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Apr 16, 2010

Garlic Bread and Bruscetta Bread

Garlic Bread with Pepperoni and Melted Cheese

Slice Italian bread open.
Main ingredients:
Add butter THINLY sliced.
a dash of blk pepper, garlic powder and oregano.
1 Tbs of finely chopped fresh Basil
Add  grated Cheese to top of Bread. Your Preference.
Add ons: Mozzerella Cheese, pepperoni or mushroom, Bake on 350 until crispy.
Slice with pizza cutter.

Bruschetta bread with melted Mozzarella.

In a bowl - Whisk together
1/4 cup Balsmic Vinegar,
2 Tbs Olive Oil
Dash of Salt, Blk Pepper, Garlic Powder, Oregano, freshly and Sugar (yes sugar)
1 Tbs finely chopped Basil
1 Tbs grated Cheese
After Blending together than add:
3 Plum Tomatoes chopped into tiny pieces
1 Tbs  finely chopped Red Onion and Celery
Optional can add:  Tbs of Finely chopped Red or Yellow Pepper
Mix together and let stand for 5 Minutes.
Slice Open Italian bread
with Fork add Bruschetta Mix
then with Spoon add the juice mixture to coat the bread.
(You might not use all the juice.)
Add shredded Mozzarella

Bake in oven at 350 until crispy.
Slice with Pizza Cutter.

Apr 14, 2010

Broccoli Rabe with Sausage or Shrimp


For Bariatric Friendly - Do not Add Pasta.  

Serves 4
  Broccoli Rabe 2 Bunches
Sausage cooked and chopped 4 links
Tomatoes chopped or sundried tomatoes
Garlic Sliced-  3 cloves
Red bell peppers chopped 1/2
Mushrooms Chopped 4 pcs
Chicken Broth college inn  1 or 2 cans
White Wine 1 tbs
Penne Pasta cooked  1 lb
Grated Cheese

The time consuming part of this dish is cleaning the Broccoli Rabe.
I cook about 4+ bunches of Broccoli Rabe at a time. Need a commerical  14 qt size pot to do this.   Lay them straight in a roasting pan to cool off, cut them into pieces and then freeze portions in a ziploc bag. So, when I want to use a recipe with Broccoli Rabe I can prepare it in a few minutes.
Or of course, you can cook 1 bunch at a time.

 Fill large pot with water little bit of salt and boil water. While you are waiting for the water to boil.   

Broccoli Rabe: Cut off ends of stalk and peel off outer layer. As you can see in picture once you cut off end and peel back it comes off easily. 
Place in large bowl and rinse in cold water.

STEPS BELOW IMPORTANT so that you don't over cook the Broccoli Rabe.     Put all the Broccoli Rabe into the boiling water.
When water boils over again.  Take off  Cover. Cook for 3 minutes.
Then strain out into a collander into another pot. to save water to cook pasta in.  Pasta will have better flavor cooked with the broccoli Rabe water.   or you can put another pot of water with  alittle salt for your pasta.                                                                           

  Cook Pasta aldente and strain into collander and rinse with cold water so they won't stick together.   Leave Pasta on side for later use.
  Cooking the Broccoli Rabe this way won't make it soooo bitter .   If you like it very bitter than steam them.
Sautee sausage and chop. leave on side.


Fry chopped garlic in a little bit of olive oil to lightly golden brown. (can use oil left from frying sausage for nice flavor and just add more oil if needed as you cook.)

Add in chopped red bell peppers and chopped tomatoes or sundried tomatoes. Stir and Cook for 3 minutes.

Add in sliced mushroom.  Stir and Cook for 1 minute.

Add cooked and chopped sausage. Stir and cook another minute.
 Add Broccoli Rabe 3- 4 inch lengths  and  White Wine
Then add Chicken Broth.  Once that comes to a boil --

Add in cooked pasta, grated cheese and stir for 1 minute.

Done!!  Enjoy!!!

Instead of Sausage you can use:
cooked sliced Chicken Cutlet, or
cooked shrimp (cook the shrimp with olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Add to mixture right before pasta)
Instead of Tomatoes add sundried tomato (sliced)

Apr 13, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

 For Bariatric Friendly Do not eat potatoes or have just 2 -3 pieces.  make sure you count your carbs for the day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

1 family package of Chicken Thigh and Legs.
Skinless, boneless Chicken Thighs
2 large cans of  Diced Tomatoes
1 large onion
1 container of Portobello mushrooms
1 Red bell pepper
1/2 bag of red potatoes

Place Chicken in skillet with little bit of olive oil. Sear both sides until golden brown. (chicken will still be raw)
You can also just put the chicken in the roasting pan without sauteing them, but it will taste like boiled chicken, so I like to crisp it up a bit by Searing them.

