Week Nights

Victoria’s Slow Roasted Salmon With Herb Oil

March 25, 2013

SalmonVictoria's Slow Roasted Salmon With Herb Oil

If you don’t want to make traditional gefilte fish then salmon is an excellent substitute and also delicious served at room temperature. I always try to purchase wild salmon at my local fishmonger.  During the week I buy my fish at Pescatore Seafood (Grand Central Market) in New York and Superior Seafood in Westport, CT when I am at my Connecticut house on the weekends.  This is truly an effortless dish that can be made for Passover or any day of the year for that matter.


Herb Oil:

1 Cup Fresh Snipped Cut Chives

1/4 Cup Snipped Fresh Dill

1/2 Cup Grapeseed Oil Plus 2 Tablespoons

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Jarred White Horseradish


1 Large Sliced Onion

2 Pounds Fresh Salmon Fillet

1/4 Cup Olive Oil Plus 3 Tablespoons

2 Teaspoons Smoked Paprika

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1/2 Cup Fresh Dill Leaves

Preheat your oven to 250º F.  To make the herb oil combine the chives, dill, kosher salt and oil in a food processor or blender.  Process on high until roughly pureed.  Add two more tablespoons of the oil and process until nice and smooth.  Transfer into a medium size bowl and then stir in the horseradish.  Set aside.

Cut the salmon crosswise into 8 equal pieces.  Bring the salmon to room temperature.  Leave the skin on and remove any bones with a tweezer.  Grease a large, but shallow roasting pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Coat both sides of the salmon with 1/4 cup olive oil.  Coat well.  In a small size bowl combine the paprika, kosher salt and pepper.  Massage the spices into the fish.  Place the sliced onion pieces on the bottom of the roasting pan.  Place the salmon, skin side down, in the pan and scatter the fresh dill leaves on top.  Place the salmon into the oven and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Depending on how done you like your salmon you can adjust cooking time to be shorter or longer.    Remove from the oven and remove the salmon skin.  Throw away the onion slices and dill.  Place the salmon pieces onto a serving platter and drizzle with some of the herb oil.  Place the leftover herb oil on the table for guests to add more if they like.  Serves 4



Creamy Chicken Parmesan Pasta

March 21, 2013

Creamy Chicken Parmesan Pasta  

Your family will love this quick pasta dish that is easy enough to make any night of the week.  Makes good left-overs too!


2 1/2 Cups Uncooked Dried Gemelli Pasta

3 Tablespoons Butter

3 Cups Broccoli Florets

1 Cup Whipping Cream

1/4 Cup Butter

1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

6 Ounces Cooked Chicken Strips

1/2 Cup Cooked & Chopped Bacon

1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Extra Shredded Parmesan Cheese For Garnish


Cook the pasta in a large size pot filled with salted water until al dente.  Remove from the heat and drain in a colander.  DO NOT rinse the pasta.  Return the pasta to the pot and place a lid on the pot to keep warm.  In a medium size sauté pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter over a medium heat for 1 minute.  Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes until the broccoli is crisp and tender.  In a medium size saucepan add the whipping cream and 1/4 cup of butter.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Cook over a medium low heat for 6 minutes. Stir frequently.  Remove from the heat and pour the Parmesan sauce over the pasta.  Add the broccoli, cooked chicken, bacon and garlic powder.  Gently stir until well mixed.  Transfer into a serving bowl.  Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if you like.  Serves 6


Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

March 19, 2013

Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

I love bacon!  Did I say that I love bacon?  I have always loved bacon and what could be better than Brussels Sprouts & Bacon?!  I guess if you are not a fan of Brussels sprouts then that is an issue, but try them with bacon and you just may change your mind. 


30 Trimmed Brussels Sprouts

8 Bacon Slices

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Cloves Minced Garlic

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1/4 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Place the pine nuts onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and put into the oven from 5 to 10 minutes.  You will want the pine nuts to be toasted, but not overcooked.  Remove the pine nuts from the oven and set aside. Fill a medium size saucepan with 1 inch of water.  Bring the water to a boil over a high heat.  Add the trimmed Brussels sprouts and boil for 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6 minutes with the lid on.  You will want the sprouts to be tender, but not mushy.  Remove from the heat and drain.  Set aside.  In a large sauté pan add the bacon.  Cook over a medium low heat until nice and browned.  Remove from the heat and place the bacon on paper towels to soak up the grease.  Crumble the bacon.  Pour the bacon fat from the sauté pan.  Add the olive oil to the sauté pan and heat over a medium high heat.  Add the Brussels sprouts, garlic, kosher salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  You will want the spouts to be browned.  Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon and toasted pine nuts.  Serves 8


Tip: If you want to lower the fat in this dish then use turkey bacon instead of regular pork bacon. 

