Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Scoma's Lazy Man Cioppino

I love Scoma's Restaurant in San Francisco.  When I eat there, I usually order their Lazy Man Cioppino. A delicious Fish Stew in a tasty tomato base broth.  I was very excited when I found Scoma's recipe for their Lazy Man's Cioppino on the web.

Half the fun of making this stew is shopping for the ingredients.  The kids and I head down to our local Whole Foods market and pick up the fish, wine,  veggies and clam juice.  We also pick up some bread to toast up to dip in the broth and clean up our bowl.

This recipe came together very nicely.  You first start by sautéing the garlic and then add the chopped onion.  Add the wine,  followed by the fresh herbs.  Add your favorite tomato sauce, bring to a boil and add the fish.  Once the fish is cooked, add the crab meat, clam juice, and seasoning.  Heat through and serve.

A bowl of a delicious and hearty stew awaits your family and/or friends.  Enjoy.


From Scoma's

(Serves 4 – 6 people)
Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 cups fish stock or clam juice
6 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1 lb rock cod cut into 1″ cubes
1.5 lbs Manila clams
12oz prawns (deveined and peeled)
1 lb cooked crab meat
8oz bay shrimp
12oz scallops
Salt and pepper
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook garlic for one minute.
  • Add the onions and let them sweat for two or three minutes.
  • Turn heat to high and add the wine to deglaze. Cook for 2-3 minutes (or until reduced in half) then reduce heat to medium.
  • Add fresh oregano and basil.
  • Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil.
  • Slowly add fish, shellfish, and shrimp meat.
  • Bring the cioppino back to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until all the seafood is cooked.
  • Add cooked crab meat.
  • Thin the cioppino to your liking with fish stock or clam juice.
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper.
  • Serve in a large bowl with fresh sourdough bread and enjoy!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur is one of those delectable sandwiches you will always remember eating.  My first one was at The French Pastry Shop in the La Fonda hotel in Santa Fe, NM.  Fast forward many years and I found the perfect recipe for one of the best Croque Monsieur sandwiches ever.  This recipe is from Cook's Country magazine and it is sandwich worth savoring.

Croque Monsieur
From Cook's Country


8 slices hearty white sandwich bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest deli ham
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)

Mornay Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg

1. For The Sandwiches:  Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray.
2. Brush bread on both sides with melted butter and place on prepared sheet.  Bake until light golden brown on top, about 10 minutes.  Remove sheet from oven and flip slices.  Return to oven and bake until golden brown on second side, about 3 minutes.  Reserve 4 slices for sandwich tops; evenly space remaining 4 slices on sheet.
3. For The Mornay Sauce:  Melt butter in small saucepan oven medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in milk and bring to boil.  Once boiling remove from heat and quickly whisk in Gruyere, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until smooth.
4. Spread 1 tablespoon Mornay on each slice of toast on sheet.  Then, folding ham slices over themselves multiple times so they bunch up, divide ham every among slices of toast.   Spread 2 tablespoon Mornay on 1 side of each reserved slice of toast and place slices Mornay side down on top of ham.
5. Spread 2 tablespoons Mornay evenly over top of each sandwich, making sure to completely cover toast, including edges (exposed edges can burn under broiler).  Sprinkle sandwiches with  Parmesan, followed by Gruyere.
6. Bake until cheese on top of sandwiches is melted, about 5 minutes.  Turn on broiler and broil until cheese bubbles across tops of sandwiches and edges are spotty brown, about 5 minutes.   Serve.

Make 4 sandwiches.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Instant Pot Rice

I have found a fool proof way to make outstanding rice - in my Instant Pot. I did a lot of research before   I found a recipe on the NYT Cooking website that resulted in perfect rice.

Start out by rinsing your  rice in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear.  Add your rice to the Instant Pot with water and some sea salt.  Stir and place the lid on your Instant Pot.  Place the valve on seal and choose the rice option on your Instant Pot.  Once the rice is done let the rice rest for 5 minutes and then move the valve to the vent setting.    Fluff the rice with a fork, let it rest, and serve.  Perfect rice.

Instant Pot Rice
From NYT Cooking School Website

1 cup white rice or short grain rice
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1.  Rinse rice in  a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear.
2. Combine the rice, water, and salt in the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
3. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and be sure the valve is on the seal setting.  Select the Rice setting.
4. Let the rice rest for 5 minutes once it is done.  Move the valve to the vent setting.  Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
5. Cover the rice with a dish towel and loosely put the lid back on the Instant Pot.  DO NOT LOCK IT IN PLACE.  Let the rice rest for 10 minutes.
6. Serve.

