Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Savory Ribs Low and Slooooow

Psst. I have a secret.


I'm not really crazy about BBQ sauce. Wait, wait, wait. I didn't say I hate it. I just don't love it.

But I love ribs. I love gnawing on any kind of bones, but if you give me ribs, I'm in hog heaven. And a few weeks ago, H and I splurged on a dinner and we had the most delicious savory pork ribs. I'd never had them like that. So I decided to try and make them on my own. Here's what I did:

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

2. Slice your ribs. Like in the picture below:

3. Put your ribs in a pyrex baking dish and salt and pepper them.

4. Then in a bowl, mince up 3 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup of Olive Oil, a handful of Italian breadcrumbs, and a tablespoon of chopped fresh Rosemary.

5. Mix well.

6. Rub your ribs with the mixture.

7. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Put it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

8. After the 2 1/2 hours, raise the oven temp to 375 degrees. Uncover the ribs and cook for another 25 minutes.

This will make them brown and delicious, yet the meat will still fall off the bones.

They're so good, two of us ate that whole platter. So, the next time you're craving ribs, skip the BBQ sauce and try these savory delicacies.

I dare you. ;)


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Indoor Burger

NOTE: The following was taken from actual emails.

Dear Suzie Foods,

How do you cook a burger inside?

Mrs. Z

Dear Mrs. Z,

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat a metal handled skillet over medium high on your stovetop. (No plastic or rubber 'cause it's going in the oven.) Spray some oil spray in the pan. Not a lot, just enough so your patty doesn't stick. Turn on your fans. When the pan is super hot, put your patty in it. Brown it on one side. Probably 4 or 5 minutes. Flip the burger over. Add any toppings like mushrooms, onions or tomatoes. Stick the pan in the oven. Finish cooking the burger for about five minutes. More for a bigger burger, less for a little one.

USE AN OVEN MITT to remove pan. Put the burger on a plate. Let it sit for three to five minutes. Then eat the bugger!

Let me know how it turns out!

Suzie Foods

Holy crap. You are a goddess.

Taste it before you proclaim me a goddess. ;)

Dear Suzie Foods,

Burgers were delicious! Mmm Mmm Mmmmm!

Thank you for saving my dinner. Silly snow covered grill. Xoxo

Below are some pictures from when I made my own Indoor Burger.

I'm glad I could help Mrs. Z get her burger fix without having to defrost the grill. So how do you cook your burgers?


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup

Add a grilled cheese sandwich to this menu and you could reach euphoria.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice onions. Smash garlic cloves. Halve tomatoes. Salt and pepper them.

2. Roast for 20 minutes.

3. When veggies are soft, transfer them to a stock pot.

4. Over medium heat on the stove top, add enough broth (You can use vegetable or chicken. Whatever you've got.) to cover the veggies.

5. Simmer for another 15 minutes.

6. Add parsley or basil.

7. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup. If it's too thick, add more broth.

8. For a creamy touch, add some goat cheese. Blend again.


Soup goes a long way to warming up cold winter days. What's your favorite soup?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Creamy Artichoke, Potato and Spinach Soup

When we were in college, my brother would invite me over to his apartment to eat. Eager to escape dorm food, I'd go to his place for what he called a "Garbage Plate." It usually consisted of whatever was in the refrigerator. Perhaps some tator tots with a side of mac and cheese along with hot dogs and, of course, a beer.

After days of recipe testing for a huge cooking party I'm doing this weekend, my refrigerator is stocked with great ingredients. So I came up with my own sort of "Garbage Soup." Except unlike its Garbage-y name, it's delicious. Here's what I did:

1. Chop one bunch green onions.

2. Heat a heavy bottomed stock pot. When hot, add two tablespoons (about two laps around the base of the pot) of olive oil.

3. When the olive oil is hot, add the chopped green onions.

4. Peel and thinly slice one potato and add it to the pot.

5. Chop two cloves garlic and toss them in.

6. Add one 12 oz bag thawed frozen artichoke hearts. (I used a couple artichoke hearts for another recipe so 10 oz is fine. Remember, it's "Garbage Soup" - use what you've got.)

7. I had a handful of fresh spinach so I threw it in. You can too!

8. When the potatoes soften, cover the vegetables with vegetable or chicken broth. Bring the ingredients to a boil then cover and let them simmer for about 20 minutes.

9. I happened to have about an ounce of goat cheese. So when the vegetables were cooked, I plopped it in.

10. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

11. Enjoy!

What crazy "Garbage Plates" have you discovered out of leftovers?


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mama's Tostones (Plantains)

The holidays conjure up all sorts of memories of family meals. I write a lot about my Granny's recipes. But today, my mom and I had the pleasure of making one of her mother's specialties, Mama's Tostones.

Mama was from the Dominican Republic, so in addition to Granny's amazing Italian food, I had the luxury of experiencing "Island Food" as I grew up.

Many of you have probably enjoyed traditional Fried Plantains, which are sweet. Tostones are a salty version of plantains. Plantains are high in Fiber, Potassium and Vitamin A and C. And they're delicious. To make Tostones:

1. Slice into the skin without hitting the meat with your knife. Slice it lengthwise in a few spots so you can peel the skin off.

2. Cut the plantains into 1 inch chunks.

3. Heat Canola oil in a frying pan.

4. Lightly brown both sides of the plantain chunks.

5. Put the browned chunks on a paper bag. (I know that sounds weird. Just go with it.)

6. When the plantains cool, put another paper bag over the pieces and press down hard on each slice until it's as flat as you can make it.

NOTE: It's important to use paper bags because paper towels shred.

7. Put the flattened Tostones back in the frying pan. Brown them again.

8. Place the Tostones on a plate covered with a paper towel (so the oil drains). Salt them immediately.
NOTE: By salting immediately, the salt sticks to the oil on the plantains.

9. Enjoy the Tostones by themselves or dip them in guacamole for an extra treat!

What family foods do you love?


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pan Roasted Rib Eye Steak with Onions and Mushrooms

Have I mentioned how important it is to stock up when meat is on sale? I just bought a delicious bone-in ribeye steak for $5.68. Its normal price is about $16. So by simply keeping an eye on your store's weekly sales, you can save a bundle.

Anyway, let's get to the meat. Ribeye steaks are fatty. Now, don't freak out and bail on the blog. Fat = Flavor! And one ribeye, when it happens to be on sale, is not going to kill you. In fact, it will delight you. And even more delightful, it only takes a few minutes to make. I like mine with mushrooms and onions. If that sounds good to you, pan roast yourself a ribeye steak with onions and mushrooms like this:

1. Slice up an onion and an equal amount if mushrooms.

2. Heat a metal handled frying pan on your stove on medium high. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

3. Pour enough olive oil in the pan to cover the bottom. (Probably about two circles around the pan.)

4. When the oil is hot, add your mushrooms and onions. Lightly brown them. (About five minutes.) Add salt and pepper.

5. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

6. Next salt and pepper your steak. Then add it to the pan. Sear one side. It should take about four minutes.

7. When the downside is gorgeously browned, flip it over. If you have rosemary or another favorite woody herb, sprinkle some on top.

8. Pour the mushrooms and onions over the steak and put the pan in the oven for about five minutes for medium.


10. Plate the food. Let the steak rest for five minutes before cutting into it.


This is my favorite steak because it's flavorful and I get to gnaw on the bone. What's your favorite kind of steak? Why?


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holla! Peno Mac and Cheese

Why settle for boring mac and cheese when you can kick it up with some jalapenos? That's right, add a little zing to an old fave like this:

1. Boil water on the stove. Add noodles and cook per the package directions. I'm a big fan of mini shells because they cradle gobs of cheesy goodness. But any noodle will work.

2. Drain the pasta. Put in it a bowl.

3. Add shredded cheddar cheese to the bowl. Use about three cups for a pound of mac and cheese. Set one cup of cheese aside for topping.

