Monday, September 2, 2013

Baked Fish with Browned Bread Crumbs

By Paul Briand

My son in law Jeremy came home from a recent fishing trip with a catch of pollock.

It is a white fish, like cod or haddock, but with meat that I think is a little more dense and rich that holds up really well to baking.

He gave me two fillets and I cooked them up using a recipe that my mother has been using for baked haddock for years.

Here’s my version:

Two fillets of white fish (pollock or haddock), about a pound each
Half a cup of prepared breadcrumbs (I used a half and half combination of Panko and traditional)
Half stick of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Three cloves garlic crushed
Quarter cup of white win (Pinot Grigio works fine)
Squeeze of lemon for garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and place fillets in large glass baking dish;
2. Pour wine over fish and dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside;
3. In a frying pan over medium high heat, melt the butter;
4. Once butter starts to bubble, add the crushed garlic and the breadcrumbs;
5. Constantly stir as the breadcrumbs immediately soak up the butter and the breadcrumbs start to brown;
6. Remove breadcrumbs from heat and use a spoon to evenly cover each fillet;
7. Place in the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the fish starts to flake;
8. Serve with a garnish of squeezed lemon.

Click here for recipe card.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs

By Paul Briand

This is a wonderful recipe, courtesy of Bon Appetit.

I would describe it as a stew, but the fact that it bakes for so long in the oven puts it more in the category of a bourguignon, but with pork instead of beef.

The recipe calls for beef ribs, but I substituted pork ribs. They were a little harder to handle to cut up, but, when done, the meat fell easily from the bone.

It is rich and it is full of flavor, helped in heaping amounts by the Cabernet Sauvignon that slowly cooks down in the pot.

5 pounds bone-in beef short ribs (or pork ribs), cut crosswise into 2- inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bottle dry red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
8 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs oregano
2 sprigs rosemary
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
4 cups low-salt beef stock

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and season short ribs with salt and pepper;
2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown short ribs on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch;
3. Transfer short ribs to a plate. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of drippings from pot;
4. Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are browned, about 5 minutes;
5. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red, 2-3 minutes;
6. Stir in wine, then add short ribs with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 25 minutes;
7. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic. Stir in stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven;
8. Cook until short ribs are tender, 2–2 1/2 hours;
9. Transfer short ribs to a platter;
10. Strain sauce from pot into a measuring cup. Spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard;
11. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper;
12. Serve in shallow bowls over mashed potatoes with sauce spooned over.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Honey Spice Chicken Thighs

By Paul Briand

I had some chicken thighs in the fridge, and did an online search on how I might prepare them.

Here was the most interesting of what I saw: Honey Spice Chicken Thighs from the BudgetBytes blog.

I did not add the heat of the cayenne as indicated, bowing to my wife’s palate, which tends toward less heat than I might normally add.

What I liked about this blog was how it broke the meal down by ingredient to cost. In total, according to its calculations, this meal cost a total of $5.13

8 chicken thighs (about 4 pounds worth)
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and in a small bowl, combine everything except the chicken thighs until combined;
2. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs if desired. Place the chicken thighs either on a roasting pan or a baking sheet covered with foil;
3. Brush the honey spice mixture over the surface of the chicken thighs, using about half of the total honey mixture;
4. Roast thighs for about 20 minutes;
5. Remove thighs from oven and brush on remaining honey spice mixture;
6. Return chicken to oven and roast for another 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Click here for recipe card.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cheesy Short Rib and Sausage Lasagna Soup

By Paul Briand

Here’s another find via Flipboard, a well-used news and information app on my iPhone.

I’m a big fan of lasagna and have a few recipes here:
Mexican Lasagna
Skillet Lasagna
Unbelievable Lasagna
White House Turkey Lasagna with Spinach
Taco Lasagna

That said, I’m not a big soup guy, but the idea of lasagna as soup was intriguing.

