Thursday, September 29, 2005

La piedra marinada gallinas de Cornualles

Marinated Rock Cornish Hens are a delicious treat if you like poultry - who doesn’t? And it takes only about 45 minutes to an hour to prepare this meal (after marinating the hens for 12-hours).

Ingredients Marinade:

2 TBS oil
1 Shallot chopped
1 Small onion finely chopped
1 Clove of garlic crushed
2 juniper berries crushed
½ tsp dried rosemary
2 peppercorns crushed
2 cups of dry white wine
1 cup vinegar
1 whole clove

Remaining Ingredients:

4 one pound Rock Cornish hens
1 TBS lard
¼ Lb Prosciutto diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 TBS flour
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 TBS meat extract
1 TBS lemon juice
8 slices of stale bread fried in butter at the last minute
6 TBS butter


Prepare a cooked marinade by placing 2 TBS oil in a saucepan and lightly browning the shallot, onion, garlic clove, juniper berries, rosemary and peppercorns. Add the wine, vinegar, and clove then bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool mixture. Place the hens in a bowl and cover with cooked marinade. Cover and marinate for 12-hours.

After the marinating process, remove hens from the liquid, dry them, and truss the birds. Strain the marinade and reserve the juice. Place 1 TBS lard in a casserole and gently brown the prosciutto. Add the hens and brown them on all sides. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle the flour, and add several TBS of the marinade liquid. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat, occasionally basting with a few spoonfuls of the stock. When the hens are cooked through (about 30-minutes) stir in the meat extract and lemon juice; mix carefully.

Transfer the hens to a cutting board and split in two. Place each half on the butter fried bread slices. Spoon the hot pan juices over the hens.

A tasty accompaniment to this meal could be artichoke hearts with butter, or baby snow peas with steamed pearl onions. You might also want to consider freshly steamed asparagus (if they are available) with a sprinkling of Balsamic vinegar and a little melted unsalted butter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lamb Tenderloin with rosemary Au Jus

Many of my friends and acquaintences in the Rocky Mountain and Midwest parts of the country don't care much for lamb. I think it may be because they never had fresh lamb, most of which is shipped to the east and west coasts. Fresh lamb - and I mean up to a week old - is one of the finest tasting meats there is. The previously frozen New Zealand lamb in many of our supermarkets, would in all probability, turn off the most avid lamb lover. Lamb tenderloins with feta cheese ravioli is a culinary delight that is rarely - if ever - found even in the best of restaurants. This is primarily a combined Italian and Greek dish that will delight your palate.

The following recipe is from a dear friend - Linda Pilo - who lives in North Carolina; one of the most creative cooks I have ever known.


8 tenderloins of lamb (lamb loin or leg may be substituted)

Goat (Feta) Cheese filling

4 ounces goat (feta) cheese
1 ounce cream cheese
1 Tablespoon sun-dried tomato, diced
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
8 wonton skins (thin) or homemade pasta dough rolled out thin
Egg wash

Mix cheese with remaining ingredients. Egg wash one side of wonton. Place 2 TBS of filling and cover with other wonton to form a large ravioli. Cut or trim into circles. A cookie cutter will work well here.

Sauteed Swiss chard and Pancetta:

Beet greens (or spinach as a last resort) can be substituted
2 TB olive oil
2 oz pancetta chopped finely
1 TB minced garlic
1 bunch swiss chard, leaves coarsely chopped

Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Add Olive oil and pancetta and cook until lightly browned. Add the garlic and swiss chard and sauté until the greens are wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Au Jus:

8oz lamb trimmings
1-1/2 quarts Veal or Lamb stock
2 cups Merlot or Red Wine
1/2 cup shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon fennel seed

Brown lamb trimmings and degrease. Add 1 cup veal stock at a time and reduce to sauce consistency. Add 1 tsp fennel seed; continue additions until you develop enough sauce. In a separate pan, combine the red wine, shallot, 1 tsp fennel seed and reduce to a syrup. When you have enough reduced stock, add the reduction and simmer 10 min. Adjust salt and pepper and strain.


