GochYa Cooking a Recipe for Leftovers – A Food Challenge!

How many times have we opened the refrigerator door, looked inside and said, ‘there is nothing to eat’. It’s like looking in our closets and saying, ‘there is nothing to wear’. We are so very fortunate to live in a country that is full of abundance (even if we think there is nothing to eat – there IS!).

This week, I opened the refrigerator wondering what I was going to prepare for dinner with what was in my refrigerator. There were some eggs, leftover mashed potatoes, a few leftover ears of corn, fresh spinach and onion. Suddenly, I felt like I was working on the Food Network in a food competition with only a few ingredients to prepare something wonderful? I did. Now, YOU be the judge. What did I prepare? :

Potato and Corn Pancakes

2 cups mashed potatoes
3 cups corn (cooked and cut off the cob)
4 green onions, sliced
2 eggs
½ teaspoon sea salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
*1-1/2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
¼ cup light olive oil

In a mixing bowl, combine potatoes, corn, sliced onion, eggs, salt and cayenne. Mix together until well-combined. Form 8 patties and dredge each side in breadcrumbs.

In a large skillet, add oil and heat until oil is hot. Add 4 patties at a time until brown on each side, carefully turning on the other side to brown. Remove carefully and place on a plate of paper towels to absorb excess oil. Ready to serve!

Note: *For gluten-free, substitute 1-1/2 cups gluten-free bread crumbs

Spinach Sauté

6 cups fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Dash of sea salt & pepper

Wash the spinach of all sand and dirt. If you purchase spinach pre-washed, wash it, and then wash it again. Add spinach to a large skillet with garlic and olive oil. Cover and cook (steam) slowly. When the spinach is cooked (it will cook down), remove the lid and sauté until the garlic is golden brown. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

Okay…plate it up…spinach on the plate, arranging Potato and Corn Pancakes. This is a great summertime and vegetarian meal. For the meat lovers, grill a steak ( organic, grain-fed) to accompany the wonderful flavors of summer.

Pasta Fajoli – A Favorite Soup Recipe “MaMa Mia Cucina”


Warm and comforting, nutritious, filling, can feel a large crowd, economical and easy to prepare.  

Throughout the month of February in my cooking classes, book signing events, and corporate cooking demonstration events, my grandmother’s recipe for ‘Pasta Fajoli’ received rave reviews.  So much so, that I thought I would post it for those who were unable to join us in February.  You can also find it on page 41 of “MaMa Mia Cucina.”

Pasta Fajoli

Pasta e Fajoli


1/2 pound small pasta, cooked and drained

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon fresh chopped, Italian flat-leaf parsley

6 cups chicken stock fresh or canned

2 cups tomato sauce

2 cups navy or northern beans, canned or dried (cooked)

freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese to taste


Cook the pasta al dente´ and drain.  Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent.  Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, parsley and beans.  Cook slowly for 30 minutes.  Add cooked pasta to the mixture.  Heat through and serve with grated cheese.


Cooking Notes: 

  • Whole wheat pasta was substituted for traditional pasta.
  • For gluten-free cooking, substitute rice pasta.
  • Read all labels for gluten-free cooking to ensure that they are, in fact, gluten free.
  • If time allows, use dried beans instead of canned and homemade chicken stock for canned.
  • For vegan cooking, omit the cheese and substitute chicken stock for vegetable stock
  • I like to use about ½ cup of freshly chopped parsley – it adds a great flavor
  • My favorite tomato product is, of course, home-grown and freshly canned.  For purchase, I like Pomi for their fresh and homemade flavor.
  • When using canned beans, rinse well with cold water before adding to your favorite dishes.
  • Add some cooked spinach for a little variety.
  • Gather the kids in the kitchen for this one – it is so easy!
  • Add a fresh garden salad for a quick and easy meal at home.
  • Soups are satisfying and nutritious any time of year.


Memories of my grandfather:

I have heard this dish referred to as a peasant dish, and now I see it on the menus of some of the finest Italian restaurants.  I remember my grandfather loving this soup with a loaf of fresh Italian bread and a big glass of his homemade wine.  He would say to me, “you like some pasta fajoli?  You like some good bread?  You like a kick in the pants?”  You just don’t say “no” to good food!

On the 5th Day of Christmas – Another EASY Holiday Appetizer

On the 5th Day of Christmas…

 Serve the stuffed tomatoes by themselves, with crackers or crostini, or among a crudité tray. Another easy and delicious appetizer recipe.  Without the crackers, they are a gluten-free alternative.  Love the red and green colors of nature.

Gorgonzola Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes


  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Gorgonzola Cheese
  • Pistachio nuts, finely chopped


To prep, wash cherry tomatoes, slice and remove the top, and scoop and remove all seeds.  Crumble the gorgonzola cheese, and finely chop shelled pistachio nuts.  Stuff each cherry tomato with crumbled gorgonzola cheese and sprinkle with chopped pistachio nuts.   Serve on tiny plates, or serve on a tray as an appetizer assortment.


GochYa Cooking on Philadelphia’s NBC – The 10! Show

Join me on NBC’s

The 10! Show for a Food Segment! 

Tune in on Wednesday, August 24, 2011, at 11am est, for my first ‘Food Segment’ on NBC’s The 10! Show!  Invite your friends, and pass it on… 

Thank you for celebrating with me! 



Buon Appetito! 

Cynthia Goch