Spinach & Sausage Stuffed Shells

Spinach & Sausage Stuffed Shells

Spinach & Sausage Stuffed Shells 




Ingredients:

16-18 jumbo pasta shells

1 pound fresh pork sausage

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeeze dry

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

salt and freshly ground pepper


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and fill a large bowl with cold water and ice, set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cook according to package directions. Drain well then add to ice water until ready to stuff.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork sausage then use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage, cook 5-6 minutes until browned.

Add garlic and cook 30 seconds then add tomatoes and spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in ricotta cheese.

Using a spoon, fill pasta shells with pork filling and arrange in a baking dish. Sprinkle tops with shredded cheese then bake in the oven 25-30 minutes until cheese has melted and tips of shells begin to crisp and brown.

Chicken Pizza Rolls

Chicken Pizza Rolls

Chicken Pizza Rolls



Ingredients:

2 organic chicken breasts

1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella

20 slices pepperoni

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

1 cups pizza sauce


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole pan with olive oil.

Wash the chicken breasts and pound out to ½ inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded cheese on top of each chicken breast. Sprinkle with basil, then arrange pepperoni on top of the chicken breasts in an even layer. Roll each breast and place, seam side down, in the prepared casserole pan.

Pour the pizza sauce over the rolled chicken breasts and sprinkle with the remaining basil. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until cooked through.

Eggplant Pesto Rolls

Eggplant Pesto Rolls

Eggplant Pesto Rolls



Ingredients:

For the Pesto

½ cup walnuts

2-3 cups basil leaves

4 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Eggplant Rolls

4 large eggplants

Many cracks of sea salt

⅛ cup olive oil

1 heaping Tablespoon crushed garlic

Juice from 1 lemon

2 red bell peppers, roasted and cut into thin strips


Directions:

For the Pesto

Toast the walnuts in a toaster oven for a few minutes — watch closely, they go from browned to black very quickly.

Combine the walnuts, basil, garlic and salt in a food processor, add the olive oil, then the nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Combine until your pesto is a nice consistency — don’t over blend.

For the Eggplant Rolls

Trim the ends from the eggplants and thinly slice, ¼ inch thick, the long way. Arrange on parchment paper lined baking sheets and generously sprinkle with sea salt. Allow the eggplant to sit for 20 minutes, until some liquid is drawn out. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Use a paper towel to wipe the moisture, and most of the salt, from the eggplants.

In a small bowl combine the olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Generously coat the tops of the eggplant with the garlic mixture. Roast in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Let it get really tender. Remove from heat and cool.

Spread 1 Tablespoon of pesto down the center, crosswise, of each slice of roasted eggplant. Top with a strip of bell pepper, then roll and secure with a toothpick. Arrange on a serving platter, and repeat with the remaining eggplant, pesto and bell pepper. Top with chopped, fresh basil and serve chilled.

Feta & Greek Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Feta & Greek Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Feta & Greek Cucumber Yogurt Dip




Ingredients:

1 hothouse cucumber

14 ounces containers Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced garlic

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste


Directions:

Cut cucumber in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds then discard them. Grate cucumber.

Scatter grated cucumber over a clean dishcloth (or paper towels). Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Then let sit at least 10 minutes. Then, gather up the corners of the dishcloth and squeeze as much liquid from grated cucumber as possible.

In a medium bowl, combine squeezed cucumber with yogurt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, chopped dill, garlic and the feta cheese. Season with 3/4 teaspoon of salt then taste and adjust as necessary with more salt.

Serve immediately.

Sour Cream Baked Salmon

Sour Cream Baked Salmon

Sour Cream Baked Salmon 




Ingredients:

Four 6-ounce salmon filets

1/2 cup sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper


Directions:

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish. (Instead of oiling the pan, you could also line with parchment paper).

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mustard and the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place salmon onto baking sheet then spread about 2 tablespoons of sour cream mixture on top of each salmon filet.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes until barely done in the center at the thickest part of the salmon. The center should be firm, but with a small amount of uncooked salmon in the very center. Depending on how thick the salmon is, it may need a few minutes longer.

Remove from oven then cover lightly with aluminum foil and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. During this time, the salmon will continue to cook.

Guinness Beef Stew

Guinness Beef Stew

Guinness Beef Stew



Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/4 cup flour

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

2 cups coarsely chopped carrots

1 cup coarsely chopped celery

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 11.5-ounce Guinness Stout beer

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups beef stock

salt and pepper


Directions:

Heat oven to 275 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. While the oil heats, pat the beef dry, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, and then roll in flour so that all sides are lightly dusted.

Working in batches and adding additional oil as needed, add beef in one layer to the hot oil and brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.

Add onions, carrots and celery to the same Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until the onion just begin to sweat and soften. Add garlic and cook another minute.

Pour in Guinness and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan to get up any brown bits left over from cooking the beef and vegetables.

Add the reserved beef, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, beef stock and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir then cover with lid and place into oven. Cook 1 hour then check on the stew. If the top of the stew is dry, add some extra beef stock or water. Taste for seasoning and add salt/pepper as needed then cover again and cook another 30 minutes to an hour until the beef is tender and can easily be pulled apart with a fork.

Cheesy Stuffed Peppers

Cheesy Stuffed Peppers

Cheesy Stuffed Peppers



Ingredients:

6-8 green, orange, or yellow bell peppers

1-2 pounds ground beef

1 medium white onion, chopped

1 large can of diced tomatoes

2 garlic wedges, minced

1 cup of cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut the tops off the peppers and remove all the seeds and white stuff. Simmer peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, garlic and diced tomato and fry for about 3 minutes. Stir in ground beef. Cook the meat until it is no longer pink.

