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Italian Turkey and Zucchini Burgers

Italian Turkey and Zucchini Burgers
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Italian Turkey and Zucchini Burgers
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place the sausage meat and the zucchini in a large bowl. Toss lightly. Grate the onion and garlic directly into the bowl. Add the pepper flakes and fennel seeds and mix lightly again.
  2. Add the bread crumbs and cheese, tossing once again. Add the beaten egg and stir one last time until everything is completely incorporated. Cover the mixture and chill in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 hours or as long as overnight.
  3. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and form into 4 large patties. Place each patty on a piece of wax paper, cover and chill for 2 hours. You can also put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat the grill to high. Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and allow it to heat up on the grill. Place the burgers on the grill and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and allow to cook for 6 minutes or so.
  5. Turn the burgers. If they stick let them cook another minute or two until they flip easily and are golden brown. Top each burger with two thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. Put the lid on the grill and cook for another 6 - 7 minutes.
  6. While the burgers continue to cook, place the tomatoes and onions in a foil pan. Season with some Italian herb blend and a drizzle of olive oil. Place the pan on any vacant space on the grill.
  7. Spray the cut sides of the rolls with cooking spray and add them to the grill the last 3 minutes of cooking. In the meantime, toss the lettuce with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Assemble the sandwiches: Divide the lettuce mixture between the bottoms of the rolls. Top each with half of the tomatoes. Place the burgers on top of the vegetables. Top with the remaining tomatoes. Add the top part of the roll and serve.
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Sunday Gravy Casserole

I’ve shared memories of my father’s “Sunday Gravy, a classic Italian tomato sauce that was loaded with meatballs, sausage, and pork neck bones. Every Italian family has a recipe for this simple yet totally delicious staple.

Writing about my memories inspired me to make my own gravy. This was a few months ago and the batch I made was huge. Most of it found its way into the freezer and was promptly forgotten. I did create a braised pork recipe (check it out on my RECIPES page) that was the essence of the pork neck bones as I remembered them. Some of that wound up in the freezer as well.

Fast forward to this week when I was cleaning out the freezer. I found 3 cartons of beautiful red goodness. I knew they were all gravy, but I didn’t know what else was in them. So, I put the 3 ruby cubes in a pot, and let them thaw over low heat. What resulted was gravy filled with all three wonderful meats.

I cut the meats into bite size pieces and returned it to the sauce. I found a large package of extra wide egg noodles that reminded me of lasagna. These became the pasta component. A little ricotta, cheese, and herbs were added and Sunday Gravy Casserole was born. This is really a riff on Poor Man’s Lasagna. Just search by the title on my RECIPES page)

Every bite of this was filled with meaty goodness. There was just enough cheese to make it feel decadent. The noodles stayed firm and held their shape. It was too good to be eaten alone, so I sent a generous pan over to the “new parents”

Sunday Gravy Casserole
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Sunday Gravy Casserole
Print Recipe
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cook the noodles in boiling salted water until just barely done (1-2 minutes less than package directions). Reserve a cup or so of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  2. Heat the gravy and meats in a large saucepan until bubbling gently. Add some of the pasta water if the gravy seems tight. Keep warm
  3. Beat the egg lightly and add it to the ricotta along with the Italian seasoning. Set aside.
  4. Put the mozzarella in the freezer for about 30 minutes (leave the packaging on). This makes the cheese easier to slice thinly. Slice the cheese 1/4 inch thick.
  5. To assemble the casserole: spray a large rectangular baking dish with non-stick spray. Spoon 1/3 of the sauce into the pan, spreading it evenly. Add half of the noodles and top it with dollops of the ricotta.
  6. Spoon another 1/3 of the sauce on top of the ricotta and noodles. Sprinkle with half of the grated cheese blend.
  7. Add the remaining noodles to the casserole. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the other half of the the grated cheese. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the foil and top with the sliced mozzarella. Return to the oven uncovered and bake for another 10 minutes. The casserole should be bubbly and the cheese should be melted.
  9. Set the oven at broil and position the casserole about 4 inches from the heat source. Broil until the cheese begins to brown and bubble.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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Cannellini Burgers

