Appetizers, Classics, Fish & Seafood

Spanish Mussels with Chorizo and Tomato-Wine Sauce

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INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces chorizo sausage or turkey sausage, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

3 shallots, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3/4 cup white wine

A pinch of saffron

2 lb. fresh mussels, scrubbed

French bread, cut into slices, brushed with olive oil and grill

DIRECTIONS:

In a large sauté pan, cook the sausage with shallots and garlic till the shallots are pale golden.  Drain off most of the oil, reserving about 1 Tbsp.

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Add tomatoes, paprika, red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Cook till tomatoes soften.

Add mussels and wine and bring to boil. Lower heat, add a pinch of saffron and cover, cooking until the mussel shells have opened, about 6-8 minutes.

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With a ladle, serve mussels with sausage and sauce into a bowl. Discard any shells that have not opened.

Serve immediately with French bread for dipping.

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Enjoy!

Dinner, Meat, Stew

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew

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-12F.  Yup ! That has been the weather for the last few days.  Bitter, arctic, bone chilling cold.  The only fix is a piping hot bowl of stew. Stews may sound daunting but they really are not.  Just a few ingredients, a crock pot and a cold weekend afternoon–that really is all you need to make this stew and trust me, it is good for you and it will give your sunday chicken roast a run for its feathers !  So here we go !

Ingredients:

1 lb ground pork

5 cups cubed butternut squash

2 yellow onions, chopped

2 tsp of minced garlic

1, 14 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 chicken stock cube or 1, 14 oz can of chicken stock

1 tbsp of dried sage and rosemary

1/2 tbsp of red pepper flakes

A dash of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

2, Fresh springs of thyme

1 bay leaf

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Method:

In a pan, saute pork with all the spices, herbs (except the thyme and bay leaf) and onions till pork is browned and onions are golden.

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In a crock pot, transfer the pork and onions.  Add the squash, tomatoes, chicken cube and two sprigs of fresh thyme and 1 bay leaf.

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Top the pot with water just to cover everything–you will have to adjust this if you are using chicken stock.

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Cook on high for 4.5 hrs, leaving the cover off for the last 1 hr to thicken the stew–make sure to taste the seasonings and stir the stew every now and again.

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Serve hot with rice, cornbread, or some crusty dinner rolls !

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Comfort food

Okra-for the homesick soul

This is a simple okra “curry” that was a staple growing up.  Okra was always available and this dish made a frequent appearance at both the lunch and dinner table.  So when I am homesick or craving my mom’s cooking I make this.  I hope you like this Indian style okra curry.

Ingredients:

16 oz frozen okra

1 Tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of black mustard seeds

1 medium onions thinly sliced

2 Tbsp of tomato paste (or 1 medium tomato chopped)

1/2 Tbsp of chilli powder, cumin and turmeric

Salt to taste

Method:

Heat olive oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.

Next add the onions and saute till pale golden and then add tomato paste and spices.

Saute for about 5 mins and then add the okra.

Saute for another 5mins and add about 1/4 cup of water and let the curry simmer for about 20 mins till the sauce thickens.

Serve warm with plain white rice, lentils or handmade flatbread.