucchini that barely fits in my refrigerator.  For my boyfriend Peter’s sake I try to be creative in finding new purposes for these veggie monsters.

Once the sauce is prepared, which can be done days in advance, this is a very easy dish to pull together.  I managed to prepare this whole dish in a little under an hour for a few friends who were in town.  It fed 4 very hungry vegetarians with a little leftover but this tasty peanut sauce coated creation would appeal to meat lovers as well.  The leftover peanut sauce is also a great snack with carrot and celery sticks.



  • 1 16oz package Kluski style egg noodles (can replace with rice noodle, spaghetti, or rice)


  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter (I use ½ cup peanut butter and ½ cup almond butter)
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Siracha (optional, I replaced with Sweet chili sauce for a friend a little frightened of spice)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons tahini or sesame seed oil (I use tahini)
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 6 tablespoons warm water


  • 1 large red, orange or yellow pepper, sliced into thin strips (veggies mimic the shape of the egg noodle)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into long thin strips
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil or cilantro (optional)
  • Scallions sliced for garnish (optional)
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, sliced into fine strips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup roughly crushed roasted peanuts (optional)


Prepare sauce by combining, peanut butter, soy sauce, Siracha, lime juice, tahini, garlic, honey and water.  Set aside.

Prepare noodles according to package.  If using Kluski noodles, rinse noodles in cold water. Set aside.

While noodles are boiling sauté vegetables in a large wok with olive oil to your desired crunchiness (I like my zucchini to have a little crunch, not too squishy).  And when I say large wok, I mean it.  You will be adding the noodles and sauce to the veggies.

Once veggies are done, slowly mix in sauce and noodles.  Serve with fresh basil or cilantro and scallions.

Greek Orzo Salad


  • 1 LB. orzo pasta
  • 6 TBS. Olive Oil
  • 5 TBS. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 small Red Onion
  • 1 ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Pepper
  • 2 TBS. minced fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried
  • ¼ cup minced Parsley
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 pint red cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 6oz can Black Olives pitted and sliced



Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the orzo, stirring it so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook, uncovered, at a high boil until al dente, cooked through but still a bit firm. Drain the pasta (it helps to use a fine mesh sieve for this as the small orzo might pass through holes in a colander), and rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking further. Place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 TBS. of olive oil.

Whisk together the remaining 5 TBS. of olive oil, vinegar, onion, salt, pepper, oregano and parsley. Pour over orzo. At this point you can make ahead and chill until you are ready to serve (or transport to a party). Toss with the rest of the ingredients, the tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumber, onion.

Serves 8-10 as a side.


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