Monday, August 31, 2020

Corn and Sausage Saute

I got the recipe for this sautéed corn and sausage dish many many years ago from my coworker at The League of Women Voters in Texas. At the time I used Eckrich smoked sausage and canned corn and it was one of my favorite dishes and I made it all the time. Fast forward to today and I use fresh corn cut off the cob and Sausage Konig onion brats and imported Italian tomatoes and it is worlds away from that earlier version. There is something about bringing corn, tomato, sausage and onion together that amounts to sheer perfection. I will admit to using frozen corn (but never canned!) if I am craving this dish out of season but that doesn’t come close to how good it is when the corn is fresh off of the cob.
Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: My Recipes
1 lb link sausage
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cups fresh corn, prefereably cut from the cob, or frozen
1 28-oz can whole or diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Chopped chives or green onions for garnish

Slice the sausage into bite-size pieces. Brown on both sides in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until tender. Reduce the heat and squish the whole tomatoes into the skillet with your hands, then add the liquid (or just add the tomatoes and juice together if using diced tomatoes). Bring to a simmer and cook for twenty minutes.

Add the corn and cook until just heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped chives or green onions just before serving.


Exported from Home Cookin v9.81

Thursday, August 27, 2020

DIY Condiments: Yucatecan Pickled Red Onions

I have had the recipe for these Yucatecan Pickled Red Onions for a while and I couldn’t stop thinking about the pickled red onions that came with the salad at one of my last pre-Covid meals out at Taste of Peru. Once we were in lockdown it seemed like a good time to try it. They are ready in four hours, which is a plus. They have no sugar which is also a plus. 

They are tart and delicious. Serve them as a topping for just about any dish - avocado toast, hummus, eggs, tacos, chicken, salads - they go with everything!

I used the recipe as I found at Saveur online so I will just link to it here.

If you are looking for a new way to spice up your dishes you should give this a try.  It's quick, simple and so so delicious!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Braised Green Beans

I usually do not like my vegetables to be overcooked and mushy but this dish is an exception. These slow-braised green beans are full of flavor and just melt in your moutn. The trick is to cook it over low heat for a few hours. I’ve posted this recipe before but I have made adjustments over the years so I'm posting what I think is the best version here. It tastes delicious and makes an excellent side dish for any meal.
Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: My Recipes
1 lb green beans, trimmed and snapped into 2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped fine
Juice of half a lemon (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp dried or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, dill, or oregano (or a combination of all three)
salt and pepper to taste

Place the beans, garlic, onion, and tomatoes in a Dutch oven. Add the liquids and about a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of the pepper.

Cover and place over medium low heat. Cook for a few hours, until the beans are almost fall-apart tender. Remove the cover and raise the heat to medium to cook off any liquid left in the pot. Remove form the heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

Can be served hot or at room temperature. Serve with Greek yogurt, if desired.

adapted from

Exported from Home Cookin v9.81

Friday, August 21, 2020

Fresh Corn with Smoked Sweet Paprika

Many years ago I went to one of the first nose-to-tail farm-to-table restaurants in Chicago.  Everything was delicious but the dish that stood out over everything else for me was corn fresh off the cob sautéed oh-so-briefly in butter and sprinkled with sweet smoked paprika. It was so, so delicious.  So I immediately recreated it when I got home and have been making it ever since.  Give it a try. You’ll want to eat it all the time.
Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Beans and Vegetables
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups fresh corn kernels, preferably off the cob
1/4 tsp smoked sweet paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp sweet paprika

Heat the oil and butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium high heat. When the butter has melted and started to sizzle add the corn and cook, stirring often, for two to three minutes, just long enough to thoroughly heat the corn. Add the smoked paprika and mix well.

Remove from the heat and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the sweet paprika over the top to garnish.


Imported from Home Cookin v9.81

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Kale and Sweet Potato Frittata

It’s been a while since I’ve made a frittata and I had a sweet potato that was sprouting and needed to be used pronto so I decided this was the perfect way to get my daily dose of kale as well. I love frittatas because you can put just about anything in them and spice them any way you want. I cook the kale stems before adding the rest of the vegetables since the stems take a while to get tender. I kept it simple with a bit of oregano and topped it off with Parmigiano Regianno that I browned under the broiler.
Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: My Recipes
2 Tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cups kales, stems and leaves separated and both diced
1 medium sweet potato, diced
8 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp butter
1/4 cup grated sharp Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese

Heat oil in non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potato and kale stems and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until they have just started to soften. Lower the heat, cover and let steam for 7 to 10 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are almost tender but not mushy. Add a teaspoon or so of water if necessary. Add the onions, garlic and kale leaves and cook until the onion and garlic are translucent and the kale leaves have wilted.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then add the thyme. Whisk thoroughly. Remove the vegetable mixture from the heat. Add about 1/4 cup of the mixture to the eggs to temper them and stir to mix them in well. Add the rest of the mixture and mix everything together. Set the skillet back over medium high heat and add the butter. When it has melted and is sizzling pour the egg and vegetable mixture into the skillet. Let cook for about 30 seconds and then reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 20 minutes, checking after the first 12 minutes, until the sides are set but the middle is still a bit runny. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top and put it under the broiler* for a couple of minutes, until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown.

