The main course is always the star of the show. This means that this aspect of your meal should be stunning. It doesn’t mean necessarily it should be a lot of work but unfortunately a masterpiece sometimes requires time and effort. You’ll find easy and quick to make main courses that are absolutely delicious. You’ll also find main courses requiring a bit more effort. In my family complicated dishes are normally done on the weekend. We love to entertain and share fabulous food with our friends and family. If you have any main courses that you would like to share, please feel free to send them to me to post on my website.
CHARLIE’S MISSOURI KICKIN CHICKEN
Charlie’s Kicken Chicken
6 chicken breast halves, skinned and boned
6 Slices Monterey Jack cheese, ¼-inch thick
½ cup plus 2 Tbs butter or margarine
2 Tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 cup dry breads crumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup minced parsley
½ cup flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cut a pocket in each chicken breast and insert a piece of Monterey Jack cheese.
In a small saucepan melt ½ cup butter.
Stir in mustard.
In a separate bowl combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Roll in the bread crumb mixture.
In a large skillet melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and brown chicken lightly on all sides.
Place chicken in an ovenproof casserole.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Serves 6
ANGIE’S CLEVELAND STUFFED GREEN PEPPERS
Angie’s Stuffed Green Peppers
6 green peppers
salt to taste
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes,
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup water
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
water as needed
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain. Sprinkle salt inside each pepper and set aside.
In a large skillet, sauté’ beef and onions for 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain off excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, 1/2 cup water and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture, and place peppers open side up in a baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine tomato soup with just enough water to make the soup a gravy consistency. Pour over the peppers.
Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.
CHRISTINA’S FLORIDA FAMILY FAVORITE DUTCH CHICKEN POT PIE
Christina’s Family Favorite Pennsylvania Dutch Pot Pie
1 whole chicken about 5 lbs.
1 bay leaf
4 medium carrots chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley or 1-2 teaspoons dried parsley
Pot Pie Dough:
2 cups flour + extra for rolling out
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
5-6 Tablespoons milk
Rinse and place the chicken in a Dutch oven. Cover with water. Add a bay leaf and 1 teaspoon parsley. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for about 1 hour or until thoroughly cooked.
Turn off the heat. Remove the chicken from broth. Allow chicken to cool. Meanwhile strain the broth. Once cool. Remove chicken from the bones. You’ll need about 4 cups. Reserve the rest for another use.
For Pot Pie Squares
In a food processor add flour, egg yolks and salt. With food processor on add 5 Tablespoons milk through the chute. If it’s too wet add a Tablespoon at a time of flour until dough easily forms a ball. On a floured surface flatten dough into a circle. With pastry roller using flour as necessary to keep from sticking, roll out to 1/8-inch thickness.
Using a pizza cutter cut into approximately 2-inch squares. Place squares on floured baking sheet. You can pile on top of each other just make sure there’s plenty of flour to prevent them from sticking to one another.
For Pot Pie
Heat chicken broth in a Dutch oven and add carrots and celery. Cook until softened, about 15-20 minutes. Turn up the heat bring to a boil. Drop dough squares one at a time into the pot stirring frequently.
Maintain very gentle boil. Cook the dough 4-6 minutes. Add the reserved chicken and chopped fresh parsley. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
MONICA’S VIRGINIA MUFFIN-TOPPED CHILI
Monica’s Muffin-Topped Chili
1 lb. ground beef
2 chopped onions
1 tsp salt
1 can kidney beans
1/8 tsp red pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
1 large can tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup chopped green pepper
2-4 tsp chili powder
Fry beef with onions. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boiling and then reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
1 cup biscuit mix
2 Tbsp corn meal
1/3 cup milk
Mix above ingredients for 1/2 minute. Put chili into casserole dish. Drop batter by spoonful around edge. Bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
BETH’S KENTUCY SPINACH CHICKEN CASSEROLE with CREAM CHEESE and MOZZERELLA
Beth’s Spinach Chicken Casserole with Cream Cheese and Mozzarella
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut horizontally
2 cups spinach, rinsed
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, optional
Add olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes into a Ziploc bag along with 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Seal the bag and shake until mixed. Add the chicken breasts, seal, and massage so the chicken is covered in the marinade, set aside for 10-15 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Quickly wilt the spinach in a skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil, set aside.
Arrange chicken breasts drained from marinade in a baking dish. Spread the softened cream cheese over the chicken and lay spinach on top of the cream cheese. Finally, sprinkle mozzarella over the top.