Stuff the mixture into the hollowed-out peppers. Place stuffed peppers onto a baking tray

Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Top with cheddar cheese and bake for 5 additional minutes.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler



Ingredients:

1 stick ( 1/2 cup) butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 quarts whole strawberries, capped and washed

4 ounces cream cheese, cut in small pieces


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and pour into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour directly over the butter in the baking dish, but do not stir.

Add the strawberries, arranging in a single layer as much as possible. Sprinkle cream cheese pieces over strawberries. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and edges are bubbling. (Crust rises up and around the fruit, but fruit will still peek out of top.)

Pickle Poppers

Pickle Poppers

Pickle Poppers

 

Ingredients:

Pickle Poppers:

6 kosher dill pickles

1 cup cheddar & horseradish pub cheese

6 egg roll wrappers

Oil, for pan-frying

For the Chipotle Mayo Dip:

¾ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

½ teaspoon kosher salt


Directions:

Using an apple corer, remove the centers of the pickles. To do this, stand the pickle straight up, twist the corer to break the pickle skin, and then push it down until you reach the opposite end of the pickle. Twist and pull towards you to remove the inside of the pickle. You can discard these centers or save them to use in relish, macaroni salad, potato salad, or tartar sauce.

Spoon the pub cheese into the cored pickle, pressing it in until the pickle is full. You will want to hold your thumb against the opposite end of the pickle to make sure that the filling doesn't squeeze out as you're pushing more in.

Once the pickles are filled with cheese, get out your egg roll wrappers. Take one pickle and lay it in the center of an egg roll wrapper. You want the egg roll wrapper to be angled so that it looks like a diamond, with the pickle going down the center.

Fold over one side of the egg roll wrapper to cover the pickle. Then, fold up the bottom end and fold down the top end. Dip a finger in water and run it over the unfolded side of the wrapper. Then, roll it up tightly. You should have a traditional egg roll shape now! Repeat with the remaining pickles.

In a heavy-bottomed skillet, fill about ½" high with oil and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add in the pickles. Pan fry until golden brown all around, turning to cook evenly.

Remove the pickles from heat and place on a rack or track to cool.

As the pickles cool, add the Chipotle Mayo Dip ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until well-combined.

Smokey White Bean and Ham Soup

Smokey White Bean and Ham Soup

Smokey White Bean and Ham Soup



Ingredients:

1 1/2 tbsp canola oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 sprig rosemary

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 lb dried small white beans, rinsed and picked through

1 lb ham steak, fat removed then diced

1 smoked ham hock

10 cups of water

kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Directions:


Place a large pot over medium heat. Add oil to pot. Once the oil is hot, add diced onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Stir. Saute over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are softened.
.
Add the dried white beans, garlic, bay leaf, dried oregano & basil to the pot. Stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Add the ham hock, diced ham, parsley and rosemary sprig to the pot. Cover the ingredients with about 8 cups of water. Add 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Stir.

Raise heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Once you reach a boil, reduce heat to medium low. Simmer soup over medium low heat for 2 - 2 1/2 hours until the beans are tender. If soup starts to get too thick, add a bit more water.

Once beans are soft, remove the ham hock and rosemary sprig. Taste then season as necessary with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Soup can be made a day in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Queso Dip

Queso Dip

Queso Dip


Ingredients:

1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic minced into a paste

1 cup Monterrey jack, shredded

1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon cumin

pinch cayenne

tbsp butter

tbsp flour

1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos

2 tbsp jalapeno juice

splash of beer

Salt and pepper


Directions:


First dice onion, mince garlic, and chop jalapenos. Place one mid-sized sauce-pan on the stove for later and one small sauce-pan on a burner over low to medium-low heat. Add 1 tbs oil to the small sauce-pan, preheat, then add onion. Saute until onion is translucent, do not caramelize. Add garlic to sauce-pan with onions, saute© for a minute or until garlic has softened. Add milk, heavy cream and beer to the onions and garlic and raise the heat to medium. Stir frequently until just under boiling. Do not allow it to come to a boil.

Next, turn mid-sized sauce pan on, to a medium heat. Make a roux by: adding 1 tbsp of butter to sauce-pan, allow to melt but do not allow the butter to brown. Add one tbsp of flour to the melted butter and stir frequently for 30 seconds to a minute, just to cook the flour. You do not want the roux to take on any color. Slowly add small amounts of the hot milk to the roux, stirring until smooth each time to prevent clumping.

Once the milk has completely been added to the roux, add 2 tbsp jalapeno juice, and chopped jalapenos, cumin, and cayenne, stir to combine. Stir frequently until the milk is nearly up to a boil, then remove from heat and add Monterrey jack and cheddar. Stir, then taste. Adjust flavor as necessary with salt, pepper, and more cheese if you desire. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Chicken Curry Balls

Chicken Curry Balls

Chicken Curry Balls 



Ingredients:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 cup chopped cooked chicken

1 cup chopped toasted almonds

1 tablespoon chutney

Salt, to taste

Breadcrumbs or panko


Directions:

Combine cream cheese and mayo. Add curry powder and taste for spice. Add chicken, almonds, chutney and salt. Refrigerate until firm. Form into small balls, then cover and chill for 24 hours

Crab & Garlic Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab & Garlic Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab & Garlic Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms




Ingredients:

18 button or cremini mushrooms, scrubbed clean, stems removed

1 tablespoon butter, melted

For the Garlic Cream Cheese Filling:

½ package (or 4 oz) cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

½ tsp dried parsley

½ tsp dried oregano

For the Crab Topping:

¼ lb lump crabmeat, picked clean

6 Ritz Crackers, crushed

1 green onion, chopped

2½ tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Dash of Old Bay Seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Horseradish Dip:

¾ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons horseradish

Green onions


Directions:

Mix together all of the Horseradish Dip ingredients except for the green onions. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together all Garlic Cream Cheese Filling ingredients.

