Posted tagged ‘recipes’

Joe’s Chili

July 24, 2017


Today we had our chili cook-off at LA Harbor Lodge in San Pedro. Here is the recipe for my entry. It didn’t win any awards but everyone who tried said that it was very tasty.  We all had fun doing it. And even I liked it.

Ingredients

  • 3 Stalks of Celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Jalapeño Peppers, seeds and core removed, chopped (I usually use surgical gloves when handling jalapeños. If you skip the gloves you will soon learn why I use the gloves.)
  • 1/2 Red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb bulk Italian sausage meat
  • 1 lb stew beef, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cans of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (14.5 oz)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 packet of chili seasonings

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil
  2. Sauté the onion and Jalapeños until they are soft and translucent
  3. Add sausage and stew beef.
  4. Sauté until the meat is completely browned.
  5. Drain off the fat
  6. Add the seasoning packet and mix
  7. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the crock pot
  8. Add the peppers and celery
  9. Add the cans of kidney beans (including water) and cans of tomatoes.
  10. Stir to combine.
  11. Important Step: Plug the crock-pot in and turn it on!
  12. Cook on high for about 4 hours. Stir occasionally
Advertisements

Fish Cakes

January 11, 2016

Back in the day, when I was a child, the Roman Catholic church forbade members from eating meat on Friday’s. The idea was that we were supposed to atone for our sins by giving up something that we enjoyed. In our neck of the woods, I think that the idea backfired. A generation grew up really liking fish seeing that was the main alternative to roast beef or chicken.

So as a child we would eat fish cakes for Friday breakfast. I know what you’re thinking. That’s a bit weird. But for us it was our normal. Fish cakes for breakfast and frozen fish sticks for dinner. My parents might not have fish sticks for dinner, they probably had a lobster. Fish cakes lathered with ketchup was good eating. Today, I would probably add some hot sauce.

So on Thursday evening while the kids were working on their homework around the kitchen table, my mom and dad worked on prepping the fish cakes for the following morning. They would use salt cod mixed together with boiled potatoes. So the fish cakes would be put into the refrigerator ready to be fried on Friday morning.

Salt cod can be difficult to find in a supermarket. But it can be found. You need to ask the man in the meat/fish department. Sometimes they’ll have it, other times not. You could of course get a dumb look.

Believe it or not, you can buy salt cod on Amazon.com. I haven’t tried it but I probably will one of these days. Salt cod needs to be soaked for 8-12 hours before you can use it in a recipe to remove the salt. So you can’t do this on the spur of the moment.

Also, there are tons or recipes available on the internet. Here’s one of the recipes that I have used and like. Click here.

Pot Roast & Cannolis

June 17, 2015

2015-06-16 19.23.38Today is our daughter in law Theresa’s birthday. We celebrated it last night when her family came for our usual Tuesday evening dinner. We had an excellent cannoli cake from Amalfitano’s Bakery in San Pedro. The cake was very tasty indeed. If you are ever in the Boston area, the place to go for cannolis is Mike’s Bakery in the North End. No visit to Boston should go without a trip to Mike’s. You haven’t lived until you have had a cannoli from Mike’s Bakery.

Now let me talk about the main course. I made a pot roast in our crock pot along with potatoes, onions and carrots. It was very popular with the family. There was not a scrap left. Well, truth be told, there was some gray left. But.leftover gravy is not much use without something to put it on. Plus, when you save leftover pot roast gravy you find out how much fat was in the gravy because the fat congeals in the refrigerator over night. I don’t want to know that.  I probably could have added an extra potato or carrot. Though the crock pot was pretty full. Here’s the pointer to the recipe.Pot roast is best when the meat falls apart when poked with a fork.

Even Jonathan liked it. Jonathan is 3 1/2 and has moved up to a booster seat to sit at the table. He usually likes to have his food on his Winny the Pooh plate. Jonathan is going through a ketchup phase. He likes ketchup with most everything.

Sometimes the ketchup phase lasts a life time. Our friend Shawn is 40 some years old and still puts ketchup on his eggs and other stuff. Sean’s significant other (Vickie) still tries to break him of the habit. So far that hasn’t worked. I always tell Vickie that there are far worse habits that a man can have. Ketchup on eggs is not one of them.

Sausage Lasagna

February 17, 2015

2015-02-17 13.30.44Tuesday evening is we have Mike and his family over for dinner. That means that on Monday morning Paula and I are scratching our heads figuring out what to serve. Yesterday, we decided to do Lasagna. We hadn’t done that in a while. Sometimes we do a baked zitti sort of dish. Same ingredients except using zitti instead of lasagna noodles. Sometimes, I do the cooking, sometime Paula. Lasagna is my dish, so I do the cooking this time.

So without further ado, here is my recipe for baked lasagna.

Ingredients

2 jars of pasta sauce. We tend to like the various “Paul Newman” sauces. Today we used a jar of his “Sockaroonie” and jar of tomato basil. Choose what you like. I guess I’m too lazy to bother doing my own sauce from scratch. So sue me.

1 medium onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, diced

3 Tbsp Olive oil

1 12 oz package of ground sausage meat. There are usually several variations available at the market. One of these days I will try making with the hot spicy sausage variant.

1 15 oz container of ricotta cheese (we usually get the “light” variety made with skim milk)

1 egg

1 package of grated mozzarella cheese. I think it is the 2 c size. (ditto on the “Light” variety)

1 package of lasagna noodles. Here’s the thing that annoys me. The one pound package gives you more pasta than you can use to fill a 9″x13″ pan. 1/2 the package is not enough. So I count out about 15-16 pieces of lasagna pasta and save the rest for later.