So I followed the Flipboard link and found this recipe at

It’s a little work intensive, given the need to cook down the pork, but it’s as hearty as you might imagine it would be and very tasty.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
6 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
8 ounces dried ditalini or small fusilli pasta
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (About 5 ounces)
1 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, adjusting rack to accommodate your Dutch oven;
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, oven-safe stockpot or Dutch oven;
3. Generously season short ribs with salt and pepper;
4. When oil is shimmering, brown short ribs on all sides until golden brown, about 6 minutes total. Remove meat and transfer to a platter;
5. Add Italian sausage and brown, breaking up into little bits, until nearly cooked through, about 6 minutes;
6. Add onions, bell pepper and garlic to pan and sauté, stirring periodically, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes;
7. Return short ribs to pan. Add wine, tomatoes, chicken stock, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, bay leaves and thyme. Season with about 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven to cook until meat is fork tender, about 2 1/2 hours;
8. Remove from oven and transfer pot to stovetop. Shred short ribs using two forks. Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs;
9. Return to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until still slightly firm;
10. Combine ricotta, Parmesan, Asiago, mozzarella, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste;
11. Remove soup from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Spoon into individual bowls, top with a generous dollop of cheese mixture and serve immediately.

Click here for recipe card.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Cupcakes

By Paul Briand

Meatloaf and bacon: It’s a combination that’s very hard to resist, especially when it’s packaged together in this unique recipe I found on Yummly via the Flipboard app.

Come on, how can you not immediately fall in love with the notion of a bacon wrapped meatloaf disguised to look like a cupcake?

I served it for a big family dinner, (the recipe serves 12) and I substituted the white mashed potatoes with whipped sweet potatoes as the topping. And I didn’t use a piping bag as suggested; I just dolloped the potatoes on with a spoon.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs
1 onion, finely diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (8-ounce) can tomato paste
2 tbs brown sugar
1 1/2 tbs Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
12 slices of bacon
4-6 potatoes
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees;
2. For the meatloaf: Line your muffin tin with the bacon so that each tin is circled by one strip;
3. Mix together the beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, salt, pepper, tomato paste, sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce;
4. Form the meat into 12 equally sized balls and place them into the bacon-lined muffin tins. Fold the top of the bacon over, if needed;
5. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meat is cooked through and the bacon is crisp;
6. For the potatoes: While the meatloaf is cooking, dice he potatoes and boil them in salted water until they’re soft;
7. Drain the potatoes, place into a mixing bowl, and mash them with a fork until they’re completely smooth;
8. Add your butter, cheese, milk, salt, etc and mix until fully combined;
9. Move your mashed potatoes into a piping bag (or a zip-lock with an edge cut off) and save it until the meatloaf is ready;
10. Once the meatloaf is ready, remove from oven and pipe them with the potatoes;
11. Turn the oven up to 400-500 degrees and re-heat until the tops of the potatoes are golden brown.

Click here for recipe card.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Throwdown: Chicken Marsala Stew

David, left, and me during our Marsala Chicken Stew cook-off.

By Paul Briand

My son David and I had a kitchen throwdown last weekend.

Family was in town for my granddaughter Rylin’s christening, and I wanted to serve something that would appeal to the crowd we anticipated for dinner on Saturday night.

A little bit of research into my recipe collection led me to this Chicken Marsala Stew with Spring Vegetables, which I featured here on Eats@Home back in April 2010.

I needed to double the recipe, which, as listed feeds four. So I bought double the ingredients, and invited my son, who is quite accomplished in the kitchen (per his Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts), to cook one pot of the stew while I cooked the other..

The rules of the throwdown were pretty simple: We had to follow the recipe except for one ingredient that he or I could throw into the pot.

He chose Old Bay Seasoning.

I chose red pepper flakes.

David won.

There are some strong flavors in this stew, which I originally picked up from an Associated Press story. Unlike a normal stew, doesn’t really take that long to cook.

The Marsala wine needs to come through, as does the balsamic vinegar.

My use of red pepper flakes was meant to add a bit of a back bite to the dish, but not overpower the Marsala and vinegar. It didn’t quite work out that way, and it’s probably because I don’t think I used enough flake. The back bite was barely discernible.

