Posts tagged ‘meat’

January 23, 2011

Broiled Salmon and Zesty Yogurt Sauce

Layers of love!

We have been dying to cook salmon, so we just went for it. For the side dishes, since the loaded baked potato was a hearty addition, we also had a light, citrus and olive oil dressed, arugula salad. BOOM BABY! Instant meal fit for a king, queen, or jester.

Arugula Salad Preparation:

Directions: Grab a handful of cleaned arugula and an equal amount of fresh, clean spinach and put in a bowl. We added sliced roasted red peppers (from TJ’s), perfectly ripe avocado, and some chopped scallions. We dressed with a little drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper.


  • Roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 Scallion
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Arugula
  • Spinach Leaves

Loaded Baked Potato: Deconstructed

Baked Potato Preparation:

Directions: Clean potato and stab with a fork multiple times. Place in microwave for 4-5 minutes , turn it over and repeat–this will help get it going if it was a big potato. Then place in the oven on the bottom rack (underneath the salmon).  Cook 5-7 minutes on each side. When it’s time to eat, pull out the baked potato (but be careful, it will be screaming hot!), and place on plate. Slice it open, throw in a few pads of butter, a dollop of non-fat plain yogurt (cottage cheese or sour cream works wonders, if you have it on hand), a pinch of chopped scallions and crumbled bacon pieces.  Yum Yum Yum!


  • Large potato
  • 1 Scallion
  • 1 Strip of extra crisp bacon, crumbled
  • 1-2 Tbsp Non-fat plain yogurt, cottage cheese, or sour cream
  • Butter

Zesty Yogurt Sauce Preparation:

Directions: Whisk all of these loverly ingredients together and you will have an instant, amazingly zesty sauce! It goes great with fish or feel free to use as a salad dressing!

The perfect sauce to accompany fresh Salmon


  • 1 Cup non-fat plain yogurt (Greek yogurt would be best!)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime zest
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp fresh orange zest
  • 1 tsp fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Now for the star of the meal….Drum roll please….

Broiled Salmon Preparation:

Directions: Preheat oven to “Broil” and rearrange the top rack, if necessary, to be sure that it is at least 4-5 inches from the top of the oven. Drizzle olive oil over salmon, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dill. Place onto a foil-covered cooking sheet and put on the top rack in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until it looks crispy. Then, loosely cover fish with another sheet of foil and let cook for another 5-7 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven, and then serve with Zesty Yogurt Sauce.


  • Salmon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried dill

    A meal fit for a King

From the Little Yellow Kitchen


January 8, 2011

Butternut Squash and Sausage Lasagna

The 3-day forecast predicts a busy weekend: 100% chance of cooking, eating, and 90% chance of outdoor activities, (weather pending, of course) such as surfing and hiking. I hope our readers will continue to stick with us, because The Little Yellow Kitchen is sure to entertain.

I am going to keep this short and sweet, well, because as I’ve mentioned, there is much to be done.

First up: Butternut Squash Lasagna, adopted from a William’s Sonoma Skillet Lasagna recipe.


Bite Me

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & pepper, duh
1 lb. mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, more for garnish
1 Tbs. minced fresh sage
9 lasagna noodles, (we used “no boil/oven-ready” noodles from Trader Joe’s)
3 lb. butternut squash, neck portion only, peeled and
sliced into wide, thin sheets


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cooked onions and garlic, sitting on the sidelines

Heat oil in large fry pan, then add the onion and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl.

Browned sausage, with a dash of red pepper flakes

In the same pan, cook the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Discard oil and let sausage cool on paper towel before adding them to the onion mixture, set aside.

In a sauce pan on medium-low heat, melt the butter and then add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the milk, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese, the 1/4 cup parsley, the sage, salt and pepper.

Completed cream sauce with a generous dash of peppeh'


To prepare butternut squash slices, we found it easiest to use a peeler to take off the outer skin, then cut the neck from the body…of the squash (you will only be using the neck portion for your 3

inch strips.) Make sure the bottom and top of the squash neck have flat ends so that the blade doesn’t accidentally find your fingers. Just make thin even slices and you’re ready to layer.

No, those are not slices of cheddar cheese...


The Noodle layer

Here’s where it gets messy… so maybe put down that glass of wine, and take a second to study the lasagna

layering process…its no easy task.

Just remember this:

  • Beginning layers go like this: 1/3 sauce > 3 noodles >  1/3 sauce > 1/3  sausage mixture:
  • The next set of layers go like this: squash > 1/3 sauce > 1/3 sausage mixture
  • Then alternate these steps until all ingredients are used up.

**Little Yellow Note: or you can switch off using the Noodle layer, every 2 Squash layers, to pack in more veggies!

  • End with the layer of sauce (so make sure you save some up for the top!) and then sprinkle remaining 1/4-1/2 cup cheese.

We made this teensy weensy lasagna too...why ditch the extra layering ingredients?

Put the dish in the oven and bake until the top is brown and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with the 1 Tbs. parsley to make it look extra pretty. It’s recommended to let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before slicing… and who ever came up with that little side-note probably had the best intentions, BUT, after taking one whiff of that beauty, it only “stood” for 5 minutes, which was just enough time to let the lava-hot inside cool down a few degrees.














From the Little Yellow Kitchen


January 6, 2011

Dutch-Oven Chicken Cacciatore

As you know from the last post, Lauren put up a great picture of our Christmas gift pile, which consisted entirely of  new kitchen and cooking items! Well, one of them happened to be the prettiest dark burgundy enameled Dutch oven that I have ever laid eyes on. It was a steal from Costco. Who needs to spend $250 bucks on a brand name Dutch oven, when Costco’s low-cost and quality Kirkland Signature does the trick. (Yep I grew up in a big family, so shopping at Costco Wholesale on Sunday after church, is a favorite pastime).