Cannellini Burgers
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Cannellini Burgers
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Put the oats, fennel seed, onion and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add a little more than half of the beans, the parsley, rosemary, and tomatoes and pulse until almost smooth. Add the egg and process until everything is blended.
  3. Spoon the mixture into a bowl. Add the remaining beans and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  4. Form the mixture into four patties. Spray a plate with cooking spray and place the patties on the plate. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Heat a large skillet and add the olive oil. Put the patties into the pan and cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes or so. You want a nice golden brown.
  6. Flip the patties over and continue to cook another 4 minute or so until the second side is equally as golden as the first.
  7. Serve on buns or sandwich thins with the garnishes of your choice.
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Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers
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This is a basic bean burger that can be customized as you see fit. Change the seasonings, change the binder, heck, even change the bean. Perfect for "Meatless Monday" or any other day of the week.
Servings
4
Servings
4
Black Bean Burgers
Print Recipe
This is a basic bean burger that can be customized as you see fit. Change the seasonings, change the binder, heck, even change the bean. Perfect for "Meatless Monday" or any other day of the week.
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place the oats and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until they are coarsely chopped.
  2. Add half of the beans, the egg and the cumin to the bowl. Process until it is a fairly smooth paste, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  3. Put the bean paste into a medium bowl. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, and the remaining whole beans. Grate half of the cheese finely and add to the bowl. Stir everything until the mixture is well mixed.
  4. Scoop the mixture out into 4 equal portions. Gently form into pattys. Spray a plate lightly with the cooking spray. Place the burgers on the plate cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour (more won't hurt).
  5. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium- high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Place the burgers in the pan and cook without moving for 3 or 4 minutes. They should be nicely browned.
  6. Flip the burgers and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes. Thinly slice the remaining cheese and place a slice on each of the burgers. Cover for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  7. Put the bottom of the bun on a plate. Top with the shredded lettuce and drizzle with the salsa. Place the burger on top and add the tomato and avocado and serve.
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Calzone (a.k.a. Easter Pie)

Easter is a time for re-birth and new beginnings. Spring is here for the most part and life begins to move outdoors…finally. When I was growing up, Easter was a special time. that was steeped in religious as well as food traditions. Lent ended and with it all the fasting, abstaining and giving things up. To say there was a food frenzy may be a bit of an overstatement, but it was definitely a time for enjoying eating.DIGITAL CAMERA

I loved the Calzone.  We sometimes called it Easter Pie and it was baked on Holy Saturday, not be eaten until after Easter Sunday mass. It was filled with ricotta and sausage, with egg in every part of it. My mother and my aunt both made it and I couldn’t wait for Easter morning to have it. If I timed it right, I could have my mom’s and then go upstairs and have my aunt’s, too. They each had their own version, my aunt’s often having ham and hard-boiled eggs in it.

This is my mother’s recipe.  She would make it every Easter. If I was lucky, I’d have it again at Christmas when her side of the family served it as Egg Pie. Whenever it was made, it was one of the most satisfying dishes I’ve ever had.

Calzone (a.k.a. Easter Pie)
Print Recipe
Servings
8
Servings
8
Calzone (a.k.a. Easter Pie)
Print Recipe
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Crust
Filling
Servings:
Instructions
  1. To make the Crust: Sift the dry ingredients together cut in shortening or butter, blending well.
  2. Beat the egg and 2 tablespoons of milk together and add to the dough mixture. Blend well. turn onto a floured surface and knead for one minute. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes or so.
  3. To make the filling: Cook the sausage and drain on paper towel. Allow to cool. Place the ricotta in a large bowl. Add the beaten eggs, cheese, parsley, and cooled sausage. Stir to gently blend.
  4. Divide dough in half. Roll one half out on floured surface. roll to an even thickness that will fit in a 9 inch pie pan with some overlap. Place in glass pie pan that has been lightly greased.
  5. Spoon the filling into the crust. Roll out the second half of the crust and fit it over the top. Crimp edges to seal well. cut several slashes in the crust.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes. Brush top with beaten egg yolk about 15 minutes before pie is done. crust should be golden brown. remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Serve for Easter breakfast or any time you'd like.
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