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Author: Anna Thang

Home/Articles Posted by Anna Thang
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Ham Tetrazzini Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup milk on Step 3 and 1/2 cup on Step 4
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (cooked)
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add onion and mushrooms, cook until onion is soft and mushrooms are browned.

Add soup, milk, and pepper to the skillet and mix well.
Add ham, peas, mild shredded cheddar cheese, and Parmesan cheese, milk and stir until cheese is melted.

Add drained pasta to the pan and mix well.  Season to taste with salt (taste first, your ham may have enough salt.) and serve.
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Grandma’s Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Our grandma’s cabbage rolls was one of our favorite things to eat growing up. We decided to take her recipe and turn it into a soup and it turned out so delicious.  Lets get started!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup converted rice, uncooked
  • 2 cans (8 oz cans) tomato sauce
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 can of dice tomatoes
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

First brown the ground beef and Italian sausage. We used lean beef so the soup won’t turn out too greasy. If you aren’t using lean beef, make sure to drain some of the fat out. After the beef and sausage are browned, add in the diced onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onions become translucent.

Next add in the chopped cabbage. We roughly chopped ours into 1 inch pieces. Give that a stir and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the cabbage is slightly wilted.

Then add in the remainder of ingredients : beef stock, tomato sauce, dice tomatoes, rotel, brown sugar, bay leaf and rice.

Give that a good mix and bring to a boil. You’ll then simmer this for 30 minutes, covered.

We kept ours on the thicker side. You can definitely thin it out with more broth if you’d like. Give it a taste and then season with salt and pepper to your liking.

We served ours with some plain ol’ white bread and butter, just like grandma would have with her cabbage rolls. It turned out thick and hearty.  Exceeded our expectations for the first time doing this route.

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Pizza Tater Tot Hot Dish

We took a midwest staple and turned it into a Minnesota masterpiece. We definitely wanted to use a Minnesota sauce base. First choice was Davanni’s but when we saw Savoy’s in the aisle at our local grocery store (CUB Foods), we thought it would work better because of the thickness. It worked perfectly.  Now, this was the first time attempting this new creation and it can be altered many ways. However, we were very impressed with our results. We hope you enjoy the twist on this classic as much as we did.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 4 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jar pizza sauce (we used one 14 oz jar)
  • 4 oz pizza mix cheese
  • 8 oz mozzarella
  • 1/8 cup shredded parmesan
  • 16 oz frozen tater tots (or whatever fits in cast iron)
  • pepperoni (as much as your heart desires)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a cast iron, brown up the Italian sausage. If you are not baking in the cast iron, you can brown up the sausage in a normal skillet. We kept ours in bigger chunks.

Then add the diced onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onions become translucent. Next turn off the heat and add in the sliced mushrooms. Give that a stir.

After that, fold in the pizza sauce and shredded parmesan cheese.

Top with the pizza mix cheese. Then top that with the frozen tater tots.

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees until tots are nice and golden brown. Top with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni (we used cups because they are cool!) and sprinkle with dried basil (optional).

Bake for another 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted to your desired liking. Viola!

Some things to note: We used a cast iron for this dish. You do not have to. You can prepare the meat and sauce layer in a skillet and transfer to a baking dish and then top with tots and cheese. If you are using a cast iron, make sure to wash and season the pan promptly after use. The tomatoes sauce is acidic and may cause rusting if it sits in the cast iron for too long.

We let ours sit for about 5 minutes before dishing. The parmesan cheese and the thick sauce also helped keep it together.

This recipe is so versatile. Add ingredients that you like on your pizza. Leave a comment on what you filled and topped your’s with.

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Pasta Fresca – Noodles and Company Copycat Recipe

Ingredients 

  • 12 oz pasta (we used mostaccoli)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 roma tomatoes, large dice
  • 1 cup red onions, sliced
  • 2 oz spinach
  • parmesan or feta for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a pot bring some water to a boil and cook your pasta. Remember to generously salt your water. Cook your pasta al dente by following the package directions. Drain and set aside.  In a large skillet heat 2 tsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add your garlic and cook until fragrant. Then add the tomatoes, onions and pasta. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the pasta gets a little brown and the tomatoes soften up a bit.

