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Note: My Eggplant Parmesan is NOT a vegetarian meal. It is a wonderful blend of Italian meatballs, sausage, cheese, eggplant, and home made sauce.

4 Medium/Large Firm Eggplant

4 Eggs – beaten with a little water

3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumb

Kosher Salt

1 cup Olive Oil

1 cup Vegetable Oil

Left-over meatballs (4), left over Italian sausage (3), and about two cups of left over spaghetti sauce.

½ lb sliced provolone cheese

4 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese

Peel the eggplant and slice them a little more than ¼ inch thick.

Lay the sliced eggplant out on a large platter and generously salt them with kosher salt. Layer the slice and salt them until all of them are sliced and salted. Let them set for about an hour. A lot of dark liquid will come out of the eggplant. Be sure and drain the liquid.

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After an hour, rinse all of the eggplant under cold running water, and then pat them all dry.

In a medium bowl, beat 4 eggs with a tablespoon of water. Pour out 2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs onto a large plate. You may need to use more bread crumbs or eggs depending on the size of your eggplant.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

On a large sheet pan (it helps to have two pans) blend the olive oil and the vegetable oil.

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Dip sliced eggplant in egg and then in the bread crumbs and place on the oiled sheet pan. Do this until the sheet pan is full. If you have another pan, do the same process.

Bake the eggplant until golden brown on both sides (about 10 minutes each side). When done, lay the fried eggplant on a large platter lined with paper towel to drain the excess oil. Put paper towel between layers of eggplant to ensure proper drain.

Repeat this until all of the eggplant has been fried and let them cool a bit.

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In the meantime, using a fork or potato masher, break up the meatballs and sausage with some sauce. Then add the rest of the sauce and mix.

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In 9 X 9 baking dish – spread some sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.

Line the pan with the first layer of eggplant. Next put down three slices of provolone cheese and a little of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Next, spoon on some of the meat/sauce mixture. Repeat these steps until the baking dish is full, or you’ve used up all of the eggplant. Top with any remaining sauce and cheese.

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Bake –covered (I use a sheet of parchment paper covered with aluminum foil) for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

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(ok, it’s not a perfect picture, I had to try some!!)

My family loves to make eggplant sandwiches using Portuguese Rolls. Sometimes I will cook angel hair pasta and top with a nice square of eggplant parmesan and extra sauce.

Enjoy. If you have questions, write me at dadcooks at reciperedux dot com.

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Follow these instructions and don’t fool around with it and you’ll have the best BBQ ribs you ever tasted.

Rib Rub and BBQ Sauce

5 TBS Paprika

5 TBS Brown Sugar

3 TBS Salt

2 TBS Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 TBS Garlic Powder

1 TBS Ground Cayenne Pepper

1 1/2 TSP Onion Powder

1 TSP Marjoram (or Oregano)

1 TSP Mustard Powder

1/2 TSP Fresh Ground Nutmeg

Put all of this in a jar with a lid, and mix/shake thoroughly so that it’s all blended. For two large slabs of ribs I shake the entire contents onto the MEAT side of the ribs. Leave the bone side alone. Place in a large baking pan large enough to hold the ribs (the big pan that comes with your stove will do nicely) and refrigerator for a day, or overnight so that all of the spices can soak into the meat.

Ribs have been rubbed

Ribs have been rubbed

Next day, place about a quart of water in the bottom of the pan, and slow-bake the ribs COVERED WITH FOIL for 4-5 hours at 275 degrees. The bones should start to pull away from the meat, but the meat should remain moist and not burned and still stick to the bone.

GENEROUSLY slather ribs with BBQ Sauce (recipe follows) and place on your grill BONE SIDE DOWN on a low or medium grill. I prefer not to grill the meat side, but let the BBQ sauce thicken on the ribs while they are on the grill. Grill until the meat is hot all the way through.

BBQ Sauce

1 LARGE (64oz) Bottle of Ketchup

One 2 LB Box of brown sugar (light or dark – doesn’t matter)

1 TBS liquid smoke

1/2 tsp of dried basil

1/2 tsp of dried oregano

1/2 tsp of ground black pepper

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp (or more if desired) of ground cayenne pepper (I keep adding this until I get where everyone can deal with it… for me, a little more is better and I end up adding about 2 teaspoons and its very warm – not hot, but very warm and still has lots of flavor)

1/4 cup any white wine

juice from half a lemon

In a large pot, blend all of the ingredients (you’ll need to get all of the brown sugar dissolved into the mixture) and simmer very s l o w l y for an hour and make sure that it “blubs” with bubbles. Bottle it up. I use quart canning jars that have been sterilized with their caps and rings.

