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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pork Fajita’s


Spice blend
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon paprika (for more kick, use hot paprika)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


2 tablespoons olive oil
juice from one lemon (or lime can be used)
2 tablespoons spice blend (see above)
1 1/2 pounds of boneless, thin, center cut pork chops
1 small onion

Vegetable Mixture
1 large bell pepper
1 medium yellow onion
2 tablespoon olive oil

Flour tortillas


Mix together all ingredients for the spice blend in a bowl. Combine marinade ingredients in a large dish and combine. Add the pork, toss until well coated and refrigerate for one hour. Slice the peppers and onions and combine with a teaspoon of the spice blend and 1 tablespoon of oil. Sauté the peppers and onions over medium-high, heat until they begin to soften about 3 to 5 minutes and remove from the heat. In a grill pan cook the pork over medium high heat until the pork is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the pork and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Slice the pork loins into thin strips against the grain.

I like to do a quick toasting on the flour tortillas. I use a small fry pan. Add a drop of oil in the middle of the pan and let it warm up for a moment. Add a tortilla and cook for a few seconds and turn over and cook for a few more seconds.

Assemble fajitas with pork slices, vegetables and any other toppings you desire. I love sour cream and fresh cucumber slices.

            The extra seasoning blend can be stored in a zip lock bag for another day!

Monday, February 6, 2012


In honor of game day I decided to make everyone's favorite...PIZZA!! Also grilled out and made BBQ chicken..that recipe will come another day! : )  So for today it's all about the PIZZA. What I love so much about making this at home is that it is fresh from the oven and you choose what you like best to top it and the cost is soooo much less than take out. So it's a great bargin and taste amazing.


4 cups bread flour, I recommend Italian Tipo "00" flour
1 packet active yeast, approx. 2 ¼ teaspoons
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp garlic powder
1 ¾ cups of lukewarm water
4 tablespoons olive oil

Add the yeast to the bowl of your kitchen aid mixer, and then add the water, 2 tbsp of olive oil and sugar, stir lightly to completely dissolve. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to bloom (little bubbles will form). Add the flour, salt, dried basil and garlic powder and begin mixing the ingredients with a paddle on low speed. Once the dough has formed into a ball, switch to the dough hook and continue to mix for about 5 minutes until elastic. “If the dough is too dry, add a little extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time”.

Grease a large bowl with the other 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the kneaded dough in the bowl and roll it around so that the entire ball is coated with a little olive oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow it to double in size about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Using a fist, deflate the dough in the center and separate the ball into 2 pieces. Take half of the dough, and begin stretching out the dough with your fingers being careful not to poke holes completely through the dough. Use a drizzle of olive oil to completely coat the top of the dough. This will also help the dough stretch out. If you find that the dough is pulling back and does not stay stretched out, cover with a piece of plastic and allow it to rest for a few minutes. The dough should stretch out to between 14-16 inches. Once you have formed your dough, cover it and allow it to rest for another 30 minutes.

Pour ½ cup of pizza sauce (Recipe for sauce below) in the center of the dough and using a ladle spoon start spreading the sauce in a circular motion until it reaches the edges….Leave a little uncovered for the crust. Then add your favorite toppings, I prefer dollops of fresh ricotta cheese, a blend of Italian cheeses shredded, fresh baby spinach, genoa salami and roasted red peppers. Repeat with the second dough.

Pizza Sauce

1 small can of tomato paste
2 1/2 cups of water
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
3 tablespoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Add all of the above ingredients except the parmesan cheese to a medium sized pot and cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes. If you would like to make this a zesty sauce, add your choice of dried peppers. Right before it has finished cooking, add the grated parmesan cheese and pour into another bowl and set aside to cool.

Preheat your oven to 500°F and bake until golden brown, approximately 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pan Seared Sea Scallops, farfallie pasta and peas with Roasted Tomato

I had to take a few days off from cooking and get some R & R. I am back and here is my first post in a week!  I am a huge lover of Scallops, actually any kind of shell fish. This is a quick and easy dinner and I hope you all enjoy this.

Ingredients for the scallops:
10 Sea Scallops
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
Sprinkle of dried basil
2 tbsp olive oil

Ingredients for the pasta:
16 oz. good Italian farfallie pasta
1 small shallot, diced
1tsp olive oil
¼ cup pinot grigio
2 cups half & half
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup of sweet peas

Ingredients for the roasted tomato:
3 roma tomatoes
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp sugar

Slice the tomatoes and place in a small roasting dish. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, basil and sugar. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

In a large pot, fill with water and bring to a rolling boil, add a good amount of kosher salt once it reaches the boiling point.  Add the pasta and stir.  Cook the pasta until just al’ dante.  Drain and add the pan of sauce. (See below)
To make the sauce: In a large, deep skillet, heated to med high, add the olive oil and shallots. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and let it cook for a minute to cook out the alcohol. Slowly stir in the half and half. Add the kosher salt, black pepper, basil and freshly grated nutmeg.  Let the sauce cook until it thickens. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon. Add the drained pasta and toss in the sweet peas. Make the sure the sauce coats all the pasta.

For the Scallops:  Clean the scallops and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Season the scallops with kosher salt, black pepper and basil. Heat a medium sauté pan on med high.  Add the olive oil and the scallops and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on the first side and do not move them so they form a nice golden crust. Turn and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes and golden.