Paella

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1 pound mussels
1/2 pound small shrimp
1/2 pound large shrimp
1/2 pound squid
4 big clams
2 small lobster tails
4 cups chicken broth
1 small yellow onion
4 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons Spanish Olive Oil
3 cups Spanish rice or medium grain rice
1 ripe tomato cut into small pieces
1 medium jar pimientos morones (sweet red pepper)
1 cup peas
2 tablespoons azafrán (around 15 to 20 threads)
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
Sea Salt

Garnish with lemons

Paella Pan for 8 servings

Preheat oven 400 degrees. In a tall pot boil 6 cups of water with some sea salt and cook 2/3 of the mussels until they open. Save 4 cups of the mussels water for later use. In a paella pan over medium high heat olive oil, cook onions and garlic for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add Tomatoes and some salt, cook for 2 minutes. Add mussels water, paprika, black pepper, sea salt to taste and stir. When the water start to boil add rice, peas, sweet peppers, squid, shrimp and the other 1/3 mussels and stir. Place paella in the oven with a loose foil sheet and cook for 8 minutes. Stir carefully and add clams and lobster tails, pour the chicken broth evenly on top and cook uncover until dry. Pour more broth if necessary to finish rice but do not stir. Rice should be aldente not over cooked. Garnish with lemons and serve

Sonia's Puerto Rican Lobster Salad – Coqui


3 lobster tails
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion cut into small pieces
6 minced garlic cloves
1 hard beef tomato cut into small pieces
1/3 cup shredded cabbage or celery cut into tiny pieces
1 lime juice
1 teaspoon old bay
sea salt and black pepper

For cocktail party appetizers add 1/4 cup Pernod and serve on top of tostones or toasted garlic bread pieces! Coqui

Cook lobster tails in sea salt for 16 minutes. Let it cool and cut into 1″ pieces. In a bowl mix all of the ingredients. Serve at room temperature or cold. Place in refrigerator until time to serve. Serves 4 hungry Puerto Ricans, jaja

FYI- Lobsters are low in fat content, making them one of the best choices for health conscious people. The high content of protein makes this food beneficial, especially for athletes.

Lobsters are low in cholesterol and thereby, they assist in maintaining triglyceride levels in the body and keeping the heart healthy.

Like other seafood, lobsters are also a good source of omega 3-fatty acids that are essential for the proper functioning of the heart and brain. These fatty acids help in lowering the risk of arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden cardiac deaths. Furthermore, the compounds in lobsters facilitate in reducing the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque and lowering the blood pressure.

Lobster can be very effective in preventing various health disorders such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer and chronic conditions involving bone, connective tissue, heart and blood vessels.

Zinc found in lobsters is necessary for increasing activities of the brain, boosting the immune system and preventing loss of vision. In addition, this mineral also effectively heals injuries in body tissues.

Phosphorus, found in abundance in lobsters, aids in the formation of teeth and bones. It facilitates the rate of metabolism, enhances the functioning of kidneys and lessens joint pain.

Being a great source of vitamin B12, lobsters also help in maintaining the red blood cells and nerve cells. It improves the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and prevents other neurological problems.

Lobsters possess the trace element, selenium, which is beneficial for triggering the activity of thyroid glands as well as the immune system. Selenium is known to protect the body cells against free radicals during the process of metabolism, apart from monitoring the oxidation of cholesterol to prevent coronary artery disease.

Lite Traditional Shepherd's Pie

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For the mashed potatoes
4 pounds cooked potatoes
4 tablespoon lite butter
1/4 cup fat free heavy cream (supermarkets usually have it with the milk)
1 cup 2% white cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

For the filling
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 yellow onions cut into small pieces
2 carrot cut into small pieces
2 celery stalk cut into small pieces
4 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup beef stock
2 tablespoon worcestershire
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees. In a pan heat olive oil over medium, saute onions, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and pepper for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add turkey, beef, tomato sauce and paste and cook for 4 minutes. Add stock, worcestershire and cumin and simmer for 8 minutes. Mix peas and cook for 2 more minutes. Pour into rectangular baking dish.
Mash boiled potatoes with all ingredients and pour on top of mixture. Bake for 15 minutes then change to broil and cook until crispy, around 5 more minutes