Can be served warm out of the oven or at room temperature.

*If your skillet handle is not oven proof you can wrap it in aluminum foil and that will protect it for the few minutes it is under the broiler.

adapted from James Beard's American Cookery, by James Beard (Little, Brown and Company, 1972)

Imported from Home Cookin' v9.81

Monday, August 17, 2020

Quick and Easy Gazpacho

Summertime is gazpacho time. This is a simple version that is light and refreshing. I got it from a co-worker when I worked at the bookstore who got it from a book called The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook, by Erin Ergenbright and Thisbee Nissen that was full of recipes that were the only thing left of past relationships. If it were me I would have held on to this boyfriend!

Just throw tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, salt, sherry wine vinegar, olive oil and a little water into a blender and puree until you have soup. I fancied it up with garnish for this photo but I usually don’t bother.

Title: Gazpacho Home Cookin Chapter: Soups and Stews
3 to 4 tomatoes, depending on blender capacity
1 cucumber
1/2 bell pepper
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 small onion
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
salt and pepper to taste

Chop 3 of the tomatoes and put in blender. Peel cucumber, cut in chunks and put in blender. Seed pepper, cut in chunks and place in blender. Smash garlic and put in blender. Cut onion into chunks and put in blender. If there is enough room in the blender, chop and add the fourth tomato.

Add liquids, salt and pepper.

Chop in blender to desired consistency.


From The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook, by Thisbe Nissen and Erin Ergenbright (Collins Living, 2002)

imported from Home Cookin v9.81

Friday, August 14, 2020

Shakshuka with Kale, Mushrooms, Red Pepper and Zucchini

I am a big fan of shakshuka and have made all kinds of variations over the years, mostly consisting of whatever vegetables I have lurking around in the refrigerator that need to be used sooner rather than later. In this case there were mushrooms, red pepper and zucchini that I needed to do something with and I try to eat one serving of greens every day so I decided to make shakshuka with some kale and those vegetables. That combination of ingredients made me think of Mexican spices so that's the direction I went with it. It is an extremely versatile dish and you can easily substitute many other vegetables for any of the ones used here and change up the spice profile to suit your fancy.  Of course at some point it probably should not be called shakshuka anymore, but I'm going with it for now.
Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Meat Fish and Eggs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup kale, leaves removed from the stems, and both chopped separately
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 small zucchini, chopped
1 14.5-oz can diced or chopped tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
cayenne to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 large or jumbo eggs

Heat the oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet that has a lid over medium heat. Add the kale stems and cook, stirring frequently, for about five minutes, then add the leaves and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the stems have softened and the kale has reduced and softened. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent, then add the red pepper and mushrooms and cook for another 2 to 3 minuts. Finally, add the zucchini and cook that for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, cayene and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have thickened and the liquid has been cooked out of the mixture.

Make a dent in the middle of the mixture, pushing it up against the sides of the skillet to make a slight barrier for the eggs. Crack the eggs side by side into the middle of the pan and season them with salt and pepper.

Lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook for about 7 or 8 minutes, until the whites have set. Start checking after 6 minutes.


Exported from Home Cookin v9.81

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Scrambled Eggs with Pecorino Romano and Tomatoes

Many years ago I got lazy cooking scrambled eggs and just cracked them into the melted butter in the skillet and loosely scrambled them in the pan. I would keep the yolks intact until the whites were nearly cooked and then break them and let them just barely set. I was recently reminded of that method and that’s how I made these beautiful Vital Farms eggs for yesterday’s breakfast. I browned some green onions in butter then added the eggs. Of course I also added a bunch of grated Pecorino Romano and some home grown cherry tomatoes at the end. So simple and so delicious.
Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Meat Fish and Eggs
1 Tbsp butter
4 large eggs
12 cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat and swirl it around to coat the botto of the skillet. When it is bubbling, crack the eggs into the skillet and scramble around the yolks until the whites are set. Break the yolks and scramble them gently around the whites so they stay somewhat separate. While the yolks are still a little runny before they are set to your liking add the cheese and the tomatoes and gently stir the cheese into the egg mixture.

Remove from the heat and continue stirring for a few minutes to get to your desired consistency. Transfer the eggs to a plate and season to taste.


Exported from Home Cookin v9.81

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Corn Pudding

This corn pudding is one of my favorite dishes and is so delicious with Smits Farms fresh corn. It is an Anglo-cized version of the South American Pastel de Choclo, something I did not know when I first started making it. The base of the dish is fresh corn, butter, yogurt, eggs, cornmeal, cheese and chilies and it is delicious as is, but with summer’s bounty I like to add some vegetables like the onion, red pepper, mushrooms and zucchini I added to this one. And of course it must be topped with fresh homemade salsa picante. Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Beans and Vegetables
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cup corn kernels, divided
2 eggs
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup cornmeal
4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 cup cheese, diced or grated
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sauteed vegetables (optional)

Preheat the ove to 350° F.

Puree the butter, 1 cup of the corn, and the eggs in a blender. Pour into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.

