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Midweek meal

Mayo Cheese Bread

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Mayo Cheese Bread

My mom's old school recipe never fails.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup shredded asiago cheese (or a combo of shredded Monterey jack & cheddar)  
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 sourdough baguette  

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine mayo, onion, cheese & parsley - mix really well
  3. Season with pepper and a pinch of salt, stir through
  4. Cut baguette horizontally and spread on cheese mayo mix
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly
  6. Slice into pieces and serve
may cheese bread stcgo

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

These small, little bites of deliciousness are always welcome - and easy to make especially if you keep frozen, precooked meatballs in your freezer.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound ready made mini meatballs (in the freezer section)
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 green onions, white & light green parts only, thinly sliced on an angle
  • sesame seeds for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a pot and heat on the stove over medium heat until sauce comes to a slight boil - then turn down heat and simmer
  2. Place the meatballs in the pot, simmer 10-15 minutes until heated through
  3. Serve over rice, garnish sesame seeds and green onions on top.
sweet and sour meatballs stcgo.jpg

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One Pot Mac

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One Pot Mac

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅓ lb bacon, sliced thin widthwise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces macaroni-type pasta (I used orecchiette in this recipe)
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Using a large pan with high sides, cook bacon on medium heat just until almost crisp and mix in garlic until fragrant - remove bacon in a small bowl
  2. Lightly rinse and drain the uncooked pasta to get some of the starch out - set aside
  3. Put the same pan back on medium heat - add milk, pasta, mustard powder, butter, ½ cup chicken broth and pepper - give it a little stir to loosen the pasta
  4. Bring to a boil, then turn it down and let simmer until milk has reduced into thick sauce; about 10 minutes or so
  5. Stir in cheese and bacon - if sauce is too thick, add a little more broth to thin sauce out.

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Cold Asian Noodle Salad

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Cold Asian Noodle Salad

A simple and delicious way of eating without cranking up the oven.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon Sriracha
  • ½ cup carrots, julienned (matchstick size)
  • ½ cup sugar snap peas sliced diagonally
  • ¼ cup radish sliced thin in half circles
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup English cucumbers sliced thin in half circles
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (like avocado)
  • 10 peeled, deveined tail-on shrimp (I used 16/20’s in this recipe)
  • Kosher salt
  • Sesame seeds
  • Thinly sliced green onions and chopped cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions - do not overcook, drain, rinse well with cold water, drain again and transfer to a bowl
  2. While noodles are cooking, in a small bowl combine vinegar, soy, sesame oil, sugar and sriracha - stir well and set aside
  3. To the noodles add carrots, peas, radishes, celery and cucumber - mix and add a little sauce (adding more sauce as needed)
  4. Heat a pan over medium/high, add oil and justvwhen it’s about to smoke add the shrimp and cook about 1 minute - season with Kosher salt, add splash of ½ tablespoon soy and 1 tablespoon Sriracha; mix well and cook until done, remove shrimp from heat
  5. Place the noodles/vegetables on serving plate, top with shrimp and garnish with green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds
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Grilled Steak Sandwich

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Grilled Steak Sandwich

Is a simple and delicious thing to make - and the addition of pesto makes it even greater.

Makes 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 boneless New York steak, at least 1 inch thick & room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 sandwich rolls, sliced in half & buttered
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat cast iron pan or skillet until smoking hot
  2. Lightly rub steak with a little oil and season well on both sides with salt & pepper
  3. Cook steak for 3 minutes, flip & continue cooking for 2 minutes (for medium rare), remove from pan and place on a plate to rest
  4. In the same pan, add spinach and cook until slightly wilted - about 2 minutes
  5. While steak is resting, place buns cut-side down on a flat top or large non-stick pan until lightly toasted
  6. Spread mayo and pesto on bottom half of each toasted bun and top with spinach
  7. Slice the steak thinly and stack on the spinach - season steak with a little more salt and pepper and top with the other bun.
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Green Onion & Ginger Sauce

