Friday, June 19, 2015

Spicy, Saucy Steak

Father's Day is this Sunday and we usually show our love for all the Dads and Husbands  with some kind of a meal.  If the Dad in your life enjoys a good steak, then he's going to love this. I like this steak recipe because it looks and tastes like something you'd be served at a fine restaurant and it takes little effort to prepare.

The Espresso Balsamic Vinegar added at the end adds an unexpected surprise to the dark sauce drizzled over the steaks.

Spicy, Saucy, Sizzling Steak



2 Boneless sirloin steaks.. about 6-8 ounces each
2 teaspoons Joe and Son’s Chipotle Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup thinly sliced onions
1 ½ cup slice mushrooms, cleaned and wiped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup red wine
3 Tablespoons Joe and Son’s Espresso Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large frying pan, heat the Olive Oil to a medium temperature. Cook the steaks for about 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness. Turn the steaks a few times to cook both sides.  Make sure you don't overcook the steaks.

Remove the steaks; set aside and keep warm.

In the same pan, add the garlic, onions, mushrooms and pepper flakes for about 4-5 minutes. Carefully add the red wine; stir and cook, uncovered, until most of the wine has evaporated. This should take about 4-5 minutes.

Add the Balsamic Vinegar, stir and reduce the heat to low. Continue cooking for about 7-8  minutes until the liquid has slightly thickened and reduced a bit. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed.

Spoon the mushroom and sauce over the steaks.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pasta with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Meatless those words make you think of a dinner that will leave you hungry and unsatisfied?  Well, forget that! This pasta dish is certainly hearty enough to satisfy anyone fortunate enough to have this on his/her dinner plate.

Now, for those of you who don't think a meal is complete without chicken, beef or seafood, you could add cooked shrimp or grilled strips of chicken breast to the pasta and it would be equally delicious.

Let me mention that though I prepared this dish with Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil, you could use Joe and Son's Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, or Garlic Olive Oil instead. 

The bonus to this recipe is that it's incredibly quick to prepare and has few ingredients.  Starting to sound better and better, isn't?
Pasta with Asparagus & Mushroom


1 pound pasta …I like Penne for this dish but any tube pasta would be fine
12-14 asparagus spears cut in 2” pieces (snap off the tough ends first)

2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms… wiped and dried
½ teaspoon dried basil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 Tablespoons Joe and Son’s Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of cooking water, and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the asparagus, mushrooms, basil and garlic with the Olive Oil.
Line a baking pan with foil and place the vegetables in one layer and bake for 4- 5 minutes or until the asparagus pieces are bright green and fork tender.

In a large non stick pan add the pasta, vegetables and ¼ cup of pasta water, or more if needed. Toss over low heat to blend the ingredients.

Taste for seasonings and add some additional olive oil , if desired. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Monday, June 8, 2015

Kale and Mango Salad

Of all the super healthy greens, Kale is "The King"

It is one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods in existence.
Kale is loaded with all sorts of beneficial compounds… some of which have powerful medicinal properties.

Well, that's all well and good to know, but if we don't know how to cook it or serve it so it tastes good, we're not going to eat it.  That's a plain and simple fact.

If you're going to eat Kale  uncooked, you may find the leaves a bit tough...but massage, or bruise, the leaves for about 3-4 minutes before proceeding with your recipe and you'll find they become quite tender.

You may find the combination of these salad ingredients a bit unusual, but the sweetness of the mango and the citrus dressing complements the slight bitterness of the Kale.

You could serve this as suggested, but for a heartier meal you could arrange grilled chicken strips on the salad and drizzle just a little dressing over the slices.

Kale and Mango Salad

4 cups packed kale, stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
1 champagne mango, peeled and diced into small pieces
½ cup blueberries…thawed and drained, if using frozen
½ cup crumbled Feta cheese
½ cup small walnut pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
Slivers of carrots, for color.....optional

1 Tbsp. Joe and Son’s Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Joe and Son’s Blood Orange Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Palma Ceia Honey…local to Tampa and available at Joe and Son’s

Combine the Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil and Honey in a jar with a lid. Shake vigorously to form an emulsion. Set aside.

Place the kale leaves in a large bowl; drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of the dressing. Massage and crush the leaves with your hands. (This makes the kale leaves more tender.)

Next, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Chill for about an hour. Add the dressing and serve.

Serves 4.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sesame Shrimp with Wilted Broccoli Slaw

I never know what the day will bring or how it will turn out.  That's just the way my life is these days.  The one constant, though, is fixing a quick, but easy and healthy meal. I know you're probably sick of my describing these recipes this way, but they are just that.

I always keep frozen shrimp in my freezer.  They're a good go-to when I'm in a hurry and with just a few good ingredients, a little imagination and a little of whatever I have on hand, I can get a meal on the table in a few minutes.

I knew how I wanted to fix the shrimp, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to serve a salad or a vegetable as a side.  So, I fixed something that was both.
I had a bag of broccoli slaw and I cooked it.  Stir-fried, actually, and used it as a base for the sesame shrimp.  It was pretty good, if I say so myself.

Sesame Shrimp Over Wilted Broccoli Slaw


½ cup Joe and Son’s Toasted Sesame Oil

½ cup Joe and Son’s Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar

1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

½ diced scallions…white and green parts

¼ teaspoon salt

Red pepper flakes to taste

Combine all of the above ingredients and pour into a jar with a lid. Seal the jar and shake to form an emulsion.

2 pounds cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp.. with tails removed (May use frozen and thawed shrimp)

Place the prepared, cooked shrimp in a large zip lock bag and pour the marinade into the bag. Refrigerate for about 1-1 ½ hours. Remove the bag from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before adding the shrimp to the broccoli slaw.


Wilted Broccoli Slaw

I bag broccoli slaw or the equivalent of about 3 cups

1 Tablespoon Joe and Son’s Garlic Olive Oil

1 small onion, sliced thinly

2 scallions, diced…green and white parts

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saute pan, heat the Garlic Oil to a low/medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients; stir and continue cooking for about 7- 8 minutes until the slaw is wilted.

Add the shrimp and marinade, and continue cooking over low heat until the shrimp are hot.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Stuffed Mushrooms

I enjoy entertaining, but I don't enjoy the thought of all the time it takes to prep and prepare the foods I'd want to serve. That's why I'm always on the lookout for recipes that are quick, fast, easy that present as though I've spent hours fixing them. In addition, I like bright, intense colors in these foods.  I think they look more appealing if they don't look washed out on a serving platter. I'm also looking for recipes that aren't overloaded with carbs because many of our friends and family are on carb restricted diets.  Gosh, I sound picky, don't I?  That's because I am. 
When I serve this recipe, I often include glazed baby carrots and roasted sweet yellow bell peppers on the serving tray......Gives lots of visual impact with the colors.
These mushrooms look pretty and they taste even better than they look.

Stuffed Mushrooms

24 fresh mushrooms, medium sized, stems removed
3 Tbsp. Joe and Son’s Truffle Oil

½ cup green onions, finely chopped, white and green parts
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pkg. frozen spinach, chopped, 10 ounce size
2 oz. softened cream cheese
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wipe mushroom caps clean with a damp paper towel.
Thaw spinach and squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible.
Pour and heat the Truffle Oil to a low/medium heat in a medium skillet, add chopped green onion and garlic. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until the garlic is soft, but not browned.
Add the spinach and cook for another 3-4 minutes. In a medium sized bowl, combine the spinach mixture with the cream cheese and feta cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Fill mushroom caps with mixture. Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese on top.
Place on a baking tray.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Serve warm.