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Mufasa Corn

Mufasa was one BIG goat…. here is the story.

There is a sweet lady named Susanne who once lived near Tyler and had many goats. I see this sweet goat-raising lady a few times a year and a meal is always in the story. I seem to always bring a dish with goat cheese and like clockwork she politely declines to indulge in my creation. She came clean and explained the taste of goat cheese smells just like those stinky goats!

The last meal we shared I made what I was calling a “corn and tomato succotash”. She officially renamed the dish in honor of her biggest goat (who was quite popular with the ladies)… Mufasa.

It works… and it tastes incredible.


  • 5 ears sweet corn, cooked and kernels removed
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced medium
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


Boil corn for 7 minutes. Cut kernels from ears of corn. You can also use a large bag of frozen corn. Be sure to defrost, drain and dry the kernels (try to get the water off so they will brown in the pan). Add corn and onion to skillet over medium heat with 1-2 T olive oil. Cook on medium high until the corn has slightly charred. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and add tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes just to warm through. Stir in goat cheese and cream. Serve warm or room temperature.

Bok Choy with Shiitakes and Oyster Sauce

I can’t say enough about my friend Catherine… whom I adore. Not only is she the kindest person with the sweetest smile, she is not afraid to give anything a try in the kitchen. We had a girls night in to catch up, drink wine and cook some things on our “blog list”.

She brought Mark Bittman’s Bok Choy recipe and I did my mom’s Beef Stroganoff (recipe coming soon). As an appetizer we devoured brussel sprouts glazed in maple syrup with bacon and for dessert we munched on squares of dark chocolate. Life is good.

Recipe by Mark Bitten for The New York Times


  • 1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 pounds bok choy, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup commercial oyster sauce



Soak shiitakes in one cup of very hot water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Trim mushrooms and chop. Separate leaves and stems of bok choy; cut stems into 2-inch lengths and slice leaves into ribbons.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When oil is hot, add bok choy stems, garlic if you are using it, reconstituted mushrooms, and about 1/4 cup reserved mushroom water. Cook, stirring frequently, until stems are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil; sauté fresh shiitake mushrooms over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until they begin to brown and crisp on edges.

Into the large skillet or wok, add bok choy leaves and oyster sauce and toss vegetables gently to combine; continue cooking until greens wilt, about 2 more minutes. Serve immediately, topped with crisp mushrooms.

Brussel Sprouts with Shallots, Bacon and Maple Syrup

This past weekend I took my beautiful friend, Jen from upstate NY, to one of my new favorite restaurants in Dallas: Neighborhood Services. I’ve dined at Neighborhood Services several times and am always impressed with the creativity of the chef & owner: Nick Badovinus.

I’m a lover of brussel sprouts IF they are roasted in the oven. I do not care for the boiled to death green balls of bitterness. These were so fabulous and the entire table raved about how delicious they were. So I set off to recreate them as best as possible and they are almost as tasty as Nicks.


  • 1 shallot, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup: Grade A Vermont preferred
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 strips thick cut bacon
  • brussel sprouts (as many as you want)


Cut bacon into small dice – about 1/4 inch. Place in saute pan and cook over low heat. When crispy, drain bacon on paper towels set aside to cool. Keep bacon fat in saute pan for later.

Boil pot of water. Drop in whole brussel sprouts for 2 minutes. Remove from pot and place into bowl of ice water. Cut brussel sprouts in half, and spread onto flat baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and lightly salt. Place on high shelf in oven and broil for about 7- 10 minutes or until lightly blackened.

In the saute pan with the remaining bacon fat, add 1 tbsp. of butter and melt over over medium heat. When melted, saute shallot until tender. Add maple syrup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar and stir until slightly thickened. Toss in brussel sprouts and toss until coated.

Serve topped with bacon.

Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Ravioli in Pineapple Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Making ravioli is easy when you don’t have to make the pasta. These beautiful little pillows are savory, delightfully sweet and very easy to make thanks to premade wonton wrappers.

I used Pineapple Sage as I had a ton of it in my garden and I had no idea what to do with it… but regular fresh sage will be just as wonderful.

Your efforts will not go without reward (these freeze VERY well and make about 4 dozen)… well worth the time to make them… and enjoy for a few months.

I served the ravioli as a side with an apple cider brined pork chop finished with a shallot cider pan sauce (recipe to come soon and may be the best thing I’ve come up with on the spot). These beauties would also be very impressive as an appetizer for the holidays.

Note: Wonton wrappers are found in the freezer section of most grocery stores.


