Sunday, October 6, 2013

Spicy Slaw

Yesterday I made this spicy slaw to go with pulled pork sandwiches ( for a party (17 people). 

The pulled pork and spicy slaw are recipes from Tyler Florence. I've made the pulled pork a few times now and it’s always a hit at my parties. 

 I’m not a big coleslaw eater, but I loved this recipe! It’s the best slaw I've tasted. I was glad I cut the cabbage amount in half. I have leftovers, so this recipes make a huge batch. 

Spicy Slaw 
1 head green cabbage, shredded [I used half, 1.52 lbs] 
2 carrots, grated [I used one] 
1 red onion, thinly sliced [I used half] 
2 green onions, chopped [I used one] 
1 red chile, sliced [I used a green chile] 
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 
1/4 cup Creole mustard [I used Dijon]
 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 
1 lemon, juiced Pinch sugar 
1/2 teaspoon celery seed 
Several dashes hot sauce Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Combine the cabbage, carrot, red onion, green onions, and chile in a large bowl. 

In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar; stirring to incorporate. 

Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss gently to mix. 

Season the coleslaw with celery seed, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Chill for 2 hours in refrigerator before serving.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pork and Black Bean Stew

For a rotation group dinner last night (18 May 20130, I made a pork and black bean stew ( for our Brazil food theme:


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 (12 ounce) pork tenderloin, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 (19 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 chorizo sausages, cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste


Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat, stir in garlic and onion, and cook a few minutes until the onion softens and turns translucent. Remove the onion, and place into a saucepan. Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into the skillet, and place over medium-high heat. Add cubed pork, and cook until well browned.

Meanwhile, pour 3/4 of the black beans along with 1/4 cup water into the bowl of a blender, and pulse until finely chopped, but not quite smooth. Pour whole beans and bean puree into saucepan along with pork cubes, chicken stock, chorizo, and bay leaves.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

My adjustments:
I skipped the 1/4 cup of water and added a splash of white wine
I used one can of chicken stock.
After the pork was cooked (used about 20 oz), I removed it and browned the chorizo (5 links) for a few minutes.
After bringing all ingredients to a high heat, I placed everything into a crockpot and cooked on high for 2 hours and then low for 2 hours.

My comments:
This came out well and everyone enjoyed it, but it’s definitely not a colorful dish. If I make this again, I'll add some red bell peppers to brighten it up. I was glad I added the white wine, as it made it more flavorful. 


Brazilian black beans with pork

My friend Debbi, who hosted this dinner, also made this traditional Brazillian dish.

(Ingredients and directions provided; for full information see:


1 lb of varied pork sausages (prefer smoked sausages)
1 lb of pork tenderloin
some slices of bacon
1 can of black beans (15.5Oz)
2 tbs vegetable oil
salt, garlic, chopped onions and bay leaves (bay leaves give a special taste to feijoada)


Add black beans to a medium-sized pot with 2 tbs oil, salt, garlic, chopped onions and about 6 bay leaves.

Cook for about 15 minutes in med heat and set aside.

In a separated panfry, cook cubes of pork tenderloin and slices of bacon with salt, garlic.

Add all the sausages sliced and stir medium-heat until dry all the water.

Add the cooked meat to the pan with the black beans and your feijoada is ready!

Cook your feijoada more 10 minutes to meat soak in the black beans. You can add some pepper sauce to your feijoada at this point.

Hint: to make the feijoada creamy, liquefy 1/2 cup of black beans in the blender and add to the feijoada

Serves 6

Debbi’s notes: I started by cooking the onions and garlic in the oil and once they were soft, added the beans. The meat portion I used about 4-5 slices of bacon and 1 lb. of Hillshire Smoked sausage and then the pork tenderloin. Some of the ingredients don't have a quantity, I just used my judgement on the amount.  I didn't add any hot sauce to this recipe.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sausage Stuffing

I make this every year for Thanksgiving.
Monica J. Pileggi 1998

5 Italian sausage links (sweet and hot), removed from casings and crumbled
1.5 bags (about 21 oz) of seasoned bread cubes
4 Celery stalks, diced
2 C. mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1/4 c. dry white wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 stick butter
2 cans chicken broth
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, cook sausage until just done. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. In the same skillet (removing most of the sausage fat but enough to coat the vegetable) sauté the celery, mushroom and onions along with wine, thyme, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cook until the onions and celery are translucent. Set aside.

