Tuna and Spicy Mustard Penne Pasta
I would say I’ve been slacking with blogging, but I just honestly haven’t had the time. But I’m back on it…I promise.
Since I’m short on time, a lot of my meals have to be prepped and cooked in a hurry, including this Tuna and Spicy Mustard Penne Pasta. You can go from start to finish in 15 minutes without sacrificing flavor with this recipe.
Use the Oil from the Can of Tuna and Some Whole Grain Mustard to Make this Sauce
- 3/4 cup whole wheat penne pasta
- 2 5-ounce cans of tuna (in oil)
- 2 TBSP whole grain mustard (I always use Creole mustard)
- 2 TBSP chopped parsley
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cook the penne pasta until al dente, reserving one cup of pasta water before draining..
- Drain the tuna, reserving the oil in a small bowl.
Garnish Tuna and Spicy Mustard Penne Pasta with Fresh Parsley
- In a separate bowl, break up the tuna pieces and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the reserved oil with the mustard over low heat.
- Add the drained pasta and tuna to the skillet and toss to combine.
- Add the pasta water as necessary to create a sauce that clings to the pasta noodles.
- Toss in the chopped parsley, mix to combine and serve.
In a way, this is a sort of quick tuna casserole, just without all the baking and extra calories that come with it.
If you’re still sticking strong to your New Year’s resolutions, this recipe is also light on the waistline since it doesn’t involve cheese, cream or butter. Next time you’re in a hurry, give it a try and you’ll realize you can create bold flavors in a short amount of time.
Tags: Creole Mustard, Mustard, Parsley, Pasta, Pasta Recipe, Penne Pasta, Quick Recipe, Recipe, Tuna, Tuna Fish
Boudin Egg Rolls
One of my favorite things about cooking is the opportunity to fuse ethnic dishes. In this case, it’s the Chinese egg roll and Cajun boudin into Boudin Egg Rolls. I call it Casian cuisine. And man, are they good.
I used boudin straight from Lafayette, but the store-bought kind will probably work as well. In my opinion, the smokier you can find, the better.
Boudin + Egg Rolls = Deliciousness
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chili oil
- 1 1/2 lb. boudin
- 10 egg roll wrappers
- In a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, heat oils to 350F over medium-high heat.
Serve Boudin Egg Rolls with Creole mustard and/or pepper jelly
- Remove the boudin from the casing.
- Finely chop up casing and add to boudin. NOTE: Adding the casings back in is optional.
- Place 2 TBSP boudin in center of each egg roll wrapper.
- Wrap from bottom up and then fold the sides in and top down.
- Fry until golden brown on all sides.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve with Creole mustard and/or pepper jelly as dipping sauce.
These Boudin Egg Rolls were surprisingly simple to make. There’s not much assembly required once you get the hang of rolling the egg rolls.
I will definitely be adding these Boudin Egg Rolls to my tailgating cuisine repertoire. They are perfect to grab, dip and go. They may just be one of my new favorite appetizers.
Tags: Boudin, Cajun, Cajun Recipes, Chinese, Egg Rolls, Louisiana Recipe, Recipe
Curried Leg of Lamb Pot Pie
This recipe for Curried Leg of Lamb Potpie gets five stars in my book. It’s full of flavor and a very tender cut of lamb.
I went the non-traditional route and served this as my Thanksgiving meal this year instead of turkey. Give it a try this holiday season. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
For the Pastry Dough:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup ice-cold water
For the Potpie Filling:
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 2 lbs. leg of lamb roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 white onion, diced
- 5 small turnips, diced
- 2 cups peeled butternut squash, cubed
- 2 cups Tuscan kale, chopped
- 1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 tsps curry powder
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 1/2 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 large egg (beaten with 1 tsp of water)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Pastry Dough:
- In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt.
- Add the butter and pulse to the size of peas.
- Sprinkle in the ice water and pulse until a dough starts to come together.
- On a work surface, knead the dough a few times then shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for at least 90 minutes.
For the Potpie:
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Tender leg of lamb is combined with vegetables and coconut milk to make this delicious Curried Leg of Lamb Pot Pie.
- Season the lamb with salt and pepper and add half to the Dutch oven. Cook over high heat until browned on 2 sides, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a bowl; repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and the remaining lamb.
- Add the first half of the lamb (in the bowl) back to the Dutch oven.
- Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Stir in the flour, then gradually stir in the wine until smooth. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lamb is very tender, about 1 hour.
- Add the squash, kale, carrot, turnips, mushrooms and coconut milk to the casserole and simmer over moderately low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the curry into a buttered 8-by-11-inch casserole or baking dish. Brush the dish rim with beaten egg.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a rectangle or oval large enough to cover your dish. Fold the pastry in half, unfold it over the curry, and gently press onto the edge of the dish.