Place chicken in roasting pan.

1 Large Onion:  sliced. Put in large frying pan with olive oil and saute until golden brown.

 Place Diced tomatoes in frying pan.

Stir in: 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, garlic powder.
1 tsp of sugar, 2 leaves basil chopped and a pinch of oregano.

 Cook approx. 5 minutes.

  Pour 3/4 of the mixture on top of chicken.

Pour 3/4 of the mixture on top of chicken.

Then Add:

Potatoes: Peel and cut into chunks.
Mushrooms: Thickly Sliced.
Red Bell Pepper: Sliced into strips.
Cover with Aluminium foil


Bake 450 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes / until chicken is done.
Can be served with rice or wide Egg noodles.

White or Red Clam Sauce, Mussels, Seafood Marinara

Clams- Top Necks

Don’t forget to look below. I will have other variations or added ingredients to enhance the taste to the basic recipe.
To easily open clams. Buy Clams in advance. Put them in a bowl/pot and wash the shell. (Rub with your hands to make sure all sand are off of them.) Once outside shell is cleaned put them into the freezer for atleast 1 day. Once frozen, fill the pot with very hot water and leave the clams in there for a few minutes. This forces them to open up and then it is much easier to slide the clam knive in and spread them open. (Clams can also stay frozen for many months.)
Very important!!
When you open the clams and it smells bad, throw that one out! Clams should not have a bad stinky smell to them.

· While opening them place your hand over a empty bowl so any juice from the clams can drop into their first. (you don’t want any bad clam [juice or clam] to mix with the good ones. If ruins the whole thing.)
· If clam is good then place that juice into another bowl. I use a small sauce pot with a small pasta strainer on top. This way when I open the clam and it smells good then I just place it in the strainer. The clam stays on top and the juice of the clam drips to the bottom of the sauce pan.

Basic Recipe: 4 people
6 clams per person. Best size is Top necks. Using the clam knife to scrape clams out of shell into a bowl. As suggested above. If defrosted you can squeeze the yucky part out. (The black part) Or if frozen cut it out with a knife. Or you can leave it because that has flavor too. But, some people like to clean it out. (If clams are still frozen, keep the juice. It looks like a chunk of crushed ice) that will become the clam broth.
1/4 cup Olive Oil
 4 gloves of Garlic
Large Pinch of: Basil, Oregano, Parsley (fresh whenever possibly or dry)
Garlic powder and Black Pepper.
Do NOT add SALT. Clams are already salty.

1. Chop Clams in chunks. Not too small. The scallop piece (the clams piece that is stuck to the shell) must be sliced opposite the grain and small. It is a tougher piece. Set aside.

2. Saute in sauce pan [Med/ High heat] olive Oil and Garlic to lightly golden brown.

3. Add Clams juice and spices. [Med high heat] Stir.

4. Cover and Bring juice to a boil. BE CAREFUL the juice in the pot will overflow so watch out. 
Optional: You can also add whole shelled baby clams in step 4. 

5. Place Clams and 2 TBS butter in boiled juice and cover, bring to first boil, remove lid, count about 15 seconds and remove pot from heat. (You don’t want them to boil/cook to long otherwise they will become hard.

Optional:  Add Shrimp to Clam Sauces. in Step 5.

Shrimps (peeled and cleaned),

That’s it. Now, Place over cooked Linquini. or Banza/Chickpea Pasta

For the whole clams in shells: Once clams shell opens it is cooked.   
  Don’t eat unopened clams.


RED CLAM SAUCE:  Even easier. Look under my recipes for Marinara or Whole plum tomato.

1. Cook sauce.

2. Add just Cleaned chopped clams, ½ amount of the juice and cover. No spices, since they are all ready in the sauce. (If you like it spicy add a spec of hot pepper flakes.)
3. Bring Covered Clams to first boil, remove lid, count about 15 seconds and remove pot from heat. (You don’t want them to boil/cook to long otherwise they will become hard.}

Done. Put over pasta.

 Baked Clams  2 dozen. 

