Friday, August 9, 2019

Marinara Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

What do you do when you wake up at 3 AM and can't get back to sleep? I make marinara sauce. It is a little lighter than usual because I had a combination of red and yellow tomatoes that I got at a local farmer's market. You have to love getting the seconds to make sauce. Five pounds for $5.

Marinara Sauce

adapted from

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp minced garlic, divided
5 lbs tomatoes, chopped
1 c. water
1/2 c + 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil, divided
2 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onions in the oil, until soft, about 3-4 minutes.  Add 1 Tbsp of garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, water and 1/4 cup of basil; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The tomatoes should be completely broken down.

Put the tomato mixture through a food mill; discard the seeds and skins. Wipe out the pot, making sure there are no remaining skins or seeds. Return the mixture to the pot, add the remaining basil, oregano, remaining garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook uncovered until it thickens, about 3-4 hours.

Serve with your favorite pasta dish.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Flatbread

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Flatbread

I have been away from blogging for awhile but I haven't stopped cooking. 
Time to get back to doing both.

This is a fun and easy twist on your breakfast sandwich. Sautéed shallots and tomatoes on toasted naan, topped with cheese, peppered bacon, a fried egg and a chiffonade of basil.

4 pieces of naan
8 slices of bacon
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tomatoes, chopped
Hot sauce to taste
8 slices American cheese
4 eggs
2 Tbsp. basil, chiffonade, or your favorite herb
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the naan until crisp.
  2. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels then chop. Reserve 1 Tbsp. of the drippings for the eggs.
  3. Add the shallots to the remaining oil in the pan, cook stirring until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the liquids evaporates, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and hot sauce.
  4. Spread the tomato-onion mixture on the toasted naan and top each piece with 2 slices of cheese. Return the flatbread to the oven until the cheese melts.
  5. Heat the reserved bacon drippings in the same skillet and cook the eggs to your preferred doneness.
  6. Top each flatbread with the crumbled bacon, eggs and basil.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Oil-Less Roux

I love Cajun food but using a roux to thicken gumbo just does not fit into my desired to eat healthier. Yes I know I just posted a recipe for Bacon Waffles, but in my defense I made them but did not eat them.

I found a recipe on to brown all purpose flour in the oven and then use that in stead of a roux.

Oil-less Roux

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place a cup of all purpose flour in a baking pan. Bake in the center of the oven for about 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until it becomes a dark tan color.

Allow to cool. Sift the flour into an airtight container until ready to use.

Use in place of the same amount of the baked flour as you would the unbaked flour in your recipe and omit the fat used to make the roux.

Bacon Waffles

My boys think everything is better with bacon or sausage. Adding chopped bacon to a basic waffle recipe stepped breakfast up a notch. The 3 strips of bacon looked like plenty in the batter but I would increase it to 6 next time because once the waffles puffed up you did not get enough bacon flavor.

Bacon Waffles
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 eggs, separated
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. fat free half and half
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Beat the egg yolks. Combine the beaten egg yolks with the half and half, vanilla extract, flour, sugar and baking powder. Mix until just combined. Add the bacons. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
Load the waffle maker according to manufacturers directions.

Serve with maple syrup and confectioners sugar or your topping of choice.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pasta with Snap Peas and Parmesan

This is a super simple pasta side that requires just a few ingredients but is extremely tasty. I serve it with fish or any type of grilled meats.
Play with the vegetable you add. I made it different times with broccoli, snow peas. asparagus and baby carrots.

Pasta with Snap Peas and Parmesan
adapted from Bon Appetit April 1992

1/4 lb. ziti 
1/4 lb snap peas
1 1/2 Tbsp Tuscan herb olive oil*
Shaved Parmesan Cheese, to taste
Wild Garlic Crystal Salt Flakes, to taste **

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the snap peas and cook 2 minutes until tender crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and run under cold water to cool. Allow to drain and dry.

Add the ziti or the boiling water and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add the snap peas and olive oil. Toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Top with Parmesan cheese and salt flakes and serve.

*You can substitute plain olive oil for the Tuscan Herb listed below. I just love the flavor of the Tastealotta Tuscan Herb infused Olive Oil
Falksalt Crystal Flakes Natural Sea Salt Wild Garlic 4.4 Oz
picture from
** Falksalt Wild Garlic Crystal Natural Sea Salt Flakes is a new favorite. The flakes are very large so they can be used as a garnish as well as a seasoning. Use them sparingly, a little goes a long way. You can always use kosher salt, garlic salt or any finishing salts that you have on hand.

Barramundi with Tomato-Basil Salsa

With my son away, I am cooking all the things that he chooses not to eat. My husband is going to get tired of healthy food over the next two weeks. 

Barramundi has  delicate, sweet, buttery taste and a firm moist texture with large flakes. It has a high oil content but no fishy taste. If you can not find barramundi, you can substitute striped bass, red snapper or grouper.(

Fun Facts about Barramundi thanks to
  • Barramundi's native waters span from Northern Australia up to Southeast Asia and all the way west to the coastal waters of India and Sri Lanka
  • Barramundi is known by many around the world as Asian Seabass, although its Scientific common name is Barramundi Perch, Giant Perch, Silver Barramundi and Australian Seabass.
  • The name Barramundi is Aboriginal for "large-scaled silver fish".
  • Virtually all Barramundi are born male, then turn into females when they are 3 - 4 years old. This means female Barramundi can only be courted by younger men!
  • Barramundi live in fresh water, salt water and estuaries (where fresh and saltwater meet).
  • Barramundi can travel great distances in a lifetime; one fish was tagged and found 400 miles away.

Barramundi with Tomato-Basil Salsa
adapted from Food & Wine April 2008

4 caprese tomatoes,seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 small red onion, minced
1 Tbsp finely chopped basil
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 6-ounce barramundi fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the broiler.

In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes with the onion, basil and olive oil. Set aside.

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Place on a foil line baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Place lime halves on the baking sheet cut side up.

Broil until the fish is white throughout. Transfer to plates.

Serve the fish with the salsa on the side.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Jalapeno Lime Butter

I am usually a purist when it comes to corn on the cob - butter, salt and pepper -  but this recipe has converted me. Be careful, it is spicier than you would think ! To make it a little more Mexican sprinkle on some cojita cheese before serving.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Jalapeno Lime Butter
adapted from Bon Appétit August 2004 

1 jalapeño chiles
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp grated lime peel
6 ears fresh corn, husked

Broil the jalapeno until it is charred on all sides. Remove from oven and place in a small plastic bag to steam for about 15 minutes. Peel the pepper and remove the seeds and ribs.

Place the jalapeno in a small food process or with the butter, garlic, and lime peel; process until smooth. Season the jalapeño-lime butter to taste with salt. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.

Wrap each ear of corn in aluminum foil and grill over indirect heat until cooked through. Will vary depending on the size of the ears and how charred to like your corn. Remove the foil and serve immediately with the jalapeño-lime butter and salt.