Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

1 medium onion, diced

3 minced cloves of garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

8 oz can of tomato sauce

6 oz can of tomato paste

28 oz can of whole tomatoes

2 14 oz cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1-1/2 cups of heavy cream

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

In a large pot, add olive oil and onion and cook till onion is almost clear.  Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

Add tomatoes, sauce, paste, water and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

In a blender or food processor (or you can use an immersion blender), puree the mixture until you reach your desired consistency – we like it a bit chunky.

Add the heavy cream, parmesan cheese and more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.  Let it simmer for 5 more minutes and serve.

Mediterranean Chicken

6-8 chicken thighs, trimmed

Salt and pepper the thighs and bake in a 400 degree oven for abut 40 minutes

In a bowl, mix together:

1 thinly sliced onion

1 red or orange pepper thinly sliced

2 thinly sliced cloves of garllic

about 15-20 small tomatoes slice din half

Large pinch of oregano

Add salt, pepper and 2-3 tbsps of olive oil

Toss all of this together until the veggies are all coated

Remove chicken from oven – drain off almost all of the fat.  Add the veggie mixture to the chicken and bake another 15 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly done.

Baked Feta and Tomatoes

1 solid brick of feta (not crumbed) about 8-10 oz

1/2 large onion sliced thin

Approx 12 (or more if you wish) grape tomatoes cut in half or quarters if very large

1 cup sliced peppers of your choice

1/2 tsp oregano

3/4 tsp smoked paprika

2 tbsps olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a pot with a cover, place the onions on the bottom to cover.  Top with a layer of green (or multi colored) peppers and then the tomatoes.

Place the feta on top.  Drizzle the olive oil over the feta.  Sprinkle the oregano over and then the paprika

NOTE:  You can add sliced black olives on top of the peppers if you wish

Bake about 20 minutes or until the feta just starts to melt around the edges.

Serve with crackers or pita bread

Tomato Ricotta Tart

Pastry:

  • Tomato-Ricotta-Tart-640w

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    3 cups flour

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Put all in a food processor and mix a few times.  Add 7-8 slices of crumbled crisp bacon.  Process a few times.

Add 1/3 cup of very cold shortening (prefer Crisco) and 12 tbsps very cold butter cut into cubes

Process 6-8 times.

Add 6-8 tbsps ice water and process until it almost comes together.  Remove and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Roll out dough and fit into a 12″ (or 8″ or 10″) tart pan with a removal bottom.  Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Filling:

In food processor, put 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta, about 1.2 cup fresh basil leaves, 3 eggs, 8 oz shredded mozzarella and 1/3 cup grated parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.  Process until almost smooth.

Slice up 4 large ripe tomatoes or 8 roma tomatoes and put on a paper towel lined sheet pan.  Season with salt and pepper and let sit for 5-10 minuts.

Line bottom of tart with some of the tomatoes.  Top with the cheese mixture and then top the cheese mixture with more tomatoes.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until lightly browned on top and set.  Let sit in pan about 10 minutes before cutting and serving! Continue reading

Stuffed Pork Loin with Cranberry Sauce

Video

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Click image to view video.

Stuffing:

  • 3 cups cubed corn bread (bought or home made)
  • 1 tbsps butter
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans -optional

Put the cornbread cubes on a baking sheet and put into a 325 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until toasted and dry.  Remove.

Put the cornbread into a large bowl,

In a small pan, melt the butter.  Saute the onion and celery until soft.  Remove and add to cornbread.

Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  If cornbread does not break down enough, use a potato masher.

Pork Loin:

1 approx 2 lbs pork loin – butterflied (see video)

Once pork is butterflied, salt and pepper the pork.  Put the stuffing on top, spreading it out and press down.  From the short side, roll the pork loin tightly.  Tie with string in 4 places.

In a large pan, melt 1 tbsps butter and 1 tbsp oil.  Brown the pork loin on all sides.

Remove the pork.  Put it into a baking pan and put into a 350 degree for about 40-45 minutes or until internal temp is 160 degrees.  Remove, tent with foil and rest 10 minutes.

Cranberry Sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-1/4 cups white wine
  • 1-1/4 cups whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp thyme.

Saute garlic in 1 tbsp oil for 3-4 minutes.  Add the wine and cranberry sauce, whisk to combine.
Cook until thickened and reduced by about 1/2.  Add the sage and thyme.  Hold till ready to serve.

Continue reading

Bourbon Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

Cook over medium heat, swirling often – do not stir.  Cook about 15 minutes, swirling often,

until the mixture is a deep caramel color.

Immediately remove from heat and add 1/2 cup heavy cream, a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp bourbon.

Put back on the heat and this STIR for one minutes.  Remove.  Cool.

Store up to 2 weeks in refrigerator in a jar with a tight lid.  To use, rewarm slightly in microwave

and pour warm syrup over apples (or ice cream or both!)

