Monday, May 30, 2011

Spicy Mussels

I've been on a mussels kick lately so this time I wanted to make them myself.  I was planning on putting this on the grill but the wind ruined my master, I prepared in a cast iron skillet instead, but any large pot or skillet will work.

Remember to get fresh mussels and not to suffocate the little guys, that means do not leave them in a plastic bag for hours on end in your fridge.  Toss any that have open shells, it means they were gasping for air and most likely died (murderer).  Enzymes quickly break down after the mussel dies making it taste icky.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 fresh cloves of garlic-minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup white wine
2 bay leaves
1lb fresh mussels

Heat oil on medium and cook garlic and pepper flakes for about one minute.

Add tomatoes, wine and bay leaves and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the mussels and cook covered for 8 minutes.

                                                   I sure do love me some bivalves.

                                                                    Recipe from: everyday with rachel ray magazine

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pepperoncini Beef Sandwiches

I'm going to go ahead and say once you eat this sammich you will make it again and again, trust me.  This one is easily one of my most requested meals to make.

Prepare yourself for how incredibly simple this recipe is....

3 - 4 lb chuck roast
1lb jar pepperoncini peppers and juice
Squishy buns
Provolone cheese slices

Trim roast of excess fat and place into a crock pot.
Salt and pepper the beef.
Remove stems and seeds from peppers and toss into the pot, pour pepper juice in as well.  You could add a little beef stock/broth or even water if needed....about 1/4 cup.

Set on low for 8 hours.

Lightly shred the beef and let cook for another 20 minutes. I like to skim the fat and add more peppers, if you want it a bit more spicy.

Place beef on a delicious squishy bun and cover with a slice of provolone.
Broil just enough to melt the cheese and toast the bun up.

Sometimes when I'm feeling sassy I'll dip it in au jus.

Yes, I realize that's not provolone...did you really think I don't know my cheese! I made mine with some gouda I had left, really any cheese works but, provolone ties it all together the best.
 You can thank me for this one later... =)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Portobello and Asparagus with Pasta Shells in Boursin Sauce

Well, it's that time of year again, the Farmers Market on the square is up and running. Fresh, locally grown produce all summer long! Did you know the Dane County Farmers Market is the largest producer-only market in the United States?  Pretty spectacular if you ask me.  Well, this trip I decided portobello mushrooms and fresh snapped asparagus would be a good base for dinner...after some searching I found this quick and delicious dish.

The boursin cheese adds a rich creamy flavor, if you have never had boursin before you are in for a treat! The soft French creamy goodness is available in a variety of flavors to choose from and you should be able to find it in any local grocery store with a good cheese section. 

To learn more visit here


1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil
1 lb portobello mushrooms caps cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup chicken stock
1 5.5oz package of boursin cheese (any flavor, I used shallot and chive)
corn starch/flour
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
3/4 lb medium pasta shells

Start a large pot of boiling water, don't forget to salt it!

In a large frying pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. 
Cook the mushrooms and season with salt and fresh pepper until tender, about 7 minutes.

Add chicken stock and Boursin cheese to the pan, bring to a light simmer and continue to stir occasionally.  The sauce will be very thin, so add a little bit of corn starch or flour to thicken to your liking, I used a little of both, about one teaspoon and let it simmer on low while the pasta was cooking.

Cook the pasta until almost done, roughly 7 minutes.  Add the asparagus to the pot and continue to cook until the pasta is done, about another 4 minutes

Drain and toss with mushrooms and sauce.

 I also made some fresh garlic bread, slice up fresh french loaf and butter each side, sprinkle with garlic salt and a dash of garlic powder and broil both sides until golden brown.

Sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan cheese and voila! An awesome dinner in less than 20 minutes!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Egg Salad Sandwiches

This is a great classic recipe for egg salad sandwiches!  Everything can be adjusted to your taste preferences, add a little more of this or take out a little of that...this is a fool-proof recipe sure to please.

10 hard-boiled eggs (I prefer farm fresh)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup miracle whip
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 stalk of celery finely chopped
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
bread (I prefer regular old white)
Hard boil those eggs...

Dice em' up and toss into a bowl


Stir in remaining ingredients...(I like to let it cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes prior to serving to allow the flavors to meld)

Slap some of that yumminess onto your bread and enjoy!