Calabrian Shrimp And Orzo

Photo by Flo P on Unsplash


  • 10 oz peeled shrimp
  • 4 oz orzo pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 1 1/2 tsps chili paste (Calabrian if you have it)
  • 2 Tbsps creme fraiche
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Fill medium pot w/ salted water and bring to a boil.
  2. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel, place in bowl with chopped garlic, capers, and chili paste, stir and let marinate.
  3. Add orzo to pot of boiling water, and cook, uncovered, for 7-9 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.
  4. In a large pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over med-hi heat until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even later. Cook, without stirring for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Move zucchini to one side of pan, and add shrimp to other side in an even layer. Again, cook without stirring for 2-3 minutes or until slightly opaque. Stir it all up,  while continuing to cook for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  5. Add shrimp and zucchini to the pot of cooked orzo, along with the creme fraiche and the juice of half a lemon. Stir to combine and season w/ salt/pepper to taste.
  6. Serve w/ parmesan and lemon wedges.

Great Grandma’s Rum Cake


  • 1 package Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 oz)
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 oz. rum


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together first six ingredients for 2 minutes with electric mixer. Sprinkle pecans on the bottom of a greased bundt pan. Pour in batter and bake approximately one hour.

Prepare glaze by boiling butter, sugar, and water for one minute. Remove from heat and add 1 oz. rum.

Remove cake from oven and pierce top thoroughly with cake tester or toothpick. Immediately pour glaze over top of cake. Cool before serving.

Cashew Chicken


  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided into 2 and 1
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 12 oz. green beans, trimmed, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled, sliced very thinly
  1. Combine oyster sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add cashews and tilt skillet toward you so that the oil pools around cashews. Toast cashews, tossing and spooning oil over constantly, until cashews are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer cashews to a small plate and let cool, reserving oil in skillet.
  3. Cut chicken into 1/2″-thick slices. If any slices are longer than 2″, cut in half crosswise. Season chicken with salt and coat with cornstarch, tossing chicken to evenly distribute cornstarch. Increase heat to medium-high and cook chicken in a single layer in same skillet, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until other side is just opaque, about 1 minute. Transfer chicken to a plate (don’t need it to be totally cooked through; will finish cooking in the sauce).
  4. Cook beans and onion in same skillet, tossing often, until softened and brown in spots, about 4 minutes. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, garlic and ginger. Cook, tossing often, until garlic and ginger are softened, about 1 minute longer. Add reserved sauce and return chicken to skillet. Cook, stirring often, until sauce is glazy and coats chicken and vegetables, and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Transfer chicken and vegetables to a platter. Spoon sauce over. Top with toasted cashews.



Roasted Broccoli & Fregola Sarda


  • 1 lb broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Za’atar seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup fregola sarda pasta
  • 2 Tbsps tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 oz. pecorino romano cheese
  • 3 Tbsps roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch mint


  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Spread onions and broccoli on sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and za’atar seasoning. Toss to coat and spread in an even layer. Roast 20-22 minutes or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Heat a small pot of water to boiling on high for boiling the eggs. Heat another medium pot of salted water to boiling on high for the pasta. Add pasta to medium pot and cook 14-16 minutes, or until tender. Turn off heat, drain thoroughly, and return to pot.
  3. Add eggs to small pot of boiling water and cook 9-10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water for a minute. When cool enough to handle, carefully peel the cooked eggs. Thinly slice into rounds and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine lemon juice, tahini, 2 Tbsps water, 2 Tbsps olive oil and minced garlic in a bowl for the dressing. Whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. To the pot of cooked pasta, add the roasted vegetables, chopped almonds, crumbled cheese, dressing, and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve topped with egg and another drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with mint.

Serves 2.

Vegetable Grain Bowl


  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 12 oz. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (~3 cups)
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked pearled farro, rinsed
  • ½ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup toasted pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Combine Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, shallots, butter, curry powder, garlic, pepper, and ½ tsp. salt in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 20-25 minutes.
  2. Bring 4 cups water and ½ tsp. salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high. Add farro, and cook according to package directions; drain.
  3. Mix yogurt, lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. water in a bowl for topping. Split farro into 4 bowls, and divvy up vegetables evenly on top. Add pecans and yogurt sauce.

