Cowboy Spaghetti

Cowboy Spaghetti

1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
3 slices smoky bacon, chopped
1 pound ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
Ground black pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce, eyeball it
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
1/2 cup beer
1 (14-ounce) can, chopped or crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1 (8-ounces) can, tomato sauce
8 ounces sharp Cheddar
4 scallions, chopped

Heat a pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and salt the water. Cook to al dente or with a bite to it.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and bacon. Brown and crisp bacon, 5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon. Drain off a little excess fat if necessary. Leave just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add beef and crumble it as it browns, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, garlic and stir into meat. Season the meat with salt and pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Add 1/2 cup beer and deglaze the pan. Cook 5 to 6 minutes more then stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Add hot spaghetti to meat and sauce and combine. Adjust seasonings and serve up pasta in shallow bowls. Grate some cheese over the pasta and sprinkle with scallions. Garnish with crisp bacon

Tonight, I’m serving with garlic bread, side salad and fruit compote.

Lemon Basil Grilled Pork Chops

Lemon Basil Grilled Pork Chops

4 Pork loin chops, thick-cut boneless
1 cup Basil, fresh leaves
3 tbsp Garlic
3 tbsp Lemon juice
3/4 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Sea salt
2 tbsp Olive oil

Add olive oil, basil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix well.

Spread both sides of the pork chops with the mixture and let the chops set for about 20 minutes.

Grill chops over direct heat for about 5-6 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Tonight, I’m serving up with a little pasta with olive oil and roasted garlic and sea salt & pepper, Lima beans, garden salad and fresh fruit compote

Johnny Garlic’s Grilled Peppered Steak with Cabernet Balsamic Sauce

Johnny Garlic’s Grilled Peppered Steak with Cabernet Balsamic Sauce

2 pounds flank steak or tri-tip, cut into 8-ounce pieces
4 tablespoons black peppercorns, lightly cracked
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat grill to high heat.

Cut flank steak into 8-ounce portions and lightly tenderize with mallet. Dust with crushed black pepper and kosher salt. Press salt and pepper into steak with the palm of hand. Transfer steaks to a baking dish and place in the refrigerator. Let marinate for 4 to 8 hours.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add extra-virgin olive oil and onions and lightly saute until onions are caramelized. Add garlic and cook until garlic begins to turn brown. Deglaze with wine and balsamic vinegar. Add sugar and let simmer and reduce for 20 to 30 minutes until mixture reduces to 3/4 cup.

Place steaks over a hot grill. Move once on first side to mark the steaks, cook for 5 minutes and flip, again only moving once to mark steak, cook for 4 minutes. When desired doneness is achieved, remove steaks from grill and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes.

Strain wine mixture and return to heat to reduce for 5 more minutes or until thick syrup is created. Serve with the steaks.

Tonight, I’m serving with grilled Asparagus, oven roasted potatoes, garden salad and fresh fruit compote.

Island Woodfire Shrimp with Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple

Island Woodfire Shrimp with Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple

1 package McCormick® Grill Mates® Island Woodfire Grill Marinade

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons water

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

8 slices bacon

1/2 ripe pineapple

Mix Marinade Mix, oil, vinegar and water in small bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup for brushing. Place shrimp in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add remaining marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 15 minutes or longer for extra flavor. (Marinate seafood no longer than 30 minutes.)

Meanwhile, cut bacon slices in half to make 16 pieces. Place 2 layers of paper towels on microwaveable plate. Place 8 pieces of bacon in single layer on paper towels. Cover with 1 layer of paper towel. Microwave on HIGH 2 to 4 minutes or until bacon is partially cooked. Repeat with remaining bacon. Set aside.

Peel pineapple then halve lengthwise. Cut off core from each half. Slice pineapple crosswise so pieces are same thickness as shrimp. Wrap 1 piece bacon around each pineapple slice. Remove shrimp from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Alternately thread 2 shrimp and a bacon-wrapped pineapple onto each skewer.

Grill skewers over medium-high heat 4 to 6 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through, turning occasionally and brushing with reserved marinade.

Tonight, I’m serving over a bed of Jasmine rice, garden salad and fresh fruit compote

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana Soup

10  cups water
7  chicken bouillon cubes (not granules)
1  teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2  teaspoons garlic paste
1  lb. russet potato, peeled and sliced (Or cubed. About 3 large)
1  lb. ground Italian sausage
1  large white onion, diced
1  bunch fresh kale, torn in small pieces (or 16 oz. bag of prewashed and cut Kale. Discard stems)
1  cup heavy cream
6  tablespoons Oscar Meyer bacon bits

In a large stockpot, put water, bouillon, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, and potatoes. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Sauté the sausage and onion in a skillet, until the sausage is brown, then add it to the stockpot, along with the Kale.

Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, or until Kale and potatoes are tender.

Add the cream and bacon bits, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

I use 10 medium size potatoes.
Half and Half can be substituted for the heavy cream if desired.
Kale can be found in the produce department of most grocery stores.

Tonight, I’m serving with  crusty bread, fresh garden salad and fruit compote.