- Brush with beaten egg then cut 4 small steam vents in the top.
- Bake the potpie for 30 minutes. Raise the heat to 450°; bake for 20 minutes longer, until the pastry is browned and cooked through. Let rest for 20 minutes, then serve.
The lamb in this Curried Leg of Lamb Potpie cooks to a nice tenderness and goes well with the curry and root vegetables. It’s a perfect filling for potpie.
So, this holiday season, forget about chicken, beef and even turkey pot pie and do yourself a favor by trying lamb in your pot pie. It may be the best gift you give yourself this year.
Tags: Butternut Squash, Carrots, Coconut Milk, Curry, Dutch Oven, Hearty Meal, Kale, Lamb, Lamb Recipe, Leg of Lamb, Mushrooms, One Pot Meal, Potpie, Potpie Recipe, Recipe, Turnips, Winter Recipe
Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup
Down in Louisiana (and in the South, really) we love our pork products. So when my boss brought me some fresh andouille sausage and I picked up some Louisiana sweet potatoes from Hollygrove Market, I knew I had to make Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup.
The smokiness of the andouille pairs very nicely with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. Add quite a bit of hot sauce and you’ve got yourself a great soup.
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 1/4 pound andouille sausage (plus more for garnish)
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 3 TBSP sweet potato-habañero hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 4 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 6 cups scalded 2% milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds), for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Boil sweet potatoes 10-15 minutes.
- While potatoes are boiling, pulse andouille in food processor to a nice crumble.
- Transfer sweet potatoes to oven and place directly on rack. Roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, let cool then peel and puree in food processor.
Impress your holiday guests with this recipe for Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup.
- In a large stock pot, saute celery, red bell pepper and onion in butter until vegetables are tender.
- Add flour and heat for 2 to 3 minutes, but do not brown.
- Add pureed sweet potatoes, hot sauce and diced andouille (saving some for garnish). Stir to mix.
- Add heavy cream, stirring to incorporate.
- Gradually add scalded milk, stirring constantly to desired richness.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cracked black pepper, crumbled andouille and pepitas.
Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup takes about 45 minutes from start to finish if your scald your milk in advance. I was skeptical that using scalded milk would improve the soup, but I have to say it does so skip that part at your own risk.
For the sweet potato-habañero hot sauce, I used the variety from Butcher here in New Orleans. It’s hands down one of my favorite hot sauces out there. You can by some here.
Tags: Andouille, Andouille Sausage, Celery, Louisiana, Onion, Recipe, Red Bell Pepper, Soup, Soup Recipe, Sweet Potato, Winter Recipe
Caramel Apple Hand Pies
Hand pies are a New Orleans tradition thanks to local business Hubig’s. Unfortunately, with Hubig’s currently not in operation due to a devastating fire (they promise to rebuild), I had to make my own hand pies to get my fix. But, all in all, I’m proud of how these Caramel Apple Hand Pies turned out.
I’m a huge fan of caramel apples so I whipped up some caramel and mixed it with the apples to create the caramel apple filling.
For the Caramel:
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup water
For the rest:
Caramel Apple Hand Pies encompass wonderful Fall flavors.
- 4 pre-made pie crusts
- 2 Granny Smith apples, finely chopped
- 2 Honeycrisp apples, finely chopped
- 2 TBSP cinnamon
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 2 egg yolks
For the Caramel:
- Heat sugar and water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. When sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring.
- Boil until the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color then add all the butter. The mixture will foam up and thicken.
- Whisk until the butter has melted. Once butter has melted, remove pan from the heat.
- Add the cream (the mixture will foam up again) and whisk to incorporate cream and until mixture is smooth.
- Set aside caramel to cool.
For the Hand Pies:
- Preheat oven to 400F.
Making the caramel from scratch is worth the effort.
- Roll out pre-made pie crust dough and use a 4-inch circular pastry cutter to cut circles out of the dough. Repeat with each dough remains.
- Set dough circles aside on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Toss apples with cinnamon and remaining sugar.
- Once caramel has cooled, add apples to the caramel and stir to incorporate.
- Assemble hand pies by place a TBSP of caramel apple filling on a dough circle then placing a dough circle on top. Press edges with fork to seal. (Don’t worry if some filling spills out, keep pressing until sealed.)
- Using a knife, score an X into the top of each pie so filling can vent its heat out while baking.
- Once all pies are assembled (you may need to work in batches if you have one baking sheet), whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush each hand pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle each pie with additional sugar, if desired.
