RSS Feed
Follow alecooking on Twitter
Become a Fan on Facebook

My Picks:

Spaghetti Squash

Filed under :Main Dish, Vegetables

A healthy version of Spaghetti and very delicious!

Slice the squash in half, drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour or until you can fluff it with the fork and it comes out looking like Spaghetti.

Top with your favorite sauce. I used red sauce.  You can serve it on the squash itself. It is kind of cute that way!  I added some fresh mozzarella slices on top.


Burrata Cheese

Filed under :Pastas

I watched a show a long time ago where Lidia Bastianich made a dish with Burrata cheese.  Since then I started looking all over for this cheese.  I finally found it at a local Italian market (Caputo’s in SLC).  Wow, it really is delicious. The outside is like a fresh mozzarella and inside it is creamy, soft almost like a ricotta cheese.  I opened it and sprinkled with black pepper, salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Delicious to eat with crackers, bread, salads or as you see on the picture above on top of you favorite pasta dish.

Soda Batter Fried Shrimp

Filed under :Fish

I wanted to eat some good beer battered shrimp.  However, as many of you know I don’t drink alcoholic beverages. So, I had no beer at home to make the batter.  I did however have some club soda (which helped me a lot with pregnancy nausea by the way, but that is a topic for another day).  I used club soda instead and it turned out delicious! Here it is:

12 medium – large size shrimp (uncooked)

salt and pepper

For the batter

1 yolk

1/4 c club soda

1/4 c flour

1/4 t salt

1/4 t baking powder

Dash cayenne pepper

Dry shrimp using a paper towel. Salt and pepper both sides.  Dip each shrimp on the soda batter.

Fry them in a frying pan with at least 1-2 inches of oil.  It will take about 2 minutes each side on medium heat.

Lime Chicken

Filed under :Chicken

5  boneless, skinless chicken breast

For the dry mix:

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Clean chicken breasts (take out the fat, or loose pieces) .  Mix the above ingredients together.  Season each breast (both sides) with this dry mix.  Set aside.

For sauce:

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

6 Tablespoons lime juice

In a large frying pan, heat the butter and olive oil.  Fry the chicken, about 4-6 minutes each side.  Add the 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder and lime juice. Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Stir so it coats each breast of chicken.

There will be a bit of sauce and it would be great to serve with rice and veggies.

Ale Ramen -my version of Spaghetti Carbonara

Filed under :Pastas

This one is an easy one to make. It is my version of a Spaghetti Carbonara.  Even though I use I use Spaghetti instead of Ramen noodles,  some of my friends call it Ale Ramen since it is so simple and quick to make…

1 box Spaghetti
4-6 slices of bacon
2-3 eggs
1 C shredded cheese (I use a mix of  Parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar)
Salt and Pepper
Green Onions (optional)

Cook pasta as instructed on the package. While pasta is cooking:  Cut bacon into small pieces and fry them in a large frying pan.  If there is too much fat, drain it out. You want a little bit of the fat though.


When pasta is cooked, add it to the frying pan and let it mix with the bacon.  Quickly add eggs and cheese. Mix well.

Do not cook it for too long, just enough to cook eggs and melt cheese a little.  This will prevent it from being too dry.   Taste for salt and pepper. Add a little bit of cut green onions on top.

We like to serve this with a side of steamed vegetables or a salad.

Pizza Pasta- Macarrão de Pizza

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Pastas

8 oz cooked pasta (I like to use a short pasta like penne, rotini, spirale or the no yolks- like the picture)

1/2 lb ham (cut into squares)

1/2 lb cheese (either mozzarella, white cheddar, swiss or a combination)

2-3 T of mayo ($1/1  Hellman’s Mayonnaise)

1 t oregano

1/2 t basil

2 tomatoes (diced)

olives (optional)

broccoli (optional)

Mix the cooked pasta with the rest of the ingredients and put in a casserole dish. You can sprinkle the top with more cheese if you would like.  My family is a cheese-a-holic, so the more the merrier here at the house! Bake at 350 until all the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes.  Most the the time the mayo and the cheese is enough to make a nice creamy sauce if not add the pasta is too dry. I usually add a couple splashes of cream or milk.

Quiabo com Carne Moida

Filed under :Beef, Brazilian Recipes, Main Dish

I used to eat Okra a lot in Brasil.  It is difficult for me to find it fresh in the markets around where I live, but you can easily find it cut and frozen at the frozen isle of the supermarket.  My mom couldn’t believe that you could buy pre-cut Okra here in the US.  Okra can be a bit slimy when you start to cut it. So, if you can get that step done for you, even better.  One of my favorite dishes to eat with Okra is the famous Quiabo (okra) com (with) carne moida (ground beef).  It is a common lunch option in Brasil. Hope you like it!