Serves 4-6

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Turkey a la King With Rice

Growing up, after a turkey dinner I could count on having Turkey a la King.  It was just as predictable as the sun coming up.  I can't say I was overly fond of the meal but I did not hate it.

Fast forward a few decades, and I find myself making not my parents version of  Turkey a la King, but this tasty recipe I found on the Taste of Home website.  Leftover turkey never tasted so good. Bites of turkey with fresh mushrooms, green pepper, peas, in a flavorful sauce composed of milk, chicken broth and seasoning.  Ladle over rice and you have an appetizing dinner for your family.

Turkey a la King With Rice
Taste of Home

2 tablespoons butter
1-3/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 celery rib, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup fat-free milk
2 cups cubed cooked turkey breast
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot cooked rice

1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, celery, onion and pepper; cook and stir until tender.
2. In a small bowl, mix flour and broth until smooth; stir into vegetable mixture. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Add turkey, peas and salt; heat through. Serve with rice.

Serves 4

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

With the weather having a nip in the air it is soup time at my house.   I love the rich hearty flavor of soups.  Soups are versatile and are great for a starter or a main meal.  I just add some bread to get every last bite.

This recipe for Pasta e Fagioli soup I found in Cook's Country magazine.  It was easy to make and was delicious.  To get a nice rich texture for this soup, a can of cannelloni beans was pureed.  The grated Parmesan cheese which was added along with the fresh basil also kicked this recipe up a few notches.  This is by far my favorite Pasta e Fagioli Soup recipe.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup
From Cook's Country


2 (15-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, rinsed
1 cup water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 onions, chopped fine
2 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
2 ounces pancetta, chopped fine
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
4 cups chicken broth
4 ounces (1 cup) ditalini pasta
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup), plus extra for serving
1/2 cups finely chopped fresh basil

1. Process 1 can of beans and water in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Set aside.
2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions, carrots, celery, pancetta, salt, and pepper and cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste, garlic, and pepper flakes, if using, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.   Stir in broth, remaining can of beans, and pureed bean mixture.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes.
4. Increase heat to medium and bring to boil.  Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta  is al dente, about 12 minutes.  Off heat, stir in Parmesan and basil.  Serve, drizzled with extra oil and passing extra Parmesan separately.

Serves 4 to 6

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Balsamic Roast Beef Recipe

I love recipes that require little preparation time and are delicious.  This is one of the easiest and tastiest recipes I have ever made.  I found it on Add A Pinch website.  You place a roast in a slow cooker with some balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, and garlic.  Cook for 8 hours on low in your slow cooker. Remove the roast from the slow cooker and shred the roast with two forks.  Place it back in the slow cooker and mix it in well in the cooking juices.
 Delicious tender pieces of beef loaded with flavor.   The roast was also nice and moist - not dry like some roasts.   If you have leftovers, they taste better the second day.
The family loved this new roast recipe.  I will be making this recipe again. 

Balsamic Roast Beef Recipe
From Add A Pinch  Method Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen

1 3-4 pound boneless roast beef (chuck or round roast)
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic chopped

Place roast beef into the insert of your slow cooker. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over roast beef and set the timer for your slow cooker. (4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low)
Once roast beef has cooked, remove from slow cooker. Shred with two forks. Place roast back in slow cooker and mix in well the the juices.   Serve.

Serves 6-8

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Instant Pot Crack Chicken

I have seen various recipes for Crack Chicken but I did not understand what the big deal was.  Well now I do.  Crack Chicken is very creamy with a ranch flavor.  Add some bacon and cheddar cheese and you have one delish chicken meal.  I served mine on a butter toasted bun and it was delicious.  You can serve it plain with some rice and veggies.  Whichever way you choose to serve this dish it will be delicious.

Instant Pot Crack Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 packet Ranch seasoning
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 green onions


Place chicken and cream cheese in Instant Pot.
Sprinkle ranch seasoning over the top and add 1/2 cup water.
Close Instant Pot and set to High Pressure for 15 minutes. Be sure you turn the valve to "sealing".
Do a quick pressure release. Once pin drops, remove the lid.
Remove about 2 to 3 teaspoons of liquid from the pot and place in a small bowl to cool.
Remove chicken to a cutting board and shred.
Turn Instant Pot to "Saute" mode and whisk the liquid vigorously to break up the cream cheese. When liquid comes to a simmer, stir the cornstarch into the 2 to 3 teaspoons of liquid you removed from the pot. (It should no longer be hot. If it is, stir the cornstarch into 2 to 3 teaspoons of cold water instead.)
Add cornstarch mixture to the Instant Pot. Cook and whisk until it thickens. Then add chicken back to pot along with cheddar cheese. Turn Instant Pot off.

Sprinkle bacon and green onions on top and serve.

Serves 4-6