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Nov 26, 2010

Stuffing & Stuffed Mushrooms or Stuffed Mushroom with shrimp




       


STUFFING:
3 bags of Arnold Seasoned Stuffing.
1 Large 48oz Can Chicken Broth. Less Salt .
1 onion finely chopped 
Italian Sausages -  4 Links
2 Pieces of Celery and their leaves
1 large apple.  Macintosh
6 pieces of Sundried Tomatoes - chopped 
1 small Zucchini- Peeled and diced small
3 jumbo Portabella Mushrooms- diced 
4 piece finely chopped garlic.
Paprika
Olive Oil
Seasoning: Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder

Preparing Seasoned Stuffing

Use the cooking instructions from Seasoned Stuffing bags but replace the water for Chicken Broth. but 1st read below.

  •  Place chicken broth in pot. Add finely chopped Celery, 1/4 cup of celery leaves, 2 TBS butter and 1/2  finely chopped onion.  Bring to Boil for 4 minutes 
  • Then place Seasoned Stuffing in pot and stir, remove from heat and cover.
                

Prepping Sausage

  • In a frying pan, Cut Sausage out of casing and Saute Sausages. When half way done, take out and chop them up then finish cooking with 1/2 finely chopped onion, garlic and Sliced mushrooms.
  • Set aside.
          

        

 
Prep Apple:
  • Peel and Chop an apple into small pieces.
  • Place in frying pan and Saute in 2 Tbs of butter until golden.
  • Set Aside
Prepping Zucchini and Sundried Tomatoes
  • In frying pan add 1/4 cup Olive Oil and heat. 
  • Add Chopped Zucchini
  • Add Seasoning: Salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • When Zucchini is 1/2 way done
  •  Add chopped garlic
  • Tbs of Butter
  • Once cooked then Add Chopped Sundried Tomatoes
  • sautee for about 1 min.
  • Mix sausage, apple mix and zucchini mix together.

In large baking pan:

Place Stuffing in large baking pan and add Sausage mix, apple mix. Zucchini mix.  Mix everything in evenly. Sprinkle top with Paprika and bake on 375 degrees for 15 minutes. 
Broil for 1 - 2 minutes.



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Stuffed Button Mushrooms:
Recipe #1: Stuffed Mushroom with Stuffing  and Sausages
Recipe #2: Stuffed with shrimp scampi
Recipe #3: Look under Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Pizza Caps                                                      (you can make a few of them and then they can be cut up into 1/4 and served. Fast and easier to make)


Stuffed Mushroom with Stuffing and Sausages


Use the cooking instructions from Seasoned Stuffing bags but replace the water for Chicken Broth. but 1st read below.
  •  Place chicken broth in pot. Add finely chopped Celery, 1/4 cup of celery leaves, 2 TBS butter and 1/2  finely chopped onion.  Bring to Boil for 4 minutes 
  • Then place Seasoned Stuffing in pot and stir, remove from heat and cover.
  • Wash and dry mushroom caps
  • Cut tops off as shown below
       


Cook Sausage and place in stuffing. Stuff Mushroooms





Recipe #2: Stuffed Mushrooms with Shrimp

Ingredients:
Prepare Shrimp Scampi  (from this site.)
Fresh Mozzarella
Bread Crumbs,
Grated Cheese

  1. Clean and Cut mushrooms as stated above in Recipe #1
  2. Go to Shrimp Scampi recipe on this site .
  3.  Prepare shrimp as suggested but add in small diced 1/4  Red Pepper.
  4. Take shrimp out of Scampi wine sauce (set aside wine sauce) and Chop shrimp into small pieces. 
  5. Place shrimp into mushroom caps. 
  6. In small bowl place 1 cup bread crumbs homemade or 4C . Add 1 TBS grated cheese 
  7. Pour in small amount of the scampi sauce to moisten the breadcrumbs, fluffy with fork. (don't press down.)
  8. Sprinkle breadcrumb mix on top of shrimps that are in mushrooms caps. (you are not filling the mushroom cap with a lot of breadcrumb, just a covering)
  9.  In baking pan: Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth to bottom of pan. Just enough to cover bottom. Not a lot. 
  10. Place stuffed mushrooms in baking dish. 
  11. Place small sliced piece of fresh mozzarella on top
  12. Bake Covered on 350 degrees until mushrooms are cooked about 20 min.
  13. Uncover and broil for 1-2 min. until crispy.  Watch it on broil.  Cooks fast!





Nov 12, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup


Italian Wedding Soup  Serving for 8.