In a large pot, add the butter and broth and heat. Add the bread cubes and combine with the liquid. Add the sausage, vegetables and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. If it’s too dry add more broth.

Add the sausage stuffing to two 9" x 13" baking pans.

Bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serves 10 to 12.

Baked Sweet Potatoes

This is a recipe from my friend Kim Engle (December 2002)

2 lbs canned sweet potatoes, drained
1 stick butter
2 eggs, beaten
2-1/2 shots of Amaretto Liquor
1/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. pecans
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour

Combine toppings into a food processor and process until pecans are chopped fine.

In a pot, add the potatoes and mash until smooth. Add the butter, eggs, amaretto and sugar. Mix well. Place in a buttered 9" square baking dish. Top with the pecan mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, about 35 minutes.

Serves 8-10.

Sweet Potato and Squash Bake

1-1/2 pound sweet potatoes

2 pound acorn squash
4-6 tsp canola oil, enough to lightly coat
2 Tbsp unpacked brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.

Peel sweet potatoes and squash, cut into 1-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.

Place on a baking pan and bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serves 8-10.

Cuban Black Beans

1 lb black beans, dried, rinsed
4 c. water
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/3 c. oil
2 bay leaves
1 t. oregano
1 t. coriander
1/2 t. cumin
1 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
Water to just cover the beans
2 t. white vinegar
1 t. sugar

Add beans to pot and bring water to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.

Drain the beans in a colander.

In the same pot, sauté the onions, garlic, and green bell pepper in the oil:

Once sautéed (about 10 minutes), add the beans and remaining ingredients (except for the vinegar and sugar) to the pot. Simmer 2 to 2.5 hours. Check to see that there is enough water. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook another 5 minutes.

Discard the bay leaves. Remove 1 cup of beans from the pot and puree (or use a wooden spoon and mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. Return to pot and stir to combine. The results should be thick, not soupy.

Serve over white rice.

Serves 8 to 10.


2 cups uncooked couscous

2 cups chicken broth
dash salt
1 tspn curry powder (more if you like the curry flavor)

Bring the broth to a boil. Add the couscous, stir quickly. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit 5 minutes and then use a fork to fluff up the couscous.

Toss in 2 tablespoon of olive oil and mix to coat.


Slivered almonds
Raisins (or dried cranberries)
Diced cucumber (seeded)
Fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, or your favorite herb
Diced blanched yellow squash

Combine and add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Anything can be added to this dish: Chicken, chickpeas, mushrooms, red bell peppers, eggplant, carrots, pumpkin, string beans, zucchini, tomato, peas, pine nuts, feta cheese, olives, etc.

12-14 Servings

Red Beans and Rice

Monica J. Pileggi, June 2004

3 cups cooked white rice

1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 T. oil
1 lb. Andouille sausage, sliced
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans red beans, with liquid
salt, pepper and Louisiana hot sauce to taste
1 t. cajun seasoning
Parsley, chopped
Thyme, chopped

In a large pot, heat oil and cook the onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Cook until tender.

In a separate pan, cook the sausage until cooked through and browned. Drain any fat.

Add the sausage to the vegetable pot and add the bay leaf, tomatoes, beans, seasonings and herbs. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then remove the bay leaf.

To serve, place some rice in a bowl and top with the bean mixture. Have the hot sauce on the table for those that like it really hot.

Serves 6.

Note: You can use any type of meat, such as turkey sausage.

Cannellini Beans with Prosciutto and Herbs

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes with juices
2 19-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
2 oz. prosciutto (thickly sliced), coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
3 cups mixed baby greens

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1/2 minute. Stir in the herbs. Add the tomatoes with its juice. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the beans. Simmer until the tomatoes are tender and the juices evaporate by half, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the prosciutto, being careful not to overcook the prosciutto. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the mixed baby greens over a platter. Spoon the beans over the greens and serve.

Serves 5-6

Spinach-Artichoke Stuffed Tomatoes

Monica J .Pileggi (April 2004)

8 medium sized tomatoes, tops cut off and insides scooped out
2 packages of frozen spinach, thawed and drained very, very well
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, also drained well
4 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cups Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash or two of hot sauce
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
Dash of Mrs. Dash Oregano, Garlic, Tomato seasoning
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Breadcrumbs for the topping
Olive oil

Combine all ingredients except for the breadcrumbs and olive oil. Place about 3 tablespoons in each tomato. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs on top and a dash of olive oil. I use a cooking spray, which evenly coats the breadcrumbs.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Serves 8.