Directions

  1. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Occasionally, I’ve seen suggestions on how to do no-boil lasagna. Don’t do it. It sucks. Boil the pasta. No shortcuts. Drain in a colander.
  2. Saute’ the onions and garlic in a large skillet. When the onions and garlic are translucent, add the sausage meat. Cook until the sausage is cooked through.
  3. Add one of the jars of sauce and stir.
  4. In a medium size bowl, mix the egg and the ricotta. The egg makes for a texture that is easier to spread onto the noodles.
  5. Now for the putting all together part. Spray a 9″x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
  6. Put a layer of sauce (from the other jar that didn’t go into the meat). then add a layer of noodles.
  7. Add a layer of the meat sauce and then add a layer of about 1/2 the ricotta mixture.
  8. Put down the second layer of noodles and repeat with the second half of the meat sauce. Add the rest of the ricotta.
  9. Another layer of noodles. Now add a layer of the sauce without the meat. Add a layer of the mozzarella.
  10. Now put down the final layer of noodles. Add the rest of the sauce. Add the rest of the mozzarella.

One of the nice things about this dish is that one can do all of the prep work early and then just put in the oven when your guests are due to arrive. Indeed, tonight I won’t even be there since I will be at a Shrine club meeting. Lasagna tastes better as leftovers anyway. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Serves 6-8.

Cioppino

December 30, 2014

Cioppino is an Italian fish stew that an excellent choice for a cold winter’s day. (Even in LA). Temperature today in San Pedro is in low 50’s with light rain. Not exactly weather back in Mass, but chilly nevertheless. The attached recipe belonged to Paula’s father Harold. Harold died in 2009. Whenever we have it, we think of him. It was one of his favorite dishes.

There are tons of recipes for cioppino available online. Here is the pointer to the Wikipedia entry.

2014-12-30 19.25.49

Selection of fish depends on what’s available at fish monger. Quantity depends on how many people you are serving. Our choices also depend on the price of various fish components. One can end up spending a lot of money at the fish counter.

2014-12-30 19.36.31

 

Ingredients

1/4 c Olive Oil
1 Onion (large), chopped
1 Clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp Parsley, fresh, chopped
1/2 c Celery, chopped.
1/2 c Green Pepper, chopped
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 6oz can of tomato paste
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
2/3 c red wine (Harold’s handwritten copy specifies 1 cup Stanley wine. Back in the day, Harold made his own wine.)
4 c water (optional: substitute 8 oz clam juice for one cup of water)
1/4 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Red Pepper
pinch of Rosemary (Harold’s copy suggested “or any other young lady”)
1/2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 lobster tails – Cut in 1″ pieces
1/2 lb Medium shrimp
6-12 Scallops
3 Crab legs – cut in half
6-12 Little shell clams
6-12 Mussels
1 lb white fish ( Swai, Cod or whatever’s available. One can find Cod on the west coast but usually it’s expensive.), cut in 1″ pieces

Directions

Heat oil in large kettle. Saute onion, garlic, parsley, celery and green pepper until golden.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, paprika and wine.

Simmer 15-20 minutes – Stir occasionally.

Add water and remaining seasonings. Cook slowly for 45-60 minutes.

15 minutes before serving. Add chunks of white fish.
10 minutes before serving. Add shell fish.
Cook over low heat until fish are done. The clams should open up when they are done.

Serve with garlic bread and a glass of red wine (in a glass, not the soup). I suggested Chianti, but I was outvoted by Paula. So we had a nice Cabernet Sauvignon). Thr version we made tonight didn’t have either the crab legs or lobster tails. Too expensive.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

 

Rosy Beef Stew

July 10, 2014

Here is the recipe for beef stew mentioned in my previous post. Note: click here to down load the document.
 

 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Shepherd’s Pie

March 19, 2014

Last night was our weekly family dinner night. In honor of St Patrick we had Shepherd’s Pie, not corned beef. I despise corned beef. And seeing as it was my turn to cook, we decided to do Shepherd’s pie.
 
 So hear is my recipe. It’s mostly in my head. It is not one of those meals that I need to work from a written recipe. There are many variations of shepherd’s pie to be found on the internet. This is just my variation on the theme.
 
 

 Ingredients
 
 1.5lb ground beef
 2 c Fresh mushrooms
 1 med onion, chopped
 1/2 of a 16oz. bag of frozen peas and carrots. Generic store brand is fine.
 2 bags instant mashed potatoes (I use the “just add water” variation for about 4-6 servings)
 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
 1 jar brown gravy (12 oz. Heinz or equivalent) Some recipes suggest using cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup. My preference is the gravy.
 1/2 tsp ground pepper
 1 tsp salt
 
 Directions
 
 Sauté the onions and mushrooms in a couple teaspoons of olive oil. Then set aside. [Last night we skipped the onions because Theresa is sensitive to onions.]
 
 Brown the ground beef. After the ground beef is cooked, drain the fat. Add the mushrooms, onion, peas and carrots and the gravy. Add the salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes. You might not need the whole jar of gravy. Judge for yourself how “soupy” you want it to be.
 
 Pour the ground beef mixture into 7×13 casserole dish.
 
 Prepare the mashed potatoes as directed on the package. Spread the mash potatoes on top of the ground beef.
 
 Sprinkle the cheddar on top.
 
 Bake in 350 oven for about 20 minutes (cheese should be melted and gravy bubbling on the edges.)
 
 Variations: Some folks use either green beans or corn. Not my preference though.
 
 Also, best served with Guinness beer and Irish Whiskey.
 

 Jonathan seemed to like the concoction. Though, I think he mostly liked the mashed potato part, less so for the hamburger.
 
 Joe
 
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad