Braciola, (In Italian it’s involtini) rolled stuffed beef

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Braciola is a classic Italian dish known as involtini or little bundles.
It is most commonly made with beef but depending on the region it can be veal, chicken or fish. You can grill, saute or simmer it.
The stuffing has many many variations.
I’ll list some at the end of the recipe.

preparing Braciola
preparing Braciola

Ingredients;
Two long thin slices of beef top round London broil.
Your butcher can cut and pound them for you
1/2 Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Peccorino Romano cheese
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 TBLS fresh minced Italian parsley
drizzle of olive oil

Braciola
Braciola

Directions;
Lay the beef slices out and drizzle with olive oil. Spread the garlic on them and then the balance of ingredients. Roll them half way and cut the meat in two. Secure the roll with a few toothpicks on each side and the center if needed. Continue to roll the other half of the beef and repeat securing them.

Cooking variations;
**Saute in olive oil and butter in a frying pan and then add a little red wine to simmer them maybe 10-15 minutes.
**Grill them for a few minutes on each side
**Add them to the tomato sauce you are preparing from my blog library

Stuffing variations;
**sprinkle pine nuts
**sprinkle currants
**add minced Pancetta or Proscuitto
**add a filet of anchovy
**add chopped hard boiled egg

Cherry Pie

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I thought I’d publish this Cherry Pie recipe in honor of our first President. It’s so juicy and full of flavor. A hit at any time of year !!

Cherry pie
Cherry pie

Ingredients;
Make my perfect pie crust recipe or buy pie crust rolls
4 cups fresh(pitted) or frozen tart cherries
1 cup sugar
4 TBLS cornstarch
1 TSP almond extract
Dash nutmeg
1 TBLS butter, to dot
1 TBLS coarse sugar, to sprinkle

Directions;
Preheat oven to 375.
In a medium saucepan place over med heat. Cover. After the cherries lose considerable juice, which may take a few minutes, remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Add the almond extract, nutmeg and mix. Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool. If the filling is too thick, add a little water, too thin, add a little more cornstarch.
Prepare your crust. Divide in half. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 8 to 9-inch pan. Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust. Dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on and flute the edge of the pie.
Make a slit in the middle of the crust for steam to escape.
OR
Cut lattice strips and place over pie. Sprinkle the crust with coarse sugar.
Cover the pie crust edge with strips of foil to keep them from browning too much.  Remove the foil strips after 30 minutes of baking.
Bake until crust is lightly browned, about 50 minutes.

Shortbread Cookies

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This buttery shortbread will be a family favorite for sure.
Decorate Shortbread cookies for the season using candy decor, sparkling sugar or dip them in chocolate.

Shortbread cookies
Shortbread cookies

Ingredients;
3 sticks of unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar plus more for decoration
1 TSP vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 TSP salt
1 container Bakers milk/dark chocolate for dipping

Directions;
Preheat oven to 350.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
At this point you can press into a 9×9 pan, or a shortbread baking dish, you can sprinkle the top with sugar.
If you want to use cookie cutters then roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a cookie cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with sugar if you like.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.
If pressed into a pan you’ll want to cut your cookie size before it cools. Allow to cool to room temperature before removing from the pan.
When the cookies are cool. Microwave the Bakers chocolate according to the container directions. Dip or brush half the cookie or drizzle the entire cookie with chocolate as you desire. Place the cookies back on the parchment lined sheet and let them sit until the chocolate is firm. You can refrigerate them for a few minutes to finish firming up the chocolate.

Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

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Potato pancakes (Latkes) are a simple and tasty side dish.  Easy to make and can be frozen to cook later. I like them with a little onion or chives.

Potato pancakes
Potato pancakes (Latkes)

Serve them with a good applesauce and sour cream or creme fraiche.
Ingredients;
2 large baking potatoes
2TBLS finely grated onion or snipped chives
1 extra-large egg, beaten
2
 TBLS all-purpose flour

Directions;
Peel the potatoes and grate them on a box grater or in  food processor with the grating attachment. Wrap the grated potatoes in a paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Combine the potatoes in a bowl with the egg, flour, salt and pepper. Mix well. Melt the clarified butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Place a TBLS or two of the potato mixture into the sizzling butter and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the pancakes over and cook for another 2 minutes, or until crisp on the outside and golden brown. Serve the pancakes hot from the skillet.
***To make the clarified butter, slowly melt 4 TBLS butter in a small saucepan. Set it aside until the milk solids settle. Spoon off any solids that rise, then carefully pour off the golden liquid, discarding the milky part in the bottom of the pan.

