Friday, June 13, 2008

Stuffed Adobo Chicken with Mango reduction

Grilled Stuffed Adobo Chicken with a Mango Reduction Sauce

8 Boneless Chicken thighs (skin removed) and pounded flat
½ C Chili powder
½ C Adobo Seasoning
¼ C Cumin Powder
S & P Pinch each
4 TBS Olive Oil
6 oz of herbed goat cheese

For the Sauce
3 – 12 oz cans of Mango Nectar
1 C white wine
Juice of 3 limes and 1 lemon
3 TBS Honey
1 Tsp finely chopped Jalapeño Pepper
S & P to taste

Heat Grill on high heat

Start with the sauce first, it will take a while to reduce. In a blender put the mango nectar, wine, juice from the limes and lemon, honey, Jalapeno pepper and S&P. Blend well and then put in a sauce pan. Heat to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer uncovered. Sauce will thicken as it reduces. You want to consistency of a thin gravy. Strain before serving

For the Chicken

In a small mixing bowl add the chili powder, adobo seasoning, cumin, S & P and Olive oil and mix well making a paste consistency. Lay each thigh on a cutting board flat and brush the inside with some of the mixture. Place a small spoonful ( about ¾ of an oz) of the cheese and roll up the thigh. Tie off each end of the thigh with kitchen string. Brush the outside of the thigh liberally with the mixture and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the thighs.

Oil the grill grates with a paper towel and place the thighs on the grill. Cover and reduce heat to medium turning regularly so not to burn but just browned nicely. Cook until thighs register to 165 degrees with a thermometer and take off the grill. Let rest for ten minutes covered with foil. Place with the Mango reduction and serve.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hummus Dip with Seasoned Pita Chips

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed, plus more for garnish
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 to 15 grinds black pepper
1/4 cup water
Paprika, for garnish

In a blender combine all the ingredients except the parsley and paprika to be used for garnish. Blend on low speed until smooth. You'll have to stop the blender often to push down the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry and you're having trouble blending it, add a few more tablespoons of olive oil to help things along.
Scrape the hummus into a bowl. Sprinkle the paprika over the top, drizzle lightly with olive oil, scatter some parsley on top, and serve. You can make the hummus up to a couple of hours before you serve it. Cover the top with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature.

Serve with baked pita crisps.
4 - 5 whole pitas cut into 6ths
Olive Oil spray
3 Tbs Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut up a bag of pitas into 6 pieces for each individual pita. Split each piece in half.

Lay the pita pieces out on a cookie sheet and spay with an olive oil spray.
Sprinkle the pieces with Italian seasoning herbs, salt and pepper and bake until crisp.

Serve with Hummus.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Lasagna Bolognese

Lasagna Bolognese

Today was a beautiful day for Ohio spring weather. It was mostly sunny and almost 70 degrees. As I drove to the grocery I drove by a golf course and there were several people out getting in their first round in for the year. I was thinking that I might join them but then I realized I need to get back to what my task was for the day. Fixing my last hearty cold weather meal. Lasagna! I’m not talking about your simple meat sauce, noodles and cheese dish but Lasagna Bolognese. Not for the faint of heart or weak minded. This recipe is made with a long simmered sauce that makes this a dish to envy. It takes time and patience but you’ll love the end product. Enjoy!


1 box of lasagna noodles (cooked al dente)
1 Lg Jar of your favorite Marinara Sauce
1 15 oz tub of Ricotta Cheese
1 16 oz bag of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 C Grated Parmesan Rigiano
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
1 lb Bulk Italian Sausage
1 Tbs crushed red peppers
1 C white wine
½ C red wine
1 C whole milk
½ C water
1 C diced tomato
1 Tb Italian Herb Seasoning
2 Carrots diced
3 Stalks Celery diced
1 Med Onion
2 TB chopped chives
2TB chopped parsley
3 clove garlic chopped
1 6 oz jar Tomato Paste
Salt and Pepper

This dish is complex and there is prep to do before assembly of the Lasagna. First, we need to make the Bolognese sauce. In a large skillet start by browning the beef and Italian sausage. Once completely browned drain excess fat and set aside in a bowl. In the same skillet heat 2 TB olive oil and add the onion, celery, crushed red pepper, Italian herb seasoning and carrots and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about another minutes until it blossoms (aroma in the air). Add the meat back to the pan and tomato paste and heat through.