Season lamb; grill or saute, let rest. Saute chard and cook ravioli; toss in butter and salt. Place a bed of chard in center of plate, top with the ravioli. Drizzle sauce around the plate. Slice the lamb on a bias and lean up against the ravioli. Garnish each tenderloin with a sprig of rosemary and on top of the ravioli with julienne of sundried tomato.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Pane di verdura (Vegetable Bread)

Vegetable bread is ideal to serve by itself or for brunch or dinner with fish, meat, or soup. Although the recipe calls for carrots, red peppers, spinach, asparagus, and corn kernels, any vegetable you have on hand can be used. It makes an ideal snack or light lunch with cheese and fruit.


  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/4 c. milk, warmed to about 100 degrees
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 c. flour (10 to 11 oz.)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. bran flakes
  • 1 stick butter, softened (1/4 lb.)


  • 1 small carrot, cut into 1/4-in. strips
  • 6 small asparagus spears, peeled
  • 1/2 medium red pepper, seeded, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1- to 1 1/2-in. strips
  • 6 oz. spinach, cleaned
  • 1/3 c. corn kernels
  • Egg wash made with 1 egg with half the white removed, beaten
  • 1 Tb. fresh bread crumbs

Place envelope of yeast, 1/4 c. warm milk, and 1/2 tsp. sugar in the bowl of a food mixer and proof for about 5 to 6 minutes, until the mixture bubbles on top. Add the 2 c. flour, 1 tsp. salt, 3 eggs, and 1/2 c. bran flakes, and beat with the flat beater on speed 4 for 3 minutes. Add the stick of butter in pieces and mix on speed 3 for about 30 seconds, just long enough to incorporate the butter. The mixture should be sticky and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depending on time of year, heat, and humidity), until at least double in bulk.

For the vegetables: Place the carrot strips in 1 in. of water in a skillet and boil for about 5 minutes. Add the 6 asparagus spears and pepper strips, cover, and boil about 2 minutes. Then add the spinach and corn, cover, and boil 1 minute longer. Using a slotted spoon, spread the vegetables out in a large pan so they cool quickly.

When the dough has risen, push it down gently and place on a floured board. Spread the dough out by patting with a wet hand (to prevent the dough from sticking to it) into a rectangle approximately 11 x 13 in. Arrange the vegetables on top of the dough.

Roll the dough with the vegetables inside, using a dough scraper to scrape the dough off the table. It should form an oblong loaf about 12 in. long by 3 in. thick.

Butter a baking sheet and place the loaf on it seam-side down. Fold a piece of aluminum foil (about 2 1/2 to 3 ft. long) lengthwise into fourths. Butter the foil and wrap it around the bread. Tie loosely in place with a piece of string. This will hold the bread in shape, preventing it from spreading out too much on the cookie sheet. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Let rise at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Remove the string and the collar and continue cooking 10 minutes longer at the same temperature, for a total of 30 minutes. Let the bread rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. Cut the bread into 3/4-in. thick slices.

Arrange the bread on a serving plate. Slices can be served as a garnish to meat and fish or served with cheese. If made ahead, refrigerate the loaf and reheat for a few minutes in the oven so it is about room temperature for serving.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Pumpkin Nut Bread

It's PUMPKIN season. If you want a ready quick bread for
toasting in the morning, try this while the pumpkins are in season.

• 2/3 cups shortening
• 2 2/3 cups sugar
• 4 eggs
• 2 cups pumpkin - fresh pureed (or canned)
• 2/3 cups water
• 3 1/3 cups flour
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp cloves - ground
• 1/2 tsp allspice
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 1 cup walnuts either chopped or crushed
• 8 jars wide mouth w/lids and rings for; sealing, or 4 - 18 oz Jars)
• 8 waxed paper circles cut to fit inside jars

Cream shortening and sugar together, adding sugar
slowly. Beat in eggs, pumpkin and water. Set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, ground cloves,
allspice, cinnamon and baking soda. Add to pumpkin
mixture and stir well. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into
greased canning jars, filling only half-full. Place jars
in a pan of water. Bake upright in preheated 325
degree oven for about 45 minutes. (Cake will rise and
pull away from sides of jar.)

When done, remove one jar at a time from oven.
If cake rises above the top of the jar, slice off the
excess. While still hot, place wax paper circle on the
top end of the cake. Wipe sealing edge of jar. Place lid
on jar and close tightly with ring. Turn jar upside down.
(Cake will loosen at this time.) Repeat with other jars.
Leave jars upside down until sealed. (Jar is sealed if
lid remains flat when pressed in center.)

