Wednesday, August 27, 2014

You can stuff it!

Pork... I'm talking about stuffing Pork! You may stuff whatever you want!

 This dish can be made with any chop you like. It would be just as delicious with a nice double cut Veal Chop, a Chicken Breast (please, on the bone) or perhaps a chicken thigh. We love that meat on the bone! It's always sweeter!

My husband loves Pork Chops! He came home with some beautiful double cut chops from the butcher the other day. They were gorgeous! Breading these beauties was out of the question. However, the idea of stuffing them appealed to me.

I started by making a stuffing using spinach. I sauteed spinach in a pan with 3 cloves of chopped garlic and 1/2 white onion, also chopped and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
Once the spinach wilted I let it cool and rough chopped the mixture. To the spinach, onion and garlic I added 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of shredded  soft Asiago cheese and 1/4 cup of unseasoned breadcrumbs.

Make pockets in each of the chops and filled it with the spinach mixture. Seasoned each chop with salt, pepper and rosemary (on both sides).
Get your pan ready to cook your chops. Let it get hot and add  2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook the chops on med/high heat on each side for about 4-5 minutes. They will release easily when they are ready to turn.
Take the chops out of the pan and place them on a baking sheet and finish them in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.

While the chops are finishing make your sauce.

There should still be some of the oil and butter in the pan. Cook some sliced mushrooms and diced pancetta in the pan. When the pancetta is cooked deglaze the pan with whatever wine you have open, no wine, no problem, use some broth, no broth, use some water. Make sure you get all that crispy good stuff from the bottom of the pan. If it needs more liquid add it, and maybe just another little pat of butter. Taste it and season it if it needs more seasoning.
A little fresh chopped parsley and sage adds nice notes to this dish.

I served it on a bed of sauteed broccoli slaw.  It was perfect! It was delicious!  Enjoy!

Buone Appetito!
xoxoxo
Lorraine

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pork Chops stuffed 3 ways




Pork Chops and Sauerkraut was never my favorite meal growing up. To this day it hasn't been a favorite in my house, either.  My go to when cooking  Pork Chops  has usually been to cook them with  peppers and onions.

While shopping these chops called to me. They were thick cut and I knew that they would be perfect for stuffing.

The stuffing I used was a mushroom, sausage and spinach stuffing. Truth be told everything used for the stuffing was something that was a "must go" in the refrigerator. "must go" is a euphemism for left overs!

I had some left over mushrooms that I mixed with left over sausage and put it in the food processor and pulsed it a few times. To that mixture I added some grated cheese, a wedge or two of laughing cow cheese, ( I absolutely love this cheese) fresh chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

I made a pocket on the side of the pork chop and first stuffed it with the cooked leftover spinach and then stuffed it some more with the mushroom and sausage mixture.

I then heated up my frying pan getting it nice and hot, added 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of butter and browned the seasoned pork chop (salt and pepper) on each side.

Once they were browned, they were cooked in a 350 preheated oven, on a baking sheet for about 25 minutes more.
While the stuffed pork chops were finishing in the oven I deglazed the frying pan using the juice from the sauerkraut and a little touch of white wine. Then I added the sauerkraut and cooked it a little more.

When the pork chops were cooked through I plated the pork chops right on top of the sauerkraut.
It was absolutely delicious. I could have eaten bowls of the sauerkraut, it was that good.  The pork chop wasn't bad, either! In fact, for something made on the fly, it is one of my favorite pork chop dishes that I have ever made!

Enjoy!
xoxoxo
Buon Appetito
Lorraine

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Grapefruit of Wrath




I have never thought of myself as a Gin drinker. I'm more of a Vodka kind of gal who has also been know to throw back a few Scotch and sodas. (Those were my redhead days!)

I remember my first cucumber martini, in Oxford, Ohio and thought "This is delicious!" and asked the bartender what kind of vodka he used. Imagine my surprise when told it was Gin! But, I don't drink Gin...and then I didn't think much more about that as I ordered another one!