Asparagus & Shrimp Stir Fry

March 18, 2013

Asparagus & Shrimp Stir Fry

Spring time is nearly here which is a great time to find sweet, juicy, local asparagus.  Asparagus & Shrimp Stir Fry make the perfect weeknight dinner. 


1 1/2 Pounds Asparagus

2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce

6 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil Divided

2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

1/2 Pound Peeled & Deveined Large Shrimp

2 Large Sliced Shallots

1 Tablespoon Rice Wine

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Wash the asparagus and then snap off the end of each asparagus stalk.  I don’t like to cut them and feel that snapping is much better because the stalks will naturally bend just above the tough part.  Next, cut the asparagus into 2 inch pieces on the bias.  Set aside.  In a small size bowl mixt together the fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.  Set aside.  In a wok or large skillet add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over a medium high heat.  Add the minced garlic and cook for 15 seconds.  Stir constantly.  Add the shrimp and cook for 45 seconds.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of the cooking sauce and cook for another 2 minutes.  You will want the shrimp to be almost opaque all the way through.  Remove from the heat and place into a medium size bowl and set aside.  Wipe the wok or skillet clean with a paper towel and place back on the stove.  Turn the heat to high and pour in the rest of the vegetable oil and add the shallots.  Cook and stir constantly for 30 seconds.  Add the asparagus and pour in the rest of the cooking sauce.  Cook the asparagus in the sauce for 4 minutes.  Add the shrimp back to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the rice wine and pepper.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve with steamed jasmine rice.  Serves 4

Mango Upside-Down Carrot Cake

March 11, 2013

Mango Upside-Down Carrot Cake

This cake is easy to make and the bonus is that you don’t even need to own cake pans!  First, just as with pineapple upside-down cake, cook the butter and brown sugar into a caramel in a cast iron skillet.  Then top with mango slices.  Instead of pouring the typical yellow cake batter over the top I used carrot cake batter.  To remove excess liquid,, drain the mango slices on layers of paper towels. 



8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

3/4 Cups Brown Sugar

3 Cups Mango Slices (Packed in a Jar)



2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Ground Allspice

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 1/2 Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

5 Eggs

1 Cup Olive Oil

3 Cups Shredded Carrots

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet over a medium heat.  Stir in the 3/4 cup brown sugar and cook for 2 minutes.  Turn the heat off. Place the mango slices all around the center and edges of the skillet.  In a medium size bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt.  In a large size bowl beat the sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and eggs with a mixer until thick and creamy.  With the mixer running, slowly add the oil.  Beat until combined.  Stir in the carrots until thoroughly combined.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat for 30 seconds.  Pour the batter into the skillet (over the mango).  Place in the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the skillet for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto a serving platter and serve either warm or at room temperature.  Serves 8

Super Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

March 7, 2013

Super Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Unless you are allergic or hate chocolate then you will fall in love with these cookies.  Try to eat just one!  For the broken pieces of dark chocolate take a large dark  chocolate bar and break into pieces. 


2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Softened Butter

3/4 Cup Sugar

3/4 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

2 Large Eggs

2 Cups Chocolate Chips

1 Cup Broken Pieces Dark Chocolate

Preheat your oven to 375º F.  In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking soda and kosher salt.  In a large size bowl beat the butter, with an electric mixer, until nice and creamy. Add the sugar, dark brown sugar and vanilla.  Beat for 1 minute.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Beat well after each addition.  Slowly beat in the flour mixture and mix for 1 minute.  Stir in the chocolate chips and broken dark chocolate pieces,  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Bake for 11 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes.  Remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies

Tostadas de Pollo

March 6, 2013

Tostadas de Pollo

This dish is popular in Mexico City and the state of Puebla.  It has a smoky chipotle chile sauce that transforms the plain chicken into something addictive. 



