Stuffed Mushrooms with Imitation Crab Meat

As a chef most people find it shocking when they hear that I am not a huge fan of mushrooms. Not that I dislike all mushrooms, I do really like a morel cream sauce. My wife’s family really loves mushrooms and while out at the farmers market we came by some beautiful portobello mushrooms. I love to make dishes with portobellos especially when others enjoy them. These are easy to make and you can make them ahead of time so you can spend more time with your guests. You can make them in gigantic portobello mushrooms like I did this time or regular white button mushrooms; the stuffing would be the same in either case. So let’s get to it.

First off take a red, green, and yellow pepper and one medium red onion and dice it into small pieces add a tablespoon of chopped garlic, a couple shakes of Old Bay seasoning and some salt & pepper. Add about ½ stick of butter to a sauté pan set over medium heat and cook the vegetables until they become soft. Pour them into a bowl to let them cool with 4 oz. of cream cheese while you get the mushrooms ready.

Remove the stems of the mushrooms, you can do two things now, you can fine dice it and put in the sautéed vegetables or just get rid of them, your call. I tossed them in this time.


With a tablespoon now carefully scrape out the gills from the underside of the mushroom and discard them. You don’t want them because they taste bitter.


Now dice up the pound imitation crab meat, you want these a little large because they will break down when you mix everything up. Toss the crab in the bowl with everything else and mix thoroughly. Here you might have to add some Italian bread crumbs to tighten up the mixture. You want the mixture to be tight enough to make a “slushy” snowball.



In this case divide the mixture into quarters and place on top of the mushrooms. You can cover them if you want and stow them in the fridge for a day or two or place them into an oven preheated to 375F. Cook them for about 20 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown.



Isreal Couscous with Peppers

I like serving couscous in the summer, you don’t really have to cook it, you can make it a day ahead and you can serve at room temperature. So here is how I did it this time.

I took a red onion, red, green and yellow pepper and diced them pretty small and sautéed them in some good olive oil with some salt & pepper and chopped fresh garlic. Put that in a mixing bowl to cool while I cooked the couscous.

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I like the Israeli couscous because it is bigger than the regular one. I used two boxes this time, cooked with chicken stock instead of water for extra flavor. Cook per the instructions on the box, just be careful not to over-cook it because it will turn to mush and you really don’t want that.


Take the freshly cooked couscous and combine it with the onion and pepper mixture. Here you might have to add a little olive oil and check your salt & pepper seasoning.


Let it cool and then cover it and store it in the fridge.

Enjoy ~

Roast Chicken Mash & Peas

It’s funny how dinner comes about some nights. I look over at the drawers where I keep the onions and potatoes and I see 3 big potatoes starting to sprout, so I know I will use them in some way for dinner tonight.  Some more poking around I find a half-open bag of frozen peas and I knew I was making roast chicken for dinner anyway.

Started by peeling the potatoes and cutting them up into chunks because I’m going to make mashed potatoes. I put them in a pot, bring them to a boil, cook until they are fork soft. Then drain them and put them back in the pot and on the stove. On low heat, and add a stick of butter and some half & half to get them to the desired thickness then I add the salt & pepper to taste. This is how they end up.

cut potatoes

mashed potatoes

Today I have chicken thighs that I seasoned with salt & pepper, a little paprika, some granulated garlic and sprayed them with a little oil. Set the oven to 400 degrees and put them on the next to the top rack. Cook until they are a dark golden brown or until a thermometer reads at least 165 degrees nearest the bone.

chicken prep

In a small pan I mixed together some chicken stock and some beef stock and let that reduce on the stove while the chicken cooked. While the stock was boiling, I mixed together 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/3 cup of water and while whisking the stock, slowly poured in the slurry in until the stock thickened into a sauce. Check it for seasoning, it might need some pepper to offset the saltiness from reducing the stock.


I took the frozen peas put them in a pot with some water to cover, brought them to a boil for a minute or two then drained most of the water. Add a good sized piece of butter and add some salt & pepper to your liking, turn the heat off under the pot, cover the pot and let it sit there until you are ready to serve dinner.

As you can see, I plated the mashed potatoes, made a well for the sauce, and filled it to the brim, put a couple of scoops of peas on the plate and then the crispy skinned chicken thighs on the plate.  Pour yourself some sort of refreshing adult beverage and dig in!  Enjoy ~

roast chicken and mash


Sometimes homemade is better than store-bought so this is how I make coleslaw.

You will need 1.5 pound head of red and green cabbage.

red/green cabbage

In a big bowl add 1.5 cups of mayonnaise. Mix with ¼ cup of milk, 3 tbsp of sugar, salt, pepper and a dash of celery seeds to taste.

coleslaw sauce

Cut the cabbage in half and take out the core. Cut into wedges as you can see in the background of the picture above, from the wedges cut them into small strips or run them through a food processor.

Add all the cabbage to the big bowl, mix thoroughly and let rest in the fridge for a ½ hour, then mix again to make sure everything is combined together. Make sure to taste it at this time and adjust the salt & pepper or sugar. Cover and store in the fridge.

Remember as it sits, the moisture will leach out of the cabbage causing the coleslaw to be wetter at the bottom of the bowl. Just stir everything together before serving.

In our case, we had some sliced carrots I just threw in at the last-minute.

You can also make it yours by adding raisins, cranberries, apples, pineapples, or even blue cheese.