Category: Appetizers

Have You “Liked” “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook?
16 stuffing mushrooms
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 pieces of cooked crispy bacon (chopped)
1/4 cup olive oil
white wine ( I use a sweet Moscato wine.)
1. Remove stems from mushrooms Rinse and dry mushrooms well.
2. In a large bowl, put bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon and olive oil. Mix well.
3. Stuff mushrooms.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4. Put mushrooms in a deep pan. Pour enough wine in pan that it covers mushrooms half way up.
5. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Mushrooms should be tender.


Super Bowl Fried String Beans

2 lbs. fresh string beans (ends trimmed)
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 eggs (beaten)
vegetable oil
1. Boil string beans for 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain well. Let cool.
2. Dip string beans in egg and then in bread crumbs and grated cheese. Cover completely.
3. In a deep frying pan put vegetable oil. Fill up pan half way.
4. Heat oil. When it starts to bubble on the sides, add string beans. You can fry them in batches. (Probably 4 batches.)
5. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove with a strainer and drain on paper towels.
Serve warm
Dipping Sauce Recommendation:
1 cup of Ranch dressing
1 tsp. fresh wasabi (2 tsp. if you like it more spicy)
Mix together in a bowl. Keep cold until serving. (You can use any favorite dipping sauce.)

Friday Night Shrimp and Scallop Pizza


Have You “Liked” “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook?
Focaccia or Pizza Bread
1/2 lb. shrimp (uncooked)
1/2 lb. bay scallops (uncooked)
3 large red onions (sliced)
1 large vidalia onion (sliced)
2 cups fresh arugula
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. balsamic oil
2 tsp. white sugar
olive oil
1. In a skillet, put 1 tbsp. olive oil. Cook shrimp and scallops. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Turn shrimp and scallops while cooking. Should take no more than 5 minutes to cook. Set to the side.
2. In a skillet, put 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Cook sliced onions. Stir frequently. When they are tender, add balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir together. Cook an additional 2 minutes. Set onions to the side. (If it’s to oily, drain some of the excess.)
3.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a little olive oil of focaccia/pizza bread. Place on a baking sheet and place in oven, just for about 5 minutes. You want the bread to begin to get crisp.
4. Remove bread from oven. Spread cooked onions evenly on top Scatter fresh arugula on top. Place cooked shrimp and scallops evenly on top. (If the scallops are large, you can cut them into pieces.)
5.Return to the oven for about 6-8 minutes.
*Serve hot and crispy.

New Year’s Cheddar Beer Dip

Happy New Year “2018”

2 (8 oz.) bars of cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg. (1 oz.) ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 cup beer
1. Put all ingredients in one bowl and mix well using a mixer.
2. Once creamy, refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving.
*Serve with pretzels.

Grilled Shrimp Hors d’oeuvres

1 1/2 lbs. thawed uncooked medium shrimp (cleaned and dried of excess water)
2 cups favorite Italian dressing
1. Put shrimp and Italian dressing in a large Ziploc bag.
2. Let marinate for at least 4 hours. (overnight is best)
3. Heat a large skillet.
4. Pour shrimp into the heated pan. Use only half of the liquid.
5. Cook about 3 minutes on each side.
Serve hot !

Have You “Liked” Cooking With Mr. C. on Facebook?
2 or 3 cans of whole artichoke hearts (drained) (usually about 8 hearts in a can)
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pignoli nuts
6 slices of prosciutto (chopped)
1 tbs. fresh parsley (chopped)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. In a large bowl, mixed bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, pignoli nuts, prosciutto, black pepper, parsley and 3 tbs. of olive oil. Mix well. If crumbs are still a little dry, add another tsp. of olive oil. Mix well.
2. Stuff each artichoke heart. (see photo)
3. In deep baking dish, coat the bottom with a tbs. of olive oil. You can lightly brush the artichoke hearts with a little olive oil. Stand up all artichoke hearts and bake in oven for 12 minutes or until bread crumbs are slightly browned.
Serve hot.

