Shrimp and Sausage Stuffed Calamari with Linguini


I was very excited about repeating this recipe.  The first time I made it was in Germany with enormous calamari tubes that I found in an Italian supermarket.  As I made my list, I wasn’t too worried about the ingredients, although I did know that I would have to go to the Wegmans’ in Scranton for frozen calamari.  While not fresh from the ocean, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would find them in this emporium of Northeast sophistication that features interesting species of foie gras, chocolate dipped strawberries, French cheese and really bizarre hard crunch caviar (I’m not talking about Beluga firm). Fool that I was.  Hopelessly, we returned to our Honesdale supermarket Weiss and found, at the very bottom of the freezer compartment, a package of small calamari tubes with tentacles!  Glory be to God.


To be fair, I should get over not being able to find delicacies that are, in a way, as foreign to our region as hot dogs would be in Sens.  Battered and fried calamari rings are ubiquitous appetizers in restaurants here but whole squid/calamari is even missing from the very few good Italian restaurants.  Anyway.  Still I PERSIST!


We do have a couple of good varieties of frozen shrimp the way I like them; uncooked, deheaded, shelled and deveined.  I have impressed myself for years with my ability to clean shrimp and am now over it 🙂


I love buying sausage in coils, like this very good hot Italian sausage.  It really doesn’t matter if you use coiled, linked or bulk Italian but the coils are attractive 🙂


The stuffing includes Italian sausage, shrimp, and parmesan cheese.  Opulent.


My husband thought I should use colored toothpicks to secure the calamari before browning.  Festive 🙂


Could you imagine if we had had some good wine to go with this?  Like a Masi Amarone.   Didn’t.


This was sooo good.  “I didn’t miss the wine at all”,  they lied 😀


Shrimp and Sausage Stuffed Calamari with Linguini

1 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed

1 cup shrimp, finely chopped

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

12 small to medium size calamari tubes with tenticles

4 cups homemade tomato sauce

1 lb linguine, cooked

Brown the sausage meat in a large skillet, then remove with a slotted spoon to a large mixing bowl.  Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and set aside.

Add the shrimp, bread crumbs, cheese, chicken broth and parsley to the sausage meat in the bowl and mix well.  Stuff the calamari tubes with this mixture, closing off the large ends with toothpicks.

Heat the olive oil in the skillet and brown the stuffed calamari on both sides, then place in a baking dish.

If there is any leftover stuffing, add it to the tomato sauce and heat.  Pour 2 cups of the sauce over the calamari, then place in a 400 F oven for 15-20 minutes.

Toss the remaining tomato sauce with the cooked linguine, slice the calamari and serve immediately.


Posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, Italian, Main dishes, Recipes, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Flanken Ribs and Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta


Everyone in my family loves brussel sprouts or maybe anything with bacon 😉  Pan or oven roasted they are always a hit.  And pretty 🙂


I would have liked to cook these flanken ribs on the outdoor grill but my husband, objecting to the below freezing temperatures outside, said no.  Just no.


Forced to broil them in the oven, they were okay but not grilled.  Thanks Obama 😦


Flanken Ribs and Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

12 flanken ribs, sliced for grilling and seasoned with black pepper

1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine

3/4 cup black soy sauce

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp peanut oil

1 tsp sesame oil

4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup of water

1/2 cup pancetta

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 onion, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, slivered

1 lb brussel sprouts, cut into halves

1/4 cup water

Mix wine, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, peanut oil, sesame oil, garlic, scallions and water together.  Pour into a Jumbo ziplock bag, add the ribs, coating well with the sauce and refrigerate overnight.  Broil in the oven turning once, about 5 minutes per side.

Brown the pancetta in a skillet, remove and set aside.  Remove all but 1 tbsp of the fat from the skillet, add the 1 tbsp of olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until the onion just begins to soften.  Add the sprouts and saute for about 3 minutes, add the water, cover and steam for 5-8 minutes.  Stir in the cooked pancetta.












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BBQ Sauced Salmon with Okra


I guess okra is not very popular in my neck of the woods because I rarely find it.  But I got lucky at Wegmans’ the other day and the okra didn’t look as if it had been allowed to over mature on the stalk and then been transported from the South to the North on a bicycle.


Very pretty with onions, garlic and tomatoes.