Twice Baked Potatoes

This is one of my favorite potato dishes.

4 large baking potatoes

Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 head of garlic (outer layers removed)
8 slices of lean bacon
1 cup lite sour cream
½ cup of milk
4 tablespoons of lite butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar-jalapeno cheese, divided
6 green onions, chopped, divided

Rub potatoes with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Do the same for the head of garlic and wrap in tin foil. Bake potatoes and garlic in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour to 1-1/2 hours, depending on the size of the potatoes.

While potatoes are baking, cook bacon in large skillet over med high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

When potatoes are done, let cool 10-20 minutes.

Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl, saving skins.

Add to the potato flesh, 5-6 cloves of the roasted garlic (use the remaining cloves to spread on bread or toast), sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions.

Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins.

Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.

Bake for 15 minutes, uncovered.

Serves 8.

Bratwurst & Sauerkraut

2 lbs Bratwurst, about 10 to 12 links

2 Tblsp oil
1 Tblsp Paprika
1 Tblsp Caraway seed
2 Tblsp brown sugar
2 Tblsp dill
2 Medium onions, sliced
2-4 Garlic cloves, chopped
2 Bottles of beer
2 lbs Sauerkraut, drained
6 Slices bacon, chopped
1-2 Apples, peeled 1/2" cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the bratwurst until just about done and lightly browned. Cut the brats into thirds.

In a frying pan, sauté onions, bacon, and garlic in oil until caramelized.

Add all ingredients to a crock pot and cook on for 3 hours, or on low for 5 hours.

Tuscan Meat Sauce

2 lbs of ground beef

Olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1/3rd cup tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/3rd cup water
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 carrot, diced
Red pepper flakes
1/4 - 1/3rd cup Half & half

In a large skillet, brown beef in some olive oil. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomato paste, sauce and water. Stir to combine. Add the garlic; add the carrots. Add the red pepper flakes. Add more water or tomato sauce if too thick. At the end, stir in a little half and half .

Cook pasta until Al dente. Drain and add some of the meat sauce to coat the pasta. Serve pasta and top with more of the meat sauce and parmesan cheese.

(Note: measurements are approximate).

Vietnamese Noodles with Pork

Monica J. Pileggi

February 2004

There are many recipes for this wonderful dish. This is my version:

Ingredients for the pork and marinade:

25 oz. boneless pork sirloin, trimmed of fat, sliced into thin strips
4 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
3 shallots, peeled, minced
1 Tbs. Rice vinegar
1 Tbs. White wine
1 Tbs. sugar
1 T. drid lemongrass, chopped
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 t. vegetable oil

In a blender, add all ingredients and blend to a paste. Place pork in a shallow dish and cover with the mixture. Divide the pork into 4-1/4 ounce servings in small ziplock bags and freeze for future meals.

Ingredients for 1 serving:

4-1/4 oz. marinated pork
2 oz rice stick noodles
3 lettuce leafs, thinly sliced
A handful of shredded carrots
1/4 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced thin
A handful of bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1 T. coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
Nouc cham sauce


Cook the noodles according to the package (approx 7-9 minutes); then rinse well under cold water and let drain in a colander for 30 minutes.

In a non-stick pan, spray some pan and fry the meat until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

To serve:

In a large bowl, add the lettuce, carrots, cucumber, and beans sprouts. Top with the noodles, pork, and peanuts. Pour on the Nouc cham sauce.

Nuoc cham sauce:

1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. lemon juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup fish sauce
Pinch of chili peppers, crushed
1/2 t. hot sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup water

Combine the garlic, chili flakes and sugar in a mortar and make into a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Store in a container. Will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Garbanzos with Chorizo

Monica Pileggi

October 2003

3 chorizos links
2 T. Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup of tomato sauce (or a little more)
Dash of pepper flakes
3 cans Garbanzo beans
liquid from one can of beans
Fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a pan, cook the chorizos until done. Drain very well and cut into slices. Set aside (I place them on paper towels to get rid of the excess oil).

In a large pot, add the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the garbanzos, liquid, and tomato sauce. Stir and cook on low heat for five minutes. Add the chorizo and parsley. Cook, on low heat, for another 15 minutes.

Serves 8-12

*I used leftover pasta sauce, which had been spiced up with red pepper flakes.

You can also serve this dish on top of rice.

