Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So Much For Low Carb Cooking...

So Much for Low Carb...

Pork Cutlet Marsala

Preheat Oven to 350.

Ingredient Type Stuff
4 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons Flour (I use Wondra Flour for Sauces.)
Half onion, thinly sliced.
Marsala Wine (As much as you want, simmer and reduce to thicken. I used 3/4 of a bottle.)
1 Cup Hot Water or Chicken Stock

Melt half the butter and sautee the onions till transluscent.
Add the rest of the butter and melt.
Stir in the flour and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until flour turns golden. Increase heat to medium high, and add the Marsala Wine, stirring constantly. Bring to simmer, and add hot Water or Stock. Reduce heat to low simmer as you cook the pork.

Pork-y Parts
Thin-Sliced pork chops (Enough to feed whomever you're feeding)
Flour Dusting (Wondra Flour, Paprika, Salt, Garlic/Seasoned Pepper)
Olive Oil for Sauteeing
Pat of Butter for Sauteeing (Butter helps brown the chops)
16 Ounces of Mushrooms, Sliced.
1/2 cup Marsala Wine

Heat large Saute Pan over medium heat.
Rinse pork chops and pat dry.
Dust in four.
Swirl pan with oil and add half pat of butter.
Cook the pork chops until browned, flip and brown other side. Cook 3 at a time, leaving plenty of room in the pan. As they are done, just plop them over into the simmering marsala sauce. Add more oil and butter as needed.
When all the pork chops have been browned and are in the simmering sauce (Adjust temp to keep sauce simmering)... add the sliced mushrooms to the saute pan. If needed, swirl extra olive oil over them, and fry over medium high heat till mushrooms are browned on both sides. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup of marsala wine, and cook down till it's almost syrupy.
Add the mushrooms to the simmering sauce and pork chops and stir to mix in.

For the Fixins'
Angel Hair/Capellini Pasta (Enough to serve the peeps you be feeding. Duh.)
Brussels Sprouts.

Put Salted Water on to boil.

Halve and trim Brussels Sprouts.
Coat with Olive Oil and Kosher Salt.
Place cut-side-down on foil lined cookie sheet.
Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes, until edges and top start to brown/char.

Remove from oven and tent Foil till serving.

When water boils, add angel hair/capellini (DO NOT OVERCOOK. Two minutes is all it needs.) Drain well.

~*Le Presentation*~
Swirl a serving of pasta on the side of a large plate. Place 2-3 Pork Cutlets per person (Depending on the person. Or rather, their appetite) on the plate next to the pasta. Top both pasta and chops with Marsala Mushroom Sauce. Add a serving of brussels sprouts and Voila.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Infamous Lasagna


So, it's pretty much world famous. Well. U.S. Famous. Well. All my family and friends love it. So that's pretty close...

Lots N Lots of Ingredients
Sausage, Out of Casings, Sweet or Hot (Your Preference)
Ground Beef One Pound (Chuck)
1 Onion, diced
Crushed Garlic (2-3 cloves)
Red Wine (I use Cabernet. Half a bottle or more.)
Crushed, strained tomatoes (I like Pomi Brand. In a carton in the Tomato Aisle.)

Preheat large saucepan over medium high heat. Add sausage, break up with wooden spoon, and brown on one side. Turn to brown other side and break up more. Add ground beef and brown on one side, crumbling together with sausage. Add onions and brown in the meat drippings. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Add half bottle of red wine (or more) and simmer over medium heat till reduced and thickened. (The point here is to infuse the meats with the red wine. If it looks too dry, add more wine.) Add crushed strained tomatoes and stir. Add dried spices here. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered but vented. Stir often, tomatoes will scald and stick to bottom of pan. The sauce should simmer gently, adjust your stove accordingly. Simmer for at least 3 hours and up to all day. (all day on low, keep it barely simmering)

Lasagne Noodles. 12 of them, plus one or two extra in case any break.

Par-Boil as directed on Box. Toss with small amount of Olive Oil to prevent sticking.

