Category: Vegetables


A root vegetable that looks like a potato but has the sweetness of an apple.  Used primarily in Mexican Dishes

A root vegetable that looks like a potato but has the sweetness of an apple. Used primarily in Mexican Dishes

Jicama is a root vegetable that looks like a potato and taste like an apple!!! It is used, primarily, in Mexican recipes, salads or as a side dish.  I used it as a simple side dish…with “simple” being the active word!!

Clean, cut off the ends, cut in half and peel

Clean, cut off the ends, cut in half and peel.

Once cut, then slice 1/4 inch and then julienne

Once cut, then slice 1/4 inch and then julienne

Add 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

Add 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

Add 1/2 cup,of chopped cilantro along with Mexican seasonings ( cumin, chili powder) salt & pepper and juice from1 lime and then refrigerate for 30 minutes or more

Add 1/2 cup,of chopped cilantro along with Mexican seasonings ( cumin, chili powder) salt & pepper and juice from1 lime and then refrigerate for 30 minutes or more

Take out of fridge, stir and plate!! VOILA!!!

Take out of fridge, stir and plate!! VOILA!!!

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"Where's that Steak"??

“Bring on that Steak”!!!

Mushrooms are one of my VERY favorites but I always wondered how they cooked them so well in restaurants,  especially with steaks or as a side dish!! The answer is “PATIENCE”!!! Mushrooms are primarily water! Don’t cover them, spread them out in the pan, let the water evaporate then watch them brown.  Be PATIENT….hahahaha…it will be worth it!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb Mushrooms, any kind, cleaned and sliced
  • Butter or EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), or BOTH
  • Kosher Salt
  • Maderia, Red Zinfandel or Port wine (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

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Set a heavy-bottomed large skillet oven medium heat.

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Add the oil/butter and wait for it to heat up. Add the sliced  mushrooms, then salt. (add wine here if preferred)

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Let them cook over a medium/high heat, stirring occasionally, so not to burn but until  juices evaporate.  About 5-7 mins.

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Turn down the heat to medium, and cook stirring occasionally until mushrooms are nicely browned. Taste and add more salt if necessary. 10 mins or so.

"Where's that Steak"??

“Where’s that Steak”??

Then serve and listen to the ooooo’s & aaahhhhhhh’s!!!!

Easy breakfast with home made hash potatoes and eggs!

Easy breakfast with home made hash potatoes and eggs!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 potato, cleaned and poked with fork then put into microwave for 3 mins
  • 1/4 c thinly sliced onions
  • 1 garlic, chopped or 1 tsp of minced garlic from jar
  • 2 TBS chopped green chilies from can
  • 1/2 c chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 c chopped ham…or bacon…or whatever you have on hand!
  • 1/2 c grated cheese…cheddar…monterey jack…swiss..put aside
  • 2 eggs cracked and put into a cup
  • seasonings that are to YOUR liking
  • 2 TBS oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. cook potato in microwave, then coarsely chop
  2. heat 2 TBS of oil in pan, add garlic and onion and cook 2 mins then add potatoes
  3. once potatoes are getting brown add ham, tomato, chilies and reduce heat and let brown
  4. once browned on both sides, spread potato mixture so there is a hole in the middle to pour your eggs into, forming a “nest” if you will.
  5. season the eggs, put the cheese on top of the potatoes and cover and cook till eggs are to your liking
  6. Then, carefully remove and put on a plate and voila!!!!!!!!

Paella is a Spanish dish of saffron rice and shellfish….to me, it’s like the Chinese version of  House Fried Rice.  You have your shrimp, chicken, pork, scallops and even some lobster.  Then you can add some chorizo or hot italian sausage for spice.  Next you add vegies like red or orange peppers, green peas, carrots….whatever brings color to the dish.  The possibilities are endless.  And then there is the rice…either a short grain Spanish rice or an Aborio rice that you would use in a risotto.  Once all this is gathered, then there is the paella pan that it is all cooked in….and the results are awesome!!!  It may seem like a LOT of work, but if you are organized…and have everything all chopped & measured and ready to go…it’s a breeze!!!