Eggnog Waffles

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These eggnog waffles are a wonderful change from the ordinary.
After the holidays I found a quart of eggnog way in the back of the refrigerator.
It was a snowy day so I decided to experiment.
WOW what great flavor.

Eggnog waffles
Eggnog waffles

Ingredients;
2 cups unbleached flour, sifted
2 TSP baking powder
Dash of ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
1 TSP vanilla
2 cups eggnog
2 large eggs, separated
4 TBLS (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Cooking spray, for the waffle iron
Directions;
Waffle iron heated to the manufacturers instructions.
Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggnog, egg yolks, and butter in another bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until combined; you don’t want the batter to be lumpy or too smooth, mix till somewhere in the middle..
Whisk the egg whites until almost stiff; fold them into the batter.
Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour some of the batter into the middle of the iron, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Close and cook until golden brown and cooked through about 3-5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve with maple syrup and butter. The leftovers should freeze well.

Chicken Pot Pie

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This Chicken Pot Pie recipe is savory and rich.
Warms your soul on a cold night.  It’s easy and can be frozen for a quick work night meal.
Using packaged pie crust makes this ready to bake in minutes.
But the best is to make my “Perfect Pie Crust” recipe if you have the time.

Chicken pot pie
Chicken pot pie
Chicken-pot pies
Chicken-pot pies

Ingredients;
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1/2 cup frozen petite peas
1 TSP parsely
32oz low sodium chicken stock
3 cups cooked chicken, white or dark meat or mixed
2 TBLS heavy cream
2 TBLS butter
3 TBLS flour
1 egg, beaten
1 pkg prepared pie crust (my preferred brand is “Immaculate”)
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions;
Preheat oven to 375.
In a frying pan saute the carrots with the butter for 5 minutes then add the onions and peas. Heat for another 5 minutes.
In a  large pot heat all but 1 cup of the stock. Add the chicken, parsley and veggies. Simmer covered for 5 minutes.  Stir the flour into the reserved cup of stock at room temperature. Add the stock and flour mixture to the pot. Add the cream and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
Roll the dough out and cut to the size you like.  Pictured I made a single crust on a 5″ corning bakeware and a double crust in a 5″ tin pie pan. Fill the pie/bakeware and top with the crust. Trim the side and cut a square in the top of the crust.  Brush with the beaten egg.
You can also make this in a casserole dish for a shared pot pie.
Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.
Makes four 5″  pie/bakeware pies or one 10×10 casserole.

Ham Hash

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This ham hash recipe is a great side dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Ham hash
Ham hash

What to do with leftover holiday ham, this is perfect for it!!
Freezes well.

Ingredients;
2 large red or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed 1/2″ pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 cup ham, cubed small
1 TBLS olive oil
Pepper to taste
**Optional; add a TBLS of minced red bell pepper

Directions;
In a frying pan on med heat add the oil and cook the potatoes until nearly soft.
Add the onions, ham and pepper. Saute until slightly browned.
Served by itself, with an omelete or with pan fried eggs on top.

Bellini

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This refreshing Bellini brunch cocktail is easy and very pleasing to the pallet.

Bellini
Bellini

Ingredients;
4oz Prosecco (Italian champagne)
2oz peach nectar or puree
1 TBLS peach schnapps
Peach slices

Directions;
Pour the peach nectar/puree into a tall wine glass or flute.
Add the schnapps and gently pour in the Prosecco.
Decorate with a slice of peach on or in the glass.

