Linguini Bolognese Alfredo

Linguini BologneseI think most Italians make Bolognese without Alfredo! Typically the sauce is made with a generous amount of ground meat, beef, pork, and or sausage! When I served this in the restaurant for whatever reason it always had Alfredo. The alfredo gives it a whole other element of richness. I made this today because I had a very lean day of vegetable soup and fresh fruit. I felt okay about a high fat supper. Especially since now they are saying “Fat doesn’t make you Fat, sugar does”. Works for me. Our household has been avoiding sugar, milk, and wheat among other things. I actually made my alfredo with almond milk instead of cream. I also, used Jovial brand Einkorn flour Linguini. Einkorn isn’t like other whole wheat. It’s the original ancient grain, untouched, unmodified and really good for you. If you get the chance do a little research on it.

Bolognese Sauce

In a medium sauce pot on med heat sauté until tender…
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. olive oil

add:
1 lb. uncooked ground beef, cook through
add:
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon basil or julienne fresh basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 Carton Pomi Chopped Tomatoes
simmer on med, stirring frequently until water has absorbed, 20 min or so.

While the Bolognese is simmering make the Alfredo sauce
Alfredo sauce recipe here

Make your Pasta, any package of pasta you like. It doesn’t have to be a string pasta like linguini or spaghetti, it can be Penne, Pappardelle or Ziti. Cook by the package instructions. When ready drain and top with a good portion of the meat sauce and then add a ladle or two or three of Alfredo. Shave some fresh Parmesan cheese over top. Serve with garlic bread if you like. Now grab a glass of red wine like one of my favorites… Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon and Enjoy!

Veal Marsala

Veal MarsalaFor an evening meal that feels like you went to a fine restaurant make this Marsala recipe. It takes under 30 minutes to get to the table. This recipe is so flavorful and rich. Use Veal or Chicken cutlets over any kind of pasta or serve alongside mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

 

 

Ingredient List
1 pound of veal cutlets or chicken cutlets
1 c. flour
salt and pepper
vegetable oil for frying
shallots (optional)
1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 c. beef stock
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 c. marsala cooking wine
1/2 c. heavy cream
fresh chopped parsley
1/2 pound of pasta of your choice

Prep the cutlets
dredge them in seasoned flour
(1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper)
lay them out and prepare your pan for frying

Pasta of your choice:

Prepare a pot with boiling water that has 1 tsp. salt and 1 TBSP. oil
When boiling turn on your skillet and begin warming the oil and butter to cook the cutlets. Add the pasta per the directions on the package to the boiling water. While your pasta is cooking you will be browning the cutlets. After the pasta has cooked for exactly half the recommended time, turn off the burner and let your half cooked pasta sit in the water. This will give you time to finish the other part of the meal and the pasta will be perfect when you are ready.

In a large skillet melt…
1/2 stick of butter and 3 TBSP olive oil on med to med high heat.
when the oil and butter are good and hot add the cutlets and brown them on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side
remove from the pan when browned and set aside.

add to the skillet:
1/8 cup chopped shallots
1 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms
sauté until tender
add:
1 or 2 garlic cloves minced, saute for 30 seconds
add:
3/4 cup of marsala wine
let cook on med high for 3-4 minutes
add:
1 c. Beef stock
let cook on med high for 3-4 minutes
add:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp fresh Parsley
add all the cutlets back in and let simmer on med heat for a couple minutes

Somewhere in the middle of the simmering process, you will drain your pasta and add it to the finished product in the skillet stir it all around and then serve with a sprinkling of fresh ground pepper and salt and some fresh slices of parmesan cheese. Now all you need is a glass of Dreaming Tree Wine….Enjoy!