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Green Onion & Ginger Sauce

A classic Chinese oil based sauce - or more accurately a classic ‘Hainanese’ sauce - and it’s a simple and delicious add to almost any protein.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 cup any neutral oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put ginger, garlic, onions and salt In a heat resistant bowl combine
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan until hot but not boiling, and carefully pour on top of gingher combo (It’ll splatter a lot)
  3. When it stops splattering, stir a couple times and then let it cool
  4. At this point you can store it in a container in your fridge up to a couple weeks
  5. Put on eggs, fish, shrimp, chicken, steak - almost anything
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Whiskey Apple Donut

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Whiskey Apple Donut

Of course to celebrate National World Whiskey Day you can always drink some whiskey - or you could put in into whipped cream and spoon some on top of a pan fried donut with sautéed apples. We’re going with the latter.

Makes 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored & diced small
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 glazed donut, sliced in half
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat non-stick pan- melt 1 tablespoon butter and add apples, cooking just to soften
  2. Add sugar to the apples, mix until sugar melts then add pinch of salt and stir in 1 tablespoon whiskey, cook out the alcohol- about a minute, set aside
  3. Put cream, sugar and 1 tablespoon whiskey in a mixer or large bowl and beat until soft peaks form- You can DEFINITELY over beat whipping cream, so be careful
  4. In a separate non-stick pan- melt a little butter and place the donut cut-side down until  lightly toasted
  5. Plate the donut, cooked side up, add some whipped cream and top with apples & finally a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
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Pasta with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

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Pasta with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

FEATURED ON MY TV EPISODE, "NOT SO HEALTHY DAY"

Even if you hate brussels sprouts, I think you’ll like this.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 ounces bacon, sliced widthwise
  • 10 whole brussels sprouts, sliced thin
  • 6 ounces pasta - your choice but Iike “Casarecce” for this one
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat a large frying pan, add bacon - cook until just the edge of crispy, take bacon out and drain on paper towels
  2. Leave about 1 ½ tablespoons of grease in the pan discarding the rest and add brussel sprouts -  cook about 6-7 minutes
  3. While it cooks, bring large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions
  4. Add the bacon back in the brussel sprouts pan - then add garlic until fragrant and mix
  5. When the pasta is ready, drain (keeping about a cup of the water) and add pasta to bacon and brussels sprouts mixture with parmesan
  6. Stir to combine well and if it's too thick, add pasta water about a 1/4 cup at a time until it's where you like it
  7. Season with salt & pepper
  8. Add red pepper flakes - top with a little more parmesan and serve
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FEATURED ON MY TV SHOW 



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Zucchini Fritters

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Zucchini Fritters

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • Sour cream & diced green onions for serving

DIRECTIONS

  • Put zucchini in the center of kitchen towel, fold up sides, twist at the top to make a tight package and then squeeze like crazy removing as much liquid as possible then put in a large bowl
  • Add the flour, bread crumbs, egg, cheese, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and alt - mix really well to combine
  • Heat pan and add a thin layer of oil
  • Scoop a couple tablespoons of batter at a time and put into the pan - flatten out and cook about two minutes on each side until crispy and gorgeous
  • Serve with sour cream and green onions to garnish
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Chicken Francaise

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Chicken Francaise

A delicious & simple chicken dish that will have you mentally wandering the Champs-Élysées – or sitting at your kitchen table. In any case you’ll be very happy.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 chicken breast (pound down to ¼ inch thick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup vermouth or white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper - mix well
  2. In a separate bowl (large enough for the chicken) beat the eggs
  3. Heat oil in a large non-stick  pan
  4. Put the chicken into the flour mixture and push down lightly to coat both sides then shake off any excess),
  5. Dip both sides of the chicken into the beaten eggs and then carefully put into the hot pan - lay it down facing away from you
  6. Cook chicken until lightly golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side
  7. Remove the chicken when done and set aside - cover loosely with foil to keep warm
  8. In the same pan, carefully add vermouth, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan - simmer about 2 minutes
  9. Add chicken broth, lemon juice and butter
  10. Slowly swirl pan to incorporate the butter
  11. Add parsley then season with salt and pepper to taste
  12. Plate chicken and serve with the sauce over the top