To serve:Open jar and if necessary, slide a knife around
inside of the jar to loosen the cake, and remove the cake
from the jar. Warm cake in the oven if desired, or slice
and toast. Slice and serve with whipped cream or butter.
Because the jar is sealed, the cake keeps indefinitely.
It can be made ahead of the holidays.

1/2 Cup Raisins are are optional

(We still have a few jars we made in 1998 while I was
teaching college in Waco, TX, and they taste great even
at this late date; still very good)

Il pollo o il coniglio con le noci di pino ©

Pine nuts, or pinoli, are not the least expensive nuts in the world, but what a flavor and taste they impart to most any white meat recipe that calls for nuts. And when toasted first then crushed - or even whole as this recipe calls for, you are in for a rare culinary treat.


1 2 ½ Lb chicken cut into pieces (can use boneless breasts-skin on)
5 TBS butter
1 Large onion thinly sliced
3 tsp pine nuts
1 slice very finely chopped prosciutto
Freshly ground black pepper to your taste
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/2 Cup chicken stock/broth
1 TBS flour
1 Cup heavy cream


Rinse and dry the chicken pieces. Heat the butter in a heavy, heat proof casserole dish with a cover; add the chicken, sliced onion, prosciutto, and pine nuts. Cook over medium heat while frequently turning the chicken pieces. Once they are evenly browned season with the salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover and simmer very slowly, occasionally adding a few TBS of the stock.

Once the chicken is tender, remove the pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate. Scrape the contents of the casserole dish into a blender with the flour and puree the mixture. Pour the puree back into the casserole dish stirring continuously over low heat, and blend in the heavy cream. Simmer over very low heat until the sauce is slightly thickened- do NOT let it boil!! Add the chicken pieces, reheating them thoroughly so they will absorb the flavor of the sauce. Serve immediately

Final Notes:

This can be served with most any pasta - egg noodles are preferred. Spinach, baby carrots, rice, an antipasto, or just about anything you choose to accompany the chicken dish will work. REAL garlic bread is also recommended. (Posted here somewhere down the line.)

This recipe also works very well with rabbit if you’re so inclined.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Beef au Gratin

If you enjoy beef, and you like garlic, this recipe is the epitome of both. With a minimum amount of planning, you can have an extraordinary meal in less than 45-minutes. We have it at least twice a month, and have a hard time eating anything else at a later date. Served with the Sliced Garlic/Peppercorn Bread toasted, and a small antipasto, this is one of THE best meals you will ever eat!!


1 ½ - 2 Lbs of boiled Beef (Eye of round works well here - shown above)
6 TBS butter
3 Leeks - white part only finely chopped
2 Garlic buds (Largest ones you can muster up!) finely chopped
3 TBS flour
2 Cups hot beef broth
¼ Cup dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 Egg Yolks
1/3 Lb Gruyere or Swiss cheese

The beef must be boiled first. For best results, trim the beef of excess fat. Submerge the eye of the round in boiling salted water. This way, the layer of albumin instantly coagulates around the meat on contact with the boiling water and assures the retention of all its nutrition. Boil for three hours on very low heat. Cool for several hours, or you can refrigerate the whole roast overnight.

Cut into ¼ inch thick slices

In a medium sized skillet, melt four TBS butter and gently sauté the chopped leeks and garlic until they turn a golden brown. Sprinkle the flour over the leeks and gradually add the hot beef broth; stir constantly over medium heat. Add the wine. When the sauce has reached a smooth, creamy consistency, remove from the heat. Season with the salt and peppers. Once cooled, add the egg yolks one at a time blending in well with a wooden spoon or wire whisk.

Butter the bottom of an ovenproof dish and cover the bottom with sauce. Sprinkle half of the grated Gruyere cheese. Place the slices of meat on top of one another and cover with the remaining sauce and cheese. Dot with the remaining 2 TBS of butter and place in a 400F. oven. When golden brown, remove from oven and serve immediately.

With this particular dish, REAL garlic bread (posted here) goes extremely well, as does a glass of a hearty red wine.

