Category Archives: Main Course


Chicken Pot Pie

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

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

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.

Fettuccine Alfredo

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 Alfredo

A very hearty dish for the holidays too.

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

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.

Spaghetti with Black Truffles, Umbria Style

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

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

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.

Italian Sandwich on Ciabatta Bread

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

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

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.

Tagliatelle with Zucchini and Broccoli Di Rapi

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.

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

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.

Grilled Veal Chops

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

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

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

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.

Classic Chicken Salad

This Classic Chicken Salad recipe has minimal ingredients allowing the chicken flavor to be the focus. Serve it over salad greens, on bread or stuffed in an avocado or a hollowed tomato!
If you like you can add sliced almonds, walnuts, grapes or anything else.

Classic chicken salad
Classic chicken salad

2 cups cooked chicken, skin removed, cubed or shredded, any mix of white or dark meat (for quick and easy  buy a roasted chicken)
1/2 cup celery, rough or finely chopped
1 TBLS onion or scallion, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 cup mayo, use depends on your preference
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix the chicken with all other ingredients.
Chill and serve.

Heirloom Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad

An assortment of tomatoes are in abundance in the summer months.
This Heirloom tomato recipe mixes all types of tomatoes.
I bought these from the local farmers market picked at their peak of flavor.

Heirloom Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad
Heirloom Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Fresh mozzarella is key also. It’s from my local market but the store brand BelGioioso is good too.

ingredients for Heirloom Tomato Mozzarella Salad

1 LB fresh mozzarella
1 LB Heirloom tomatoes, mixed types
2 TBLS extra virgin oil oil
4-6 fresh basil leaves, sliced
A bottle of Balsamic glaze, check the label to be sure it doesn’t have corn syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Mix and assemble in a dish. Pour the olive oil over them and add the salt and pepper. Decorate with the Balsamic glaze and the basil. Serve just slightly chilled with a good crusty slice of Italian bread.
Add a glass of wine and opera music and you could drift off into Italy!!

Lobster and Shrimp Fra Diavolo

This spicy Lobster and shrimp Fra Diavolo dish is classic coastal southern Italian. Make it mild or spicy, your choice.
You can also use other shellfish if you like. Serve as is or over your favorite long style pasta, like linguine or over cooked rice.

Lobster and shrimp Fra Diavolo
Lobster and shrimp Fra Diavolo

2 lobster tails cut in half length wise, any size from 3oz-6oz each
1LB raw shelled and deveined shrimp, I like 16-20 count size
2 cups plum tomatoes, roughly cut
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TSP red pepper flakes
1 TSP parsely, chopped

In a large deep frying pan saute the garlic in the oil for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, red pepper and 1/2 the basil. Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.
Add the shell fish and simmer for about 5 minutes turning the shell fish until the shrimp flesh is pink and the lobster meat is white and firm, but not too long so that it gets rubbery.
Place in a serving dish as is or over pasta/rice.
Sprinkle with the remaining basil leaves.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara di Zucchini

Carbonara is a legendary Roman pasta dish. This version, Spaghetti alla Carbonara di Zucchini,  includes sauteed zucchini and is meatless, but every bit as delicious as the bacon version..

Spaghetti alla carbonara do zucchini
Spaghetti alla carbonara do zucchini

6 TBLS extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1LB small zucchini, cut into 1/4 ” slices
2 Xlarge eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 LB spaghetti cooked according to the box directions
6-8 fresh basil leaves, sliced
salt & pepper

In a large skillet heat the oil and add the garlic and saute for about 1-2 minutes. Add the zucchini saute for about 15 minutes until soft but not mushy. Remove from the heat and discard the garlic. Set aside. Whisk the eggs with the Parmesan cheese until blended. Drain the pasta serving one cup of the water and combine with egg mixture tossing it to coat. Add the zucchini mixture and half of the basil and toss. Add the served pasta water if too dry. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with remaining basil and serve.

Maine Style Lobster Bake

Some of the best tasting lobster is from Maine and the northeastern states. The waters up there are so cold even through the summer months that it has a profound effect on the lobster meat taste. SOOO sweet and succulent, even without dipping in butter. Try my Maine Style lobster bake combo but don’t hesitate to put your own together; adding clams, mussels or shrimp into the mix.
In Maine its common to also serve this meal with a big square cut of blueberry cake. See my recipe for Blueberry Muffin/Cake.