Baked Apples

Baked Apple

Click image to view video.

1/2 recipe of home made puff pastry or 1 package frozen commercial puff pastry, thawed but cold

2-4 apples (depends on how many you want to make)

Peel and core the apples. Let sit in water with lemon juice while you prepare the pastry.

Roll the dough to about 1/4″ thickness.  Cut into 8″ squares.  Cut a V-notch in the middle of each side about 2″ in.  Remove apples from water and dry off with paper towels.

Place one apple on each pastry square.  Fill the center of the apple with a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture

(1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon mixed for 4 apples)

You can add a few chopped nuts or dried cranberries to the middle if you wish.

Sprinkle on 1 tsp lemon juice and a small knob of butter.

Bring opposite ends of pastry up to the center, covering the apple.  Repeat with the other 2 sides.

Pinch the pastry closed all around the apples.  Brush apples with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 35-40 minutes or until apples have softened.

Serve with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

NOTE:  I used Gala apples.

Continue reading

Chicken a la King

Baked Apple1 lb chicken breast (or use leftovers)

4-8 oz mushrooms sliced and chopped (to taste)

6 tbsps butter

6 tsps flour

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

1-1/2 cups whole milk (can use evaporated)

1-1/2 cups chicken stock

2 tbsps sherry

1 cup frozen peas

2 tbsps chopped pimento

Cut  the chicken into bite size pieces.  Add 2 tbsps oil to a pan and saute the chicken and mushrooms.  Remove from pan.

Add the sherry to the chicken stock.

Place the butter in the pan and melt it.  Add the flour and whisk vigorously.  Add half of the chicken stock and whisk well.  Add the

rest of the stock and keep whisking.  Gradually add the milk.  Then add the onion and garlic powder and salt and pepper. Whisk well till thick and smooth.

Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan and simmer on medium low for 5 minutes. Lastly, add the pimento and mix well.

Serve as you wish!

Boston Cream Pie

BostonCreamPie- PCPastry Cream:

  • 1 cup milk plus 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 tbsps corn starch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsps soft butter

Heat 1 cup milk in microwave for 1 minute – remove – scrape seeds from vanilla bean and put into warm milk.

Whisk in a saucepan 1/3 cup milk and 2 tbsps corn starch.  Add the 1/3 cup room temp milk and the 4 eggs yolks.

Blend well with a whisk.  Slowly whisk in the warm/vanilla milk.  Put on a medium  high heat and whisk constantly until well blended and thickened.  When thick, remove from heat and stir in the butter.  Put in a small bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours – you can do this up to 2 days ahead of time.

Cake:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick soft butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Grease and flour and line with parchment on bottom one 9″ springform pan for 4 mini springform pans (which is what I used)

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In mixer bowl, beat butter and gradually add sugar.  Beat 2 minutes till light and fluffy.

Add the 2 eggs, one at a time and beat till well combined.

Add 1/3 of the flour, then half of the milk.  Repeat until all used and well blended.

Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or the mini pans and

35-40 minutes or the large pan, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan.

When cool, remove from pan and level the cake (cut off the dome) Then cut the cake in half lengthwise.

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz. semi sweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsps corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Heat milk in a pan until it just comes to a boil.  Remove and immediately pour over the chocolate.

Let sit for a minute and then whisk until it is smooth.  Then add the corn syrup and confectioners sugar and blend well.  Let stand 10 minutes to set up slightly

Assemble:

Put one half of the cake on a plate.  Top with enough pastry cream to fill the top almost to the edges.

Top with another cake half.  Spread enough chocolate on top, letting it spill over the sides if you wish.

Top with a cherry!

Enjoy!!!

Salisbury Steak

  • Salisbury Steak1 lb 80% lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 2 tbsps flour
  • 1/2 cup beef stock plus 1-1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 tsp thyme

Cut the tops off the 2 heads of garlic.  Put in a small oven proof pan.  Add 1/2 cup beef stock to the pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until garlic is soft.  Remove, cook

In a saute pan, melt 1 tbsp butter.  Add the sliced onion.  Saute over medium heat, occasionally adding some beef broth, until golden and soft.  Remove from pan.

In a large bowl, place ground beef. Season with salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Divide in half and shape each half into an oval.

In same saute pan that you browned the onions, add 2 tbsps butter.  Then add the two beef patties and brown on each side (2-3 minutes per side).  Remove from pan.  Add 2 tbsps of flour to pan.  Whisk for about 1 minutes.

Add the red wine and whisk to mix well.  Then add the 1-1/2 cups beef broth and the reserved broth from the baked garlic.  Mix to blend well.  Cook over medium high heat until thick and reduced – about 5-10 minutes.

Add the beef patties into the sauce along with the onions.  Cook about 3-4 minutes more per side or until cooked through.  Serve with your favorite sides.

NOTE:  Sauteed mushrooms can also be added.