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo on Penne Pasta

chix:brocc alfredoThis is always a crowd pleaser. If you are looking to wow someone, this is it. The chicken can be replaced with shrimp or combined with shrimp. You can add mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, onions, carrots, and peppers. The thing to remember is sauté your veggies before adding the cream and cheese. Certain veggies cook faster than others. Same goes for chicken and shrimp. The chicken would need to cook quite a bit longer than the shrimp, so you wouldn’t want to start them together. An easy way would be to steam all your veggies ahead, and put them in at the end just to heat through. The other really tricky thing that goes on with Alfredo, is that it can break or separate. When this happens it looks like a clumpy oily mess. In the restaurant we would get busy and pans would get too hot and that’s when the problems arise. Don’t get the pan too hot. After the cream is added and is boiling gently, lower the heat to low or shut it off. The cheese will still thicken the cream. If by chance you accidentally, overheat, don’t worry. All that needs to happen is the sauce needs to cool and re-incorporate the butter by stirring. In the restaurant I would add an ice cube, whisk it in and it was perfect again.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
Serves two people

Place a pot for pasta on high, when boiling add pasta of your choice
When cooked, drain and keep pasta warm
While pasta is cooking, start your chicken.
1 large 4-6 oz chicken breast cut into strips or more if you like
2 oz (1/2 stick) melted butter
1/4 tsp parsley
1 tsp. lemon juice
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
In a sauté pan, on med high heat, cook the strips of chicken with butter, lemon, garlic and parsley until done.
Add:
1 cup heavy cream to the chicken
2-3 pinches salt and pepper
Bring to a boil
Add:
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese mixed with 2 tsp flour
Turn off heat and stir until thick.
Add hot steamed cooked veggies.
Pour over cooked penne pasta or your favorite pasta
Now grab a glass of Dreaming Tree Wine and Enjoy.

Teriyaki Glazed Chicken Wings

ck wingsThese wings, will make you sing! They are absolutely great! If you don’t have a fry daddy than you can use a pot. The oil should be one that can handle a high smoke point, like peanut oil. The oil should have a thermometer and oil heated no higher than 325 degrees. The wings will get very crispy and golden, because they cook for about 10 min. I cook two at a time and always zap them in a microwave for 20 seconds, just for Piece of mind. Or as you are frying them, have your oven on 300 degrees and just put them in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes before saucing them. The sauce is the key. It’s on this website under teriyaki sauce. I like it thickened into a glaze but it can be used as it is. Just make sure to stir the teriyaki sauce well before using.

Chicken Wings
Fry 10 minutes bake 10 minutes at 300.

Thawed chicken wings
1/2 cup Soy sauce
Ziploc bag
Add 1/2 c. Kikkoman Soy sauce low sodium to the bag and add wings, marinate for 1 hour. Toss frequently. Any longer will result in salty wings.
Heat the fryer up to 325 degrees
Drain the wings in the sink with a strainer
Dredge the wings in flour, shake off excess
Drop 2 wings at a time in the fryer (fryer are small and too many will lower the temp or cause a boil over)
Fry for 10 minutes transfer to cookie sheet
Repeat until all wings are fried
Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes
Glaze with teriyaki sauce and serve

Glaze
1 cup teriyaki sauce (see teriyaki sauce post)
1 tbsp cornstarch
Whisk together and place in a sauce pan
Bring to a boil and thicken, after thickened turn off heat
Dip your fried wings in this sauce and serve :0)

Teriyaki Sauce

IMG_0358Teriyaki Sauce is a Staple. It can be kept in your fridge for a long time. The only thing that will happen is the sugars and the spices will settle, so it will need to be stirred every single time you use it.  I can come up with a recipe for you, any size, to accommodate however many people you are serving. Or, you can mix up a batch and keep it in your fridge for on going use. Its equal parts of three ingredients and then spices. So depending on how much you need, it can be 1/4 cup, 1/4 cup, 1/4 cup or 1 cup, 1 cup, 1 cup.The sauce is the one we used to toss our Teriyaki Chicken wings in. It’s the sauce we used to make our stir frys with. It is really able to be used in many different ways. You can marinate chicken or beef in it and then grill. You can baste salmon with it while it’s cooking. The thing about this sauce thats great, is that it can be thickened into a glaze. So, if you want grilled marinated chicken or grilled Salmon. You can finish it with a sauce that sticks and glistens on your entree. It will taste and look very appetizing. This sauce also works very well with the addition of chunky Peanut butter and heavy cream and then thickened. Just a note about Soy sauce, I do not like the really black kind(Lachoy)for this recipe, it is really salty and too dark in color. The fresh brewed by kikkoman is not as salty and has a much milder flavor. You could use low sodium too.

