Sunday, October 30, 2011

Orange Who?

Knock Knock! Who’s There? Banana. Banana Who?
Knock Knock! Who’s There? Banana. Banana Who?
Knock Knock! Who’s There? Orange. Orange Who? Orange you glad I didn’t say banana!

Womp Womp! I am so excited to tell you about the amazing orange themed dinner I made last week. I got the idea watching Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives one night where one of the diner cooks made orange honey butter for pancakes. Obviously I didn’t have the recipe but didn’t figure it would be too difficult.

So instead of regular pancakes, I wanted to make cornbread pancakes like an old friend’s Mimi used to make us when were kids. I had chicken thawed out that I wanted to use so I got a grilled orange chicken recipe from KitchenKing on Lastly, I was going to just have some greens to go with it. Truth is, I got so excited about the orangey possibilities that I got a little carried away, but it was all super duper. Josh was raving and he ended up eating 8 cornbread pancakes. Yeah I know!

So Here’s the Breakdown:

Cornbread Pancakes
1 box Jiffy mix

Mix according to the pancake directions on the side of the box. Heat a flat griddle on high heat. Pam Spray your flat griddle and pour ½ ladle batter per pancake. Let it cook until the side facing up is bubbling and then flip.

Orange Honey Butter
6 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tbsp. Honey
½ Orange, cut into quarters

Mix all ingredients into a food processor until semi-smooth. It won’t be completely smooth because you use the whole orange; peel and all. Put this delicious concoction on the hot cornbread pancakes.

Orange Grilled Chicken
½ cup orange marmalade
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 leaves fresh sage, torn up
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives

Put all but the chives into a small sauce pan and simmer, stirring constantly until thin and fully mixed together. Then stir in the chives. Let the sauce cool. Cut the chicken horizontally and marinate the chicken in the marinade for 30 minutes (or more if you have time). Grill on each side.

Orange Theme Salad
Mixed greens
Watermelon radish cut into triangles
Orange wedges
Cucumber, sliced in half moons

Dress with balsamic dressing.

I worried I may have gone overboard, but it was completely cohesive! This meal was a little slice of ORANGE HEAVEN!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kale Soup - Meagady Meagz Style

I, as I’m sure I’ve said before, am not a huge soup eater. But living in this weather (ummm yeah it snowed last night) makes me crave it from time to time to warm me up! I may still be a bit of a wussy despite living through six New England winters and I almost count last winter as two! If you live here you probably do too!!

So when I picked up some beautiful kale at the farmers’ market last weekend I got inspired to make a caldo verde. Electra’s Portuguese self was always telling me about it, so I figured it would be a good time to try it.

So I picked up some spicy chorizo and got to work. Now, if you don’t know, traditional caldo verde has kale, chorizo, potatoes, garlic and onions. Thing was, I had a ton of veggies from the week before that I needed to use before they went bad. You all know how I feel about throwing away food! So I threw them in as well. The result was terrific and it warmed me right up. And there was enough to eat it for several days after!

Here’s the breakdown:

1 large bunch kale, torn up
2 shallots, diced
leafy part of the celery heart, chopped small
½ quart sliced baby bellas
1 small red hot pepper cut in half
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 ears corn, cut off the cob
1lb chorizo sliced into moons
1 sweet potato diced tiny
olive oil
1 can Rotel
2 cups cranberry/shelling beans
2 packets Sazon seasoning
2 bay leaves
32 oz chicken broth

I put the first 10 ingredients into my cast iron dutch oven. I sautéd them until everything was wilted down. Especially the kale. Then I added the Rotel, beans, sazon, fresh pepper, bay leaves and chicken broth. I let it simmer on the lowest of low heat covered for about 2 hours.

It wasn’t traditional, but it was very good. And all the veggies made me feel great about eating it and about not wasting all that yummy veg! I made a batch of cornbread to go with it, which is also not very Portuguese, but what can I say? I’m southern!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Curry for People Who Don't Like Curry

I am a crazy Indian Food lover. However, I don’t really like making it. I just really enjoy my favorite Indian restaurants. In fact, I was in my little Indian happy place at the Brick Lane when I was in London! I am also really addicted to the magazine Real Simple. When these two favorites collided last week I ended up with a super quick and easy but very delicious curry meal!