Ingredients

  • Spice Mix for chicken, recipe follows
  • 1 (3-pound) frying chicken, (or I used 4 thighs and cut the bone out) and then cut into 10 pieces and covered in Spice Mix then refrigerated of 1 hr
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Spanish chorizo sausages, or4  Hot Italian Sausage, something to add “spice”, thickly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Spanish onion, (or Red Bermuda onion) diced
  • 1 red or orange or yellow pepper, thinly sliced (you choose the color!!)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, 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
  • 1.5 cups short grain Spanish rice or Arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth, warm
  • Generous pinch saffron threads (and put into chicken broth and let simmer there)
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Now go and get EVERYTHING ….measure, chop &  put in dishes so that EVERYTHING is ready to go once you heat up that Paella pan with oil!!

Special equipment:

  • Large paella pan or wide shallow skillet

Directions

  1. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken and jumbo shrimp and marinate  for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Saute the Chorizo or Hot Italian Sausage until browned, remove and put aside.
  3. Add chicken skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from pan and put aside.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook 1 min on each side and remove from pan and put aside

In the same pan, add some veg oil (2 tbs) and the garlic…then start sauteing the onions, red pepper, carrot, celery, garlic, and parsley( I even added some asparagus that I chopped up) . 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 chicken broth with saffron and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, shrimp.  Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for about 40-45 minutes.  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 the thawed 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 & shrimp & marinate for 1 hour, covered

This recipe can feed 8-9  people and takes about 1 hour to cook.

****Thank you Tyler Florence for your recipe*****

 

To me, Gazpacho is like eating fresh salsa.  Sure you can puree it, but I like chopping the fresh vegies and putting them in a marinade and then adding the tomato base, etc.  I got this recipe years ago from Cooks Illustrated and just love it.  You can spice it up with the Chipotle Chilies or you can leave them out and add some Tabasco sauce…totally up to you!!

INGREDIENTS: and this feed 8-10 people!! Great leftover!

  • 3 ripe medium beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  •  2 medium red bell peppers (about 1 pound), cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes. (about 2 cups)
  • 2 small cucumbers (about 1 pound), one peeled and the other with skin on, both seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 small sweet onion (such as Vidalia, Maui, or Walla Walla) or 2 large shallots, peeled and minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • Ground black pepper
  • 5 cups tomato juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo (start with a little and then add to it…depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 8 ice cubes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. 1. Combine the tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, garlic, salt, vinegar, and pepper in a large (at least 4-quart) nonreactive bowl. Let stand until the vegetables just begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato juice, chipotle chiles, cilantro, lime juice, lemon zest, and ice cubes. Cover tightly and refrigerate to blend flavors, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
  2. 2. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper and remove and discard any unmelted ice cubes. Serve cold, drizzling each portion with about 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil and topping with the desired garnishes

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

For the best gazpacho recipe, with clearly flavored, distinct vegetables in a bracing tomato broth, we chopped the vegetables by hand, tossed them in a sherry vinegar marinade, used a fresh-flavored tomato juice, and chilled our soup for a minimum of four hours.

Cran-Orange-Almond Wild Rice

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c- uncooked wild rice
  • 4 cups water OR chicken broth…I prefer the chicken broth
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 TBS of olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup ( 8oz) sliced mushrooms. (bella, cremini or button) already in package!
  • ½ tsp ground sage
  • ½ c dried cranberries
  • ¼ c orange juice
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS minced garlic (from jar is great!)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 TBS orange zest (I liked at least 3)
  • ½ c candies almonds

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine rice, water or broth & salt into a rice cooker and turn it on!  How easy is that…no timer no nothing.  Or, if no rice cooker follow the directions on the pkg and cook approx. 50 mins.
  2. In pan, add 1 TBS of oil and sauté onions until translucent…about 5 mins.  Then add mushrooms, sage and cranberries and cook until mushrooms are soft. About 5-7 mins.  Then put aside.
  3. Combine the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, cayenne pepper and remaining oil in a bowl.   Whisk and add to mushroom mixture and cook on medium heat.  Once heated add the wild rice from the rice cooker to the pan, and stir through.  Add the orange zest to mixture then candied almonds and serve!!!!