3 Escarole bunches. Cut off end.  There is a lot of sand inbetween the leafs so you must wash each leaf. Then place in a pot of water with 1/4 tsp bleach to sterilize them for about 3 minutes.  Then rinse under running water.  I like to use the salad spinner. this way I can take out the spinner and drain out the water and run cool water in it and I repeat this a few times.

Chop the up the Escarole into small pieces.

3 - 48oz Cans of Chicken Broth.
8 baby Carrots- Cut up into small chunks.
1 pc Celery -  cut up into chunks.
2 Tbs grated Peccorino Romano cheese
1/4 tsp pepper and garlic
1/4 small onion. Finely Chopped.
1 box of Italiano Pasta cooked aldente.
3 lbs of chopmeat to make 120 baby meatballs. Look under Meatball recipe for what you need and make meatballs first. ( there will be 4 baby meatballs to one reg. size meatball) so, the same 3 lbs of reg meatball makes approx. 30 meatballs to 120 for the baby one.) 

While the Meatballs are cooking then start making the soup.



After  Escarole is washed and sterilized. Don't worry about the excess water on the Escarole it doesn't need to be wiped off.

1.   In large 14 quart Sauce Pot.  Pour in all the chicken broth and onions. Cook under high heat and bring to a boil.

2.  Place Escarole in pot.  Cook under Medium heat. When you first place in the Escarole, the chicken broth will not cover all of it at first. 
Cook for about 5 minutes. Then -


3. Add in the chopped Carrots and Celery.


















Escarole cooking.  Still hard.   

Escarole cooked when transculent about 15 min.
5.  Add Cooked meatballs
6. Add Grated Cheese
7.  Cook for about 3 minutes.

8.  Add in cooked Pasta.  and simmer for about 2 minutes.

Bariatric Friendly.  No pasta add 1/4 white beans.
                                                            Soup is done.


                                                  "Buon Appetito"



This soup doesn't take to long to cook.  The most time you will spend on clean the Escarole Leaves.

Hint:  When I cook my meatballs for my sauce I would make a second batch of baby meatballs and freeze them so, in a few days to a week I cook this soup and it takes much less time.  I put the meatballs a day before in the fridge to defrost.

Nov 6, 2010

Lasagna

You will have 3 layers of Lasagna.
What you put Between each layer is described below.
Ingredients needed.
Prep all ingredients before you cook the Lasagna Noodles.

2  -  32 oz  Containers of Cooking Sauce.
 (look under Sauce for recipe)

1/2 Can Small Peas  Optional - divide into 2 = portions.


2 Boxes of Lasagna. There are 20 per box. You will need 1 box      plus 13 from the 2nd box.  Cook Lasagna in an x-tra large Deep pot with 1 Tbs salt and 1/3 cup oil.  (oil doesn't make the Lasagna stick to each other.) Cook Aldente (hard). (You will be baking the Lasagna also so you don't want it to become mush)  Drain out and cool off. Lay it over the collander or pot so they won't stick together.

15 Meatballs. (look under Meatballs for recipe) Mashed up.

  3 Cups Ricotta  mixed with a pinch of Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, 2 Tbs Grated Cheese, 2 eggs

 4 oz Grated Cheese Romano Peccorino

1 lb whole mik mozzarella.
2 links Sausages. Squeeze out of casing and sautee until cooked then chop them up. 
11 x 17 pan 2 " high.  Must be atleast 2" high otherwise lasagna won't fit.    If you can find 3"in height that is better.
 
 

Put everything in its own bowl and divide into portions I have listed.  This way you can make sure you have enough for each row.
 1.   Ricotta mix.  In 3 = portions
 2.   Mashed up Meatballs.  in 2 = portions                                     
 3.   Sausages 2 = portions.
 4.   Grated Cheese. You will just be sprinkling a 
       small amt ea. time. Approx. 2 Tbs.
 5.   Mozzarella Cheese in 3 = portions.
 6.   Sauce.  1 bowl. Large ladle full each time.
                       

A. 1st Row.
1.  Pour 2 Cups Sauce in bottom of pan. ( you need a lot of sauce on the bottom of the pan, so it won't burn when you cook it. and only a little bit inbetween the layers.)

2.  Lay out Lasagna  8 horizontally.
     2 vertically.  Lay overlapping 1/2 way on top of each other.

3.  1st Portion:   1 Tbs Ricotta mix in rows down the whole pan.

4.  Lay down the 1st portion in this order: Grated Cheese, Meatballs, Sausages, and Mozzerella. 

Ricotta, Grated Cheese, Meatballs, Sausages, Mozzarella.


