Mustard Glaze Corned Beef

Mustard Glazed Corned Beef

Even though I’ve posted two beef recipes in a row, I am generally pretty picky about my red meat. I usually only eat red meat on the rare (pun!) occasion I go to a steakhouse (NY strip, medium please). Red meat in general, and steaks to be exact, are the one thing I have yet to find and master a go-to, fail-proof recipe (quality beef is too expensive to experiment with). Brisket would be the one exception to the red meat rule. I can make a mean brisket. I did learn from the best. Mama CC makes the best corned beef I have ever had. Yes, I am completely biased, but really her recipe is wonderful. So wonderful I need to share it.

The special secret to her corned beef is the amazing mustard glaze she puts on top before serving. It’s delicious. There is something about the sweet, slightly caramelized mustard and the combination of salty corned beef that is out of this world. If you really want to impress any St. Patrick’s Day guests, I highly recommend this recipe. I would also recommend serving with a horseradish sour cream sauce on the side. It’s the perfect finishing touch.

Mustard Glaze Corned Beef

For the Corned Beef:

  • 3-5 pounds corned beef (with spice packet or brine, if included), trimmed of excess fat
  • 12 ounces pale ale/light beer or low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 dried bay leaves
For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light, doesn’t matter)
  1. Place corned beef in a large pot. Add the beer/broth, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, 1 1/2 cups water and the contents of the spice packet/brine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until very tender and easily pierced with a fork, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 375ºF. Transfer the beef to a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the mustard and sugar. Brush the beef with the mustard mixture and roast until the sauce has thickened and set slightly, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let sit 5-10 minutes. To serve, slice thinly across the grain.

Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew

Irish Beef Stew


This stew is the perfect alternative to corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, especially if you don’t have all day to cook. Slow cooker recipes are great for entertaining a crowd.

Some people put potatoes into their stew, which I think is just a waste of perfectly good potatoes. Stew just cries out for creamy mashed potatoes. I made a delicious horseradish and green onion mash, which was absolutely amazing with the beef and the broth of the stew.

One other note about the onions… I got a new crockpot recently and for whatever reason it does not like cooking onions unless they have already been softened a bit. To make this stew turn out, I sautéed the onions in the same pan I browned the beef in and deglazed it after all that. If your slow cooker isn’t as moody, feel free to skip that step, but it really does help add some extra flavor to the stew.

The result is a great combination of tender beef, wonderfully flavored veggies and the broth is so flavorful I can’t even put it into words. The broth and potatoes I used to sop it up were probably my favorite part.


Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds stew meat,
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Blend)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 large carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4-8+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 large bay leaf or 2 small
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup rich red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
  1. Place the carrots and peas into the crockpot.
  2. Rinse the meat and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Toss and coat beef with flour, garlic powder, paprika and salt and pepper, to taste. (I recommend using a large bowl or large plastic bag.)
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté in batches until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Add more butter and oil as needed and make sure not to over crowd the pan. When beef is browned, add to crock pot.
  4. When done browning the beef, add in onion, sauté until softened and starting to brown. Add in garlic and brown until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Use a generous drop of beef stock or wine to deglaze the pan and add everything to the crock pot.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients (bay leaf, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, broth, wine) to the crock pot. Stir together.
  6. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or 6 to 9 hours on low.

Lentil, Olive & Goat Cheese Salad

Lentil Goat Cheese Salad

This salad wasn’t really planned out. I set about making lunch one day, but was in one of those moods where nothing really sounded good. After hemming and hawing for a bit, I ended up grabbing several random ingredients. Anything I saw that seemed appealing at the time got put on the counter. Not surprisingly these basic ingredients are some of my favorites. Feeling accomplished about picking out items for lunch, I then realized I still had to figure out what to do with them. This salad is what ended up happening. Nothing too fancy, but delicious and filling nevertheless.

I don’t like overly oily salad dressing, so I just mixed lemon juice into the lentils instead of making an actual dressing. And olive oil  lemon dressing or a light vinaigrette could definitely be used on the lettuce or lentils if you like. If you are looking for something a little warmer for this time of year, the lentils could also be served warm with all the ingredients mixed in. If serving warm, I would leave out the lettuce and substitute a bed of sautéed spinach.

