I had never heard of Shakshuka until recently. Basically its eggs poached in a tomato sauce.  It’s very popular in Israel and the Mid east. They eat it for breakfast or lunch but my version is actually a dinner dish.  In addition its easy to make and is a one pot meal. This is the version i made but you can use jarred spaghetti sauce if you want,or even chili. pretty much any tomato based sauce

1 Lb hot Italian sausage
4 eggs
1 onion diced
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
8 cloves garlic sliced
1 poblano pepper seeded and diced (use a jalapeno if you want it hotter,an anaheim for milder)
28oz can diced tomatoes
6 oz can tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup red wine
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil

In a skillet brown the sausage. remove and set aside
add the olive oil to the pan.
saute the onions until they start to soften
add the mushrooms  pepper and continue cooking until soft.
pour in the red wine and stir up any brown bits.
add the tomato paste and garlic
cook 2 minutes stirring constantly
add the canned tomatoes,sugar,reserved sausage and bay leaves.
bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes
make a small depression in the sauce and carefully crack an egg into it
repeat for the other 3 eggs
simmer 10 minutes or so until the eggs are poached.

serves 4

Meatloaf with bacon and mushrooms


comfort food…. bacon….  yum

1 1/4 lbs ground beef
1/2 lb bacon diced
1 lb mushrooms finely chopped in a food processor
1 onion diced
1 shallot diced
1/2 cup chopped basil
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 eggs1 1/2 cups italian seasoned bread crumbs

preheat oven to 350
in a large skillet cook the bacon until crispy
remove the bacon and reserve leaving the grease behind
saute the onion and shallot until just soft
add the chopped mushrooms and continue sauteeing until the liquid the mushrooms release is mostly evaporated
in a large bowl mix every thing together except the ketchup just until well mixed
place into a 5×9 loaf pan
spread the ketchup over the top
bake for 60-75 minutes

serves 4

parmesean roasted cauliflower


Based on a bon apetit recipe
If your not a cauliflower eater this recipe may change your mind

1 head cauliflower cut into florets
1 large onion halved and sliced
6 cloves garlic unpeeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup grated parmesean
ground pepper

preheat an oven to 425
spread the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet
spread the onion and garlic between the florets
drizzle the oil over all
sprinkle the thyme and pepper over all

roast for 40 minutes stirring occasionally
sprinkle the cheese over all
roast 10 more minutes

served 3-4

Low carb shrimp etouffee


low carb version of shrimp etouffee using cauliflower instead of rice

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oil + 2 Tbsp divided

1 head cauliflower
1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
1/2 cup butter
1 onion diced
2 green peppers diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp salt
1 qt seafood stock

slice the cauliflower into florets. process in a food processor using pulse until finely chopped (about the size of rice kernels)
set aside

in a medium saute pan heat the 1/2 cup of oil. stir in the flour and cook over medium heat stirring continually to make a light peanut butter colored roux. set aside

in a medium sauce pan melt the butter.
add the diced vegetables and garlic
cook stiring often until soft.
add the paprika,salt and peppers.
cook 2 more minutes
add the stock and bring to a boil
stir in the roux using a whisk.
reduce heat to medium and add the shrimp.
cook 10 minutes

while the shrimp is cooking heat the 2 Tbsp oil in a saute pan
add the cauliflower and saute 4 minutes stirring often

serve the etouffee over the cauliflower

serve 3-4

you can use crawfish instead of teh shrimp or chicken. if using chicken replace the seafood stock with chicken stock

tomato and zucchini gratin


based on a recipe from le cordon blue

2 1/2 lbs zucchini sliced 1/4 inch thick
5 medium tomatoes sliced
1 lb tomatoes peeled,seeded and diced
1 onion diced
1 1/2 cup grated swiss cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper

preheat the oven to 375
in a medium saute pan saute the onions until soft. add the garlic and diced tomatoes,season with salt and pepper  and cook over medium heat 15 minutes
pour the tomato onion mixture into a 9×13 baking dish
add a layer of sliced zucchini on top of mixture
add a layer of the sliced tomatoes on top
repeat with alternating zucchini and tomato layers It doesn’t matter which layer ends up on top
sprinkle the thyme over the top
sprinkle the cheese over all
bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes until the cheese is browned

serves 6



we are trying more of a low carb diet. we also love pasta. I tried spaghetti squash as an alternative but wasnt impressed. Then i heard about Zoodles. Basically it zucchini noodles. I bought a device called a veggeti for $15 at bed bath and beyond and figured I try it out. IT WORKED . much better than spaghetti squash.

I used 4 small medium zucchini. I used the thick setting on the veggeti to make the noodles and used a knife to cut them into managable strands. Then i sauteed the strands in olive oil for 4 minutes . i drained the “pasta” and poured my pasta sauce over it.

the 4 zucchinis made about 4 servings.

jewish grandmother brisket #2


another recipe for a braised jewish grandmother style of brisket. takes longer than my other recipe but is delicious

4 Lb market trimmed brisket
12 oz bottle chili sauce (I use heinz)
2 packages dry onion soup
1 1/2 cup coca cola (not diet)

preheat the oven to 500
in a medium bow mix the chili sauce and the onion soup
place the brisket in a large dutch oven or a roasting pan
cook 15 minutes at 500
remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 250
pour the chili sauce mixture over the brisket spreading it out to cover
slowly pour the coca cola over the brisket
cover tightly and cook at 250 for about 4 hours or so .flip the brisket after about 1.2 way thru I use about an hour a pound as a guide
remove when a meat thermometer reads 190
let rest for 20 minutes before slicing across the grain into 1/2 slices

this recipe can be made the day before
if done that way after its done cooking place in the fridge before slicing with the juice>
about an our before you ready to serve it preheat the oven to 325
remove the brisket from the fat juice
skim the fat off the juice
slice the brisket across the grain
return to a roasting pan with the juice
cover tightly and cook 1 hour or so to reheat

I assume 1/2-3/4 lb per person a 4 lb brisket will serve 6-8