- Bake hand pies for 12-15 minutes or until crust turns golden brown.
- Place on a wire rack to cool.
While my recipe is for hand pies, you can also go the traditional route and just make a caramel apple pie using two pie crusts. Either way, the filling in this recipe is a star.
Making the caramel from scratch really makes a difference. These Caramel Apple Hand Pies are perfect for Fall and Winter parties while apples are in season. Plus, they’re easier to eat. And I guarantee you will have very few left over when all is said and done.
Tags: Apple Pie, Apples, Caramel, Caramel Apple, Dessert, Dessert Recipe, Fall Recipe, Holiday Recipe, Pie, Pie Recipe, Recipe
Sour Orange Pulled Pork
With the election out of the way, forget about going red or blue and go orange with this recipe for Sour Orange Pulled Pork. The country may be divided on candidates, but (barring religious regions) we can all agree on the deliciousness that is pulled pork.
The sourness of the Sour Orange Pulled Pork goes great over a bed of mashed sweet potatoes. It’s a sour, sweet, salty, fatty combo that’s a great treat.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 12 garlic cloves, mashed into a paste
- 1 4-lb. bone-in pork shoulder
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups orange juice
- 1 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP honey
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 3 TBSP butter
- 1 small red onion, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Sour Orange Pulled Pork is slow cooked in a mixture of orange and lime juice.
- Whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil and garlic paste in a large roasting pan. Add the pork and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerate 30 minutes before ready to cook.
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and cover.
- While pork is cooking, put the orange and lime juices and honey in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to 2 cups (it will be a syrup consistency). Let cool to room temperature.
- Also while pork is cooking, cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes and boil in a large pot for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Once cooked, mash sweet potatoes to desired consistency.
- Heat the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and mased sweet potatoes and press into the skillet with spatula. Cook, scraping and turning as the bottom browns, until hot.
- Once pork has cooked, shred the pork using 2 forks or your hands.
- In a medium saucepan, toss the shredded pork with the sour orange honey glaze and reheat over medium heat.
- Serve the pork on top of prepared sweet potatoes (reheated if necessary). Garnish with cilantro leaves.
There are several components to Sour Orange Pulled Pork, but none of them are difficult. The hardest part will be leaving with the wonderful smell of slow-cooking pork in the oven. Exercise some patience!
You can also add some cilantro to the sweet potatoes while cooking if desired. And if you really want to go hog wild (couldn’t resist!) you also add some bacon. The more pork the merrier.
Tags: Cilantro, Lime, Orange, Pork, Pork Recipe, Pulled Pork, Recipe, Slow Cooker Recipe, Sweet Potatoes
Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew
This recipe for Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew combines three of my favorite ingredients: Fall/Winter favorite butternut squash, chicken thighs and superfood quinoa.
This stew is full of flavor, nutrients and warmth. It’s a hearty stew perfect for cold weather and serving family style.
A healthy update on chicken stew
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 6 chicken thigh filets
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
- 1/2 TBSP chili flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, steam the butternut squash until barely tender (about 10-12 minutes). Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside in a large bowl.
- Steam the remaining squash an additional 4-6 minutes. Mash this squash with a fork or potato masher then add to non-mashed squash in the bowl.
Parsley is pictured as the garnish, but I would suggest cilantro instead
- In a large Dutch oven (or saucepan), over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth, some salt and pepper and chili flakes to a simmer.
- Add the chicken thighs, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and let cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the olive oil to the Dutch oven and return to the stove, reducing heat to medium.
- Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for an additional minutes, still stirring.
- To the Dutch oven, add the tomatoes and all the butternut squash. Stir to combine.
- Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa (make sure you’ve rinsed it). Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken with a knife and fork on the cutting board.
- Stir the chicken into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Stir in cilantro and serve.
Some of you smartypants may notice parsley is pictured in the dish in the photos I have. You’re correct, but honestly, I didn’t like the parsley in this dish so I replaced mine with cilantro and it was much much better.
This Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa stew is the perfect meal for all those cold nights quickly approaching. Enjoy it with a nice glass of wine and some freshly baked bread.
Tags: Butternut Squash, Chicken Recipe, Chicken Stew, Chicken Thighs, Cilantro, Dutch Oven, Healthy Recipe, One Pot Meal, Quinoa, Recipe, Stew Recipe
Save cooking time by using a pressure cooker and finishing off the ribs in the broiler.
Put that Chinese take-out menu aside, I’ve got a spareribs recipe that’s easy to prep and easy to cook: Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs. These ribs are crispy and have a nice sweet heat to them.
For this recipe for Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs you will need a pressure cooker and a broiler. As an alternative, you can slow cook them in the oven at about 300F for 4-6 hours.
