March 1, 2013


Did you know that you can make your own chorizo?  Well I’ve got news for you!  It’s easy to make and the payoff is big.  Chorizo is simply Mexican sausage.  It can be prepared and stored uncooked or cooked until you are ready to use it.  Uncooked chorizo can be kept in the freezer until you are ready to use it.  Tacos with chorizo filling are super tasty!


1 Pound Ground Beef

1/2 Pound Ground Pork

2 Cloves Minced Garlic

1/2 Diced Onion

3 Tablespoons Vinegar

2 1/2 Tablespoons Chili Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Paprika

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Oregano

2 Finely Crushed Chilitepins

In a large size bowl combine the ground beef and ground pork.  Mix in the minced garlic, ground cloves and onions.  In a small bowl combine the vinegar, chili powder, paprika, cumin, pepper, kosher salt, oregano and crushed chilitepins.  Mix well and add to the meat mixture.  Blend thoroughly.  Form into a roll and place into an airtight ziplock bag.  Place into the fridge until ready to use.  To use simply cook the desired amount of the chorizo over a medium heat until the chorizo turns a rich brown color and the meat is fully cooked.  Drain and use.  Makes approximately 2 pounds of chorizo. 


Chilitepins are tiny hot peppers which give the chorizo its zestiness.  Use only two.  They go a long way.  When working with chilitepins make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes. 

Italian Sausage Soup

February 19, 2013

Italian Sausage Soup

We are so fortunate to have fresh ingredients available to us all year round.  A good February evening should consist of a hearty soup accompanied by some fresh crusty bread, perhaps followed by cheese.



2 Large Diced Onions

4 Diced Celery Stalks

6 Minced Garlic Cloves

2 Pounds Loose Sweet Italian Sausage

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Chopped Carrots

6 Cups Chicken Stock

1 Cup Red Wine

2 Cups Tomato Sauce

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Cooked Kidney Beans

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

3 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley


Peel and chop the onion and carrots.  Chop the celery and mince the garlic.  Heat the olive oil in a large size heavy soup pot.  Add the vegetables and garlic.  Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add the sausage and cook for 10 minutes until the sausage is cooked through.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Place sausage and vegetables back into the pot.  Add the chicken stock, red wine and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium low.  Add the kidney beans, kosher salt and pepper.  Stir occasionally.  Cook for 3 hour.  Remove from the heat and ladle into bowls.  Serve hot.  Serves 4




Chorizo Pasta Bake

February 15, 2013

Chorizo Pasta Bake

Make sure to slightly undercook the pasta as it will cook in the oven too.  The goal is for the finished dish to retain some bite and texture. 


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Finely Chopped Red Onion

3 Crushed Garlic Cloves

8 Ounces Sliced Chorizo

7 Cups Chopped Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

14 Ounces Fusilli

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan


Preheat your oven to 350º F.  In a large sauté pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Remove and place into a 1 1/2 quart glass baking dish.  In the same sauté pan sauté the chorizo for 2 minutes until it starts to get a bit crisp. Return the cooked onions to the pan with the chorizo and add the chopped tomatoes and red wine vinegar.  Cook for 10 minutes and then turn the heat off and let sit until you are ready to assemble in the baking dish.  In a large pot add water and salt.  Add the fusilli and cook until nearly al dente.  Remove from the heat and drain.  Toss the cooked pasta with the remaining olive oil.  Stir the cooked pasta nto the sauté pan.  Add the basil.  Pour the contents of the sauté pan into the glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with the grated parmesan and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Serves 4

Honey Boo Boo Pork Ribs

February 3, 2013

Honey Boo Boo Pork Ribs

Make sure that you take your Lipitor today because The Super Bowl screams out “eat ribs!”  I love ribs anytime, but I just can’t resist a great rib dish on the biggest game day of the year.


2 Pound Rack of Baby Back Pork Ribs

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Cup Malt Vinegar

1 Cup Honey

1 Tablespoon Hot Pepper Sauce

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  In a medium size bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the ribs.  Set aside.  In a large skillet place the olive oil and sear the ribs over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes per side.  Remove from the heat.  On the bottom on a glass baking dish smear some of the sauce.  Place the ribs into the baking dish and pour the rest of the sauce over the ribs.  Bake covered for 1 hour.  Remove the lid and bake for 45 more minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.  Serves 4

Baked Cannellini Beans With Italian Sausage

January 29, 2013

Baked Cannellini Beans With Italian Sausage


This dish is so easy to make and is an excellent weeknight meal coupled with a tossed salad and a nice hunk of crusty bread.  This dish can be served as either a main dish or side dish. 



2 Cups Cooked Cannellini Beans (Cooked Dried or Canned)

1/4 Pound Diced Bacon

1 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage

1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil

2 Cups Tomato Sauce

2 Cups Chicken Broth

4 Cloves Minced Garlic

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

3 Tablespoons Parsley


Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Drain the cannellini beans in a strainer, but do not rinse them.  Set aside.  In a medium size Dutch oven sauté the sausage, garlic and the bacon over a medium heat for 8 minutes or until well cooked.  Add the pepper, parsley, basil, tomato sauce, chicken broth and cannellini beans.  Give a good stir and put the lid on.  Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Serves 4 as a main dish.

