Part of my service is to create a total experience for my clients. In doing so, I am constantly on the lookout for items that have loads of flavor and pair up with what I am featuring! These items may be store bought, semi-homemade or homemade. I spend lots of time purchasing and tasting several versions to come up with what I think are the best! Many of you ask me where I purchase some of these items, so here is the information.
Calabrian Chili Paste – I use this to amp up the flavors for any Italian Meal.
Organic Cracker Bites – actually comes in 3 flavors, but these are the best.
Rosemary Crackers – can be purchased on-line, but if you haven’t checked out the Gourmet Food Section at World Market it is a must!
Nut Crumbs – it seems like the entire world is gluten free, but finding items that taste like the real thing is really a challenge! Finally, a product that just tastes so delicious you don’t even know it’s gluten free. The Italian are my favorite.
Whenever I make a Casserole I always add a Crunchy topping so here is my Recipe….
Lemon Parmesan Herb Breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs * Also available in Gluten Free
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
- 2 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1. Melt butter in microwave.
2. Combine rest of ingredients.
3. Sprinkle on top of casseroles or pan fry to top salads and vegetables.
Cooks Note: Gluten Free Option replace Panko with Italian Nut Crumbs. These breadcrumbs freeze beautifully! Make a big batch and keep them in the freezer. Use them in your meatballs or breading for chicken and fish.
Living here in the South, fried green tomatoes are the gold standard for chefs, but there are so many other ways to use them. I’m a big fan and have developed lots of recipes where I substituted green tomatoes from my favorite red tomato recipes! I love this green tomato article, it even gave me new ideas.
Many of you have asked for my Green Salsa Recipe (see below). It’s so fresh and vibrant! It also makes a great topping for a Cali Mex Burger.
• 2 green tomatoes quartered
• 1 half small onion quartered
• 1 jalapéno seeded and quartered
• 1 garlic clove
• 2 Haas avocados
• ½ cup cilantro tops
• 1-2 limes juiced
• salt to taste
Place cilantro, onion, jalapéno, salt and garlic in food processor and pulse until combined. Add green tomatoes, avocados and lime juice and pulse until chunky unless you like a smoother salsa then puree. Feel free to add more of any of the ingredients to your taste.
Over the past few years many of my newsletters have featured diets to help my clients find a balanced healthy meal plan that best works for them! Paleo, Keto, Pegan, Anti- Inflammatory, Whole 30 and more! But ironically the diet that I most enjoy cooking, as well as trying to follow, is the Mediterranean Diet because there are so many benefits. Check out this link for more details
Funnily enough, I wasn’t that familiar with Mediterranean food until I got my first job out of culinary school at The Purple Onion. The Onion specializes in Mediterranean flavors and uses all organic products. From that experience, I have continued to expand my menus using the foundation of the Mediterranean diet for salads, soups, casseroles and entrees. Many of you have asked for my Greek Salad Dressing Recipe. I use it to marinate my meats as well as the base for pasta and potato salads.
Greek Salad Dressing
1 large clove garlic *more if you like garlic
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Measure all ingredients into a jar with tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well blended and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings. If doing a big batch place everything except the extra virgin olive oil in a blender than slowly add the extra virgin olive oil until emulsified. Store in a sealed container.
Fall in the air makes you think of soups!
Having worked in several commercial kitchens, it always surprised me that most Chefs hate to make soup so they always dumped that responsibility onto me! Not only did I hone my chopping skills, but my love for creating soups blossomed into 30 recipes and continues to grow. Just the smell of a soup simmering on the stove brings comfort and for me soups are the perfect meal. Many of my soups were crafted from a favorite comfort food and several have an international theme!
Remember the key to a great soup is the stock. If you don’t know the difference between stock and broth check out this link explaining the difference. If you would like the recipe for any of my favorite soups below, I’ll send you the recipe! Just fill out the form below.
Chicken A La King
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice
Creamy Chicken and Mushroom
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Lemony Greek Chicken and Artichoke
Italian Wedding and Lemony Kale
Thai Chicken and Rice
Shrimp and Corn Chowder or New England or Manhattan Chowder
Brazilian Shrimp Stew
Cream of Mushroom
Lentil (Can add Sausage)
Minestrone (Vegetarian Available)
Vegetarian Moroccan Chick Pea
Tuscan White Bean and Baby Kale (Can add Chicken Sausage)
Rosemary Crusted Ham Split Pea (Vegetarian Available)
Vegetarian 5 Bean Chili
Loaded Beef Barley
Broken Lasagna Beef
Whole 30 Hamburger
Stuffed Sausage and Peppers
With so much information out there on what to eat and what not to eat it can be really confusing to make good choices! As a vegetarian, I struggle to maintain a balanced diet while managing my anti-inflammatory issues. Ongoing inflammation is problematic and can cause several chronic conditions. Food plays a pivotal role and filling your plate with more anti-inflammatory foods while dialing back on the ones that cause inflammation will improve your body’s ability to ward off future diseases and slow down the aging process. Check out Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Food Pyramid, very informative.
For me, diet isn’t the only issue that effects my inflammation. The heat is a big factor! I use cold pressed juices for their cooling effect and as another weapon to reduce my inflammation. A bonus is each bottle of juice contains a large percentage of my daily requirement of fruits and vegetables! I have added this anti-inflammatory elixir to my juice rotation from Mountain Juicery and have had amazing results. Ashley Covington co-owner of Mountain Juicery was nice enough to share the below recipe give it a try.
Inflammation and Skin Elixir
1 oz liquid Turmeric
Drizzle of honey
1 /2 Lemon squeeze
Dash of Water
Sprinkle Black Pepper
Orange Wedge (Eat after you finish)
Each month I try to feature food trends, post recipes and answer your questions. A few months back, the hot topic was chicken https://www.chefpatricia.com/tips-for-cooking-chicken-breasts-perfectly/. But recently, I have been getting just as many questions on how I cook shrimp. After all, shrimp are the most widely served seafood in the United States. Shrimp and related prawns have so much versatility. They are a perfect candidate for ceviches, stews and soups and can be baked, boiled, fried and grilled, but my go to method is roasting! Each and every time they come out moist and juicy. So, give the recipe below a try and see what you think. Bonus I added my Green Goddess dressing recipe it’s the perfect dip for the shrimp.
FOR THE SHRIMP:
2 pounds large shrimp (14 to 16 shrimp per pound)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. I often times use old bay seasoning it really amps up the flavor.
FOR THE GREEN GODDESS DRESSING:
1 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (5 to 6 scallions)
1 cup chopped basil leaves (18 to 20 leaves)
1/2 cup chopped parsley I prefer curly
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Be sure to pat them dry. Place in bowl and toss them until evenly coated. Pour on to a foil lined sheet pan and spread them in one layer. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size. Check at 8 minutes as there will be carryover cooking. If you think they are getting to done place in fridge to cool down. If not set aside to cool.
- For the dressing, place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and process just until blended. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. Serve as a dip for the shrimp with the crudités.