In another bowl, add crabmeat, Ritz Cracker crumbs, green onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bat Seasoning, and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Using a spoon, fill the mushroom caps about ¾ of the way with the cream cheese mixture. Then, top each mushroom cap with about a tablespoon of the crab cake mixture.

Place all of the stuffed mushrooms in a greased baking pan and pour the melted butter evenly over all of them. Sprinkle the tops with Old Bay.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until crab cake topping has become golden-brown.

Italian Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Fried Olives

Italian Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Fried Olives

Italian Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Fried Olives



Ingredients:

1 Italian sausage, casing removed

3 tablespoons goat cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped

½ teaspoon lemon peel, grated

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Pinch of salt and pepper

30 large green olives, pitted

½ cup all purpose flour

1 large egg

1 teaspoon water

Vegetable oil


Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients and mix until well-combined

Roll a pinch of the mixture between your thumb and your forefinger and then stuff the ball into the pitted olive. Push the stuffing in to tightly pack and add more if necessary. Continue with all of the olives.

Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the breadcrumbs onto a rimmed baking sheet. Place the leftover breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl, place the flour in another shallow bowl, and place the egg and teaspoon of water in a third shallow bowl and whisk to combine.

Roll each olive in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg to coat, and then roll in the breadcrumbs until fully covered.

Place the breaded olives on the baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate until ready to fry.

In a heavy, large saucepan or deep-fryer, add the vegetable oil until a depth of 3 inches is reached. When the oil has heated and begins to bubble slightly, carefully add the olives.

Cook them for about 5-7 minutes, or until the exterior reaches a deep golden brown and the sausage inside is cooked. Carefully remove the olives from the oil using a slotted spoon and set them on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat with the next batch of olives until all olives have been fried.

Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread 



Ingredients:

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon Instant or Rapid-rise yeast

1 1/2 cups water


Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours. Overnight works great.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.

Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

Fried Spinach Bites

Fried Spinach Bites

Fried Spinach Bites




Ingredients:

3 packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

10 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 8 oz can water chestnuts, finely chopped

2 green onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Black pepper to taste

Canola oil, for frying

1 egg, beaten

½ cup flour

½ cup panko breadcrumbs


Directions:

Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large mixing bowl. It is best to use a hand mixer here. Add spinach, cheese, bacon, green onions, water chestnuts, garlic, and black pepper, and mix.

Chill the dip in the refrigerator until firm. Roll the dip into bite-sized balls-- you don't want them to be too big or the ratio of spinach dip filling to crunchy outside will be off. Set the balls on a baking sheet.

Heat oil in a heavy pot or wok over medium-high.
Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Place the flour in another shallow bowl, and the panko breadcrumbs in a third.

Coat the balls in flour, then egg, and then panko. If it seems like they have empty spaces, double-coat them.

Fry 4-5 at a time until golden brown, flipping half-way through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the Spinach Dip Bites from the oil and let drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Ranch Chicken Bites

Ranch Chicken Bites

Ranch Chicken Bites




Ingredients:

3 cups cooked chicken, shredded

¼ cup Ranch dressing

¾ cup shredded cheddar

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

4 oz cream cheese

1 green onion, chopped

½ cup flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups crushed cheez its

3 tablespoons butter, melted


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add chicken, cream cheese, ranch dressing, cheddar cheese, green onion, and taco seasoning to a large bowl. Mix until well-combined.

Add the flour, eggs, and cheez its to three separate shallow bowls. Take the chicken mixture and roll into 2 inch balls. Roll each ball in the flour, then the egg, then the cheez-its.

Place each ball on a prepared baking sheet and drizzle lightly with melted butter. Bake 15 minutes. Then turn the balls over and bake another 5-10 minutes, or until they turn golden brown.

Toasted Tortellini & Pesto Cheese Dip

Toasted Tortellini & Pesto Cheese Dip

Toasted Tortellini & Pesto Cheese Dip




Ingredients:

For the Tortellini:

1 lb tortellini, cooked according to package instructions

1 cup milk

3 eggs

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup pine nuts

¼ cup fresh parsley

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil cooking spray

For the Pesto Dip:

1 pound part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

6 ounces Provolone cheese, shredded

6 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups white wine

½ cup basil pesto


Directions:

For the Tortellini:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the milk and eggs.
Dip the cooked tortellini into the egg wash. Stir to coat the tortellini.

In a food processor or blender, process the panko, Parmesan, pine nuts, parsley, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture into another wide, shallow bowl.

Put the tortellini into the breadcrumb mixture and toss to coat well.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place the tortellini on. Spray them liberally with olive oil.

Cook the tortellini until toasted and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Turn the tortellini halfway through to prevent them from burning on the bottom.

For the Pesto Fondue:

Combine the cheeses and the cornstarch in a large bowl.

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add in the garlic and let it cook until fragrant.

Add in the white wine and bring it to a simmer. Add in the cheese one handful at a time, whisking as it melts. Don't add more cheese until the last batch has melted. Continue until all of the cheese has been used up. Once the cheese has entirely melted, mix in the pesto.

Crusty Crab Poppers

Crusty Crab Poppers

Crusty Crab Poppers



Ingredients:

1 lb lump crab meat

1 box of Jiffy cornmuffin mix

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature

8 oz shredded chedar cheese

1 large egg

1 stick of unsalted butter, melted

½ cup milk

½ red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 green onions, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch of salt

oil, for frying


Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Roll the mixture into balls, just slightly smaller than the size of golf balls. Set on parchment paper or a baking sheet.