Lentil Goat Cheese Salad


Lentil, Olive & Goat Cheese Salad

For the Lentils

  • 1 cup dried green, brown, or French lentils
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, or other seasonings (optional)
  • 1/4 – 3/4 teaspoon salt
For the Salad:
  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • handful of kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil (optional)
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • bacon or pancetta, cooked until crispy and crumbled

For the Lentils:

  1. Wash Lentils in a strainer or colander. Pick over and remove any shriveled lentils, debris, or rocks. Thoroughly rinse under running water. Then transfer the rinsed lentils to a saucepan and pour in the broth/water. Add any seasonings being used, reserving the salt.
  2. Bring the broth/water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.
  3. When lentils are done, remove from pot and allow to cool in a serving dish.
For the Salad:
  1. While the lentils are cooking prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Divide lettuce onto individual serving dishes.
  3. When lentils are cooled, add onion, tomato and olives and top with lemon juice (and olive oil if using). Mix ingredients together. Crumble goat cheese and sprinkle bacon over the top. Divide the lentils between the lettuce plates and serve.

Flattened Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers

Flattened chicken with tomatoes, olives & capers

This has quickly become one of my go to recipes. I’ve made it several times now and I like it more and more every time. Then again, you could add tomatoes, olives and capers to pretty much anything and I would find it delicious, so I might be a bit biased.

It’s perfect for a quick and easy dinner (like 15 minutes and it’s ready, easy). I’ve made it both with canned diced tomatoes and fresh tomatoes and I hate to say it, but I might have liked the canned tomatoes more… The fresh tomatoes did not break down as well and the skins were kind of tough. I also found that I had to add a little more liquid to get a sauce going with the fresh tomatoes. I am a very saucy person, so when a dish has a sauce, I like a lot of it. If you happen to have super ripe and juicy fresh tomatoes, I wouldn’t worry about it, but if your tomatoes are kind of under ripe and sad, canned would probably be your best bet.

Flattened chicken with tomatoes, olives & capers

Flattened Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers
Adapted from BBC Good Food.

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup seasoned flour (I used garlic powder, paprika and black pepper to season)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large ripe tomato, chopped or 1/2-15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained.
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • large handful Kalamata olives, chopped
  • splash white wine/dry vermouth or broth
  1. Place the chicken breast on to a flat surface and cover with plastic wrap. Bash with a rolling pin or mallet to flatten, then lightly coat in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil and butter in a pan, add the chicken and cook for 3-4 mins on each side until crisp, browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  2. Add the tomato, capers, olives and wine to the pan, season to taste, then bring to the boil. Bubble the sauce for 2-3 mins until the tomatoes are starting to break down, then spoon over the chicken.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves

Mini Turkey Meatloaf

First of all, let’s be real… Meatloaf just is not pretty (and it’s not easy to make pretty in pictures). But trust me when I say that this meatloaf is damn tasty and super fast and easy to make, which makes it basically a perfect main course. I’ve made this a couple times  now and it’s still as good as the first. I tend to not like extra lean ground meat. It usually seems to dry, but with this recipe extra lean turkey worked perfectly. You get a lot of moisture with the sauce you add in to the mix and it does not turn out dry.

Speaking of sauce… I highly recommend Trader Joe’s pasta sauces. As far as jarred sauces go they are my personal favorite. The Roasted Garlic and Arrabiata are my two favorites.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves
From  Better Home & Gardens

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup jarred pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs (I used Kinnikinnick GF Panko Crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped if large
  • 1 1/4 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium saucepan bring lightly salted water to boiling. In a large bowl combine egg, 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of the basil, and salt. Add beef and 1/2 cup of the cheese; mix well. Divide beef mixture into four equal portions. Shape each portion into a 5-1/2×2-inch oval loaf. Place loaves onto a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Spoon on remaining pasta sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature registers 170 degrees F.

