Pad Thai Noodles enrobed in a creamy Sunflower Seed Sauce(vegan friendly)

Serves 2

4 oz pad Thai noodles

2 carrots- Julianned

4 TBsp red onion- diced

3 cloves garlic- minced

1 TBsp fresh ginger root- minced

6 TBsp sunflower seeds

7 TBsp coconut oil

2 tsp vegetable oil

2 tsp sirachi sauce

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp soy sauce

1 TBsp honey

1 TBsp lime juice

Cook noodles with carrots and onions – about 5 minutes

Combine seeds, garlic, ginger

Pulse til smooth then add vinegar, honey, soy, sirachi, coconut oil, lime juice until smooth

Drain noodles and pour sauce over – serve with lime wedges and seeds to top

Jersey Boil

50 little neck clams from NJ

4 cooked and cleaned crabs from NJ( cut in half)

3 ears corn from NJ(cooked)

1 1/2 lbs shrimp

14 small red skinned potatoes

1 ring of kielbasa

1 Vidalia onion- large chunks

1 beer

2 cups water

1/2 lemon

1 3 oz bag of crab boil

Remoulade (for dipping):

2 TBsp horseradish

1 tsp vinegar

6 TBsp ketchup

1/2 cup mayo

1 1/2 Tbsp sirachi

Put water, crab boil bag,beer, potatoes and onions in a pot and cover for 15 minutes.

Next add Corn, crabs and kielbasa. Add 2 TBsp old bay seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes.

Next add  clams and shrimp and cook for 8 minutes. Add more seasoning if desired.

Serve al fresco with lemon wedges, plenty of old bay and homemade remoulade

So perfect for a summer night! My buddy from college came down and we feasted like kings! – swapping old stories, drinking brews and listening to the college tunes- awesome time!!

Moraccan Spiced Veggie Medley

4 carrots-  halved and 1 ” pieces

1 cup red onion-1/2″ pieces

1 1/2 cups NJ zucchini – 1/2 pieces

2 cups NJ eggplant- 1/2 ” pieces

8 mushrooms- quartered

8 mini peppers- halved

19 cherry tomatoes

28  oz tomatoes- drained

1 can of canellini  beans- drained

Cook carrots for 6 minutes

Put veggies in a pan with 1/4 cup oil and 2 TBsp morracan spice mix

Bake for 30 minutes…then add tomatoes and beans and rest of seasoning and bake for another 15 minutes

Serve over brown rice or couscous

Toss with lamb or grilled chicken or serve by itself

Hey- I may  be from NJ , but I do know a good spice blend…. And this is it!!!!  Add a bit of cinnamon or clove but my family is not a fan so do as you see fit ….enjoy!

Moroccan Spice Blend

Makes 1/4 cup

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp fennel seed- crushed

1/2 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp all spice- crushed

1/2 tsp turmeric

1.4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp chili powder

Blend and store in s sealed jar awY from light

Holy kitchen sink Batman!!!!! That’s slot of spices! Oh yeah – well Mortoci is spicy and so are their dishes…. Not hot spicy but spicy spicy….fragrant and herbaceous

Use on chicken, lamb, veggies… Toss ontop of rice or couscous

NJ Peach & Viadalia Onion Spiked Relish

Adapted from

1 cup NJ peaches- diced

3/4 cup Vidalia onion- diced

1 jalepeno- minced

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar

2 TBsp captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum

1 cloves garlic- minced

1/4 tsp mustard seeds

1/8 tsp celery seed

1.2 bay leaf

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Put water, sugar,vinegar in a pot and bring to a boil

Then add remaining ingredients and continue to boil on medium heat for 20 minutes- stir often

Remove bay leaf. Drain 1/2 the Juice and let cool

Serve ontop of hot dogs or your favorite burger. Goes well with soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert.

10 Uses for fresh Basil

1. Pesto- see my radish pest recipe and substitute basil

2. Quick purée sauce- add oil, garlic, salt and pepper- purée and pour over grilled veggies

3. Caprese sauce for pasta- tear leaves, add fresh diced tomatoes and diced fresh mozzarella, olive oil and pour over pasta

4. Infused water-48 oz water,1 cup strawberries( thin slice),1 lemon slices, handful of leaves- steep in fridge for an hour and enjoy

5. Basil tea- 1 cup hot water and 2 TBsp chopped basil- steep for 7 minutes… Anti inflammatory/ bacterial properties!

6. Dry it- single layer on paper towel and top with another paper towel- nuke it for  1 minute then 10 second intervals until dry

7. Stings and bites- chew a leaf and add to bite- helps relieve pain and draws out toxins

8. Stress reduction- add 1 cups strong basil tea to bath and melt your troubles away!

9. Basil butter- 3/4 leaves, 1 stick of butter,1-4 tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper- pulse unt blended… Use on steak , fish, grilled bread

10. Basil lemonade- add torn leaves to your favorite lemonade… A nice adult twist 

Sausage Stuffed Red Onions

Adapted and refined from Martha Stewart

5 red medium sized onions

4 sausage links- skinned

4 mushrooms- diced

1/3 cup Apples-diced

1/2 cup crushed Frenchs fried onions

1/4 tsp fennel seeds – crushed

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 cup Dubliner cheese- shredded

Peel and slice onions. Use a melon baller and scoop out insides. Oil them and add salt and pepper and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees- use parchment paper and foil to cover.

In the meantime, cook sausage, Apple, seasonings,onions  until done- about 10 minutes.

Fill onions once done and top with cheese and cook for 20 minutes- uncovered

Balanced flavor! Serve as a side dish or as a main course with a salad.

Coq au Vin – Chez Zig style

1 rotisserie chicken -quartered

12 mushrooms- quartered

3 carrots- 1″ pieces

3 ribs of celery-1″ pieces

1 Vidalia onion- large chunks

3/4 cup red wine

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

3 TBsp tomato paste

3 TBsp butter

2 TBsp dried thyme

1 bay leaf

Cook carrots, celery, onions on medium heat for about 14 minutes. Let it get semicarmelized.

Add mushrooms, broth, wine, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme and cook covered until veggies are tender- about 10 minutes.

Add butter and whisk in and then nestle in your chicken. Cook covered until chicken is warm.

Super quick- about 30 minutes!!!  It creates a hearty, rich and velvety sauce!

So this is not traditional- I know. My Grandmother from France is rolling in her grave! But the flavors are there like in the original. I did not add bacon. You really don’t need it but add it if you like. I used a sweet onion not pearls because that’s what I had – actually it was really tasty- it mellowed out the Cabernet….

A simple and elegant meal you can make any weeknight- don’t forget the baguette for that yummy sauce!!