Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ragu Bolognese

I made last night, which is a recipe from Mario Batali.


5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 pound veal, ground
1 pound pork, ground
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground
1/2 tube tomato paste
1 cup milk
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating

In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. Continue to cook on high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned.

Add the tomato paste, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

When ready to use, the cooked pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of hot ragu Bolognese, and tosses so that the pasta is evenly coated by the ragu

Notes: This was excellent! I loved the flavors of the meats, although I didn't really taste the bacon (will skip it next time to save on the fat). I found there was too much oil and butter, so next time I will cut it down to have just enough to cook the vegetables. The recipe calls for 1/2 tube tomato paste. I used the entire small can of Contadina tomato paste and even added a few small fresh tomatoes, diced. Definitely cook this for a minimum of 1 hour. The longer, the better the flavors to come out, and also makes a nice thick meaty ragu. I served this with papparadelle pasta, one of my favorites.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hershey's Chocolate Quicky Sticky Bread

I made this today for a rotation dinner, which the food theme is Pucker Up! using lemons, lime, other citrus, or Hershey's kisses.

I decided on something sweet and found this recipe. It was a little time consuming rolling the bread balls, but in the end, it's a delicious treat to enjoy.

2 loaves (16-oz. each) frozen bread dough
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Hershey's cocoa
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted & divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup water
Hershey's mini kisses brand m
ilk chocolates

Thaw loaves as directed on package; let rise until doubled. (I lightly oiled the pan so that the bread wouldn't stick).

Stir together granulated sugar, cocoa and cinnamon.

Stir together 1/4 cup butter, brown sugar and water in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth when stirred. Pour mixture into 12-cup fluted tube pan.

Heat oven to 350°F. Pinch off pieces of bread dough; form into balls, 1-1/2 inches in diameter, placing 3 chocolates inside each ball.

Dip each ball in remaining 1/4 cup butter; roll in cocoa-sugar mixture.

Place balls in prepared pan

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool 20 minutes in pan;
invert onto serving plate. Cool until lukewarm. 12 servings (closer to 14 to 16 servings).

(Recipe from this Hershey's web site).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Spanish Tortilla

I just made this for tonight's rotation group dinner. The theme: Tapas.
In Spain, the Spanish tortilla is one of the most popular tapas dish made. This can be served cold or at room temperature.


4 medium to large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

8 Eggs
1/2 medium onion
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil

1. Slice the onions thin

2. Slice the potatoes thin.

3. Heat olive oil in a pan, enough to coat the bottom. Add the potatoes and onions.

4. Cook on low eat, stirring often so the potatoes don't stick to the bottom, about 20 minutes (depending on how thin you sliced the potatoes).

5. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs.

6. Pour on top of the potato and onion mixture and cook on low heat.

7. With a wooden spatula, scrape the sides to form a curve; gently shake the pan so that the tortilla doesn't stick to the bottom.

8. Invert the tortilla by placing a large plate or flat pan cover on top skillet, flip over, and place back in the pan so that the other side cooks, about 5-8 minutes.

9. Once done, invert again into a serving platter.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jalapeño Artichoke-Spinach Dip

5/5/10: This is a caliente (hot) appetizer that my friend Judi made for our Sadie's night out. You can find many similar artichoke-spinach dip recipes, but this one has the added flavors of mild green chilies and jalapeño’s, which gives off that caliente taste. If you don’t your foods too hot, then cut back on the jalapeño’s or skip all together. The green chilies are mild.

2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 4-1/2 oz. can chopped green chilies, drained
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 12oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup canned chopped jalapeño, drained
1 10-oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend the mayonnaise and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into a baking dish and bake about 30 minutes.

Serve with crackers (or sliced toasted French bread).

Toasted Pecan Pudding

5 May 2010: My friend Betsy made this dastardly delicious (as Anne said about our meal) dessert for our girl’s (Sadies) night out. We were digging in to this incredible dish before we had our dinner. This takes no time at all to put together and the end results were: One happy crowd of Sadies!

1/2 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 cups coconut flakes
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 boxes (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
1 (8 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a medium bowl, combine melted butter, coconut, flour, pecans, and sugar.
Spread onto an ungreased 15x10 pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat pudding mix and milk on low speed for 2 minutes. Chill for 5 minutes.
Fold in the whipped topping.
Place half of the pecan mixture in a 13x9 pan.
Spread pudding mixture over pecan mixture.
Top with remaining pecan mixture. Chill until serving.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Apricot Chutney

I made this chutney to go with a chicken liver terrine recipe. I found this recipe on the Web and wrote it down on paper. Now I can't find it.

