Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Any excuse to make soup is okay with me.  So when my son was home sick the other day, I asked him what he’d like for dinner.  “Soup”, he replied in a sad, pitiful, scratchy whimper.  “The kind with the little meatballs in it, but not a spicy one”, he added.  I knew just what he was talking about as we’d had it about two months ago and he loved it.  Let’s face it-any soup with meatballs in it is going to be a hit kids. Although I’m sure this soup has been served at weddings the name actually comes from … Continue reading

Caprese Meatball Sliders

Caprese Meatball Sliders

I just love a big, thick juicy burger; but lately I’ve been making smaller slider style burgers.  The great thing is I find I eat a lot less when I make them.  It was almost as if when I had a big burger, I felt compelled to finish it.  And soon after finishing said burger, I was stuffed.  That’s why I actually prefer sliders; I find I eat quite a bit less. The other reason I’m hooked on them is you can put anything on them and still call it a slider.  If you put chicken between two normal hamburger buns, it’s … Continue reading

Spanish Chicken and Chorizo

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I love chorizo (also known as chourico) in all its forms, from the fresh Mexican variety with its heavy dose of chile to Portugese style that’s gently smoked and of course Spanish which comes hot or mild depending on the type of paprika used, smoked and unsmoked and 1000 different variations of such.  As with any variety of sausage, quality counts.  For example, commercial varieties of Mexican chorizo mainly use variety meat that’s leftover after butchering (don’t read the label) while freshly made chorizo at your local Mexican market will likely use ground pork and lots of fresh chile. For this … Continue reading

FYB House Chili

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This is the house chili here at Fill Your Belly headquarters A.K.A. my kitchen.  It’s a great allpurpose chili with just enough spice and heat to please adults yet mild enough to keep kids happy.  As I said on yesterday’s blog, all the normal accompaniments were served with it – cheese, diced onions, sour cream, avocado, fritos and the perfect side of Buttermilk Cornbread. The great thing about chili is once it’s in the pot simmering, other than the occasional stir, you can pretty much forget about it.  In fact the longer it cooks the better the flavors get.  And for those … Continue reading

Buttermilk Cornbread

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There I was, staring at a perfect pot of chili (recipe to come tomorrow) trying to decide what to have with it.  Of course there would have to be the ubiquitous accompaniments-shredded cheese, diced onion, sour cream, avocado and fritos.  But, I still wanted something else.  Now I know what you’re already saying.  Cornbread is probably right at the top of your list.  But I’m not kidding you when I tell you it didn’t come to me for at least a 1/2 hour. When it did finally trickle into my somewhat thick brain I did the requisite slap to the forehead, followed by uttering of … Continue reading

Nectarine and Heirloom Tomato Salad with herb ranch dressing

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Nectarines and other stone fruits are everywhere right now.  Every grocery store I wander into seems to have piles of them and at great prices too.  That’s how this salad came to be.  I’ve actually had the idea of making this salad for a few weeks-even bought the ingredients numerous times.  But life gets in the way sometimes…and family members eat the ingredients.  Really son?  I could never get you to try a nectarine before and now you eat two.  Oh well, at least he now likes nectarines. After getting my ingredients this time and fiercly protecting them from prying hands and … Continue reading

Country-Style Ribs with Peach Ginger Glaze

Country-Style Ribs with Peach Ginger Glaze

Country-style ribs are often overlooked by alot of people.  Most people think they require a long slow braise and I use them in that respect as well for some dishes.  But most people don’t realize that whether they’re cut from the Boston butt or the blade end of the loin, they are perfect for marinating and grilling over direct heat. For slow braising I usually buy them boneless, but for grilling I prefer bone-in; it gives me something to hold on to while ripping into them.  This recipe results in tender ribs that are both sweet and savory and are sure to … Continue reading

Grilled Avocado and Mango Salsa

Grilled Avocado and Mango Salsa

So it was another night of grilling here in Southern California because it was just too darn hot to cook inside.  This time it was steak and chicken breast that I had in the freezer.  The recipe for the steak will follow soon but I just had to get this salsa on here.  It paired great with both and was a refreshing addition to the meal.  The smoke flavor from the grill really changes the flavor of both the mango and the avocado.  While Mexican food purists would probably poo poo on the idea of grilling an avocado, I cannot say enough … Continue reading