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Cold Antipasto

Happy New Year 2018

Ingredients:
2 large eggplants (slices 1/4 inch thick)
2 large yellow peppers (sliced and seeds removed)
2 large beefsteak tomatoes (sliced)
1 lb. piece fresh mozzarella (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup fresh basil (pieces)
olive oil
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
sea salt and black pepper
Directions:
1. In a skillet add 3 tbs. of olive oil. Brown garlic and add eggplant and peppers. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides. Cook until tender and remove. (You can drain eggplant and peppers on paper towels, if you wish.) Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2. On a platter, arrange each row with a slice of eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Repeat the process on the whole platter. Put basil on top. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Serve cold. *Serves 6

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Pumpkin Raisin Bread

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, nutmeg and baking soda.
2. In another bowl, mix pumpkin puree, butter, eggs, and vanilla.
3. Continue to mix pumpkin while slowly adding flour to it.
4. Slowly add raisins and mix in.
5. Grease a loaf pan with a little butter. Pour batter into loaf pan.
6. Bake for about 50-55 minutes. Test with a toothpick. Toothpick should be dry when taking it out of the bread.
7. Cool for 5 minutes and remove from loaf pan. Let cool on a wire rack.
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Cooking With Mr. C.’s Lentil Soup

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Ingredients:

1 cup dry lentils

2 medium sized carrots (diced)

2 medium sized celery stalks (diced)

1 medium size onion (diced)

3/4 lb. small red potatoes (cut into 1/2 in. pieces)

1 garlic clove (minced)

1 16 oz. can of Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes

8 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 small head escarole ( about 1 lb.) (thinly sliced)

3 cups water

olive oil

Directions:

1. In a 5 quart pot, add 3 tbs. of olive oil. Over a medium heat, warm oil and add carrots, celery and onion. Cook until tender and stir occasionally. Add garlic and stir until garlic browns. Add salt and pepper.

2. Stir in stewed tomatoes (with the liquid), lentils, chicken broth, potatoes, and water. Stir with spoon. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 50 minutes. While soup is simmering (about 20 minutes in) add the shredded escarole. Stir escarole and continue to simmer. Add a pinch of salt if needed. You can serve with some grated cheese on top.

Serve hot. Serves 4-6 people

 

 

Beef Stew

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Ingredients:

1 (3 lb.) chuck roast (trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes) should be lean meat

1 large onion (peeled and sliced thin)

1/2 lb. string beans (ends trimmed)

6 carrots (peeled and cut into 1/4 inch circles)

1 can of peas (drained)

1 cup dry red wine (optional)

2 tbs. tomato paste

4 cups beef broth

1/2 cup all purpose flour

4 tbs. olive oil plus 3 tbs. olive oil

2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

1. Put flour in a bowl. Put beef cubes in flour and tap off the excess flour.

2. In a large skillet, put 3 tbs. olive oil. Brown beef on all sides for about 7-8 minutes and remove. Beef should be just about cooked. Cover and keep warm.

3. In a pot of boiling water, boil string beans and carrots for 5 minutes and then drain well.

4. In a large pot, add 4 tbs. olive oil. Brown onion. Add string beans, carrots and peas. Stir quickly. Add beef and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

5. Add tomato paste and stir well.

6. Add beef stock and red wine.

7. Bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce to a medium simmer and cover pot.

8. Let cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

9. For the final 30 minutes, leave cover off, put on a low simmer and stir occasionally.

10. Vegetables and beef should be tender before serving.

Serve hot.

Shepherd’s Pie

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Ingredients:
2 lbs. potatoes (your choice)
1 lb. ground beef
1 can peas (drained)
1 red pepper (seeds removed, then diced)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick butter or margarine
olive oil
salt and pepper
paprika (optional)
Directions:
1. Wash and peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into cubes and put in boiling water for about 25 minutes, until potatoes are soft. Drain potatoes well. In a bowl add potatoes, cream, butter and a little salt and pepper. With a mixer, mix until creamy and set to the side.
2. In a skillet, put 2 tbs. of olive oil. Add onions and red peppers. Cook for about 3 minutes and add ground beef and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brown beef until cooked for about 10 minutes. Add peas and drizzle some olive oil on top. Stir thoroughly.
3. In a baking pan, drizzle a little olive oil at the bottom of the pan. First, put a layer of creamy potatoes. Next, pour the meat mixture on top. Finally, cover with another layer of creamy potatoes. Drizzle a little olive oil on top. Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika (optional) on top.
4. Put baking pan in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Potatoes should be a little browned on top.
Serve warm. (Serves 4- 6 people)

 

Chicken Bruschetta

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Ingredients:

4 thick chicken cutlets (1/2 inch thick)

4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese

2 vine tomatoes (diced)

1 small red onion (chopped)

1 clove of garlic (chopped)

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Put 2 tbs. of olive oil in a skillet. When oil heats, put in garlic. When garlic browns, add 1 tbs. of balsamic vinegar. Stir with a spoon. Add chicken cutlets to the pan. Cook on each side for 5-7 minutes. (depending on thickness of cutlets) You can cut the chicken to see that it is white in the middle. Remove chicken and keep covered.

2. In a bowl, add tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add 1 tsp. of olive oil and 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar. Mix well.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Get a baking pan. Coat the bottom of the pan with 1 tbs. of olive oil. Place chicken cutlets in pan. Put a slice of mozzarella on each cutlet. Spoon tomato mixture evenly on top of all cutlets. Bake in oven for 5-7 minutes until mozzarella melts.

Serve warm. Serves 2-4 people. (Depends how hungry you are.)

If you’re a fan of Donna Summer music, then check out “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on West 46th Street. I visited backstage with the very talented Jared Zirilli after the performance. Also, check out Jared’s very talented wife, Whitney Bashor this Fall in the new Off-Broadway musical, “Ordinary Days”.

http://www.keencompany.org/main

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Ingredients:

1  1/2 lbs. medium shrimp (cleaned and tail removed)

2 lbs. fresh arugula (rinsed and drained)

1 (10 oz.) can lentils (rinsed and drained)

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

1 lemon (juiced)

1/2 cup  dry white wine

Directions:

1. In a large skillet, add garlic and 2 tbs. of olive oil. Sauté shrimp for five minutes and set to the side.

2. In the same skillet, add arugula and lentils. Add about 1 tbs. of olive oil. Cook on a medium heat for about 4 minutes. (stir occasionally)

3. Add shrimp back to the skillet. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Add lemon juice and white wine. Stir. Raise heat to high for 3 minutes and then serve.

Serve hot

*Optional: You can add a cup of chopped walnuts in step 2, if you like.

It’s always a pleasure getting the opportunity to hang out with Fran Drescher. Today we both took in Renee Taylor’s “My Life On A Diet” at the Theatre at St. Clements on West 46th. You have until September 2, to check it out. A wonderful time for any true “Nanny” fan.

If you need 90 minutes of laughter, check out Renee Taylor in “My Life On A Diet” at The Theatre at St. Clements on West 46th. The show runs through September 2.