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How do you do CURRY?

This is how we do curry…RED THAI CURRY that is!

Looking for a quick meal that you can grab from your pantry and freezer? Here it is. Basically if you have coconut milk, red curry paste, veggies, garlic and ginger on hand- you can make this quicker than you can get to a fast food restaurant.  Proteins such as shrimp, chicken or beans w/ extra veggies & some peanuts can be added. I keep frozen garlic and ginger (I get mine from Trader Joe’s or Target) in my freezer at all times. Simply serve with rice, couscous or some naan bread and you’re all set for a quick and delicious meal. I add chopped peanuts, mint, basil and or sriracha – if I happen to have them on hand. But again, you don’t even need very many ingredients to make it yummy.


 Thai Shrimp Curry

from Rachael Ray’s Recipe

Ingredients for Curry:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or other light oil, (eyeball it)
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed (optional, chicken can be used also but should be cooked longer than shrimp)
  • 6 ounces, about 1/3 pound, shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1-inch ginger root, peeled and grated or finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, chopped into 1-inch pieces, whites and greens
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mild or hot red curry paste
  • 2 roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas

For Couscous & Garnish:

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced 
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional)
  • fresh basil or mint (optional)
  • sriracha (optional)


Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat. Add shrimp (or chicken) and toss 2 minutes then add the mushrooms, garlic, ginger, scallions, salt and pepper and cook 3-4 minutes more tossing constantly. Stir in curry paste, roasted red pepper and coconut milk and reduce heat to low. Simmer a few minutes then stir in peas to heat through. If making Couscous: In a sauce pot bring chicken stock, butter and the lime zest to a boil. Add couscous and stir. Turn off heat, cover pot and let stand. Add basil and the lime juice to the pot and fluff with a fork.

Serve couscous or rice- then a few ladles of red curry. Garnish with chopped peanuts, sriracha, basil & mint if you want. Enjoy!

This was posted on July 13, 2011 and has been reposted and edited for clarity/updated information.

the BEST flank steak marinade in the world!

This posted on 3/7/2013 and has been updated for clarity!
Schopeck Family
::Flank Steak Marinade::
Flank steak (typically about ½ lb. per person) + Marinade*
*Make one batch of this marinade per steak:
¾ cup oil
½ cup soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari sauce works great also)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
1 tablespoons garlic powder
2 green onions (sliced)Directions:
Score flank with a knife in a diamond pattern on both sides of each steak (you can skip this step if you are short on time).  Mix marinade ingredients in a zip lock bag and add flank steak (one recipe of marinade per steak).*** Massage mixture into the steak & marinade for at least 48 hours (the longer the better). Grill it on a BBQ at medium temperature. Grill on one side for 7 minutes. Flip and leave for 5 minutes (adding more time if you like it well done). Remove from grill. Let rest for about 5 minutes or so {under tented foil} before slicing at an angle. {If you do not have a BBQ I’m sure this can be done on a grill pan over your burner. It may not get the same results but I’m sure it will be close.}


***This is my mom Marilyn’s family recipe and she makes it this way, but I believe that the rest of her family does it a little bit different! They blend the marinade in a blender before adding it to the flank and reserve part of the un-used marinade to put on the steak afterwards. This was one of those stories where my mom read the recipe wrong and for years she made it her way. When we all discovered that her sisters made it the other way we were not as happy with the results! Gotta love family recipes! Both versions really do taste great and I think they have all had a good laugh about it from time to time.
Either way I hope this becomes one of your family’s favorite recipes too…ENJOY!


{mid-week dinners} green enchilada chicken casserole

Dear {mid-week} Dinner,
Sometimes you are really hard to deal with. Getting through the middle of the week can be tiring and figuring out dinner can be a drag. I guess I do need to keep thinking about actually meal planning to avoid this. Until then I love meals like casseroles or breakfast-for-dinner. Here is one of my favorites from Nana {my mother-in-law} that we have made for years. You can make it the night before or with leftover chicken…it only has a few ingredients…so it comes together quickly! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. See ya next Wednesday!
Sincerely {and with a full belly},
::Paula’s Green Enchilada Chicken Casserole::
– Shredded cooked chicken (leftover or a few boneless/skin-less breasts boiled or baked)
– Corn tortillas (torn or cut into strips…about three strips per tortilla if small)
– Green enchilada sauce
– Cheese (cheddar, jack or shredded Mexican cheese mix, whatever you have on hand)
*optional: sliced black olives and/or one small can of cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup
Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Layer a bit of the sauce on the bottom of an 8×8 pan (larger if making a large batch). Layer tortilla, chicken, sauce & cheese…repeat layers making sure to end with cheese on top (*if using the soup be sure to mix it with the green sauce before hand and if using olives add slices to top layer of the cheese).
Cover with foil and bake 20 – 30 minutes until heated through (removing foil for the last 5 minutes to let cheese bubble & brown). Yum!
**optional garnish toppings: avocado, cheese, sour cream, corn chips, green onions, cilantro
31 days (250)

