Italian Meatloaf

February 21, 2011

Italian Meatloaf


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Red Pepper (Seeded & Diced)

1 Diced Onion

4 Grated Garlic Cloves

1 Pound Ground Sirloin

2 Eggs

¾ Cup Bread Crumbs

1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves

1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley Leaves

1 Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 Cup Marinara Sauce

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the onions, garlic and peppers.  Cook until just soft and remove to a plate to cool.  When the peppers, garlic & onions are cool, combine all of the remaining ingredients together except for the marinara sauce.  Pack the meat mixture in a greased loaf pan.  Top with the marinara sauce making sure to spread evenly over the top.  Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  Slice and serve.  Serves 4

Pad Thai

February 12, 2011

Pad Thai


6 Ounces Rice Flour Noodles

2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

Juice of Two Limes

1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil

½ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 Teaspoon Peanut Oil

1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Shallots

3 Cloves Minced Garlic

2 Cups Bean Sprouts

2 Cups Shredded Savoy Cabbage

2 Cups Julienned Carrots

4 Medium Scallions (White & Green Parts)

7 Ounces Extra Firm Tofu (Cut Into Thin Strips)

1 Large Egg (Lightly Beaten)

¼ Cups Chopped Dry Roasted Unsalted Peanuts

½ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Place the noodles in a large bowl.  Cover with warm water and soak for up to 5 minutes.  The texture should be soft, but al dente. Drain. 

Make sure to finish all chopping before soaking the noodles as they become mushy during cooking if they are soaked too long.  I have learned this lesson the hard way!

Meanwhile, whisk together the fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. 

Heat a wok (or a deep skillet) coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add the peanut oil, shallots, garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and scallions and cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Add the sauce, tofu, drained noodles and cook, stirring constantly for 2 more minutes.  Now make room for the egg by pushing everything to the side of the wok.  Add the egg to the wok and reduce the heat to medium.  Stir until the egg begins to scramble (about 1 minute).  Fold the egg into the noodles and stir a few more times.  The noodles should be soft.  Remove from the heat to a serving bowl.  Top with the peanuts and cilantro.  Serves 4

Veal Marsala

February 11, 2011

Veal Marsala


½ Ounces Dried Porcini Mushrooms

½ Cup Boiling Water

¼ Cup Unbleached Flour

¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

1 Pound Veal Scallops – Pounded to 1/8 Inch Thickness

3 Teaspoons Olive Oil

10 Ounces Sliced Mushrooms

1 Finely Chopped Shallot

2 Cloves Minced Garlic

½ Cup Dry Marsala Wine

¾ Cup Beef Broth

1 Tablespoon Butter

4 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Parsley

Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and pour in the boiling water.  Let stand for 10 minutes until softened.  Drain & chop.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a large plate.  Dredge the veal in the flour mixture to coat.  Shake off any excess flour.  Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the veal and cook until browned, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.  Transfer to a platter.  Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and add the sliced mushrooms and shallot.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add any leftover flour, the porcini mushrooms and the garlic.  Cook for 2 minutes until the garlic starts to brown.  Pour in the marsala and broth.  Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened (2 to 3 minutes).  Return the veal to the skillet and cook, turning once, until hot (1 to 2 minutes).  Remove the skillet from the heat.  Swirl in the butter until melted.  Serve sprinkled with the parsley.  Serves 4

Chicken Caesar Salad

February 9, 2011

The Original Caesar Salad

During Prohibition, a popular spot for a night out was Caesar’s Palace in Tijuana, Mexico.  On the evening of July 24, 1924, Caesar Cardini had just about run out of food.  He improvised by putting together a salad with what was on hand: romaine lettuce, olive oil, some cheese and eggs.  He then prepared the salad tableside, creating an immediate sensation.







Chicken Caesar Salad


12 Ounces Boneless Chicken Breast

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/4Teaspoon Salt

Caesar Dressing

10 Cups Torn Romaine Lettuce

2 Cups Garlic Parmesan Croutons

14 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Heat skillet over medium-high heat until very hot.  In a medium bowl toss chicken with oil and salt until evenly coated.  Add chicken to pan and cook, turning once, just until chicken loses its pink color throughout (4 to 5 minutes). 