Same as for White Clams Sauce. Plus below:
2 dozen Clams
Breadcrumbs with seasonings (grated cheese, black pepper, Garlic powder, chopped parsley, chopped Basil, onion powder.
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup Chopped Red Pepper (vegetable)
1/2 cup sour Cream
5 Bacon strips. Cooked, crispy and chopped

  • Make clams as stated above for white Clams Steps 1 - 5. but don't chop clams to small.   
  • Once cooked then next step is to:  Separate Clams from Clam juice:

  • With Bowl underneath to collect clam juice: Place Clams Sauce through strainer.
  • Need In 3 separate bowls :

  • 1 for Clams, 1 for clam juice and 1 for breadcrumb mix
  • In the Clam bowl: Add in  ¼ cup Sour cream. Stir. 

  • In breadcrumb mix bowl:  Pour in little bit of clam juice. Enough just to moisten bread crumb, fluffy up, Don't pat down, otherwise it will be a hard mess.

  • Add 1 - 2 TBS of chopped clams mix,(filling clam 1/2 way.) 
  • 1 tsp of clam juice, 

  • Add a few pieces of :    Finely Chopped Red Pepper (vegetable) and                   finely chopped Celery 

    •  Add the moisten bread crumbs
    • Add chopped bacon bits. 
    • Add: Sprinkle paprika 
    • Place in heated oven on 425 for 10 minutes (until breadcrumb is lightly golden).
    •  Then broil 1-2 minutes (until crispy) 

    NOTE: You don't have to worry about clams being raw because they are already cooked. 

    Steamed Clams or Mussels.

    Place baby shelled clams in pot with butter, garlic powder, black pepper, and a little bit of water. (1/4 cup water enough so the butter doesn’t fry the clams. Cover and cook. When all the shells are opened it is done. The juice is from the butter, water and juices inside the clams.

    For Mussels use Green kiwi mussels (farmed raised) they are large and clean. No bad ones. Most fish markets sell them in boxes. They come opened. Just rinse and clean outside of shell before you cook them. Can be Steamed or cooked with Marinara Sauce/ Whole Chopped Tomato Sauce. Same as above instructions.
    Seafood Marinara:
    Marinara Sauce Recipe. Cook sauce for 5 minutes then add ingredients below and cook for 10 more minutes or until cooked. A pinch of dry red pepper flakes. Cook over Medium heat. Sauce has a small boil to it.
    Clams – shell washed (COOKED WHEN SHELL OPENS UP)
    Also if you don’t want clams in shell then just put some whole clams in there.  I like to cut them up into 4 pcs.

    Shrimp –
    peeled and cleaned (COOKED WHEN SHRIMP TURN PINK)

    Kiwi mussels – rinse shell ( COOKS IN MINUTES )
    Calamari cleaned and sliced (COOKED WHEN WHITE AND FIRM)

    Apr 8, 2010

    Baked Ziti w/ Ricotta & Meatballs

    Recipe for cooking sauce & meatballs are on this blog.

    2 lbs of Ziti per large catering tray.
    In deep pan.
    Put sauce on bottom of trays. About an inch.
    Put 1/2 the cooked Ziti in the tin. Cooled off Ziti if you will be baking it tomorrow.

    On top of the Ziti over the whole pan: In this order>
    1. Sprinkle grated cheese.
    2. Tsp of Ricotta (make like a checker board)
    3. Sliced Meatballs or mashed Meatballs
    4. Mozzarella (shouldn't be able to see ziti)
    5. Drizzle cooking sauce. (not to much: you should still be able to see the cheese)
    6. Add the rest of the Ziti. Make sure you leave enough room to add ingredients again.
    7. Again add: Grated Cheese, Ricotta, sliced Meatballs,
    But, now add the Cooking Sauce (more than you did on # 5) then add the mozzarella cheese.

    8. Cover with Aluminium foil or better yet with aluminium lid.
    Don't Push Down on Top or Double Stack in fridge if baking it the next day.

    When ready to bake:
    Oven on 450- 500 degrees. with cover on.
    (if you put in fridge for the next day. take off cover and reapply. making sure cover is not touching cheese otherwise all the cheese will be stuck to the lid/foil.

    Bake for approx. 30 minutes.
    When cheese is melted the Baked Ziti should be done.
    If you like it crispy (as my family does) then take off the cover and cook for another few minutes but watch it closely. at 500 degrees the cheese will crispy quickly.
    Even Bunny Fu Fu likes pasta and sauce!