While vacationing in Spain my husband and I noticed that in every establishment we visited with a bar, the variety of Gin was sublime! On the roof top of the Ohla Hotel in Barcelona I was introduced to a Cucumber and Tonic Cocktail. The Ohla Hotel bartenders are known for their cocktail skills. The Bar Manager, Guiseppe  Santamaria was a finalist for Best World Class Bartender Spain 2012.
The drink was delicious and refreshing. Made with Hendricks Gin, sliced cucumbers and a pour of tonic (from those little bottles) is a perfect match.  We had several on the roof top that day!

Hendricks and Tonic at the Ohla, Barcelona made by Luca from Luca.

 When I came home from Spain I quickly went out and purchased myself a bottle of Hendricks to make my own cucumber and tonic drinks!
Hendricks and Tonic made by me!
At this moment you are probably wondering "Is she ever going to tell us about the new drink, The Grapefruit of Wrath?"  Well, here it comes.
Every night before retiring to my room I would go into the bar at the Ohla Hotel just to watch Guisepee make cocktails. They were beautiful! Every drink he made was a work of art! He probably got tired of me asking him, "what's that? OMG, what's that?" while sitting there drinking a plain ol' Hendricks and Tonic! His assistant handed me the bar menu so I could choose one the drinks that I was admiring for myself.
I choose the Grapefruit of Wrath. It's dangerously good!
award winning drink made by Giuseppe SantaMaria, Ohla, Barcelona
Martin Miller Gin, with a muddled wedge or two of pink grapefruit,  mixed with fresh squeezed lime juice, poured over crushed iced, with a drizzle of Creme de Cassis,  then finished with fresh mint and a sprinkle of sugar. So delicious!
 My Version of the Grapefruit of Wrath 
Finding the Martin Miller Gin was not so easy. So I had my liquor store special order it for me. I am now the proud owner of a case of Martin Miller Gin.  Hey, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! LOL! Everyone that I have been introducing this drink too has fallen intoxicated with it! I don't think my case of Martin Miller is going to last that long!
Here's a clip of Guiseppe making the cocktail for me. 



Here's how I made my version of this great cocktail. 

Cut a pink grapefruit in circles. Remove the skin and any seeds. Take a slice or two and muddle it. Pour into a glass with ice cubes, add Martin Miller Gin,  and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and shake it all up until ice cold. Pour back into a glass, top it off with Creme de Cassis,  and garnish with fresh mint and a sprinkle of granulated sugar. (and  blueberries if you have them.)
My sister keeps saying that this is a delicious summer drink! I say it's a delicious and refreshing drink for anytime!

Enjoy!

Lorraine
xoxoxo

 







Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pillsbury Million Dollar Recipe Contest

 Pillsbury Million Dollar Recipe contest!



Click on the link I've provided and enter some recipes of your own. There are so many products to choose from and work with!
Hey, you never know, and like they say "you've got to be in it to win it". It could be something that you've been making and enjoying that could win you a nice chunk of change!  LOL! So go ahead, and enter! Good luck!

I had a package of Pillsbury Chocolate fudge ready to bake cookies and played with these for the contest, and then I discovered that these cookies were NOT on the list of ingredients! Oh well, I quickly adjusted my recipe and went on to make some other delicious sweets and have submitted the recipe for them.

Recipe

1 package of Pillsbury cookie dough, ready to bake, or roll
1/2 cup sweet unsalted butter
3 - 4 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream
9 ozs semi sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For bar cookies

Line a 9 x 9 or a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil so you have a 2 inch overhang on each side.
Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Press cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared pan so that you have an even layer. Bake for 10 - 14 minutes depending on the size of the pan you are using.

Take out of oven and let cool.

Make a peanut butter filling using one cup of peanut butter, 3 cups - 4 cups confections sugar and 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted sweet butter (room temperature).  With an electric mixer on high speed whip peanut butter and butter until smooth, add confectioners sugar one cup at a time. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract when mixing.

Using a spatula spread peanut butter mixture over cooled cookie mixture. Place in the refrigerator while making the ganache.

Place the chocolate pieces into a bowl that is heat proof.
In a small sauce pan heat heavy cream to a simmer.
Pour heavy cream over the chocolate pieces and let stand for about 2 minutes.
By hand, mix until the cream and the chocolate are smooth.

Pour this chocolate ganache over the peanut butter layer, sprinkle with sea salt and let chill for one hour or more.

Cut into 2 inch squares and Enjoy!

