Main

Main

Main Dish Recipes

What to cook tonight for dinner?  Always the age-old question.  Mai Tai Tracy’s Kitchen serves up the dishes we yearn to eat again … and again … and again!

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 Burgers with Chorizo Seasonings and Radish and Jicama Slaw with Lime Vinaigrette

Main Dish Recipes

Burgerlicious! Pork Burgers with Chorizo Seasonings and Radish and Jicama Slaw with Lime Vinaigrette Main I saw a recipe for 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 actually 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 slightly citrus note. To finish out the meal, I made a radish and jicama slaw with lime … Read more…

Chicken, Black Beans & Rice with Red Apple Salsa

Quick & Easy Dinner! Chicken, Black Beans & Rice with 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 it.  … 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 … Read more…

Pan Roasted Chicken with Pancetta, Mushroom & Leek Sauce on a Bed of Hash Browns

Comfort Food! Pan Roasted Chicken with Pancetta, Mushroom & Leek Sauce on a Bed of Hash Browns Main Tom once again returned from an event at Melissa’s Produce with a treasure trove of goodies (he works for food).  Among them were a bag of Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes; Cleaned and Sliced Leeks and Fresh Peeled Garlic.                    Tom often seems to think our kitchen is a Chopped episode and loves to bring home things for me to make into something for dinner, however, this was an easy one.  I immediately thought of the “Wow” dish we had in Tetbury on our trip to England in 2013 [which was a Roasted Breast of … Read more…

Mr. C’s Grilled Flank Steak with Chile, Cinnamon and Cumin Marinade

Cinnamon on Steak with this Marvelous Meat Marinade!  Mr. C’s Grilled Flank Steak with Chile, Cinnamon and Cumin Marinade Main Summer weather in Southern California came late this year (yay, for May Gray!), so we only recently fired up our gas barbecue.  Speaking of fire, there was one small problem … when Tom turned on the barbecue there was an explosion, and flames shot out from underneath the grill where the propane tank is located!  We ran away (well, I ran, while Tom inexplicably stayed close to the barbecue), and I dialed 9-1-1 fearing it was going to explode. The firemen arrived, quickly extinguished the fire, and inspected our barbecue for the cause (pan drippings fell onto the propane tank … Read more…

Roasted Sweet Potato, Poblano, Avocado & Black Bean Tacos

Healthy Tacos Roasted Sweet Potato, Poblano, Avocado & Black Bean Tacos Main So our January and February plan to diet during those months did not materialize.  But now it’s almost March, and we’re starting over. Despite being a gentleman of a certain age, Tom has a list (short) of foods he doesn’t like, and for some reason, sweet potatoes are on that list.  He refused even to taste them.  This recipe sounded great to me, so Tom agreed to have a teeny, tiny bite.  And he loved it!  Have you ever wondered (like me) what the difference is between yams and sweet potatoes?  Here is a link to a good explanation from The Spruce Eats:  “Many times the names ‘sweet … Read more…

Italian Blue Goat Cheese Risotto and Xocopili Chocolate

Remarkable Risotto Risotto with Italian Blue Goat Cheese and Xocopili Chocolate Main We saved one of our best meals for last on our 2018 Italian trip.  On our final night in Orta San Giulio, we enjoyed a stupendous risotto made with blue goat cheese, candied walnuts and shaved Xocopili chocolate (Risotto all’erborinato di capra della Val Vigezzo, cioccolato Xocopili e noci caramellate).  Wow! That was that good risotto!  We stayed at the incredible Bed & Breakfast Al Dom on the shores of Orta San Giulio with a private garden at the edge of the lake and views across to the L’Osola del Silenzio (Island of Silence).  Below is our little Al Dom “picnic area.”             … Read more…

Bucatini Aglio e Olio

Pasta Perfetta Bucatini Aglio e Olio Main Having just returned from a three week trip to Italy, we are still craving pasta, and our favorite pasta recipe is Bucatini Aglio e Olio. (Here are a couple of photos from my Italy 2018 trip report … The roof of Duomo di Milano and our hometown of La Morra in the Piemente wine country).                       .   Upon our return from our Christmas week 2009 journey to Rome, we started making the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, which is made with garlic (aglio), olive oil (olio), red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese. We make this all the time (yes, … Read more…