I seared some salmon, skin on, brushing on barbecue sauce for the last two flips.



Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Coming Soon: Ethiopian Wot with Injera


On our visit to Baltimore, we found a small Ethiopian grocer next to the Tabor restaurant. After eating at the restaurant, we loaded up on the irreplaceable spices that make Ethiopian cuisine, Ethiopian.  Having lived in Ethiopia for almost 6 years, I knew what I wanted and the staff was very helpful, with quantities and recipes.  They even had frozen injera(Ethiopian bread)!  How could we forget the quanta (spiced dried beef)? Halfway back to Pennsylvania, I remembered  😦


“One monkey don’t stop no show.”  I searched the internet for a recipe, purchased 4lbs of cheaper sirloin beef ($3.99/lb), sliced and spiced it with my now on hand Ethiopian spices and loaded it into my multiple tray dehydrator.  My kitchen smelled Ethiopian.  Success 😀


I made some slight changes to Yewoin’s recipe but the essentials are there.  I worried about the quantity of salt needed to help preserve the meat and increased that, used ground cardamon because I didn’t have any “false cardamon” and used Port wine because that’s what I had.  I stored the dried beef in glass jars and refrigerated it (just in case).  The beef can be eaten as a snack but I wanted it to include in Ethiopian stews (wots).


4 lbs sirloin beef, trimmed of fat and sliced (twice as thick as beef jerky)

2 tbsp berbere powder

3 tbsp Port

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp ground cardamon

3/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

Mix everything together, marinate overnight, then place, in one layer, on food dehydrator trays.  Dehydrate on HIGH for 6-8 hours until crispy dry.

Break into pieces, store in glass jars and refrigerate until ready to use.


Posted in African, African, Appetizer, Cooking, Ethiopian, Food and Wine, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Spicy Roasted Thai Aubergine with Udon Noodles


When we had our house in Jeffersonville, New York,  grocery shopping was about 12 miles away in Liberty, New York.  Whenever we needed supplies we would always say that we had to go to “town”.  Well, on Wednesday of last week we went to town in Baltimore, Maryland to visit our son and for supplies.  Before I left, I left some boiled and cracked quail eggs in a spicy tea mixture in anticipation.


Fresh udon noodles was at the top of my list.  I bought BAGS to freeze 🙂  I specifically looked for this brand because it also comes with soup base packets.


The last time I used Thai aubergines, I promised myself that I would try roasting them. Clueless about how to go about this, but not without resources, I tossed them whole with salt, pepper, onion, unpeeled garlic cloves, a few pieces of ginger and olive oil.


I mean, it wasn’t as if I was walking on the wild side 😀

I ate one of these right out of the pan.  Delicious!


Still, I did have other plans that involved ground chicken and a spicy sauce.


Spicy Roasted Thai Aubergine with Udon Noodles

12 Thai aubergine

1 large onion, cut into eighths

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

3-4 diced pieces of fresh ginger

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

2 -3  tbsp chili garlic sauce

1/4 cup Tamari soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup sake

2 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 lb ground chicken

Fresh udon noodles, prepared according to package directions.

In a large bowl, toss together the aubergine, onion, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place this mixture in a baking pan a put into a preheated 400 F oven for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and discard the ginger pieces.  Cut off the aubergine stems.  Cut the aubergine ino halves place in a bowl with the onions, squeezing the cooked garlic from the skin into the bowl.  Set aside.

Mix the chilli garlic sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sake and sugar together and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the chicken and saute until all the pink has disappeared. Stir in the sauce mixture and simmer for about 3 minutes.  Add the aubergine and onions and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over cooked noodles.












Posted in Asian, Cooking, Food and Wine, Japanese, Main dishes, Recipes, Thai | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Chorizo Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


I like sweet potatoes and yams.  West Africa has a kind of sweet potato that is white inside instead of orange.  I like that too 🙂  But I don’t care much for sweet potato fries with the added coating to make them crisp; they still seem limp and greasy.


The Super Duper market always seems to have good local yams and sweet potatoes.  I’ve been thinking about buying some for a while now and finally did because while lurking around the internet, I noticed a number of innovative recipes for stuffing them with meats.