Deglaze the pan with the red and white wine and then add the water and milk. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes. If mixture gets a little dry add some chicken stock or more water. The mixture will look somewhat like a sloppy Joe consistency. Take off of heat and let cool.

While the Bolognese is cooling make the Ricotta cheese mixture. In a bowl add the cheese, chives and parsley and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the dish:
Spread a ladle of marinara on the bottom of a 9X13 glass or ceramic baking dish and then cover with one layer of noodles. Add another ladle of marinara on top of the noodles then cover with a layer of the Bolognese meat sauce. Next add dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture and top with some of the shredded Mozzarella cheese.

Continue with two more layers and top with another layer of noodles. Top with more marinara and more Shredded Mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning and fresh cracked pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven on the middle shelf. Cook for 30 minutes and then remove the foil for the remaining 15 minutes to brown the cheese slightly. Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into 9 large pieces

To serve, heat 3 cups each of marinara and Alfredo sauces. On a plate put one small ladle of Alfredo sauce and place one of the slices of lasagna on top and spoon a small amount of marinara on top. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and garnish with chopped parsley.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Citrus Herb Roasted Chicken

Citrus Herb Roasted Chicken

1 5 to 6 lb whole Fryer Chicken
3 Tbs dried Italian Seasoning
3 Cloves Garlic crushed and minced
1 Med Orange
1 Med Lemon
1 Med Lime
3 Tbs Olive Oil
3 sprigs each Rosemary, Thyme
Salt & Pepper

1st step of prep is to brine your chicken for at least 4 to 8 hours or even over night, this will guarantee an absolutely delicious and moist bird.

For the Brine

2 gallons of water
2 cups salt
1 cup red wine vinegar

In a large enough bucket dissolve salt in water and add the vinegar. Gently lower the chicken into the brining solution making sure the bird is completely covered with the solution. Refrigerate for at least 4 to 8 hours or overnight but no more than 12 hours.

Drain and rinse the bird and then pat dry with paper towels inside and out and set aside. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

In a small bowl add the olive oil and with your fingers crush the dry Italian seasoning herbs between you fingers into the oil, add the garlic and a pinch of S & P. Mix thoroughly with a spoon.

With you fingers (I prefer to use gloves), gently push your fingers between the breast and the skin of the bird. Then put the herb mixture in between the skin and meat rubbing evenly throughout the birds surface. Rub the remaining mixture over the entire birds skin.

On a separate cutting board, cut the Orange, lemon and lime into quarters. Stuff the cavity of the bird with 3 wedges of each fruit leaving 1 quarter to the side. Truss the bird and put onto a roaster pan. Squeeze the remaining fruit quarters over the entire bird. Then add the fresh herbs to the bottom of the roasting pan and add 4 cups of water or enough water to fill to 1 inch deep.

Put chicken into oven and roast for 30 minutes at 500 degrees to brown the skin. After 30 minutes lower the oven to 325 degrees. Roast for an additional 2 hours until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees when placed between the inner part of the thigh. Let stand for at least 10 to 15 minutes before carving the bird.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Grilled Lamb Chops

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Table salt and ground black pepper (pinch of each)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
8-1 inch thick Lamb Chops

Pre heat broiler to Hi.

Meanwhile, in a food processor add the first 5 ingredients. Mix on high for 30 seconds until finely chopped. Add the next 3 ingredients and mix for another 30 seconds until a paste is formed.

Apply the paste to both sides of each chop forming a crust.

