Archive for March, 2015


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Ingredients For Dough:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup of Crisco
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup ice water
2 oz. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients For Filling:
1/2 lb. milk chocolate chips
1/2 lb. pine nuts (pignoli nuts)
1/2 lb. walnuts (chopped)
1 box raisins (15 oz.)
1 tbsp. grated orange peel
Directions:
1. Soak raisins in cold water overnight. Drain very well.
2. In a large bowl, add chocolate chips, pine nuts, walnuts, raisins and orange peel. Stir and mix well. Refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. To make dough, combine all ingredients and mix well to form dough. Roll out dough to make small circles. (We use the cover of a sugar bowl. You can also use a small dish, depending on the size turnover you wish to make.)
4. Remove raisin mixture from refrigerator and spoon mixture on each circle. The amount will depend on the size circles you have created. It should be enough, but not to much where the turnover will break open when you fold it over. Fold the turnover and seal edges with a fork. Place on a greased (about a tbs. of butter) baking sheet.
5. Take one egg and beat it. Add 1 tbs. of water. Beat again. This is your “eggwash”. Brush a little on each turnover. This helps the turnover turn golden brown.
6. Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes. Watch so they don’t burn. Remove and let cool.
Makes about 2 dozen. (depends on the size of your turnover)
Note: If you have extra raisin mixture, refrigerate and make another batch of dough.

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Pizza Rustica

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Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil

8 ounces sweet Italian sausage  (casings removed)

1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta

12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped

1/3 lb. ham (chopped)

4 large egg yolks (beaten)

1 large egg (beaten)

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Pastry Dough Recipe:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter (cut into pieces)

1/4 cup cold solid vegetable shortening (cut into pieces)

1 tsp. sea salt

3 large eggs (beaten)

2 to 4 tbsp. ice water

Blend the flour, the butter, the shortening and salt in a food processor until the mixture is coarse.  Blend in the eggs. With the machine running, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms. Roll the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, with 1 piece twice as large as the second piece. Flatten the dough pieces into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll out, about 30 minutes.

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and saute until golden brown, breaking the sausage into pieces, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

3. In large bowl, add egg yolks and beat lightly. Stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Add the sausage, fresh parsley, ham and prosciutto to the mixture and stir well.

4. Roll out larger piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 18-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch springform pan. Trim the dough overhang to 1 inch.

5. Add the ricotta mixture into the dough-lined pan.

6. Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round.

7. Place the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges of the doughs together to seal, then crimp the dough edges.

8. You can cut the extra overhanging dough into strips and put on top of pie. (see photo)

9. Brush the beaten 1 large egg over the entire pastry top. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven until the crust is golden brown. (about 1 hour)

Let cool for about 15-20 minutes before cutting.

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Stuffed Pork Chops

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Ingredients:

4 large pork chops (an inch thick)

1 4 oz. piece of feta cheese (chopped)

1 4 oz. fresh mozzarella (grated)

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

1 cup of fresh spinach (chopped)

olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. In a bowl add feta, mozzarella, spinach and garlic. Add 1 tbs. of olive oil and mix together. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

2. Take pork chops and cut a deep slit into the side of the meat. (Deep enough to make a pocket for the filling.)

3. Stuff each chop with cheese and spinach mixture. Put in as much as you can.

4. You have two cooking options.

a. In a large skillet, put 2 tbs. of olive oil. When heated, place pork chops in skillet. Cook on each side for approximately 10 minutes each. You don’t want either side to burn so you can turn them over. Chops should take approximately 20 minutes to cook on a medium high heat. Meat should be white on the inside when you cut it.

b. In a preheated oven of 400 degrees, put 2 tbs. of olive oil on the bottom of a baking pan. Place pork chops in pan. Bake on each side for about 20 minutes each. Occasionally turn the chops. Chops should take no more than 40 minutes. The meat should be white on the inside when you cut it.

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It was a fun night at New York’s “Celebrity Autobiography”. I went to check out a few friends who were performing. The best part of the evening was to meet “Saturday Night Live’s” Rachel Dratch.

Cranberry Chickpea Penne

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Ingredients:

1 lb. pasta (your choice) *ziti goes well with this recipe

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

1 cup fresh edamame

1 cup dried cranberries

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

2 tbsp. olive oil plus another 1 tbsp.

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. sugar

Directions:

1. Boil pasta to your desired consistency. (drain well when done)

2. Meanwhile, In a large skillet, put 2 tbsp. olive oil. Brown garlic for a minute and then add chick peas, edamame, cranberries, sea salt and black pepper.

3. Stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then add 1 tbsp. of olive oil, red wine vinegar and sugar. Stir.

4. Cook for an additional minute and pour over pasta.

*Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

1 cup fresh spinach (chopped)

1 cup fresh carrots (minced)

1 cup white cheddar cheese (grated)

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients.

2. Form meat into burgers.

3. Cook to desired taste.

*As a suggestion, put guacamole on top.