Teriyaki Sauce

In a large container
1 c. white wine or white zinfandel
1 c. Kikkoman brewed Soy Sauce (be sure NOT to use Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce, that is already mixed with sugar and seasoned)
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Use a whisk and mix well. Mix well before scooping each time. This would be added at the very end when making a stir fry and thickened to a glaze.

Teriyaki Glaze
grab a small fry pan or pot.
ladle in as much as you want to thicken. Bring it to a simmer.
In a seperate bowl, mix up some cornstarch and water.
Add one teaspoon of cornstarch at a time and whisk until it reaches the desired consistency.

P.S.
I just made the thickened version.
1 cup of teriyaki sauce (cold)
1 tbsp cornstarch
Mix together and pour into a sauce pan, bring to a boil and thicken. Set aside for your wings or whatever you want to slather it onto.

Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms

crab mush w: lemonOh Yea, these are the ones! These are the mushrooms that you used to order at the restaurant, whether they were Crabmeat, Lobster, or Seafood stuffed mushrooms. Not only did you order the mushrooms with this fantastic stuffing. Sometimes for a special, I would top haddock or scallops with any one of these stuffings and sprinkle with crumbs and bake. Add spinach or asparagus and make a stuffing for a chicken breast. It’s a really versatile stuffing with many uses. You could fill fillo cups and bake for a great appetizer or bite size seafood pies. You could roll it up in flour tortillas or wonton wrappers and deep fry for a really classy and delicious appetizer. Use your imagination! The other thing that I love about this recipe is that it freezes awesome. If you only want to make 6 or eight mushrooms, place the rest in ziploc bags and freeze. Pull it out anytime you need to whip something up. That’s actually how these came to be today. You don’t have to make the jumbo mushrooms caps, but if you alter the size of the mushroom your cooking times will change. The smaller the mushroom, the more stuffed mushrooms you will yield.

Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms

preheat oven to 400 degrees ~ bake 12 minutes ~ 20 ++ servings

20 Large mushroom caps (stems reserved)
3 tbsp finely diced shallots or onions
3 tbsp finely diced green peppers
3 tbsp finely chopped mushroom stems
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 stick butter
juice of half lemon
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
3/4 cup crushed ritz crackers
16 oz. can crabmeat, good quality, dry packed pasteurized

1 stick melted butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
freshly shredded cheddar cheese
shredded mozzarella

In a large sauté pan, melt 1 stick butter, add your chopped mushrooms, onions, and peppers and sauté until tender on med.high heat, about 7 minutes
Stir in salt and pepper and lemon juice
Turn off heat and add cream cheese to the hot mixture, do not mix in, just cover and let sit for 10 min.
Add: Ritz cracker crumbs, and crabmeat, fold everything together. Taste, alter salt if needed.
On a cookie sheet, or in casserole dishes, lay out the mushroom caps. Stuff them generously and top with mixture of both shredded cheeses.
Dizzle with the lemon butter generously. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with lemon and parsley.

crab mushrooms

Broiled Sea Scallops with Lemon-butter and crumbs

This recipe is so simple. You will be able to use this with haddock, scallops, shrimp, and even lobster. It’s just so simple and easy to make that it’s almost embarrassing. I recommend having the crumbs in a container, ready to use whenever you decide to have broiled fish. The crumbs work well with stuffed chicken breast and more. This may seem simple, but I guarantee you, the flavor is big.

IMG_0283

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bake for 8 min.

