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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetables’

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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Stuffed Cabbage and Perogies

You will need to set aside some time to make this recipe. I usually start in the morning so that this can be for supper. Other times I’ve started this at night, and let it cook all night. Yup… the house smell like cabbage but it smells like heaven!!

large head cabbage or two medium (save the scraps)

1 pound ground chuck

1 pound of ground pork

1/2 cup rice instant rice cooked to yield one cup (a little more if you like)

1 medium onion chopped very fine

2 stalks of celery chopped very fine

2 garlic cloves chopped very fine

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

3 or 4 bay leaves

5 slices of bacon

Cut the core out from the bottom of the cabbage; Place into a very large kettle of boiling water and cook the cabbage pulling off the leaves every 4 minutes or so. Once you have all of the leaves off, with a small knife, cut the large stem flat so that the cabbage leaf is the same thickness all the way down. Stack all of your leaves and let them cool.

Save all of the scraps of cabbage and toss them into the bottom of the large pot that you are going to cook your cabbage rolls in. This is in case any should scald or burn, you’ll only burn the scraps and not the cabbage rolls. But, you will only cook these on low heat, so burning should not be a problem if you pay attention.

Combine evenly the ground chuck, ground pork and the cooked rice. Add the garlic, onion, celery, salt and pepper and blend all of this with your hands so that it is completely mixed together. Scoop the meat mixture into the stem end of the cabbage leaf – lay it on the counter and roll up the leaf from the bottom while tucking in the sides until sealed. By trimming that think stem, you’ve made it easier to roll the leaves and not have to rely on toothpicks to hold the rolls together. (You’ll notice later when the rolls have been cooked that they hold nice and tight). Fill all of the leaves in a like manner. YES – you are filling the leaves with the raw meat mixture – don’t worry, they will cook just fine – and the taste will be magnificent.

In bottom of large pot or dutch-oven, place the cabbage scraps. Arrange layers of cabbage rolls, seam side down – repeat til the pot is full. Pour in the crushed tomatoes then shake the pot so that the tomato liquid settles throughout. Lay on the strips of bacon and toss in the bay leaves. Bring the pot to a slow simmer and keep covered the entire time you are cooking. Once the pot simmers, you will need to cook this on low heat for at least 4 hours. Make sure that the liquid bubbles very slowly. Good food takes time. That’s why your Bobcha was always hanging out in the kitchen… the golomkie (or goo-um-key) took most of the day.

Make a pot of mashed potatoes or perogies and serve with your stuffed cabbage. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with marble rye or pumpernickel bread and butter. ENJOY!

Perogies

If you choose Mr & Mrs T’s Perogies, I boil them as directed on the package. Then I fry them in 3 tablespoons of butter and one large onion chopped. Fry until the perogies are brown and the onions are caramelized and/or crisp. Delish!!!!

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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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I got two great looking chuck roasts at Costco, so today is going to be pot roast day.  I really like the kind of cooking from Tyler Florence -he’s so down to earth and it seems all of his recipes are do-able (ingredients are easy to get – and methods are not difficult – for the working people).

Tyler Florence Ultimate Pot Roast

1 (3 to 4 pound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
2 yellow onion, halved
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 carrots, rough chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 cups button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced in half
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup of red wine

Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside, about 15 minutes total. Pour in the tomatoes and the water. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil, and add in the wine. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.

 

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This recipe for Chicken Vesuvio came from a local restaurant in the Orlando, FL area – Pebbles. As far as I know the restaurant has closed in our area (I think there were 4 or 5 in the Orlando area) and I really liked this dish. It was published in the Orlando Sentinel as well as Restaurant Secrets of Central Florida. Hope you like it.

Pebbles’ Chicken Vesuvio

8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter

4 oz demi-glaze

2 tsp. capers

2 oz white wine (Chardonnay)

2 ½ tsp. chopped garlic

1 oz lemon juice

2 egg yolks

1 sprig fresh rosemary

8 oz ( ½ lb) of your favorite pasta

½ tsp. oregano (fresh)

4 Italian plum tomatoes

½ tsp. chopped fresh parsley (garnish)

½ tsp. each salt and pepper

10 to 12 snow pea pods – blanched

½ tsp. tobasco

½ red pepper, julienned

8 oz chicken breast, skinned and cut into strips

¼ cup grated Romano or Asiago cheese

In a large sauté pan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add capers, ½ teaspoon of the chopped garlic, lemon juice, rosemary, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper and tobasco; stir to make Vesuvio butter.

Add chicken strips to pan and sauté over medium heat until browned on both sides. Add remaining 2 teaspoons chopped garlic, demi-glaze, wine and lemon juice; let mixture cook until reduced in volume by one-third. Whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Remove pan from heat; stir in egg yolks and continue stirring until sauce thickens. Add hot pasta and plum tomatoes.

Turn pasta out onto a platter. Garnish with parsley, snow peas and red pepper if desired. Top with grated cheese.

Makes two servings. Serve with your favorite Chardonnay.

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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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We had some relatives over for dinner on Sunday and I made a roast pork loin.  My sister-in-law loves anything “cranberry”, so I came up with a great sauce to drizzle over the sliced pork.

1 15oz can of whole cranberry sauce
1/2 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
1 hand full of raisens
dash of ground allspice

Pour the cranberry sauce into a saucepan, and add the rest of the ingredients.  Heat on medium until bubbly stirring occasionally.