4. Chop a jalapeno or two and add them to the bowl.

5. Squirt about three tablespoons of brown mustard into the mix. (Yes, it sounds weird, but trust me, the mustard adds a great zing to the mac.)

6. Pour heavy cream over the noodles until they're pretty well saturated. (About a pint.)

7. Mix it all up.

8. Put the mac and cheese mixture in a greased baking dish.

9. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar over the top.

10. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

How easy is that? And just wait until you taste how delicious it is. You're going to want it eat all the time. (But you probably shouldn't. Just sayin'.)


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beef and Lentil Soup

I'm kookoo for soup! Lately, I've been making big batches and then freezing them in one serving containers. That way, I can take them to work with me and eat the soup for lunch. It saves me money and also gves me peace of mind because I know exactly what's in the food I'm eating.

This week I indulged in lots of delicious Beef and Lentil soup. It's easy to cook and super filling. Make it like this:

1. Buy a package of stew meat. Then cut the meat into smaller pieces. You could make this a seriously chunky soup if you'd like but I prefer smaller bites of meat on this one.

2. Salt and pepper the beef.

3. Heat a big pot on the stove over medium high heat. Add about two tablespoons of olive oil. (That's about twice around the pot.)

4. When the oil is hot, brown the meat.

5. After it's brown on all sides, put the meat on a plate and set it aside.

6. Add a little more oil to the pot. Add diced carrots, celery and onion.

7. After about 6 or 7 minutes, when the veggies are semi-soft, add a couple cloves of chopped garlic. Make sure the garlic doesn't brown. Brown garlic tastes BAD.

8. Put the meat back in the pot. Add a can of diced tomatoes. (You can use a 15oz or 28oz. Depends on your love for tomatoes.)

9. Add a box of beef broth and some fresh thyme. Stir.

10. Let the soup simmer over medium heat, covered, for an hour.

11. Add lentils. About a cup will do.

12. Cover the pot and let the soup cook another hour or until lentils are soft.

And that's it! It's as delicious as it looks and the meat will fall apart in your mouth. Enjoy!

What other soups would you like to learn how to make?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Suzie's Spicy Chicken Soup

Eddie, the cook at a restaurant I used to work at, made the most delicious spicy chicken soup. I'm talkin' make your nose run from the jalapenos spicy. So warm it could chase the chill out of any winter day.

I've been craving it lately, so I created my own less spicy version. After all, I wanted normal people to be able to enjoy it too. So here's my version of Spicy Chicken Soup:

1. Chop onions, celery and carrots into chunks that are about equal in size. You can go big or small - whatever you like.

2. Heat a large pot over medium high heat on the stove top.

3. Cover the hot pot's bottom with olive oil. (About two tablespoons or two spins around the pot.)

4. When it's hot, drop the veggies in. Let them soften about 7 minutes. If they start to brown, turn the heat down.

5. Meanwhile, peel and chop three garlic cloves and a jalapeno. Chop more if you're feeling extra spicy.

6. Add them to the pot. Let them soften just about two minutes. Not too long. You don't want your garlic to brown. Stir.

7. Add salt and pepper.

8. Next, add a skinned (Eat the delicious skin first!) cooked chicken to the pot. You can buy one already cooked at the supermarket or roast one yourself.

9. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Stir.

10. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about an hour.

11. With tongs, scrape the chicken from the bones. Then discard the bones.

12. Taste the broth. If it's not chicken-y enough for you, add a bullion cube.

13. Keep simmering until the chicken becomes shredded and chunky.

14. Chop lots of fresh parsley. Add it to the soup.

If you want to kick up the spice, add more jalapeno and of course, salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy this spicy twist on a classic! So...what soup do you crave?


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pasta with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

Pasta doesn't have to be a heavy meal. There are lots of quick easy ways to make yummy light pasta dishes. Like this:

1. Boil water and add salt. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Use a whole grain pasta and enjoy less carbs, some protein and whole grains that are good for your heart.