If you want to make cookie sandwiches, bake the cookies as instructed on the package.
Let cool on a wire rack.
Take one cookie so the bottom of the cookie is facing up. Fill with the peanut butter mixture. Top with another cookie so the top is facing up and dip into the ganache. Place on  cookie sheet lined with parchment paper  and let the ganache set. For a quicker set place the cookie sheet with dipped cookies into the refrigerator for 10 - 15 minutes.

I hope you enjoy! They were delicious!

Here are the pictures of the cookies and bar cookies that I made.




xoxoxo

Lorraine





Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Culurgiones

Hello friends,

It's been awhile since I last posted anything. I've been waiting for something new and exciting to show you.

Back in December I came across this recipe for Culurgiones shared by The Tasting Table.  Check out the link I provided and watch these two chefs in action making these delicious stuffed pastas.   I looked at the recipe and kind of became obsessed by it, but you all know how December can get, crazy with shopping and cooking for the holidays. So the recipe was placed on the back burner for a later date.



That later date was this past Sunday. While waiting for yet another snow storm I decided that it would be a great day to get my kitchen aid machine out and attempt to make these stuffed pastas. I am so happy that I did.

I decided to do some homework to find out a little more about these pasta's/stuffed ravioli from Sardinia. Here's what I found out. The CooksInfo.com had some great information on Culurgiones.

The Culurgiones are usually made for The Feast of the Assumption (August 15th) and on All Saint's Day (November 1).
They are a stuffed Ravioli and are usually 2 - 4 inches long and 1 -2 inches wide.
They are formed to resemble a grain of wheat.
The traditional filling is potato, pecorino, and mint or basil, depending on the town you are from.
In some regions sauteed onions are added to the filling.
A tomato sauce is usually served with this dish with freshly grated Pecorino.
Towns especially known for their Culurgiones are Lotzorai, Villagrande Strisaili, Osini, Ulassai and Jerzu.

I made the Culurgiones adapted from the recipe offered by Chef Adam Leonti. Just as he changed the recipe to his tastes I changed the recipe a little to adapt to my taste. Rather than make them with a tomato sauce I made them with the brown butter sauce. It's something my mother would have done.


It took these 2 Chefs three months to get the folds right. I'll keep practicing my folds and eventually mine might look like theirs, but the taste was delicious and surprisingly very light! 



Here's the recipe from The Tasting Table.

Yield :
6 servings
Prep Time:
1 hour, 55 minutes ( took me longer...)

Cook time:
5 minutes

Total time:
2 hours (took me more like 4!) It's the folding!!!

Ingredients
Pasta
3/4 Pound ( 2 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) semolina flour
5 ounces  (2/3 cup) water  ( it needed a little more)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Filling
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano (I used 1/2 cup Pecorino and 1/2 cup Parmesan)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
15 mint leaves, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Brown Butter Sauce
1/2 stick unsalted butter
salt and pepper
2 ounces Pecorino al Tartufo or Pecorino Romano (I used half Romano and half Parmesan)
1 heaping tablesppon finely minced mint leaves
( I added one smashed clove of garlic)

Make the pasta. Combine the semolina flour water and salt in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium until smooth. Add a little more water if necessary.

Take out of mixer, cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 3 sections. One section at a time put through your pasta roller. If you don't have a pasta machine you can use a rolling pin. Put through the machine until you have a thin smooth layer of pasta. I worked it until I got to number 5.

Make the filling by steaming the potatoes until fork tender. While still warm smash them, or use a ricer to make them smooth. Add the cheese, olive oil, mint and egg. Season with lots of freshly ground pepper. The recipe suggested 25 turns of the pepper mill. Add 2 pinches of salt, taste and adjust seasoning.

Sprinkle your work surface with a little semolina flour and lay your pasta sheet down and cut 4 " circles out.  Stuff the circles with a scant tablespoon of the filling. Fold the pasta sphere so it looks like a taco and pinch it closed then take that fold and push it towards the other side of the stuffing. Keep doing this until you reach the other end. This confused me. I did not get my folds right. You can also just make ravioli and crimp the edges together with the tines of a fork.
After I made them I searched UTube. You can find dozens or videos to learn how to make them. It's more like a braid than a fold.