Chocolate Toffee Cookies


  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar (packed)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 7 ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (like Heath), coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Sea salt (optional)


  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water and cool mixture to lukewarm.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla.
  3. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee and nuts. Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper.

    Regular method:
    Drop batter by spoonfuls onto sheets, spacing two inches apart.

    Slice and Bake option:
    This dough is not the easiest to scoop into the right shape, so an alternative is to roll the dough into a log about 1.5 inches thick and chill or freeze. If you’re freezing overnight or just storing (good for up to a month), wrap the log in waxed paper and then two layers of plastic wrap. When ready to bake, just cut off ½ inch slices.

    Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt (optional). Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 12 to 15 minutes. If baking dough straight from the freezer, you might need an added minute or two. Cool on sheets.

Crawfish Boil

Here’s the back of the napkin scribblings from the last boil:

  1. Add water to pot, turn on burner
  2. as water comes to boil, add powder, salt and splashes of liquid crab boil
  3. add bay leaf, whole red potatoes, halved onions, halved lemons, garlic
  4. test potatoes for doneness, once done…
  5. add crawfish and cook 5-8 minutes
  6. cut off heat and soak 30 minutes
  7. add sausage, mushrooms, corn and whatever else while soaking
  8. check saltiness and add more if necessary

Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters with Lime Dressing


  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp grated lime zest plus 2 tablespoons juice
  • 2 tsp. plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 (10-ounce) chicken leg quarters, trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano


  1. Combine garlic, salt, sugar, lime zest, 2 tsps. oil, cumin, pepper, and cayenne in bowl and mix to form paste. Reserve 2 tsps. garlic paste for dressing.
  2. Position chicken skin side up on cutting board and pat dry with paper towels. Leaving drumsticks and thighs attached, make 4 parallel diagonal slashes in chicken: 1 across drumsticks, 1 across leg joints; and 2 across thighs (each slash should reach bone). Flip chicken over and make 1 more diagonal slash across back of drumsticks. Rub remaining garlic paste all over chicken and into slashes. Refrigerate chicken for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  3. For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour two thirds evenly over half of grill, then pour remaining coals over other half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
  4. For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium and turn other burner(s) to low. (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature of 400° to 425°.)
  5. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken on cooler side of grill, skin side up. Cover and cook until underside of chicken is lightly browned, 9 to 12 minutes. Flip chicken, cover, and cook until leg joint registers 165°, 7 to 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer chicken to hotter side of grill, skin side down, and cook (covered if using gas) until skin is well browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip chicken and continue to cook until leg joint registers 175°, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk remaining ¼ cup oil, lime juice, cilantro, oregano, and reserved garlic paste together in bowl. Spoon half of dressing over chicken and serve, passing remaining dressing separately.

Serves 4

Green Man


  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk or your favorite nondairy milk
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato, chilled
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lime
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp flax or some other hippy seeds or protein powders


  1. Blend the spinach and coconut milk until smooth.
  2. Add the orange, sweet potato, pineapple, ginger, lime juice, and protein. Blend again.

Makes 2 good sized smoothies. Adapted (..ahem) from

Pozole #2


  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 lbs boneless Boston butt pork roast (or tenderloin)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (14-ounce) can low-salt beef broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt-added stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans golden hominy, drained
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Boston lettuce
  • 2/3 cup unsalted baked tortilla chips
  • 2/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced radishes


  1. Combine 1 tsp salt, paprika, and pepper. Trim fat from pork. Cut pork into 2-inch pieces; trim any additional fat. Combine pork and paprika mixture, tossing well to coat.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove pork from pan. Add onion, carrot, bell pepper and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Return pork to pan; stir in water and next 7 ingredients (water through tomatoes).
  3. Remove 2 large chile and 2 1/2 tablespoons adobo sauce from can; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Remove seeds from chile; finely chop. Stir chile and adobo sauce into pork mixture. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours or until pork is tender. Remove pork from pan using a slotted spoon; place pork in a large bowl. Shred pork using 2 forks. Add tomato mixture to pork in bowl. Let cool to room temperature; cover and chill overnight.
  4. Skim solidified fat from surface of stew. Combine the stew, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and hominy in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Ladle stew into bowls. Top each with lettuce, chips, cilantro, and radishes.

From Chris and Britta and adapted from