2 t. olive oil
1 red onion, medium, coarsely chopped
1 T. finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 c. brandy
2 c. water
3/4 c. cider
30 g. diced dried apricots
3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
Handful of raisins (my addition)

Heat oil on low in a sauce pan and add the onion and ginger. Cook 10 minutes or until the onion is soft.

Add the brandy, cook 3 minutes; or until liquid has been absorbed.

Add the water, cider, apricot, sugar, and raisins. Stir, reduce to low, simmer 40 to 60 minutes until the mixture has reduced and thickened.

Transfer to a clean dry jar, fill with the chutney, cover; invert for 2 minutes.

Set aside to cool.

Chicken Liver Terrine

This is a recipe from my Mom, Dorothy Rosario. It takes a little time to put together, but it's a delicious terrine. Serve it with an apricot chutney (found here on my blog) and crusty slices of bread.


1 lb fresh chicken livers, cleaned

1/2 c. port wine
1/2 t. dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 lb. sausage meat (ground pork; or a combination of pork and veal)
1 slice bread
Enough milk to soak the bread
1 egg
1.2 c. dry white wine
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
1 slice ham, thick cut, about 5.5 ounces
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
Pistachio nuts - a handful, chopped
1/2 lb. thin slices of bacon (pound them if they are too thick)

Marinade the chicken livers with the port, thyme, and 2 bay leaves (crumbled) in a bowl. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Reserve 1/4 of the chicken livers. Place the rest through a food processor with the ham and coarsely chop.

Chop the onion and garlic.

In a large bowl, add the ground pork, the liver/ham mixture, bread, wine, garlic, pepper, pistachio nuts, and onions. Mix with a large spoon.

Line the bottom and sides of a terrine dish, meatloaf pan or 7" square pan with the bacon.

Add 1/2 of the meat mixture into the pan.

Layer the middle with the reserved livers (coarsely chopped). Top with slices of bacon and the two bay leaves.

Cover the pan with tin foil or with lid. Place in a pan of hot water 1/2 way up the sides and bake at 375 degrees for 1.5 hours, or until the center reads 150 degrees.

When out of the oven, place a weight* on top of the terrine and pour off the excess juice. Cool, keep covered, and refrigerate overnight. Three to five days is much better.

*For the weight (I use a curved terrine), I wrap in tinfoil a cardboard piece, lay it on top of the terrine, and weigh down with soup cans. This is weighed down overnight.

To Serve: I used French bread and toasted them, which were lightly brushed with olive oil. Serve with my apricot chutney recipe.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oven-Roasted Pulled Pork Sandwiches

4/12/2010: This is a recipe I found on the foodnetwork (a Tyler Florence recipe), which I adapted. I made this for lunch for 11 people yesterday.

What I did or didn’t do:

- I didn’t marinate the pork at all and found it unnecessary.

- I placed the pork in the oven (covered tightly with tin foil) just as I turned it on.
- Roasted for 5 hours 45 minutes (came out perfect!)
- Removed the excess fat before shredding with two forks.
- Used store bought BBQ sauce and docker-ed it up with a spicy marinade (Sweet Baby Ryan's BBQ sauce and Stubb's pork marinade
- Cooked the day before
- Added to a crock pot the morning of the luncheon and heated on low for 2 hours. Added some of the pork liquid from the pan (previously placed in a pot in the refrigerator, skimmed the fat off the top).
- I added the BBQ sauce just enough to coat the meat and had
extra sauce on the side for people to add to their taste.
- Served with my favorite Claussen Kosher dill pickle spears.
- 8 pounds serves 14-15 people.

Oven-Roasted Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Serves 12

Dry Rub:
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons coarse salt (I used 2 T.)
I added: 1 t. onion powder (I actually had dried onions and placed in a food processor to mince), 1 T. thyme, 1 t. cayenne pepper

1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt (I used 8 pounds shoulder)

Cider Vinegar Barbecue Sauce:

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

12 hamburger buns (I used Martin's potato buns)
1 recipe Spicy Slaw (didn’t make)
Pickle spears

Mix the paprika, garlic power, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork and marinate for as long as you have time for, as little as 1 hour or up to overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Put the pork in a roasting pan and bake for about 6 hours. Basically, roast the pork until it's falling apart and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees F.

To make the barbecue sauce: combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves.

Remove the pork roast from the oven and transfer to a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes.

While still warm, take 2 forks and "pull" the meat to form shreds. Using 2 forks, shred the pork by steadying the meat with 1 fork and pulling it away with the other.

Put the shredded pork in a bowl.

Pour 1/2 of the sauce on the shredded pork and mix well to coat.

To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom 1/2 of the hamburger bun, and top with the spicy slaw. Serve with pickle spears and the remaining sauce on the side.