Arroz con Pollo

This is the recipe in my Puerto Rican cookbook Titled: Cocine Conmigo. The first publication was in 1970. It was reissued in San Juan in 1980. The book contains authentic, traditional, Puerto Rican recipes. I like to add chorizo for my distinct taste. Felix Rosario (my father).

1 3-lb Chicken
3 Tbls of salt to rub on chicken
4 Tbls of oil
1 Ounce bacon
2 ounces chopped ham
8 Olives
1 Envelope of Sabor or 1 tomato, 1 green pepper, and one onion
1 Tbsp cappers
1/3 Tbsp oregano
1/2 Cup tomato sauce
4 Cups of water
3 1/2 Cups of rice
3 Tbls salt for the rice

Cut the chicken, wash it, and salt it.

Heat the oil and the add ham, bacon. Add the sabor or the veggies, garlic, cappers, oregano, tomato sauce, and 1 cup of water. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes stirring it. Increase the heat and add the remainder of the water. Lower the heat, cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.

Stir the rice and cook for another 15 minutes.

To serve: Adorn with pimientos Morrones. These are the cooked marinated red peppers that come in a jar.

Prawns Amourense

Friends of mine made this wonderful and elegant shrimp dish for dinner one evening.

1 Lb. large Tiger Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1 cup sliced mushroooms
1/2 stick butter
Olive oil
1 cup chopped, seeded tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon minced garlic (or a little more)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup heavy cream
1 can chicken stock
chopped parsley
1 shot Brandy
1 shot Pernod or Anisette
Salt and coarse ground pepper
1 Lb. Linguini

Prepare the linguini.

Saute vegetables in butter and olive oil. Add the shrimp and saute. Add the capers, tomatoes, cayenne, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the Brandy and Pernot (flame for effect, if desired). Add the cream and stock, stir. Remove the shrimp and vegetables and reduce the stock. Place the shrimp and vegetables back and add the parsley. Serve over linguini.

4 servings.

Porcini Crepes

I don’t make crepes to often, but when I do I use the following recipes from two cookbooks that I have.

Porcini Crepes
(Frugal Gourmet)

Basic White Sauce:
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
Salt to taste

Combine, cook, set aside.

1/4 oz. dried porcini, soaked, chopped, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/3 cup button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Lb. Crimi, Portabello, or Porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Saute porcini's in oil. Add garlic and other mushrooms. Add a little salt, parsley and pepper. Combine half of the white sauce to the mushroom mixture. Cool a little to handle. Place a few tablespoons of the mushroom mixture onto the crepes and roll. Place them in a buttered baking pan. Add the parmesan cheese to the remaining sauce and pour on top of the crepes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, when the top is brown.

(Julia Child, The Way to Cook)

1 cup flour, all-purpose, scooped and leveled
2/3 cup each milk and cold water
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons melted butter

Add the flour to a mixing bowl. Whisk in by dribbles milk and ater to make a perfectly smooth blend. Pour the batter through a fairly fine-meshed seive to remove any lumps. Whisk the eggs, salt and 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Let rest 1-1/2 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat the crepe pan (5-1/2 to 6" bottom diameter) until drops of water dance on it, then brush lightly with melted butter. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into the center of pan and tilt it in all directions. The batter should cover the pan with a light coating; pour out any excess. After 30 seconds or so, the bottom should be lightly browned - lift an edge with a spatula to see. Shake and jerk the pan by its handle to dislodge the crepe, then turn it over either with your fingers or a spatula. Cook 15-20 seconds, but do not brown, as this will be the inside of the crepe.

Storing: Transfer to rack to cool. Stack them and place into a plastc bag; store in refrigerator up to 2 days, or freeze for several weeks.

Makes 20 crepes.

Stir Fry Shrimp

This is my Mother’s recipe for Stir Fry Shrimp.

1/2 Lb Shrimp, peeled, deveined
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry
1 egg
3 slices ginger root
1 sliced garlic clove
peanut oil
sesame oil
bean sprouts
bok choy
snow peas...and anything else you'd like
pasta, cooked according to directions

Sauce: 3 tablespoons rice wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 cup water, 3 tablespoons oyster sauce.

Disolve corn starch in rice wine. Add egg and beat. Add shrimp and let sit in the refrigerator.

Prepare all vegetables. Prepare pasta. Fry ginger and garlic in peanut oil 1 minute, then discard ginger. Add shrimp mixture and fry 1 minute; remove. Fry chopped vegetables a few minutes. Add the sauce. Thicken with corn starch and water. Add shrimp to re-heat. Add a few drops of sesame oil for flavor. Serve over pasta.