Make the sauce by melting the butter over medium to high heat until brown solids form, about 5 minutes. Don't let it burn. Lower the heat and keep warm.

Boil the pasta for 2 1/2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and arrange on a dish. Drizzle the brown butter sauce (or tomato sauce if you prefer) over the Culurgiones, sprinkle with some freshly grated cheese and top with minced mint leaves. Serve and enjoy!

Here are some pictures of the process of making the Culurgiones. I'm going to be making them again, just so I can get the fold right!  Here comes the braid.

Buone Appetito!
xoxoxo
Lorraine

potato mixture

pasta dough

rolled into log

cut into 3 sections


after rolling out cut into 4 inch circles

stuffed and folded over like Taco




simmering in boiling water

before cooking

cooked and ready to eat!











Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Time for Linzers!

Linzer Tarts! Or as my mom called them Linzies cookies.

These are probably my least favorite cookie to make, but they are one of my most favorite cookies to eat! They are a real yummy treat, and a favorite in our family.

When my mom made these she would make them a little smaller and she'd also double up on the dough  so she'd have plenty to give away on her famous cookie trays.

Everyone, from the girl in the bank to the butcher at the supermarket got a cookie tray from my mother for Christmas.  She would start baking the day after Thanksgiving and continue to bake right up to Christmas. It's the only time of the year if we wanted to stay home from school and were faking an illness that she gave in and let us stay home,  hey, she had 2 more hands to help bake!

I have many fond memories of the baking episodes at night when my mother would get together with a few friends mainly Margie, Marie and Tommy, and they would start to get silly and form the Italian cookies into balls ;) . They would laugh and so would we!

But during the day it was all business and no time for fun and games. My mother's cookies were a work of art. Everyone looked forward to getting a beautiful cookie assortment from her.

Linzer tarts were a big hit. The ones pictured are the ones I made. They may not be Santa's favorite, but they are one of mine.

Linzer Tarts

1/2 pound butter
3  cups flour
1 cup sugar
grated lemon peel

2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon Arrow Kirsch

Raspberry seedless preserves/jam
or jam to your liking

Mix the first 4 ingredients well as you would making a pie crust.  Add 2 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of sour cream and the Arrow Kirsh. ( Here's what I did, I used greek yogurt instead, because I didn't have the sour cream and I used a Strawberry Liquor instead of the Kirsch because...I didn't have any!)
Wrap the dough in Saran wrap and chill for at least an hour.
(If you can make the dough the night before and then work with it the next day, even better!)
Cut the dough into 4 pieces and working with chilled dough roll out to approx. 1/4 ".  (I can't get it any thinner than that and still keep it's shape while transferring the shapes to the cookie sheet.)
Using your favorite cookie cutter, cut out the form you want to use. I made them in circles this time, but also love making them into hearts or stars.
These will be the bottom of your cookie.
Cut out the same  number of cookies with the shape you are using and with a smaller cookie cutter, cut out the center. If you want to get fancy you could use a star shape to make the center cutout. It looks so pretty! I wish I had remembered to do that! lol
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet in a preheated  375 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes.
Let the cookies rest 2 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer them to a baking rack. Let them cool completely.
Spread a little jam on the bottom cookie, cover with the top of the cookie and then sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Make extra, in fact go ahead and double the dough. You are going to wish you had more!

Yum! Yum! Yum!
xoxoxo
Buone Appetito
Lorraine





Monday, November 11, 2013

Making Pasta with Friends

Cooking with the Goomahs. Episode 1!

Please do not take offense. Goomahs (pl), or as we say, now sound it out  Goo ma ahs is not a bad word. It doesn't mean what you think it means!   The word actually comes from the Italian word Comare which means Godmother. So when my girlfriends and I get together we call each other the Goomahs. We are the Goomahs. We are Godmothers to each others daughters!

The other day we got together and decided to make some pasta together.
I don't know how much Mariann really absorbed of the process since she was busy making cardone, 'scarole and beans, and stew. I should also mention that we were consuming alcoholic beverages. Let's just say it was a fun day.  At the end of the day, we all ate well.

This is the pasta recipe I have that has been in my family for many years. It is the recipe we use as our dough for our  homemade ravioli.