Shredded Pork & Avocado Tacos

January 14, 2013

Shredded Pork & Avocado Tacos

These Shredded Pork & Avocado Tacos are both low in fat and super fast to make.  When I cook all weekend I like to make a quickie Monday dinner.  If you would like more of a complete fiesta dinner then serve with buttered corn, salad greens with mandarin oranges with citrus vinaigrette dressing and baked custard for dessert. 


17 Ounces Cooked Pork Roast

1 Cup Salsa

12 Taco Shells or Small Flour Tortillas

2 Cups Shredded Lettuce

1/2 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

1/4 Cup Pitted & Sliced Olives

1 Cup Low-Fat Sour Cream

2 Sliced Avocados

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Place the cooked pork roast into a baking dish.  Cover loosely with foil and put into the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and shred the pork by pulling two forks through it in opposite directions.  Place the shredded pork back into the baking dish and add the salsa.  Place the foil back onto the baking dish and put into the oven for 10 minutes.  Place the taco shells on a baking sheet and heat for 5 minutes.  If you are using flour tortillas then wrap the tortillas tightly in foil and bake for 10 minutes.  To assemble the tacos, put the pork mixture into a warm taco shell.  Top with lettuce, cheese, olives, sour cream and avocado slices.  Makes 12 tacos. 

Lentil Soup

December 9, 2012

Lentil Soup

Many of us are super busy this time of year.  Here is a soup that freezes extremely well.  If you want to make this lentil soup vegetarian just leave out the ham bone. 



1 Pound Dried Lentils

1 Ham Bone

2 Quarts Water

1 Diced Onion

2 Chopped Celery Stalks

2 Chopped Carrots

4 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Bay Leaf

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper


Sort and rinse the dried lentils.  In a large size soup pot add the water, lentils, ham bone, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, kosher salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid.  Cook for 2 1/2 hours making sure to stir occasionally. Turn off the heat and remove the ham bone from the soup.  Remove any of the ham from the bone, chop into pieces and add back to the lentil soup.  Remove the bay leaf and serve hot along with crusty bread and a nice green salad.  Serves 6

Pork Enchiladas

November 8, 2012

Pork Enchiladas

Now that the election is over how about whipping up some hearty pork enchiladas.  These babies are delicious. 


1 Bunch Cilantro

1 Cup Sour Cream

7 Ounces Jalapeno Salsa

7 Ounces Prepared Green Chile Salsa

2 Pounds Cooked & Shredded Boneless Pork Chops

1 Diced Onion

12 Six Inch Flour Tortillas

4 Cups Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  To make the sour cream mixture puree the cilantro, sour cream, jalapeno salsa and 3 1/2 ounces green chile salsa in either a food processor or blender.  Set aside.  To make the pork mixture combine the shredded pork, diced onion and remaining green chile salsa in a large size bowl.  Mix well.  Pour enough of the sour cream mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish to coat the bottom.  Place 3 heaping tablespoonfuls of the pork mixture inside each tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Pour the remaining sour cream mixture over the top.  Place the shredded cheese on top and cover the dish tightly with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the dish is heated through and bubbling.  Remove from the oven and serve hot.  Serves 6

Fettucini Carbonara

October 5, 2012

Fettucini Carbonara

Fettucini Carbonara is the perfect fall dish and a great way to end the work week.


1/2 Pound Bacon or Prosciutto

1/4 Cup Half & Half

4 Beaten Eggs

1 Pound Cooked Fettucini

1/2 Cup Melted Butter

1 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 Cup Parsley

Cook the fettucini according to package instructions. In a large sauté pan cook the bacon or prosciutto, over a medium heat, until almost crisp.  Remove from the skillet and crumble into a small bowl.  Drain the fat and return the sauté pan back to the burner.  Heat the half and half until it is warm, remove from the burner and beat in the eggs. Beat well.  Return the sauté pan back to the burner and cook, over a low heat, for 5 minutes.  Stir constantly.  Add the bacon or prosciutto and cook for another minute.  Place the cooked fettucini into a large bowl and add the butter.  Toss the fettucini with the butter.  Pour the half & half mixture over the fettucini and toss.  Finally add the Parmesan cheese and parsley and toss again.  Transfer to serving platter and serve warm.  Serves 6

Italian Sausage Soup

October 3, 2012

Italian Sausage Soup

This soup is a meal in itself and perfect for this fall weather. 


1 Pound Mild Italian Sausage

2 Cups Chopped Carrots

1 Large Chopped Red Onion

1 Cup Chopped Celery

3 Tablespoons Butter

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

1/2 Cup Sliced Mushrooms

3 Cups Chicken Broth

2 Cups Cooked Garbanzo Beans

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Teaspoon Sage

1/2 Cup Water

2 Cups Grated Parmesan Cheese

Slice and remove the casings from the sausage.  In a large size skillet sauté the sausage for 5 minutes. Drain off any grease.  Add the carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, butter and sauté over a low heat until the vegetables are soft.  Add the parsley, chicken broth, garbanzo beans, sage, salt, pepper and water. If you don’t have time to cook your own garbanzo beans then using canned is ok.  Cook on low for 40 minutes.  Remove from the heat and serve hot.  Parmesan cheese is for topping the individual soup bowls.  Serves 4

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