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.

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.

Tomato Basil Soup

January 16, 2011

Tomato Basil Soup


1 Pound Ripe Tomatoes (Cut in Half Lengthwise)

¼ Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 Cups Chopped Yellow Onion (About 2 Onions)

6 Minced Garlic Cloves

2 Tablespoons Butter

¼ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

28 Ounces Tomatoes (With Juice)

4 Cups Packed Fresh Basil Leaves

1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

1 Quart Chicken Stock

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Toss together the tomatoes, ¼ cup olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.  In an 8 quart stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, butter and red pepper flakes for about 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown.  Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock.  Add the oven roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet.  Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes.  Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade.  Serve hot or cold.  Serves 6


Low Fat Reuben Sandwich

January 5, 2011

Low Fat Reuben Sandwich


8 Slices Dark Rye or Pumpernickel Bread

¼ Cup Nonfat Thousand Island Salad Dressing

8 Ounces Thinly Sliced Low Fat Corned Beef, Turkey or Chicken

½ Cup Sauerkraut (rinsed & well drained)

1 Cup (4 ounces) Shredded Low Fat Swiss Cheese

Lay out the bread slices on a clean work surface and spread the tops with salad dressing.  Top 4 slices with the meat of your choice, sauerkraut and cheese.  Cover with the remaining bread slices, dressing side down.

Grease a large skillet with NONSTICK cooking spray and place over medium heat.  Cook 2 sandwiches at a time until the bread toasts and the cheese melts – turning only once (5 minutes on each side).  Repeat with the remaining sandwiches, keeping the first batch warm while frying the second batch.  Serve warm.  4 servings.

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