Vegetable Oil

8 Corn Tortillas

1/4 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Minced Garlic Clove

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1/4 Cup Tomato Paste

1 1/2 Tablespoon Pureed Canned Chipotles In Adobo

2 Cups Shredded Cooked Chicken



1 Cup Thinly Sliced Cabbage or Head Lettuce

3/4 Cup Pico de Gallo

1/2 Cup Crumbled Queso Fresco (Optional)

2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro

1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese (Optional)

1/2 Cup Diced Avocado (Optional)

1/2 Cup Diced Tomatoes (Optional)

1/4 Cup Crema

Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat until shimmering.  Cook 2 tortillas at a time.  Turn once and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until a deep golden and crisp.  Transfer to paper towels and set aside.  Repeat until all of the tortillas are cooked.  Puree the contents of the chipotle can in a food processor or blender.  In a separate large frying pan add 1 tablespoon of the hot oil.  Add the onions, garlic, kosher salt and pepper and sauté for 90 seconds.  Stir in 3/4 cup of water, tomato paste, chipotle puree and cook over a medium high heat for 1 minute.  Add the shredded cooked chicken and cook for 3 minutes.  Add more water if you need to.  Place the tortillas on a very large serving platter.  Place the chicken onto the tortillas.  Garnish with cabbage, salsa, queso fresco, cilantro, Pico de Gallo, shredded cheese, avocado and tomatoes.  Drizzle with crema.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4

Mexican Shrimp Sauté

March 4, 2013

Mexican Shrimp Sauté

This Mexican seafood dish is so easy to make and is low calorie as well. 


2 Teaspoons Olive Oil

2 Cups Cooked Shrimp

8 Halved Cherry Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Pimientos (Cut Into Strips)

1 Tablespoon Parsley Flakes

1/2 Teaspoon Onion Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Large Ripe Avocado (Cut Into Thick Strips)

Heat the olive oil, over a medium heat, in a large sauté pan.  Add the shrimp and cook for a few minutes until fully heated.  Add the tomatoes and pimientos.  Sprinkle in all of the spices.  Add the lemon juice.  Give a good stir.  Add the sliced avocado last and cover with a lid.  Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Remove the lid and give one last stir.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.  Serves 4

Chiles Rellenos

February 27, 2013

Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos are traditional Mexican food that is eaten all year long, but is especially popular during the Lenten season. In Mexico the classic dark green poblanos are the perfect stuffing chili.  Try this non-meat dish out and enjoy a traditional Mexican experience. 



8 Poblano Chiles

8 Strips Monterey Jack Cheese

Flour for Dusting Chiles

6 Eggs Separated

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Milk

Vegetable Oil For Frying Chiles


Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Roast the chiles in the oven for 10 minutes.  You will want the skin to be easily removed.  You can also roast over a burner if you like.  Take the roasted chiles and place in a wet paper towel or kitchen towel.  Leave there for a few minutes.  It is easier to remove the skin this way.  Remove the skins, then rinse the in cold water.  Dry with a paper towel.  Make a small slit at the base of the stem and carefully remove the seeds.  Leave the stem intact.  Insert a strip of cheese in the chiles and try not to tear the chiles.  Dust the chiles in flour evenly and leave place onto a plate.  In a separate bowl, slightly beat the egg yolk with the milk.  Add the egg yolks to the egg whites and gently stir to combine.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy fry pan.  Dip the floured chiles in the egg batter and fry until golden brown.  Remove from the oil and drain lightly.  Serve immediately with sauce.  Serves 8


Chile Relleno Sauce


3 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

3 Tablespoons Unbleached Flour

2 Cups Water

6 Tablespoons Chili Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/2 Cup Tomato Paste

In a medium size saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the flour.  Brown the flour for 2 minutes.  In a measuring cup dissolve the chili powder in the water.  Add the chili powder water to the browned flour.  Add the garlic salt, kosher salt, ground cumin and tomato paste.  Cook to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook for 10 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from the heat and pour over the chile rellenos and serve immediately. 


Ground Beef Tacos

February 26, 2013

Ground Beef Tacos

This recipe is perfect for kids because it has no chile, but if you want it hotter then add a pinch of ground red chile powder for a bit of heat and some extra flavor.  This taco can be served in either a soft corn tortilla or a hard corn tortilla that has been fried. 



1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

1/3 Cup Chopped White Onion

1 Cup Kidney Beans

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1 Teaspoon Red Chile Powder (Optional)

Corn Tortillas or Taco Shells

3/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Optional)

1/2 Cup Diced Roma Tomatoes

Sour Cream (Optional)

In a large size heavy skillet heat the olive oil over a medium heat.  Add the ground beef and cook for 5 minutes.  As the meat cooks, use a spoon to break the ground beef into smaller pieces.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the onions and cook for 4 minutes.  Stir constantly to prevent burning.  Add the cumin, kosher salt, pepper and chile powder (if you are using it).  Cook for another 3 minutes until the ground beef is completely done.  Remove from the heat.  Warm up the kidney beans separately in a small saucepan over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain. To make each taco place some of the drained kidney beans and some of the ground beef mixture inside each corn tortilla or taco shell.  Top with cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato.  Top with a bit of sour cream if you want.  Makes 6 to 8 tacos. 

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