Dijon Panko-Crusted Baked Salmon

Salmon Chanted EveningDijon Panko-Crusted Baked Salmon Main As I may have mentioned before, we don’t eat a lot of seafood here in MaiTai Tracy’s Kitchen, we leave that to long time traveling companion Mary (seen here at a fish feast when we visited Croatia).We did dine on plenty of clam chowder along with fish and chips on our trip to Oregon, plus we have been enjoying copious amounts of ahi tuna rolls lately, so maybe our horizons are broadening? When I saw this on Food Network claiming to be the best baked salmon recipe, I thought what the heck, sounds pretty good, and we really need to eat more fish. Brush the salmon with Dijon mustard, pat on a layer … Read more…

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole and Cilantro Slaw

Marvelous Meatless BurgerSpicy Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole and Cilantro Slaw Main With meatless burgers becoming more and more popular, I decided to try these burgers for a meatless Monday.  Although Tom is a registered meat-aholic, he was on board with my experiment, because he likes beans and also acknowledged that we should try to eat a little healthier. This recipe from Southern Living calls for baking the beans first to dehydrate them and then refrigerating the patties before cooking so they don’t crumble when cooked. Sounded good to me! I followed the recipe exactly the first time and they were good, but I knew they could be better. I am currently obsessed with Trader Joe’s Italian Bomba Hot Pepper … Read more…

Chicken with Morels

Elegant Dinner Party Dish Chicken with Morels Main Courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa’s Barefoot in Paris cookbook (with a few variations), here is an elegant, delectable chicken dish for any celebration. For those of you have not experienced Morels, they are earthy and meaty, but unfortunately, they are more expensive than most meat. One ounce of these little guys will set you back nearly 25 bucks. Sadly, for me, they happen to be about the only mushroom Tom will eat.We usually host Christmas Eve dinner, and this is one of my go-to dishes that never fails to impress. I serve it with Crispy English Potatoes with Pancetta and Green Beans with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette & Parmesan Panko Crumbs. A simple … Read more…

Spanish-Style Shrimp

Spanish Style Shrimp … The Flay Way Spanish-Style Shrimp Main I finally broke down and purchased Bobby Flay’s most recent cookbook, Bobby at Home: Fearless Flavors From My Kitchen.  Although we watch him all the time on Food Network, this is the first cookbook of his I have tried. I’ve made several recipes from this book. Bobby uses a ton of ingredients especially spices, some of which home cooks (like me) might not have on hand. It’s almost like he has a restaurant pantry at his disposal! The first thing I made was a batch of Pickled Red Onions. Bobby’s secret ingredient? Grenadine. I also whipped up a jar of pickled chiles, although Tom thought they were a tad too … Read more…

Marinated Grilled Swordfish with Blistered Tomatoes and Capers

It’s All In The Tomato Topping Marinated Grilled Swordfish with Blistered Tomatoes and Capers Main If you made my late stepfather Mr. C’s Creamy Coleslaw (and hopefully liked it!), then you have a big bottle of Bernstein’s Italian Dressing and Marinade left over. If you were Mr. C, you would use it to marinate and grill fish. Tom and I are not big seafood people, but we do like swordfish, as it is meaty and not so fishy. While browsing Weber’s Ultimate Grilling cookbook by Jamie Purviance I came across a recipe for Swordfish and Blistered Tomatoes. That sounded good, especially as we have been on a tomato kick of late. I usually plant a bush of Sweet 100s, but … Read more…

Bacon Burgers with Pancetta and Balsamic Onion Jam

Bringing Home The Bacon … Burgers! Bacon Burgers with Pancetta and Balsamic Onion Jam Main WOW… what more can you say about this recipe we found in the Fine Cooking Grilling 2016 issue?  We think we make pretty, darn tasty burgers, but this recipe blew them all away and is well worth the effort (actually, pretty minimal effort) of making the Pancetta and Balsamic Onion Jam.  Of course, if bacon is not your thing, then this recipe isn’t for you. The Fine Cooking recipe is for bacon burgers with bacon, onion, balsamic jam but we are really more pancetta fans. After first discovering pancetta on a long-ago trip to Italy, I almost always use pancetta when a recipe calls for … Read more…

Tom’s Gruyère Mac and Cheese

Almost Like Being In Switzerland Tom’s Gruyère Mac and Cheese Main While visiting the Château de Gruyères in Switzerland in 2003, the skies opened with such a torrential downpour that we had to duck inside a nearby quaint restaurant for lunch. On the menu was an incredible Gruyère Macaroni and Cheese served in a large wooden bowl that I have continually tried to replicate over these many years (constantly evolving). The entire success of this dish depends on the quality and type of cheese you use.  Use a good quality Gruyère cheese; don’t use the American version of Swiss cheese as it is missing the buttery, nutty flavor of the Gruyère.  I know it is a pain (literally when I scrape my … Read more…

Pork Chorizo Burgers With Seasonings, Radish, and Jicama Slaw with Lime Vinaigrette

Pork Chorizo Burgers

Burgerlicious! Pork Burgers with Chorizo Seasonings and Radish and Jicama Slaw with Lime Vinaigrette Main I saw a recipe for Pork Chorizo Burgers from Andrew Zimmern in People magazine and was instantly intrigued.  I am not a big fan of chorizo, as it is usually too greasy for me, but I LOVE the flavor.  After reading the recipe, I realized this is not made with chorizo but is a burger made with chorizo seasonings.  I’m in! Andrew serves his burgers with an Avocado Salsa, but we are partial to guacamole.  I did change up the guacamole by adding a diced tomatillo for a slight citrus note. To finish out the meal, I made a radish and jicama slaw with lime … Read more…

Black Beans & Rice with Chicken & Red Apple Salsa

Quick & Easy Dinner!  Black Beans & Rice with Chicken and Red Apple Salsa Main This recipe for Chicken, Black Beans and Rice with Red Apple Salsa is an oldie but goody at our home for a quick and easy dinner.  To speed things along, I use canned black beans and a store-bought rotisserie chicken. If you have time to make your own chicken, try my Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with herbs de Provence. I like Trader Joe’s Cuban-style black beans with green bell peppers and onion. I add a little bit of cumin, red pepper flakes, and diced chipotles in adobe sauce to jazz it up.  Any canned black beans will do, just something with a little pizazz in … Read more…

Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel Ragù

Remembering Bella Bologna Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel Ragù Main Autumn, my favorite time of the year, my favorite time to travel, and perhaps my favorite time to eat pasta!  
 Benventuto Autunno! Last year, while traveling in Bologna, Italy (trip report here), we had the most delicious Pappardelle with Bolognese Ragù that was made with fennel sausage.  Mamma Mia! Bologna is nestled in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, which is also home to Parma and Modena.  All the food in Bologna is fantastico (and photogenic)!                                  The freshest pasta, incredible produce and seafood, big chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano, prosciutto, and mortadella (my new favorite), fresh-picked … Read more…