Melt 1 stick of sweet cream salted butter
Add juice of 1/2 lemon
Keep warm…

In the cuisinart…
Grind into fine crumbs, ritz crackers 1/2 box or do the whole box.
1 tbsp. dried Parsley

In a small casserole dish for single serving, add scallops. Large scallops should be cut in half to insure they are all the same size for even cooking. Or use a large casserole dish and serve family style. Spoon the lemon butter onto the scallops 3 to 4 tablespoons on each dish. Stir the butter well while spooning it on. (the butter solids and lemon will settle to the bottom, what floats to the top is the clarified butter, which has very little flavor and is oily). Sprinkle the scallops generously (about 1/4 cup) with the crumbs mixture. Bake for 8 minutes in a preheated 475 degree oven.

Just a note about the cooking evenly. The butter mixture is what conducts the heat and cooks the scallops. Be sure that the scallops are not clumped together. Separate them well and cover thoroughly with butter or you will have undercooked spots. Serve with a glass of Dreaming Tree Chardonnay, Enjoy!

Nachos

Nachos… so many ways to make them. All nachos are delicious, in my opinion. The ones from T.J.’s had an element that I have yet to find on anyone elses nachos, anywhere. Jalapeño cream cheese. We never piled them too high, made sure they were covered with jalapeno cream cheese and then topped with a blend of shredded monteray jack and shredded cheddar cheeses.(the original recipe had diced green chiles mixed in with the cheese, it was piled between wax paper and then rolled into a disc, kept in the fridge until ready for use and placed atop the chips for baking) The result in the oven was cheese, cheese and more cheese melting into the creamy spicy cheese. The toppings are your choice, chicken, ground beef, veggies, or just plain cheese. At home, we have a few other toppings we enjoy. I like refried beans and Brian likes black beans. Using the disposable plastic frosting bags for the cream cheese and refrieds, allows for even distribution, and it keeps well in the fridge. It’s a rare occasion that my fridge doesn’t have a bag of jalapeno cream cheese ready to go. As a side note, I always recommend buying block cheese and shredding it yourself. It is cheaper and you get way more cheese than those bags you buy. But, the biggest reason is, freshly shredded cheese is sticky and it melts completely different than bagged cheese. Freshly shredded has no additives, such as anti-caking agents. These are chemicals that keep the cheese from sticking together and they are really nasty.IMG_0205

Preheat oven and bake at 450 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes. The toppings will decide how long they need to be in the oven. The more toppings the longer they need to cook.

Jalapeño cream Cheese

12 oz jar of sliced jalapenos and their juice, blend into a puree in a blender or a food processor
you will only be using a third of this jar and saving the rest for other batches.

 

8 oz cream cheese
4 oz pureed jalapeños and juice
blend in a food processor or beat with an electric mixer.
The consistency should be like peanut butter. Place in a piping bag. Use an elastic band to close the open end of the bag. Set aside.

If you like refried beans and want them on your nachos, open a can and also put in a piping bag.
when ready cut the tips off the piping bags, enough to squeeze out a small line of cream cheese, you can always cut more off, if it’s not coming out easy enough.

Cover a foil lined pan with Tortilla chips, enough to serve the amount of people you are cooking for. Squirt the cream cheese all over. Now would be the time to squirt on refried beans if you want them.
Cover with the cheese blend. Add cooked seasoned chicken or cooked seasoned ground beef and Bake. Top with fresh diced tomatoes, jalapeños and black olives. Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole or whatever you like.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

imageThis sauce is amazingly easy and delicious. People assume that to have a great tasting sauce, it needs lots of ingredients. I’m here to tell you, the simpler the sauce the better. Personally, I feel that it’s the ingredients that you use that make it exceptional. My parents would only use one brand of sauce for years. I, actually use a different one now. Some sauces are canned, and some are boxed. Some are salted, some are not. I only use boxed sauce, for two reasons. One, I prefer to add my own salt and two, cans have BPA in them, and I refuse to eat that horrible stuff. But, a word on the boxed tomato sauce, it is of superb quality, and I have never tasted such fresh tomatoes in any other brand. Probably not as wonderful as the ones people grow and can or freeze themselves, but very very good. This sauce freezes well and lasts about a week in the refrigerator. It also makes great pizza! The best part is that POMI sauces are GMO FREE.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