Blueberry Scones

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These blueberry scones are delicious and freeze well. Great for a brunch gathering. You can easily change the flavor by using unsweetened dried fruit such as cranberries, fig pieces, cherries, etc…

Blueberry scones
Blueberry scones

Ingredients;
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
3 TBLS sugar
1 TBLS course granulated sugar for sprinkling tops
1 TBLS baking powder
3/4 TSP salt
6 TBLS cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or dried as stated above
1 TSP grated lemon zest
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing tops
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives or pulse a few times in a food processor, cut in butter until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Stir in blueberries and zest.
Using a fork, whisk together cream and egg in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, and pour in cream mixture. Stir lightly with fork just until dough comes together. Place onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times to mix well.
Pat dough into a 6-inch square about 1 1/4 inches thick. Using a floured knife, cut into four 3-inch squares. Cut squares in half on the diagonal to form eight triangles. You can also use a large round biscuit cutter. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with cream, and sprinkle with course sugar. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes.

Fettuccine Alfredo

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This fettuccine alfredo recipe cooks up in a few minutes and is so rich and creamy. Another variation is; in another pan, sear shrimp and/or bay scallops a few minutes until cooked then add them to the cooked pasta dish.

Fettuccine
Fettuccine Alfredo

A very hearty dish for the holidays too.

Ingredients;
12oz-16oz Fettuccine, cooked according to the pkg directions
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup light cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 lb (one stick) unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 TBLS chopped fresh parsley

Directions;
Cook the pasta while making the cream sauce. Add the creams together with the egg yolk and beat together. In a large frying pan melt the butter. Add the cream and half of the cheese. Cook for a few minutes until barely bubbling. Drain the pasta and toss with the cream sauce. Add the remaining Parmesan cheese and gently toss.
Add the seafood variation mentioned above if you like.
Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.

Tuscan Cannellini Bean Dip Spread

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This Tuscan Cannellini bean dip or spread is easy and fast to make. Using canned beans it can be ready in just minutes. Serve with a crusty Italian bread or crispy pitas.

Tuscan Cannellini bean dip
Tuscan Cannellini bean dip

Great to make ahead of time and serve as your holiday guests arrive or take along to a gathering.

Ingredients;
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
2 TBLS fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 TBLS fresh Italian parsley leaves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TBLS grated Parmesan cheese

Directions;
Drain and thoroughly rinse the beans. Place all ingredients except the parsley in a food processor and puree. Stir in the minced parsley.
Serve at room temperature with crusty bread, pita or small cut raw veggies.

Winter Snow White Cupcakes

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This snow white cake and icing cup cake recipe was popular when I was a little girl.

Winter Snow White Cupcakes
Winter Snow White Cupcakes

A friend mentioned that his Mom use to make Winter Snow White Cupcakes for his birthday.
So I thought I would make it and share with my pantry followers.
The icing is so fluffy and pleasant tasting. Not too sweet and very soft. Great for decorating with holiday sprinkles, coconut flakes or candied cherries. It makes for a stunning presentation.

Ingredients for the cake;
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 TSP baking powder
1/4 TSP salt
3/4 cup egg whites, about 6 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 TSP vanilla
12 cup cupcake pan, with liners

Directions;
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape bowl and beater often. I use a large ice cream scoop to keep the portions consistent, measure the batter into each cupcake liner.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes our clean. Cool and frost.

Boiled Fluffy White Frosting
Ingredients;
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 TSP cream of tartar
2 large egg whites, at room temp
1 TSP vanilla
Your chosen decoration

Directions;
In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost your cupcakes and decorate as desired.

Spaghetti with Black Truffles, Umbria Style

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Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Orvieto in the Umbria region of Italy, just north of Rome. We had a pasta dish, Spaghetti with black truffles that was just exquisite.
Years ago I was introduced to one of the best all around Italian cooks and her cookbooks, Marcella Hazan. She tells the history of a recipe or a story. I checked and sure enough she has the truffle sauce recipe in her “More Classic Italian Cooking” book. It’s called “Spaghetti alla Nursina”. I’ve made a few alterations to it. She says “its an expensive dish that should be reserved for lovers since some pleasures are too keen to be shared!!”  I have to agree with her.

Make a romantic dinner for your someone special.