Cheesey Goodness Filling
16 ounces ricotta
1/3 cup grated parmesan-reggianato cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
freshly grated nutmeg (to highlight flavor, a pinch.)
1 egg, beaten.

In medium bowl, mix ricotta, parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Add shredded mozzarella and then mix beaten egg into the cheese mixture.

Shredded Mozzarella for 1 layer of sprinkling and for topping
Preheat oven to 350 Faerenheit. (I know I spelled that wrong. I don't care.)


In a 9x13 Pyrex dish, spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom to prevent noodles from sticking. Line pan with 3 lasagna noodles, and spread half the ricotta mixture evenly over them. Top with 3 more noodles. Add a layer of the meat sauce. Sprinkle sauce layer with shredded mozarella. Top with 3 more noodles, an then the remaining ricotta mixture, evenly. Top with last 3 noodles, pushing down to evenly distribute ricotta mixture. Top with more of the meat sauce, covering noodles completely. Cover Pyrex with tin foil, and bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Remove tin foil, and sprinkle top of lasagna with shredded mozzarella. Turn oven to broil and allow to slightly brown cheese as it melts. WATCH CAREFULLY! Don't burn the cheese!!
When cheese is bubbly and light brown, remove lasagna from oven. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. (If you skip this step, the cheesey goodness will ooze and schmooze. And that's not Good Eats. Oh wait, I'm not Alton Brown.)

After 20 minutes, slice lasagna into manageable sized pieces, and serve with some garlic bread yumminess, and some mixed greens with balsamic or a nice caesar salad. Or just chow down, baby. Your call.

This stuff's GOOOOOOOD!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

♥♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥♥

Happy Valentine's Day!

2 Eggs
4 slices bacon (2 crumbled)
2 slices 'Fake Cheese' (Velveeta Style)
Diced Onion
Sliced Grape Tomatoes
Bacon Grease
Salt & Pepper
English Muffin

Cook Onions in Bacon Grease.
Scramble eggs and 1 slice cheese together.
Add Tomatoes to Onions.
Add crumbled bacon to eggs.
Pour egg mix over onions and tomatoes.
Cook like an omelet.
Layer on toasted muffin with additional bacon and cheese. Yum.

What to Do With the Leftovers...

Eggplant Portabella Parmigiana

So um yeah, that makes a rather big batch of meatballs. So here's a twist on Eggplant Parmigiana for the leftovers. (I froze the meatballs and thawed and reheated them with a little extra red wine)

1 Eggplant, Sliced Thick, Salted and Patted Dry. (I salt the slices for at least an hour)
Portobello Mushroom Caps (4)
Grape Tomatoes, Halved.
Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thick rounds.
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat Oven to 350

Toss Veggies in Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper.

Arrange Eggplant and Mushrooms on cookie sheet. Roast till soft. (about 40 minutes-ish) Add tomatoes and roast them for the last 20 minutes.

Layer in Pyrex Dish: Portobello Cap, Slice of Roasted Eggplant, Mozzarella Cheese Round, 3 Meatballs, and top with Tomato Sauce.

Bake at 350 for 20 more minutes.

Serve topped with the additional roasted grape tomatoes.

Serve with a mixed green salad with balsamic vinegar. Not that I'm particular, or anything like that.

You could also make Garlic Bread, a side of pasta, or a ton of other things. Get creative. Do I look like Martha Stewart??

Friday, February 8, 2008

Meatballs and Sausage in Tomato Bolognese Sauce with Roasted Eggplant, Roasted Garlic, and Mozzarella over Penne

Meatballs in Bolognese Sauce with Roasted Eggplant, Garlic, and Mozzarella over Penne

Some Random Photos of the Prep of this Dish

Okay so here's what you need.