Serves 2.

For 1-1/2 pounds of shrimp, use 2 eggs and prepare sauce to 1 cup.

Mai Tai

Mai Tai

1 oz. Dark rum
1 oz. Light rum
1 oz. Orange Curacao
1/2 oz. Orgeat Syrup (Almond flavored)
2 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. Sour mix
1 float of white rum

One of the bartenders at the Hale Koa gave me this recipe.

Traditional Mai Tai

1 oz. Dark Rum
1 oz Light Rum
1 oz Orange Curacao
2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
Dash Orgeat
Dash Simple syrup

The Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian serves the best Mai Tai's. And the views can't be beat!

October 2002

Chicken Chili

Monica J. Pileggi, March 2005

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into 1/2" pieces
2 medium sweet red peppers, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 T. chili powder
2 t. cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 28.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 14.5 oz cans fat free chicken broth
3 15.5 ounce can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa
1 10-oz package frozen corn

In a large pot, sauté the first 4 ingredients in oil over medium heat, until chicken is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender.

Add in chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper; stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add in the tomatoes and chicken broth; bring mixture to a boil; lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Add two cans of the beans, salsa, corn, and salt. For the last can of beans, puree in a process and add to the pot (this will thicken the sauce). Cook for another 15-20 minutes on low heat.

1. For Weight Watchers: Total of 48 points; 3.55 points per cup. Makes approx 29 1-cup servings.
2. For a hotter flavor, add more chili powder. Any kind of beans can be used.

Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Monica J. Pileggi, Dec 2003

½ cup sliced leeks, washed well
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 T. butter
2 cans chicken broth
4 medium potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
¾ cup half and half cream
½ tspn pepper
½ tspn salt
1 tspn dried thyme (or dill, chives, parsley)
½ tspn celery seeds
2 T. butter

Sauté leeks, onions, and garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter, until tender. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and reduce to medium. Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes.

Add the seasonings and cream and simmer 5 minutes more. Puree the batch along with 2 T of butter. Serve with a salad or crusty bread.

Serves 6-8.

Chilled Gazpacho

Enjoy this recipe on a hot summer's day.

3 large tomatoes

2 garlic cloves
1 cucumber
1/4 green pepper
Green onion stems
1/2 T. cumin
Olive oil to taste
Sherry vinegar to taste

Puree everything except the croutons, sliced olives, and chopped green onion stems.

Add water to desired consistency.

Garnish with extra chopped tomato, cucumber, green onions, olives, and croutons.

Limoncello and Limoncello Cream Recipes

The area of Naples and the Amalfi coast in Italy is known for its lemon trees and the liquor Limoncello and Crema di Limoncello. My husband's cousin from Naples gave me her family recipe for the Crema di Limoncello when we visited family in Naples in May 1998. This is a delicious frozen liquor drink, which is wonderful to sip on a hot summer's day, or any day.

Also, further down is a recipe for Limoncello. You can purchase this liquor throughout Naples and the Amalfi coast. The glass bottles are beautifully decorated and make for a nice souvenir. Enjoy!

Crema di Limoncello

Zest of 8 Lemons
1 liter of grain alcohol
3-1/2 cups of sugar
2 liters milk
A large container

Wash and dry lemons. Zest the lemons, making sure to remove the pith. Add the zest to a large container and add the vodka. Store the bottle at room temperature for 1 week.

In a large pot, combine the sugar and milk. Bring it almost to a boil, making sure the sugar has dissolved.

Let this mixture cool completely.

As you add the vodka mixture, use a strainer to catch the zest. Pour the completed mixture into bottles.

Store the bottle in freezer. Serve chilled.

Monica's Crema di Limoncello
July 2011

After making the above recipe, I tweaked it a little. Here's my version. It's delicious!

1 Liter grain alcohol
7 Lemons, washed and dried
3 Cups sugar
1 quart plus 20 oz. half & half cream

Zest the lemons and place in a large container with the alcohol. Let sit for 2 weeks.

In a large pot, add the sugar and cream. Heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let this mixture cool completely. Add the lemon/alcohol mixture into the pot using a strainer to catch the zest. Pour mixture into 2 bottles.

Store in freezer. Serve chilled.