{comfort food}

Dear Comfort Food,
I have missed you all summer. I am so glad that you are coming back now that the weather is looking like it may be cooling off. I certainly don’t need you…but I sure do love you. Can you show up from time to time this Fall and Winter? I would really appreciate it. And here is one of my favorite recipes…while we are on the subject!
Sincerely {and thankfully},
 DSC_0158 DSC_0175
::Mama Morse’s Chili Cook-Off 1st Prize Winning Chili::

    • 2 lb. ground beef {or turkey}
    • 1 clove garlic (grated or minced) {or more if you like garlic}
    • 1 large onion (chopped)
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 2-3 Tbsp. chili powder
    • ¼ tsp. red pepper (cayenne)
    • dash cloves
    • 2 cans kidney beans w/ liquid (16 oz. cans)
    • ¼ tsp. black pepper
    • 1 tsp. paprika
    • 1 tsp. dried basil
    •  4 cups tomato juice (look for this in the juice aisle at the store…not with the canned tomatoes)
    • 1 can crushed tomatoes
Brown the meat w/ the garlic & onion. Add all ingredients to slow cooker or large pot {adjusting seasoning to taste}. Simmer for at least 30 minutes & serve! For a variety you can add some spicy cayenne pepper. Or for some smokey heat include some chili’s in adobo sauce.
*optional toppings: cheese, sour cream, corn chips, green onions, cilantro*

 By the way, my mom really did win 1st prize at the annual church Chili Cook-Off one year with this bad boy!

31 days (704)


spicy chicken pasta {YUM}

::KATRINA’S Spicy Chicken Pasta::
{make it a Chicken Chipotle Pasta “knock-off” from Cheesecake Factory by reading my notes below}

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4-1/2 T crushed red pepper (depending on how hot you want it)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 T chopped garlic
6 oz chicken, sliced
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup alfredo sauce (you can substitute plain Greek yogurt or sour cream)
2 T butter
1/4 cup peas
1lb rigatoni or penne {I used gluten-free penne}

Cook pasta as usual…

Saute oil over medium heat.  Add crushed red peppers, salt, pepper and garlic.  Saute just long enough for garlic to caramelize and red pepper to release flavor into oil.  Add sliced chicken and sauté briefly to coat in spices and garlic.

Add Marinara sauce first.  Then add alfredo sauce.  Cool until sauce thickens and chicken is thoroughly cooked.  Turn off flame and add butter and peas to sauce.

Mix sauce and pasta and garnish with red pepper flakes (just be careful, it gets hot quick) 😉

*to give it a chipotle flavor I added some ground chipotle pepper seasoning {about 1 tsp at a time} that I always have in my pantry…sprinkle, taste and add more if you like a good chipotle kick!

*I also love to crumble a few tortilla chips on the top of my serving {that’s what I love about the Cheesecake factory dish}! Yum!

I hope you can appreciate this yummy recipe that my friend Katrina sent my way after our last visit!
She is an amazing cook. She throws great parties and always serves delicious food! I knew we would be good friends when I first met her and saw that she owned several of my favorite cookbooks. In many ways her and I are opposite.  She is neat & tidy…and I am a mess. She is a planner & always get’s things done way in advance…and while I am a planner I tend to do things at the very- last-minute. She is organized…and I am disorganized! But we just click. We get each other. We are good for each other. She took me in like a sister when I moved to Fresno. I was lonely and pregnant with Paige and I did not know a soul. Honestly, if she had not pursued me & checked in on me in those difficult, early months of living there I may have crumbled. She was God’s hand in my life in the most tangible way and I will always be so, so grateful! And…she fed me. When Aaron was working long hours…she fed me. During holidays away from our families…she fed me. She always feeds me. Good food. My kind of food. She is my kind of friend…and I just love her {oh and I love her little family too}. Thank you sweet friend!

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