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Nov 26, 2010

Stuffing and Stuffed Mushrooms

To Make 1/2 a catering tray of Stuffing and 3 large containers of Mushroom for the Stuffed Mushrooms.

3 boxes of Stove Top Stuffing
1 bag of Regular Stuffing.
1 Large 48oz Can Chicken Broth. Less Salt .
1 onion
1 piece garlic.
Italian Sausages -  4 Links
2 Pieces of Celery and their leaves
1 large apple.  Macintosh

Make Stove Top Stuffing as directed but use Chicken Broth with Less Salt instead of water.
Add finely chopped: 2 pieces of Celery and a few leaves and 1/2 an onion.  Boil for 4 minutes then proceed with the instructions for Stove Top.

Make large bag of Regular Stuffing with Chicken Broth and Butter.
Mix Stove Top and Regular Stuffing together

For Mushrooms:
Rinse and Clean out mushrooms. Fill with Stuffing mix. Put mushrooms in a baking pan and place closely together. Pour a little bit of Chicken broth on top of each mushroom and about 1/4 cup full on bottom of pan. Cover and cook. Don't put a lot of broth in bottom of pan.

For the Stuffing.
Squeeze Sausage out of casing and Sautee Sausages when half way done, take out and chop them up then finish cooking with 1/2 finely chopped onion, garlic and Sliced mushrooms.

Chop up apple and Sautee in 4 Tbs of butter.

Add above to Stuffing and spread evenly in baking pan. Sprinkle top with Paprika and bake for 15 minutes.

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.
                                                            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


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.

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.

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