In a small bowl, place all your ingredients for the vinaigrette and stir until combined.

Next, add the spinach and vinaigrette mixture. Sauté for another 4-6 minutes or until the spinach is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and serve with parmesan or feta. For protein, we topped ours with chicken cutlets.

This dish is so quick and easy to whip up. Its not your typical pasta dish but it’s still delicious. Hope you enjoy!

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BBQ Shrimp Pasta

A few years back during our trip down in New Orleans, we had the most divine dish of BBQ shrimp. The shrimp is served in a perfect blend of butter and seasonings. Since then, we’ve been inspired to try and nail the recipe. Along the way, we had this great idea to add pasta and this masterpiece was created.

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 pack of BBQ shrimp sauce mix
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 tbsp green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 3 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 8 oz pasta (we used angel hair)
  • parsley

Fill a large pot of water and place on high heat. While waiting for the water to boil, melt the butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Once butter is melted, drop garlic, shallots and green onions into the skillet. Sauté until fragrant. Should only take 3-4 minutes. Then add BBQ shrimp seasoning.  You can either make your own (check out our BBQ shrimp recipe here) or use store bought.  We used a half packet of Louisiana Fish Fry Products’ New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp Sauce Mix.

Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and let that simmer for 2 minutes.

The water should be boiling at this point. Salt your water and drop in the pasta to the boiling water. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box but take off a couple of minutes since the pasta will finish in the sauce.  El dente is key.  Put the shrimp into the BBQ shrimp sauce while the pasta is cooking.

Remove the BBQ shrimp off of the burner and stir in heavy cream.

Toss pasta in the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.

It turned out delicious! We did squeeze in a little lemon to cut down a bit of the richness of the complete dish. We also tried a few bites with a sprinkle of parmesan and that was a good addition as well. Leave a comment below and let us know how you liked the recipe.

 

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Crab Cakes with Spicy Mango Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs lump crab meat
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 2 tbsp celery, small dice
  • 2 tbsp orange bell pepper, small dice
  • 2 tbsp red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • dash of hot sauce (optional)
  • dry mustard
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • cayenne

In a skillet, drizzle about a teaspoon of oil.  Add in your bell peppers and celery and sauté for about 5 mins or until the veggies are soft.  Remove from heat and let cool.

In a mixing bowl, dump your drained crab meat in.  Go through the meat and gently look for any shells and remove.  We found our crab meat at Costco.  Look how large and beautiful the lumps are!  You can typically find lump crab meat in the refrigerated seafood section at your local grocery store.

In the same bowl add mayo, panko, dry mustard, old bay, cayenne, parsley and the sautéed veggies.  Adjust the seasoning to your liking.  If you want it spicer, add more cayenne.  Don’t like spicy?  You can omit the cayenne and go light on the old bay.  Gently mix all ingredients until combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Let the mixture sit for 5-minutes to hydrate.  In a large skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of oil on medium.  Scoop about 2-ounces (roughly 1/4 cup) of the crab cake mix into a ball.  Roll in panko and gently flatten.  Place in the preheated pan and sauté until golden brown on each side.

We served ours warm with a spicy mango salad.  Recipe below.

Spicy Mango Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe mangos, diced
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil, julienne
  • 3 tbsp shallots, slices
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sambal
  • salt, pepper and sugar to taste

Dice mangos and place in a bowl.  Taste your mango to find out how sweet they are and add sugar accordingly.  In a separate bowl add white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.  Add slices shallow and basil.  Then slowly whisk in olive oil.  Add chili paste.  Finally, taste and adjust for salt, pepper and sugar.  Let this sit in the fridge for about 15-minutes to chill so all the flavors can mingle.

