Sausage Jambalaya

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 1 hour YIELD: 8 servings.

  • 12 small pork sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  1. In heavy skillet, saute the sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic in oil until vegetables are tender. Add chicken and ham; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the
    remaining ingredients.
  2. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until rice is tender and liquid absorbed.

Parmesan Roasted Carrot Fries

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes Servings: 6

  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 in thick ‘fries’
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan cheese), grated
  1. Gently toss the carrot fries in the oil, salt and pepper, sprinkle on the cheese and mix to coat before spreading on them in a single layer on a silicon mat or
    parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  2. Roast in a a preheated 425F/220C oven until tender and lightly charred, about 16-20 minutes, mixing half way through.

Use a mandolin to easily slice the carrots into fries.

Try with beets, or make ‘tots’ with broccoli and cauliflower buttons.

‘probably works pretty well with SWEET POTATOES!

Option: Serve with chipotle mayo! (1/2 cup mayo and 1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo pureed in a food processor with an optional splash of lime juice.)

Italian Sub Sandwich

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

  • For the Pickled Cherry Pepper Spread:
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 (¼ cup) pickled cherry peppers
  • For the Red Wine Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the Italian Hoagie Sandwich:
  • 1 Italian hoagie roll
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup pickled cherry pepper spread
  • 3 slices (1½ ounces) Genoa salami
  • 3 slices (1½ ounces) mortadella
  • 3 slices (1½ ounces) prosciutto di Parma
  • 3 slices (1½ ounces) provolone cheese
  • 2 slices (6 ounces) beefsteak tomato
  • 2 tablespoons pickled pepperoncini peppers
  • ½ teaspoon parsley leaves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano leaves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon rosemary needles, minced
  • ¼ cup iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven too 400º.
  2. Make the pickled cherry pepper spread: In the base of a small food processor, add all of the ingredients. Pulse the mixture a few times until everything is puréed to a chunky consistency. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and reserve for later.
  3. Make the red wine vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking constantly to ensure that the dressing emulsifies. Season the mixture with salt and pepper; set aside for later.
  4. Assemble the sandwich: On a sheet pan, toast the hoagie roll for 5 minutes. Slice the roll lengthwise without going all the way through. Open the roll and spread the mayonnaise evenly on the top and bottom layers, followed by the pickled cherry pepper spread. Shingle the salami across the bottom half, followed by the mortadella, prosciutto, provolone and tomatoes. Add the pepperoncini; sprinkle with the parsley, oregano and rosemary; and spread the iceberg lettuce across the top. Drizzle with the red wine vinaigrette, then season with salt and pepper. Slice in half and serve right away.

The lunch-meats referenced in this recipe may seem intimidating or just hard to find. Don’t sweat over it, just use 3 Italian lunch-meats, even salami, balogna, and ham. (But not boiled ham, too boring.)

Tri-Color Pasta Salad

Prep time:
Cook time:

  • 1 – 12 oz – Package Tri-Color Pasta
  • ¼ cup – Olive Oil
  • 4 teaspoon – White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese – grated fine
  • 1 teaspoon – Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon – Italian Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon – Sea Salt
  • ½ teaspoon – Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon – dried Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoon – Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil – chopped
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking whisk olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, sea salt, ground black pepper, parsley, in a large bowl.
  3. Stir the Sun-dried tomatoes into the dressing mixture
  4. Once pasta is cooked and drained, add pasta to the large bowl with other ingredients mixing well.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving and enjoy.
  • Dress up the salad with any of these:
  • Cubed Italian Summer sausage
  • Cubed Mozzarella or PepperJack cheese
  • Sliced Black or Kalamata Olives (make sure there are no pits)
  • Diced Yellow or Red Onion

Coconut Curry Shrimp

Prep time:
Cook time: 20-30 minutes total

  • Group-1
  • 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled and tails intact (about 24 – 31-40 size shrimp)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Group-2
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sliced onions (cut into 1/8-inch thick )
  • 1 cup sliced green bell pepper (cut into 1/4-inch thick)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Group-3
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced roma tomato (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  1. Toss shrimp with all spices and 1/2 teaspoon salt from group-1 ingredients.
  2. Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When hot, place shrimp in a single layer, cook for about 1 minute and turn over and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove shrimp (trying to drain most of the oil) into a bowl. The shrimp will be only half cooked at this point ( If you cook shrimp longer then it might get over cooked and get a little tough).
  3. Now, add sliced onions, bell pepper and garlic. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, and then add all group-3 ingredients (except Sriracha ) and 1/4 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt.
  4. Stir well and let the curry begin to simmer. Add the shrimp (along with any accumulated juices), stir well and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Take coconut curry shrimp off heat and stir in Sriracha sauce.
  6. Now, let the curry rest for about 10 minutes before serving. This helps the sauce to thicken slightly and soften tomato which then blends its flavor into the sauce.
  7. This dish is best served with white rice but also good with naans / rotis
  • Raw, cleaned shrimp with tails intact will add more flavor when cooked and that means a flavorful shrimp coconut curry. Once the shrimp is cooked the tails come off easily witha pinch.
  • Let the curry rest for about 10 minutes before serving, flavors blend into the sauce and the curry has a chance to thicken slightly

Navy Bean Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3+ hours

  • Meaty Ham Bone, if you can’t source a ham bone with much meat on it add 12 oz ham cubed
  • 16 oz Dried Nay Beans (washed and rinsed
  • 8 cups water
  • Optional:
  • 1 large Yellow Onion (aka Sweet or Spanish) diced (2 – 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Celery ribs (finely chopped)
  • Brown Mustard and Horseradish for serving
  1. Quick-soak the beans by putting them in a pot with enough water to cover the beans with an inch of water. Bring to a boil for a few minutes and then turn off the heat letting them soak for an hour. After soaking drain water and return beans to pot.
  2. Place ham bone, cubed ham, and water in the pot with the beans. In this stove top version you should add enough water to cover the ham bone completely so if you may need more than the amount listed above depending on the size of your pot.
  3. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes before turning the heat to low and placing a lid on top.
  4. Cook for at least 3 hours or until the beans reach the desired tenderness.
  5. Don’t add any salt until late in the cooking process. The Ham can be quite salty and that won’t be evident until it has time to cook.