Maine style Lobster bake

Maine style Lobster bake

4 x 1.25-1.5LB Maine style lobsters alive and kicking
1/2 LB unsalted butter
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 Kielbasa sausage ring, cut into 4 pieces
4 ears of fresh corn
4 baking potatoes
Sour cream & chives for topping the potatoes
4 lobster cracking utensils
4 picks if you have them. The nut cracking sets work well for this too.
4 seafood forks if you have them

Wash the potatoes and either wrap them in foil or oil them and dust with kosher salt and bake until tender about 1 to 1.5 hours at 375.
Place the butter in a pot and heat gently then cool it a bit and spoon off the solids, making clarified butter. Don’t worry if you don’t spoon it all off, its still just as good. Keep the pot on warm until you are ready to use the butter.
Peel and clean the corn and place it in a covered microwaveable dish with about 1″ of water. Microwave for about 7-8 minutes when the lobsters are just about half done.
In a large covered pot big enough to fit the lobsters place about 3 ” of water. Bring to a boil and add the kielbasa and top with the lobsters. Cover them and watch the pot because it will foam up and spill over so you’ll have to remove the lid every so often. Boil/steam them for about 12 mins until the lobsters are completely red and the meat inside will turn from translucent to white and firm but not rubbery. DO NOT over cook the lobsters or the meat will be like trying to eat rubber bands. If in doubt better to under cook than over cook. You can test the lobsters by sticking a fork into the under belly at the top of the tail where it meets the body and slightly pull it apart. If the meat is white they are done.
Place a in a large plate or serving platter; a lobster, lemon wedge, ear of corn, baked potato topped with sour cream, chives or whatever you like, a piece of kielbasa and a cup of melted butter.

** make this more health friendly and omit the butter and use fat free sour cream.

Chicken or Veal Cutlets Milanese Style

This Milanese style recipe is classic Italian in that so much Italian food is just simple tastes. You can make this with chicken or veal. If you choose veal be sure it is top quality and very light pink in color. Veal Cutlets Milanese Style or Chicken Cutlets Milanese Style are served simply with lemon wedges.

Chicken cutlets Milanese
Chicken cutlets Milanese

1 LB chicken or veal cutlets pounded thin
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 TSP dried basil
1 TSP dried thyme
Salt & pepper
1 cup vegetable oil
6 lemon wedges

In a shallow dish, beat eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour flour into another shallow dish. Mix together the bread crumbs, basil and thyme in a third shallow dish. Have ready one large plate.
Season the cutlets with salt and pepper. Working with 1 piece of cutlet at a time, dip it first in the flour, shaking off excess. Next, place the floured cutlet into the beaten eggs, coating completely. Place the cutlet into the bread crumb mixture and gently press crumbs into the cutlet. Set aside on large plate and continue with remaining cutlets.

Preheat your oven on 200. In a large skillet, heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Have ready a baking sheet fitted with a rack. Carefully place 2 pieces of breaded cutlet in the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 6 to 8 minutes total. Chicken should be cooked through but the veal can be pink in the center.
Place cooked cutlets on the rack in the oven to keep warm.
Continue with remaining cutlets.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk fried chicken recipe is finger lickin good !!  The buttermilk makes all the chicken pieces moist and tender. Marinate the chicken in the buttermilk for at least 6 hours and up to 2 days refrigerated. There are many many recipes for fried chicken but this one is my favorite.

homemade Buttermilk Fried Chicken
homemade Buttermilk Fried Chicken


2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs, beaten
8-12 pieces of chicken with skin and bones; breasts (if they are lrg cut them in half), thighs, legs and wings
3 cups all purpose flour
2 x 1/2 TSP salt
1 and 1/2 TSP Cayenne pepper
1 TSP sweet Paprika
2 x 1/2 TSP poultry seasoning (Bell is one brand)
3 cups canola oil mixed with 1 cup peanut oil

Marinate the chicken AT LEAST 6 HOURS TO TWO DAYS BEFORE. In a gallon size resealable plastic bag combine the buttermilk, 1/2 TSP salt,  1/2 TSP cayenne pepper and 1/2 TSP poultry seasoning.  Add the chicken. Use two bags if you need to, just split the milk mixture in two. Refrigerate.
Heat the oils in a large iron fry pan or in a deep fryer to 350. Use a deep-fry thermometer if you can or test the heated oil by putting a pinch of flour into it and if it sizzles its ready.
In a large bowl combine the flour, remaining 1 TSP cayenne pepper, 1/2 TBLS salt, 1/2 TSP poultry seasoning and the paprika.
Dredge the chicken pieces one at a time into the flour and then into the beaten eggs and then into the flour again. Shake off any excess. Carefully add the chicken pieces into the hot oil leaving some room around them to cook. Turning them about every 10 minutes until they are golden brown and the juices run clear, about 175 degrees. Place cooked chicken on a rack to drain. Repeat this 2-3 times more until all the chicken is cooked.