Black truffle sauce
Spaghetti with Black truffles sauce

Ingredients;
2.5 to 3 oz black truffles, fresh is preferred but in brine is ok too(find it at an upscale grocer or on Amazon)
6 TBLS good quality fruity tasting extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove peeled and crushed
2TSP anchovy paste
Salt to taste
8 oz spaghetti or like pasta cooked according to the package directions
a Sprinkle of good Parmesan cheese

Directions;
If the truffles are fresh, clean them using a brush, rinse quickly and pat dry. If they are in brine drain them and pat them dry.
Grate the truffles using the fine grate side of a grater or micro plane to get a fine morsel texture.
Cook the pasta while….
In a frying pan on LOW heat add the oil and truffles stirring them for a few minutes. Add the garlic clove and anchovy paste. Stirring for about 5 more minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the truffle sauce. Taste for salt and sprinkle the cheese and serve immediately.
Compliment with your favorite white Italian wine.

Caponata Sicilian Eggplant Appetizer

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This Caponata eggplant appetizer originates from Sicily and is very popular.  Serve it with bread or crackers as your holiday guests arrive.

Caponata
Caponata Sicilian Eggplant Appetizer

Easy to make and if you follow my jam recipes for canning you can enjoy Caponata Sicilian Eggplant Appetizer all year long.  Just keep the jars in the pantry, once opened refrigerate them.

Caponata mixture
Caponata mixture

Ingredients;
4 cups cubed fresh eggplant, with the skin on
4 TBLS extra virgin olive oil
2 med onions, chopped
3-4 ribs of celery, cubed
1/4 cup capers, drained
2/3 cup pitted olives, green Sicilian are preferred
1 TBLS red wine vinegar
3-4 leaves sliced fresh basil
1 cup plum tomatoes, canned and rough chopped with their juice

These are my favorite brand of tomatoes. They are from Italy and have no additives
These are my favorite brand of tomatoes. They are from Italy and have no additives

Directions;
Heat the oil in a pan large enough to accommodate all the ingredients. Saute the celery and onion until nearly soft but not brown. Add the eggplant a saute a few minutes more. Add all the other ingredients and simmer on low uncovered for about 45 minutes until the excess juices are nearly gone. Serve at room temperature. It can be store in the refrigerator for about 4 days. You can also can at this point with the mixture hot and going into hot boiled mason jars.
Serve with a crusty Italian or French bread.

Italian Sandwich on Ciabatta Bread

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This Italian sandwich was typical growing up in an Italian household.
So many different ways to make it, but I’m giving you this Italian sandwich on ciabatta bread as my favorite.

Italian sandwich on ciabatta bread
Italian sandwich on ciabatta bread

Ingredients;
One 10″ – 12″ fresh Ciabatta bread (found in the better markets)
2 TBLS Pesto (jarred or grind garlic, fresh basil, olive oil, 1 TBLS grated Parmesan and a few pine nuts to make your own)
One medium jar red/yellow roasted peppers, rinsed
8oz fresh Mozzarella, sliced
1/4-1/2 LB Sicilian salami, sliced very thin

Directions;
Cut the bread in half long ways. Brush both pieces with the pesto. Layer the balance of the ingredients to your desired thickness. Cover with the other half of bread and slice into 4 pieces.
Enjoy with a good glass of wine or an Italian soda.

Perfect Pie Crust

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This Perfect Pie Crust recipe is easy and flaky tender.
Just be sure to not over work the dough.
It can be used for savory or sweet pies.

Perfect pie crust
Perfect pie crust

Ingredients;
12 TBLS (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 TSP kosher salt
1 TBLS sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening,like Crisco
6 to 8 TBLS (about 1/2 cup) ice water

Sugar sprinkled on the top crust makes a nice shine

Directions;
Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Empty out on a floured surface and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured surface into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the surface. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust. Makes two 10″ pie crusts.

Vegetable Appetizer Platter

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I made this Vegetable Appetizer Platter to pick on before a family meal or its great to serve while guests arrive for a holiday get together.

Vegetable Appetizer Platter
Vegetable Appetizer Platter

It contains; Stuffed Zucchini, Stuffed Mushrooms and fried Yellow Squash. The zucchini and mushroom recipes are listed in the pantry. Below is the fried squash recipe.

Ingredients;
1/2 cup or so combination vegetable oil and olive oil
2 yellow squash, sliced 1/4″ slices
1 egg, beaten
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 TBLS grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
dash of garlic powder, not salt

Directions;
In a large non stick frying pan heat the oil to med/hot.
Combine the bread crumbs, garlic powder and cheese in a 1 gallon bag. Egg wash the squash and place it in the bag. Shake the bag until the squash is coated. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel and serve warm. Serve as is or dip in your fav dressing.