In a large bowl toss lettuce, dressing, croutons and Parmesan.  Add cooked chicken to salad and toss again.  Sprinkle with pepper.  Serves 4

Caesar Dressing

3 Garlic Cloves

3 Anchovy Fillets

3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1/2 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Hard Cooked Egg Yolk

In a blender (or food processor) combine the three garlic cloves, the anchovy fillets and lemon juice.  Cover and blend until mixture is nearly smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.  Add oil, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cooked egg yolk.  Cover and blend until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 24 hours. 

Parmesan Croutons

Cut four 1/2 inch thick slices of French bread into 3/4 inch cubes and set aside.  In a large skillet melt 1/4 cup butter.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder.  Add bread cubes, stirring until cubes are coated with butter mixture.  Spread bread crumbs in a single layer in a shallow baking pan.  Bake in a 300° F oven for 10 minutes and stir.  Bake about 10 minutes more or until bread cubes are crisp and golden.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  Makes 2 cups

French Onion Soup

February 6, 2011

French Onion Soup


2 Large Thinly Sliced Yellow Onions

3 Tablespoons Butter

4 Cups Beef Broth

2 Tablespoons Sherry

1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste

6 Slices Toasted French Bread

1 Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese

In a large saucepan cook onion in hot butter over medium-low heat for 8 minutes or until tender and golden.  Stir occasionally.  Stir in broth, sherry, Worcestershire sauce and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Arrange toasted bread slices on a baking sheet.  Evenly divide cheese among slices.  Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 3 minutes or until cheese is light brown and bubbly.  Top each serving with a bread slice.  Serves 6

Oven Barbecued Spareribs

February 3, 2011

Oven Barbecued Spareribs

You’re going to need a shower after eating these!


6 Pounds Pork Spareribs – Cut into 1 Rib Portions

6 Ounces Tomato Paste

¼ Cup Packed Brown Sugar

½ Cup Water

¼ Cup Honey

¼ Cup Cider Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Grated Onion

2 Teaspoons Chili Powder

2 Teaspoons Salt

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Arrange spareribs in a single layer in a large roasting pan.  Roast spareribs for 1 hour.  Meanwhile prepare glaze.  In a medium bowl, combine tomato paste, brown sugar, water, honey, cider vinegar, olive oil, grated onion, chili powder and salt until well blended.  Brush spareribs with glaze.  Continue roasting ribs, brushing frequently with glaze, until ribs are tender, about 30 minutes longer.  Serves 6

Cheese Pizza

February 2, 2011

Cheese Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza?!


½ Recipe Basic Pizza Dough

1 Cup Victoria’s Secret Pizza Sauce

2 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Prepare pizza dough & prepare Victoria’s Secret Pizza Sauce.  Shape pizza dough as directed.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and spread sauce over Parmesan cheese and top with mozzarella.  Preheat oven to 450° F.  Let prepared pizza rest for about 20 minutes before putting into the oven.  Bake until crust is golden which should be approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  Serves 4

Pizza Toppings

If you want to top your pizza with more than cheese here are some ideas.  To keep the crust crispy, scatter cheese over the dough before topping with other ingredients.  Sprinkle fresh herbs over the pizza just before serving. 

Try these delicious combinations or make up your own:

1)    Grilled radiccio, cooked crumbled pancetta or bacon, crumbled goat cheese and chopped fresh sage.

2)     Sautéed cremini mushrooms, cooked sweet Italian sausage, black or green pitted olives, thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese and dried oregano.

3)    Coarsley chopped grilled eggplant, marinated artichoke hearts, chopped plum tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. 

4)    Thinly sliced mozzarella cheese, crumbled gorgonzola, spoonfuls of ricotta, freshly ground pepper and fresh basil leaves. 


Basic Pizza Dough


1 ¼ Cups Warm Water (105° to 115° F)

1 Package Active Dry Yeast

1 Teaspoon Sugar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Teaspoons Salt

Approximately 4 Cups Unbleached Flour or Approximately 3 ½ Cups Bread Flour

Cornmeal for Sprinkling

In a large bowl, combine ¼ cup warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir to dissolve.  Let stand for about 5 minutes or until foamy.  Be careful that the water is not hot or it will kill the yeast. 