Place Chops on a broiler pan and place 5 to 6 inches from the broiler. Broil 4 to 5 minutes watching not to burn. Turn Chops and broil for another 4 minutes. Check temp with a thermometer to 125 degrees. Pull chops from broiler and let rest on a cutting board tented with foil for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Creole Blackened Mahi Mahi

Creole Blackened Mahi Mahi

4 – 6 oz Mahi Mahi fillets (I prefer fresh and never frozen)
4 tbs Creole seasoning
Olive Oil
Lemon slices

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Make sure fish is patted dry. Sprinkle both sides of the fillet with 1 Tbs of the seasoning and set aside. Heat a large oven proof skillet over medium heat and add 2 tbs of olive oil. As the oil starts to produce whiffs of smoke add the fillets and let until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a fish spatula turn each fillet and place pan in oven to finish, about 5 to 6 minutes.

I served this with Braised Vegetables in beef broth (Brocolini, Asparagus, Zucchini squash and cherry tomatoes) and spicy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes and garnished with Lemon slices.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Steamed Salmon with Basil, lemon and wine

Steamed Salmon with Basil, Lemon and white Wine

4 – 6oz Salmon Fillets
3 Tbs Basil and Lemon Seasoning (find at grocer)
1 Lemon thinly sliced
Sea Salt & Pepper
¼ C white wine
2 TBS butter cubed

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Season each side of Salmon with S & P and Basil and lemon seasoning. Take a large piece of heavy duty foil, large enough that you can tent. Place lemon slices on the bottom of foil and place the Salmon fillets on top.

Add the butter and close the ends of the foil leaving the top open. Pour in the wine and seal the foil making a tent. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Italian Hamburgers

As promised, here is the second of several delicious Hamburgers for you to enjoy. Tonights is the Italian Burger. Very moist and tasty!

Italian Burger

2 lbs 80/20 Lean Ground Beef
1 lb Italian Sausage (bulk)
2 Tb Worcestershire Sauce
1 Ts Crushed Garlic
2 Tb Tomato Paste
2 Tb Italian Seasoning
3 Tb Shallots (finely chopped)
S & P to taste

Ciabatta Rolls
¼ in thick Mozzarella slices
Thick sliced Red onions (broken into rings)
Marinara Sauce

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients except the toppings until mixed well and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow everything to meld together. After the mix has chilled take out and make into 6 - 1 inch thick patties. Make the patties a little thinner in the middle, about 8 oz each.

Heat a large skillet or flat griddle to medium high heat. Place patties in pan/griddle not crowding the meat. Cook patties for 2 minutes and turn patties over. This will seal the juices in the burgers and make sure not to press the patties. This will only dry out the burgers. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes and turn one more time, again not pressing the patties. Top with 1 slice of Mozzarella Cheese. The key is not over cooking your burger. You want it to be cooked about med to med well to be nice and juicy.

To Assemble: On the bottom of the Ciabatta Roll place 2 Tb of Marinara sauce and place 1 burger patty on top. Top with 2 or 3 of the Red onion rings on top. Put 2 more Tb of Marinara on the top bun and enjoy!
Slice in half and serve with Seasoned Fries.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

It's Burger Season

Football Playoffs! College Bowl Games! It's Burger Season!

I was thinking of what football food would really hit a homerun during that last part of the season. I have just posted one of our favorite foods, Hot Wings and what else compliments wings? Burgers! I'm not talking about your everyday, run of the mill, fast food type burgers. I'm talking something you would pay good money at a fine restaurant for. Ultimate Gourmet Burgers.

Trust me I'm sure there are several people out there that really like a good burger and maybe even have a great recipe. If so, please email it to me by going to the Contact Us section at the bottom of our page and we'll give it a try. If it's all you say it is, we'll post it along with your name and give you kuddo's but for now, here is one of mine that is always a hit and over the next couple of days I'll be posting a few more to wet your whistle. I hope you enjoy these as much as my friend and family have!