8/2/10: I made this again, but used my crock pot.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Old Bay Onion Pie

25 March 2010: This is a recipe my friend Anne made. I hosted a dinner party and the food theme was “Maryland Recipes”. A group of us meets once a month, usually at someone's home. Her comments are in [ ].

Old Bay Onion Pie

3 Tbsp. butter [I used a little less]
6 medium onions, peeled and sliced [I used half the onions]
1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 tsp. Salt
1-1/2 Cups Milk
5 Eggs, beaten
1 Pie shell, 9"
2 Tbsp. Parsley
12 Slices Bacon, crumbled [I use about 8-9 slices]

[I took an idea from Julia Child & sprinkled about 1/4 cup grated swiss cheese on top]

- Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and sauté onions, Old Bay, and salt [and pepper] over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

- Drain. Add milk and stir in eggs.

- Pour mixture in pie shell. Top with parsley and bacon [and grated swiss cheese].

- Bake for 50 minutes [40 minutes] until done.

I used my mom's pie crust recipe:

1 generous cup flour, sifted with with a scant tsp. of salt.

Use a knife & fork to cut in 1/2 cup solid Crisco.

Add 1/4 Cup liquid: 1/2 orange juice and 1/2 water.

Gently fold/smush together into a ball. Don't overhandle.

Roll out and place in pie plate.

Fill. Bake.

{This was reheated at 350° for 25 minutes before serving. This was delicious! Using a ready-made pie crust will cut your time in the kitchen.}

Friday, March 26, 2010

White Chocolate Cashew Brownies

This is a recipe I made (Feb 2010) for my rotation dinner group. Everyone loved it and I didn't have any leftovers! The theme was food and drink from South Africa, in honor of the World Cup.

4 Ounces Butter
2 Cups Brown Sugar
2 Medium Eggs -- Beaten
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1-1/4 Cups Flour
* 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Cup White Chocolate Chunks
1 Cup Toasted Cashews -- Chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9X12 pan.

Melt butter and add brown sugar. Stir well. Allow to cool.

Add eggs, vanilla, flour and baking powder. Blend well.

Fold in chocolate and nuts.

Pour into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Cool for 20 minutes and serve.

Serves 10

Cheesecake Brownies

Cheesecake Brownies

I made these brownies recently and they were a hit.

1 package (21 oz.) dark brownie mix; prepare batter according to directions
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a 9" x 13" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (Next time I will add parchment paper to the bottom).

Pour half of the brownie batter into the baking pan.

In a medium-sized bowl, with an electric beater on medium speed, combine the cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.

Spoon over the brownie batter, then top with the remaining half of the brownie batter.

Take a knife and swirl through the batter to create a marbled effect.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool, cut into bars and serve.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

I made this for my rotation dinner group recently. This was the first time I made carrot cake and now it's one of my favorites!

For the Cake:

2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded carrots (I used a potato peeler and then chopped the carrots)
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 8-oz.can crushed pineapple, drained

For the frosting:

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & lightly flour a 9"x13" pan.

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Stir in carrots, coconut, walnuts and pineapple.

Pour into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Add the frosting to the top after the cake has cooled.

To make the frosting:

Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth; add the sugar and beat until creamy.

Serves 12

Note: Next time I plan to add raisins.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Quiche Lorraine

This is a recipe by Craig Claiborne, in the New York Times Cook Book. I have four NY Times cook books, which I love. Many are classic dishes. This is an excellent quiche Lorraine, which comes out light and fluffy.

1 9” Pie crust
4 slices of bacon

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 cup of Gruyere cheese, cubed

¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, grated

4 Eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups of heavy cream

¼ teaspoon of Nutmeg

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of white pepper

Preheat oven to 450F.

Line a nine-inch pie plate with pastry and bake 5 minutes. (I used a frozen ready-made 9" pastry).

ook the bacon until crisp and remove it from the skillet. Pour off the fat from the skillet, reserving 1 Tbs. Cook the onion in the remaining fat until onion is transparent.

Crumble the bacon and sprinkle the bacon, onion and cheese over the inside of the partly baked pastry.

mbine the eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper and strain over the onion-cheese mixture.

Bake the pie 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350F and bake until a knife inserted 1-inch from the edge comes out clean, about 10 minutes longer.

Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8.

I used half of an onion, thinly sliced. I also added 5 slices of bacon. The quiche actually took longer than the recipe stated (about 15 minutes at 350F).

25 July 10: I made this again this morning and used turkey bacon. I also added a small amount of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained), which I added to the onions when cooking. I also used 1-3/4 cup heavy cream instead of 2 cups.