In a large, high walled pot or a wok, heat oil over medium-high. You want to make sure there is enough oil to cover ⅔ of the crab balls.

Test the oil to see if it's ready by dipping the end (handle-side) of a wooden spoon in the oil. If the oil begins to bubble, it's ready. If not, let it sit a bit longer.

Once the oil is ready, drop in 4-5 crab balls. Reduce the heat slightly and let them cook until a deep orangey-brown, turning occasionally. Remove the poppers from the oil and let them drain on a paper towel. Once they're cool enough to handle, cut a ball in half to check. If the inside is cooked well, then continue to cook the poppers in the same manner. If the inside seems to have cooked less than the outside, then reduce the heat of the oil and try again, leaving the poppers in for slightly longer until they reach the proper color

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad
 



Ingredients:

For the pesto:

2½ cups packed fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic

⅓ cup pine nuts

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup olive oil

For the pasta salad

8 oz dried pasta

1¼ cups pesto, plus ¼ cup for tossing the pasta

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

¾ cup milk

1 15 oz can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups baby arugula

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

15 sun-dried tomatoes

15 kalamata olives

15 mozzarella pearls

1 roasted red pepper, sliced into thin strips

2 oz Parmesan cheese, shaved


Directions:

First, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan. Pulse until well combined. Then, slowly stream the olive oil through the top of the food processor as it runs, until the pesto comes together. Add salt and pepper and pulse again.

Then, boil the pasta according to package directions. As you wait for it to boil, combine the 1¼ cups pesto, ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup sour cream, and ¾ cup milk in a medium sized bowl. Mix well, until the pesto dressing is creamy but smooth. Add more milk if necessary to thin it out to dressing consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When the pasta has boiled to al dente, drain it and let cool. Then, toss with the remaining ¼ cup pesto, cannelloni beans, arugula, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, mozzarella pearls, roasted red pepper, and Parmesan. Once well mixed, pour over the creamy pesto dressing and toss again.

Mango Chili Glazed Shrimp

Mango Chili Glazed Shrimp

Mango Chili Glazed Shrimp




Ingredients:

2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped, to garnish

2 green onions, chopped, to garnish

For the Mango Chili Glaze:

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

½ red onion, chopped

2 small ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and chopped

¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons honey

¼ teaspoon chile de arbol powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup fresh cilantro


Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the onions and garlic and saute until softened. Then, add in the mango and cook until soft, stirring occasionally.
Add in the juices, honey, and chile powder and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool for 5 minutes

Transfer the mango mixture to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add in the cilantro. Pulse until well-combined and smooth. Taste and adjust amount of spice if necessary.

Thread the shrimp onto metal skewers or soaked wooden skewers through the tops and bottoms (so the shrimp is in a "C" shape). Once all of the shrimp have been threaded, spray them with oil or nonstick spray on each side. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.

Lay the shrimp skewers on the grill over high heat. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. The shrimp should now be pink.

Brush the side of the skewer facing up with a liberal amount of Mango Chile Sauce. Let cook for 1 minute, brushing on more as it cooks if necessary. After a minute, turn the skewers and repeat on the opposite side. Check for doneness. Shrimp should be pink, opaque, and cooked through, but still moist inside.

Serve the shrimp with additional Mango Chile Sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onion. Serve warm.

Bacon Jalapeno Corn Dip

Bacon Jalapeno Corn Dip

Bacon Jalapeno Corn Dip




Ingredients:

8 strips bacon

2 (11 oz) cans whole kernel sweet corn, drained

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

½ teaspoon salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

Parmesan cheese, to taste


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a cast iron or ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until slightly crispy. Remove from heat and set on paper towels to absorb excess grease. Drain off all but 1 teaspoon of the grease remaining in the pan. We want to use the bacon grease to grease the pan and add more bacon flavor to the dip. Crumble the bacon.

Combine the corn, jalapeno, cream cheese, mozzarella, salt, cayenne, half of the bacon, and half of the basil. Scoop into the skillet and bake for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with the remaining bacon and basil, and parmesan cheese to taste.

Cheesesteak Stuffed Mushrooms

  Cheesesteak Stuffed Mushrooms

  Cheesesteak Stuffed Mushrooms
 



Ingredients:

½ - 1 lb thinly sliced top round, chopped into small pieces

¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1 large red or green pepper, chopped

½ yellow onion, chopped

Oil, for sauteing

20 white mushrooms , cleaned and stems removed

½ cup provolone cheese, shredded


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef, onions, and peppers in oil until the beef is cooked through and the onions are translucent. Drain off any liquid and grease.

Add ¼ cup of provolone cheese to the mixture and mix until melted and well-combined. The provolone should help hold the filling together. Taste, and add more salt if necessary.

Spoon the beef mixture evenly into the mushrooms.

Top with the remaining provolone cheese

Bake until the cheese has completely melted.

Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce



Ingredients:

2 large red jalapeno peppers, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp cornstarch

2 Tbsp water


Directions:

Puree together the jalapenos, garlic, vinegar, sugar, 3/4 cup water, and salt in a blender until smooth as possible. Transfer to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes or until the mixture slightly thickens.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2 Tbsp water until smooth. Add to the pepper mixture and simmer for another few minutes or until the mixture is thickened slightly. It's still going to be a little bit runny. The cornstarch is added to help suspend the pepper and garlic bits rather than have them sink to the bottom.