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Turkey Chili Enchiladas

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Turkey Chili Enchiladas

Makes 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground turkey, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup chili 
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix first 3 ingredients in bowl, set aside
  2. Pour 1/2 the whipping cream in the bottom of a 9x13-baking dish
  3. Pour chicken broth in bowl and one by one submerge each tortilla
  4. Place approximately 1/8 turkey mixture in the center of each moistened tortilla and roll up
  5. Place all 8 side by side in dish seam down in baking dish, sprinkle with Monterey jack cheese and pour remaining whipping cream over top
  6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and gorgeous

WATCH ME MAKE IT, SEE THE TV EPSIODE


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Chili Cheese Waffle

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Chili Cheese Waffle

Makes 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 8.5 oz box Jiffy Corn Muffin mix  
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened
  • 1 15 oz can of chili, heated
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat waffle iron
  2. Combine muffin mix, egg, milk, oil and sugar in a large bowl - mix well
  3. Spray both sides of waffle iron with non-stick spray, add batter, cook until done
  4. Place on plate, spread lightly with butter, add chili, top with cheddar cheese and sour cream

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Better Butter Burger

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Better Butter Burger

Makes: 4 burgers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

The idea of cramming a big chunk of butter inside a burger might not be the first thing you think of – but it should be.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ lbs ground sirloin
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • Herb Garlic Butter, see recipe 
  • Lettuce, tomato, mayo – you know what to do here
     

DIRECTIONS

  1. Form meat into 4 loose balls
  2. Remove Herb Garlic Butter from fridge, unwrap and cut four ½ inch discs, and gently press a disc into each ball, then gently form patty around the disc
  3. Preheat grill to medium high and cook burgers to your desired doneness, about 4 to 5 minutes a side for medium rare
  4. Build on toasted buns with whatever you like – not that it’ll really matter, cuz honestly it’s that good.
 WATCH ME MAKE THIS

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* Finlandia butter is available at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway.

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Pork Chow Mein

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Pork Chow Mein

Get ready for the Chinese New Year with these great noodles - and the quick little black bean sauce makes this ridiculous.

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ pound boneless pork (tenderloin or country style ribs work great), thinly sliced 
  • ½ tablespoon of neutral oil*
  • *(unflavored oils such as canola, vegetable or peanut)
  • ¼ pound sugar snap peas sliced diagonally
  • ½ pound shitake mushrooms
  • 4 oz chow mein noodles, cooked
  • green onions, chopped to garnish

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine black bean and soy sauce, set aside
  2. Heat sautéed pan on medium-high, add oil and pork and cook cooked until pork is just done, about 4 minutes ­ - remove pork mixture to a bowl
  3. In same pan, heat to high and add a little more oil
  4. Add peas and stir fry until crisp tender, about 3 minutes then add to pork mixture
  5. Return pan to heat again, add more oil and the shitakes, cook until softened, about 5 minutes
  6. Turn heat up to high, add the pork mixture and then the add soy/black bean - stir until heated through
  7. Add chow mein noodles, combine well, plate and garnish with green onions
  8. Serve

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Scallop Pan Roast

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Scallop Pan Roast

These remind me one of my favorite restaurants - the Oyster Bar at the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas. Btw, I said favorite restaurant, not hotel.  This is the place where OJ was arrested.

