Category Archives: What’s for Dinner

Halibut with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

This is a super simple dish that is ready in 15 minutes. Pair it with a salad, rice, or pasta for a quick and delicious week night meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds halibut fillets, cut into 4 pieces
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 12 to 15 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup coarse homemade bread crumbs, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Season fish on both sides with plenty of salt and pepper.
  2. Pour oil into a skillet and set to medium-high heat.
  3. When oil is hot, swirl to evenly coat the pan, then add fish in a single layer.
  4. Let cook undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes, until first side is nicely browned.
  5. Adjust the heat as needed to produce a steady sizzle and prevent scorching.
  6. Flip and cook fish for about another 3 minutes, until just done.
  7. Transfer cooked fish to a warm platter or serving plates.
  8. Place skillet back on the stove over medium-high heat.
  9. Add butter and sage leaves.
  10. Cook butter, swirling the pan, until foamy and just beginning to brown, about 1 minute.
  11. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice.
  12. Spoon butter sauce and sage leaves over fish.
  13. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parsley.
  14. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.
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Cacio e Pepe

This is a simple pasta dish we fell in love with in Rome. Very easy to make in a very short time. You can eat it with a simple salad, side dish for a protein, or just by itself. You should really give this a try. You will be glad you did!

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound spaghetti or bucatini
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet until shimmering
  2. Add fresh ground pepper and cook until it is sizzling
  3. Remove from heat
  4. In a large skillet or pot, add pasta and just cover with water
  5. Add salt and cook until just al dente
  6. Remove from heat but do not throw out pasta water
  7. Return skillet with olive oil back to heat
  8. Add butter and 2-3 Tbsp of the pasta water
  9. Add the cooked pasta and the cheese on top
  10. Start shaking the pan and swirling the pasta
  11. Add more pasta water if needed
  12. The oil, butter, starchy water, and cheese will make a creamy sauce
  13. Place on plates or in bowls and drizzle some more olive oil for extra flavor
  14. Add more pepper if you wish
  15. Enjoy!

 

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Roast Sausages and Grapes

This dish is so easy to prepare, just arrange the food on a sheet pan drizzle with olive oil and chianti and shove it into a hot oven.

Roast Sausages with Grapes and Fennel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic
  • Balsamic Drizzle
  • 2 pounds Italian sausage links
  • 1 pound red potatoes or fingerlings
  • 5 to 6 cups stemmed black or red seedless grapes
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, stemmed
  • 2 bulbs fennel, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Chianti wine
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. Place the sausages on a large sheet tray.
  3. Arrange the grapes, potatoes, rosemary and fennel alongside, not on top of, the sausages.
  4. Drizzle generously with olive oil all over.
  5. Then drizzle chianti and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast sausages for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Casings should be brown and crispy and the sausages are cooked through.
  8. Serve with crusty bread.

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Tuscan Chicken Skillet

This is a quick and delicious meal that comes together in 15 minutes and gives you another 30 minutes to wind down from your busy day while it finishes in the oven. You could make it Whole 30 if you replaced the beans with potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 pint baby bella mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes, patted dry if oil packed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Instructions:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450°F.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large oven-safe skillet with a lid over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  3. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Place skin-side down in the pan and sear until golden-brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Flip and sear until the other side is golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes more.
  6. Transfer skin-side up to a plate.
  7. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet along with the mushrooms.
  8. Sauté, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan, until browned and just tender, about 5 minutes.
  9. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
  10. Sauté for 1 minute more.
  11. Stir in the white beans and broth.
  12. Nestle the seared chicken breasts skin-side up in the mushroom mixture, and add any accumulated chicken juices on the plate.
  13. Roast uncovered until the thickest piece of chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 30 minutes.Serve in shallow bowls, spooning some of the sauce over the chicken and vegetables.

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Alaska Cod Parmesan

Alaska Cod Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 2 Alaska Cod or Halibut fillets (4 to 6 oz. each)

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to broil setting.  
  2. Mix cheese, , bread crumbs, mayonnaise, lemon juice, basil, oregano and onion powder.  
  3. Add salt and pepper, to taste.  
  4. Divide and spread topping onto the top of each fillet.
  5. Place fillets on foil-lined broiler pan.  
  6. Broil 5 to 7 inches from broiler element for 3 minutes, or until top is browned and bubbly.  
  7. Reduce heat to 300°F and continue to cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes.  
  8. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.  
  9. Serve immediately.

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Cajun Chicken Thighs Veggie Skillet

cajunchickenthighs1cajunchickenthighs2

This is some great comfort food on an autumn day. Since anything Cajun is good with rice, serve over rice!

Cajun Chicken Thighs Veggie Skillet

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun spice mix, or to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, medium dice
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/4 lb button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 scallions, sliced for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven in broiler mode.
  2. Season the chicken lightly with salt, pepper, and cajun spices.
  3. In a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil.
  4. Add the chicken skin side side down and cook until well browned.
  5. Then flip and cook on the other side.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  7. Drain any residual oil, just keep a little for the onion.
  8. Add the onion to the frying pan and stir.
  9. Add the carrots, garlic, red bell pepper, and mushrooms in the skillet.
  10. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute until the vegetables are beginning to brown
  11. Gradually mix in the broth.
  12. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  13. Return the chicken to the skillet and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  14. Transfer the skillet to the bottom of the oven and broil for about 15 minutes.
  15. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  16. Sprinkle with chopped scallion.
  17. Divide the chicken and vegetables among plates and serve immediately.

 

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Italian Wedding Soup

italianweddingsoup

The term “wedding soup” is a mistranslated phrase of the Italian language phrase “minestra maritata (“married soup”),” which is a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together. The minestra maritata recipe was long popular in Toledo, Spain, before pasta became an affordable commodity to most Spaniards. The modern wedding soup is quite a bit lighter than the old Spanish form, which contained more meats than just the meatballs of modern Italian-American versions. This version uses sausage for the meatballs, but you could use beef or even ground turkey. I used the ever popular kale as the green, but it could be spinach or other hearty greens.

Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound italian sausage
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 4 ounces ditalini pasta
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  3. Combine the sausage, ricotta, pesto, parmesan, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp of pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Mix with your hands until just combined.
  5. Form into 24 small meatballs, about 1 tablespoon each.
  6. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Broil until lightly browned.
  8. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat.
  9. Add the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and ½ tsp salt.
  10. Cook, stirring, until the onion is softened.
  11. Stir in the chicken broth, 2 cups water, kale, and ditalini.
  12. Cover and bring to a boil, then partially uncover and reduce the heat to simmer.
  13. Cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
  14. Add the meatballs and simmer, uncovered, until warmed through.
  15. Season with salt and pepper.
  16. Drizzle each serving with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan and parsley.

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