Tagliatelle with Zucchini and Broccoli Di Rapi

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This pasta dish is Tagliatelle with Zucchini and Broccoli Di Rapi.
That is the Italian broccoli known as di raperapi, or rapini.
This vegetarian dish is so delicious and nutritious.

Tagliatelle with Zucchini and Broccoli Di Rapi
Tagliatelle with Zucchini and Broccoli Di Rapi

Quick to make and serves a crowd or take along as I did today to a party.

Ingredients;
6 TBLS extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 ” slices
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli di rapi, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 LB tagliatelle (white or green or mixed) cooked according to the pkg directions
6-8 fresh basil leaves, sliced
salt & crushed red pepper flakes

Directions;
Broccoli; I like to use only the small stems, leaves and flowered part. Chop and steam the broccoli di rapi until tender. If frozen just steam 1 cup, set aside.
Begin cooking the pasta.
In a large skillet heat the oil and add the zucchini and broccoli di rapi and saute for about 5 minutes until soft but not mushy. Add the garlic and saute for about 1-2 minutes. Drain the pasta keeping one cup of the water and combine with the zucchini/broccoli mixture and half of the basil and toss. Add the reserved pasta water if it appears to be dry. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with remaining basil, Parmesan and serve.

Cherry Cheesecake Brownies

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Wow, talk about a flavor explosion!! The cherry, creamy cheesecake and rich chocolate flavors unite and explode in these cherry cheesecake brownies. So easy since part of the recipe is from a premixed box brownie. The 9×13 tray easily serves a crowd and freezes well.

Cherry cheesecake brownies
Cherry cheesecake brownies

Ingredients/Directions;

One 18oz-20oz boxed brownie mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
1 TSP instant espresso powder
1 TSP vanilla extract, I prefer vanilla paste
Mix the above together and beat for 2 minutes.
Spread the batter in a 9×13 greased baking pan and set aside.

Cherry cheesecake brownies raw
Cherry cheesecake brownies raw

One 8oz cream cheese, at room temp
5 TBLS unsalted butter, at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 TBLS flour
1 TSP vanilla extract
One 21oz can of cherry pie filling
Preheat the oven to 350.
Mix the above except cherry filling, until fluffy. Drop tablespoons full into the pan of brownies and use a knife to gently cut through the batter to pull the cream cheese into a marbled pattern.
Spoon tablespoons of cherry filling on top of the cream cheese/brownie pan about 1 inch apart.
Bake 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool for an hour before cutting into squares.

 

 

Mushrooms Sauteed with Marsala

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This Mushrooms Sauteed with Marsala recipe is a great side dish.
I love it with steak, but it goes well with poultry too.

sauteed mushrooms
Mushrooms Sauteed with Marsala

16oz pkg of fresh mushrooms, button or any type you like
1/2 cup Marsala wine
2 TBLS butter **
Dash of pepper

Clean the mushrooms. I say that because I like to rinse them and brush with a soft mushroom brush. I just can’t get over the grown in substance and not wash them. Some people like to just dust them off.

cleaned mushrooms
cleaned mushrooms

Slice them or leave them whole. Place the butter in a saute pan large enough to loosely fit the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms on a fairly high heat until the juices come out and then absorb again. Add the Marsala wine and saute for a minute or two as the wine sizzles and deglazes the pan. Add pepper to taste and serve warm.

** replace the butter with olive oil to make this more heath friendly.

Grilled Veal Chops

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A good cut of veal is very light pink. It doesn’t matter if you buy the rib or loin cut. Whichever you prefer. Pictured is rib cut Grilled Veal chops.

Grilled Veal chops
Grilled Veal chops

Grill/broil on high to searing the outside, keeping it pink inside. Please do not over cook it or you will find it dry and tough.