Now don’t get me wrong…this was no Namaskar and it really wasn’t Indian food per se. But if you have a finicky eater that claims not to like Indian food, this would be a perfect meal to start them on.

Here’s the breakdown!

Red Curry Chicken Skewers
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1” cubes
¾ cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp. red curry paste
½ tsp cayenne pepper
*I added the cayenne b/c I like everything spicy
pinch of salt
bamboo skewers

Fresh Cilantro, Chopped

Whisk up the coconut milk, curry paste, cayenne and salt until its well mixed. Throw the mixture in a gallon Ziploc bag with the chicken. Real Simple says to let it marinate for an hour. I left it for 2 ½ but you could definitely leave it longer and next time I will!

Before you start cooking anything put your skewers in water to soak so they don’t burn up on the grill. Skewer your chicken pieces and grill for about 5 minutes per side. Put the left over sauce into a small sauce pan and cook thoroughly stirring regularly. Pour the sauce over the grilled chicken. I also served them with basmati rice, obvi!

Additionally, I made a snap pea dish (also in Real Simple). Basically, put a little bit of olive oil in a skillet, throw in your peas and sauté stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Then add about 3 green onions sliced up into the pool and sauté for another 3 or so minutes, or until they wilt down.

Put all the kids on the plate together, sprinkle with cilantro and voila, tasty and easy curry that even people who don't love curry will enjoy!!!!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pork Tenderloin & Apples

For unknown reasons, growing up I was not really a pork fan. Blasphemy for the foodie world, I know. However, as a kid, my mom did make one pork dish that I really loved! It was pork chops and apples. A Brendaz version of pork chops and applesauce I suppose.

As an adult newly on my own, I attempted to recreate this fairly simple, largely delicious dish. However, I failed miserably. Maybe I didn’t really fail, but perhaps its one of those dishes for me that I’d just rather my mom make for me. Either way, I didn’t feel terrific about my final product. Several years later, I decided I was going to make this for Josh. It had been such a favorite of mine my whole life and he is a huge pork lover. So I got on the horn with Brendaz and worked it out. They key that I had missed before was using bone in pork chops. Do not attempt this with boneless chops. It dries out way too much! Ick just thinking about it.

Fast forward to two weekends ago when my dad was in town. Saturday we went apple picking in the morning and grilled out at home that night. Dad really wanted a pork tenderloin so we got a package. The boys grilled while the girls made artichokes. The point of this story is that the package we got actually had two tenderloins in it. So we had apples and tenderloin left over! THAT’S A BINGO!! CLICK ME

So I decided that I would make pork tenderloin and apples! But here’s the thing, I really don’t like pork tenderloin in the oven (my mom bakes her chops and apples). It’s that dry ick thing with the tenderloin since there’s little fat. So I decided that the tenderloin would have to be grilled in order for me to stomach it. 

This meal comes in two parts. Then I threw in a baked potato because that’s what Brendaz would have done.

Baked Apples
5 cooking apples, cored and sliced
2 tsp sugar
1-2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter in tiny cubes

Mix the first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a baking pan and sprinkle the butter cubes over top. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin
A.A. Borsari Seasoned Salt
*Whole Foods in the meat section

Pre-heat your grill for a good 15 minutes. Liberally sprinkle all sides of the pork tenderloin with the seasoned salt. Grill for approximately 20 minutes (10 minutes per side). This is a good dish for a meat thermometer. I’d cook the tenderloin to 165 degrees in the middle. That’s somewhere between medium and well done….some would call it medium well *wink wink. For those of you who like it more rare, get down with your bad selves!! Let your tenderloin rest for about 10-20 minutes post grill. Slice and spoon your baked apples on top.

The contrast of salt and sweet on this is really something to write home about. I’d say Brendaz would love this as much as her version!

Cheers ya’ll!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stir It Up!!

While I was at the food festival I met this super nice culinary student named Frank who was kind enough to give me a fellow student’s recipe for jerk marinade. A Jamaican fellow student! You can only imagine my excitement! I had the INS on the good Jamaican!!!

You may not know this about me, but I’m a big fan of Reggae music. But don’t ask me who I like because you may also not know that while I can probably sing every word to every song ever produced since 1960, I never know who wrote it, sang it or when! Josh regularly jokes that if college had been set to music I’d have breezed through!

