Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chicken Schwarma Wraps

Excited to be getting some new RR eppies during the show’s summer hiatus, I saw a segment for chicken schwarma naan pizza.  I have made naan pizza before I started this blog and ironically my husband just asked me last night why the idea never really took off and become mainstream.  Although I did not get a chance to try this recipe in full, it did inspire me to make chicken schwarma since I had leftover sheets of lavash from my porcini flatbread -   

Using the schwarma part of the recipe as follows, we marinaded it overnight to absorb the flavors and threw it on the outdoor grill.  Warning, if there is excessive olive oil when you throw it on, it can flame so watch those eyebrows! 

For the marinade:
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive OIl
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons each Kosher salt and pepper
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) turmeric,
1 teaspoon each granulated garlic and granulated onion
1 teaspoon ground sumac (optional)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 pieces boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 pieces boneless, skinless breast, horizontally cut into 8 thin cutlets (or a mixture of both dark and white meat)
Whisk up marinade ingredients and toss chicken in to coat. Heat a grill or griddle pan or an outdoor grill over medium-high heat and grill chicken to crispy and brown, 8-10 minutes. Remove meat from heat, let rest and slice.

Chicken Schwarma Naan Pizza Recipe  Rachael Ray Show –


1.      Since I was not prepared to make this, I did not have tahini or tzatziki that is common accompaniments with schwarmas.  So after rummaging through the fridge, came across leftover feta and sour cream as the add-on and it was surprisingly delicious!

2.      The chicken was the only thing new for this recipe, all else were leftover ingredients so price below reflects it as such

Price:  $6 for 4 servings = $1.50 per serving

Friday, July 22, 2016

Steak Lettuce Wraps with Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Cheese

I had one those days where my original dish planned morphed into a completely different presentation.  Having picked up an heirloom tomato at the Farmer’s Market, with the intention of making my favorite Heirloom Tomato with Burrata Cheese, an idea courtesy of Chef Kelly Degala -, I was planning on serving it alongside a NY steak and a scoop of rice.

As you can tell, I had a very carb heavy week and with a 99 cent butter lettuce still in my fridge, I decided to make lettuce wraps, this time with sliced steak.  Serve alongside the Heirloom Tomato with Burrata or be creative and add both directly onto the lettuce, wrap it up, and enjoy!  Just have those napkins close by as it can get messy with both. 


2 boneless NY Steaks
2 sprigs of rosemary
Olive Oil
1 head of butter lettuce – leafed, washed, and drained


  1. Place 2 sprigs of rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil with steaks in a Ziploc and “marinade” the steaks for an hour or two in fridge
  2. Remove steaks from fridge about 10 minutes before cooking
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil to pan and sear the steaks on each side for about 5 minutes
  4. Transfer the steak to a preheated 400 degree oven for another 5-8 minutes depending on how thick your steak is and how well you want it cooked
  5. Let meat rest for 15 minutes before slicing
  6. Place in sliced steaks on lettuce leaves and top with tomato and burrata or serve alongside
Price:  $24 for 4 servings = $6 per serving

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fettucini Puttanesca

I love Italian food so much that I usually make it at least once per week and with boxed pasta running about a buck or two a box coupled with its incredible versatility, it is budget friendly to “boot”.  Once in awhile though I run across access to fresh pasta and just cannot resist.  Last week, my family and I happened to be in SF and decided at the last minute to get some takeout from Italian Homemade Company in North Beach before leaving.  All their pastas and sauces are freshly made and many of their workers only speak Italian so this is as close to authentic as you can get outside of Italy.  We walked out with 2 orders of ravioli bolognese, and an order each of the gnocchi roll, lasagna, and the fettucini puttanesca special but unfortunately no fresh pasta to cook at home since we came unprepared without a cooler. 

