A Thirty-Minute Supper for the Chilly Beginning of Spring

Grilled Sausages, Savoy Cabbage and Bacon, Apples with Caraway SeedsLooking at my calendar I notice that this is the first day of spring, but peering out my window I view mounds of snow in our yard while the thermometer hovers in the 40s. So, as much as I am ready for a seasonal change, it’s still cold here in New England, and I’m craving foods to stave off the chill.

Grilled sausages served with pan-sautéed cabbage and bacon plus apple wedges sautéed in butter with caraway seeds is just the sort of no-fuss menu I love in this blustery weather. For the sausages choose a favorite cooked one (I always opt for kielbasa) and slice it into 3- to 4- inch lengths before grilling in a stove top grill pan or skillet until lightly charred. The two side dishes featured here, though, are the real stars of this meal. Each calls for only three primary ingredients and takes only minutes to prep and cook. Continue reading

Last Minute Pan Seared Salmon in a Paris Kitchen

Last Minute Grilled or Pan-Seared Salmon 1 2403x2058 2403x2058The apartment we rent in Paris has a petite kitchen. Counter space is practically non-existent, the fridge is 3/4 size (big for Paris!), and the oven not much larger than a microwave. Amazingly, though, it works beautifully if I keep the menus simple. Dishes like the pan-seared salmon fillets featured here are perfect to prepare in this small space.

Paris Apt Kitchen 1For this recipe salmon fillets are seasoned with an herb and spice rub that includes smoked paprika, thyme, and rosemary. The fillets can rest in the fridge for up to an hour before being quickly pan seared. For sides I drizzled olive oil over a pan of asparagus, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and popped them in the oven to roast for 20 minutes. Basmati rice cooked on the stovetop in a saucepan of water scented with several pinches of turmeric made another colorful garnish. Continue reading

A Serendipitous Spring Pasta Dish

Pappardelle, Peas, Pea Shoots, Serano 1 3648x2736This past week my friend and longtime assistant, Emily Bell, traveled to New England from Ohio for a week of marathon cooking with me, testing recipes for a new cookbook.
Each day we made our way to the supermarket to purchase groceries, carefully checking off the items on our list. On one such visit to the local Whole Foods, we noticed some gorgeous pea shoots, and then spotted some shelled peas in the produce section. Both were so appealing and such great harbingers of spring that we put them in the cart.Serrano Ham and Snow Pea Shoots from Whole F 1 3431x2298 A few aisles away we found packages of sliced Serrano, Spain’s contribution to the world’s ham repertoire.Those three discoveries sparked an idea for a delicious pasta dish.

We cooked pappardelle al dente, adding the fresh peas during the last few minutes so that both finished cooking at the same time. Melted butter, fresh lemon zest, and crème fraîche were then stirred into the pasta along with a little Parmesan cheese. Oh, and the Serrano ham– we julienned the slices and quickly sautéed them to use as a garnish. Continue reading

Spicy Lamb Chops–Weeknight Quick and Easy!

Lamb Chops with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce 1It’s a recurrent theme at our house and maybe at yours too. Does this sound familiar? You’ve worked all day and arrive home feeling as if the last thing you want to do is cook. The temptation looms large to order a pizza or take out from the local Chinese or Mexican place, but what you really crave is something homemade for supper.

Because I play out that scenario often, I’m always searching for easy homemade fixes for weeknight meals. When I discover a new dish such as Spicy Lamb Chops with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce I love to share it with my readers. Continue reading

Winning my Husband Over with Delicious Roasted Fish

Baked Fish Fillets with Fennel, Tomatoes, and Basil 1Typically my husband will ask late in the afternoon, “So what’s for dinner?” If red meat happens to be the anchor of our meal, his face lights up, but if I mention that fish is on the menu his disappointment is apparent. A devoted carnivore, he adores grilled steaks and chops, savors any form of lamb, and thinks pulled pork should be at the top of the food pyramid.

This week, though, when I served roasted cod fillets topped with a hearty mélange of sautéed fennel and little red and yellow tomatoes, he changed his mind, eating this simply prepared (and I might add quite healthy!) seafood dish with gusto. The colorful fennel and tomato topping, which takes only about 20 minutes to assemble, can be prepared ahead. At serving time all that is necessary is to arrange thick-cut fish fillets in a baking dish, then spoon the garnish over them. In less than a quarter hour the fish is tender, flaky, and ready for the table.

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Alexia Sweet Potato Fries

Growing up in the South, I remember that sweet potatoes were practically a staple at our family table. However, I didn’t keep up the tradition of serving this bold-hued, extra nutritious vegetable in my own kitchen. That is until I discovered Alexia Sweet Potato Julienne Fries. My local Whole Foods stocks them in the frozen food section. On a whim one day, I picked up a package and discovered how Continue reading