2. Add olive oil to a pan and heat over medium high on the stove.

3. Snap woody ends off asparagus and discard them. Cuts stalks into bite sized pieces. Drop them in the pan.

4. Chop a garlic clove and halve a bunch of cherry tomatoes.

5. After about three minutes, drop the garlic and cherry tomatoes in the pan. Add salt and pepper.

6. Meanwhile, drain the pasta. But reserve about a cup of pasta water.

7. Add about a half cup of pasta water to the veggie pan, along with the pasta. Mix it up. Add some grated Parmesan cheese and cracked fresh pepper.

8. Enjoy!

You can use any combination of veggies in pasta. What are some of your favorites?


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Granny's Standing Rib Roast

“Hi Granny, it’s me, Suzanne. Happy Easter!”

“Oh, hiya Suzanne. Happy Easter to you too. How are you doing?”

“I’m doing well. How’s your day?”

“It’s good so far. Rosemary’s coming to pick me up soon.”

“That sounds like fun. I’m making dinner for the roommates today.”

“Oh yeah? What are you making?”

“Well, I bought a rib roast. But I don’t know what to do with it. Can you tell me how to cook it?”

“Hm. Well, I don’t know.”

“What do you mean, ‘you don’t know’?”

We giggled.

“Well let’s see, is it bone in or bone out?”

“Bone in.”

“Okay. First slice up some garlic cloves. And get some parsley. Do you have parsley?”


“Good. Then take a long, sharp knife and make a bunch of slits in the roast. Then stuff garlic and parsley down each slit. Get it in there as far as you can.”

“All right. Then what?”

“Then rub the outside with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper all over. Put it in a baking dish, fat side up, insert a meat thermometer and cook it at 350 until the temp reads 130 degrees. Then take it out and let it sit for about 10 or 15 minutes before you carve it.”

“That’s it?”

“Yep. That’s it. Call me if you have any more questions.”

“I will. Thank you. I love you.”

“I love you too. Bye bye.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spaghetti and Meatballs Night at Sonny McLeans

In Boston, Wednesday night used to be Prince Spaghetti Night. Now, at Santa Monica's famous Boston Irish pub, Sonny McLeans, Wednesday night is Spaghetti and Meatballs Night. Homemade, by Suzie Foods.

Italian food at an Irish pub? You might think it's crazy, but the customers are loving it.

"I've been looking all over LA for good gravy and meatballs. Yours are excellent," says Wayne Morse, whose Sicilian grandmother made Sunday gravy weekly throughout his childhood. "I know gravy."

But you don't have to be Italian to enjoy great meatballs.

"These are awesome!" Says Sunny, (pictured left) a regular at Sonny's. She came in with her roommates to have a family style dinner. They bought a bottle of red wine and enjoyed a home cooked meal and a night out.

So come on in on Wednesday nights and see what's cooking at Sonny's. Enjoy the fun. And the food.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mixed Greens with Pork

Wondering what to do with boring leftover pork chops? I love adding pork to salads. Just:

1. Slice up the remaining pork (whether it's a chop or tenderloin).

2. Add it to a bowl of:
  • Mixed greens
  • Fresh herbs (I had basil and parsley in the garden, so I tossed them in)
  • Fruit (I used grapes, but anything sweet like an apple will work)
  • Blue cheese crumbles

3. Make dressing:

  • Put one tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar in a bowl
  • Add two teaspoons dijon mustard
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Toss in Italian seasoning or fresh herbs (if you have them)
  • Mince one clove of garlic
  • Whisk in two tablespoons olive oil
  • Adjust to your taste

Toss all your indredients and put a delicious spin on leftover pork!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pan Roasted Pork Chop and Veggies

Want a simple way to make juicy, delicious pork chops every time? Here's how:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Salt and pepper one thick cut, bone in pork chop.

NOTE: Always buy thick cut pork chops. Thin chops dry out in seconds.