Green bean almondine also goes very well with this meal.

2 cans whole green beans, drained

5-6 slices bacon,fried crisp; 1 sm. onion, finely chopped;1 sm. can chopped mushrooms, drained; 1 c. slivered almond; Parmesan cheese. In baking dish, alternate layers of green beans with crumbled bacon, onion, mushrooms, and almonds. Bake at 350 degrees until thoroughly heated and liquid reduced. Makes 6 servings.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Apple-Peach Walnut Crumb Pie ©

If you like apple or peach and/or crumb pies as many of us do, you will most likely enjoy this one. It's a little more work having to grind the walnuts, but the result is wonderfullly rich, toasty tasting pie. It's the best of both worlds.

Ingredients for pie:

1 Unbaked, 9" or 10" pie crust

4 1/2 Cups peeled, thinly sliced apples (your favorite)
2 Cups peeled, 1/2" diced peaches (canned is quickest)
3/4 tsp cinnnamon
1/4 tsp cardamon powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 TBS flour
1 heaping tsp cornstarch (dissolve in 2 TBS of the peach syrup)
1/4 tsp salt

Prepare the crumb topping ahead of time.


Preheat oven to 425F. Prepare crust and place in pie pan or pie plate. Combine all above ingredients in a large bowl and mix well; spoon into pie crust using as little juice as you can.

Spoon crumb topping over pie filling

Crumb topping ingredients

1/2 Cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup of walnut meal, flour, or finely crushed walnuts
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter.

Mix together the flour, sugars, walnut, salt, then cut in hard butter to get a crumbly mixture. Spread evenly over the filling.

Bake at 425F. for 15-minutes, then reduce to 350. Continue baking at 350F. for 35-40 minutes. Serve hot with French vanilla ice cream, and a steaming hot cup of your favorite flavored coffee.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Baked Eggs

With winter fast approaching, baked eggs make for a hearty breakfast or a brunch before shoveling that wonderful white stuff. Although basically a breakfast or brunch dish, it also can double for a Sunday night supper. It's very filling, and will last you most of the day.


• 8 Eggs
• 8 Oz Sour Cream
• 2 4 Ounce Cans chopped green chilies
• 1 Cup shredded Monterray or Colby cheese
• 1 1/2 cups diced 1/4" diced ham
• 2 TBS Butter
• 4 Gratin dishes


Butter each gratin dish. Layer the bottoms with diced ham, then chilis, 2-3 dollops of sour cream, and some shredded Jack. Crack 2-eggs for each dish, and pour over sour cream. Continue building layers until everything is used, then spread the remaining shredded Jack cheese on top. Cover each gratin dish with foil, and bake at 350F. for approximately 15-minutes. Remove foil, and bake for another 10 minutes at 350F.

These can be assembled a day ahead of time and refrigerated. If they are assembled a day ahead of time and refrigerated, the eggs may take a little longer to fully cook.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Antipasto ©

Many of the meals here call for a salad or an antipasto either before or with the entree. Here is a simple and quickly made antipasto.

1 Green Pepper thin sliced
1 medium Tomato 1/2" diced
1 Onion halved and thin sliced
8 Oz. Fresh Sliced Mushrooms
1/2 cup halved pitted black olives
Hard (Genoa) Salami 1/2" diced
Provolone Cheese 1/2" diced
Parmesan and/or Romano cheese freshly grated
Artichoke Hearts


¾ Cup Olive oil
¼ Cup Wine Vinegar or dry Marsala wine
3 Crushed Garlic Buds
1/4 tsp oregano
Fresh Ground Pepper

Toss salad ingredients, and pour dressing on the veggies immediately before serving. Mix well and serve with REAL garlic bread (Posted here) or croutons. Garnish with a sprig of oregano or thyme.

You can add cherry or grape tomatoes, tortellini - anything really. An antipasto is just to whet the appetite.


If using grape or cherry tomatoes, pierce them first metal skewer, and let them soak in the dressing for an hour or so before serving.

Amish Scrapple

This version of scrapple does NOT use hog's head, jowels, liver, offal or any other pork by-products.