So Wednesday night I turned my Pandora to my Reggae station and go to cooking. Truth is, however, I actually started the process on Monday night. I made the marinade Monday night, put the chicken in it Tuesday night and cooked it Wednesday night. I’m not sure its necessary to span it out like this, but I would recommend putting your chicken in the marinade the night before! And on Wednesday, we sat down to an amazing Jamaican meal that knocked our socks off!

Here’s the breakdown:

5 scallions
5 sprigs of thyme,1  tbsp chopped
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp all spice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 scotch bonnets
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 vinegar
1 onion
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp grated ginger

Combine in a blender and puree into marinade. Makes 3 cups. Marinate your chicken overnight. Then get your grill screaming hot and grill it up. Easy peasy.

I also had a quick and easy rice dish with this.

Grilled Pineapple and Black Bean Rice
4 servings worth Uncle Ben’s Fast and Natural Brown Rice
1 pineapple
1 can black beans
¾ cup salsa

Cook your brown rice according to the directions. Cut off the outside, top and bottom of your pineapple. Then cut into 8 spears, core removed. Grill the pineapple and cut into small cubes. Rinse the black beans. Throw all of the ingredients into a large saucepan and warm over low heat stirring frequently. STIR IT UP!! <-- Click!! Make sure the beans and pineapple are heated through.

This dinner was really really easy and full of big time flavor! And don’t forget to Stir It up!!!

Cheers Mon!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

I don’t know when it happened that I became a HUGE fish taco fan, but now I look back and cannot remember my life without them! Nine times out of ten I will chose a fish taco over any other kind. The problem is that in a lot of restaurants when you order fish tacos, they come beer battered and deep fried. Don’t get me wrong, these are delicious, but there are two problems with that…1) it is nooooot healthy and 2) I just don’t deep fry stuff at home. I don’t even think I have the equipment to do it! This, however, actually presents a different problem. Getting your fish tacos to be yummy and delicious without being a bland pile of mush! And friends, I have it DOWN!

After perfecting this recipe, Electra and I decided it was time for me to get out of law, move to Mexico and open a fish taco stand. Beers and tacos on the beach, does it get better? While I devise my master plan to do all of this, I guess I’ll just have to enjoy making them at home while I dream of the beach. Maybe I’ll head over to Castle Island and pretend!

So before I get started, you must know that without each and every one of these components, these tacos are no good. Especially the sauce, you must have the sauce. Since it is the most important ingredient, I will give you the recipe for it first! I got the recipe from a woman named “mabcat” on I have no problem pirating other people’s recipes but credit to her.

Also, the serving size for this recipe is 2-3 people, but the sauce will be good for many more than 2-3 servings. I keep it in the fridge for quick tacos another night.

Sauce Component
8 oz. fat free sour cream
½ cup adobo sauce from chipotle peppers
2 tsp. lime zest
2 Tbsp. lime juice
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. Old Bay

Mix it all together, donezo!!

Fish Component
2-3 fish filets
*tilapia, cod, mahi and catfish work well but use whatever you like
Old Bay
Sprinkle the fish with Old Bay, grill, donezo! Make sure you spray the grill grates with oil and cook for about 4 minutes per side.

Toppings Component
Shredded Cabbage
*this is absolutely essential for proper texture
3 scallions, sliced small
lime wedges
whole wheat flour tortillas, fajita size
*I warm these up directly on my gas stove burner

So basically you construct your taco however makes sense to you. Josh puts the sauce on the bottom, I put it on the top! Ultimately it tastes the same!

DONEZO! How easy is this? And I’m telling you, you’ll never have another disappointing fish taco experience again!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boston Local Food Festival 2011

A couple months ago in my ongoing effort to do good and make people happy, mainly myself, I signed up as a volunteer for the Boston Local Food Festival. This was also partially because my friend Guido told me I was doing it and I try never to argue with dear Guido. Nevertheless, the time for the food festival came this past Saturday and though I have no recipes to share with you today, I believe this blog to be a great service to those of you who didn’t attend so that you don’t make the same mistake next year!

Our morning started at 7am at the Fort Point Channel in South Boston. Guido and I geared up to set up and get the vendors and their things to their designated booths. We lifted and pulled and set up and schmoooooooozed all morning. IN A DOWNPOUR! Mind you, almost everything was under a tent, but getting that stuff to the tents was a bit….soppy! Anywho, we were just so pumped to be meeting such awesome people and for what was to come later in the day (i.e. food) that we put our silly foodie grins on dubbed ourselves Team Muscle!