Ingredients;
2 to 4 veal chops, about 1″-1.5″ thick, loin or rib cut
2 TBLS extra virgin olive oil
1 TSP Bell’s Seasoning (the yellow box with the turkey on it)
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed and mashed
I have an herb garden so if you have any, a few leaves of each; sage, thyme, oregano, rosemary

Veal chop
Veal chop

Directions;
Place all the ingredients in a freezer bag and let marinate for 2-24 hours refrigerated.
Place on a hot grill and sear the meat on both sides. Baste once with the marinade. Cook until the center is pink about 155-160 degrees on a meat thermometer.
Serve with your favorite side dishes.

Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing

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This Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing recipe is tasty and easily serves a crowd.
Another option is to use the stuffing and roll it up in chicken or turkey thin sliced cutlets.

Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing
Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing

Ingredients;
1 TBLS chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, unsalted
2 cups soft bread cubes
1 cup finely chopped apple
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
2 TSP minced fresh parsley
1/2 TSP ground sage
1/2 TSP salt, divided
4 bone-in pork loin chops,1-1/2 inches thick
Dash of pepper
1 TBLS vegetable oil

Directions
In a small frying pan, saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Remove from the heat; add the bread cubes, apples, sage, parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix well.
Cut a pocket in each chop by making a horizontal cut through the meat almost to the bone. Sprinkle inside and outside with pepper and remaining salt. Spoon stuffing loosely into pockets.
In a large frying pan, brown the chops on both sides in oil. Place in an ungreased large baking dish, I use my corning ware covered dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 30 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let meat stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Broccoli Patties

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My Mom would make these broccoli patties with leftover broccoli. It’s a great nutritious and easy side dish. Something different to do with broccoli and so tasty. Be creative and change the cheese to cheddar, change the bread crumbs to plain and add your own spice selection if you like.

Broccoli patties
Broccoli patties

Ingredients;
1 large head fresh broccoli or 1LB bag frozen chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBLS butter
1 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
1 TSP garlic powder (not salt)
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions;
Wash and cut up the broccoli into small pieces. Steam, do not boil in water until very soft.
In a large bowl mix together the broccoli, butter and cheese.  Then add all the other ingredients, except the oil. Mix thoroughly and form into 4 inch or so patties. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and saute the patties on each side until very lightly brown. Serve warm.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

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Spaghetti squash is nutritious and can be a good substitute for pasta. By itself roasted spaghetti squash does not have much flavor so its important to use a sauce with it that has an abundance of flavor.
I like to make something similar to a Puttanesca sauce.
Rich with olives, capers, tomatoes and herbs.

Roasted spaghetti squash
Roasted spaghetti squash

Ingredients;
1 whole spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
3 garlic cloves, forced through a garlic press
1/2 med onion, chopped fine
2 TSP anchovy paste
1/2 TSP hot red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in juice or 6 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup pitted mixed Kalamata & Italian green ( not Spanish)olives, sliced in half
2  TBLS drained capers
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions;
Preheat the oven to 375.
Drizzle a little of the olive oil on the cut side of the squash.
Bake the squash in a roasting pan cut side down for about 45-55 minutes, unit a knife inserts easily. Set aside.
In a heavy fry pan place the oil and cook the onion, garlic, anchovy paste and red pepper for 2-3 minutes while stirring.  Pulse chop the tomatoes and their juice in a food processor or blender.  Add to the frying pan and stir.  Add the balance of ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.  Scrap the squash out of its skin and add it to the frying pan tomato mixture. Toss to mix.
Lightly grate Parmesan cheese over the top and serve.

Bloody Mary

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Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary is a great brunch beverage with or without alcohol. Tasty and many variations. Make it as spicy as you like.
Here is my favorite recipe.

4 cups tomato juice (I prefer Sacramento)
2 celery stalks with leaves and extra for garnish
4-5 dashes of Tabasco sauce, adjust to your taste
1 TSP prepared horseradish, adjust to your taste
1/2 TSP celery salt
1 TBLS grated onion, Vidalia if it’s available
1 TBLS Worcester sauce
1 cup vodka (optional)
the juice of one whole lemon, extra for garnish
Spanish stuffed olives for garnish
Rub the rim of the glass with lemon and dip into a spicy dry seasoning such as Prudhommes Magic or Emerils spices, optional

Place all ingredients, except the garnish, into a blender and puree.
Pour into a tall glass with ice and garnish as desired.

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