Main Dishes

30 posts

Grilled Ribeyes with Compound Butter

Welcome!!! If you’re here because of the recent article in the Jacksonville Daily News, I want to wholeheartedly thank you for taking the time to click on my website. You can also follow my fb page for lots of updates, interaction with other members and to watch and comment on my show when it goes live. Thanks so much for taking the time to be here. I really appreciate it! – Shannon Vavich FB Page:  https://www.facebook.com/The-Flying-Kitchen-266209726375/

Freezer Cooking Series: Bulk Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Hello again!  Thanks so much for taking part in my FREEZER COOKING series!  We’re stocking our freezers and putting our plans in place to have a great back-to-school season.  I really appreciate you being here!  My first freezer cooking video (baked ziti) has received a lot of views.  I take this as validation that your lives are just as hectic as mine, and that we are all searching for solutions.  Stocking my freezer has been my SECRET WEAPON all these years.  Having a bunch of dinners ready-to-go in my freezer takes my stress down a few notches, opens up more […]

Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes and Carrots. “Fah Gahds SAKE!!”

Okay, THIS is delicious.  For full instructions and shenanigans, including my list of how to live the “Irish Way” watch the vid below. This is another one of my pressure cooker recipes.  I usually make corned beef in the crockpot, but I just got a new pressure cooker and I’m dang excited about it. Instructions/recipe: Put one corned beef, plus the contents of the spice packet in your pressure cooker.  Add 5-6 whole, peeled potatoes and one whole bottle of Guinness beer.  Set to the “chicken/meat” setting and shift time selector to “medium”.  The pressure cooker will heat up for about 10 minutes, then […]

Pressure Steamed Salmon and Veg

Why can’t our food be macaroni & cheese and chocolate cake all the time?  Why oh WHY must we spend some days eating things like fish and vegetables? Oh well.  Who knows?  All I know is that if you’re going to impose some kind of “light fare” to your menu, this is the way to do it. The vid is above. Enter: The Pressure Cooker. Look, this is not the same pressure cooker we white-knuckled through ten years ago.  The new ones are electric, they have great timing features, they have stupidity-proof locks and they work damn well. They won’t blow […]

Perfectly Gooey and Delicious Mac and Cheese

A really superb mac and cheese comes together like a symphony. There’s a technique of timing.  Each component needs to be added in at just the right moment. How else could these two ingredients combine to make something so incredible? Of course, there are other ingredients too.  But pasta and cheese are the stars. Meet the cast of characters: 2 lbs pasta (2 boxes) boiled 5  cups grated cheese (separated into a 3 cup batch and a 2 cup batch) 1/4 cup butter 1/4 olive oil 1/4 cup flour 3 cups whole milk 1 tbs salt 1 1/2 tsp mustard powder 1/2 teaspoon […]

Lemon Cilantro Chicken Thighs (Freeze Ahead Recipe)

This assemble-ahead, freeze-ahead recipe is so easy to make and SO delicious, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief.  It takes only minutes to assemble, and is a snap to bake.  It’s a light, springy, fresh-tasting addition to your recipe repertoire, and the slice of lemon a top each chicken thigh will add a bit of civility to a busy weeknight.  These chicken thighs pair well with any number of easy side dishes too, such as steamed rice, egg noodles, a crust of baguette or even angel hair pasta tossed with a little olive oil and parmesan cheese.  You can’t go […]

Lemon Tarragon Baked Chicken

If you haven’t discovered tarragon yet, this is a great place to start.  It’s a light, sweet herb, and it’s hard to misuse it when paired with a crispy baked chicken and plenty of fresh lemons. If rosemary is my go-to herb of autumn (rosemary chicken recipe here), then I suppose tarragon would be my go-to herb of early spring.  It has a slight anise (licorice), which makes it perfect as a transitory herb between the Christmas season and the Easter season. I really must create a whole page on this food blog dedicated to the use of lemons.  Lemons are magical, […]

Beef, Black Beans and Rice for a Crowd

This fast, easy, SUPER economical dinner is the one I featured on my show on Feb. 14.  It’s one of the “satellite” recipes I’ve developed off of my Crockpot Braised Beef Master Recipe. Ingredients: One Braised Beef recipe, cooked on low for 11-12 hours, shredded, and chopped 4 cups cooked rice 1/2 cup olive oil 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed Simply combine the rice and black beans with the braised beef recipe, stir in some olive oil and add a touch of salt, if needed.  A dinner for a crowd under $12. See vid for more information! Thank you […]

Olive Oil Pizza Crust

I make this pizza crust every single Friday.  If you watch my show, you know that every Friday, this and some variation of topping is on the docket. Friday pizza/movie night is one of my family’s most cherished (and enjoyed traditions). Shannon’s Olive Oil Pizza Crust Makes 3-4 pizzas 7 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon salt 4 teaspoons yeast 2 2/3 cup water 1/2 cup olive oil (plus olive oil for pan and top of pizza) Mix dry ingredients in kitchen aid (with dough hook attachment).  Add olive oil to water.  While the mixer is running, add water and let the dough combine slowly.  Stop mixing JUST when dough is formed. […]

Ribeye Steaks with Compound Butter

    These fast-marinated compound butter rib-eyes are standard Saturday night fare at our house.   Why in the world would we go out for dinner if we can spend a fraction of the money and have better food at home?  These steaks only need an hour to marinate, and each one sears in less than five minutes. Having many children in quick succession actually made me a better cook.  Most nights, going out to eat was not an option.  I had to figure out how to bring the restaurants to us.  When the kids were all little, we’d put them […]