I made this last night (7/15/04) and decided to revise my recipe as follows:

15 lemons, large, thick-skinned
1.5 liter bottle of grain alcohol
5 cups of sugar
4-3/4 cups of water
1 empty 1.5 liter bottle

Wash the lemons to remove any residue. Dry the lemons, the remove the zest (I use a potato peeler). Make sure you remove any pith. Divide the alcohol and zest into the two bottles. Cover and store at room temperature in a cabinet. Let it sit for about 2 weeks.

After 2 weeks, combine the sugar and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook until it thickens, about 5-8 minutes. Let the sugar syrup cool before adding the lemon vodka (use a strainer to discard the zest while pouring into the pot). Stir to combine, and then pour the limoncello mixture into the two bottles. Cover and return to the cabinet for another 2 weeks. (However, you really don't have to wait another 2 weeks if you originally stored longer than the 2 weeks).

When ready to drink, store in the freezer. It's best served ice-cold.

Olive & Ham Cake

From my friend Elena Mayberry, August 2003

4 Eggs
1-2/3 C Flour
2-1/2 t Baking powder
1/3 C Olive oil
2 T Melted butter
1/2 C Dry white wine (or dry sherry)
1/4 C Port (tawny port)
1 1/2 C pitted, sliced green olives
2 C Chopped ham (e.g., Virginia ham, Turkey ham, or smoked meat of some sort). "Dry" sauté the ham to remove excess liquid - let cool before adding to mix
2 C Gruyere shredded cheese
1/4 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper

Heat the oven to 425F.

Grease a 9 x 5 bread pan.

Beat eggs until lemon colored.

Stir in flour, baking powder, olive oil, melted butter, wine, and port.

Stir in ham, cheese, olives, salt, and pepper.

Pour into greased pan.

Bake 45 - 50 minutes until skewer comes out clean.

Serve cold.

Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives

This is a recipe from my friends Chris and Margaret Hansen, January 2006, which they made for our group rotation dinner.

Yield: 4 servings

1 Medium onion -peeled and quartered
2 Medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2-1/2 Lbs chicken, skinned, cut into small pieces
2 T Flour
1 T Olive oil
2-1/2 C water
1/8 t Saffron
1/2 t Ground ginger
1/2 t Ground cumin
1/2 t Paprika
1/4 t Salt
3 T Lemon juice
2 lemon peels grated
1/2 Cups Green olives, pitted and coursely chopped
2 T Minced cilantro
3/4 Cups couscous
Fresh ground black pepper

In a food processor, finely chop onion and garlic. Cut chicken into large portions. Dredge chicken in flour. in a large skillet and heat oil over medium heat. Sauté chicken and onion mixture until mixture has soften, about 10 minutes.

Stir in one cup water, saffron, ginger, cumin, paprika, salt and lemon peel. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 35 minutes. Add lemon juice, olives, cilantro and pepper. Simmer gently 5 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the couscous and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Spoon chicken over couscous and serve.

Notes: Chris and I added a jar of Trader Joe's Moroccan Tagine Simmering Sauce, however the recipe does not ask for it.

Pollo al Marsala con Peperoni Rossi

Pollo al Marsala con Peperoni Rossi
Chicken Breasts with Marsala and Red Peppers

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves
½ cup flour – for dredging
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 red bell pepper, thinly slices length-wise
1 cup Marsala
About ½ cup water
Chopped parsley for garnish

Butterfly the chicken breasts by carefully cutting them open horizontally. Flour on both sides.

In a large pan, brown the chicken breasts in olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper each side. Remove chicken breasts, and set aside.

Add sliced red peppers to the pan and sauté on high heat 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Return chicken to pan and add Marsala and water.

Cover the pan and cook until juices run clear, not pink, when chicken is pierced with a fork (6-8 minutes). Serve garnished with chopped parsley.


Basque Chicken

4 each chicken thighs and legs

3 T. olive oil
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
3 tomatoes, sliced
1 C. chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 C. Spanish green olives
1/2 C. black olives

Skin the chicken and trim off any excess fat.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Stir in the thyme and oregano and add the chicken. Sauté, turning the pieces as they become golden, 3-4 minutes on each side.

Add the shallots and tomatoes and stir until soft, 2-3 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup of the stock and bring to a boil. Deglaze the pan by stirring to dislodge any browned bits. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the green and black olives, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Stir the sauce and then pour in the remaining 1/2-cup of stock. Simmer until the chicken is tender, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter with the sauce and serve.

Serves 4