Recent Recipes

The Italian Mafia

Comments (0) | Friday, August 6, 2010

After a couple of days, we are settling in nicely...meeting new people, relaxing by the pool and most importantly....entertaining.  Last night we served a motley crew of new friends from Dallas.  Since Matt and I haven't been together in a while, I saw it only fitting to cook his favorite...Italian.

All parties were represented...Tony Soprano, the "boss" - played by Matt, Carmela, the consummate host - played by Me, Johnny Cakes (for obvious reasons - minus the leather S&M get-up) - played by Jon, Dr. Melfi - played by Amy, and Phil, Second-in-command, played by Zac.  As long as the wine was flowing and the food was good, there was no fear of getting knocked-off.

Well, one thing that I can say...the food was good!  For a WASP, I certainly can whip up some pretty good Italian food.  Last night was the "family" recipe Caesar Salad, Auntie's Meatballs and Baked Ziti....now, I would love to give you the recipe's for both the Caesar and the Meatballs, but I'm pretty sure my body would be with Hoffa, so the Ziti will have to do!

Baked Ziti
2 lbs. ziti - boiled in salted water
1 lb. ground beef - browned and drained
1 large contained of Ricotta Cheese
2 - 8 oz. bags shredded Mozzarella or Italian cheese
1 egg
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
Tomato Sauce (recipe below)

Place cooked ziti and cooked ground beef in a large baking dish (I bought a disposable Aluminum one - lasagna size).  Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and add to the baking dish.  Add sauce and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.  Cover with aluminum foil.  This can be done up to a day in advance.  When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375.  Bake for 45 minutes.  At final 15 minutes of baking, remove foil and top with more shredded mozzarella.

Tomato Sauce
1 jar Prego tomato sauce (I use something simple like tomato basil)
2 small cans of diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1/3 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. salt
pepper - to taste
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning

Place all ingredients in a large sauce pan and stir.  Boil over medium heat then reduce to low.  Let simmer for 1 hr.  Taste and season as necessary.

Seriously, everyone was fighting for the leftovers last night.  This meal could easily serve 10 people and each and every one of them enjoyed it.  It is pretty inexpensive for a group and very satisfying.

Ahhh....food therapy complete...

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Salmon or Swordfish Meditterean Style

Comments (0) | Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Well, it has been a little while since my last post, but I am finally back in Dallas and actually back to living under the same roof as my husband!  Novel concept, huh?  We will see how we make out in less than 1000 sq. feet but the kitchen at the new place is awesome!  I should have no problem at all...

I must say, it was nice to cook for someone other than myself.  This is actually a recipe that I created for Matt a long time ago that I was reinstated last night.  Much to my delight, it was just as good as we remembered.  The fish topping is very flexible and can go on anything from Salmon (for Matt) to swordfish (for me) or even shrimp or tilapia. 

Mediterranean Style Salmon
4 - 1/2 lb. pieces of fish (either Salmon or Swordfish)
Garlic Powder
1/2 medium yellow onion - sliced thin
Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano
1 clove garlic - chopped
2/3-3/4 c. kalamata olives - chopped
2 c. diced tomatoes (the better the quality of tomato, the better the sauce will be)

  1. Drizzle the fish with olive oil then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Meanwhile, saute the onions in a skillet with 1 Tbsp. olive oil & 1 Tbsp. butter over medium heat.  Cook until soft then turn down to medium-low.  Let cook an additional 10-15 minutes to let the onions get sweet.  Add in the remaining ingredients.  Return heat to medium and let sauce come together.  It should be chunky.  Put in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Rinse out the skillet and return to medium high heat.  When the pan is hot, drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil, then add fish to the skillet.  If skin is on, place skin-side down first.  Cook for 4 minutes/side.  This will make Salmon medium rare.  If you would like it cooked through or are using swordfish, place fish in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.    
  4. Remove from the oven.  To plate, place fish on a plate and top with tomato mixture.  I served with roasted vegetables.
Fish is definitely not one of my faves but it is so good for you that I at least try to incorporate it into my diet.  this is a great way to get the health benefits of the fish, as well as the fresh tomatoes while still having an incredibly tasty meal. Enjoy!

Ahhhh....food therapy complete!

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