When we make ravioli we make 400 dozen. The following recipe over the years has been  accommodated to our needs. We work with 5 pounds, 8 pounds or 10 pounds of flour at a time.
Feel free to adjust to your own needs.



Pasta Recipe

10 lbs flour

6 cups  luke warm water or more as needed
8 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
olive oil  (1/4 - cup to 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons salt

mix all ingredients together until the dough starts to form adding the water a little at a time. The dough should be more on the dry side then on the wet side.

8lbs flour

4 1/2 cups warm water or more as needed
4 eggs
3 egg yolks
olive oil (1/4 cup )
2 1/2 tablespoons salt

5 lbs flour

2 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
1 Heaping Tablespoon Salt
3 cups warm water or more as needed
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil*
* This is an estimate, we don't measure, we just eye ball.

Once every thing is mixed divide your dough in sections and using a damp cloth cover what you are not going to work with.

Run your dough through a pasta machine so it is smooth. I usually will work the dough between the numbers 5 - 6 on the dial depending on the type of pasta we want to eat. We like it very thin, light and fluffy!
For more pictures of homemade pasta look here, here and for an actual video of pasta making while I was in Rome click here.

Enjoy!
xoxoxo
Buon Appetito
Lorraine








Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pumpkin Scones

We love pumpkins! Pumpkins can add so much flavor and moisture to whatever you are baking. Did you know that you can substitute a can of pumpkin puree for the oil and eggs in a cake mix? The outcome is a rich and moist delicious cake! Did I mention that it also has less calories? Amazing.

I found this recipe the other day while looking for recipes for pumpkins. Scones. I've never made scones. However, I know I like to eat scones! Not being a fabulous baker, I didn't know if they were difficult to make. I tend to look for easy recipes when baking.  So when I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Harvest Scones  by King Arthur Flour I gave it a thumbs up and I put it on my list of things to try to bake.

I'll be bringing a big basket of these to our family gathering for Thanksgiving Dinner!

I adapted the recipe from the King Arthur Flour Harvest Pumpkin Scones recipe. For the original recipe please follow the link I have provided.  I didn't have cinnamon chips, or crystalized ginger chips. On my next shopping trip I'll pick those up.
These were easy enough to make.  We were eating them hot out of the oven. Delicious!

Pumpkin Scones

2 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup cold butter cut into pats

2/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs

1 cup dried cranberries (choc. chips, cinnamon chips, raisins, etc)

Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Add the butter and work into dry ingredients. Your mixture will be uneven and crumbly. Do not over work. It's ok if you see pieces of butter that haven't been fully incorporated.
Add dried cranberries/raisins.

In another bowl whisk pumpkin with the 2 large eggs. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.
With a spoon mix in together. Do not over mix, or the scones will become tough. The dough will be lumpy,  and sticky.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and flour the parchment paper.

Divide the dough in half and form 2 circles each  about 5" - 6 " round and 3/4 inch thick.

Brush each circle with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar and cinnamon.

Using a knife cut into 6 pieces/wedges and gently pull apart so that the pieces don't touch each other, about 1/2 inch apart.  Freeze for 30 minutes uncovered.

While the scones are in the freezer preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Bake scones 22 - 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out of the center clean.

Enjoy!

If you have any questions, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!
Thefoodcrawl@gmail.com

Boun Appeitito!
xoxo
Lorraine
Hot and out of the oven 
Circles brushed with milk

cut into 6 wedges
Sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon

into freezer for 30 minutes

Another batch of yumm!







Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spaghetti Carbonara


Carbonara is an Italian Pasta dish from Rome that is based on eggs, cheese, bacon (or pancetta) and black pepper.
While these ingredients are few and the dish sounds simple enough this dish has always been difficult for me to make.

Many times I have thrown this into the garbage because the egg mixture became scrambled. While the taste is still there it just doesn't look that appealing. Curdled eggs just don't look good.

The other day while I was making this I decided to try to add some of the hot pasta water to the egg mixture. It's a technique I use while I'm making Avgolemono Soup, a very tasty Greek egg and lemon soup to prevent the eggs from scrambling. I thought if it works with the soup, maybe this will have a chance.
I was extremely happy with the outcome. My dish was perfect! It was creamy, smokey from the bacon and peppery just the way it's supposed to be!
This is a rich hearty dish, full of flavor.
If your looking for a wine to pair with this try a White Wine.  Try an Italian wine from the Roman Hills called Frascati. You'll love the way the wine and the dish compliment each other.



