Sunday, April 11, 2021

Mini Turkey Wellington

A number of years ago I came across a recipe for a recipe for meatloaf wrapped in dough, called Meatloaf Wellington. Now I know this couldn’t be closer to a Wellington, what without puff pastry, pate or prosciutto, but hey, we put pineapple on a pizza and call it Hawaiian? Why not wrap a meatball in dough and call it Wellington. 

I’ve made this recipe for years, and I always comes out great.  Last night I made them and was finally encouraged to write my version down. So here you go…

Wellington Meatballs


  • 1 cube Butter (for flavor)
  • 1 lb mushrooms, minced
  • 3/4 cup shallots, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 4 Tablespoons dry sherry
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 3 lbs ground turkey 
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh tarragon, diced (about)
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh thyme, diced (about)
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg for egg wash 
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (give or take)
  • 3 tubes Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough, cut into 1 1/2 inch square pieces. 


  1. Melt butter. Add shallots and heat until translucent. 
  2. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until dry.
  3. Add salt, pepper, Worcestershire and sherry. Continue to sauté until reduced by 1/2. Remove from heat. Let cool a little. 
  4. Add turkey, and eggs to a large bowl. Add mushroom and onion mixture. Mix to combine. Add enough bread crumbs to firm up texture. 
  5. Heat oven to 375°. Cut pizza dough. Scoop 1 ounce (or so) on cut dough squares. Fold squares over meat mixture, completely sealing. Set on prepared baking pan. 
  6. Beat 1 egg for egg wash, then brush tops of Wellingtons with egg wash. 
  7. Bake balls for 30 minutes or until golden brown. 
  8. Serve with incredible mustard.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Tomato Simmered Salmon

Tonight I made a dish that literally shocked me at how easy it was to make and amazing it tasted. 

There a lot you can do with this. We served it with a Caesar salad. But it would be amazing with buttered pasta or rice. Mmmm. Enjoy

Tomato Simmered Salmon


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Harissa (or more if you like heat!)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Four 4- to 5-ounce frozen skinless salmon fillets


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, red pepper flakes, Harissa and 1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture darkens, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the cherry tomatoes to the saucepan, mashing a few with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes split and soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. 
  3. Add the salmon to the saucepan in a single layer. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until the salmon is opaque throughout and flakes easily when a paring knife is inserted between the layers, 7 to 9 minutes. Serve the salmon in shallow bowls with the tomato sauce ladled over. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Sambal Oleck Turkey Lettuce Cups

Sambal Oleck Turkey Lettuce Cups

A number of years ago, Craig and I were in Arizona and tried a new restaurant to us called PF Chang‘s. We had their Asian lettuce wraps, this was before the whole lettuce wrap craze. Well, we fell in love then learned how to make them at home, and…… make them on a pretty regular basis. 

The other day I found a recipe for Sambal Oleck lettuce wraps. Now Sambal Oleck is one of my favorite Asian sauces, which is odd, as I don’t like spicy things. It’s a red chili and garlic paste that you can add to many different dishes to amp up the spice, if you like. Below is the recipe that I made last night for dinner. 

Sambal Oleck Turkey Lettuce Cups

with Mushrooms, Pepper & Sunflower Seeds


  • 16 oz  Ground Turkey
  • 8 oz  Mushrooms, chopped 
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 head  Butter Lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp  Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Sambal Oelek
  •  Piece Ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsps Roasted Sunflower Seeds
  •  Red, Yellow, Or Orange Bell Pepper, Julianed 


  1. Combine the chopped garlic and chopped ginger in a bowl. 
  2. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; separate the leaves. 
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, and as much of the sambal oelek as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be.
  4. In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the turkey; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add half the sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the turkey is coated and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a large bowl. 
  5. In the pan of reserved fond, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the mushroom pieces in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. 
  6. Add the chopped garlic and ginger; season with salt and pepper (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil). Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the sliced pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Turn off the heat. 
  7. Add the cooked cooked turkey; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 
  8. Serve the lettuce leaves, filling, remaining sauce, and sunflower seeds separately. 
  9. Assemble each cup using 2 lettuce leaves.
  10. I usually serve this with some cooked rice. 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Baked Feta Pasta

I’m not one to give into trends. The whole cooking what’s trendy just doesn’t hold an appeal for me. I’m always on the search for something new to make, so a few months back, I came across a recipe for a tomato and feta baked dish where you add in cooked pasta right before serving. I thought, “oooh, that looks good, easy and adaptable!”  So I made note and set it aside for the next cherry tomato harvest. 

Then the social media’s explode with this recipe. And I think, maybe I should put it on the menu. So I did for last night.

First off, I have to say it is so easy to make and totally adjustable. At my work, we all of a sudden can’t keep feta on the shelf. So as an ex-cheesemaster I thought, you could totally sub in your favorite goat cheese or Brie, adjust the seasoning how you like and make it your own. 

Here’s my version:

Baked Feta Pasta 


  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil + more for finishing
  • 2 boxes cherry tomatoes (around 20-25 oz)
  • 1 block feta about 8 oz
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Dried oregano
  • a few pinches red pepper flakes
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Add olive oil to a baking dish and toss with whole cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves, oregano, salt and pepper until everything is coated.
  2. Add the feta in the middle and top with a splash more of olive oil plus a few pinches of fresh ground pepper. Bake for 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to directions then strain. Reserving a cup or so on the pasta water. 
  4. After the 25 minutes has past, turn the heat up to 450 and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the feta tomatoes and garlic have browned.
  5. Remove the baking dish from the oven, add red pepper flakes and stir so the residual heat releases the flavors from the red pepper flakes.
  6. Toss in the pasta and stir one more time. If mixture is too dry, loosen with 1/4 cup pasta water. Add 1/4 cup at a time, until you achieved the consistency you want. Finish with fresh basil, another splash of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. 

Note: a few chopped kalamata olives would taste great tossed in, right before serving. 

Also, if you can’t find block Feta, crumbled feta works just fine. 

Can’t wait to try this with a creamy goat cheese or Brie. Mmmm!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

One Pan Greek Chicken and Orzo

We love a Mediterranean flavored dish, and when you can make it in one dish, even better. 

We like a dinner that we don’t have to cut while eating, so I sliced up the chicken, before mixing it back in.

One Pan Greek Chicken


  • 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 6 to 8 boneless, skin on chicken thighs*
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed/minced
  • 1 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
  • 14 oz. chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup kalmata olives, halved
  • 1 tsp fresh dill weed
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves, lightly chopped 
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper strips, chopped (no more then 2 pieces)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced purple onion


  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
  2. Heat oil in a large, oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken thighs with oregano and salt and pepper on both sides and sear skin side down in skillet for 3 minutes. Flip and sear the other side for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Carefully remove skillet from oven and transfer chicken to a plate to keep warm. Drain any fat from skillet and discard.
  3. Return the skillet to the stove top over medium heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant and then add in the orzo, chicken broth and olives. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  4. Stir in the dill weed, lemon zest, and spinach, stirring until the spinach wilts slightly. Return the chicken to the skillet and warm. Top with the feta cheese, roasted red bell peppers and purple onion. 
  5. Serve with flatbread and Tzatziki.