Curried Split Pea Soup

Curried Split Pea Soup

Curried Split Pea Soup

This is a great soup. Spicy and rich tasting but low in calories. Easy to make too. It can be made thick and served as a dal over rice. Use more or less curry powder depending on taste. I like it with naan, I get frozen at the grocery store. It heats in a minute or two.

Curried Split Pea Soup

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion chopped

2-3 garlic cloves minced

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

2-3 Tablespoons curry powder

1 Serrano chili seeded and minced

2 cups split peas

4 cups chicken stock

1-2 handfuls baby spinach

lemon quarters

1. Sauté the onions in the butter in a Dutch oven until wilted. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and Serrano stirring till fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Stir in the split peas and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 35-35 minutes so peas are cooked.

3. Blend to desired consistency with an immersion blender, adding water if needed.

4. Stir in spinach. Serve when the spinach is wilted. Garnish with lemon.


Short Ribs

Short Ribs and Mashed Potatoes

Short Ribs and Mashed Potatoes

Short ribs are one of my all time favorite meals. Not only are they rich and satisfying but it is close to impossible to have them not turn out. The short rib is a fatty tough piece of meat on the bone. However cook them low and slow with a bit of liquid (braise) and the fat melts through the meat into an unctuous, deep,  beefy, fall off the bone richness that cannot be beat. Here I serve them with mashed potatoes to soak up the sauce but polenta or noodles work beautifully also!


Short Ribs

Short ribs 1-2 meaty ribs per person

1 onion chopped

2 carrots chopped

3 stalks of celery chopped

1 Tablespoon cumin

Sprig of thyme

2 bay leaves

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

2-4 cups beef broth

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1. Brown the short ribs on all sides in a Dutch oven. Work in batches. Reserve.

2. Add onions, celery and carrots to pan over medium heat. Just sweat do not brown.

3. Add cumin, thyme, bay leaves and tomato paste. Stir until tomato paste turns a rusty color, 1-2 minutes.

4. Deglaze with 1/2 cup of broth. Reduce to 2 Tablespoons.

5. Add ribs and the 2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil. The both should come bout half way up the ribs.

6. Cover and put in the oven. Bake 2 hours, checking occasionally to add broth if needed.

7. Remove the ribs to a plate and cover with foil.

8. Bring the broth to a boil and reduce. Use a immersion blender to blend to a nice saucy consistency. Serve the sauce with the ribs.




I make a number of different chilies. This is my most basic go to recipe. This chili is brothy with a deep and rich flavor. I use fresh poblanoes and a jalapeño or two, depending how spicy they are. Cumin is a must. I used black beans and pintos today but use whatever beans are in your pantry. Top with a slice of lime and some cilantro to brighten things up. Things don’t get much better!


1 pound ground chuck

One Tablespoon each cumin, dried oregano and coriander

1 large onion chopped

2 poblanos chopped

1-2 jalapenos seedied and minced

2 garlic cloves minced

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 quart good beef stock

1 15ounce can each black beans and pinto beans

1 lime sliced

1 bunch cilantro

1. Brown meat in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in cumin, oregano, coriander and salt and pepper. Remove to a dish.

2. Sauté onion, poblano and jalapeno till wilted. Stir in garlic till fragrant.

3. Stir in tomatoes, meat and stock. Raise heat to bring to a boil.

4. Lower heat to a simmer. Stir in beans. You may simmer for 1-2 hours. 1 hour will give you a fresh bright chili. 2 hours will give you a deep rich chili. Both are great!

5. Garnish each serving with a slice of lime and some cilantro.

Black Bean and Rice Salad

Black Bean and Rice Salad

Black Bean and Rice Salad

Black beans and rice is a favorite meal at our house. This is a version I make in the summer when it is too hot to cook. I make the rice in the cool of the morning and make the salad after it has cooled. I serve this as either a side dish or main course.

Black Bean and Rice Salad


3 cups cooked brown rice

1 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed

4 green onions chopped

1-2 jalapeños

Small handful cilantro

Combine salad ingredients


1/4 cup white wine vinegar

3 cloves garlic grated

Zest of 1 lime

1 Tablespoon cumin

Hot sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

1. Whisk vinegar with garlic ,zest, cumin and hot sauce.

2. Whisk in the oil.

3. Toss dressing with the salad.


Awesome Black Beans

Awesome black beans

Awesome black beans

I came up with these black beans a few years ago and they immediately became a favorite in our house. I serve them as tacos, burritos, dip with tortilla chips and just as a side dish. They couldn’t be easier. This black bean recipe earns it’s name…they are awesome!

Awesome Black Beans

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chicken stock

4 ounces goat cheese crumbled

4 chipotles in adobo minced

1 Tablespoon cumin

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1. Combine all ingredients in small casserole dish.

2.Bake 40 minutes.



Skirt Steak Fajitas

Beef Fajitas

Beef Fajitas

Fajitas are a quick and simple meal with lots of flavor. I choose the skirt steak because it has a deep beefy flavor  and a perfect chewy texture. The skirt steak comes from the plate or belly of the cow. I make a two step rub and cook the steaks whole to get a good color and sear. I slice against the grain into strips after they are cooked. I find the easiest way to warm the tortillas is right on a gas burner, no pan, just about a half minute per side. If you don’t have gas use a dry skillet. Guacamole is a perfect accompaniment.

Skirt Steak Fajitas

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic grated

1 Tablespoon each ancho chili powder, cumin and oregano

1 1/2 pounds skirt steak

3 poblanos cut into bite size pieces

1 each red and yellow peppers cut into bite size pieces

2 large onions cut into bite size pieces

flour tortillas

1. Combine olive oil and garlic with generous salt and pepper. Rub all over steaks.

2. Combine ancho  chili powder, cumin and oregano. Rub all over steaks.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat cook all the peppers and onions till well wilted. Remove to platter.

4. Over medium high heat in same skillet cook steaks about 2-3 minutes per side. Cut against the grain into strips and add to platter.

5. Serve with warmed tortillas.


Mushroom and Spinach Fritatta

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

Who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner? This is a simple meatless frittata. It has a nice warm flavor thanks to the chilies and cumin. I used queso blanco, Mexican melting cheese. It is available in most groceries now and has a mild, rich slightly salty flavor. Monterey Jack would be a fine substitute if you can’t find it.

Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 Tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 4 ounce can diced mild chilies

1 teaspoon cumin

3 cups baby spinach

5 eggs whisked with a dash or 2 of hot sauce

1 cup queso blanco grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Over medium heat cook the mushrooms in the olive oil until well browned.

2. Add chilies and cumin, stir for a minute to get fragrant.

3. Ad spinach and cover for a minute or so just to wilt.

4. stir in eggs and put in oven for 15 minutes.

5. Top with cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes till nice and melty.

6. Let rest about 5 minutes before slicing .

Beer and wine pairings

Hank says “For the fritatta, I would say a clean Pilsner would be the best choice.  Go with something that isn’t intensely hoppy.  I would recommend either Staropramen or Pilsner Urquell.  Czech Pils tend to have peppery and spicy notes that would go well with the Frittata.”

Cissie says “The wines I would pair with the Frittata are a Dry French Rose’ and/or a French Champagne. True French Champagne delicious as it is , can be expensive. However you could substitute a Sparkling wine in the Champagne style from California , Spain,  or Alsace. Any of these substitutes are reasonably priced.  Another choice would be a Pinot Gris from Oregon or California. Enjoy!”

Frittata with fruit salad

Frittata with fruit salad