Good Quality Penne Pasta (I like DeCecco if I am buying Dried)

For The Sauce
1 lb sweet or spicy (your call) Italian Sausage (Out of Casings)
1 onion, chopped.
Crushed Garlic, 2 cloves worth.
Crushed Tomatoes (I use Pomi brand. They are strained and in a box, in the tomato aisle)
Red Wine (Personally, I use cabernet sauvignon, I like the spice and full body)
Pepper, Dried Oregano, Dried Basil

For the Meatballs:
1 lb ground chuck
crushed garlic (1 clove)
Grated Parmesan (1/2 cup)
Panko Breadcrumbs (1/2 cup)
1 beaten egg
Dried Parsley, Oregano, and Basil
Kosher or Sea Salt and Pepper

1 whole bulb garlic, for roasting.
1 Whole Eggplant, for roasting.
Olive Oil

Mozzarella Cheese (8 ounce block)
Fresh Parsley and/or Basil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350-375 for roasting eggplant.
Slice eggplant and sprinkle with salt, set in colander over sink.
Slice top off of garlic bulb, exposing insides. Set aside.

Set ground chuck in a large bowl. Add garlic, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and seasonings. Add one beaten egg and mix well. Use your hands... it's the best way.
Roll into smallish balls (about 1.5 inches diameter)

Heat large saucepan to medium high.
Put sausage in and allow to brown while breaking up into smallish pieces. Turn to brown both sides.
Add chopped onions. The rendered fat from the sausage should be enough to cook them. Cook until the onions are slightly browned.
Add crushed garlic and stir in.
Push mixture aside in the pot and add half the meatballs. Brown them on each side. Remove the browned meatballs and brown the other half of the meatballs.
Remove the meatballs and evenly spread the sausage and onion mixture over the bottom of the pan.
Top with the browned meatballs.
Add half the bottle of red wine, and allow to simmer down for 10-15 minutes. This is key, the meat needs to absorb the flavor of the wine. There will be liquid left in the pan.
After 10-15 minutes, lower heat to medium-low and add the tomatoes. Stir gently (don't break the meatballs).
Cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasonally, for 3-4 hours. (this can go as long as all day on low heat. The longer, the better.) Check the heat often as well, the simmer should be gentle. Tomatoes will burn and scald to the pan easily.
For the last 45 minutes to an hour, uncover the pan and allow sauce to reduce... you may want to use a splatter guard over the pan, since if you don't, your stove will be orangey splattered :)

When you've got an hour left till serving time, remove the Eggplant from the colander and pat dry with paper towels.
Arrange on cookie sheet lined with Aluminum Foil.
Place garlic on cookie sheet.
Sprinkle eggplant and garlic with pepper.
Drizzle Olive Oil lightly over the veggies.
Place in the 350-ish oven for 30-45 minutes. (Until the garlic is soft and the eggplant is golden and soft.)

While the Eggplant and Garlic are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and make Penne. (Or whatever pasta you'd prefer.)
Drain Well.

Remove Eggplant and Garlic from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Cut Mozzarella into 1 inch cubes. Cut eggplant into roughly the same size.

In a large serving bowl, (with room to toss), add pasta. Spoon some of the sauce liquid over it and stir to coat. Add mozzarella and eggplant. To get the garlic out of the 'paper', squeeze it from the bottom. The cloves should 'pop' out. Add them to the pasta. Mix together again, adding sauce liquid as needed. Top with meatballs, enough for 3-4 per person.

Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and basil.

Serve with a green salad with good balsamic vinegar and crusty italian bread and olive oil with salt and pepper or warm, unsalted butter.

And for dessert, of course, homemade from scratch yummy goodness of:

Ricotta Doughnuts (Panzerotti con Ricotta)

Panzerotti con Ricotta (Ricotta Cheese Doughnuts)
I got the recipe Here. And it is as follows:
1 lb. Ricotta cheese
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Fill emptied 1 pound Ricotta container with flour.

Beat Ricotta, eggs, and vanilla well. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
Drop by teaspoon in hot oil. Deep fry over medium heat until golden brown.
Drain on paper towel. Roll in any kind of sugar - ie. powdered cinnamon or granulated.

