Look at what's cookin

My adventure's in feeding my family

Pasta with Crab, Tomato, and Chilies December 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I still can’t understand why my husband doesn’t like pasta with seafood. I think it is great. I still had a bag of crab that I got on mark down (while it was still fresh) so I decided to subject my husband to this recipe. I loved it. A bit of spice and some seafood. Even the leftovers were great. We won’t go into what my husband thought. I had two half boxes of linguine (not sure how that happened) so I used them both since two halfs equals a whole.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and roughly broken up by hand
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small red hot chili, finely sliced
  • 2 slices rustic bread or 1 English muffin, roughly torn
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 pound fresh spaghetti, fettucini, or tagliatelle (dry pasta can also be used)
  • 1 pound lump or jumbo lump fresh crab meat




Heat butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and foaming subsides. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and heavy cream. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add vodka and simmer for 4 minutes longer.

Transfer mixture to jar of blender and blend on high speed until completely smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer 2 cups to a large saucepan. Reserve remaining sauce for another use.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Combine bread and remaining olive oil the the work bowl of a food processor. Process until fine crumbs are formed. Transfer to a medium skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring and tossing constantly until golden brown. Transfer to a small bowl. Season bread crumbs to taste with salt and pepper and add a pinch of parsley and chives. Toss to combine. Set aside.

Add crab and sliced chilies to saucepan with sauce and stir to combine. Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water just until it is barely cooked through, about 2 minutes (if using dry pasta, cook according to package directions). Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Transfer pasta to saucepan with sauce stir in remaining herbs. Heat over high heat until sauce is simmering and pasta is completely coated, adding reserved pasta water as necessary to thin sauce to desired consistency. Serve immediately, topping with bread crumbs.



Mustardy Salmon in a Packet with Asparagus December 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I am always looking for new salmon recipes. Cooking things in a packet sounds fancy but is deceptively easy. I came across this recipe and other than swapping out crème fraîche for sour cream I didn’t deviate. I keep all the ingredients around the house so I was able to throw it together with ease. Tasty and tender it was a great recipe.


  • 4 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 4 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 bunches (32 stems) asparagus, trimmed and cut in thirds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless skinless salmon fillets (about 6 ounces each)

photo 1



Preheat the oven to 400°F. Whisk together the crème fraîche, wine, and mustards. Set aside.

photo 2

Tear off four large rectangles of aluminum foil, and four slightly smaller rectangles of parchment. Place the parchment on top of the foil. On each sheet of parchment, place a quarter of the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. On top of each pile of asparagus, place one piece of salmon, and season the fish with salt and pepper. Divide the mustard sauce among the four pieces of salmon, pouring it over the top. Finally, fold the packets of foil so they are sealed up tight with the parchment and fish within. Bake packets on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer until fish is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Open packets and serve.

photo 3


Slow-Cooker Coffee-Braised Brisket With Potatoes and Carrots December 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

Brisket is a tough meat to cook, mostly because it is tough. There are many recipes for smoking it but we don’t have a smoker. Almost every recipe I see looks the same which is why this recipe intrigues me. The coffee provided a richness but it was in no way overpowering. The meat was very tender even though it was still frozen when I put it in (I forgot to thaw it out the night before) and the carrots and potatoes were soft but not mushy. A simple recipe with common ingredients.


  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered, stem end left intact
  • 1 pound new potatoes (about 12)
  • 1 pound medium carrots, cut into 2 1⁄2-inch lengths
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef brisket, trimmed
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 cup brewed black coffee
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

photo 1



In the bottom of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, potatoes, and carrots. Season the beef with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and place on top of the vegetables.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, coffee, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar; pour over the beef and vegetables.

photo 2

Cover and cook on low until the beef and vegetables are tender, 8 to 9 hours.

Slice the beef across the grain and serve with the vegetables and sauce, sprinkled with the parsley.

photo 3


Skillet Halibut with Charred Corn Salad December 22, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

We have a lot of halibut in our freezer and are always looking for new ways to cook it. I served this recipe with some leftover couscous. I wish I had dug out my cast iron skillet instead of using the one I did but I still got a good char and flavor.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ jalapeno, minced
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced, light green parts only
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from about 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 halibut fillets (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)



Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the corn and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn has charred slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add the corn to a serving bowl and mix with the jalapeno, scallions, tomatoes, mint leaves, lime juice, and extra-virgin olive, and season to taste. Set aside.


Wipe out the same skillet and add the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season fish with salt and pepper. Add the fish skin side down and until the skin is crisp, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until just cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. Serve with the corn salad.



Slow-Cooker Sausage and Greens Stew With Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes December 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

This recipe was phenomenal. I had everything at home (it called for kale but I had turnip greens that were frozen from my garden) and it was simple to put together. Great flavors. The mashed potatoes were great and it all just melded together.


  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed and broken into pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 large russet potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 1 small bunch turnip greens
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving



Combine the sausage, onion, tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, garlic, 1 cup water, turnip greens and ¾ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Nestle the potatoes in the liquid.


Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).


Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl. Add the sour cream, oil, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper to the bowl and mash.

Serve the stew topped with the mashed potatoes. Drizzle with more olive oil, if desired.



Pork Sandwich with Romesco Sauce December 18, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I love a good sandwich. Something about meat, bread and toppings coming together make an amazing meal. I saw this recipe and knew I had to make it. I had never made romesco sauce but have seen it on a lot of cooking shows. It was surprisingly simple and tasty! If you want this as a quick meal, make the sauce ahead of time.


  • 1 dry ancho chili
  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 3/4 cup drained canned or jarred piquillo peppers
  • 3/4 cup drained and crushed canned plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 slice hearty white bread, torn into pieces
  • 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds or toasted skinned hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (1 1/2 -pound) pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1 inch-thick medallions
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 cups packed arugula
  • 4 (6-inch long) crusty rolls, such as ciabatta
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (optional)




For the Romesco: Place the chili in a bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. If necessary, weigh the chili down with a second bowl or other object to keep it submerged. Soak chili for 30 minutes, then pat dry, remove stem and seeds, and coarsely chop.

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss chili, bacon, peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, and smoked paprika together in prepared baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.

Roast until onions are softened and slightly charred, 30 to 40 minutes, tossing mixture halfway through cooking. Transfer to cooling rack and cool 15 minutes.

Pulse bread in food processor until it breaks down into crumbs. Add pepper mixture, nuts, vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.


Romesco may be made 1 week in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Rub all over with smoked paprika.

Cook pork until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to large bowl. Using 2 fork, shred pork into bite-sized pieces.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until crisp and golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in arugula.

Slice rolls in half and spread the inside of the top piece with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise. Spread a heaping 1/4 cup romesco on bottom half of each roll.

Distribute pork evenly among romesco-spread bread pieces, top with mayo-spread bread pieces and serve.



Salmon With Lemon-Cilantro Vinaigrette December 16, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

Another salmon recipe. I like the sauce from this recipe quite a bit. It says to only put it on the top of the salmon but I tossed it with the couscous to give it a bit more flavor and it was a hit. Super quick and simple.


  • 1 10-ounce box couscous (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 skinless salmon fillet (1 1/4 pounds), cut into 4 portions
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice



Cook the couscous according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Season the salmon with the paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

In a blender, combine the cilantro, scallions, lemon juice, remaining oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Blend until almost smooth.


Toss  half with the couscous and serve the salmon atop the couscous with the remaining sauce.