Saturday, February 23, 2008

Main Dish Recipes

Spaghetti Pizza
Monica J. Pileggi

3/4 lb. spaghetti
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 T. olive oil
About 5 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 tomatoes, diced
1-1/4 c. crushed tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dash hot pepper flakes
5 eggs
1 to 1.5 c. mozzarella, diced
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
3/4 c. diced ham

Prepare the pasta by boiling water with salt. Cook until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside in the same large pot.

Saute the garlic and onions in the olive oil for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms, diced tomatoes, and the crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and a little hot pepper flakes. Cook on medium-low heat so that the sauce thickens.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the pot with the spaghetti and stir to combine.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot: Ham, mozarella, parmesan cheese, and sauce.

Once combined, pour into a 9" x 13" baking pan. Top with additional parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for 45-55 minutes, until hot and golden brown. It should be firm enough to cut into sections and hold together.

Note: This can also be prepared in a large skillet using half of the ingredients. Combine in the skillet and cook on medium-low heat until the bottom has browned, about 10-12 minutes; invert on a plate and return to the skillet to cook on the other side for another 10-12 minutes until firm and golden brown.

Serves: 10 - 12

Stir Fry Shrimp
Dorothy Rosario, my Mom

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
seseme l
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.

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.

Prawns Amourense
From Friends Vennette and Denny, 1996

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

Beef Tagine with Green Olives
From my Friend Elena Mayberry

1 1/2 lbs. stew beef, trimmed & cut in 1" pieces
1 t. paprika
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 T. olive oil
2 T. tomato puree
4 shallots, quartered
1 large potato, cut in 1/2" cubes
2 large carrots, cut in 1/2" cubes - I use the equivalent in baby carrots
8 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
2 T. chopped parsley
little salt
1/2 c. pitted green olives

Put the 5 spices, garlic, 2 T. olive oil and tomato puree in a zip lock bag. Knead to mix together. Add beef to bag, close and knead to cover the meat with spices. Put in refrigerator overnight.

The next day - Heat the remaining oil and saute shallots, potatoes and carrots until they begin to change color. Remove from pan. In the same pan, fry the marinated meat until sealed on all sides. Return vegetables to the pan and add canned tomatoes, any remaining marinade, parsley and salt. Cover and cook over low heat 3-4 hours until beef is tender. Stir in olives and allow 15 minutes to heat through. This works very well in a crockpot.

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 dad].

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.

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 approx 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.

Greek Meat Loaf
Will (March 2004)

I belong to a rotation meal group and Will made this delicious meat loaf when I hosted Greek Night.

1 lb Ground beef chuck
1 lb Ground lamb
2 Eggs
1 Cup bread crumbs
2 Bunches green onions, minced
4 oz Feta cheese, finely crumbled
1/4 Cup minced fresh parsley
1 T Dried mint leaves
2 T Olive oil
1 T Red wine vinegar
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, mix all ingredients just until well combined but not overmixed. In 13x9 metal baking pan, shape meat mixture into 9x5 inch loaf. Bake meat loaf 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 8

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.

Shepherd's Pie
Debbi Lewis, May 2004.

Debbie received this recipe from her mother-in-law from England. It's quite delicious!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
2 bullion cubes, diluted in just enough water to cover
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
2 lbs. of mashed potatoes
Gravy Flour

Chop onion. Fry beef and onion over medium heat until brown. Drain of juices. Add Worcestershire sauce and bullion mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Thicken with gravy flour mixed with small amount of water. Add additional water to make broth. (You don't want it too soupy. Just add enough water to make it gravy consistency)

Put beef mixture in a casserole dish (approximate size: 2 quart)

Peel and cut potatoes into pieces and put into a pan and cover with water. Cook until potatoes are nice and soft. Drain. Add about 4 tablespoons of butter and just enough milk to make mashing easy. Mash until mixture is smooth. They should be very firm so they will stay separate from the beef mixture.

Put the potato mixture on top of the beef mixture. Make sure that the potatoes cover the beef mixture completely.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1/2 hour or until the beef juices bubble around the edges of the potato mixture.

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).

Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives
From: Chris and Margaret Hansen, January 2006
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
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
Monica J. Pileggi, 2007

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

Bratwurst and 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.

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