5.  Pour a little bit of Sauce.  As shown above.
Wave the ladle across the pan. Don't need to much.



B.
6.  Add another layer of Lasagna.
7.  With your palm, push down slightly on top of  the Lasagna.


8.  Lay down Ricotta as you did in Step A.
                  Next, in this order:  Grated Cheese 1 Tbs, Meatballs, Sausages, Sauce then Mozzarella. 

This is your last layer.
  9.  Add another layer of Lasagna.  
 10. With your palm, push down slightly on top of the Lasagna. 11. Add Sauce. Smooth Sauce over lasagna completely.  Any 
      uncovered spots will burn.          

12.  Add Tsp full of Ricotta.  As shown above.
13.  1 tsp grated cheese.
14.  Add Mozzarella and Your done.

1.   Place alumiunim foil over top. Making sure it doesn't touch the cheese.
2.  If cooking the next day place in fridge and take out 1 hour before cooking.  When Lasagna is from fridge it take approx. 50 - 60 mins to cook.
If cooking now.  Put oven on 400 degrees. Keep Lasagna covered.
Cooking time will vary 30 - 45 minutes.

When cheese is melted lasagna is done.  Nothing is raw.  So, all you have to worry about is to make sure the Middle part of the Lasagna is hot.
 
Yup!  That's right! to find out if it is hot, the Italian way is to Stick a knife in it and make a small opening then stick your finger in it. ha! ha! But, Watch out you can burn your finger!  If it is hot it is Ready.  A better way is to use a food thermometer to check the temperature.  Once you determined it is hot then take the cover off  and bake until cheese is lightly golden brown or to your liking.
LASAGNA MUST SIT FOR 5 - 10 MIN.
TO SETTLE BEFORE SERVING.

Enjoy!! 
FYI:  Lasagna is a big project and timely.
You can cook the Sauce and Meatballs up to 3 days before.  and keep it in the fridge. Grate the mozzarella and put it into a ziploc bag keep it in the fridge.
I cook my Sauce one day then the Meatballs another day so, it doesn't take up too much of my time.
Better yet!!  Always keep a few containers of Cooking Sauce in the freezer so, you can always have it ready when needed.  I freeze 6 containers of sauce at a time.  Sauce can stay frozen up to a year.  Mine never last that long. 
Especially, my dear italian husband who will call at 10:30 pm on his way home from work and ask me to please cook him a bowl of Pasta and Sauce!  No, No, I don't say NO.  I have the sauce in the freezer! and an Italian Woman will never have her family go hungry. Well, maybe sometimes. lol

Oct 28, 2010

Baked Sweet Potatoes w/ Marshmellows

10 large Sweet Potatoes - Peeled
3 Tbs Sugar Free Syrup
1 Tbs Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Stick Butter
1/2  Small Bag Miniature Marshmellows
  • Slice Sweet Potatoes into chunks.  
  • Bring large pot of water to boil with 1Tbs of salt.
  • Add Sweet Potatoes and cook until fork goes threw.              Should not be mushy.
  • Strain Potatoes and let sit for a minute to get all the water out. Then place in Baking Pan.
  • Mash up Sweet Potatoes but leave some into chunks.
  • Mix in melted butter, Syrup, and Brown Sugar.
  • Taste.  If not sweet enough add more butter, syrup and Brown sugar.
  • Spread out evenly in pan.  On top add thinly sliced pats of Butter and Brown Sugar.
  • Add small marshmellows on top.
  • If cooking them for the next day then put aluminium foil over pan and refrigate.  When ready to cook,  bake covered at 400 until hot. Approx 10 - 15 min. 
  • OR
  •  If making them the same day then bake covered for about 5 minutes. 
Take cover off and bake until golden brown. or to your liking.           2 minutes.  Watch closely because marshmellows burn quickly.  I always almost burn them! lol


Oct 27, 2010

Chicken Marsala



 8 slices Chicken Cutlet cut into 3 x 3 pcs
3 Eggs - beat and add a dash of salt, pepper and garlic
2 cups Flour add a dash of Salt and Pepper
Med. Onion thinly sliced
1 large pkg of fresh mushrooms
1 pkg of  Wide Egg Noodles
1 stick of Butter.
2 - 3 Small Cans of Beef Broth 14 0z.
6 Tbs + to your liking of Marsala Wine

Cook Noodles and Strain.  Place in deep serving pan.  In a small pot mix 1/4 cup beef broth,  1Tbs butter,
and 1 Tbs Grated Cheese. Bring to boil and mix into noodles. (Just enough to have noodles moist and not dry out)

  • Batter:  Dip Chicken  in Eggs then flour
  •  Heat Olive oil then Place chicken in frying pan under Medium heat.     
  • Sprinkle a dash  of Salt, pepper and garlic powder.                                                                  
  • Cook until golden Brown
  • Place in baking dish.