With a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining 1 cup of warm water, oil, salt and 1 ½ cups flour until smooth.  Gradually add 2 cups unbleached flour or 1 ½ cups bread flour, stirring until dough leaves the side of the bowl.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), working in enough of remaining ½ cup of flour just to keep dough from sticking to the surface. 

Shape dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl.  Turn the dough to grease the top.  Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (80° to 85° F) until doubled in volume, for about 1 ½ hours. 

Punch down dough and turn.  Now turn onto a lightly floured surface and cut in half, cover loosely and let rest for about 15 minutes.  If you are not using right away, place dough in a large greased bowl, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. 

Sprinkle two large cookie sheets with cornmeal.  Shape each dough half into a ball.  On one prepared pizza pan (or cookie sheet) with floured rolling pin roll one ball into 14 inch x 10 inch rectangle.  Fold edges in to form 1 inch rim.  Repeat to make your second pizza.  Makes enough dough for 2 large pizzas. 


Victoria’s Secret Pizza Sauce


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Chopped Yellow Onion

4 Finely Chopped Garlic Cloves

One 28 Ounce Can Plum Tomatoes

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil

½ Teaspoon Salt

In a nonreactive 3 quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook.  Stir until onion is tender (about 5 minutes).  Stir in tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste (I like to use the tomato paste that comes in a tube), basil and salt.  Heat to boiling, breaking up tomatoes with the side of your spoon.  Reduce heat and partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened slightly (about 20 minutes).  Makes 3 ½ cups.

Barbecue Meatballs

January 30, 2011

Barbecue Meatballs


For The Meatballs

3 Pounds Lean Ground Sirloin

1 Cup Evaporated Milk

1 Cup Quick Cook Oatmeal

1 Cup Fine Dry Bread Crumbs

2 Large Eggs

½ Cup Finely Chopped Red Onion

1 ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 ½ Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoons Chili Powder

½ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper

BBQ Sauce

2 Cups Ketchup

1 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons Hot Sauce

½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder

¼ Cup Finely Chopped Onion

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Combine meatball ingredients and shape into 1 inch balls. 

Combine sauce ingredients and stir well.  Place uncooked meatballs in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and bake for about 1 hour.  Serve as an appetizer or dinner.  Great for a game day snack.  Makes about 6 dozen meatballs.

Chicken Empanadas

January 29, 2011

Chicken Empanadas


3 Cups Chopped & Cooked Chicken Breast

10 Ounces of Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese (5 Ounces of Each)

4 Ounces of Softened Light Cream Cheese

¼ Cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper

2 Seeded & Chopped Jalapeno Peppers

1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin

1 ½ Teaspoons Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

15 Ounces Pie Crust (Refrigerated Pie Crust Works Well)


Preheat oven to 400° F and lightly grease a baking sheet.  In a large bowl combine the chopped chicken breasts with cheeses, cream cheese, red bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, cumin, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. 

Roll out piecrust onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll into a large circle.  Cut out rounds using a 3 inch cookie cutter making 12 to 15 circles.  Place 1 round on a flat and clean surface.  Lightly brush the edges of crust with water.  Place 1 heaping tablespoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round.  Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal.  Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture.  Arrange empanadas on a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.   

Makes 12 to 15 empanadas

Classic Bolognese

January 25, 2011

Classic Bolognese

A staple in Bologna, Italy, this tomato based meat sauce, enriched with cream and mellowed by long simmering, is well worth the time.  You can freeze leftovers in small batches.


3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Large Chopped Onion

3 Cloves Chopped Garlic

I Peeled and Chopped Carrot

1 Chopped Celery Stalk

1 ½ Pounds Ground Meat

You Can Use Beef, Pork and/or Veal or Ground Chuck

½ Cup Red Wine

28 Ounces Chopped Plum Tomatoes (1 Large Can)

2 Teaspoons Salt

¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

¼ Cup Heavy Cream

In a 5 quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and cook.  Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes.  Add ground meat and cook, breaking up meat with side of spoon, until no longer pink.  Stir in wine and heat to boiling.  Stir in tomatoes with their juice, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Heat to boiling over high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about an hour.  Stir in cream and heat through, stirring constantly.  Use 2 ½ cups sauce to coat 1 pound of pasta for 6 main dish servings.  Makes 5 Cups.

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