Recipes were inspired by Chef Royal.  You can check out his website for more recipes here : http://chefroyal.com

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Salmon, Crab and Shrimp Sushi Bake

Sushi and bake is not something you typically link together. This is not traditional sushi by any means but still delicious and so easy to put together. Making sushi rolls in a craft. Some sushi chefs train for years to master making rolls and marvelous creations while your common household cook doesn’t have the time or patience to execute this feat.  So, this recipe is perfect for the average at home cook.

Ingredients

Sushi Rice

  • 3 cups short grain rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • Furikake rice seasoning

Volcano Shrimp

  • 12 oz shrimp, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbps sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Kani (crab) Topping

  • 12 oz crab (we use lump and claw meat)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp tobiko
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Salmon

  • 12 oz salmon, cooked
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions
  • jalapeño, sliced for garnish

*Toasted nori for eating

Lets start with the sushi rice. You’ll want to use short grain rice but medium grain rice will work as well. If access to an asian store is inconvenient, we’ve had luck finding short grain rice in the global section at our local grocery store. Rinse 3 cups of rice with cold running water until the water becomes close to translucent. Place rice into rice cooker with equal amounts of water. You can do this on the stovetop as well (Place water and rice into a pot. Bring to a boil, cover and lower to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes). Once rice is cooked, transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle the rice with seasoned rice vinegar. If you cannot find the preseasoned rice vinegar, you can mix equal parts of rice vinegar and sugar together with a pinch of salt. Fold the rice to disperse the seasoning. Once done, take about 2/3 of the rice and place at the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Place the remainder of the rice at the bottom of and 8×8 baking dish. Flatten and top with furikake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all the  ingredients for the volcano shrimp into a bowl and mix. Do the same for the other two toppings. We precooked our salmon by placing it into a 425 degree oven and baking for 10 minutes. We then flaked it up with our hands to break it up. Cover half of the rice in the 9×13 dish with the shrimp mixture. We baked this first since the shrimp needs some time to cook.  After 10 minutes, top the other half with the crab mixture. Sprinkle some tobiko on top of the crab mixture.

At this time, you’ll top the 8×8 dish with the salmon mixture. Bake both dishes for another 10 minutes.

We took a torch to toast up the top of the salmon and the shrimp topping for an addition char before serving. We garnished the salmon dish with some toasted nori and sliced jalapeños, green onions on top of the crab and sprinkled some more furikake on the shrimp half. Spoon into toasted nori and enjoy! This recipe can be easily altered to your liking and cut down if needed. This fed 4 adults easily with left overs. Our favorite was the shrimp topping! Let us know what your’s is in the comments.

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Quick Fire Review : Lay’s Flavor Icons

Lay’s is back with another round of unique flavored chips.  This time highlighting restaurants around the United States with their iconic dishes.  Enter Flavor Icons.  A limited time offering that ends 09.10.20.  Lay’s makes it somewhat of a difficult task to get all 5 inspirations at 1 location by giving Walmart and 7-Eleven exclusivity to the Chile Relleno flavor.  They always do something that makes you shake your good fist at them.  I went to Walmart since they showed 4/5 on their website on Monday this week.  I just happened to stop for gas on the way and looked inside the Hyvee gas station and there was the last bag, Nashville Hot Chicken.  So, I lucked out…I guess.

Here’s my mini review listed in favorite to least favorite order:

Kettle Cooked New York Style Pizza – inspired by Grimaldis in Brooklyn, NY.  You get the sauce, the oregano, maybe some hints of meat, and you get the crisp bite mimicking the crust.  Bada Bing.

Chile Relleno – inspired by Cocina Azul in Albuquerque, NM.  Cheesiness with a nice spice.  Even some creaminess with a tang.

Nashville Hot Chicken – inspired by Partyfowl in Nashville, TN.  These are the spiciest Lay’s chips I’ve had.  You do get a hint of buttery chicken with that Nashville spiced seasoning as well.  Very close tie for 2nd place.  These > Flamin’ Hot Lay’s.