California Burger

2 lbs 80/20 lean ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage (bulk)
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1/3 C Roasted Red Bell Pepper (finely chopped)
1/3 C Avocado (finely chopped)
3Tbs Shallots (finely chopped)
3 Ts Dijon Mustard
1 ½ Ts Crushed Garlic
S & P to taste

Horseradish Sauce (see recipe at the bottom)
Avocado slices
Feta Cheese
Ciabatta Buns
Alfalfa sprouts

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients except the toppings until mixed well and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow everything to meld together. After the mix has chilled take out and make into 6 - 1 inch thick patties. Make the patties a little thinner in the middle, about 8 oz each.

Heat a large skillet or flat griddle to medium high heat. Place patties in pan/griddle not crowding the meat (above). Cook patties for 2 minutes and turn patties over. This will seal the juices in the burgers and make sure not to press the patties. This will only dry out the burgers. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes and turn one more time, again not pressing the patties. Top with 1 Tbs of Feta Cheese. The key is not over cooking your burger. You want it to be cooked about med to med well to be nice and juicy.

To assemble: place a dollop of horseradish sauce on the bottom roll. Place 2 or 3 slices of avocado and then put the burger on top. Top with ½ cup of the Alfalfa sprouts on top of the melted Feta and put another dollop of horseradish on the top roll. Slice in half and serve with fresh salad greens.

Horseradish Sauce:
1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise

1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
Add or decrease horseradish to adjust heat.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Savory Hot Wings!

Here is the second of great football food for your Bowl Games. One of my favorite snack foods to watch a football game has to be hands down…Hot Wings! There are restaurants that have built there entire theme around them. They are in your freezer section of every grocer too so I bet you probably like them also. Here is a very simple recipe that anyone can make great tasting wings at home.

1 – 3lb bag of frozen chicken wing sections – drummies and wingies but no tips(thawed)
1 – Large bottle of cayenne pepper sauce (I prefer Texas Pete)
1 – stick of unsalted butter
1 – bunch of celery (stalks cleaned and cut into 4 in strips)
1 – bottle of Marzzetti’s Blue Cheese Dressing ( Or your favorite dipping dressing sauce)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Line a large baking tray with Quick release foil and spread wing sections out leaving about an inch between each piece. Bake for 45 minutes or until done and starting to crisp. In a medium sauce pan heat the pepper sauce until warm. Depending on how hot you like them add butter to the sauce, melt and heat through. Use no butter for hot, ½ stick for medium and the whole stick for mild wings.

Remove tray from oven and brush all sides of the wings with the sauce and place back in oven. Bake for another 10 minutes, repeat process one more time. Place wings on the top rack and turn oven to Broil for 6 to 8 minutes to crisp up nice.

Remove tray from oven and place in a large mixing bowl. Pour remaining sauce over wings and toss. Serve with Celery stalks and dressing. Your guests will love them! Enjoy

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

New Years Day! It's the start of a new year and what a way to start it off after all the big meal Holiday's with lots of football. Plus it's time for those fun New Years Resolutions too! Yes, of course this year will be to loose a few pounds for me but just not yet. At least not until after the BCS National Championship between The Ohio State Buckeyes and LSU! If you haven't read my profile yet, I am from Columbus Ohio and I love the Buckeyes. My dad is in the Hall of Fame there and I just wouldn't have it any other way. Go Bucks!!!

So until the big game is over I will be posting fun game food. I'm starting with Artichoke Dip. This is a very easy recipe I found online and you and your sports fans will love it. Keep checking in for other great tail-gating recipes this week.

Delicious Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, plus more as needed
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
Carrot sticks, celery sticks or baked tortilla strips, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Squeeze all excess liquid from spinach, place in a food processor with sour cream, Parmesan, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the cream cheese, garlic, pepper and hot sauce.

Process until just blended but still slightly lumpy. Add artichokes and pulse to form a chunky mixture. Place in a 1-quart baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella. Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.