(I used a mixture of granulated sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and fresh grated nutmeg. Next time, I plan to add freshly grated lemon rind to the mixture...YUM!)

Fiesta!! (then Siesta!)

Eat at Joe's

These are basically chili and cheese quesadillas. They are topped with my "Guacamole Salad" and cilantro, garlic, and salt infused sour cream.

Here's the basics.

Make your own chili. No, you can't have my recipe. It's mine. :-P

You'll need:
Soft Taco size flour tortillas
Large Fry Pan (big enough to hold the tortillas)
Your Chili
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
Jack Cheese (Pepper Jack, if you likey the spicy), Shredded
Sauteed Onions
Fresh Cilantro

Guacamole Salad:
Sliced Avocado
Sliced Red Onion
Olive Oil
Fresh Lime Juice

Toss together, keeping slices sorta whole. Let chill in the fridge.

Sour Cream:
8 oz Sour Cream
Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
Kosher Salt
Crushed Garlic

Mix and store in fridge.

Heat the large frypan. Toast the tortillas on both sides to warm through. Place one in the pan, sprinkle cheeses on top and allow to start melting. Sprinkle with cilantro and sauteed onions. Top with another tortilla. Allow to melt-meld together, and carefully flip to toast on both sides. Remove from pan and place on cutting board. Repeat for as many quesadillas as you need to feed your hungry peoples.

Allow the quesadillas to sit for about 5 minutes before cutting, this will prevent cheese ooze-age. :)

Cut the quesadillas as you would a Pizza, I usually do 4 quarters, since they're pretty much a knife-and-fork operation anyhow.

Place the quarters centered on a plate slightly larger than the quesadilla quarters.
Top each quarter with a large spoonful of your chili.
Top the chili with a spoonful of the Guacamole Salad.
Top the Guacamole Salad with a dollop of the Sour Cream.

Sprinkle with additional fresh cilantro, and serve with a knife and fork.

"The Cake"

The Cake

I absolutely can't give you the exact recipe... it's a trade secret :-)

BUT I'll say this. It was originally a cake, not cupcakes, and it's a Sour Cream Bundt cake with a Dark Chocolate and Cinnamon Swirl in the middle.

I usually serve it with Vanilla Haagen Dazs, but for the case of the cupcake, this is Cream Cheese Icing (so artfully flavored with dark chocolate cocoa powder, which turned it that LOVELY shade of Gray, and invoked the plethora of Steel Magnolia quotes I'm sure are to come.)

Cream Cheese Icing is:
Cream Cheese
Softened Butter
Powdered Sugar

Beaten together. Yum.

Lemon Bars... Holy Crap, I'm freakin Betty Crocker.

Lemon Bar

Yummiest Lemon Bars

2 sticks (8 ounces) butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 beaten eggs
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
sifted confectioners' sugar

Heat oven to 325°. Blend butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Pat into ungreased 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

For filling, blend together eggs, sugar, 4 tablespoons flour, lemon juice, and lemon peel.
Pour over first layer.
Return to oven and bake at 325° for 20 minutes.
Loosen around edges, cut into bars and sift confectioners' sugar over the top while warm.

Cleaning out the Fridge and Pantry...

Cleaning Out The Fridge

Pork Chops with "Cleaning out the Pantry" Artichoke Hearts and Mustard UnStuffing

Ingredients N Stuff

Preheat Oven to 350

Thin Sliced Pork Chops, rinsed and patted dry
Flour Dusting

1 Can Artichoke Hearts, Chopped.
1 Onion
Olive Oil
Mustard Seed
Mustard Powder
Grey Poupon 1 Tablespoon
Grated Parmesan Cheese 1/3 Cup
Mayonnaise 1/3 cup
Sour Cream 1/4 cup

Saute onions in olive oil. Sprinkle with Mustard Powder and Mustard Seeds. Add artichoke hearts and warm through.
Remove from heat and transfer to mixing bowl.
Add parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Mix in Grey Poupon, Mayonnaise, and Sour Cream. (You can use all mayonnaise if you don't have sour cream.) Squeeze lemon juice over and stir till well mixed.

