A very happy pasta dish to you

Grilled salmon and penne pasta all plated and ready to eat!

If there is one food that makes me deliriously happy, it’s a pasta dish.

I love pasta.

What more can I say.

I love pasta made any way.

I love pasta shapes that cling to the sauce.

I love pasta shapes that swirl in my mouth.

My Penne Pasta with Grilled Salmon recipe is a real winner.

It’s better than any chicken dinner.

Listen to me on 947thewave.radio.com website as I step you though this delicious recipe. Just click on the picture.

Well enough with the schoolhouse rhymes. This family-style recipe is a great addition to your repertoire. The delicate sauce is delicious and tasty. The grilled salmon makes it a filling, one-skillet meal that is great for Sunday dinner, special occasions, or just because you like pasta.

I hope you enjoy what I would say is my favorite go-to recipe because I always have the ingredients on hand and ready to deploy for a quick family dinner, or when unexpected guests arrive hungry carrying a bottle of Pinot – which they have been known to do because they know I am always cooking up something.

Bon appétit!

  • Difficulty: You can do it!
  • Print

A lovely penne pasta and grilled salmon dish that is pure love


Ingredients


2 pounds of salmon filets, skin removed
Cajun Seasoning
Olive oil

Ingredients For pasta
1 pound Penne pasta
2 can fire-roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
½ medium red onions, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Cracked black pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions


How to make the grilled salmon

  1. Wash and pat dry fish.
  2. Drizzle a little olive oil on both sides of fish and season each side with your favorite seasoning or spice rub.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add fish fillets, and cook 2 minutes on both sides to brown. Remove from heat. Place fish on a baking sheet and place in oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, remove from oven to cool.

How to make pasta sauce

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet set at medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until tender and translucent about 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula.
    Add chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant, just under a minute.
  2. Add both cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, Kalamata olives, chopped red onion, ¼ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, and cracked pepper (to taste). Mix well.
  3. With a potato smasher, mash tomatoes in the skillet until all the tomato pieces are crushed.
    Turn up heat to bring mixture to a gentle boil. Then cover with a lid and reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. While sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to directions until al dente – meaning it is firm and not overcooked. Chef tip: make sure to add 1 tablespoon of salt to the pasta water. This is your only chance to thoroughly favor the pasta.
  5. When the pasta is done, drain it in the sink, but reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
    Add cooked pasta to sauce in the skillet and mix well. Add half of the pasta water to loosen sauce. Add more if necessary.

Bringing it all together

  1. Break the cooled salmon filet into generous pieces and place the pieces of fish on top of the pasta.
    Serve with torn fresh basil leaves and Parmesan cheese grated over the entire pan or on separate servings, if desired.

Vegan option: top pasta pan-grilled asparagus and grilled corn.

A little lift from a lemony loaf

Lots of lemon zest and lemon juice helps to make this lemony loaf delicious.

Around the nation, and for that matter around the world, COVID-19 restrictions are slowly being lifted.

Some restrictions are being lifted more quickly than others. Being able to enjoy some of the liberties we have often taken for granted like playing tennis,hiking, shopping and dining at a restaurant (under safety guidelines) have given us all a much needed lift after being on lock down for nearly three months.

This is a lemony load bread of lemony proportions.

A bit of a lift is what we all need, and this lovely lemon loaf recipe will lift your taste buds right out of the doldrums.

This easy to make lemon loaf bread is filled with lemony goodness from the lemon zest and fresh lemon juice folded into the batter to its delightful lemony frosting that is so darn lemony good.

Listen to me on 94.7 The Wave website as I step you though this easy recipe.

This recipe doesn’t require a fancy stand mixer or an electric hand mixer. A good old fashioned mixing spoon will do the trick because the secret to this recipe is not to over mix the batter. And if you love a good food hack, this recipe has a mock buttermilk trick you will never forget and can always use.

If you love lemons, this light and luscious lemon loaf bread must be on your “quarantine bake list.”

A single slice? It won’t be enough.

So the next time your neighbor, co-worker, or family member asks you if you want some lemons,  don’t pause – take them and get baking.

Lemony Lemon Loaf Bread

  • Servings: 8 to 10 slices
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A luscious and lemony loaf bread .

Ingredients

For the lemon bread:
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour, leveled
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk with 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice added.
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (this juicer makes it easy)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (I use a microplane grater)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons extract (2 teaspoons lemon, or 1 teaspoon lemon and 1 teaspoon vanilla – your call)

For the lemon glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Pour 1 cup of evaporated milk into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Let stand at least 10 minutes until thicken. You are creating mock buttermilk.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
    In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, evaporated milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, and extract (lemon/vanilla) until fully combined.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread it around into one even layer.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 40 -50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If needed, tent with foil for the last 15-20 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning on top of the bread.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the loaf pan. Carefully remove from the loaf pan and transfer to a plate or wire rack to cool. Make sure lemon bread is completely cooled before frosting.

To make the lemon frosting

  1. Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. If the glaze is too thick, add more lemon juice as needed. If the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  2. Pour the glaze on the bread and spread it around to fully cover the top of the bread. Allow the glaze to set 15-20 minutes before serving.
  3. This tasty loaf can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for 2-3 months. Just thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Creole Rice and Shrimp

Creole Rice and Shrimp up close and personal.