**use all wing pieces to make a great appetizer

Chicken Parmigiana

This Chicken Parmigiana is very easy to make and once the sauce is ready it only takes 30 minutes to prepare. Serve it alone, with pasta or on Italian bread as a sandwich. You can also change the cutlets to veal, it’s the same process for cooking. But be sure to buy a good quality veal otherwise they will be tough.

Chicken parmigiana
Chicken parmigiana

Make my Marinara sauce or use sauce left over from a Traditional Sunday sauce that had meat in it. The flavors work well with either.
If you really are pressed for time then use the best quality jarred sauce, like Barilla.

6 Chicken breast cutlets or veal, pounded thin
2 eggs, beaten
1/1/2 cups Italian flavored bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 TSP of each; dried parsley, dried basil and garlic powder(not salt)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups Tomato sauce from the above selection
1/2 cup canola oil mixed with half olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350.
Mix the parsley, basil, garlic powder and about 2 TBLS of the Parmesan cheese together and set aside. Heat half of the oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Dip the cutlets into the beaten egg and then into the bread crumb mixture coating them on both sides. Place the cutlets in the frying pan so they have some room between them and fry until lightly brown. Unless you have a very large frying pan (then use all the oil) you will probably need to do this twice. Add the left over oil to the pan and let it heat in between frying more cutlets. Place the cooked cutlets on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. In a large baking pan place a few TBLS of sauce and then top it with a cutlet. Repeat this until all cutlets are in the pan. Place a few more TBLS of sauce on top of each cutlet and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and spread the mozzarella cheese over that. Cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 15-20 mins or until the cheese is melted and sauce is just slightly bubbling.


**to make this health friendly use half the Parmesan cheese and use part skim mozzarella cheese.

Stuffed Ricotta Shells

This  recipe for Stuffed Ricotta Shells is rich and creamy.

stuffed Ricotta shells
stuffed Ricotta shells

The recipe originates from the Lazio (Rome)region of Italy. It’s easy to make with a little patience and freezes well for a quick work night meal. There are many ways to stuff these; ricotta, meat sauce, sausage with herbs and bread crumb w/ bechamel sauce, etc…

Make my recipe for Marinara sauce

12oz box Jumbo Shells (I like Barilla)
2 LB container of whole milk ricotta
Two 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup grated Romano cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 TBLS minced fresh parsley
ground pepper to taste

Cook the jumbo shells for 9 minutes or according to the box for boiling and then baking. Drain and rinse in a colander with cool water. Be sure all the water is out of the inside of the shell. In a mixing bowl combine all the other ingredients, leaving out half the mozzarella. Put a heavy layer of marinara sauce in a covered baking dish. Open the shell with two fingers and spoon the cheese mixture into the shell until nearly full, about two tablespoons. Fold it closed. Place the stuffed shells next to each other and fill the baking dish. Pour a generous layer of sauce over the top of the shells and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake covered at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

**use low or non fat cheese to make this more health friendly

Creamy Shrimp and Grits

There are many varieties of shrimp and grits;
Charleston, Low Country, Georgia.
I like this creamy style the best.

Shrimp and grits
Shrimp and grits

1 cup yellow grits (not instant)
1/2 cup grated sharp white cheddar
1 TBLS unsalted butter
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

1/2 cup 1/3″ small cubes of tasso, andouille sausage, or bacon
1 TBLS vegetable oil (optional)
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 TBLS butter
16 raw large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled, deveined
1/2 cup low-salt chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 TSP paprika
2 TBLS chopped fresh chives

For grits:
Bring 3 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken. Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, until tender, about 45 minute to 1 hour. Stir in cheese, butter, and bell pepper, then cream. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
For shrimp:
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add tasso or whatever sausage/bacon you choose. Saute until fat begins to render, about 5 minutes (if tasso is very lean, add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet). Add garlic and butter; stir until butter melts. Add shrimp and paprika. When garlic begins to brown, add the chicken stock and 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; set aside.
Put a portion of grits in the center of a bowl and pour the shrimp mixture around the grits.
Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve.