  • 1 small to medium acorn squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 sweet potato or yam
  • 1 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup crème fraiche (substitute: cream cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 package round Wonton Wrappers (usually found in the freezer section)
  • Flour, for dusting board
  • 4 tablespoons sweet butter
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, for grating


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a roasting pan. Scrub outside of sweet potato, pierce with fork in several places and place on roasting pan with acorn squash. Cook in the oven until very soft, about 1 hour.

Let cool to room temperature and scoop out flesh into a large mixing bowl. Mash with sweet potato until well combined.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to brown. Immediately remove from heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon molasses and all the vinegar. Add to squash and sweet potato with crème fraiche, Parmesan, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper and mix well. The recipe can be made ahead to this point. Cover well and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 2 days.

To fill the raviolis: Put 1 tablespoon squash filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Leave a 1/2-inch border all around the filling. Moisten borders with water and fold in half. Press all the air out and seal firmly by pressing all around with fingertips. Lay raviolis out to dry on a lightly floured board or baking sheet and lightly flour the tops. Repeat until you run out of wrappers and/or filling.

To cook, boil in lightly salted water until tender, about 3 minutes. Reserve 2 ounces of the cooking water.

Uncooked, filled raviolis may be used immediately or frozen for 2 months. Lay them out on sheet pans and place in freezer until frozen. Transfer to plastic bag.

For the Sage Brown Butter: While raviolis are cooking, in a large saute pan, melt the butter with the sage and a pinch of salt until it foams and becomes light brown. Reserve.

On medium heat toss the cooked raviolis in the sage butter then transfer to a serving platter or dishes. Finish with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese.


Roasted Potato Salad with Dijon Caper Vinaigrette

This potato salad is party friendly and exactly what I had in mind for an upcoming BBQ. Yes, I know the recipe calls for bacon and there is NO bacon in my photo. I decided to test out this recipe before serving it to people I’d like to keep as friends… and well I had no bacon. It will make its way into the next batch of this perfectly tangy and tasty potato salad.

To make ahead: make dressing and store in refrigerator (bring to room temperature the day of serving). Roast potatoes the day before and store in refrigerator. Before serving, warm potatoes in oven & follow recipe assembly.


  • 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes – cut into 3/4” pieces
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers – drained
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat your oven to 400°F and set the top rack in the middle position.

Toss potatoes with 2 T olive oil, minced garlic, salt & pepper and spread the potatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet.

Turn potatoes every 15 minutes. Bake for 45 minutes total or until golden brown and crispy.

Whisk together mustard, vinegar and honey. Slowly pour the olive oil in while whisking to emulsify the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the potatoes, bacon, red onion and capers in a large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette and serve warm or room temperature. Adjust seasonings if needed.


Shrimp Stuffed Zucchini

I should have called this “Summer Stuffed Zucchini” as it’s full of sweet summer flavors. I found these cute litte tatuma zucchini at Central Market and thought why not… they remind me of mini pumpkins. You can use regular zucchini as well or anything for that matter. You could stuff a shoe with this filling and find happiness.


  • 2 – 4 zucchini zucchini, cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 Teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 ear corn, de-kerneled
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 8 Shrimp, cut into bite size pieces
  • 10 grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out inner flesh leaving a 1/4 inch lip. Chop 1/2 of the flesh and reserve. Place zucchini in a baking dish or sheet pan.

Over medium heat in a non-stick skillet, saute onions and garlic in 1 T olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add crushed red pepper, corn, diced zucchini from above, tomatoes, lemon juice and capers. Saute for an addition 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and mix in shrimp, breadcrumbs and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Fill zucchini halves with mixture and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top each zucchini with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Enjoy!


Green Bean Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

A guy at work says it isn’t fair when Bobby Flay adds pancetta to his dishes on Iron Chef… in fact he says it’s cheating. Everything is better with pancetta.

I agree.

Green beans are so good for you… but gosh they can be boring. I’m not a huge fan of the green bean casserole with the styrofoam onions… and I wasn’t cooking Asian food or I had have gone the stir fry green bean hoison route… so I decided to try this combination.

I was really surprised how well this turned out and I couldn’t keep dipping into the bowl for more. I’ll be buying more green beans and preparing this all summer. There is no dairy so it would make a perfect BBQ side dish.


  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 – 1/4 inch thick slice pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add green beans and parboil for about 4 minutes. Transfer to a cold water bath and drain. Add to serving bowl.

Dice pancetta into small pieces and add to a COLD skillet with a little olive oil. heat the skillet over medium heat and cook pancetta until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

In the same pan as the pancetta, toast the walnuts over medium heat until they become fragrant, about 2 minutes, and then transfer them to a small bowl to cool.

Add the onion, walnuts and pancetta to the beans and stir to combine.

In another small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard. Toss the dressing with the green beans and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.