Bake for 20-30 minutes. Chicken is done when cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
MOLLY’S MASSACHUSETTS SLOW COOKER BEEF STROGANOFF with GARGANELI PASTA
Molly’s Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff with Garganeli Pasta
1 lb. sirloin steak, cut into 2-inch strips
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for buttering noodles
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. white button mushrooms thinly sliced
1 large sweet yellow onion thinly sliced
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 Tbsp Worchester sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4-pound Garganeli pasta
1/2 cup sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Generously season the sirloin with salt and pepper and place into a bowl with the flour. Toss the pieces evenly to coat, lightly tap on the excess flour, and set aside.
In each of 2 large skillets, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic to one pan and the seasoned sirloin to the other. Cook until the mushrooms and onions have lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Cook the sirloin until the pieces are deeply browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. add a 1/4 cup of white wine to each skillet to deglaze the pans. Transfer the contents from each pan to a slow cooker. Add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard to the pot and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours, until the sirloin is very tender.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, cook the pasta until al dente and drain. Transfer the pasta to one large serving dish. Stir some butter into the noodles and top with the stroganoff. Stir in the sour cream and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
PETE’S LOUISIANA SHRIMP AND CHEESE GRITS
Pete’s Shrimp and Cheese Grits
2 bacon slices
1 pound unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp hot sauce
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tsp. drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper; dredge in flour.
Sauté mushrooms in hot drippings with oil in skillet 5 minutes or until tender. Add green onions, and sauté 2 minutes. Add shrimp and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are lightly browned. Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice, and hot sauce, and cook 2 more minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Spoon shrimp mixture over hot Cheese Grits; sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
1 (14 oz.) can low-sodium fat-free broth
1 cup fat-free milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded 2% reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
Bring first 3 ingredients and 1 1/3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in Cheddar cheese and next 3 ingredients.
JOANNE’S FLORIDA POLSKA KIELBASA DINNER
Joanne’s Polska Kielbasa Dinner
1 Polska Kielbasa ring angle cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
12 small red potatoes halved
1/2 head cabbage cut into small pieces
1 large, sweet onion sliced thin
1 Stick butter
Salt & pepper
Line a 9×12 baking dish with aluminum foil. Place evenly all ingredients in lined baking dish. Pour melted butter over all ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
Place aluminum foil over the top of the baking dish crimping it down tight all around the edges. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
SCOTT’S MMISSOURI CROCK-POT CHICKEN TERIYAKI
Scott’s Crock-Pot Chicken Teriyaki
1 lb. chicken, diced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
Combine chicken broth, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar and garlic cloves in large bowl. Add chicken to sauce and toss to combine. Pour chicken mixture into crock-pot. Cook on low 4-6 hours, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over hot cooked rice and spoon extra sauce if desired.
DONNA’S NEW JERSEY EASY MEATLOAF
Donna’s Easy Meatloaf
1-pound ground beef
1-pound Italian ground sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups dried breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1/3 cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the beef, sausage, egg, onion, milk and bread or cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, or form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour.
RICH’S FLORIDA COQ AU VIN (CHICKEN IN WINE)
Rich’s Coq au vin (Chicken in Wine)
3-4 lb. boiling or roasting chicken
1 1/2 oz. (3 T) butter
1 Tbsp. salad oil
4 oz. piece smoked streaky bacon, cubed
12 baby onions
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
6 oz. (2 cups) mushrooms, quartered
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 Tbsps. flour
3/4 pint (2 cups) red Burgundy
1/4-pint (1/2 cup + 2T) water
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
salt & pepper
the chicken giblets, washed
small triangles of fried bread
Wash and dry the chicken and cut into 6 joints. Melt 1 oz. (2 T) butter in a pan with the oil and fry the bacon cubes until golden brown. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Fry the chicken until brown, turning once. Put the joints, with the bacon into a 3 pint (8 cup) ovenproof casserole. Fry the onions with the celery and carrots in the fat remaining in the pan until soft, then add to the casserole. Melt the remaining butter in the pan, add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, then put to one side, on kitchen paper. Blend the garlic and flour with the fat remaining in the pan. Cook gently until browned, stirring frequently. Add the wine, water, herbs and seasoning to taste, simmer until the mixture has thickened. Pour over the chicken joints in the casserole and add the giblets. Cover and cook at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the bird and whether it is a boiling or roasting chicken. When almost tender remove the giblets and bay leaf from the casserole. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for a further 10 minutes. Skim off any excess fat with absorbent kitchen paper. Check the seasoning and garnish with fried bread triangles before serving, Serves 6.