Roasted Turkey and Sage Stuffing

This Roasted Turkey and Sage Stuffing is a special edition post to the pantry.

roasted turkey
roasted turkey

Roasting a turkey is all about keeping it moist. Years ago you heard of people roasting in a paper bag. Now we have less flammable alternatives, like browning bags made for oven temps.
My recipe for both is basic and you can certainly add different spices as you please.

Turkey, any size, fresh or frozen, defrosted
One pkg Reynolds turkey size browning bags
Bell’s Seasoning (it’s the little yellow box with the turkey on it)
Ground sage
1/2 stick of butter
2 carrots peeled and cut into 3 pcs.
2 celery stalks, cut into 3 pcs.
1 large onion, quartered

Wash the turkey and smooth the butter under the breast skin and all over the turkey skin too. Liberally sprinkle the sage and Bell’s seasoning all over the turkey. If you are going to stuff the turkey do it now. If you stuff the turkey then tie the legs together. You can add a meat thermometer to the breast area if you wish. Turkey needs to be 180 degrees when done. Prepare the oven bag according to the directions. Place the turkey in the bag.
Place the cut veggies all around the turkey. Close the bag as directed on the browning bag box. Roast according to the time and temperature indicated on the browning bag box and your size turkey. Once the turkey is done let it sit for about an hour before carving.

The Basic Stuffing;
2 Bags bread cubes, unseasoned
1 TBLS Bell’s Seasoning
1 TBLS ground sage
1 large onion, minced
3 stalks celery, cut fine
1 stick of butter
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 eggs, beaten


** you can add a few tablespoons of cooked ground sausage or chopped cooked mushrooms etc..**

Saute the veggies in the butter until soft but not brown. Place the broth in a pot and heat. Add the sauteed veggies, seasonings and the bread cubes to the pot. Mix together and then add the beaten egg. Mixing it thoroughly. Place stuffing in the turkey loosely or bake in a covered pan that has been greased. Bake in the covered pan for about 30 minutes at 350.

** change the butter in the stuffing to oil to make this health friendly

Ground Beef Chili

Ground beef chili is a simple easy work night meal and leftovers freeze well.  Feel free to change out the tomato sauce for diced tomatoes if that’s what you like. This is a mild recipe, just add hot sauce or red pepper flakes to heat it up to your liking.

Ground beef chili
Ground beef chili

1 LB Lean ground beef
1/2 Large onion, chopped
1 TBLS olive oil
Two 8oz cans tomato sauce
One 16oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 TBLS chili powder
1 TBLS Worcestershire sauce
1 TSP ground cumin
1/2 TSP garlic powder
1/4 TSP salt
1/4 TSP black pepper
Garnish with cheddar cheese and avocado slices
Serve with tortillas if you like

In a large frying pan saute the onion in the oil until soft. Add the ground beef and cook while chopping the meat up until the pink is gone and the beef is all crumbled in the pan. Add the balance of ingredients stir and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes and serve.

**use 93%+ lean beef or change to ground turkey and low fat cheese to make this health friendly

Apple Butter Roasted Pork Loin

It’s apple season in the USA. This tasty Apple butter roasted pork loin  is moist and has a great crispy crust when done. The smell of it roasting says Fall all on it’s own.

Apple butter roasted pork loin
Apple butter roasted pork loin

2LBS pork roast
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark
2 TBLS water
1/4 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350. Place pork loin in a baking dish, pour the apple juice over it and cover. Bake for 1 hour. Mix together the rest of the ingredients. Remove the roast from the oven and spread the apple butter mixture over the roast and cover. Bake for an additional 1.5-2 hours or until tender.