Never a big fan of al dente (to the bite) with box pasta as they are usually still hard enough to bite back, it is perfect when using fresh.  So when I found myself heading back to the city this past weekend, I knew I had to make a stop back at Italian Homemade to pick up fresh pasta to replicate the fettucini puttanesca special we had the week before. 

Naturally there is a very noticeable difference between fresh and dried but the downside is at $13/lb for fresh vs. $1 for boxed, fresh will have to be more of a treat than a weekly thing. 


1 lb. fresh fettucini
1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup chopped onions
3 cloves chopped garlic
6 anchovy filets chopped
Olives pitted and halved
Capers (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and saute for about 5 minutes
  2. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes
  3. Add tomatoes, anchovy filets, olives, and capers and bring to a simmer
  4. Simmer covered for about 40 minutes, then remove from heat
  5. 15 minutes before sauce is done, start boiling a pot of water for the pasta
  6. Once boiled, salt the water, and add the fettucini
  7. Since pasta is fresh, it only needs to be cooked for 4-5 minutes
  8. Reserve a ladle of starchy cooking water to add to the sauce before draining the pasta
  9. Mix in the reserved starchy cooking water to the sauce, blending it thoroughly
  10. Add cooked pasta to the puttanesca sauce tossing thoroughly to ensure all pasta is fully coated and serve topped with additional sauce

Note:  Since I used black olives vs. kalamata olives, I did not add those in until the puttanesca has simmered for 20 minutes so it doesn’t break apart.

Price:  $20 for 4 servings = $5 per serving vs. $14 for 1 serving at Italian Homemade


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Porcini and Parmesan Flatbread

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to be a plus one to a Yelp Elite event hosted by Relish Culinary Adventures – in Healdsburg.  Originally intended to be a mushroom foraging excursion before a hands on cooking demonstration, the weather was uncooperative that day making the forage too challenging.  Owner Donna did show us samples of the different mushrooms we would have seen like the black trumpets and candy caps that smell like rich maple syrup that she infused into rum to make desserts with.  Following up with a cooking demo of 3 items, one of which is this delicious yet simple porcini-parmesan flatbread, it was a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon with like minded individuals who love food as much as I do. 

With an array of classes and events to choose from, there is something for everyone with Relish Culinary Adventures, including an upcoming hands-on wood oven pizza workshop using ingredients straight from the Healdsburg Farmer’s Market. 


1 pkg fresh whole wheat lavash (five 9x12 inch sheets) - can find these at Trader Joe’s
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup porcini powder
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, convection setting if available with rack in the center of the oven
  2. Lightly brush the entire top surface of lavash sheet with olive oil
  3. Dust surface with 2 tsp of porcini powder and 1 tbsp of grated cheese
  4. Place lavash in the oven directly on wire rack
  5. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until lavash is just crisp and beginning to show color.  Be careful not to overbake as the porcini powder will develop a bitter flavor.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt to taste
  7. To serve, break into pieces and put on a platter or bread basket.


  1. Can be prepared and baked up to 2 days in advance.  Cool it completely and store in airtight container
  2. Instead of buying porcini powder, best to buy dried porcinis and grind yourself
  3. For regular oven, I found it would take about 10 minutes at 350 degrees
  4. If you do not want to place directly on the wire rack of your oven, you can put your lavash on top of a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet before putting it in
  5. I like putting my sea salt on before baking vs. after
  6. We bought the large 4 oz bag of porcini for $18 which is enough to make this recipe 5 times. 
Price:  $8 per recipe


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Afternoon/Evening Tea for Two

With my renewed interest in afternoon tea, after immersing myself in Laura Child’s tea shop mysteries and perfect for my 400th blog post, I realized I did not need to throw a tea party in order to enjoy afternoon tea.  So taking advantage of a Prosciutto and Fig Butter Tea Sandwich recipe from one of her books, I decided to do an afternoon/evening tea for two on a day we wanted something light.  However, with most misconceptions of tea sandwiches, they do end up being more filling than you would expect especially when you end up making 1 ½ full sandwiches of each kind. 