Pour into a buttered 3-quart casserole or large cast-iron skillet. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the top has browned and the pudding is set. Start checking after 30 minutes.

Any vegetables can be added to this dish. Be sure not to use too many, though, or it will dry out.

from Robin at the Austin Public Library, 197?

Exported from Home Cookin v9.81 (http:\\

Friday, August 07, 2020


Picadillo is a South American dish usually consisting of ground beef with tomato, olives, raisins and almonds.  I don't know where I first heard of it but I first started making it in my mid twenties and I'm pretty sure I just winged it armed only with the knowledge that it was made with beef and contained olives, raisins and almonds.  I have no idea how close to authentic my recipe is but it's mighty tasty.

If you don't have all of the ingredients on hand you can easily improvise.  I did not have any green pepper as called for in the recipe when I made this pictured version so I substituted red pepper and it worked out fine.  The masa I was going to use for the sopes I planned to serve this with was rancid so I made polenta instead.  Picadillo goes well with refried black beans.
Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: My Recipes
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 med onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried chilies, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup roughly chopped green olives
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Green onions and cilantro for garnish

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, season with salt, and cook for two minutes. Add the garlic and green pepper and cook until the onion is translucent, three or four more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir to ix it in with the vegetables. Cook for a couple of minutes until the color has deepend. Add the cumin and cook for a minute, stirring constantly.

Add the ground beef, oregano and dried peppers. Season with more salt and brown thoroughly, breaking it up so there are no clumps and it is thoroughly mixed into the vegetable mixture. If the mixture becomes too dry, add water in small amounts at a time.

Once the meat has browned add the olives and raisins and cook until heated through and the raisins have plumped some. Remove from the heat and add the almonds.

Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro.


Exported from Home Cookin v9.81 (http:\\

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Baking Class: Buttermilk Corn Griddle Cakes

Fresh corn straight from the farm is my favorite vegetable and I am always so excited to start making my favorite summer dishes with it and this year is no different now that I have my first ears of corn.  I adapted this recipe for corn griddle cakes years ago from a Two Fat Ladies recipe. These fluffy buttermilk pancakes literally pop with the flavor of the fresh corn kernels inside. I eat them with a little butter and pure maple syrup and they are incredibly delicious.

These can be made with canned or frozen corn but I highly recommend that you use fresh for the flavor and the crispy crunch of each kernel.  Normally I would get my corn from Smits Farm at the Green City Market in Lincoln Park but due to Covid 19 I am having it delivered from Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks service.  They support and partner with local farms to deliver fresh produce over the Chicago area.  They have made it possible for me to eat farm-fresh produce this whole season!

Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Breads and Muffins
1 cup plain flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh corn kernels cut from the cob
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp grapeseed or canola oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and sift everything together.

Combine the beaten egg, corn, and buttermilk in a small bowl and mix together well. Add to the flour mixture and just stir everythying together. Add the oil and mix once again.

Preheat the oven to the lowest degree possible and place an oven-proof plate on the middle rack. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. It is ready when a drop of water thrown onto the surface sizzles and evaporates immediately.

For small cakes, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons onto the hot surface. For a larger cake pour 1/3 cup of the batter onto the surface. Cook until bubbles show on the surface, about two to three minutes, then turn the cakes over and cook the other sides until golden brown, about one more minute. Remove from the griddle and place on the plate in the oven while cooking the rest of the cakes.

Serve with maple syrup or topping of choice.

Adapted from a recipe from The Two Fat Ladies

Exported from Home Cookin v9.81 (http:\\

Monday, August 03, 2020

Salsa Picante

I grew up eating pickled jalapeños on pretty much all of the Mexican food we ate when I was a kid, which was surprisingly not often given that I grew up in Texas. I did not like them and thought it was the heat I did not like so I avoided spicy food like the plague. And then I discovered fresh serrano peppers and loved the fresh heat and flavor of them. And that's when I realized that not all peppers are alike and that it was the taste of the pickled jalapeño I did not like as much as it was the heat. I got this recipe for salsa picante from coworkers at the Austin Public Library years ago and have been making it ever since. I put it on top of just about everything, but I always reserve a bowl to eat with fritos, which for some reason go really well with it; I think that's because that is what ate it with way back then when I first started making it. However you use it, you will be so happy that you made it!
Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Appetizers Spreads Dips Sauces
1 28-oz can whole stewed tomatoes
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
5 to 10 serrano peppers, to taste, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp crushed oregano
2 to 3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
4 to 6 green onions, finely chopped
more fresh cilantro for garnish

Drain the juice from the can of tomatoes into a blender or food processor. Add the garlic, peppers, cilantro, salt and olive oil. Pulse until the peppers are just chopped. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.

Put the drained canned tomatoes in the blender and add the oregano. Pulse until the tomatoes are just chopped. Pour into the bowl with the tomato and pepper mixture and stir everything together well.

Add the finely chopped tomatoes and green onion. Adjust seasoning to taste.

from friends/coworkers at the Austin Public Library some time in the mid '70s

Exported from Home Cookin v9.81 (http:\\
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