*This recipe is an inspiration from my irish friend in Palos Verdes!IMG_0474

Shepherd's Pie with a twist


1 tbsp Extra Virgin olive Oil
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup diced carrot
6 oz med size cremini mushrooms chopped into 6ths
1 tsp Penzey minced garlic (rehydrate) or 1 1/2 clove minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp flour
2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
3/4 lb. ground beef
3/4 lb. ground lamb
1/2 cup good red wine
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped italian flat leaf parsley
2 cups frozen peas

Optional – 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls, unrolled and cut into 8 pieces.
Mashed potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In large sauté pan add extra virgin olive oil and butter and bring heat to speed. Add onion, carrot and mushrooms and sautee until onion translucent and veggies cooked, about 8 minutes.

Add garlic and rosemary salt and pepper and continue to sauté another minute.

Add flour and tomato paste, stir and cook another minute until well incorporated.

Add wine and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. This develops a rich flavor in the meat.

Add beef stock, worcestershire sauce and parsley and continue to cook another 3 or 4 minutes, or until sauce begins to thicken. Add peas and continue to simmer another 8 minutes stirring gently to keep peas in shape. Taste and add a sprinkling of more salt and pepper if needed.

Transfer meat mixture into a casserole dish and put into oven for 12 minutes if using crescent rolls. Pull dish from oven and add the pastry pieces to the top and cooking another 18 minutes or so or until pastry is golden brown.

If using mashed potatoes, spread potatoes onto the meat mixture and bake in 400 degree oven 18 to 20 minutes.

Artichoke Basil Dip

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1 1/2 cups or 12oz artichoke hearts
1 cup fresh basil
1 avocado
juice of two lemons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

In a blender mix all ingredients and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until time to serve. Makes two cups
Great as a dip or on top of grilled chicken or fish
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Shrimp Louie Salad

shrimp louise
1/2 pound large cooked shrimp, chilled
2 bags romaine lettuce
2 tomatoes each cut into 8 pieces
1 medium cucumber cut into pieces
6 hard boiled eggs cut in half
2 lemons cut into half moon pieces

Louie Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise I use lite mayo
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup sweet relish
1/4 cup mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons white onions, grated or 1 teaspoon onion powder

For dressing mix all ingredients and chill for 1 hour. Assemble salad (follow picture) and top with dressing. serves 6

Lentejas or Lentils


1 pack lentils
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup of pieces of smoked ham
1 yellow onion, diced small
3 carrot, diced small
5 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 springs thyme

Rinse lentils. In deep pan boil 3 cups of chicken broth and add lentils. Simmer for 20 minutes. In a pan heat olive oil, add onion, garlic cook for 4 minutes and add thyme, ham and carrots with salt and pepper and cook until garlic starts to turn brown. Add mixture to lentils and cook until done. Serves 6

*We always eat lentil at my house the first of the year for prosperity!

FYI- Lentils are part of the legume family. Lentils are seeds of a plant whose botanical name is Lens ensculenta. They grow in pods that contain either one or two lentil seeds that are round, oval or heart-shaped disks. Lentils are a good source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B and iron. They are high in nutritional value and are available throughout the year and can be purchased fresh, frozen or canned and are often put in salads and soups. Lentils are rich in both the soluble and insoluble dietary fiber which is helpful in preventing digestive disorders and heart diseases. They are also extremely useful in lowering cholesterol and managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Lentils are believed to have originated in central Asia and the history of lentils can be traced back to over ten thousand years. The ancient Greeks were known to use lentils in a variety of ways including for making bread. They are also mentioned in the Holy Bible. Lentils are classified according to whether they are large or small in size with dozens of varieties of each being cultivated. While the most common types in the United States are either green or brown, lentils are also available in black, yellow, red and orange colors. They are sold whole or split into halves. Some of the commercial producers of lentils include India, Turkey, Canada, China and Syria.