Grilled Steak and Elote Tacos

Excellent Elote! Grilled Steak Tacos with Elote Main Perusing Cooking Light recently, I found a recipe for Grilled Steak and Elote Tacos from skinnytaste.com.   Fast and easy!  Perfect for a weeknight grill fest.  One of my favorite appetizers is the Elote Appetizer from the Elote Café in Sedona, Arizona.   Elote is Mexican street corn, usually grilled and rolled in mayo and cotija cheese and eaten on a stick.  YUM.  The recipe calls for skirt steak which is very thin and cooks quickly.  For our usual tacos, Tom and I prefer flap meat ( which is a tad thicker than skirt steak and our butcher cuts into thinner carne asada-type pieces), but it does take a little longer to grill (but not … Read more…

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Shake Shack’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken Variation Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Main When I read that Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) said the recipe for The Shake Shack’s fried chicken was the best fried chicken ever, I did a double take.  My Nana’s fried chicken is the best ever!   Of course, did anyone bother to get Nana’s recipe? … Mom?   So, if Ina says this is the best ever, I had to give it a try. What I can recall of my Nana’s chicken was that she fried it in an electric frying pan, in Wesson or Crisco, and she used paper bags to shake it up.  Man, that chicken was perfection and even better the next day … but, nothing to … Read more…

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon, Thyme & Shallot Sauce

Gnocchi … Two Ways Meyer Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon, Thyme & Shallot Sauce Main As anyone who has read Tom’s trip reports or Tom’s Dining Out knows, Tom loves his gnocchi.  He has it everywhere we go.  I would say gnocchi is one of his Top 5 favorite foods in the world.  (below photo is from one of our visits to Officine Brera in Los Angeles). The February/March 2018 issue of Fine Cooking arrived recently and there, way in the back, was a ricotta gnocchi recipe with lemon.  Tom BEGGED ME to make it for him.  Have I ever made gnocchi before?  NO, but it didn’t sound too difficult (ha!), and the Meyer lemons from neighbor Pat’s tree were … Read more…

Beef and Stout Pie with Stilton Calvados Pastry Top

British Pub Supper (With Help From The Irish & The French) Beef and Stout Pie with Stilton Calvados Pastry Top Main Oddly enough, this recipe started with a diet.  It was New Year’s Eve, and I was purging the refrigerator so Tom and I could attempt yet another diet.  I had a lovely blue jar of Trader Joe’s Blue Stilton Cheese and recalled a recipe I had seen in a Williams Sonoma catalog for a Beef and Stout Pie with a Stilton Pastry top. Be warned. This recipe does take some time: three hours for the stew to simmer, an hour for the pastry to be refrigerated before rolling it out, and then more refrigeration after that.  Of course, I … Read more…

Hot Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

In Search Of The Perfect Chicken Enchilada Hot Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas Suizas Main What’s a girl to do when her husband brings home a haul of Extra Hot Hatch Green Chiles courtesy of the very generous Melissa’s Produce?  Roast them!  Tom was once again fortunate to be included in an event at Melissa’s Produce, this one featuring La Tortilla Factory.  Not only did Tom score the Hatches and get to taste the scrumptious food, but he also brought home a bunch of La Tortilla Factory’s products, too. If you haven’t had an opportunity to taste La Tortilla Factory tortillas, you must hunt them down.  I love, love, love their Original Flour Tortillas in a quesadilla.  And the Hatch Chile … Read more…

Shrimp Scampi in a Garlic Butter Sauce with Pasta

From The Kitchen of Kim & MaryShrimp Scampi in a Garlic Butter Sauce with Pasta Main (Tom and Tracy Note: Two of our favorite places to dine on the road in Southern California or Northern California are at one of the homes of our intrepid traveling companions, Kim and Mary (we were very happy when they added their new location).  Both are wonderful home chefs, plus they don’t charge us a corkage fee. This recipe is their daughter’s favorite and just one of the numerous terrific recipes they have created for us throughout the years.)                     This is a super easy recipe, as long as you do all the preparation before you start cooking.  Once … Read more…