Italian Baked Clams


Have You Liked “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook?

3 (6 oz.) cans of minced clams in juice
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
2 tsp. oregano (fresh preferred)
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbs. parmesan cheese
2 tbs. of olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients.
2. Using premade (aluminum) clam shells, stuff each one. Depending on how much you stuff each one, you will need about 12 clam shells.
3. On a baking tray, put stuffed clam shells.
4. Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes or until tops of clams are slightly crispy.
Serve with lemon.



Italian Rice Balls


*Have You Ordered My Brand New Children’s Picture Book, “Mr. C. Takes Manhattan”, For The Kids and Teachers In Your Life? A Great Teacher’s Gift. Order It Through Amazon or Mascot Books.


1 large sweet onion (chopped)

2 lbs. ground beef (lean)

1 cup green peas

1 cup tomato sauce for the recipe ( extra sauce for guests to put on top) *See note on bottom.

sea salt & black pepper

olive oil

5 cups rice

10 cups of water

8 eggs

bread crumbs

2 cups mozzarella (grated)

1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)


1. Boil a large pot of water and cook rice. Set rice to the side when done. (once water evaporates and rice is tender)

2. Heat sauté pan with 2 tbs. olive oil. Add onion and let brown lightly.

3. Add meat and brown over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Then add tomato sauce (add a little more sauce if you like) and a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

4. Add peas and let tomato sauce reduce with pan uncovered.

5. Once mixture has thickened, put to the side and let cool.

6. In a large bowl, mix rice with 4 eggs, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

7. Add meat mixture to the rice bowl. Mix well by hand. With hands, shape rice into a medium ball.

8. Once rice balls are molded tightly, put them on a sheet pan.

9. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

10. Beat remaining 4 eggs in a bowl.

11. Take rice balls from refrigerator, dip them into the eggs, and then roll in bread crumbs.
12. Return to refrigerator and allow to set for another 20 minutes.

13. Heat 1 quart of oil in large deep sauce pan. With a large slotted spoon, gently place rice balls in hot oil.
14. Cook until golden brown on all sides. Let drain on paper towels.

Makes approximately 15-17 large rice balls. (depends on size you prefer) About 45 -50 golf ball sizes ones can be made.

*Note: You can cut this recipe in half, for smaller amounts. With a regular recipe, I usually get 15-17 rice balls of a larger size. It is served as an appetizer on Christmas Eve. Guests also put tomato sauce and grated cheese on top. I usually make a small pot of sauce to have on hand.


Calamari Salad




1/4 cup red onion (sliced)
1 green bell pepper (sliced) *seeds removed
1 cup red pepper (sliced) *seeds removed
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced (no stems)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 1/2 lemons
1 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
1 lb. fresh squid, tube and tentacles cleaned


1. Rinse squid and slice tubes into 1/2 inch rings. Leave the tentacles whole.

2. In a bowl combine onion, garlic, red and green peppers, lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt and fresh pepper.

3. Bring a medium pot filled with water to a boil. Add calamari and cook until tender. (Do a taste test about 2 minutes into it.)

4. Quickly drain when cooked and add to a bowl of ice water, for about 5 minutes. Then drain.

5. Combine squid with the salad and toss well. Taste for sea salt and add additional seasoning if needed. Garnish with parsley.

6. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or two.

*Occasionally I add cold shrimp to the salad.


6 large portobello mushrooms  (stem and gills removed)
6 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
3 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 tbsp. freshly chopped basil leaves
6 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Toss the portabellas in the balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of olive oil, sea salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the mushrooms on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

2. While the mushrooms are cooling mix together the bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, basil and               the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.

3. Stuff the bread crumb mixture into each mushroom. Return mushrooms to oven for 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Put a slice of mozzarella cheese on top. Return to oven for about 5 minutes. Cheese should be melted and bubbly.

*Optional: You can put some sauteed peppers on top, if you wish. (See photo.)