Dip and dunk these ribs into a plum sauce pan sauce.
- 1 cup plum sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
- 2 racks pork spareribs
- 4 TBSP fresh ginger (chopped)
- 1 TBSP molasses
- 6 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 1 cup honey
- 2 TBSP Sriracha
- In a blender or food processor, combine the plum sauce, soy sauce, molasses, ginger, garlic and half of the honey. Puree until smooth.
- Add Sriracha and pulse to combine.
Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs
- Cut the spareribs into 3-rib sections and transfer to a pressure cooker. Add the plum sauce puree and let stand, turning often, for 45 minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup of water to the pressure cooker then cover and cook at high pressure for 20-30 minutes.
- Run cold water over the pressure cooker to release the pressure.
- Transfer the ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet, meaty side up.
- Boil the cooking juices until reduced to 2 cups. Transfer the plum sauce pan sauce to a bowl.
- Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat.
- Brush the ribs all over with the remaining honey and broil, turning once, until the ribs are glazed and crispy around the edges (about 5 to 10 minutes).
- Transfer the rib sections to a cutting board and slice into individual ribs. Serve with the plum sauce pan sauce.
I love pork ribs (well, any ribs really), but I especially enjoy the sweet heat and crispiness of these Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Ribs. They’re perfect for Fall and football season.
As I mentioned above, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, just marinate them and slow cook them in the oven for 4 to 6 hours at about 300F. Then, broil them off per the instructions.
Tags: Asian Recipe, Honey, Pork, Pork Recipe, Pork Ribs, Pressure Cooker, Pressure Cooker Recipe, Recipe, Ribs, Spareribs, Sriracha
Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese
Full disclosure: this Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese is a Spring dish, but I had a craving so I made it. And I’m not waiting until the earth thaws out to share it.
This recipe combines the pasta, pesto with sweet peas and goat cheese for a dish that’s sweet, pungent and has a light acidity. It’s a great side dish for chicken or fish. Or, you can do like I did, and just eat a big bowl of it.
- 1 pound fusilli pasta
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated romano (or parmesan) cheese
- 3 oz. goat cheese
- 1 pound thawed green peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
Need a quick side dish? Try Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in the boiling water until al dente.
- Drain pasta, but reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
- In a food processor, process the garlic, basil and pine nuts until very fine.
- Add the olive oil and cheese and process to combine.
- Add the peas and season with salt and pepper. Process until all ingredients are smooth.
- Spoon the pea pesto into a large bowl then add pasta and toss to coat.
- If needed, add pasta water, gradually, to loosen the sauce.
- When pasta is thoroughly coated in sauce, crumble in the goat cheese and toss again.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve as a side or as a main course.
The pea pesto will make the pasta look like it’s been hit with green radiation since it’s so bright. That said, this is a delicious pasta dish if you’re looking to trade out alfredo or marinara sauce.
To make this recipe even healthier, I used whole wheat fusilli. Bring some Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese to you’re next dinner and you won’t be disappointed.
Tags: Basil, Fusilli, Fusilli Pasta, Garlic, Olive Oil, Pasta, Pasta Recipe, Pesto, Pine Nuts, Recipe, Romano Cheese, Side Dish, Sweet Pea, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Recipe
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting
Halloween’s only a couple days away so here’s a quick recipe that uses a total of five ingredients. That’s it — nothing to be spooked about when making these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting.
You can decorate them with inedible plastic Halloween decorations or use decorations of the edible variety. These cupcakes don’t set as well as cupcakes made with a traditional batter, but these are easier so it’s a trade-off.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting are perfect for Halloween and all of Fall.
- 1 can vanilla frosting
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 3 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 2 TBSP maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree and yellow cake mix and mix together well. This batter will be thick.
- Scoop one heaping TBSP of cake batter for each cupcake into a cupcake liner-lined muffin or cupcake tin.
- While cupcakes are baking, mix together vanilla frosting, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup in a medium bowl. Transfer into a pastry bag if desired.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool for 5-10 minutes then top with frosting.
- Repeat until no batter remains.
You’ll probably have some of the Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice frosting let so feel free to use if for other dishes. These cupcakes don’t rise that much so try and fill up the cupcake lines about 3/4 way to the top.
These Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting may be light on ingredients, but they’re high on ease and simplicity and taste. They’re perfect to take to a Halloween party when you don’t have time to make something very elaborate. Honestly, no one will ever know how simple they are. Happy Halloween!
Tags: Cupcakes, Dessert, Dessert Recipe, Frosting, Halloween Dessert, Halloween Dessert Recipe, Maple Syrup, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Recipe