Let cool completely then store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Sweet Chili Garlic Popcorn Chicken

Sweet Chili Garlic Popcorn Chicken

 Sweet Chili Garlic Popcorn Chicken
 




Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ½" thick and cut into small chunks

½ cup flour

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

3 eggs

1 cup panko bread crumbs

½ cup plain bread crumbs

1½ cups Thai sweet chili garlic sauce

Sesame seeds, for topping



Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Put the flour in a shallow bowl and mix in salt and pepper, to taste.

In a second shallow bowl, mix the 3 eggs with a tablespoon of water.

In a third bowl, whisk together the panko bread crumbs and plain bread crumbs.

Pour the sweet chili garlic sauce into a fourth bowl.

Flip the chicken pieces in the flour until lightly coated. Then, dip them in the egg, making sure to coat all over. Allow excess egg to drip off. Press the chicken pieces in the bread crumb mixture and pat the mixture on top, pressing gently to make sure the breadcrumbs adhere all over the chicken pieces. Lastly, dip the chicken in the sauce, shake off excess, and set on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue until all of the chicken has been breaded and coated.

Sprinkle all of the chicken bites with the sesame seeds.

Spray the chicken pieces lightly with cooking spray.

Bake 16-18 minutes, or until crispy, gently tossing half-way through.

Cajun Shrimp Dip

Cajun Shrimp Dip

Cajun Shrimp Dip




Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter

1 small green bell pepper, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (4 oz) jar diced pimiento, drained

1 stalk celery, diced

¼ yellow onion, chopped

1 (1 lb) package frozen cooked mini salad shrimp, thawed

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1 dash tabasco sauce

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish

French bread baguette slices



Directions:

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once completely melted, add in the bell pepper, garlic, pimiento, celery, and red onion. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

Add in the thawed salad shrimp, the cream cheese, half of the cheddar, and the Tabasco. Sprinkle everything with the Cajun seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste. Mix until well combined and the shrimp is warmed through.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar cheese and let melt. You can place the dip under the broiler for a minute at this point if you'd like the top to be slightly browned and bubbly.

Macaroni & Cheese with Portobello Mushrooms

Macaroni & Cheese with  Portobello Mushrooms

Macaroni & Cheese with  Portobello Mushrooms 



Ingredients:

1/2 package cavatappi pasta noodles

1 large shallot, diced

1 tomato, diced

1/4 cup pancetta

1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, diced

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, rough chopped

1/2 cup asiago cheese, shredded

3/4 cup gruyère, shredded

1/2 cup pecorino romano, shredded

3/4 parmesan, shredded

1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded

1/2 cup fontina, shredded

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup pasta sauce

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Olive oil

Red pepper flakes, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium pot, boil noodles in salted water with a bit of olive oil until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and return to the same pot used to cook noodles.

While noodles cook, heat one tablespoon butter in a large, flat pan over medium-high heat and sauté shallot for about 2 minutes. Add pancetta, mushrooms, tomatoes and oregano. Cook until mushrooms soften, an additional 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the pot with the pasta, stir in remaining butter, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until butter melts. Slowly stir in cheeses, reserving mozzarella and 1/4 cup of gruyère and parmesan cheeses. Spoon in hot mushroom mixture, other herbs, and stir until cheeses begin to melt. Add sauce, milk, and more salt and pepper if desired.

Transfer mixture into a medium baking dish brushed with olive oil and top with remaining cheeses. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted and golden brown.

Loaded Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese

Loaded Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese

Loaded Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese



Ingredients:

For the sauce:

2 tbsp butter

2 1/2 tbsp flour

2 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature

1/2 tsp mustard powder

8 oz shredded sharp cheddar

8 oz shredded muenster

cloves from 2 bulbs roasted garlic, minced into a paste

2 caramelized yellow onions

1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

10 oz elbow macaroni, cooked to al dente

For the topping:

1/2 cup panko

1 tsp olive oil


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a deep glass or ceramic loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, toss together the panko bread crumbs and olive oil for the topping. Work the oil into the bread crumbs with your fingers until evenly disbursed with no lumps. Place in a dry saute pan over medium heat. Toast the bread crumbs until golden, stirring regularly for even toasting. Remove from heat and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil pasta until tender according to the directions on the package. Drain thoroughly.

While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking,make the cheese sauce. Add butter to a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add flour to create the roux. Cook the roux, whisking constantly for about 2 to 3 minutes, to cook away the raw flour flavor. Slowly drizzle in the room temperature milk while whisking constantly to dissolve the roux into the liquid. When the liquid is first introduced the roux will begin to seize up, but as more liquid is added it will return to a smooth paste. Adding the liquid too quickly will result in a lumpy sauce. Once all milk has been incorporated into the bechemel, add the mustard powder. Stir. Cook bechemel over medium heat, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching, until sauce comes to a simmer, not a boil. Simmer 2-3 more minutes until thickened to the point of coating the back of a spoon. Add muenster, sharp cheddar and roasted garlic paste. Stir until cheese has completely melted into the bechemel. Taste. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper as desired.

In a large bowl or pot, combine cooked/drained macaroni, cheese sauce, caramelized onions and bacon. Stir to coat pasta thoroughly and evenly disperse ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle top evenly with toasted panko. Place into preheated oven. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until cheese sauce is bubbly around the edges. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Philly Cheese steak Potato Skins

Philly Cheese steak Potato Skins

Philly Cheese steak Potato Skins




Ingredients:

4 large Russet potatoes

Canola oil

1 lb prime rib, thinly sliced and chopped into small pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ yellow onion, thinly sliced

Red bell pepper and mushrooms, sliced

4 slices provolone cheese

8 oz creamy havarti cheese



Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place potatoes onto a baking sheet.