Shrimp with Mango & Black Bean Salsa

Shrimp with Black Bean & Mango Salsa

This is a fast and easy meal. It’s perfect for summertime since very little heat is needed. The flavors come together perfectly. The best part of these tacos is the salsa. It’s super fast to make and super delicious. It would be great with chicken or fish tacos or on top of a salad. If you want to add some heat, adding in a couple jalapeños or a bell pepper would be great.

Shrimp with Mango & Black Bean Salsa
For the Salsa:
  • 1 (14.5) ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
For the Shrimp Tacos:
  • 3 shrimp per taco
  • 1 corn tortilla per taco
  • olive oil
  • Ground Cumin, to taste
  • Ground Roasted Coriander, to taste
  • Ground Cayenne Pepper, to taste
  • Onion Powder, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Crumbled feta or queso blanco

For the Salsa:

  1. Mix beans, tomato, mango, green onion, garlic and cilantro in a medium bowl. Top with lime juice. Toss before serving.
For the Tacos:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. When oil is heated, add shrimp.
  3. Sprinkle with cumin, roasted coriander, cayenne and onion powder to taste. Add in the minced garlic.
  4. Stir to coat. Cook shrimp about 3 minutes per side until pink throughout.
  5. In a separate pan, heat the tortillas.
  6. Top the tortillas with shrimp and salsa. Add cheese if desired.

Almond & Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken

Almond & Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken

This recipe looks like a lot more work than it is. Seriously, it’s super easy and will take 25 minutes at the most. The chicken smelled amazing while it was cooking. The almonds and rosemary are a really great combination. I like rosemary, but if you don’t, you might want to ease off on the whole amount. It’s really strong in this recipe. I really liked the buttermilk and Dijon mixture. I think it was a lot more flavorful than the traditional egg/flour coating. I definitely plan on making this again. I think it would be perfect on a salad and light vinaigrette.

Almond & Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (I used Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Panko Style Crumbs)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds (or walnuts) (I used almond meal from Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Rosemary leaves (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.
  3. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, with the Parmesan, rosemary and black pepper  in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.
  4. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 13-18 minutes or until chicken is done (it really depends on how thick your chicken is). Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.

Chili-Garlic Shrimp

Chili Garlic Shrimp

The shrimp! That’s what this dish is called at my favorite Irish pub in Santa Barbara (Dargan’s). Dargan’s is definitely a favorite meeting spot for me and my best friend Jessica. We have spent many an hour chatting away over pints there. The shrimp is one of my go to dishes if we happen to be grabbing dinner there (their black bean burger is pretty amazing as well). Well unfortunately, Jess and I have been busy ladies lately and we haven’t been to Dargan’s in a while, but I had a hankering for the shrimp, so I tried my best to recreate the meal at home. It’s not an exact replica, but it’s pretty close and just as delicious.

For some reason I had never thought to combine mashed potatoes and shrimp into one dish before having it at Dargan’s. The two never seemed like a combination that would work all that well. I was definitely wrong about that. Quite frankly I should have known better; obviously two of my favorite foods are going to be amazing together…Obviously.

Chili Garlic Shrimp

Chili-Garlic Shrimp
(serves 2)

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 large shrimp
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sweet chili sauce
  1.  Place the peeled and cubed potatoes in a pot. Cover with water and boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes.  When the potatoes are quite soft, drain them completely and return them to the pan over medium heat. Add the butter and cook for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring the potatoes vigorously to help any leftover water evaporate. When any remaining water has evaporated, and the potatoes are quite smashed up and smooth, remove from heat. Add the warm milk and garlic powder. Mix together until everything is smooth and creamy (I usually use a hand mixer, it’s easier and faster).  Season to taste with pepper and salt.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add in the shrimp and garlic. When the shrimp are nearly completely cooked (pink) pour in a generous drop of the sweet chili sauce and stir to coat.
  3. When the shrimp are done, dish up the potatoes on two plates. Divide the shrimp between the plates with any of the remaining sauce in the pan. Feel free to add more chili sauce if you want it.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Tostadas

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Tostadas

This might be one of the best dinners I’ve made recently. It’s a little labor intensive, but luckily it’s nearly all hands off. Caramelized onions are one of my favorite things, so I figured why not branch out and caramelize other things I like. This was my first time caramelizing mushrooms and they were delicious. They went really well with the onions and corn. This tostada had the perfect blend of flavors and textures – the crunch of the tortilla with the soft, sweet onions and tangy cheese with just a hint of spice.

