WARNING: Contains Adult Content, Foul Lauguage, and Recipes that are so easy, even a dumbass could make them...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Tortellini & Tomato Soup

1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 lb. ground beef or ground sausage
1 small onion, diced
8 cups water
1 Tbsp. Salt +/-
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper +/-
1 lb. frozen cheese tortellini
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes

Melt butter in large pot.  Saute onion 3 - 5 minutes.  Add beef; brown.  Drain.  Add water; bring to boil. Add pasta and return to boil.  Cook approximately 7 - 10 minutes or until tortellini rise to the surface.  Reduce heat to low.  Add salt, pepper, and parsley flakes.  Stir in tomato paste and sugar.  Stir gently until well blended.  Remove from heat.
Ladle into soup bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese.  Serve with bread sticks.

Chourico & Peppers Stuffed Peppers

4 large green peppers (or red, or yellow, or orange...)
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground chourico
1/2 c. white rice, uncooked
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

Cut tops off of peppers; put tops aside.  Clean out inside of peppers, removing seeds.  Remove stems from pepper tops; dice remaining green pepper.
In a large bowl combine ground beef, chourico, rice, garlic, salt, pepper, onion and green pepper until blended.  Do not over-mix.
Stuff each pepper with mixture.  Stand peppers in a large pot.  Pour can of diced tomatoes, including juice, over the top of each pepper.  Add 1 - 2 cans of water (depth of water in pan should be about 1").  Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer, covered, for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked through.
To serve:  Place one pepper in a soup bowl; spoon broth over top.  Serve with some crusty, homemade French bread.  Yeah, that's right... I said homemade.  Hey, some days are lazier than others...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Baked Penne with Meat Sauce

1 lb. Penne (or Ziti)
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes with Garlic & Onion 
1 26 oz. can Roasted Garlic & Onion Pasta Sauce
2 lbs. Ricotta Cheese
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Egg
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 Tbsp. Parsley Flakes
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta al dente; drain.
Pour pasta into a 10 x 14 baking dish.  Pour in pasta sauce; stir to coat pasta.
In a large skillet, brown beef; drain fat.  Add diced tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. of each salt and pepper; remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, nutmeg, parsley flakes and 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper.
Spread evenly on top of pasta.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Pour meat sauce on top of cheese layer.
Top with remaining cup of Mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350' approximately 45 minutes, until mixture is bubbly.
Remove from oven; let sit for 20 minutes then enjoy!

Tip:  Make this recipe in two smaller pans...
Freeze one for a quick dinner at a later date.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Super-Crispy Chicken Wings

Hey, I'm not afraid to fry...

2 lbs. Chicken wings & drumettes
1 cup Flour
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
Vegetable oil

Place chicken in a baking dish and add enough milk to cover.  Soak for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
In a large (gallon size) sealable bag, add flour, salt, cayenne and black pepper, and baking powder.  Shake vigorously to be sure that all of the chicken gets coated.  (Depending on the size of the chicken wings, you may need to do this in two batches).  Place chicken on a plate, shaking off any excess flour.
In a large cast-iron skillet, pour enough oil so that it is approx. 1/2" deep.  Heat on high until ready for frying. (To test this, drop one small cube of bread into pan.  If the oil is ready, the bread should brown immediately).  Carefully place one piece of chicken at a time in skillet.  Do not overcrowd the pan.  Fry until nice and brown on one side; turn and brown other side.  You may need to turn the chicken a few times to get it nice and dark.  Transfer to plate; blot with paper towels.  Serve with some Ranch dipping sauce.

TEQUILA! Lime Shrimp

It has Tequila in it... of course it's yummy!

1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tsp. minced garlic
1 Tsp.red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Tequila
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt

Melt butter in medium skillet over med/high heat.  Add garlic.  Saute for 3 minutes.  Add Tequila, lime juice, red pepper flakes, parsley and salt.  Bring to near-boil.  Add shrimp and simmer 7 - 10 minutes (turning shrimp once) until shrimp are pink and cooked through.

Serve as an appetizer or over rice.  Hey, Tequila!

Monday, January 10, 2011

For my friend Erin...

Fried Egg Thingies...

6 large eggs
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup ground beef, browned & cooled
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. +/- salt
fresh, ground pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, beat eggs.  Add remaining ingredients. 
In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat. 
Using a (small) ladle carefully pour mixture into skillet (approx. 1/4 cup of egg mixture at a time) .  Fry until set on one side; turn and fry until golden brown.  Continue with remaining mixture.  Blot on paper towels and serve.

* Whenever I brown ground beef for another recipe, I always put some aside and freeze in 1/4 cup measurements so it is ready when I need it. 

No Leftovers Left Over

So, in my attempt to get rid of any leftovers that were taking up space in my refrigerator this weekend, I came up with, and thoroughly enjoyed, the following:

Roasted Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Using whatever chicken that is left over from the Roasted Chicken and Veggies recipe: place chicken in large pot and add enough water to cover.  Simmer chicken for approximately 1.5 hours until chicken is tender.  Turn off heat.  Remove chicken from pot and let cool.  Cut up leftover roasted potatoes, onions, garlic, etc. (I do not use the sweet potatoes because I do not usually have any left over and I feel that they are too soft in texture for soup... but hey, if you like that sort of thing go nuts!)  Add to chicken stock.  Remove bone from chicken and cut into bite size pieces (including the skin).  Add to stock.  Cook until hot... DO NOT BOIL.  Toss in a tablespoon +/- of dried parsley flakes, a cube of chicken bouillon, some fresh ground pepper and 1/4 cup of milk and Enjoy!!

Boiled Dinner Casserole

This is for my New England fans who know what a "boiled dinner" is....

Take any leftovers from a traditional boiled dinner (cabbage, corned beef or pork, chourico, potatoes, onions, carrots) and chop into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a buttered casserole dish.  In a (2 qt.) saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat.  Whisk in 2 Tbsp. flour.  When the butter and flour are incorporated, slowly add 1 cup of milk, whisking constantly.  (You will need enough sauce to cover the casserole.  Add a little more milk if you feel you need more sauce).  When mixture has thickened to the consistency of cream, remove from heat.  Add 1/4 cup yellow mustard, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and some fresh, ground pepper.  Pour over cabbage, potatoes, etc.  In a separate pan, melt 2 Tbsp. butter.  Add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and toss to coat.  Sprinkle over the top of the casserole and bake at 400' for approximately 30 minutes or until the crumbs are nice and brown and the casserole is bubbling. 

Chourico and Potato Pie

Using 3 left over boiled potatoes:  Mash in a large pot.  In a large skillet,  heat 1 lb. ground chourico, 1 small onion, chopped, and 1/4 cup of water over medium heat.  Cook until water is almost evaporated.  Add to mashed potatoes, along with 1/2 tsp. salt and some fresh, ground pepper.  Pour mixture into one roll-out pie crust.  Add top crust; crimp edges.  Cut slits in the top of the crust.  Bake at 425' for approximately 30 minutes or until pie-crust is golden brown.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Roasted Chicken & Veggies... Seriously???

(OK... the veggies were for me and the cherubs... we all know the big guy is "allergic".) 

This recipe probably doesn't even need to be posted because it's such a no-brainer, but I figured it may be a good reminder for those crazy days when you need a nice, easy meal... and it makes the house smell soooo good!!

Honestly, this is so easy, even hubby could do it... (but he won't). 

Roasted Chicken & Veggies

Use whatever quantities you wish:

Chicken Breasts, bone-in, skin on
Assorted Veggies:  I use white potatoes, peeled and cut; sweet potatoes, peeled and cut; onions, cut in half; large garlic cloves, whole; carrots, peeled; rib celery; cherry tomatoes, whole.

Place everything on shallow baking pan (DO NOT use one without an edge...  you'll set your damn house on fire!)  Sprinkle GENEROUSLY with salt and ground, black pepper (and/or any other seasoning blend you enjoy).  Drizzle with olive oil.  Place in pre-heated 400' oven.  Roast for approx. 45 minutes (until chicken is dark brown and crisp).  Remove chicken from pan.  Increase oven temperature to 450'.  Carefully turn over vegetables and cook for additional 15 minutes. 
 I am convinced that there is nothing yummier than beautifully caramelized sweet potatoes.... absolute heaven!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Yummy Mega MeatBalls Parmesan

2 lbs. ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. dehydrated onion
1 Tsp. minced garlic (from a jar)
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 cup bread crumbs
Fresh ground pepper
1 cup Panko crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
(or 6 slices of American)
1 jar/can of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce (I use Hunts)

Pre-heat oven to 350'
Combine ground beef, egg, ketchup, onion, garlic, parsley flakes, bread crumbs, salt & pepper.  Do not over-mix. 
Shape into 6 baseball-sized meatballs.  (Ladies: resist the urge to play with the balls...  over-stimulating them will cause them to get mushy).
In a shallow dish, combine Panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese. 
Roll each meatball in mixture to coat and place on large baking sheet.
Bake for 45 - 60 minutes (or until cooked through.) 
Top with cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted and bubbly. 
Spoon sauce over the top and serve with pasta.

* While I'm not knocking the deliciousness of Mozzarella cheese, I prefer to use a slice of American cheese on each meatball.  It's smoother to the taste and melts nicely.

Back to "work"...

Now that the holidays are over, I think I will get back to blogging.

Here is a super simple recipe that I made for the New Year...

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

12 Jumbo Shrimp
1 can minced clams
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 stick butter, melted
few dashes of crushed red pepper
dash of salt
unflavored bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350'
Spray or grease a 12 spot muffin tin.

Peel shrimp leaving the tail in tact.  Slit the underside so that the shrimp "sits-up". 
Place one shrimp in each muffin cup.

Combine butter, crackers, can of clams (including the juice), crushed red pepper, and salt.  If mixture seems too wet, add enough bread crumbs to firm it up.  Place a heaping tablespoon of stuffing on top of each shrimp.  Bake for approximately 20 - 30 minutes (or until shrimp is bright pink and stuffing is golden brown.)   Enjoy!!

Serve as an appetizer or with mashed potatoes and steamed greens for a quick, elegant meal.