IRENE’S SOUTH CAROLINA BAKED CABBAGE CASSEROLE
Irene’s Baked Cabbage Casserole
1 lb. ground meat
1 hear cabbage, shredded
1 cup raw rice
1 onion chopped
1/2 cup oil
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. chili powder
Salt and garlic powder to taste
Cover cabbage with water and cook 10 minutes. Drain. Sauté ground meat with onion until lightly brown. Drain. Mix all together. Pour into 9″x13″x2″ casserole pan. Cover with foil. Bake in 350-degree oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
NAOMI’S OHIO ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN
Naomi’s Roasted Pork Tenderloin
2 pork tenderloins (3/4lb. to 1.25lbs. each)
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1 1/5 tsps. ground mustard
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl.
Trim port tenderloin of any excess fat or silver skin. Pat pork dry and coat with olive oil. Rub seasoning mix all over pork tenderloin. Place seasoned pork into a shallow baking dish and bake in oven 25 to 30 minutes (internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees). Remove from oven and place pork tenderloin on a plate and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
MARIO’S FLORIDA PIZZA CASSEROLE
Mario’s Pizza Casserole
1 (16 Ounce) Package Uncooked Rotini Pasta
1 Pound Ground Italian sausage
1 (24 Ounce) Jar Pasta Sause
1 (16 Ounce) Container Cottage Cheese
1 (2 ¼ Ounce) Can Sliced Black Olives, drained (optional)
1 (4 Ounce) Can Mushrooms, Drained
12 Ounces Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 (3 Ounce) Packages Sliced Pepperoni
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain, in a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until evenly brown, drain grease.
Mix in the cooked pasta and pasta sauce.
Pour into prepared casserole dish.
In a bowl, mix the cottager cheese, olives, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.
Spoon the cheese mixture over the sausage and pasta mixture.
Top with pepperoni slices.
Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly browned.
CARMEN’S PENNSYLVANIA BAKED SPAGHETTI and MEATBALLS
Carmen’s Baked Spaghetti & Meatballs
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a medium size bowl combine the beef, sausage eggs and breadcrumbs
Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Roll meat mixture into 1 1/2 balls
Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Makes about 16-20 meatballs
INGREDIENTS FOR BAKED SPAGHETTI:
24 oz jar marinara sauce
1/2 yellow onion – diced
3 cloves garlic – crushed
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 lb. spaghetti noodles
1-2 cups grated cheese (half Colby-jack, half mozzarella)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
In a large cast iron skillet, sauté onions in olive oil over med/low heat. Add in garlic and continue sauteing until onions are tender.
Add cooked meatballs, add marinara sauce and tsp Italian seasoning.
In separate large pot, cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions (under cook 2 minutes).
With large, slotted spoon, scoop meatballs from sauce and set aside.
Scoop cooked spaghetti (with large, slotted spoon) into marinara sauce. Add in about 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Gently stir until pasta is fully coated with sauce.
Add cooked meatballs to top of spaghetti.
Top with grated cheese & parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.
RICH’S FLORIDA LINGUINE, SHRIMP with RED PEPPERS
Spinach Linguine with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Rosemary Marinated Shrimp
8 ounces medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp minced fresh
rosemary leaves pulled from stem, or 2 tsp dried
3 Large red bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped onion
12 oz spinach linguine
1/2 cup heavy cream or low-fat milk
Combine shrimp, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary; cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour. Meanwhile, broil peppers in a shallow pan, 4 inches from heat source, until evenly charred on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand 20 minutes. Working over bowl to save pepper juices, cut peppers in half and carefully lift out seeds and stems, discard. Scrape charred skins from the pepper halves; rinse peppers under running water to remove any seeds or charred skin remaining. Cut two pepper halves into 1/8-inch strips: reserve separately. Place the remaining pepper halves in a small bowl. Strain the reserved pepper juices through a sieve into the bowl with pepper halves. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet; add onion; saute`5 minutes. Stir in the pepper halves and the reserved juice; stir to blend. Puree’ in a food processor until very smooth. (Can be prepared ahead up to this point.) At serving time, cook pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente, or firm to the bite, about 12 minutes; drain. While pasta is cooking, heat a medium skillet over high heat until a drop of water sizzles and evaporates immediately upon touching. Add the shrimp with their marinade. Stir-fry until shrimp are pink on both sides and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper puree’, the reserved pepper strips, and the cream to the skillet. Heat, stirring until blended and simmering. Toss with the pasta and serve at once.