Brush potatoes liberally with canola oil.

Bake the potatoes for about 1 hour.

Let the potatoes cool for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Cut each potato in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the majority of the potato with a spoon, leaving a layer above the skin.

Generously brush the potato skins with oil again. Place in the oven, skin-side up, for another 5 minutes. Then flip, brush with oil, and place in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.

While the potatoes bake, make the steak.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, mushrooms and peppers in olive oil until soft and translucent

Add the steak and saute until cooked to your liking. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the potato skins from the oven and fill them with the steak. Top with some of the havarti and then tear up the provolone and place on top. Heat the broiler to low.

Place the filled potato skins under the broiler for a minute, or until the cheese is melted. Serve

Crab & Horseradish Havarti Dip

Crab & Horseradish Havarti Dip

Crab & Horseradish Havarti Dip




Ingredients:

1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups shredded horseradish and chive Havarti cheese

1/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 cup cooked lump crabmeat, drained and cartilage removed.

1 cup shredded baby spinach

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

flatbread


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, 1 cup of the Havarti cheese, the sour cream, and mayonnaise. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well mixed. Gently stir in crabmeat and spinach.

Transfer mixture to an ungreased 1-quart souffle dish or shallow baking dish. Bake about 25 minutes or until heated through.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Havarti cheese and the green onions. Serve with flatbread.

Serves 12

Havarti Dill & Bacon Mac N’ Cheese

Havarti Dill & Bacon Mac N’ Cheese

Havarti Dill & Bacon Mac N’ Cheese 



Ingredients:

6 slices bacon, diced

2 cups dried elbow macaroni

2 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups whole milk

3 cups shredded dill Havarti cheese

1 egg

salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in flour. Cook one minute.

Stir in milk. Whisk until smooth. Stir in cheese. Continue stirring until cheese has melted.

Take one tablespoon of the warm milk mixture and whisk it into the egg to temper it, add to cheese sauce.

Fold in macaroni and bacon. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to set for 5 minutes.

BBQ Chicken & Pineapple Jalapeno Popper

BBQ Chicken & Pineapple Jalapeno Poppers

BBQ Chicken & Pineapple Jalapeno Poppers



Ingredients:

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup shredded BBQ chicken

4 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp BBQ sauce

Salt, to taste

4 pineapple rings, chopped

12 jalapenos, cut in half, seeds and ribs removed

24 strips of bacon

brown sugar


Directions:

Pre-heat over to 300 degrees.

In a bowl, use a hand mixer to fluff up cream cheese. Once it’s light and airy, add BBQ chicken and the next 4 ingredients. Fold with a spatula until it’s well combined. Add pineapple and stir.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Stuff each hallowed jalapeno with the cream cheese mixture. Wrap jalapeno in bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of bacon. Bake for 60 minutes.

Black Bean & Bacon Soup

Black Bean & Bacon Soup

Black Bean & Bacon Soup



Ingredients:

2 (15 oz) cans of black beans, rinsed & drained

1 (14.4 oz) can of diced tomatoes with chilies, onions & cilantro

1/2 lime, juiced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

7 slices of bacon, cut into pieces

1/2 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno, ribs & seeds removed

1 tbsp cumin

2 cups chicken broth


Directions:

In a blender or food processor, combine black beans, tomatoes (with the liquid) and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

In a large pot or dutch oven, add olive oil over a medium heat. Add slices bacon, onions and garlic. Saute until bacon is crispy and onions are soft. Remove a few bacon pieces and set on a paper lined plate. Add cumin and jalapenos.

Pour in chicken broth and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add black bean mixture and stir until well combined. Bring to a boil. Cover with lid, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

When ready to serve, top with bacon pieces, cilantro and tomato.

Spinach & Garlic Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Spinach & Garlic Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Spinach & Garlic Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms 



Ingredients:

8 small portobello mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 nine-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained

1 container Boursin cheese

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Directions:

Clean mushrooms and remove gills using a spoon. Brush all over with olive oil and set aside.

Fire up your grill. While the grill is getting hot, mix the spinach, cheese, and garlic together in a bowl to make the filling.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff each mushroom with a generous portion of the filling.

When charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. (If you have a gas grill, don’t turn on all of the burners.) Clean and oil the cooking grate.  Place the mushrooms on the cool side of the grill, stuffed side up, cover, and cook until filling is bubbling and the mushrooms are well seared, about 20 minutes.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili



Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds ground chicken

2 carrots, chopped

3 – 4 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated

Salt and pepper

1 small can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1 15 ounce can tomato sauce

2 cups chicken stock

blue-corn tortilla chips

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Pickled jalapeno chile pepper rings


Directions:

Heat the extra virgin olive oil, in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook to brown, stirring to crumble. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 10 minutes or so.

Place the chipotles and adobo sauce in a food processor or blender and puree. Spoon 2 to 4 rounded tablespoons into a small bowl and combine with the tomato sauce to make a chipotle-infused tomato sauce.

When the vegetables are tender, stir in the chile-tomato sauce and chicken stock. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken and combine the flavors.

Meanwhile, switch on the broiler and position a rack in the center of the oven. Arrange 4 bowls on a baking sheet and fill with the buffalo chili. Top with an even layer of the tortilla chips, cheeses and jalapeno rings. Broil for a couple of minutes to brown the cheese and crisp the chips.