If Chicken starts to burn replace oil and add new oil.



  • Saute Onions with a little bit of Olive Oil until

lightly brown














Add mushrooms, 2 Tbs butter


  • Saute Until Mushrooms are cooked. About 2 minutes add 2 Tbs Marsala Wine and Saute for another minute.   Place in a bowl.



  •  (Chicken and Mushrooms mix need to be sauteed together while adding ingredients below to have flavorful taste.)   
  •  Divide chicken and mushroom mix into 3 parts or whatever is needed to have enough room in the frying pan to stir and flip.              
  •  Place one part Chicken and Mushroom Mix in a large deep frying pan on med high heat.
  • Add 2 Tbs Butter 2 -3  Tbs or more of Marsala wine.
  • Swirl and Flip the mix in the pan to coat for 1 minute.
  • Then add gravy mix listed below if you want it thicker or 
  • Add 1/4 Beef broth and Bring to a boil.
  • Place on top of noodles. 
Repeat this procedure until finished.


If you want a thicker sauce:  To make the Gravy.

Melt 2 Tbs butter then add 1/4 cup Flour on med heat. Press down hard, smashing flour to melt
with butter without lumps.

Add 1 Tbs beef broth so flour won't burn. Once lumps are gone add more broth.   
        Keeping the gravy thick.

Add 1 TBS or more (taste to determine what you like)
 of Marsala Wine. Keep Stirring.

Bring to Boil,

Pour on top of Chicken Marsala.



Sep 9, 2010

cucuzza - Italian Squash Soup


Olivia 2 1/2 yrs old. Help picking the veggies.



                                                          Sauce: 2 - 32 oz Nonna Fina or Marinara Sauce                            (under Sauce recipes in this blog)
  • 1 can of Tuttorosso whole tomatoes. Cut ends off and throw out. Then cut the rest up into chunks.
  • Cucuzza leaves (Tenerumi) 25 - 30.
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 long Cucuzza
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper and 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  •  1/2 cup grated cheese.
  • 1 cup cut up into small chunks (pieces) of Romano cheese.         (It's the grated cheese before you grate it.)
  • cooked and cooled off - strained aldente pasta.

Cucuzza and leaves of the plant

1.  Pick the leaves from the cucuzza plant. Pick the small green ones approx. 25 - 30 leaves for 2  cucuzzas.  Must be fresh looking not old  or yellow.  
                                                                                                                    2.  Defrost 2 - 32 oz of marinara sauce or Nonna Fina sauce (recommended). Leave on side.

3.  In a large deep sauce pot add 8 cups of water and bring to  boil.      
                                                                                                           4.  Cut off stem on leaves and Chop up the leaves into small pieces. Place into boiling water with 2 tsp salt. Cook for about 20 minutes.


5.  Cut the Cucuzza into smaller pieces (as long as a cucumber) so it will be easier to peel them.
                                                               
6.    Peel cucuzza (just like you peel a cucumber) Peel until you see the white skin and not green. Most likely you need to peel the same side twice.                                             

7.  Cut Length wise. Scoop or cut out center if there are seeds.  As above the seeds are too big and if you leave them in there the soup will be all full of seeds.

8.  Cut into Chunks. 1" x 1" thumb size chunks. Place into pot. 

                                                                                    

9. Add pepper and garlic.

10.  Add 2 containers of Nonna Fina Sauce or marinara sauce.                                                                     

11.  Add chopped cup tuttorosso whole tomatoes. (cut into chunks).


Not cooked yet.


It's Cooked when it is soft and transulcent.

 12.  Keep on med high a Boiling temp. until cucuzza is done. Approx.  30 - 40 min.  Remove from  heat. .                                     
13.   Then add cooled off 1 box of cooked Cut Spaghetti or Italiano Pasta. (you cool off the pasta so that the water actually washes off the starch otherwise when you put it into the soup it dries it out. )  


14. Add in the chunks of romano cheese.



Ready to eat!!




Finally, found something I could use the old swing set for.

Cucuzza grows quickly from one day to the next. Don't let it get too long and big, because there will be many seeds in it and then you have to scoop that out.