Wavy Carnitas Street Taco – inspired by El torito in marina del ray, CA.  Cilantro.  Little bit of onion. Maybe a hint of meat.  Some say pork, I didn’t talk myself into though.

Philly Cheesesteak – inspired by Geno’s Steaks in Philadelphia, PA. A nice onion and cheese chip. With a very slight beef bouillon taste.  I think.  Idk.  These are just okay.

Let us know what was your favorite!

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Muffaletta Bread and Sandwich Recipe

Last year we took a trip down to New Orleans and being the foodies that we are, we had to stop at Central Grocery and Deli in the French Quarters and try the Muffaletta sandwich. Central Grocery is an old fashion grocery store that was founded by a Sicilian immigrant in 1907 names Salvatore Lupo. Salvatore also created the infamous muffaletta. Each sandwich is made on a 9″ round Sicilian sesame loaf. It is stuffed with ham, salami, mortadella, swiss, provolone and olive salad. Since we are trying to limit travel during this pandemic, we decided to satisfy the craving for this delicious sandwich and make it at home!

Where to Find Olive Salad?

You can find muffaletta olive salad at grocery stores, online or do a simple google search for a recipe and make your own. We ordered ours directly from Central Grocery via their website.

Where to Find Mortadella? 

Mortadella was not as easy of a thing for us to fine. We called multiple specialty meat stores as well as grocery stores. All were out or didn’t carry it but we got lucky and found a store that had it available. If you can’t find mortadella, bologna is the closest substitute and taste great in this combination.

Where to Find the Bread? 

I’m sure if you live in New Orleans, you can find muffaletta bread at a bakery near by. If you can’t find Muffaletta in your area, you can substitute it with any round and wide loaf bread. We made our own. The recipe is below. We found the bread recipe on the Foodie and Wine website. Please note that the bread is a 2 day process so plan accordingly. Lets get started!

 

Ingredients 

Starter Dough

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp yeast

Dough

  • All of the starter
  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp yeast

Topping

  • Egg wash – 1 egg and 1/4 cup water
  • Sesame Seeds

Sandwich filling

  • 6 oz genoa salami
  • 6 oz black ham
  • 6 oz mortadella
  • 4 oz provolone, sliced
  • 4 oz mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 cup Olive salad or to taste

Mix the starter ingredients together and leave at room temperature, covered, overnight.

When the starter is ready, add the dough ingredients as well as all of the starter to a bowl and mix until you have a cohesive dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 3 hours. After the first hour, deflate the dough and turn over. Do the same at the 2 hour mark.

Once the dough has risen, transfer to a floured work area and shape to a 10″ round. We found that a rolling pin worked best. Transfer the dough onto a greased baking sheet and let it rise overnight in the fridge.

Take the dough out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the egg and water to create the egg wash. Brush this mixture over the top of the bread and sprinkle with sesame seed. Bake for 20-25  minutes. Let bread cool before slicing.

Assembling the Sandwich 

Brush the cut side of the bread with olive oil. On the bottom slice, lay down a good layer of salami followed by the ham. Then layer on the cheese. Top the cheese slices with the mortadella. Finally add the olive salad. We placed the olive salad in a bowl and our hands worked best for placing it. Start in the middle and work your way towards the edge. Place the other half of the bread on top and you’re done! Use a long knife and cut into quarters for serving.

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Fresh and Easy Guacamole Recipe

This is a simple and easy guacamole recipe that can be whipped up in under 5 minutes and requires just a few ingredients. Lets get started!

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 of lime (more or less to taste)
  • 1 minces garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalapeno
  • 3 tbsp cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • salt to taste

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh in a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork to the consistency that you prefer. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust to your liking. 

We usually chill our guacamole in the fridge for about 30 minutes so all the flavors mingle together.

Serve it with tortilla chip! Guac also goes well with vegetable or even on a piece of toast. Enjoy!