All of the recipes I saw, baked the potato, opened it and piled the stuffing on top.  I did that once with a great recipe for sweet potatoes stuffed with shrimp and avocado but I hated my pictures.  This time, going rogue, I halved the bake potatoes, removed some of the pulp and mixed it with chorizo, onions, parsley, garlic and cumin powder, returning the stuffed potatoes to the oven for 10-15 minutes.  Prettier 😉


I could not find Spanish chorizo nor Mexican chorizo in the supermarkets and was in a “woe is me” mood when I happened upon this package of “chorizo” produced by D’Artagnan.  Our son raves about products from D’Artagnan because the pork is raised with no antibiotics and fed vegetable feed.  In addition, no hormones or nitrates are added during processing.  Well okay, that’s good.  However, I would name this spicy sausage, not chorizo because of taste and texture.  It was good, just not a chorizo.  If you can find Spanish links or Mexican bulk chorizo, I think that they would work as well.

Chorizo Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes

Olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp cumin powder

2 links D’Artagnan chorizo, medium dice

2 tbsp parsley

1 link D’Artagnan chorizo, sliced

1 scallion, diagonally sliced

Poke the sweet potatoes with a cooking fork 5-6 times, then rub with olive oil.  Place the potatoes in a 400 F preheated oven for 1 hour.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic, then saute until the onion is soft. Add the cumin powder and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add the diced chorizo, continuing to saute for 3 minutes, then set aside.

Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and when cool enough to handle, slice into halves.  With a small spoon, remove the pulp, leaving a thin layer on the sides and bottom. Set aside.

Mix the sweet potato pulp with the onions and parsley, mound into the reserved shells, top each half with 2-3 slices of chorizo and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes.  Sprinkle with the sliced scallion and serve.












Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised



With our eyes wide shut, in the name of normalcy, we tolerate the theft of our democracy by the modern robber barons and carpetbaggers, led by a racist, misogynistic clown, most likely in the pay of/blackmailed by an enemy head of state.  The revolution will not be televised because, as in dictator run countries, the broadcasting industries will be solely in control of and censored by the government through a billionaire/millionaire packed Presidential cabinet. Scary.

Refusing to be paralyzed by fear, I checked the expiration date on our passports, remembered that we are dual nationals and decided to make “Chinese” 🙂


Some years ago, I bought the Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook that I use frequently and adore.  My copy, of course, is in France but, in the spirit this Christmas, I thought I would buy another copy and gift it to one of my neighbors.  However, after some deep thought, I realized that everyone doesn’t love everything I love, naturally, and that it wouldn’t necessarily be a welcome gift and would probably be given away or stuck on a back shelf.  I wouldn’t want that.  This is a wonderful cookbook, so I did us both a favor and kept it for the house here 😀  The inspiration for cumin in this recipe comes from the cookbook.  The rest is just whimsy.


I had some pre-sliced beef in the freezer that said Black Angus on the outside but, guys, it was definitely bovine, but whatever.


I wanted lots of vegetables in this stir fry, plus the usual ginger, onion and garlic to prevent early senility in my husband who seems to be losing his hearing.  That could be the first step.  He says that he has selective hearing 😀


Vegetarians:  You can eat this.  Just add the marinade ingredients without the beef at the end.


According to the cookbook, Chairman Mao loved food.  I imagine before and during the revolution he was pretty hungry sometimes.  Things change.


My husband’s hearing was fine when I said lunch was ready but he was standing right next to me 😀

Cumin Beef Stir Fry with Vegetables

1 tbsp Chinese wine

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp Tamari soy sauce

1 tbsp rice flour

1 tbsp water

1 lb thin sliced stir fry beef

2 tbsp peanut oil

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

4 thin slices of fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 Anahiem chilli, seeds removed (or not) and diced

1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp peanut oil

1 bunch of young aspargus, tough ends snapped off and sliced diagonally (1 1/2 inches)

1 package snow peas

8 0unces mushrooms, quartered

Mix the wine, salt, soy sauce, rice flour and water together, then stir into beef and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large wok or fry pan, add the beef and stir fry just until medium rare. Remove and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tbsp peanut oil to the pan with the onion, ginger, garlic, cumin, bell pepper and chilli.  Saute for about 2 minutes.  Add the asparagus, snow peas and mushrooms to the pan and continue to saute until the asparagus is crisp tender and the mushrooms have begun to release their liquid.  Stir in the beef, cover and steam for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times.








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