2 pounds pork shoulder (or pork butt)
1 whole fresh pork hock
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup white cornmeal
1 teaspoon cayenne
1-2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp savory
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 large shredded apple-skin and core removed

Cut up pork shoulder (butt) into 2 inch chunks. Place the pork chunks, pork hock, sage and cayenne in a stock pot and cover with water. Simmer for about 2 to 3 hours or until meat falls apart. Drain and reserve stock. Pull meat from bone and chop all the meat with a knife or food processor, being careful not to grind it too fine. Set aside.

Measure 5 cups of stock and return to pot. Bring it to a simmer; add meat, cornmeal, salt and peppers, and stir constantly until thick and smooth, about 15 to 30 minutes.When thick, stir in shredded apple. Pour mixture into 2 loaf pans and refrigerate until completely chilled and set into a firm block. Un-mold scrapple. Slice and fry until golden brown and crisp on both sides.

Goes great with eggs, sausage, hash browns, home fries, and a toasted Kaiser roll with your favorite jam or jelly. Apple jelly is particularly good here. Once removed from the loaf pan, it can be frozen in a large freezer bag until you are ready to use it. Makes 12 servings

New England Clam Chowder ©

One summer very long ago, we went to Maine for a weeks vacation at Old Orchard Beach, and stayed at the summer home of friends. The ocean body surfing was great, the water was freeeeeeeeeeezing, but the jazz at the local clubs was hot - not what one would expect in the 50's and 60's in a Maine summer resort town. We even got to sit in with the groups; I was a musician by trade.

It was during that trip, that I finally realized that a clam was not just simply a clam or something to be used for bait, but a delicacy to be savored. As a teenager in the 50's, a bunch of us kids would go clamming every weekend near Ocean Beach, a Connecticut coastal city where we lived. Normally, we'd bring back 1 to 1 1/2 bushels of clams. The next day we'd break them open and use them for flounder or fluke fishing bait. Little did we know.

The friends we went to Maine with were originally FROM Maine. The second day we were there, we went to the docks and bought four 2-pound lobsters and a bushel of clams. We spent several hours shucking them, and finally had nearly a gallon. Then came the chopping and cooking. When they were cooked and cooled, the following recipe was the appetizer that was to preceed the lobster. We never did get to cooking the lobster that night, because our hosts made 5-gallons of chowder. It was addicting.

• 1 - 3 Cups/Cans of Cooked Chopped Clams
• 1 Onion Diced
• 3-4 Medium Potatoes, peeled and diced to 3/4 inch cube
• 3-6 Strips of thick bacon
• 2 TBS butter
• 2 TBS bacon fat (can also use fatback salt pork diced and browned in lieu of bacon)
• 4 TBS Flour
• 2 Cans of evaporated milk or the equivalent of heavy cream
• 1 8-Oz. bottle of clam juice
• Additional milk (Optional)
• Salt and Pepper
• 2 Tsp Chopped Parsley

Drain clams and reserve the juice. Fry the bacon in a pan. When done, remove bacon strips, place on a paper towel and let cool, then crumble the strips and set aside. Saute onions until they are near translucent. In the meantime, make a roux consisting of the 2-TBS of bacon fat, 2 TBS butter, and 4-TBS flour. You want a nice white roux, so strain the bacon fat before making the roux. Add butter to bacon fat and heat to melt the butter until hot, but NOT smoking - just hot enough so that when you add the flour, the flour will bubble.

Remove from heat then whisk in the flour for the roux until well blended. Add evaporated milk, sauteed onion, bacon bits, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer on medium heat, and then add diced potatoes. If it is too thick for you, add 1/2 cup of milk at a time until it is of the consistency you like. But remember, the potatoes will add liquid when cooking. When the potatoes are tender, add the chopped parsley and the clams. Bring back to a simmer, and simmer for another 5-minutes. Sprinkle fresh ground pepper, chopped parsley, and additional bacon bits on the chowder before serving. Serve with REAL garlic bread.

This is a wonderfully thick chowder that can be served in a regular or sourdough bread bowl.

This chowder is a great pre-cursor to any seafood meal.

Smoked Southwest Chicken Marinade ©

This marinade is not overpowering and provides a nice Southwest flavor.