Ribs cooked and sauced

Ribs cooked and sauced

Good Luck !!! Email me if you have any questions. dadcooks at reciperedux dot com

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I made a terrific macaroni and cheese – this time I just kind of threw it together but I added a little Dijon mustard.  I also used two cheeses – Velveeta and Cabot Sharp White Cheddar.

8oz. elbow macaroni
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8oz.  grated sharp cheddar
6oz. cubed Velveeta Cheese
1 cup bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9×9 baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally until it is almost tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, set aside and cover to keep warm.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour and stir quickly to make a paste – as soon as it forms add the milk a little bit at a time, so that it all combines without lumps.

Add the salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and Dijon mustard and whisk to combine completely – simmer slowly until it makes a sauce that will evenly coat the back of a wooden spoon.  

Course grate the cheddar cheese and cube the Velveeta and add both to the sauce and blend completely.  Add the cheese sauce to the pot of macaroni and stir until all is combined evenly – then transfer to the buttered baking dish.  Smooth it out, then sprinkle the top with seasoned bread crumbs.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until it bubbles from the sides and the bread crumbs get a bit toasty. 

Serve warm.   This tasted even better the next two days, heated up in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

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Chef Joe’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe courtesy Chef Joe Randall
Show: The Best Of
Episode: Prix Fixe

Chef Joe's Baked Macaroni and Cheese
 
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Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally until it is almost tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, 1/4 cup melted butter, the cayenne pepper, and a teaspoon of salt.Put half the macaroni into a buttered 2-quart casserole and top with half the cheddar cheese. Repeat. Pour the milk mixture over the macaroni and cheese.In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the paprika, the remaining butter, and the Parmesan. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the macaroni and bake until brown and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm.

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We had company from Cincinnati last night and a big request for pizza. Since we follow the dictate of – no meat of Fridays during Lent, I made three excellent meat-less pizzas.

1. Caramelized Sweet Onion and Baby Bella mushrooms with homemade pizza sauce and provolone cheese – got rave reviews on that one.

2. Greek Pizza – with the obvious – homemade pizza sauce, pre-cooked spinach w/garlic, chopped Kalamata Olives (pitted), fried eggplant, and Feta cheese.

3. Pepper Pizza – Slivers of Red and Green Bell Peppers with rings of Cubanelle Peppers – homemade sauce, provolone cheese as well.

I always dust the pizza (no matter what the toppings are) with garlic powder and dried oregano before putting them in the oven at 400 (for 25 minutes).

Try these… they were a real hit last night.

Sorry I don’t have any photos – I was so busy serving – and I might have had too much wine 😉

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We had chili earlier in the week and the leftovers last night. Didn’t have any good crusty bread to have with it, so I worked on this cornbread recipe. I might not be the healthiest of recipes, but if you think of “moderation” then it will taste all the better.

ENJOY

THEEEE Best Cornbread Ever!

1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 15oz can of sweet kernel corn – drained
Bacon grease

Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan or medium cast iron frying pan with bacon grease.

In a medium sized glass bowl, melt butter in microwave at high for 45 seconds and let this cool a bit – then whisk in the buttermilk and eggs.

Mix all of the dry ingredients in large bowl. Blend in wet mixture and the can of corn. Pour this into the prepared pan or frying pan.

Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

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almost-lemons.jpgEarlier I wrote about the lemon tree that I got when I moved into my house a couple of years ago.  They’re almost ready to pick.

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This Tourtiere is very popular in Maine.  My aunt comes from Rumford, Maine and my uncle was French Canadian – she used to make this for New Years Day.  Supposedly it is good luck to have a meat pie on New Years.  Well, its still January, so GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!

TOURTIERE 
1 lb. ground pork

1/2 lb. ground veal

6 slices bacon, diced

1/2 c. chopped onion

1/2 c. chopped celery

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash of nutmeg

Dash of mace

Dash of salt

Dash of pepper

1 1/4 c. water

2 tbsp. cornstarch

Pastry for double crust pie

Brown the meat with the bacon pieces. Drain off the fat and stir
in the onion, celery, garlic, and spices. Add 1 cup water and bring the mixture
to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the
onion is tender.
Combine the cornstarch with remaining water and stir into the
hot meat mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until bubbling and
thickened, 1-2 minutes more. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Fit half the pastry into a 9-inch pie plate and fill with the meat
mixture. Top with remaining crust and decorate with leaves cut out of extra
pastry, if desired. Seal and flute edges; cut slits for vents. Bake in a
preheated 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Serves 6.