Crockpot Meatballs with Peach Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Crockpot Meatballs with Peach Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Crockpot Meatballs with Peach Chipotle BBQ Sauce



Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

1 lb ground pork

1 lb ground turkey

1 egg

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1.5 tsp cumin

1.5 tsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup beer or broth

For the Peach Chipotle BBQ Sauce

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup peppers and sauce from canned chipotles in adobo, minced

2/3 cup ketchup

1/2 cup beer

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp molasses

1/2 cup peach preserves

Salt, to taste


Directions:

For the meatballs: In a large bowl, add the first 10 ingredients and mix with your hands. Once the ingredients are combined, shape into meatballs. You can use a medium sized cookie scooper or 2 tablespoons would work. Add olive oil to a large skillet at medium heat. Brown meatballs on all sides, do not over cook. You just want to give the meatball a nice sear. Cook meatballs in batches - don't over crowd the skillet. Add cooked meatballs to a slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Once all of the meatballs are in the slow cooker, pour in beer or broth. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.

For the sauce: In a sauce pan set at medium heat, add oil & onions. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and stir. Cook until fragrant. Add chipotle peppers and sauce. Stir until combined with onion & garlic. Stir in the ketchup, vinegar, water, mustard, molasses, and peach preserves. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.

Once the meatballs are cooked, remove from slow cooker. Drain out the liquid. Return meatballs to slow cooker and cover with BBQ sauce. Turn slow cooker setting to warm and cover with lid. Let the meatballs sit in the slow cooker for at least 10 minutes.

Cheesy Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites

Cheesy Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites

Cheesy Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites



Ingredients:

For the bites:

1 lb ground chicken

1 cup 2% skim milk cheddar cheese, shredded

3 green onions, sliced thin

1/4 cup buffalo sauce

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tbsp flour

For the dipping sauce:

1 cup Greek Yogurt

1 tbsp reduced fat mayo

1/2 cup of blue cheese crumbles

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 tsp buffalo sauce

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 tsp salt


Directions:

Set the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a slip mat.

In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the buffalo chicken bites. Take about 2 tbsp of the mixture and shape into meatballs and place on the baking sheet. This recipe should make 12 meatballs.

Bake for 25 minutes or until done.

For the dressing mix all of the ingredients until well combined.

Roasted Shallot Dip

Roasted Shallot Dip

Roasted Shallot Dip



Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds shallots, unpeeled and root ends trimmed

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

1 (8-oz.) container mascarpone cheese

1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh chives

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash of hot sauce


Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut shallots in half. Toss together shallots and next 2 ingredients in a jelly-roll pan; sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until shallots are light brown and skins are charred, stirring twice. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Remove and discard papery skins from shallots and garlic, and coarsely chop shallots and garlic.

Stir together sour cream and next 7 ingredients; fold in shallot mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 4 to 48 hours. Stir before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chili, Cheese & Ham Strata

Chili, Cheese & Ham Strata

Chili, Cheese & Ham Strata



Ingredients:

6 slices sourdough bread (1 inch thick)

¼ cup butter, softened

2-1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 cup cubed fully cooked ham (about 8 oz)

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies

¼ cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

5 eggs

1 cup milk

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground mustard


Directions:

Butter bread; cube with a knife(or tear into 1 inch pieces) and place in a greased 9x13 baking dish.

Sprinkle with chilies, 1-3/4 cups cheese, ham, onion and cilantro.

Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, cumin and mustard in a large bowl.

Pour over bread mixture; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and preheat oven to 350°.

Bake, covered for 35 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup cheese.

Bake 10-20 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Creamy Herbed Chicken & Spinach Rigatoni

Creamy Herbed Chicken & Spinach Rigatoni

Creamy Herbed Chicken & Spinach Rigatoni 



Ingredients:

8 oz uncooked rigatoni

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)

8 oz frozen chopped spinach

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained

1 10-oz tub Philadelphia Italian Cheese & Herb Cooking Cream

2 cups cubed, cooked chicken breast

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1 to 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

ground cayenne pepper


Directions:

Heat your oven to 425.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the rigatoni according the package directions until just tender. Reserve a bit of the cooking water before draining the pasta well and setting it aside. Don't rinse the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, heat a 12-in, non-stick, oven-safe skillet over medium heat until very hot. Add the olive oil, and then the onion. Cook the onion, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown.

Add the frozen spinach and diced tomatoes, and cook, stirring often, until the spinach is heated through and the mixture is bubbly.

Add the Piladelphia cooking cream, chicken, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly and heated through, 3-4 minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and gently mix it in until it's fully incorporated.

Sprinkle the mixture with the mozzarella cheese and put the skillet in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

Creamy Zucchini & Spinach Rigatoni

Creamy Zucchini & Spinach Rigatoni

Creamy Zucchini & Spinach Rigatoni 



Ingredients:

3 cups (1/2 of 16-ounce package) rigatoni pasta, uncooked

1 teaspoon oil

1 zucchini, sliced

1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/4 teaspooncrushed red pepper

1 cup chicken broth

4 ounces cream Cheese, cubed

1 package (6 ounces) baby spinach leaves

1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1-1/2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F.

Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt.

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms and garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 min. or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Add flour and seasonings; cook and stir 1 min. Stir in broth; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until thickened. Add Neufchatel; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until melted.

Drain pasta; return to pan. Add zucchini mixture, spinach, Parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella; mix lightly. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; top with remaining mozzarella.

Bake 10 min. or until mozzarella is melted.

Creamy Squash Rigatoni

Creamy Squash Rigatoni

Creamy Squash Rigatoni



Ingredients:

1 medium squash (about 12 ounces)

2 teaspoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

a pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons cream

6 ounces rigatoni

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

freshly ground pepper


Directions:

Bring about an inch of water to the boil in a large stockpot. Cut the squash into large wedges and remove the seeds. Arrange in a steamer basket. Steam for 8-12 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove the steamer basket and let the squash cool so you can handle it. Remove the flesh from the skin into a small bowl, then mash it well with a spoon.