Eric's Eggs/Rockville Market Farm
Our First Vendor unload was Eric’s Eggs/Rockville Market Farm out of Rockville, VT. It consisted of two men, Chris and Eric of course, and Chris’ daughter. We unloaded a ton of stuff for them, watermelons, tomatoes, grills…but nothing made me quite so excited as when I saw their sign for what they were cooking up that day. They were making chicken mole taco like things with pumpkin seeds, squash soup, pumpkin chocolate chip bars and slicing up yellow and red watermelons. They were super nice and were also selling eggs….get it, Eric’s Eggs. Later on in the day I went back for a taco and a chunk of yellow watermelon and also bought a pint of their multi-colored cherry tomatoes. Sorry, there’s no picture because I’ve managed to eat all of them already! Oops! It was all so delicious. Eric’s Eggs is a great farm doing big things. And for anyone who’s willing to come over to Cambridge, they also offer a variety of CSAs you can join! Including ones with eggs and meat! You can get more information at  

Adam Tiberio and the 1/4 Beef!

So after several hours of loading and unloading vendors, Guido and I had to make our way over to the Chef Demonstration area where we basically set up two “stages” for the chefs to show off! And boy did they! At one table were several chefs doing food making demos such as Cooking Locally for you Kids and Eating Locally without Killing Yourself. Mayor Menino even stopped in to do a demonstration. However, Guido and I were most mesmerized by the butchering demonstration happening at the other “stage”. They had chef Matt Jennings, of La Laiterie in Providence, RI breaking down a pig, Tom Daly, lead butcher of Savenor’s Market in Boston breaking down a lamb, and Michael Ehlenfeldt of Stone Hearth Pizza Co. in Cambridge breaking down a chicken. But most amazingly, Adam Tiberio of Tiberios Meats in New York City breaking down a quarter of beef! We literally stood around mouths open watching for about 3 hours! It was simply amazing. Not to mention after they butchered, they grilled up the meat, which I was catching like a seal at the zoo!

After our volunteer duties were all donezo and the sun had shone its face, we walked around trying anything and everything. We tasted meatballs from Stone Hearth, Batch Ice Cream, Pumpkin Pie soda from Maine Root, ribs from M&M BBQ (umm fabulous by the way, my southern butt is taking it to Hampden Street on the reg from now on for BBQ), Jamaican food, milk from High Lawn….so much delicious. There were also several farms selling things. I bought some amazing radishes, green onions and beets from Blue Heron Organic Farm out of Lincoln, MA. They had the most beautiful set up at the festival with produce and flowers all over the place! This farm posts up at the Davis Square and Lexington farmers’ markets so get your butts down there! I swear if their booth is normally anything like it was for the festival, you’re sure to be impressed. You can also check them out at

Blue Heron Organic Farm

In part of my wandering I also found a stand selling kale chips. I could try to explain my excitement but it’s futile on paper. What I will tell you, is that I bought a bag of the delicious greenery and also a t-shirt that says, “I <3 Kale Chips” and boy do I!!! They are made in Newburyport, MA at Revitalive Café. This café is doing so much stuff that I can’t begin to get into it all, but check them out at What an amazing company and project they’re working on! And I’ll definitely be out there to get more kale chips!

I also found this amazing stand for Samira’s Homemade. They specialize in Egyptian and Lebanese foods. They had several foods like hummus and tabouli, but my favorite was the Muhammara, a fire roasted red pepper, walnut and pomegranate spread! It was so amazing. I bought a container, but suspect it won’t last long. Luckily I can pick it up a Pemberton Farms. You should definitely check out their products. To find a vendor near you check out the website at

Pretty Things Brewery
At the end of all the eating we took it over to the Daily Catch for the Craft Brew tasting. We tasted local beers from Cambridge Brewing Company, Pretty Things, Smuttynose Brewing, Blue Hills Brewing, Watch City Brewing, Jack’s Abby, Boston Beer Works, Poverty Lane Orchards & Farnum Hill Ciders and my all time favorite 22oz can…Narragansett!! Hi Neighbor! We had some wonderful tastes of wonderful brews, but my fave is definitely the Boston Beer Works Pumpkin! It’s rivaled by none!

We left the day utterly exhausted, but well fed, slightly lubricated and with more friends than we started with. What more can a foodie girl ask for!?!?