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I have a very nice recipe book called “PIZZERIA” by Evan Kleiman that had what I thought was a great recipe – Pizza with Spinach, Sausage, Salami, and Red Pepper. Sound good doesn’t it? It turned out AWFUL. It was wet, had a weird taste, and to boot – the dough didn’t perform as expected. I can’t believe I made such a crappy pizza. Oh well, I think I’ll stick to my basic recipes (you can see from previous posts). They always come out great.

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For weeks I’ve been trying to make the lemon-i-est lemon pound cake. At first I thought the Lemon Pound Cake from Starbucks was the best. But now I’ve found one better. Lemon Lovers Pound Cake at allrecipes.com is the one!!!

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I found out one critical thing.  I greased the baking pan, but I forgot to flour it as well.  As a result, when it came time to remove this from the pan, parts of it stuck – so remember – flouring your pan is extremely important.

This cake is very lemony and tangy and delicious.  Get some coffee or tea and enjoy.

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Publix Pizza Dough

1 ½ cups home made pizza sauce

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Olive Oil

Salt and Freshly ground black pepper

Sweet Italian Sausage

Cubanelle Pepper sliced into rings (these are a little hot – but not too hot)

Dried Oregano

Drizzle of Olive Oil

Garlic powder

 

Roll out the dough to fit your greased pizza pan.  Prick the dough with a fork to make holes.  Drizzle a little olive oil on to the dough and spread with the palm of your hand.  Sprinkle a little black pepper.  Ladle the sauce onto the dough.  Carefully place the mozzarella cheese on so that it covers evenly.  Sprinkle small pieces of sweet Italian Sausage over the pizza.  Sprinkle the cubanelle pepper rings over the top.  Dust with dried oregano and garlic powder, then sprinkle a little more olive oil over the top.  Bake at 400 degrees (for about 20-25 minutes) until the bottom is well done and the top looks so good you could eat it. 😉


Enjoy – Happy Friday !!!!

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These have been a favorite in our house for over forty years. They are wonderful!!

Sicilian Meatball Cookies

 


(Original recipe from Favorite Italian Recipes, 2nd Edition St. Anthony’s Parish, Watertown, NY; recipe submitted by Annie Cumoletti – 1973.

6 cups Flour

¼ tsp salt

1 cup shortening

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp cloves

2 cups sugar

¾ cup cocoa

2 cups milk

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

Put all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Blend in the shortening and lastly the milk. You will have to use your hands to mix this as it is a sticky dough.

Put a little shortening on your hands when you roll this dough into little balls (use a teaspoon to measure). Do not make these balls large, as they rise quite a bit. Leave space between them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Make a thin chocolate frosting and cover the baked cookies by rolling them in a large bowl of frosting. Lay out on a large pan or rack until they are dry.

Alternatively, just before serving, you can dust these cookies with some confectioners sugar.

Note: You can divide the dough and put nuts in some, raisins in some and coconut in some.

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Meatballs

 

I made meatballs today, but this time I just kind of threw it together. Here’s what I used

 

2 lb ground chuck

4 links of sweet Italian sausage (meat pulled from the casing)

Six slices of Pepperidge Farm white bread crumbled (rubbing bread in hands to crumble)

1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs

Sprinkling of milk

3 cloves garlic chopped

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

½ medium onion chopped

1/3 of a large green pepper chopped (fine)

2 eggs beaten

Couple of shakes of extra virgin olive oil

 

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried savory

¼ tsp ground red pepper

¼ tsp ground paprika

1 tbsp fennel seed

 

In a very large working bowl combine the ground chuck and the sausage and blend the two with your hands. Add the bread that has been moistened with sprinkling of milk. Add in all of the rest of the ingredients in the order listed. Add a little water to the whole mixture and a few shakes of olive oil.

 

My mother-in-law always added fennel seed to her meatballs. She thought it was great for Italian Sausage, it should be good for meatballs —- and it is… my family loves them that way. Try it.

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll the meatballs and put them in baking dishes and add a little water to the dishes before putting them into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked. They will cook some more when you add them to your sauce pot later.

=Dad

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