Serve beside your favorite beer in a frosty mug! Enjoy!
I'm always on the lookout for slightly different - and of course, somewhat healthier - takes on old favorites. I got the idea for these egg rolls while shopping in a local produce market. Baked, not fried, these make a perfect side dish to your next Asian-inspired meal, a weekend snack pair with your favorite cold beer, or even, an appetizer at your next party. Either way, enjoy!
Serve beside your favorite beer in a frosty mug! Enjoy!
One of my passions is spending an entire Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, cooking a number of delicious recipes that my family will enjoy throughout the week. Yesterday, as I sorted through some old favorites I planned to tackle, I suddenly felt inspired by a local broadcast predicting milder than normal temperatures for the week ahead. That put me in the mood for something fresh and crisp, and with the necessary ingredients on hand, I opted for this quick and easy salad!
You may think the wasabi mix would be too spicy, or perhaps, a bit overwhelming. It is not. In fact, the Panko bread crumbs negate a large portion of the wasabi's punch during the cooking process. So much in fact, you may choose to make a little extra as a dipping sauce.
Suggested Side Dishes:
I chose to serve this dish with Fresh Spinach Sauteéd w/Garlic, Olive Oil and Pine Nuts and Toasted Basil Quinoa. Below, I describe my recipe for the spinach and will save the quinoa for another day. Enjoy!
Fresh Spinach Sauteed w/Garlic, Olive Oil & Pine Nuts
by Karen Romanelli
I can say with complete certainty, this was undoubtedly the most difficult Christmas Eve I've ever celebrated. It was the first time in my life I had not shared the holiday with my mother, who sadly passed earlier this year. Also, missing from our table was my son, who is on active duty in the United States Army and currently stationed in Alaska. While I cooked the day away, I couldn't help but repeatedly recall how Christmas has always been one of his very favorite days to eat.
Even though the void at our table would be significant, I was determined to uphold the holiday traditions my dear mom instilled in me over the course of a lifetime. I am grateful my dad was with us on this day and that I could make him happy on his first holiday without those two very important people. And through a myriad of emotions, I am grateful for those who were at our table.
In truth, I found making our traditional fish dishes rather comforting; perhaps even therapeutic. So at 10:00 AM sharp, the cooking began...
First, I boiled several pounds of jumbo shrimp in water flavored with Old Bay Seasoning and lemon juice, served with a side of my famous spicy cocktail sauce.
Next, we made a cold seafood salad that exceeded the seven fish tradition since it contained four on its own. Calamari, scungilli, mussels and shrimp with red onion, celery, olive oil and lots of lemon juice!
After that, we moved on to my Baked Stuffed Clams with an over abundance of fresh chopped clams that has always been one of the hits of our Christmas Eve dinners.
Another of our favorites, and the dish my dad predictably dove into before anything else; Escargot. Plump and loaded with butter and garlic, there never seems to be enough to go around.
We fried rather large smelts, dredged in flour and corn meal, then served nice and crisp right out of the olive oil. Delicious!
The meal ended with stuffed calamari, tentacles and all, that simmered in marinara sauce while we feasted the first courses of fish, and served atop spaghetti.
Life may change from year to year; sometimes good, and sometimes not so good. However, I will always continue to make all the great food I was raised with, not only because we all love it, but because it's a tradition I've come to cherish and was taught to me by my beloved mom, whose memory will continue to live in my heart and within those at our table.
To see some of the recipes above in more detail, please click on any of the links below:
Baked Stuffed Clams
As the weather turns chilly, my attention turns towards making hearty meals that not only warm you from the inside out, but also, are appreciatively shared among friends while entertaining. The comforting quality of this dish lies in rustic cut of the veggies and my love of serving this dish atop a bed of traditionally prepared polenta.
We are a family on the go and more often than not, we enjoy a pasta dish at least a couple of nights per week. I love it because you can really be creative with veggies and and it's never a time-consuming dinner to prepare. This particular dish is tasty and delicious and takes no more than twenty minutes from start to finish. Bon Appetit!
By Karen Romanelli
One of my favorite enjoyments is hanging out on a Sunday afternoon watching the NASCAR race with my favorite guy, Foodidude. Sure, he's a diehard Kevin Harvick fan while I root for Martin Truex Jr., but one thing we can always agree on is the deliciousness of our Race Day meals!
Recently, I stumbled upon one of his cookbooks he had tucked away - RACE DAY GRUB: Recipes from the NASCAR Family and thumbed through it's pages. Right there and then I decided I'd try one recipe a week from the volume to enjoy during the race, and in the process, rate it for anyone who'd like to give it a whirl.
Today's recipe, Katie Kenseth's Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie, took the checkered flag with a rating of 7.5 out of 10. It is a great recipe, but following it exactly as listed below (how it reads in the book) resulted in it being a tad on the dry side. A few tweaks like bumping up the milk from a cup to a cup and a half, a better pie crust, and perhaps, the addition of salt and black pepper would have dialed this baby in and earned it at least an 8 to an 8.5 finish. Either way, it was a delicious addition to our Martinsville spread. As a side-note, I'd like to make mention that with his 6th place finish, Truex Jr. bested the champ by two spots today. Take that, Foodidude!
I love my time spent in the kitchen and I have a handful of chefs who I seem to continually look towards for inspiration. One of my absolute favorites is Tyler Florence and this delicious meal is my take on one of his delectable creations. Pair it with a light, fragrant Pinot Grigio and you'll have the perfect dinner experience!
about Karen Romanelli
Karen's appreciation of both flavor development and lavish preparation can be traced to her Italian heritage. She takes enormous pride in the creation of delicious meals, and the meticulous love and care she puts into every dish is reflective of the kitchen values passed down to her from her mother, grandmother and aunts. From simple meals to authentically prepared Italian favorites, Karen is proud to open her kitchen and share her favorite recipes with you.