Today is Good Friday, one of the most important days of the year for Christians. My son has arrived home and tomorrow my other two children will once again fill my house with laughter and love. Tonight’s meal was a quick, meatless meal that can be cooked on any weeknight after work. I came across this recipe a few months ago on the website – Laughing Spatula. I just haven’t had the opportunity to make it, but my son loves seafood so tonight it finally made its debut in our rotation. There are absolutely no leftovers, so I’m guessing it’s a keeper for us.
In addition to the shrimp, I cooked a homemade pizza because it wouldn’t be Good Friday without pizza. I didn’t make the dough from scratch tonight as my husband happened to pick up a fresh pizza dough in his travels. If you are buying pizza every Friday night, consider making one with your spouse, or children. It’s super easy and fun and honestly, if you have good sauce, more delicious.
We are having our Easter dinner and birthday party for my husband tomorrow. We are having Prime Rib and I’ll capture some photographs and share the recipe for that at some point. I’m happy to have a full house to cook for and share this Easter holiday and birthday with.
Roasted Shrimp, Peppers & Onion
1poundraw deveined shrimp, without tails
1red pepper, sliced
1yellow pepper, sliced
1 Vidaliaonion, slicedlarge
2limes1 juiced, 1 sliced for condiment
2garlic cloves, minced
1/4teaspooncrushed red pepper
Pour a small glass of Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition, turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil
Mix olive oil, chili powder, crushed pepper, cumin, garlic, juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper in small bowl or measuring cup.
Add sliced veggies and shrimp into large bowl and toss with olive oil mixture
Spread onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until veggies are soft and starting to brown and shrimp is cooked through.
Serve with remaining lime slices.
We didn’t, but the original recipe said you could roll this mixture in a warmed tortilla. Recipe adapted from – Sheet Pan Chili Lime Shrimp, Laughing Spatula
Make sure you have something cold to cool the heat this packed. Enjoy!
My daughter Catherine moved out almost one year ago and lately she’s been calling me to ask about cooking. How do you make this?, What can I do with these ingredients? This makes me happy, as I guess she was watching after all. These calls bring me full circle to myself when I moved out of my parents’ home when I was a mere 18 years old. I had just graduated high school and gotten a job working in Human Resources at Morgan Stanley in midtown. I was attending college at night, working full time and living under my own roof. I was super excited to have my own place and after about the same amount of time as my daughter, started calling my mother to ask these same questions. I still have the index cards I typed at work after speaking to her, all those years ago, to get treasured family recipes. (Yes I know I spelled potato wrong back then.)
My mother was a creature of habit, as was my dad. We ate dinner at the same exact time every single night. We ate the same meals in a weekly rotation and my brothers and I could tell you that Friday was spaghetti night. My Nanny came for dinner after work on Thursday and we usually ate stuffed pepper or meatloaf and had chocolate cream pie for dessert. Grandma came over on Saturday and we always had fudge ripple ice cream for dessert and Goulash for dinner. We had bagels on the one Saturday each month that my dad worked the graveyard shift. He picked them up on his way home, hot from the bagel store. Every Tuesday in the summer we went to Rockaway Beach with the ladies and kids on the block. You could literally set your calendar and watch by the routines my family had. That’s likely why I rebel so much when it comes to structured routines and like to do things differently each week.
Today, on Sunday sauce day – gasp – I was planning to make chicken cutlet. When I opened the package, I noticed the breasts were left whole. I had just seen an idea shared on another website – Cooking with the King Fish – about stuffing these breasts rather than trimming them up for chicken cutlet. I decided to give this a shot today. I had some turkey sausage that I planned to cook with the cutlets and some beautiful mushroom for a gravy. This meal is one of those – a little of this and a little of that and maybe we have a new meal for our rotation.
Change is good and experimenting with cooking is fun. There are just so many meals to try, why limit yourself to the same thing each week. I’m not sure why my mom felt the need to have such a strict schedule. I know she was on her own a lot with dad’s work schedule and likely needed to have a routine with her three young children at home. I also know as she got older she did not enjoy cooking at all. So, maybe it was that all along, maybe she didn’t like to cook and just had her favorite recipes that she kept making. I’m not really sure, but she was such a great cook and I hope she found joy in it.
Stuffed Chicken Breast
2 whole boneless chicken breasts
mozzarella cheese cubed
hot turkey sausage (1/2 link removed from casing for stuffing)
1 mini red pepper cubed for stuffing
baby spinach rolled and sliced into strips for stuffing
1 mushroom chopped (white) for stuffing
Hot turkey sausage – 5 links sliced (uncooked)
Chicken broth 1 cup
1 medium onion chopped
Pour glass of Chardonnay and turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen.
Trim the cutlet almost in half and unfold.
If still thick start at middle and trim to outer edge but not all the way through. Unfold.
