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Recipes

Stewed Cabbage and Pork Chops

Ingredients
  

  • 3 strips Bacon
  • 4 Pork Chops (bone in, center cut)
  • 1  ½ C Onions (chopped)
  • 6 C Cabbage (cut into approximately 2-inch chunks-remember to remove the center stalk)
  • 2 C Low Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 10-12 Baby Red Potatoes
  • 1 T Sugar or Sugar Substitute (Erythritol/Splenda/Xylitol)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Fry bacon in a large pot until fully cooked. Remove bacon from pot and set aside. Brown pork chops on each side in bacon grease then remove and set aside. Add onions to the pot,  sauté until clear. Add cabbage, bacon strips, pork chops, baby red potatoes, sugar and chicken (or vegetable) broth. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low-medium heat for approximately 45 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Makes 4 servings.
    *May substitute bacon with 2 T olive oil/grapeseed oil for a healthier version of this recipe.
    *Easy peasy, tasty comfort food! Enjoy!
    *Add 5-6 drops of hot sauce to spice it up!
bell peppers

Hearty Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Large Bell Peppers (any color)
  • 2 1/2 lbs Lean Ground Beef
  • 4 slices Bacon (uncooked, cut into 1/4 inch pieces)
  • 2 Cups Yellow Onion (finely Chopped)
  • 2 stalks Celery (finely Chopped)
  • 1 Cup Mini Sweet Peppers (finely chopped)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Cups Farro or Basmati Rice (cooked)
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (finely grated)
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (sprinkle on top of each stuffed pepper)
  • Crystal Hot Sauce (or your favorite), salt, pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare bell peppers for stuffing by cutting each pepper in half and deseeding. I like to carefully cut off the stalk of the pepper as well. In a medium-sized skillet, cook the lean ground beef just until all the pinkness has disappeared, making sure to break into small pieces as it cooks (hint: should look like cooked taco meat). In another large skillet, fry off small pieces of bacon until crispy. Place cooked bacon pieces aside to be added later. Add finely chopped onions, celery, and mini sweet peppers to the bacon grease; sauté until onions are clear. Add cooked lean ground beef and crispy bacon pieces to the sautéd seasonings. Stir to mix well. Add 2 raw eggs, stirring constantly to thoroughly mix. Add Farro (or Basmati Rice) and finely grated parmesan cheese: mix well. I like to add Crystal Hot Sauce (approximately 8-10 drops) to give it a bit of a kick and salt/pepper to taste. Remember the parmesan cheese and bacon are a bit salty; therefore, taste the mixture before adding additional salt. Cook for 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently. Stuff each bell pepper half with ground beef mixture, top with additional parmesan cheese. Place stuffed peppers in a foil-lined baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bell peppers are tender. Yields 6 stuffed peppers. You can freeze any additional stuffing.
  • **You may substitute olive oil for the bacon grease if you're watching your fat intake. Just leave the bacon out of the recipe-Boohoo!!
Cannelloni

Cannelloni Crepes

Ingredients
  

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • Parchment paper (to place in-between individually cooked crepes)

Instructions
 

  • Blend all ingredients with a hand mixer until the texture of the batter is smooth. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Prepare 10-12 approximately 8x8 inch square sheets of wax paper. Lightly grease an 8 inch (preferably copper) frying pan. Over medium heat, place 3 Tablespoons of batter into the pan then quickly rotate the pan until the batter has thinly covered the bottom of the pan (see video). As the edges begin to curl, flip the crepe to cook for several seconds on the other side, then promptly remove from pan (crepe will usually slide right out of the pan). Place crepes on a plate, separating with individual sheets of parchment paper.
    This process is extremely quick; therefore, you want to have parchment paper ready prior to cooking the crepes.
    Repeat this process until all batter is used. Yields 10-12 crepes.
  • *Don't give up after 1 or 2 attempts at cooking the perfect crepe. It's a work of art and takes practice. Once you master it, it's a piece of cake (or crepe)!! Helpful hint: use a plastic condiment squeeze bottle to dispense perfect amount (3 Tablespoons) of batter into the pan.