Pork Chops
Dust chops in flour.
In large saute pan, saute over medium heat in olive oil, browning both sides.
Cook in batches with plenty of room in the pan, adding oil as needed.
Set aside when browned and cooked.


Layer Pork Chops in large Pyrex or Two if needed.
Top with heaping spoonfuls of "UnStuffing"

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, till Lightly Browned.

Serve with your favorite veggie and a salad. (Roasted Brussels Sprouts shown here.)


Chicken / Pork Picatta

Picatta Finale

Recipe to come...

Tamale Pie with Guacamole Salad

Tamale Pie with Guacamole Salad

Click for Recipe, will be updated here later

Chicken Cordon Bleu... Jady Style!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Recipe to come, it's there if you click the photo :)

Roasting Veggies

Italian Feast  (Day 6)

Recipes to come...

Mushroom Bolognese with Angel Hair Mushroom Risotto

Angel Hair Risotto with Mushrooms and Bolognese

Recipe et. al to come...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Shredded Chicken Burrito... Thingy.

Shredded Chicken Burrito Thingy


Ingredient List...
Shredded Chicken from One Whole Roaster Chicken
1 thinly sliced Onion and Garlic (Equal to 2 cloves, crushed.)
1 Roasted Poblano pepper, seeded and chopped. (Either pre-roasted or from a jar.)
Olive Oil
Cheddar Cheese (Shredded)
Sour Cream
Heinz Chili Sauce
"Spanish Rice" (Make your own recipe.. Mine has red and green peppers, spices, and a tomatoey-sauce base... And in THIS case came right out of a Lipton/Knorr's envelope. But I added more tomatoey goodness in the form of chili sauce)
Flour Tortillas, Soft Taco Size
Spices: Paprika, Chili Powder, Kosher Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Cumin


Preheat Oven to 350

Step One: Roast your own Chicken.
I'm totally kidding. Go buy someone else's roasted chicken. Costco actually makes a good one, as does Kroger's and Publix.
Shred the chicken meat and set it in a bowl. Squeeze a lemon over the chicken meat and let it permeate.

Heat a large sauce pan on medium high heat. Swirl in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sliced onion and toss to coat. Add spices (to your taste) It is important to add spices like Cumin and Paprika at this step, because these spices are "aromated" by the cooking in the olive oil.
Saute the onions until slightly browned. Add garlic and toss.
Add the chicken to the pot and stir into the onions.
Add a cup of hot water, stir to combine, and adjust the spices.
Add the Poblano Pepper and stir.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to merge the flavors, stirring occasionally. If the liquid runs low, add more.
Simmer for 20 minutes...ish. Add a dash (to taste, of course) of the Heinz Chili Sauce, and stir.

Meanwhile, make your Spanish Rice and spread it in the bottom of a 9x11 Pyrex dish. The Rice should be tomato-ey / sauc-ey.

Squeeze the other half of the lime's juice onto the chicken simmering in the pot.
Add fresh chopped cilantro (I usually use about 1/3 cup.)
Turn off heat, and stir in 1/3 cup (ish) of Sour Cream.

Assembly and Bake-age:

In the Soft Taco Flour Tortilla, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese down the center, and top with 1/4th (ish) of the shredded chicken mixture. Leave enough room to fold over the tortilla and place SEAM SIDE DOWN on the Spanish Rice in your Pyrex. They should fit the 'short' way, allowing room for four Burritos in the pan. Repeat with 3 more Tortillas. MAKE SURE THEY ARE SEAM SIDE DOWN.


Uh yeah.

Cover with Aluminum Foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle with cheddar cheese, bake or broil until melted.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Slice and serve with Guacamole Salad
Tonight's Dinner

Also serve sour cream as a garnish. I mix my sour cream with chopped fresh cilantro, crushed garlic, and sea salt.