A great dish that will definitly impress the italian lover's palate!

After deciding on a hearty Chicken Cacciatore dish, Lauren and I embarked on our first ever Dutch oven adventure in the Little Yellow Kitchen! It was the perfect time to set out on this mission, because we also had to cook to impress our fabulous new neighbor, Pearl, so that she would want to come back for dinner.

She contributed a delicious Caprese salad, topped with basil pesto and some balsamic dressing. She used a tube of basil pesto because apparently, the winter “storms” in SoCal killed all the fresh basil crop! It was the perfect insalata italiana to compliment the Chicken Cacciatore.

Pearl, you're invited back any day.

Here is how our tasty dinner went down. Drum roll please….


  • olive oil
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp oregano leaves
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • One 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.  Fry the chicken until golden brown and a little crispy, about 7 minutes per side. Set the browned chicken aside on a plate and drain the oil. (Try not to dump any crunchy bits!)

Return the Dutch oven to the heat and add 2 more Tbsp of olive oil. Saute the bacon until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. (You don’t have to work too hard, the veggies will soak up the browned goodness off the bottom eventually). Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the garlic, marjoram and oregano and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the wine and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the wine reduces to half the amount. Add the bacon back in along with the can of tomatoes; don’t forget the salt and peppah’! Bring the sauce to a slow simmer and partially cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes (we were a bit behind schedule and let it simmer for more like 20 and it still turned out great).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and transfer the pan to the oven, and cook the chicken until tender, about 35 minutes.

Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and skim any fat off the surface of the sauce. Stir in the parsley, maybe add a little more salt and pepper, and serve!

**Little Yellow Note: this dish can be served over your favorite pasta, to make it go a little further. We ate it without pasta the first night, but for lunch the next day the left-overs were great with a little added penne!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


December 22, 2010

CrockPot Chili Verde Con Carne

Its raining, its pouring…I’m sure there is someone out there snoring. The weather is terrible! Come on So Cal, since when do we have monsoons! In my mind, whirring winds + torrents of rain = California monsoon.

Anyways, since I have two weeks off work for the holiday season, and Lauren isn’t home-free until Thursday, my thoughts for a scrumptious and easy dinner includes some Crock Pot action. While Lauren was perusing recipes, and I was busy catching up on sleep, she brought this recipe to my attention: Chili Verde. YUM! I was definitely on board to trying this one out.

After throwing everything into the pot and letting it do its business, I thought I was the only one enjoying the fragrant Chili Verde aroma filling the house… little did I know that I was sharing the wealth with my neighbors too! This was confirmed by both Lauren and Heidi as they followed their noses up the stairs, through the front door and straight to the kitchen!

Throw all this in the Crock Pot, kick your feet up, and relax.


  • 3 pound chuck roast,
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 8 tomatillos
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp sage (we used fresh)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 jalapeno (de-seeded)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Slap that trimmed meat into the 5 (or 6, we don’t judge) qt crockpot. Add diced bell pepper and onion.

Peeled, whole, sliced & diced!









Tomatillo time!!…This is the first time that I can say that I have purchased, chopped, and cooked these little green wonders. I must say, they are pretty snazzy. All you have to do is peel the leafy covering, take off the stem, and get slice ‘n’ dicin!

Pour in the diced green chiles and can of diced tomatoes. Add garlic, jalapeno, sage, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Stir it up, to get the flavors worked in and around the meat. Add chopped cilantro to the top, cover and let Mr. Crocky do the next 6 hours of work, on high.

Pre-shred some meat for easy taco assembly.

Serve shredded beef deliciousness atop warm corn tortillas, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and a dash of hot sauce and they will be devoured before you know it!


Cheese and rice would be great additions!

I’d say that from the reports of the Chile Verde dinner party attendees (uh hum, Lauren and Heidi), this recipe venture was well-worth it!


From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


December 14, 2010

Breakfast for dinner: The Hungry Belly Breakfast Sandwich

It’s your lucky day, you get a double feature from Lauren this week! It’s Chrissy’s day of birth tomorrow and I thought I would leave it to her to post about the festivities that are to follow. Now, what you’ve all been waiting for, the recipe for the scrumptious wonder you see below.

Dinner for Two

From its appearance, it seems to be just a hearty breakfast sandwich. BUT little did you know that Bobby Flay’s version of a pork sausage patty is packed with the flavors of sage, fennel seed, and whole grain mustard! Oh yes, it was good. This recipe makes 4 Hungry Belly Breakfast Sandwiches:

For the patty:

  • ½  small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sandwich makings:

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 pieces of Trader Joes Cracked Wheat Sourdough Bread
  • Spinach leaves
  • 4 slices of tomato
  • 1 avocado
  • Cheese of your choice (we used a spicy Pepper Jack)

Directions for the Sausage Patty

Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan or griddle. Add the onions and cook until soft. Toss in the garlic and fennel – we added some red pepper flakes too — and cook for about another minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the mustard and sage, and let it cool off for a few minutes (you don’t want it to start cooking the pork). Place the pork in a bowl, add the onion mixture, and gently toss to combine. Season it up with a dash of salt and peppa’.

Saute the all the fixin's

Heat some oil in a large nonstick skillet. Form the sausage mixture into 4 equal size patties. Cook on both sides until golden brown. Throw the cheese of your choice on top and let it melt.

Wilt some spinach, sunny-side up your egg, and slice your avocado and tomato. Stack it all up as you wish (we’re watching Princess Bride right now, I couldn’t resist) and enjoy!

There you have it folks, The Hungry Belly Breakfast Sandwich