Creole food has never tasted so good than when it’s made in your kitchen! The simple blend of Creole spices in this recipe are spot on. One bite will conjure up tasty memories of the fine Creole restaurant-style food you love. Yup, this recipe will take you there. And I can take you there, step by step, if you pop over to my podcast which lives at 94.7 FM The Wave website. Just click here.

Wanna hear me step through this recipe. Click on the picture and I will take you through it step by step!

Restaurants may be closed for dining in, but your kitchen is open for business.

Creole Rice and Shrimp plated and ready to eat!

So get cooking and what better time to make this recipe than now when you have a little bit of time on your hands!

Creole Rice and Shrimp

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Print

You will love the flavor and enjoy the abundant shrimp.

For Rice

2 cups brown jasmine rice
3 cups stock
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt

Spice mix
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t want the heat)
½ teaspoon dried thyme (not ground)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
2 bay leaves, whole or ground (your call)
(Note: this spice mix imparts subtle Creole flavor, for more robust flavor use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano)

For shrimp
2 pounds shrimp (shelled, deveined, tails off)
1/2 stick butter
2 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ cup white wine (turn it up with ½ cup – your call)
1 cup fish stock (or chicken stock)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Directions

How to make the rice

  1. To a large skillet or saucepan add two cups of rice, 3 cups of stock, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, and½ teaspoon salt. For this recipe I used a 9 ½ frying/ saucepan with a lid.
  2. Bring ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer according to instructions until done. When done, remove from heat.

How to make the shrimp

  1. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high until melted.
  2. Blend spices in a small bowl by combining the cayenne, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, paprika, and bay leaves (whole, or ground) Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  3. When butter is melted, add the garlic, blended spices, wine, stock, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce and mix all the spices into the butter. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat.
  4. Add half of the shrimp to the butter and spice mixture and cook until firm and pink, about 2 minutes on each side until done.
  5. When that first pound is done, remove and place on separate plate. Add remaining shrimp and cook until done. Remove and place on the same place.

How to put it all together

  1. After all the shrimp is done (remove bay leaves if you did not grind them) pour the butter and spicy mixture that remains in the skillet over the rice and mix thoroughly.
  2. Stir in the cooked shrimp. Cover and let stand 10 minutes to allow rice time to absorb the spices.
    Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Express Yourself Pizza

Express Yourself Pizza right out of the oven.

Pizza delivery driver can’t deliver when you need them? Don’t sweat the small stuff.

You can D-I-Y and make a take-in pizza pie in less the time it would take to place an order and wait for the driver to knock on your door.

Wanna here me step you through the recipe? Just click on this picture!

Do it yourself has never been easier. This pizza has an easy dough that doesn’t require yeast or waiting for the dough to rise. And finally you’ll be able to do more with that 32-ounce tub of unsweetened Greek yogurt sitting in your fridge than just fold it into granola and blueberries. And the toppings? Just rob them from ingredients you scrounge from your kitchen like that leftover rotisserie chicken breast or those orphan strips of bacon leftover from breakfast.

What about prepared pizza, marinara, or spaghetti sauce? You don’t need it either. A simple food hack from ingredients you probably already have in your pantry will help you create a mouthwatering, picture-perfect pizza pie that just might have you skipping a few pizza deliveries altogether.

Express Yourself Pizza plated and ready to eat!

So express yourself. Put your stamp on, put your foot in it and put your name in it. After all, it’s lovingly made by you.

Express Yourself Pizza

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A delicious and tasty pizza pie you can make at home.

Ingredients

 Dough:
When measuring flour, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder, optional but recommended
1 cup plain Greek yogurt or plain whole milk yogurt

Just a few ingredients robbed from my fridge.

Topping:
8 ounces tomato sauce
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or more if ya like it cheesier)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes (seeded)
2 tablespoons Kalamata olives
2 strips cooked, thick smoked bacon, broken in pieces
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped (rotisserie)

Directions

How to make

This D-I-Y pizza really has no hard and fast topping ingredient list. Once you make the basic crust, it’s a blank canvas ready to be filled in with anything you want. This version of the recipe is made with ingredients I had on hand. Just go for it, exercise your imagination, throw caution to the wind and express yourself !

  1. Preheat your oven to 425° Fahrenheit.
  2. Add flour, baking powder salt and garlic powder to a large mixing bowl. Whisk all the ingredients to combine them.
  3. Add in the Greek yogurt and mix with a fork. Stir until combined. The dough may appear dry and crumbly at first, but it will come together as you mix it.
  4. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and slightly elastic, about 5 minutes. Dust with more flour as needed.
  5. Shaped the dough into a ball. Roll the dough out thin with a rolling pin or a drinking glass into a 10 to 14-inch pizza round, depending on your pan size. (I used a 14-inch perforated pizza pan.) Make sure to flour your surface and rolling pin or glass as needed.
  6. Spray your perforated pizza pan with non-stick spray. If using a baking sheet, cover it with parchment paper and dust it with semolina or coarse cornmeal.
  7. Place the dough on the baking pan and stretch out the dough to the edges of the pan.
  8. Top the dough round with tomato sauce by smoothing it all over the surface, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edge.
  9. Sprinkle dried Italian herbs over the sauce, followed by the salt then the garlic powder.
  10. Add the shredded cheese, chicken, bacon (or whatever you have), bell pepper, onions, tomatoes (or whatever veggies you have), and finally olives and mushrooms.
  11. Place pizza pan or baking sheet in the oven. Cook at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.
  12. Remove from oven and serve. Top with fresh basil leaves if desired.