In a large sauce pot add

1/3 c. Olive oil
1 c. Diced onions
Sauté on medium heat until translucent. Do not burn the onions, if you do, take the time to start over. Remove from heat and add in 2 cloves of minced fresh garlic.
Now add the tomatoes and return to the heat, on a little lower than medium heat
2- 26 oz. boxes Pomi chopped Tomatoes
1 -26 oz. box of Pomi Strained tomatoes
Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Add in spices:
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
Optional: fresh basil as much as you like.
Simmer for an hour. Serve.

Add as many boxes of sauce as you like to accommodate the size group you are cooking for. Plan on a little bit more than a half tsp of salt per box of Pomi. Increase the other ingredients according to your liking.

Meat Sauce
Fry up any kind of meat you like and add to the sauce. Ground beef, ground pork, ground turkey and add to the sauce. Fully cooked sausage links or meatballs. My dad and mom used to put a variety of cooked meats in their sauce and just let them simmer in the sauce until they fell apart. My personal favorite is fried strips of steak and boneless country style pork ribs. The juices from the meats really add to the sauce. Enjoy!

 

 

Eggplant Parmigiana

image

Here’s another T.J.’s Favorite. The best selling food on our menu was the Italian food. Especially the Eggplant Parmigiana. We also, had the chicken eggplant parmigiana, and a few variations on the regular eggplant. Some nights it had spinach, sausage, or mushrooms. Other nights it was layered in a Lasagna. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorites. One of the best things about this recipe is that, it freezes well. You can lay it on some parchment paper and flash freeze it. Then remove and place in a ziploc bag. Take out as many pieces as you want, when you need it for a recipe. This recipe is based on individual portions with two layers on a sheet pan. Make the portions as big as you would like. It can however, be made in a large casserole or 13×9 pan, and served to a larger group. The time in the oven will vary according to the size of the pan and the number of layers.
On a side note, many chefs say you must salt eggplant and the squeeze out the water, and go to great pains to have great eggplant. Not true! They also say that the bigger the eggplant the more bitter, again I don’t agree. I always look for the biggest eggplants and I never salt them. In 12 years of serving this dish, there was never a complaint.

Eggplant Parmigiana

Bake 400 degrees. 10 min or until golden brown and bubbly.
Prepare a large skillet with approx 1″ oil for frying
Prepare a large cookie sheet with a couple of layers of paper towels for draining the fried eggplant. I use paper plates, there is less cleanup.
Prepare a breaking station with two bowls.
Bowl #1 with 1 cup all purpose flour with 1/2 tsp salt.
Bowl #2 with 6 large eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, pinch black pepper, 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 tsp parsley, whisk well.
Slice eggplant into 1/4 ” circles from end to end, you will yield around 30 slices.
First dredge the eggplant slices in flour and then dip in egg wash and the place directly into hot frying oil. If you set the eggplant into the oil and it doesn’t begin to sizzle, remove and wait until your oil is hot enough. It should be around 340 to 350 degrees. When the oil is ready fry all of the breaded rounds and drain on prepared plates. you will need to flip each slice and fry both sides to a crisp golden brown.image

 

Assemble the Eggplant Parmigiana…
You will need tomato sauce(I will be posting our tomato sauce recipe shortly) and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Line an oven safe pan with foil and put a little bit of tomato sauce down as a base, so it does not stick. Lay 3 or 4 slices down overlapping the edges. Top with sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese, repeat with another layer of eggplant, sauce and cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown.
If you are pulling eggplant out of the freezer, make sure you fully defrost it, and even warm it slightly if you have a microwave. It will cut down on the cooking time, and insure the center is hot and melty. Serve with a glass of Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon or Crush for a sweeter red. Enjoy!

Serve with pasta and garlic bread! 🙂