For the Okra:

8-10 fresh medium sized okra (or use a 10-12 oz bag)

1/4 cup chopped onions

2 T olive oil

1/2 fresh lime (juiced)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sautee the onions with the oil.  Add the cut Okra and sautee them for about 5 minutes.  Season with the salt and pepper.  You may notice that it might become a little slimy.  Just don’t worry about it!  After the Okra is soften and has a nice color, squeeze the lime juice on top of them and give it a quick mix.

For the Ground Beef:

1 lb ground beef

1/2 c chopped onions

3 clothes garlic (minced)

1 t salt


2 T oil

2 T green onions

Sautee the 1/2 c of onion with the oil.  Add chopped garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, add the ground beef, salt and pepper. Cook until ground beef is done.  Taste for seasoning. If needed add more salt.  Top with the chopped green onions.

Now, you just need to mix the cooked Okra with the ground beef.   Serve it on top of rice!

Homemade Pasta

Filed under :Pastas

In celebration of World Pasta Day I decided to make homemade pasta.  If you haven’t tried to make pasta from scratch, give it a try. I remember spending the whole afternoon making pasta with my mom in Brasil.  We would make the dough, roll it open, cut it into noodles and dry the pasta for Sunday’s dinner.  At the end of this project, the kitchen would be covered in flour!  However, it was a fun time together. Since I am not cooking for massive amounts of people anymore, I now use a much simpler recipe.  This will give you 1 lb of fresh pasta. Also, it is not too messy to cook in smaller amounts 😀

2 c flour (you can use white or whole wheat)

1/8 t salt

2 eggs

1 T olive oil

1/3 c cold water

You could use  a food processor to mix the dough, or just do it by hand.  Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the eggs and oil in the middle of the bowl and start mixing in with the flour. I like to use a fork.

Add the water slowly until the flour mixture comes together in a ball. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, shape it into a dish and cover with a wet cloth.  Let it rest for about 15 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.

Work with one piece at a time. Leave the other pieces covered with the wet towel. You can use a pasta machine to open your flat sheets of pasta and then cut them to shape desired.  Alternatively, you could take this opportunity to exercise your upper body 😀  and open the pasta by hand. It really isn’t that hard! I use a rolling pin and start to flatten the dough into a disk until it is very thin.  You want to turn the dough while you are opening it to prevent it from sticking to the counter and also to be able to open it very thin.  You may need to dust it with flour.

Cut the dough into shapes desired.  For this one I rolled it lightly and cut them medium thick.

I then layer them in a cookie sheet dusted with flour while I work on the other disks of dough.

Now you just need to cook it.  Make sure to salt the water and when the water comes to a boil, drop your pasta by hand fulls. It cooks very fast, since it is fresh.  This way you don’t need to cook all 1 lb at once, or it may all glue together.  I cooked them in 3 batches.  It will take may be 3-5 minutes to cook your pasta. You will know it is ready when it floats to the top.

Add the cooked pasta to your favorite pasta sauce and enjoy!

This sauce is a red white shrimp and lobster sauce! Yum

Moqueca (Fish stew)

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Fish

1 lb red snapper


1/ 4 cup lime juice

1 t salt

1 t pepper

1 T chopped cilantro

Marinade the fish  for about 1 hour

In a Sauce pan, sauté:

½ onion diced

3 garlic minced

1 T olive oil and ½ T oleo de dende

When onions are translucent add 1 can diced tomatoes

½ t cayenne pepper

Add in the marinated fish

Cover in medium low and cook for about 20 minutes

Add 2/3 c coconut milk

Cook for about 10-15 minutes

Serve with rice

Shrimp Pasta with Mizithra Cheese and Brown Butter

Filed under :Pastas

This is one of our family’s favorite dishes.  You can’t go wrong with butter right?  I am always afraid to use a lot of butter in my dishes, but I will make an exception for this one. The burned butter for this recipe is just so delicious!  Maybe next time I make it, I will try to make it with Ghee.  I was reading my friend’s blog post on Ghee, on clarified butter and anyone that can rationalize the use of butter for good health reasons is a great friend of mine!

6 oz (half of box) thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta

1/2 c of shredded Mizithra cheese

1/3 c butter

Cooked Shrimp (to taste)

I like to shred the Mizithra Cheese in the fine size of my shredder.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  In a sauce pan, heat the butter on low heat until it is all melted. Turn up the heat a little bit and cook the butter until it starts to foam. Keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom or burn.  Cook until butter has a nice golden color. Keep an eye on the butter since it only takes seconds to turn from the nice golden brown color to a black burn color. You don’t want the black color!  The butter will have a nice aroma and it will look beautiful. This is called brown butter. It can be make ahead of time and refrigerated.  Then all you need to do is reheat when needed.

Gently toss the pasta in the butter sauce. Add cooked shrimp and Mizithra cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of parsley.

I like to serve this with a nice green vegetable. Steamed broccoli, green beans or bok choy.

Can top with parsley, sun dried tomatoes, chicken and/or mushroom!!!