While a ham bone gives this soup lots and lots of flavor if you don’t have one and you’re craving a hot bowl of Navy Bean Soup you can buy a small boneless ham and cut it up to add to the soup.

Beef Noodle Skillet

Prep time:
Cook time: 30 minutes total

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 12 ounces egg noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 8oz container sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  1. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the ground chuck and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the meat, crumbling as you go, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the noodles, broth, 1 cup hot water, the mustard, paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Give a big stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and allow everything to simmer, stirring occasionally and adding up to 1/2 cup more water if necessary, until the pasta is al dente and the sauce has thickened, about 12 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and heavy cream and cook for 1 additional minute or until the pasta is tender.
  3. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle over the chives and serve directly from the pan.

Some of the ingredients seem odd choices, do not omit them! They come together in a way that created the flavor you expect from this dish.

Sloppy Joe’s or “Manwich”!

Pre and Cook in less than 30 minutes
Serves: 4 (servings size)

You know what these are! And there are SO MANY variations, check this Google search.
The recipe referenced here is advertised on as a “MANWICH (COPYCAT)”.
Sloppy Joe’s, like chili, are very receptive to customization. So make this recipe as printed once, and then start tweaking!


I have always had a hard time with using ketchup as an ingredient in a recipe. The original version of this recipe is authentic, and does taste “correct” as a copy-cat Manwich. But I felt the ketchup was a little too strong. So I added my own tweak to this recipe here. Both versions are still visible so you can make your own decision. You could also simply use less ketchup, OR try different brands or specialty ketchups to alter this recipe to your desired version.

  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatos (or sauce)
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons raw sugar*
    (use only 1 if you have white sugar. Adjust to your taste ut it might not taste right if you leave it out.)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large tablespoon dried mixed vegetables (found in the spice aisle)
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon dried onion flakes or powder
  • 1 large tablespoon green pepper (or yellow or red …), chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 lb ground beef

* Raw sugar is that slightly brown sugar that is less refined than white sugar but still not “brown sugar”. You may have seen it at your favorite coffee shop. It is available in the baking aisle at the grocery store near the other common sugars. You can also just use whatever sugar you have on hand or prefer. You could even use honey but don’t over do it.

  1. Fry the beef, cook off the excess moisture and let is start to sizzle and brown. When the beef is no longer pink add the peppers, and any other fresh ingredients you substitued for dry.
  2. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the skillet and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve on toasted buns with your favorite condiments; cheese, pickles, and chips or coleslaw on the side?

The photo for this post is from, check out the source here:

Tamale Pie

Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: 50-60 minutes

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cups diced poblano peppers
  • 8 ounces frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
  • 5 oz (1/2 can) red enchilada sauce
  • 2 (8.5 ounce) boxes dry corn bread mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 9×13 casserole dish
  • cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. It will stick to your pan if you don’t!
  3. Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned.
  4. Stir in poblano peppers, corn, salt, salsa, oregano, enchilada sauce, and chipotle powder; cook and stir until beef is crumbly and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. There will be some extra moisture, that’s ok, the corn bread will soak it up while baking.
  5. Mix both packages of corn bread mix in a large bowl with 2 eggs, 2/3 cup of milk, and brown sugar. Whisk to combine.
  6. Spread 1/2 the prepared corn bread mixture into the bottom of prepared baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 of both cheeses on top of corn bread mixture, then pour the beef mixture a top of that.
  7. Spoon the other 1/2 of the corn bread mix on top of the beef and carefully spread over the top with a spoon, leaving about half an inch from the edges of the pan. Then top with the rest of the shredded cheese.
  8. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes.

The Ingredients call for 2 cups of poblano pepper, two peppers are close enough. Poblanos are a mild chili but they do have more “spirit” than a bell pepper, adjust to your taste.
Dry cornbread mix; It is important to use a mix and not just plain cornmeal. The additional ingredients help make the mixture “bready” so it wont just crumble.
Be careful with your choice of salsa, remember that it will affect the final flavor of the dish.
There are many many variations of tamale pie. Almost anything you might like in Mexican cuisine or tex-mex will probably work in tamale pie.
Here is another great example:

Shrimp and Grits

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes



  • 1 cup grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley or oregano
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces beer


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound medium to large shrimp, peeled, rinsed, and patted dry
  1. For grits: Begin preparing grits according to package instructions (sometimes I split liquid called for w/half water/half milk). Whisk in salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. Whisk occasionally; as grits begin to thicken, stir in butter to incorporate. Let sit for another minute. Whisk/stir in shredded cheese and beer until smooth.
  2. Adjust seasonings, butter and cheese to taste. Keep covered and warm until ready for shrimp.
  3. For shrimp: Preheat the oven broiler.
  4. Stovetop, warm a 12-inch oven safe skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When oil begins to ripple/shimmer, whisk in paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk together and let simmer for about one minute.
  5. Add the shrimp, shake the skillet to distribute shrimp evenly in 1 layer over bottom of skillet. Wait 30 seconds, turn shrimp over once. Place skillet in oven under preheated broiler for 2 minutes. Carefully remove skillet from oven. Spoon shrimp and olive oil mixture over prepared grits.

Please take some time to check out for notes on cooking grits and options for this recipe.