Thursday, January 30, 2020

Italian Inspired Fish Provencal

When you think of Provence you don’t think of Italy, you think of France. A place that is in the southeastern part of France that boarders Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. Life seems good there as the summer weather is superb, the wine is good and the pasta is delicious. But was it always?

The Greeks were the first to inhabit southern France as well as southern Italy, but when the Roman Empire was at its peak they dominated the Greeks and not only took back their land in Italy, they also took sections of Provence all the way to the easternmost towns of Rémy, Orange and Arles. We all know that the Romans dominated the entire Mediterranean basin, but they did incorporate a lot of Greek culture, replicated their architecture and enjoyed their food.

With all this mingling of distinct cultures you can see why different ingredients are combined to create delicious recipes that Provence is known for. This Fish Provencal is simple, easy and tasty. You can add other ingredients like shrimp, capers, olives and clams, if you like. Serves 4 Total Time: 30 minutes.


1 1/2 lbs cod, sea bass or haddock fillets, pat dry and cut into bite size uniform pieces.
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
2 green onions, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1/2-2/3 cup dry white wine
Fresh dill for garnish


In a skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat then add the onions and garlic until soft, not browned. Add the remaining butter and sauté the celery and green onions, until soft. In a pan with a lid layer the vegetables and fish, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle on the herbs de Provence and top with the tomato slices. Pour wine over entire mixture, bring to a soft boil then cover. Reduce heat to med/low and simmer for 12-14 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Garnish with fresh dill. Serve immediately.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Giada’s Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola

Carne pizzaiola or carne alla pizzaiola, sometimes referred to just as pizzaiola, is a dish derived from the Neapolitan tradition that features meat cooked with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and white wine long enough to tenderize the meat. Most recipes also include tomato paste, oregano and basil.

Giada De Laurentiis version of Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola includes onions, parsley, a pinch of dried red pepper flakes and the French herb; herbs de Provence along with olive oil and tomatoes. I’m thinking of adding in some mushrooms (what do you think?). Her recipe is for two, just add an additional pork chop per person, if you need more servings.


2 tablespoons olive oil 
2 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork loin center-cut chops (about 12 ounces each) 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1 small onion, thinly sliced 
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice 
6oz pkg sliced brown mushrooms (optional)
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence 
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or more or less to taste (I’m a baby spice girl, so less or none for me) 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves 


Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until they are brown and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted horizontally into the pork registers 160 degrees F, about 3 minutes pe. Transfer the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm. 

Add the onion to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, herbes de Provence, mushrooms (if using) and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend and the juices thicken slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and more red pepper flakes. (No 🥵)

Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices from the plate to the skillet and turn the pork chops to coat with the sauce. Place 1 pork chop on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Skillet Italian Sausage and Potatoes

Fry up a skillet of goodness with Italian sausage, potatoes and red bell peppers. Everything is cooked in this one pan with only a 10 minute prep work and an easy clean-up.


1 1/2 lbs small baby Klondike potatoes, quartered
1 yellow onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 pkg Italian sausage
4 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
Chopped parsley, garnish
Grated Parmesan, garnish


In a large cast-iron skillet heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering add the Klondike potatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sauté until golden and fork tender, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a plate and set aside. (You can boil the potatoes 8 minutes reducing the cooking time in the skillet to 6-8 minutes ensuring a golden crust on the potatoes).

In the same skillet with the remaining tablespoon olive oil brown the Italian sausage for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, red bell pepper, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 2-3 minutes, until vegetables softened. Deglaze with the stock and stir in the sriracha, if using. Coat the vegetables and sausage with the stock. Add the potatoes back into the skillet and stir to mix everything together to reheat potatoes. Top with freshly chopped parsley and grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.