Twice Baked Potatoes
4 large baking potatoes
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Note: You can use any type of meat, such as turkey sausage.
2 cups uncooked couscous
2 cups chicken broth
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. Use a fork to fluff up. Toss in 2 tablespoon of olive oil and mix to coat.
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.
Cuban Black Beans
Monica J. Pileggi, October 2005
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.
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.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
From my friend Kim Engle, Dec 02
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 to 10
2 eggs, beaten
1 (15 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies, drained
1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn muffin mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, cream style corn, sour cream and melted butter. Stir in whole kernel corn, cheese, onion and chilies. Stir in the corn muffin mix until just moistened.
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 75 minutes; or until an inserted knife comes out clean and the top is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Note: I sometimes prepare with 2 cans of cream style corn with 1 can of whole kernel corn (drained) for a thicker texture.
Monica J. Pileggi, 1998
I make this every year for Thanksgiving.
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