Cannelloni Crepe Meat Filling

Ingredients
  

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 lb. Ground Park
  • 1 Cup Onion Finely Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic Finely Chopped
  • 1 tsp Oregano dried or finely chopped fresh
  • 1 tsp Basil dried or finely chopped fresh
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 cups Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 2 cups Red Gravy

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 2 T olive oil in a large frying pan (preferably cast iron), on medium heat. Add ground beef and pork to pan, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked. Remove meat from pan and drain the grease. Add the remaining 1 T of olive oil to the pan, saute onions and garlic until onions are clear. Add cooked ground meat, oregano, basil and cumin to pan and thoroughly mix with sauted onions and garlic. Turn off the heat. Add 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, mix well. Add eggs, mix well. Place 2 Tablespoons of meat mixture in center of the crepe. Fold the bottom portion of the crepe over the meat mixture followed by the right side, then left side, ending the process by folding that piece over the top portion of the crepe (see video). Place folded crepes in a lightly greased 13x9 inch glass baking dish. Repeat until all crepes have been filled. ?Ladle red gravy over cannelloni crepes to cover. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup (or more, if desired) parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. This recipe makes enough filling for 20-24 crepes. Freezes well!

Cannelloni Crepe Spinach and Cheese Filling

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Eggs slightly beaten
  • 4 Cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese shredded
  • 1 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 3-10 oz Boxes of frozen spinach or 3 pounds of fresh
    spinach
    cooked
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Cups Red Gravy or Bechamel Sauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook spinach according to directions on box. If using fresh spinach, sauté spinach in a large pan until thoroughly wilted (no need to use oil in the pan due to the high water content of spinach as it cooks). Using a colander, thoroughly drain all excess fluid from the cooked spinach. Place cooked spinach into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs; stir. Mix in ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan (1 Cup) cheeses, and ground nutmeg; mix until thoroughly blended. Place 2 Tablespoons of spinach and cheese mixture to the center of the crepe and fold (see video). Place crepes in a 13x9 inch glass baking dish. Ladle either red gravy (see recipe) or a bechamel sauce over the crepes to cover. Sprinkle with additional 1/2 Cup parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. This recipe makes enough filling for 20-24 crepes. Freezes well!
    *Don't hesitate to freeze additional meat or spinach and cheese filling. You'll have it ready for a later date, then all you'll need to do is cook the crepes!!

 

Mama's Red Gravy Recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Yellow Onions (finely chopped)
  • 5 cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup parsley (finely chopped)
  • 2 (6 oz) cans Tomato Paste
  • 1 (30 oz) can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sugar (optional)
  • 1 (2 oz) can Anchovies with Capers or Flat Fillets secret ingredient—don’t leave it out!
  • 1/2 tsp Anise Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Rosemary Leaves
  • 4 Cups water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Warm olive oil in a large pot (preferably a cast iron pot). Add finely chopped onions, garlic and parsley.   Saute onions until clear. Add tomato paste, cook until dark red in color (approx. 10 mins), stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add tomato sauce, sugar (optional) and anchovies (including the oil). Stir well and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Add all seasonings and water. Stir well. Cook slowly over med/low heat for 3 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. If sauce becomes too thick, add water to achieve desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

-Remember that the anchovies are naturally salty; therefore, wait for a bit to add additional salt.
-Sugar is optional, but it does tone down the bite of the tomato sauce/paste. My precious mother added sugar to EVERYTHING!!!
-My family has always referred to this sauce as red gravy. Most of you probably call it spaghetti sauce. That?s a debate topic for a later post!
-This recipe makes a pretty large quantity of red gravy. I often double the recipe and freeze the excess in quart-sized zipper bags for later use.
Buon Appetito!!!