3. Break woody ends off asparugus. Wipe any dirt off baby portabello mushrooms. Salt and pepper them.

4. Heat a metal handled frying pan over medium high heat on the stovetop. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil.

5. When the oil smokes, drop the chop in the pan.

6. When the bottom of the chop is brown, flip it and turn the heat off.

7. Add the veggies in the pan.
8. Put the pan in the oven.

9. Roast pork chop and veggies for about 8 minutes.

10. Pull them out. Put the food on a plate. Let the pork chop sit for five minutes. This gives the juices time to redistribute and ensures a moist chop.

11. Enjoy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cheesy Creamy Bad For You Potatoes


When my friend Rob came over for dinner the other night and it was sort of last minute and I did not want to go to grocery store. So I pulled a pork tenderloin from the freezer, grabbed a bag of frozen peas and then went back to the fridge.

Two lonely potatoes sat on a shelf.

"Mashed potatoes?" I thought. "No, I always feed Rob mashed potatoes. What about baked potatoes?"

My own voice moaned, "Boring," back at me.

After further investigation, I found a container of cream my friend had intended to whip to top a dessert. Alas, the dessert was demolished before she could top it. Bad for her, but lucky for me and Rob. Because when I came across some Jack cheese, an idea was born:

1. Butter a small baking dish.

2. Perheat the oven to 400 degrees.

3. Slice the potaoes super thin with a mandelin.

4. Slice an onion the same way.

5. Chop two cloves of garlic.

6. Throw it all in a bowl.

7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

8. Toss in a handfull of grated cheese. (I had Jack but any cheese will do. Cheese is cheese.)

9. Poor in half a pint of cream.

10. Add some chopped parsley.

11. Mix it all up.

12. Pour the decadent creation in the buttered baking dish.

13. Top with more cheese.

14. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes.

15. Enjoy. Then head to the gym!

What's your favorite way to eat potatoes?


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Southwestern Corn Salad

Looking for a new twist on tired summer salads? Here it is! The great part about this recipe is that you can use all organic ingredients without breaking your budget. First:

1. Put two tablespoons of organic olive oil in a giant pan over medium heat on the stove top.

2. Chop and add the following to the pan:
  • One organic red bell pepper
  • One organic orange bell pepper
  • A bunch of scallions
  • Three garlic cloves

NOTE: Let's just take a moment here and think about how many brightly colored cancer fighting veggies are in this dish. The brighter your veggie, the more cancer fighting power it has. And garlic is like the superfood of all cancer fighting veggies. It boosts your immune system, is a powerful antioxidant and helps maintain low cholesterol.

3. Cook about five minutes, until the veggies soften a bit. Then add the following:

  • Two bags organic corn kernels (If you have fresh corn, cut it off the cob and toss it in!)
  • Two quartered and squeezed limes
  • One can rinsed organic black beans

4. Warm up your corn salad (to taste) with southwestern spices, such as:

  • Cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika

5. Take your salad off the heat, put it in a room temperature dish and let it cool. Toss in some chopped cilantro just before serving and enjoy!

What are some of your favorite summertime salads?


Monday, July 27, 2009

Mini Veggie Sandwiches

Whenever I cook for parties I'm super conscious about creating enough treats for vegetarians. A couple weeks ago, I made sliders (or mini beef burgers) for a BBQ, so I decided to make a veggie version too.
To delight your vegetarian friends with a yummy appetizer, do this:

1. Slice two zucchinis crosswise into half inch thick pieces.

2. Cut the same amount of tomato slices or roasted red peppers. Either one will work.

3. Slice the same amount of cucumber slices.

4. Make a garlicky bean spread. Or use store bought hummus.

5. Salt, pepper and douse your zucchini with olive oil. Then grill it at medium high heat until you get nice grill marks. Maybe two or three minutes a side.

5. Slice up a baguette.

6. Spread bean spread on the baguettes.

7. Stuff zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes or red peppers in between the bread and spread.

Enjoy mini veggie sandwiches!