Drizzle over the sliced pork.. Delish!!

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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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I had a request for to post my recipe for Louisiana Red Beans and Rice. Here it is. Enjoy.

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

1 pound of dried red kidney beans
1 pound smoked link sausage halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices OR hot Italian sausage- cooked and cut into pieces,
1 large onion, chopped
2 pale-green inner celery ribs (with leaves), chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced, or to taste
6 cups water OR 2 cans of chicken broth – add more if needed
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon Tabasco
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Serve over white rice

In a bowl soak beans in water to cover by 2 inches overnight. In a 6-quart heavy kettle combine all ingredients except 1/2 pound sausage. Bring mixture to a boil using 2 cans of chicken broth (or water if you don’t have broth) and simmer, covered, over moderate heat 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove lid and cook mixture at a bare simmer 1 hour more, adding more liquid if mixture is too thick.

Remove 1 cup bean mixture and mash into a paste with a potato masher. Stir bean paste and remaining 1/2 pound sausage into bean mixture and simmer 5 minutes.

Serve with white rice.

 

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I had some sweet Italian Sausage hanging in the freezer as well as 6 quarts of chicken stock in the outside fridge… so I decided to make some kind of soup.

Here’s what I came up with:

3 links of sweet Italian Sausage
1 large or 2 med onions chopped
4 slices of bacon – fine dice
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
small sprig of rosemary – whole
a few thyme branches
half a package of fresh-washed spinach
1 15oz can of canallini beans
2 quarts of chicken stock
1 28oz. can of whole Italian tomatoes
handful of linguine – broken into 1/2 inch length

In a soup pot, render the fat from the bacon with a little olive oil. Dice the onion and garlic and cook in the rendering until the onion is translucent. Add a reasonable amount of salt and pepper and the red pepper. In a separate pan, fry up the Italian sausage until very well done, slice it up in smaller pieces, fry again until all of the insides are well done, then add to the soup pot. Add back in the cooked bacon. Add the rosemary sprig and thyme, then add the chicken stock and stir. Bring it to a slow simmer, then add the tomatoes and beans. Half an hour before serving add the spinach and the pasta (linguine – or use your favorite pasta or whatever you have on hand). Good Stuff !!!

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Pesto Pizza

We love to make pizza at our house – usually on Friday nights.  This is one that my sister-in-law turned me on to, and I think you’ll really like it – – – especially if you like pesto pasta.

 

1 bread dough from your supermarket bakery (Just ask them for one of their Italian or French bread dough – tell them you are using it for pizza.)

1/3 lb of capellini, spaghetti, or linguine

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling

Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbs of shortening

1 Cup Prepared Pesto Sauce (from a jar or make your own)

½ lb of sliced provolone cheese

Corn meal

 

On a floured board or countertop roll out the dough (from the center to the edge) until you get it the size you need for your pan.  We like it thick.

Put rolled out dough onto a greased pizza pan (if you are using a non-stick pan or stone, omit the shortening).  Sprinkle very lightly with corn meal.

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the dough, and spread it our evenly with the palm of your hand.  Add freshly ground black pepper over the oiled dough.

Bake the dough in a pre-heated 400 degree oven until the edges are and bottom are well done.

While the dough is baking, cook pasta in water to desired texture, drain thoroughly, and toss with the pesto sauce. 

Pour out the pesto pasta onto the baked pizza spreading it evenly to the edges – leave room for the crust.  Cover with sliced provolone cheese (this keeps the pasta from moving around), and then place back into the oven until the provolone is melted – just a couple of minutes.

Let the pizza set for a few minutes, then cut with pizza wheel and serve with salad and your favorite white wine.

Note:  If you make this in a rectangular pan, you can cut it into small squares and its an awesome appetizer at a cocktail party.

Enjoy!

Dad

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Ravioli Soup

I took a left-over chicken carcass, added 10 cups of water and made the stock for this soup.

Ravioli Soup
1 large onion – chopped

1 large carrot – diced

2 cloves garlic – diced

1/2 bag of pre-washed fresh spinach

1 tbs salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbs Summer Savory

20 fresh spinach and cheese ravioli

In a large pot drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil, add the stock, onion, garlic, carrot and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer on low heat for an hour.

Add the spinach, simmer an additional ten minutes.

Add the ravioli and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

Re-season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve with grated Parmesano Reggiano and crusty bread.

Ravioli Soup

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I think my mother-in-law came up with “stoup” before Rachael Ray did. This is a long-time family favorite that we always have during the summer months when green beans are plentiful. It’s an easy recipe and is absolutely delish! – especially with some crusty Italian bread and a glass of wine.

GREEN BEANS, BEEF and TOMATOES

1 ½ lbs ground sirloin

2 tbs olive oil

1 large onion – chopped

2 cloves garlic – chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 lb fresh green beans – trimmed and cut

1 large 28oz. can Italian Peeled tomatoes with liquid

In a large pot add olive oil, garlic and onions and simmer until onions have sweat but don’t burn the garlic. Add the ground sirloin and cook until browned. Add the cut green beans and tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano. Stir and cover. Simmer slowly until green beans are well cooked – about 25 minutes. Serve with crusty Italian bread.

This is one of those dishes where the leftovers are fantastic on the second day.

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