Serves 2 generously

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 Sea Scallops defrosted or fresh
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 cup clam juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 1/2 tablespoon Tabasco (I used Cholula) 
  • small pinch Kosher salt
  • parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a deep skillet on low/medium heat melt the butter
  2. Then, EXCEPT for the scallops, whipped cream and parsley.. add all the remaining ingredients, simmer for 3-4 minutes
  3. Pat the scallops dry
  4. Add the cream and scallops to the skillet, simmer for 3 minutes
  5. Serve on a bed of steamed white rice, garnish with parsley enjoy! 
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Finlandia Black Garlic Flatbread

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Finlandia Black Garlic Flatbread

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be adapted to any flatbread, pizza or even sliced loaf of bread – like a baguette. Because once you know how much to spread on, you can do it with anything. 

Serves: 2-4 people
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Spread about a 1/8 inch layer of the Finlandia Black Garlic Creamy Gourmet Cheese on the flatbread
  3. Add a thin layer of the pesto on top of that
  4. Sprinkle a small amount of the red pepper flakes on top, and finish with a light sprinkling of the shredded Parmesan
  5. Bake until beginning to get golden brown – 15-20 minutes
  6. Remove, slice and serve
  7. Repeat

*Finlandia Butter can be found at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway. Finlandia Cheeses are also available, in Southern California at Costco and other fine retailers.


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Fry Sauce

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Fry Sauce

Meant for dipping and not frying. Serve with fries for dipping…or put on a burger…or on a hotdog…or in a sandwich…or in egg salad…or tuna salad, or on a brisket grilled cheese. Ok, basically everywhere.

Makes 3/4 cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Cholula hot sauce (or whatever kind you like)
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • 1 regular size dill pickle, diced very small
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine
  2. Store in fridge a couple weeks

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Crazy Effing Good Chicken Sandwich

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Crazy Effing Good Chicken Sandwich

This is the ultimate football/sport watching food.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tube fridge biscuits
  • 1/3 cup Finlandia butter*
  • 1/3 cup Franks hot sauce  
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 pre-cooked Fried Chicken tenders, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons Kewpie (Japanese) Mayonaise
  • 1 cup Iceberg lettuce, shredded

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook biscuits, as per instructions, put to the side and keep warm
  2. Melt butter and hot sauce, on low heat for 1 minute
  3. Add honey to sauce, add the fried chicken, coat well and cook on medium for 2 minutes
  4. Layer your sandwich: half biscuit, tablespoon of mayo, tablespoon cooked sauce, lettuce, chicken tender, top with biscuit, eat!
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*Finlandia Butter can be found at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway. Finlandia Cheeses are also available, in Southern California at Costco and other fine retailers.


 

 

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Butter Potatoes

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Butter Potatoes

The simple potato is pretty darn good by itself. But, when some delicious Finlandia butter* is added… look out. 

Serves: 3-4 people
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound small new potatoes
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup Finlandia butter*, softened
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water and add 1 tablespoon of salt
  2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat slightly and cook until potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork – about 15 minutes then drain well – set aside
  3. Melt butter in a heavy pan, add potatoes and toss carefully making sure potatoes are covered with butter
  4. Season with salt, pepper and add thyme – mix through and serve.

*Finlandia Butter can be found at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway. Finlandia Cheeses are also available, in Southern California at Costco and other fine retailers.

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Steamed Artichokes

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Steamed Artichokes

Weird looking? Yes. Simple to cook? Yes.  Delicious? Oh hell yes!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 or 3 artichokes, approximately 1 for every 2 people
  • ½ stick Finlandia butter*
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut the stem off the bottom of each artichoke so it will sit flat, and about 1 inch off the top of each
  2. Then cut the point off each leaf (to keep you & your guests from getting poked)
  3. Place artichokes in large steamer with about 3 inches of water below, cover with a lid and steam about 45 minutes, or until you can pull off a leaf off easily
  4. While it cooks, melt Finlandia butter in a small pot with a minced clove of garlic, some lemon juice and a sprig of thyme
  5. Put artichokes on a serving plate with a bowl of the dipping butter beside.

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*Finlandia Butter can be found at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway. Finlandia Cheeses are also available, in Southern California at Costco and other fine retailers.


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