Repeat on other side
Cover with plastic wrap and pound to even out
Place layer of stuffing on in this order, sausage, mushroom, pepper, spinach, mozzarella cheese.
Roll breast and secure with cooking twine
Add olive oil to bottom of baking pan
Place chicken breast in baking pan
Add chopped onions around
Add sliced turkey sausage
Add chicken broth – 1 cup to baking pan
Bake for one hour at 350 degrees
I used my Schnitzel mushroom gravy recipe to make a nice pan gravy for this meal. The recipe can be found here – Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy & Spaetzle . What I don’t use with this meal I can freeze in a container and have on hand for quick meals during the week. There’s something comforting about having a nice mushroom gravy to top off our chicken cutlet, or steak.
What were the weekly meals your family ate? Please share as I love to try new recipes out. If you try any of these recipes, please drop me a line and let me know how you made out.
Week one of my 80 day recovery work out plan is in the books. I finished my sixth day this morning and tomorrow is rolling and easy stretching. My husband is feeling under the weather today, so we decided to have a lazy Saturday in the house. Neither one of us felt like doing anything more than hanging around the house catching up on our shows. I finally finished the latest episode of This is Us today. When planning our dinner, we decided on a nice, easy comfort meal. I did tweak the recipe because I wanted to experiment with a family tradition – German Potato Balls.
Growing up, my grandmother, mother and aunt always served potato balls with our holiday meals. They never made them other times of the year, so it was a real treat for us all when the holidays rolled around. There’s nothing quite as good as a true, homemade German Potato Ball drenched in brown gravy. Thinking of them always brings back so many wonderful memories of those holiday dinners, when I never had to wash a dish or pot. Literally, just eat and run is what we kids did. These three ladies all made this potato dish easily, but when I was newly married and tried to create it the potato balls just turned to mush. No matter what I did, or how much flour I added, those darn potatoes turned into a big pile of mush. Both of my cousins perfected the recipe and I wondered what in the world I was doing wrong. My mother kept telling me I was using the wrong type of potato. She swore they had to be Idaho potatoes and nothing else. Tried that. Make them the night before, use less flour, more flour, don’t over cook…. I finally decided Potato Balls were not worth the effort and perfected the art of making spaetzle.
My mom has been in the nursing home for about three years now and hasn’t cooked a holiday meal in many more years. We don’t get together with the cousins anymore for the holidays as we live too far apart. The only time I ever get German Potato Balls anymore is in a restaurant and honestly they never taste like our family’s recipe. This year, for our Christmas dinner, I decided I was going to try again. I looked up a few recipes online to see if there was anything I was doing wrong. I texted my cousin to check the recipe. I could see nothing I was doing wrong. When I posted on Facebook that I was making the meal, my mother’s cousin asked if I needed the recipe. Then she said, remember to cook them as soon as you roll them, or they will turn to mush. I looked at my daughter and said, no wonder I’ve had trouble all these years. I was rolling them the night before and cooking them the next day.
This Christmas, we had Roast Pork and Potato Balls and they came out perfect. I was so happy to have solved the 35 year mystery of this darn recipe. Today, I decided to experiment with the recipe and see how it would come out if I used sweet potatoes. Using the same recipe, I substituted sweet potatoes for the Idaho potatoes. They were delicious and hopefully somewhat healthier.
Laura’s Chicken Scarpiello & Sweet Potato Balls
5 links of Sweet Italian sausage
1 pound boneless Chicken breast
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup white wine (NOT cooking wine)
1 cup chicken broth
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp Rosemary
Salt & pepper to taste
Pour a glass of Malbec and turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen.
Slice sausage into smaller pieces and brown in pot in tbsp olive oil until browned on outside. Do not cook through.
Remove from pot
Put chicken in food storage bag with flour and shake to coat.
Place chicken into pot with tbsp of olive oil and turn to brown. Do not cook through.
Remove from pot
In same pot, put tbsp of sweet butter and olive oil.
Cook chopped onions until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add chopped garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Add the wine and begin to deglaze the pot.
Add the broth and continue to stir until the pot is deglazed.
Add the vinegar, salt, pepper and rosemary and stir.
Arrange the chicken and sausage in an oven safe dish.
Pour the sauce over and cover.
Cook in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Thicken sauce if needed when serving.
Sweet Potato Balls
2 large sweet potatoes
1 cup flour
1/2 cup farina
1 tsp nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
1 piece of toast cut into small cubes (normally we cook these in a pan with butter, but I just toasted today in toaster)
Roast the sweet potatoes in oven. (Mine were left over roasted potatoes, but you can boil or roast them for this recipe.)
When potatoes are cool, mash or put through a ricer.
Add flour, farina, nutmeg, salt & pepper to bowl
Mix with hands until they no longer stick to your hand
Roll into balls placing one cube of toast in the middle of each.
Drop potato balls into boiling pot of water and cook until they rise to the top (about 7-8 minutes)