Here is Part Two of the Red Pepper Sofrito saga.  It was just as tangy and refreshing as its salad counterpart, if not just a bit more filling.  If you find it just a hair too warm to turn your oven on this time of year, feel free to grill everything (including the shrimp) outside on the BBQ and keep your house nice and cool.

Shrimp (about 1/4 lb. per person)
Your Favorite Pasta
Roasted veggies from the Oven Roasted Vegetable Salad Recipe
Red Bell Pepper Sofrito
Red Pepper Flakes (about 1 tsp.)
1/2 Lemon
2 T. Olive Oil
Creole seasoning

Cook your veggies according to the Oven Roasted Vegetable Salad Recipe.  When you have about 25 minutes left in the oven, heat enough water to boil your pasta and cook according to the package instructions.  After the veggies and pasta are done cooking, drain the pasta and set aside.  Add the olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high.  Add the shrimp and red pepper flakes and cook about a minute on each side (until just pink).  Take the shrimp off of the heat immediately and squeeze the half a lemon over the top (careful, it will steam up).  Plate up pasta, veggies, and shrimp together, pouring the sofrito over the top.  Stir to combine and serve warm.


The Red Pepper Sofrito turned out to be an amazing salad dressing.  With the roasted vegetables, I added sauteed shrimp to the mix to make this a more hearty meal.

6 plum tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 large zucchini, halved and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
kosher salt
ground black pepper
5 T. olive oil
4 portobello mushrooms, cut into 6 pieces each
1 T. balsamic vinegar
6 C. mixed lettuces
Sofrito vinaigrette

Heat the oven to 350F.  Place the tomatoes, zucchini, and bell pepper on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 T. of the olive oil.  Roast for about 35 min.  Add the mushrooms, the additional olive oil, and the balsamic to the rest of the veggies in the oven and bake for another 10 min.  Allow to cool slightly.

To serve, divide the lettuces among 6 plates.  Arrange the grilled vegetables over the top and drizzle with the vinaigrette.  Serve immediately.


1/2 cup of the original Sofrito recipe
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

That’s right—-I’m feeling rather uncreative today when it comes to naming (or in this case re-naming) dishes.  This was originally a Jamie Oliver dish called Chicken Goujons with Noodles (click here for previous post).  Last night, since I wasn’t in the mood for chicken, and there happened to be a great sale on raw shrimp, I thought “hmm…that could be good…”

…and it was.  It was really good.  It was good enough for me to re-think wanting to use chicken in this dish again at all.  It’s funny how a simple change can make such a difference.

So, to recap:
1. Follow link to old recipe
2. Switch out chicken for shrimp
3. Follow recipe
4. Enjoy some really good food

Always scrambling to make a quick meal after work (as the baby in my belly can’t seem to wait as long as it used to for dinner), I have been eating a lot of fish lately.*  Don’t worry, nothing mercury-laden or frequent enough to cause issues is being consumed.  I’ve also found that flattened meats (read: Chicken Parmesan) seem to have a similar cook time.  Whatever meat you’re using, this cornmeal crust is crunchy and flavorful and done in a flash.

3-4 Fillets of Talapia
Creole Seasoning
1/2 C. Flour
1/2 C. Cornmeal
Olive Oil

Sprinkle raw fish with salt and pepper and some sort of creole seasoning (e.g. Essence of Emeril or Tony’s).  In a 50/50 flour and cornmeal mixture (say 1/2 C. of each mixed together), coat the fish on each side.  In a large fry pan, heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan over med-high.  Cook each side of the fish until browned (about 2-3 minutes).  Squeeze with lemon juice if desired. Yum.

*Thus I’ve been humming a lot of “Baby Beluga” lately.

Have you ever had a dish where, at the end of the meal you’re more than a little tempted to tip your plate up and drink the sauce?  I did last night.  The broth that’s made from the wine, butter, and garlic would probably be pretty great on it’s own, but then add in the juice that the mussels release while steaming, and you get something truly amazing.  With a little bread to soak up the excess, you can keep some of your dignity too.

1 shallot, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
olive oil
1/2 bottle of white wine (or about 2 cups)
juice of 1 lemon
1 T. butter
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 lb per person of mussels
1/2 lb -1 lb thin noodle pasta

Heat enough water in a pan to boil the pasta.  Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box.

In the meantime, in a med size stockpot with a tight fitting lid, head a small drizzle of olive oil over med-high heat and add the shallots and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Carefully, add the wine and lemon juice.  Steam should be produced immediately.  Quickly place the mussels in the pot and place the lid on top.  Turn down to med-low and allow to steam for 6-7 min, until the mussels have opened up.  Remove the mussels with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Turn the burner back to med-high and add the butter and parsley.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the juices just slightly reduce.

Drain the pasta, and add the mussels and pasta back to the sauce.  Serve with bread for dipping and enjoy.

pan fried fish copy

Fall is coming.  I’m saying it aloud right now in an attempt to convince myself that it’s true.  We’re only two days away and right now the forecast is 100+ degree weather.  Yuck!  The upside is that it’s hot enough to justify more summer cuisine for just a little bit longer.  This light, flaky Sole, is perfect with a little salsa or lemon juice (or both) spooned over the top.  Add a little side salad and you have yourself a quick little meal.

Sole Fillets, dried with a paper towel
1/2 C. Flour
1 t. Salt
1 t. Ground Pepper
2 T. Butter

1/2 C. Fresh Salsa, Good Tomato Sauce, or 3 T Lemon Juice with Zest of one lemon

Over med-high heat in a large skillet, melt the butter until slightly browned.  Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt and pepper and coat both sides of the fish lightly with the mixture.  Place the fish in the pan and cook for about 2-3 min per side.  Once on the second side, spoon sauce or juice over the fish and cook remaining 2-3 min.  With a metal spatula, remove the fish from the pan and pour any residual sauce over the fish.  Fast and easy meal—-Enjoy!

Fish Tacos5

I’ve never seemed to be able to keep a goldfish alive very long.  All throughout childhood, try as I might, sooner or later I would come home to a dead fish.  Poor Goldie.  Maybe my subconscious was trying to tell me something: dead fish=good.  Don’t believe me?  Give this a try:

3 fillets of Talapia or other white fish (e.g. orange roughy, sole)
Jar of Salsa (about 2 cups worth, Trader Joes’ Double Fire Roasted is pretty good, but why not make your own?)
4 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 C. Lime Juice
1 Bunch Cilantro, ruffly chopped
1 t. Cumin, ground
A wineglass full of White Wine (dry)
Sour Cream
Corn Tortillas

In a large skillet drizzled with olive oil over med-high heat, brown the fish fillets (a couple of minutes per side).  Meanwhile, steam the cabbage (if desired) until soft (about 20 min).  Add the salsa, white wine, cumin, lime juice, and garlic.  Turn the stove down to med-low heat and let simmer for 20 min. or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the cilantro to the mixture and serve with soft or fried corn tortillas, sour cream, and cabbage.

Fish tacos1

Fish tacos2

Fish Tacos3

Fish tacos4

*I like raw cabbage shredded over these, but the husband doesn’t like cabbage period.  After I was able to get him to try it steamed, he found he actually preferred the taco with it.  If you don’t like cabbage, steam it and give it a go.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

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