I topped the tostada with a chile-cilantro dressing. I could have put a straw in the dressing and drank it straight. It was so good! I was happy that there was enough leftover for several more salads and veggie dipping sessions.

You can make your own tostadas, but honestly I think it’s just way too much work and mess. Luckily every store in Southern California sells ready-made tostadas right along side the regular tortillas. It’s definitely the way to go in my book. If you are using packaged shells, before serving them, spread them out on a baking sheet, or directly on oven racks, and heat them at 350°F for 4-5 minutes, or until you can smell the aroma of them cooking. Don’t keep them in the oven too long, or they will get burnt. Just heat them enough to lightly toast them.

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Tostadas

  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces white/button mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and sliced
  • 8 ounces canned or frozen corn, rinsed/defrosted
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • paprika, to taste
  • chipotle chile powder, to taste
  • crumbled queso fresco or crumbled feta
  • tostadas
  • chile-cilantro dressing (recipe is below)
  • olives (optional)
  • green onions (optional)
  1. In a large, heavy bottom pan, heat olive oil over medium high. When the oil is just shimmering, add onions and stir to coat. Saute onions for 10 minutes, sprinkle with Kosher salt and stir. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 more minutes, stir onions again and allow to cook for another 10 minutes. Continue caramelizing onions for 30-60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so until onions are rich, brown color. When caramelized remove from pan and set aside.
  2. If needed, add more oil to the pan and heat until just shimmering. Add the mushrooms to the pan, cook until they release their water, allow the liquid to evaporate and the mushrooms start to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes. When mushrooms are caramelized, remove from pan and set aside with onions.
  3. Add corn to pan, liberally sprinkle with garlic powder and add paprika and chipotle to taste, then heat through. Return onions and mushrooms to the pan and toss to mix.
  4. Place tostada on serving plate. Top tostada with onion-mushroom mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top and add a generous drizzle of the chile-cilantro dressing. Add any additional toppings you want and serve.

Chile-Cilantro Dressing (from Cooking Light)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted pumpkin seed kernels/pepitas, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  1. Place the first 8 ingredients in a blender; process 15 seconds. Gradually add cilantro; process until smooth.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons water and yogurt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add cilantro mixture; stir well.

Gluten Free Cheddar Dill Gougères (& A review of Better Batter)

Sorry if you aren’t gluten free, I’ll make this review brief and get to the recipe as soon as I can. You can go ahead and make these awesome gougéres with regular all-purpose flour if gluten isn’t an issue.

So, last week when I was catching up on the many blogs I read, I came across a couple blogs talking about Better Batter. I’m always up for trying new gluten free items. I decided to go ahead and order a 2.5 pound box from their website. I have to say that out of all my gluten free experimentation, I think that Better Batter has come the closest to regular/gluten full flour (Mama CC is the one with celiac, I can eat gluten, so I can still compare between gluten free and gluten full things). These gougéres were so light and airy. Not something I often find when using gluten free flours.

I accidentally ended up doubling the recipe (the way the original was written was a bit hard to follow) and ended up with about 60(!) gougéres. I served a few with the Hungarian Mushroom Soup I posted yesterday and ended up freezing  the majority of them.

Gluten Free Cheddar Dill Gougéres (adapted from

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • Large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup better batter all-purpose flour (gluten free of course)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp. dill, plus more for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the water, milk and butter to a boil. Add the flour and stir until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan, and dries out a bit
  3. Turn the dough out into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each one. Add the cheddar cheese, dill and pepper.
  4. When the dough is fully mixed, spoon out tablespoons of dough onto the prepared parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with cheese and additional dill.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature.
  6. The gougéres can be frozen or refrigerated. To reheat, cook in an 350 degree oven for at least five minutes, or until hot and crispy