The Old Bay, on the other hand, complemented the Marsala and vinegar.

The seasoning is best known as an important ingredient for crab cakes, but it can be used to help flavor all kinds of recipes from fish to chicken to potatoes. I use Old Bay sometimes when I make my own Sweet Potato Fries.

Both pots of stew were cleaned out, but David’s version was clearly the crowd favorite. As it was with me, too.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Potato Sausage Casserole

By Paul Briand

This recipe came about from an Internet search. We had some leftover sausage from a football game throwdown, I needed to use up the meat, and I was expecting a crowd for dinner.

The most appealing recipe that came up in my search was this Potato Sausage Casserole from

As per my normal suggestion, look for the low-sodium canned ingredients where you can, such as the cream of mushroom soup in this recipe. Low-fat cheese is also an option, though I find it doesn’t get as creamy when melted as the full-fat.

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups sliced peeled potatoes
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Minced fresh parsley, optional

1. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink then drain and set aside;
2. Combine the soup, milk, onion, salt and pepper;
3. In a greased 2-quart baking dish, layer half of the potatoes, soup mixture and sausage. Repeat layers;
4. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until potatoes are tender;
5. Sprinkle with cheese; bake, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes more minutes or until cheese is melted;
6. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Click here for recipe card.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano

By Paul Briand

One of my favorite iPhone apps is something called Flipboard, which enables me to literally flip through a variety of news and information.

And one source of information that I keyed into my Flipboard preferences is a Recipes category, which is where I stumbled across this recipe for Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano from Bon Appetit..

A couple of notes on this recipe: I didn’t use fresh oregano; I used what I had in my spice rack. Also, it seemed that the caramelization of the lemon rind added some bitterness to the dish, at least that was the sense that my wife and I had.

1 lemon
4 large or 8 small skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 sprigs oregano
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.. Very thinly slice half of lemon; discard any seeds. Cut remaining lemon half into 2 wedges. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper;
2. Coat a large room-temperature skillet with 1 teaspoon oil. Add chicken, skin side down;
3. Place skillet over medium heat and cook, letting skin render and brown, and pouring off excess fat to maintain a thin coating in pan, until chicken is cooked halfway through, about 10 minutes;
4. Scatter half of lemon slices over chicken and half on bottom of skillet (the slices on top of the chicken will soften; those in the skillet will caramelize);
5. Transfer skillet to oven, leaving chicken skin side down. Roast until chicken is cooked through, skin is crisp, and lemon slices on bottom of skillet are caramelized, 6-8 minutes;
6. Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, and caramelized lemon slices from bottom of skillet to a warm platter. (Leave softened lemon slices in the skillet.);
7. Return skillet to medium heat. Add oregano sprigs, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute;
8. Remove skillet from heat. Add wine; cook over medium heat until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes;
9. Add broth; cook until thickened, about 3 minutes;
10. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over and season sauce with salt, pepper, and juice from remaining lemon wedge, if desired;
11. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, to rewarm. Serve topped with caramelized lemon slices.

Click here for recipe card.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Spinach Dip in Filo Cups

By Paul Briand

My Spinach and Artichoke Dip is pretty popular among family and those who have made it themselves.

I've been making it for special occasions for years, but for this holiday season I wanted to try something different.

So instead of making a batch and just serving it with the usual Triscuits, I made a batch and used some to fill frozen prepared filo cups. I put dip into 45 cups.

The process of putting the warm dip into the cups immediately warmed the cups, but after a while they need to go into the oven to rewarm.

It was a great variation on a theme.

As listed in the dip recipe above;
Prepared filo cups, found in your grocer's freezer

1. Remove filo cups from their packaging to thaw;
2.. Make a batch of dip as described in the recipe above;
3. Take a gallon storage bag and use scissors to trim a corner of the bag to create the equivalent of a baker's icing bag;
4. Spoon a good amount of dip into the bag and squeeze a dollop to fill each of the cups;
5. Serve immediately; reheat in a warm oven on a cookie sheet as needed.
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