Baked Beef Ribs

“Hey, do you want me to make ribs?”, I ask. “Is that a trick question?”, is always my husband’s response. Of course he wants me to make ribs.  Of course he does. And these are good.  Really good.  AND easy.  Who knew?  Don’t spend a ton of money buying ribs at a restaurant.  Unless the restaurant has smoke coming out of the top of it, that is.   If you see a restaurant that does their own smoking, then go for it.  But until then, just make these at home.  You’ll save yourself a bunch of money.  All you need […]

Butter Bolognese, Baby Boys and War

I first heard the term “Bolognese” when we lived in England. Before then, I just called it “meat sauce”.   All the “mums” on my square were making “Spag Bol” (spaghetti Bolognese) as their go-to dish on week nights. We lived in a very international part of Cambridge, England.  Built in the era of Charles Dickens, our grey brick flat was something out of an Victorian era movie. We had neighbors from Australia, Italy, Russia, and of course, local Brits.  Most were professors at Cambridge University.  Professors are an interesting lot.  They are not attached to material gains and pie-in-the-sky dreaming.  They exist to acquire and pass on knowledge.  Hours can be spent discussing the bay […]

Turkey-Lentil Tostadas

Lentils are like the humble little monks of the food world.  Small, plain, unassuming….cloaked in their earthy brown habits and the little white sash around their waists.  By all appearances, lentils are meek.  You’d think they’d be boring. You’d think you’d be able to “figure them out” based on their appearance. Turns out, they are quite multi-faceted and multi-talented.   Tender…peppery…tiny nodules of expertly assembled nutrition and vegetable protein.  Once you get to know them, it’s easy to admire them. I went on a “lentil shopping spree” via Amazon about a year ago.  Oh, Amazon…..you get me into such trouble.  I got so excited all the varieties of […]

Taco Salad, We Love You!

I seem to remember some kind of controversy surrounding taco salads back in the 90’s.  I don’t know if it came from TV or health class or some kind of fitness magazine – but suddenly, the “unhealthiness” of taco salads seemed to be something worth talking about. Oh, those evil taco salads!  Masquerading around pretending to be healthy. Pretty soon nosy-know-it-all’s were crashing entire tables of taco-salad eaters, warning everyone that WHILE it may be a salad, it was FAR from healthy. And I was just like…. “Oh, you don’t say?”  *crunch* *crunch* *crunch* I mean, if you want to […]

Ginger-Wasabi Grilled Chicken Tenderloins

There’s something especially soul-killing about a poorly-prepared chicken breast.  Now, don’t feel bad if you’ve made dry, thick, chewy, barely-palatable chicken breast in your life.    People throw boneless, skinless chicken breast around as if it was the easiest thing in the world to prepare, but the fact is; it’s not.  It’s actually one of the hardest meats to prepare well. Let’s compare it to a chicken thigh, for example.  You would really have to try to screw up a chicken thigh.  It has natural flavor, is laced with fat and is covered with a neat little pouch of skin that crisps very nicely.  […]

Cold Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad

I’ve been writing recipes like mad lately, and I had my whole freezer stocked with the goodies for my “Light Summer Series”, of which I was going to start photographing this week.  One recipe per day, I figured.  It was a perfect plan!  Until my two-year-old turned off the freezer night-before-last and I woke up to six pounds of defrosting shrimp. Six pounds of defrosting shrimp, five pounds of defrosting chicken tenderloins, four pounds of defrosting ground turkey and eight pounds of defrosting berries. Needless to say, my summer recipe photography got a fairly aggressive kick-start yesterday. Oh, I was frustrated alright.  I really didn’t […]

Freezer Cooking Series: Baked Ziti From the Freezer

Update: The video was from last summer, but the written post below was from a couple of years ago. Dinners from the freezer:  Because sometimes you need to drop everything and explain to your kids why we don’t draw swastikas on things. “Look what we made, Mama!”, my five and seven-year-old sons said proudly.  As they waved a little homemade flag with a hand-drawn swastika on it. I don’t think anything can quite prepare you for the sight of two little boys brandishing a swastika.  Especially if those boys are yours.  Not to mention, they had just gotten brand new Marine […]

Smoked Cheese, Ham and Spinach Frittata (With a Spot of Cream Cheese)

This is not what I planned on posting this week.  I had a post on baked ziti all planned out, then I went and made this for dinner last night (on the fly).  It turned out so great, I had to drop everything and recreate it today so I wouldn’t forget how I made it! A frittata is a big, baked omelet.  Whenever I don’t know what to make for dinner, I make a frittata.  If you have eggs in your fridge and a little cheese, a smidge of leftover this and a dash of leftover that, you can make […]

Light Garlic and Chicken Broth

Once you see how easy it is to make a good broth out of a picked-over roasted chicken, you’ll never throw chicken bits away again.  This broth is useful as a base for many-a-soup, and it’s especially good taken straight-up in the middle of cold and flu season, which, unfortunately is upon us right now.  My whole family has been up, then down, then up, then down.  Having a lot of this broth around has really helped. My teenage daughter especially loves taking this broth to school for lunch.  Only she dresses it up a bit by adding some fresh Asian noodles, a few cubes of […]