Borough Market Cheese Toastie

Say “Cheese!” Borough Market Cheese Toastie Main Having returned from our London / Scotland holiday (trip report here), we were in the mood for the delicious Cheese Toastie we devoured at the Kappacasein Stall at the Borough Market in London on a previous trip.  We tried this sandwich on our first excursion to London in 2013.  Tom liked it more than I did, but I changed my mind after eating it again last month.                              Biting into the crunchy, toasted cheese goodness, I realized the addition of leeks and onions made for sheer perfection.  As you can see, Tom’s eating manners have not improved in the past four years. There’s a sign hanging over the Kappacasein stall (2017 Cheese Toastie … Read more…

Creamed Corn and Pancetta Orzo

Corn To Be Wild! Creamed Corn and Pancetta Orzo Main From the Tracy’s Kitchen archives, here is a recipe that I first came across in Bon Appétit magazine and it was our Recipe of the Year for 2008.  I have made this periodically over the years and had forgotten how delicious it is.  Of course, I had to amp it up with the addition of Pancetta (Pancetta could be one of my all-time favorite ingredients).  To save some time you can use a bag of frozen sweet corn, but freshly picked summer corn is hard to beat. We paired this with a BBQ Tri-Tip, an arugula salad and Skillet Corn Bread I made using Hatch Chiles.  I think some Strawberry … Read more…

Some Like It Hot Chicken Enchiladas with Hatch Chile Sauce

Scrumptious South Of The Border Enchiladas Some Like It Hot Chicken Enchiladas with Hatch Chile Sauce Main Tom Preface:  (About five years ago, when I was gainfully employed, I interviewed my friend Robert at Melissa’s Produce.  I asked him what was new, and he replied, “Well, it’s almost Hatch Chile season.” I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.  Some reporter I was!  Robert went on to say that fresh Hatch chiles from New Mexico, grown in the Hatch Valley, were hitting retailers the second week of August. The season is a short one, and he was kind enough to provide us with a box.  They come in “mild” and “hot,” and, of course I went for the … Read more…

Black Bean Chipotle Chili with Steak

Some Like It (Really) Hot Chili Black Bean Chili Chipotle Chili with Steak Main This chili is our go-to meal when the frozen tundra of winter hits Southern California (or when the calendar says it is winter, otherwise how would we know? Seriously, it is supposed to be 80 later this week). I have listed the ingredients for those of you without a Trader Joe’s. For those of you with a Trader Joe’s, we use their Cuban Style Black Beans (with green peppers and garlic), Diced and Fire Roasted Tomatoes (with green chiles), the canned or the frozen Hatch chiles; and last, but not least, Trader Joe’s frozen garlic cubes and frozen trio of peppers.  It makes for such an … Read more…

Tom’s Perfect Pumpkin Tuscan Risotto

Italian Perfection Tom’s Perfect Pumpkin Tuscan Risotto Main Here is a recipe that Tom and I sent out with our Christmas cards in 2005 having deemed it “Tuscan Tom’s Recipe of the Year.”  We had just returned from a three-week vacation to Umbria, Tuscany, Venice, and Rome, so we were in an Italian state of mind.                               We made this again this past weekend, and it’s as good (or better) than we recalled and, more importantly, even worth the two-day effort of making it. Just a couple of notes about the rice, we have tried many brands, and it does make a difference.  If you are using Arborio rice, we like Ferrara or Beretta; for Vialone Nano we like Campanini brand.   … Read more…

Meat Loaf With A Kick

Comfort Food Extraordinaire Meat Loaf With A Kick Main While lying on the floor with a bad back watching daytime TV last week (a sad tale of water conservation gone awry), I came upon Chef Jeff Mauro making meatloaf on a show called The Kitchen.  Tom happened to be walking through right then and chimed in, “Meatloaf is my favorite!” “What?”  I’ve known Tom for 25 years, been married for 21 and never once in all those years did he tell me meatloaf is his favorite comfort food.  In fact, I have never in my life made a meatloaf (I do, however, make a pretty good Shepard’s Pie).   Now that I am back on my feet again, I decided … Read more…