1/4 White Onion thinly sliced
4 slices of Thick Cut Peppered Bacon (Burgers Smokehouse preferred)
Pancetta may also be used in place of the bacon
2 egg yolks
fresh cracked black pepper
salt to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese-freshely grated
1/4 cup pecorino ramano - freshly grated
2 Tablespoons sweet unsalted butter
approximately 1 cup of reserved pasta water
1 pound spaghetti


In a skillet on medium heat cook the onion until transparent. Add the bacon and cook until bacon is cooked and fat is rendered but not crispy. Set aside.

Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Salt the water to taste. Add spaghetti and cook as instructed. Do not over cook.

While spaghetti is cooking beat two egg yolks with a fork and add the cheeses. This will make a very thick paste.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

While the spaghetti is cooking, using a ladle remove some of the pasta water and a little at a time add it to the egg mixture. You do not want the eggs to scramble. Keep adding the pasta water until your mixture is loose.

Drain the spaghetti, reserving some of the water.

Add the egg mixture to the spaghetti a little at a time until all is mixed in, toss with the bacon and onions. If too thick add a little more of the pasta water.

Top with some freshly grated cheese and another turn or two from the pepper mill and serve.

Buon Appetito
xoxoxo
Lorraine


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hey, remember me?

I do remember you!

I do apologize for not keeping a steady flow of new recipes and ideas coming your way. I do promise to be a little bit better about it.

There are many days that we sit down and enjoy a fantastic meal. Some days it's something new and exciting and some days it's just a repeat of a family favorite. When it's something new and it's really good, someone will say, "why don't you write about that?" The answer is really so very simple.  I didn't document a single moment in preparing the meal, nor did I take a picture of anything before the plates were completely swiped clean! So there, you have the reason why I haven't been posting. Like the Rod Stewart song says, "Every picture tells a story don't it"? I may not be able to clearly express myself through my words all the time but if I have a picture....well, sometimes it's all I need!

Tonight was perfect. I found myself alone in the house, getting ready to make dinner for myself. (Yes, I do cook for myself. I enjoy good food. It's more fun to dine with others but hey, if I'm going to eat alone its got to be good!)

I spent a huge amount of time on the computer today researching some places to stay in Cabo and started yearning for those tastes that come from across the border. There was a dish that I shared with my daughter Zoe on a trip a few years back, a delicious seafood soup, and decided to play with those flavors. Lucky for me, I always have an extra bag of shrimp and calamari in the freezer. My camera was ready to go and I was all set up.


I started by chopping an onion, 5 cloves of garlic, and 2 bunches of green onions (we also call them scallions) and on medium heat cooked them until they began to sweat. At this time I added one jalapeƱo pepper which I had finely diced.
My friend Bobby is so good to me. He sent me this fabulous seasoning from Mexico and I added 2 tablespoons of the seasoning to the garlic and onions and then added just enough tequila to make the mixture move a little.
I let the tequila cook off a little, and if you would like you may also add some wine at this time. Give the wine enough time for the alcohol to burn off before adding the squid or shrimp. I added about 2 pounds of squid, which were cleaned and the tubes were cut into rings. Italian plum tomatoes were then hand crushed, about 2 pounds, and mixed in. Protect yourself! It's a messy job hand squishing tomatoes. Without an apron my shirt gets zapped with tomato juice!
Next add the 2 pounds of shrimp, I like to use the size 12-16 to a pound , they are nice and plump and can be cut into a bite size and still have a clean fresh taste. I clean the shrimp, devein them and remove the tails. They are big enough to cut into 3 pieces each.
Add a handful of fresh chopped cilantro, fresh sage, and season with salt and pepper to taste. and Cook for another 5 minutes - 10 minutes. You do not want to over cook the shrimp or the calamari.
Ladle the soup into a nice big bowl,  give it a squeeze of some fresh lime juice,  garnish with a few slices of avocado and chopped cilantro, serve with a Tostadas, and enjoy!
Buon appetito
xoxoxo
Lorraine ❤