I was watching the food network this morning, and Ingrid Hoffman was making this Cilantro-Crusted Roast Beef that looked oh-so-good, so this afternoon off to Shoprite I went in search of a rump roast. The recipe is a simple cilantro rub, but I added a few more spices to the original recipe to spice it up a bit more.

2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1 (3-pound) boneless rump roast

Combine everything and blend in a food processor, then rub it all over the roast. Let it sit and marinate for 30 minutes (or as long as you have). Put it in a 325 degree oven for 1.5 hours for medium-rare. After you take it out of the oven, let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.

Ingrid sliced it up and served it on Kaiser rolls with this Cilantro-Horseradish Pesto sauce, but my condiment of choice was a Peruvian Aji Sauce.

  • 3 or 4 leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, rind and seeds removed
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup white bread cubes without crusts (I used an everything bagel today!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
Put everything into the food processor and blend until smooth.
Thinly slice the roast beef and arrange on your bread. Top it with a spoonful of the Aji sauce.

Ingredients for ~10 servings

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp. fresh super-extra-minced ginger root
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. rice/apple cider/red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. water
Combine everything and shake shake shake!!! (or whisk whisk whisk)

This stuff is magical, and it's not as strong and pungent as it looks on paper.

Marinate Away

Marinades are so genius. An easy combination of oil, acid & spices flavors and tenderizes meat in a major way.

Chicken Marinade - 8 servings - Good on the grill or in the oven. Makes really good wings!

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
Whisk everything together and marinate for an hour in the refrigerator.

There are some recipes which use so few ingredients that meld together in such a miraculous way, it makes you realize that picking simple components that complement each other is 90% of the game!

If you like fried chicken, you'll really enjoy this healthier version. It uses olive oil instead of canola or vegi oil, and it's baked instead of fried. Swear - it's not a cheapo version that you have to convince yourself to eat because it's not as bad for your heart.


  • salt & pepper
  • 3 tbsp. chopped garlic (I LOVE garlic, you can tone it down to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6-8 pieces of whatever chicken you have on hand (thighs, breasts, drumsticks, etc. I prefer to leave the skin on)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly season the chicken with salt & pepper.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the garlic and olive oil to blend the flavors. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Dip the chicken in the olive oil and garlic mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. Coat well! Place in a shallow baking dish.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until no longer pink and juices run clear.
These ingredients are just a starting point; you can add different herbs to the bread crumbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, etc), or pre-season the chicken with a little garlic powder or onion powder, or add more or less of whatever you want!
Just a tip: I always find that the less I "check in" on the chicken when it's in the oven, the more juicy and evenly cooked it becomes.

Oh, this is amazing alongside some rosemary infused mashed potatoes. Can you taste it? mMmMmmm...

This is a classic noodle dish that my parents always make in the summer months. I haven't had it in a really long time since I don't live with them anymore, so they finally taught me how it's done! It can be served warm or cold, but having it cold is so relieving and refreshing on a hot summer day. Try it, it's so easy. You'll love it!


  • 1 can sweet bean paste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic-chili sauce (or hot sauce, whatevers on hand)
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 6 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Half a pound of ground pork
  • 1/2 cup water
  • About 1/2 box of vermicelli, spaghetti, or any long noodle
  • Cucumber, slice into thin rounds, then slice into strips
  1. Marinate the ground pork in the light soy sauce, garlic-chili sauce, and sesame oil. (Don't mix the ground pork too much or it will become tough
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil, and cook the noodles until al dente. Strain the noodles, and run under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool them.
  3. Pre-heat a large pan or wok on medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onions and let cook for 5 minutes, to let the flavors infuse into the oil. Be careful to not let anything burn in this step.
  4. Add the marinated ground pork and stir-fry over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Make sure you break up the meat well right now, so there aren't any large clumps.
  5. When the pork is nicely browned, add the can of sweet bean paste & water, and mix well.
  6. Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 6-7 minutes to allow the pork to cook completely. If the sauce is too watery for your liking, let it cook for a few minutes with the lid off to evaporate some of the liquid.
  7. Add noodles to your bowls, cover with the sauce (let it cool for 1 hour if serving cold), and top with the sliced cucumber.


This is really a dish best suited for the cold winter months, but it's so good that I just couldn't resist when the craving hit. The original recipe is from Allrecipes.com, and it is delicious and near perfect! This is good for about 6 servings, and I've made a couple changes here and there to my liking.


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp - peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound bay scallops
  • 8 small clams
  • 8 mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 2/3 cup crabmeat
  • 1/2 pound cod fillets, cubed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large stockpot, add onions, garlic and dried parsley. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions are soft.
  2. Add tomatoes to the pot. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, basil, thyme, oregano, clam juice and wine. Mix well. Cover and simmer on low for 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste, but don't add too much at this point because the seafood will add their natural salts to the soup.
  3. Stir in the clams, mussels, crab, shrimp, scallops, and lastly, the fish. Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes until clams open. Add the fresh parsley. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with warm, crusty bread!

If you like your soup to be more chunky, substitute the crushed tomatoes for diced.
Obviously, this can end up being a very pricey dish. Save some money by picking up bags of seafood medley in the frozen section (I buy mine at the Asian Food Center). It's great because the medley includes oysters, mussels, squid, and shrimp. I usually use any fresh firm white fish, frozen shrimp and frozen crab legs. Just remember to allow ample time for defrosting!

In the oven, toast up some fresh Italian bread drizzled with olive oil, and use it to sop up all the delicious juices. 5 Stars!!!

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