Stuffed Veal Rolls (Scaloppini)

This veal scaloppini dish is classic northern Italian. Made with good light pink colored veal cutlets is best. It’s made in one pan and 30 minutes to cook, so tender. If you are making this for a crowd place the browned rolls in a baking dish and pour the juices/wine mixture over the rolls.  Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

veal roll
veal roll

1 LB Veal cutlets, pounded very thin
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3 oz Prosciutto ham, thin slices
1 egg
2 TBLS milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dash of pepper
Dash of nutmeg
3 TBLS butter
1 TBLS olive oil
1/2 flour, spread on a plate
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup beef or veal stock/broth

veal roll preparation
veal roll preparation

In a mixing bowl place the bread crumbs, milk, cheese, egg, pepper and nutmeg, mashing together to form a creamy consistency. Lay the cutlets out flat and divide and spread the bread crumb mixture evenly among them. Place on top of it a 1/2 slice or full slice, depending on the size of the cutlet, of the Prosciutto. Roll the cutlets up and secure with a toothpick or two lengthwise. Put the butter and oil in a pan large enough to accommodate the veal rolls in a single layer. Dredge the veal rolls in the flour. Heat on med high and brown the meat on all sides. Add the wine and stock/broth bringing it to a brief boil then turn the heat down to very low and simmer covered for about 25-30 minutes. If the juices are too thin/watery, remove the veal and turn the heat up for a few minutes to reduce the juices.

Pork Chops Braised with Marsala and Red Wine

This Pork Chops Braised with Marsala and Red Wine dish is flavorful and made in one pan. It’s a classic regional Italian dish. The pork melts in your mouth when done.

pork braised with marsala
pork braised with marsala

1/4 cup olive oil
1 TBLS butter
4 pork loin chops, about 3/4″ thick or boneless pork chops with a little fat on them works too
1/2 cup flour, spread on a plate
1 TSP chopped garlic
1 TBLS tomato paste, dissolved in the wine
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
1/2 cup dry red wine
Dash of salt and pepper
1 TBLS chopped parsley
1/3 cup of water

In a frying pan that can accommodate the pork in a single layer put the oil and butter in and turn to med high heat. Pat the chops dry with a paper towel and dredge in the flour. When the butter/oil foam begins to subside place the chops in the pan and brown on both sides. Add the garlic to the fat in the pan and saute for 2 mins. Add the wines with the tomato paste, salt and pepper. Heat for a few minutes and then cover tightly turning the heat down to very low. Cook for about 1 hour, turning the chops once. Remove the chops to a warm platter. Tilt the pan to spoon off some of the fat, be sure to leave the juices. Add the water and turn up to high boiling off the water while scraping the residue leaving a dark sauce. Add the parsley. Pour the sauce over the chops in the platter and serve.

Chicken Marbella

This Chicken Marbella dish is so tasty and is better when prepared the night before you want to cook it. Overnight marinating is the best. The flavors intermingle and burst in your mouth.  People who do not like prunes/olives eat this with vigor. I originally discovered this from a country store in Rye, NY. I’ve come to find out that its origin is Spanish-Moorish and the Silver Palate cookbook made it famous.

Chicken Marbella
Chicken Marbella

1 whole fresh chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces***
4 cloves of garlic, mashed and pureed into the oil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBLS dried oregano
1 TBLS dried thyme, if you use fresh use about 6-8 sprigs
1/4 TSP ground pepper
Dash of salt
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/4 cup pitted green Spanish olives
2 TBLS capers, and a splash of their juice
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
2 TBLS fresh parsely, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dry white wine

In zip lock bag combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the white wine and brown sugar. Marinate overnight for best results or at a minimum 4 hours in the refrigerator. In a glass or stainless steel baking dish arrange the chicken in one layer. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Pour the white wine around the chicken. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the chicken.
Bake at 350 uncovered basting the chicken with the juices a few times.
Bake for about 50-70 minutes, until the juice of the thighs are clear when cut.

***if you want to make this as an appetizer use wingettes and reduce the cooking time to 30 minutes.

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

This Baked Stuffed Shrimp recipe is easy and impressive.
Start off by making my crab cake recipe for the stuffing.
You can freeze these too.

baked stuffed shrimp
baked stuffed shrimp

Eighteen 16-20 count or larger raw peeled and deveined shrimp
Make my crab cake recipe
2 TBLS of each, Olive oil and butter
Lemon wedges

Preheat oven 375.
You can stuff the shrimp laying on their side or stand them up flatting them and pile the stuffing on the opposite side of where they were cut and cleaned. Place them into an open baking dish.
Drizzle with the oil and place pieces of butter around the shrimp. Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake at 375 for 10-12 mins until the shrimp are pink and firm up. Serve with lemon wedges.