***Thank you Tastebook.com for this recipe!! It is delicious!!!***

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes & Feta Cheese

  • 1 lb Asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 Tbs EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 ½ cups halved grape tomatoes
  • ½ tsp minced garlic (from the jar is perfect)
  • 2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
  • S & p TO TASTE
  • 3 TBS Feta Cheese
  1. Cook asparagus in boiling water for 2 mins or until crisp-tender ( I use the skillet that I will be cooking the sauce in)  Drain and put aside, cover
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over med-high heat.  Add tomatoes and garlic and cook for 5 mins.  Stir in the vinegar, cook 3 mins.  Add S & P
  3. Arrange asparagus on platter then top with tomato mixture, then top with Feta Cheese and serve.
  4. This should serve 4 people!!!

**** How easy is that??? Thanks Cooking Light!!****

Sesame Snow Peas:

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound snow peas, cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon black and white sesame seeds
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large saute pan over high heat, add sesame oil and heat. Add the snow peas and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and toss well. Add the lemon juice and zest and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley

****Thank you Emeril***

Only in Ixtapa

Eggplant Stuffed with Shrimp & Chorizo

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Med Eggplant Cut in half lengthwise, then make criss-cross markings to allow removal
  • ½ med onion, chopped
  • 2 TBS chorizo chopped (optional, but gives it a nice kick)
  • 1 med sized Portobello mushroom, chopped
  • 10-12 medium shrimp – peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt, pepper, garlic seasoning, some red pepper flakes..whatever you want!
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 cup white wine (good stuff, that you would drink yourself!!)
  • 1-2 TBS bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant, chop, and reserve. Coat shells with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper; and put in oven on top shelf to soften shells
  2. Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Sauté minced garlic and then add onion and cook for 1-2 mins.  Then add chopped Chorizo and cook another 2-3 mins. Stir in the reserved chopped eggplant and chopped mushroom. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in wine, and cook 5 minutes.  TAKE EGGPLANT SHELLS OUT OF OVEN.
  3. Next add chopped shrimp and cook 1-2 mins.  Add breadcrumbs if too moist, a little at a time.
  4.  Stuff mixture into eggplant shells, and sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese and then Monterey Cheese and put back in oven
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until eggplant is tender.
  6. Then ENJOY!!!

*****Thank you, once again, All-Recipes for the guidance of this recipe!!!*****

First of my "Sunday Sinners Soups"

Broccoli & Cauliflower Soup

  • 5 slices thick bacon
    3 cups broccoli, chopped
    3 cups cauliflower, chopped
    6 cups chicken broth
    1/2 medium onion or 2 leeks cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks minced
    1 sm. potato, diced (added this after video)
    4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
    1 c Half & Half or milk..whatever you prefer
  • 1 TBS nutmeg
  • 2 TBS minced garlic

Cook the bacon in soup pot until crisp and remove with slotted spoon and put aside.  Saute onions in bacon grease until golden. Add broth, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, and potato to a boil in a 4 quart saucepan. Reduce heat, cook covered, 15 minutes.  Add half & half.  Add shredded cheese and heat until melted. Take 1/3 of soup mixture & pour into blender and puree. Return pureed soup to pan with reserved vegetables and heat through, but do not boil or cheese will curdle. Take reserved bacon and chop and add to soup.  Season to taste.  Serve with a salad and a hearty bread and ENJOY!!!