Tequila Marinade

1/3 Cup Oil
1/2 Cup Lime or Lemon juice
1-2 Diced jalapeno or habanero peppers
1/4 Cup tequilla
2-3 TBS chopped cilantro
4 Cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp rubbed sage
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Place chicken in a sealable bag and add marinade. Seal, shake around a few times during the refrigeration period of 2-4 hours. Prepare the charcoal, and pre-soaked mesquite chips. Place chicken pieces on grill half way up the BBQ'er. Then thoroughly cook, slice in strips and arrange attractively on a plate with a cilantro garnish. Serve with lots of salsa and chips, fried green tomatoes, or jalapeno corn bread.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Beef and Chicken Manicotti ©

This Manicotti recipe is for a large gathering. It's an all day project and lots of work, but I guarantee, it will satisfy the hungriest of souls. It has two different shell stuffings - chicken and beef - and two different sauces - a red sauce and a white sauce.


28 manicotti shells ( 2 boxes) We prefer Barilla Shells

For the red sauce:

3 tablespoons quality olive oil
1 medium onion -- finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper -- finely chopped
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 quart canned whole tomatoes with juice
3 teaspoons Spice Island Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning (recipe posted here somewhere)
2 teaspoons Spice Island Italian Herb
1/2 cup Sweet Marsala wine
6 - 10 fresh basil leaves -- torn or 2 TBS dried leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Beef Filling

1 2-3 lb. beef chuck roast or eye of the round
2 tablespoons cracked fennel seeds
1 teaspoon anise seed
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon coarse ground pepper
2 cloves garlic -- crushed
1 container ricotta cheese (8 oz.)
1 cup water
1 cup red sauce

Chicken Filling

3 - 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces sliced almonds
1 can sliced mushrooms (2-1/2 oz.) -- drained
8 drops Angostura Bitters
1/2 cup shredded prosciutto
1 container ricotta cheese (8 oz.)

Bechamel (White) Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Select the number of manicotti shells for the number of persons to be served ( 2-each of the beef and 2-each of the chicken). The recipe makes enough to stuff at least 28 shells, so cut the recipes in half for 14 shells.


Red Sauce

Sauté garlic, onion, pepper in the olive oil. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thick (2-3 hours.) Let cool, then puree in a blender. BE SURE IT HAS COOLED FIRST!!!!

Beef Filling

Place beef roast in cold water with the spices and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium heat. (Crock pot works well here, but takes longer) Turn heat down, and simmer for 2 – 3 hours or until meat flakes easily. Let cool and remove all fat.

Break into 1-inch chunks, and put in food processor and chop. Add another teaspoon of fennel seed, and ½ tsp of anise seed to beef in food processor. Chop finely. Save in bowl and refrigerate until ready to stuff shells.

Chicken Filling

Place chicken in just enough cold water to cover it, and add the 1 ½ Tsp Nutmeg and the salt. Bring to boil over medium heat. Turn heat down, and simmer until done (30-minutes). DO NOT over cook.

Cool chicken, then break into 1-inch pieces and place in food processor with 1 Tsp nutmeg, almonds and mushrooms. Chop to a course mixture. Place in bowl and refrigerate until ready to fill shells.

White Sauce

Melt butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, remove from heat and whisk in flour until well blended, then pour in the milk and cream all at once. Bring to a boil while whisking constantly. When thick enough to heavily coat whisk, remove from heat. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.


Chicken - Blend in one container of Ricotta cheese and shredded Prosciutto with the chicken mixture. Stuff tubes, keeping them on separate plates.

Beef - Blend in one container of Ricotta cheese with the beef mixture and 1 cup red sauce. Stuff shells, and keep separate on another plate.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking dish or pan large enough to hold 14-16 stuffed tubes.

Arrange tubes, chicken-filled in one row, beef filled in a second row.

Pour white sauce over chicken-filled tubes, and red sauce over beef-filled tubes – alternating so that you have a red and white filled baking dish. Drizzle stripes of white sauce over the red; drizzle stripes of red sauce over the white. Bake for approximately 30-minutes.