I normally would serve a cucumber cream cheese tea sandwich but since I was trying the prosciutto and fig butter one this time, I decided to skip it. 

Tea Sandwiches Served – Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Deviled Egg, and Prosciutto and Fig Butter Tea Sandwiches

Note:  With all sandwiches, I made one full sandwich with 2 slices of bread cut into 3 pieces and one ½ sandwich from 1 slice of bread cut into 2 triangles

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Tea Sandwich


3 Slices of Bread with crust removed
Smoked Salmon
Whipped Cream Cheese
Capers (optional)


1.      Spread thin layer of cream cheese on two slices of bread

2.      Layer smoked salmon and sprinkle with optional capers on one side

3.      Add top and cut into 3 pieces

4.      Repeat the same for the remaining slice cutting into triangles

Deviled Egg Tea Sandwich


3 Slices of Bread with crust removed
3 Hard Boiled Eggs
2 Tbsp mayo
2 Tsp yellow mustard


1.      Peel hard boiled egg, cut into ½ lengthwise and remove all yolks putting into a bowl

2.      Mix mayo and mustard with the yolk to create a creamy mixture

3.      Cut the egg whites into chunks and add into the yolk mixture and toss until coated

4.      Spread 2/3 of the deviled egg mixture between 2 slices of bread and cut into 3 pieces

5.      Repeat the same for the remaining slice with the 1/3 mixture cutting into triangles

Prosciutto and Fig Butter Tea Sandwich


3 Slices of Bread with crust removed
Fig Butter (Trader Joe’s)
3 Slices of Proscuitto
1 Pear thinly sliced
Few leaves of butter lettuce
Salt and Pepper to taste


1.      Spread thin layer of fig butter on two slices of bread

2.      Layer proscuitto ham, sliced pears, and butter lettuce

3.      Season with salt and pepper

4.      Add top to sandwich and cut into 3 pieces

5.      Repeat the same for the remaining slice cutting into triangles

Serve with your favorite tea or if you are more of a connoisseur, you can do tea pairings.

Price:  $15 tea for 2

Monday, July 18, 2016

Orecchiette with Zucchini, Tomato, and Ricotta

I rarely use orecchiette but was pleasantly surprised with the final product when I substituted the pasta with spring vegetable not too long ago -   So when I saw this recipe from Food52, I thought this was a great use of the 2 zucchinis leftover from my recent quiche recipe. 

To simplify this recipe, instead of making the sauce from fresh Roma, I used a 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes and it worked out beautifully giving me extra sauce to cover a full 16 oz bag of pasta vs. just the 11 oz the original recipe asks for. 

Orecchiette with Zucchini, Tomato, and Ricotta –

Note:  Add the ricotta and basil into each serving before eating vs. mixing into the entire pan especially if you will be reheating as leftovers

Price:  $8 for 6 Servings = $1.34 per serving

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sriracha Chicken with Peanuts Lettuce Wrap

I just realized that it has been a month and a half since I made a new RR recipe, partly because I have been running across more complex ones that have piqued my interest and partly because I have been experimenting and creating my own.  But never one to forget where I started, I have not forgotten about you Rachael and even though I might not have made a new recipe recently, I have been remaking many tried and true dishes of yours in between new posts. 

This one I had printed out and was in my to-try pile since the show aired, just waiting for butter lettuce to go on sale which it finally did this week, at Lucky’s for just 99 cents. 

Sriracha Chicken with Peanuts Lettuce Wrap Rachael Ray Show –


1.      Personally I thought it was too salty so I would recommend doing one or any combo of the following to adjust to your taste – reduce the soy sauce, reduce the hoisin sauce, or add some cooked rice to your wrap like we had.

2.      I did not have a chance to get leeks so I substituted with green onions.  If you do the same make sure to add it in at the end vs. cooking it.

Price:  $8 for 4 Servings = $2 per serving