Meanwhile, fill up the pot with water for pasta and start it boiling.

In a medium frying pan, melt the butter over very low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 8 minutes.You’ll want to push both butter and garlic all the way to one side of the pot, since there’s not that much of either. Add the cayenne, nutmeg, and salt and stir.

Now carefully add the milk, cream, and mashed squash to the pan, stirring to smooth. Raise the heat slightly, so the sauce simmers. Simmer over medium heat until reduced, about 12 minutes.

When you reach this point, you can add your pasta to the boiling water, so it’ll be ready at the same time as the sauce.

When the sauce is reduced and the pasta done, reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water, and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the simmering sauce, spooning in reserved water if necessary.

Season with pepper and more salt to taste, then add half the Parm and mix in. Divide between two bowls, sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan, and serve.

Baked Barbecue Black Eyed Peas

Baked Barbecue Black Eyed Peas

Baked Barbecue Black Eyed Peas



Ingredients:


1 lb dry black-eyed peas (of which I used about 4 of the resulting 5 cups of beans post-soak) or 5 cans beans

1/2 green bell pepper – chopped

10 sweet mini peppers (or the other 1/2 of the green bell) – chopped

1 jalapeno – seeded and chopped (optional)

4 garlic cloves – chopped

1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce

2 TBS red wine vinegar

2 TBS lime juice

1/2 cup soy sauce

1-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – minced (use as much as your heat tolerance allows)

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 agave nectar (or honey – if you are not vegan)

1 TBS ground cumin

1 teaspoon dry thyme

3 TBS Dijon or other spicy mustard

1 bottle dark beer 


1/4 cup Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey 


Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

If using dry beans soak them & then bring them back to a boil & allow to simmer for an hour while you get the other ingredients prepped.  Before draining the beans  reserve a cup of the bean water. Measure out 4 cups of beans. Or just open & drain the cans of beans.

Chop the mini peppers, garlic & jalapeno.  In a large bowl combine all the remaining ingredients except the beans & reserved bean water.

Spray a large (9×12)  baking dish with cooking spray & put the black-eyed peas in there and poured the liquid on top. Bake for two hours, stirring occasionally & add some of the reserved bean water to thin it a few times.  You may or may not choose to do this depending on how much liquid you like in your beans.

Butternut Squash & Ricotta Casserole

Butternut Squash & Ricotta Casserole

Butternut Squash & Ricotta Casserole



Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash, cubed

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups egg noodles

1 cup ricotta cheese

For the bechamel sauce:

1 tablespoon butter

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried mustard

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon flour

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan


Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400˚F.

Coat a sheet pan with a drizzle of vegetable oil, and evenly distribute the cubed butternut squash and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then bake for 20 minutes or until the edges of the onion have started to brown.

While the butternut squash is roasting, boil and drain the pasta, placing it in a 9-inch casserole.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, add the garlic, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the dried mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and flour, stirring to melt it into the butter. Cook for an additional minute and then add the milk, whisking until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add the parmesan cheese.

Scatter the roasted butternut squash mixture over the noodles and then dollop the ricotta cheese over the top in big scoops.

Pour the béchamel sauce over the casserole and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with additional parmesan cheese.

Crockpot Parmesan Meatballs and Noodles

 Crockpot Parmesan Meatballs and Noodles

 Crockpot Parmesan Meatballs and Noodles



Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

1 pound ground beef

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chopped basil

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


For the sauce:

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup egg noodles

Additional basil and parmesan


Directions:

Mix together the ground beef, breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, chopped garlic, basil, and egg in a mixing bowl, making the meatball base.

Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil, then roll the balls into small golf-ball-shaped rounds and place on the pan, leaving a bit of room between meatballs.

Place the meatballs under the broiler for 5 minutes, then flip, broiling for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the tops have browned. Remove and let sit while making the sauce.

Pour the tomatoes, onion, and garlic along with the red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour into the base of your slow cooker.

Nestle the meatballs in the sauce, then cover. Set your slow cooker to medium and cook 6 to 8 hours. Crank the heat to high 30 minutes before serving and add the egg noodles, stirring to cover all the pasta.

Serve topped with additional parmesan cheese and basil.

Bacon, Spinach and Gnocchi Casserole

Bacon, Spinach and Gnocchi Casserole

Bacon, Spinach and Gnocchi Casserole



Ingredients:

1 tbsp Country Crock

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 bacon strips, diced into pieces

1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup water

One 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi

1/4 cup cream of mushroom soup

1 cup baby spinach

A dash of red pepper flakes

Ground pepper & salt, to taste

1 cup shredded Cheddar Gruyere cheese, divided


Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, melt Country Crock over a medium heat. Add onions, garlic and bacon. Cook and stir for 6 minutes. Stir in thyme; cook for 2 more minutes. Pour in chicken broth and water; bring to a simmer. Stir in gnocchi. Cover and cook until the gnocchi is slightly tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add cream of mushroom soup, spinach and red pepper flakes. Stir and taste. Add Salt & Pepper, if needed. Fold in 1/2 cup of cheese.

Pour gnocchi into baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Spicy White Cheese Dip

Spicy White Cheese Dip

Spicy White Cheese Dip



Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

2 pounds white American deli cheese slices, torn

Assorted tortilla and corn chips


Directions:

Place first 7 ingredients in a 6-quart oval slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 3 hours, stirring gently every hour. Stir before serving. Serve with assorted tortilla and corn chips.


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