Leftovers freeze well, but the shells may get a little 'leathery', so before reheating them, spritz with water and cover them with waxed paper so they steam throuogh well and tenderize.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pepperoni Lasagna ©

I think everyone in the world has their own lasagna recipe; this particular recipe has at least one ingredient that is not presently available - so far as I know right now. BUT, you can make your own - the recipe is at the end. Spice Islands had a Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning(1) that makes good sauce better; a great sauce, incomparable! They stopped making it a few years back. They got so many requests for it, that the company started making it again for a while; then once again, stopped production. I bought a case of the jars when I was emailed that it once again would go out of production. The Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning, combined with Spice Islands Italian Herb (still in production) is a match beyond your wildest tastes. This a VERY large recipe for a 12” x 18” x 3” pan. It will feed at least 10 people - and maybe more. It freezes well if you have leftovers. The recipe can be cut in half for a smaller portion.


4 TBS quality olive oil
4 Large garlic cloves
2 medium onions ¼ inch diced
2 green peppers ¼ inch diced
1 Lb whole mushrooms, sliced
2 Quarts whole, canned tomatoes
2 6-Oz cans of tomato paste
½ Cup sweet Marsala wine
2 TBS Spice Islands Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning
2 TBS Spice Island Italian Herbs
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 package of pre-sliced pepperoni(*)
1 Lb. lean ground beef
1 Lb bulk Italian sausage or sausages removed from the casings

2 1-Lb containers of ricotta cheese
1 Lb shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses

2 Packages of Barilla Lasagna noodles
Olive oil - 1 TBS


In a large pot, heat olive oil, then add finely chopped garlic buds. Sautee until golden, then add diced onion, green pepper, ground black pepper, Italian herb, salt, and sugar. Sautee until soft, then add sliced mushrooms. Sautee for 5-minutes.

(*)In a separate pan or small pot, bring 2-cups of water to a boil, and then add the sliced pepperoni. Remove from heat, and let sit for 10-minutes. Drain off water and grease; dry on paper towel. Slice pepperoni rounds in half, then in half again so you end up with quarters. Add to the onion/pepper mix; stir well.

In another large pan, brown the ground beef; drain, add to sauce. Brown sausage; drain, and add to sauce.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings, and the wine. Stir well breaking up the whole canned tomatoes, bring to a boil then turn heat to very low, and simmer for a few hours stirring every so often until it thickens. Once the sauce is thick, remove from heat and let cool. When cooled, you can pour it into a food processing bowl and pulse a few times to make it a little smoother, OR you can leave the sauce chunky (as we like it.)

Boil the lasagna noodles according to manufactures directions. Drain, rinse, pat dry with paper towels, and cover the noodles so they don’t dry out.

When all is cooked and ready, start building the lasagna.


1. Oil the pan, then spread a thin layer of the sauce.
2. A layer of noodles.
3. Sauce, even dollops of ricotta (heaping tablespoons)
4. A sprinkling of mozzarella
5. Sprinkle parmesan and Romano cheeses

Repeat layers until all the fantastic ingredients are used. The top layer should be sauce, some shredded mozzarella, and a sprinkling of Parmesan and Romano cheeses.

Cover with tin foil and bake at 325F. for approximaely 45-minutes. Remove the foil during the last 5-minutes of baking time.

This dinner/supper should be served with an Antipasto with lettuce, tomato, artichokes, black olives, diced Genoa salami, onion, green pepper, diced Provolone cheese, olive oil, a little vinegar of your choice, and grated Romano cheese as a precursor to the meal, REAL garlic bread (Posted) and a large quantity of a good quality Chianti - either white or red.

If you have the time and the ingredients, make canolli or a cassata (both posted). Have some dry Marsala on hand, or servings of espresso to accompany the dessert.

(1) This is as close as one can get to The Spice Islands Spaghetti Sauce seasoning:

3-1/2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon summer savory
1-1/2 teaspoons rosemary
1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
4-1/4 teaspoons onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground marjoram
2-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 teaspoons ground basil
1 TBS Porcini mushroom powder

If you can't find the powders called for, get the leaf varieties. Put the mix in a coffee bean grinder and run it until you have a fine powder. You may have to do this in separate batches. The final Seasoning powder calls for 1 TBS per batch of sauce. For the ABOVE sauce recipe, use 2 tsp - it's a little more potent than Spice Islands. Store remaining powdered spice in a tight fitting lidded jar, and in the dark. The intensity of the ground leaves is much more flavorful.

LOL - be prepared to gain a few pounds.