MARIE’S CALIFORNIA FETTUCCINE ALFRADO
Marie’s Fettuccine Alfredo
1-pound fresh fettuccine
1/4 lb. sweet (unsalted) butter, softened
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
black pepper, freshly ground and parsley top before serving
Cook the fettuccine in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente, or firm to the bite, about 2 minutes; drain
Have ready a large warm bowl with the butter in the bottom, cut into small pieces. Add the fettuccine immediately after draining; add the cheese and toss well. Serve at once. Grind a little black pepper on top. The true Fettuccine Alfredo, as served in Rome, comprises fresh fettuccine, creamy butter, and fragrant and flavorful Parmigiano Reggiano. Often it is embellished with heavy cream, mushrooms, peas, garlic, and other perfectly good additions, but this is not the real Alfredo.
VALERIE’S CALIFORNIA ZUCCHINI ROLLATINI
Valerie’s Zucchini Rollatini
2 large zucchinis
1 cup ricotta
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 Tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella
1 large egg
1 cup marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the ends off of the zucchini and slice lengthwise on a Mandolin to about 1/8-inch thick. Reserve the 16 largest interior slices for this dish and save the rest for another use. Fill a medium ovenproof skillet with lightly salted water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add half of the zucchini slices and cook until just pliable, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel-lined platter to dry. Repeat with the remaining zucchini slices. Stir the ricotta, basil, oregano, lemon zest and 3/4 cup mozzarella together in a bowl with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat the egg well in another bowl, then add 1 tablespoon egg to the ricotta mixture and stir to incorporate. (Discard the remaining egg.) Pour the water out from the skillet and add the marinara. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. While the sauce warms, lay the dry zucchini slices out on a work surface. Spoon a scant tablespoon of the ricotta filling on one end of a zucchini slice, then gently roll the zucchini up. Arrange in the skillet seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining zucchini slices and ricotta filling. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella (even a little more cheese, if you like) lots of cheese is good and bake until the center is bubbling and the cheese is golden in spots, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
VALERIE’S MOM’S CALIFORNIA SPAGHETTI and MEATBALL
Valerie’s Mom’s Spaghetti and Meatballs
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground port
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Italian-style dried breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp dried oregano
8 cloves garlic, half grated or minced, the other half sliced
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for garnish
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
Two 26.5-ounce boxes strained tomatoes, such as Pomi
4 fresh basil leaves, torn, plus torn leaves for garnish
2 pounds spaghetti
Combine the beef, pork, eggs, breadcrumbs, dried oregano, grated garlic, Pecorino Romano, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Using your hands, thoroughly mix the ingredients together until evenly incorporated. Roll into meatballs slightly larger than golf balls, setting them on baking sheets as you work. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven until it shimmers. Working in batches and taking care not to crowd the pan, sauté the meatballs, turning frequently, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer from the pan back to the baking sheet. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion to the pan, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the sliced garlic stir, and cook 1 minute more, add the wine, increase the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 4 of the basil leaves, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and the meatballs along with any accumulated juices. Simmer, partially covered, until the flavors come together, about 1 hour 20 minutes, Taste and adjust the seasonings. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in two batches in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and serve with the meatballs and sauce ladled on top. Garnish with torn basil and freshly grated Pecorino-Romano.
Z’S FLORIDA JUMBO CHEESE STUFFED SHELLS in ALFREDO SAUCE
Z’s Jumbo Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells in Alfredo Sauce
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups fresh grated parmesan
3 Tbsps. fresh parsley, chopped fine
2-3 medium garlic cloves, grated
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
>Gently heat all on medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is smooth, and cheese has melted. Set aside but keep slightly warm.
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups whole milk fat ricotta or feta or a combination
2 cups finely shredded mozzarella
1 cup Parmigiano, grated
1 cup asiago, shredded
8 oz. mascarpone
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup scallions (green onions), finely chopped
>Combine all and set aside.
1 1/2 – 12 oz. box of jumbo No. 95 pasta shells like Ronzoni or similar (about 30 shells per box)
>Bring water to boil in large saucepan, add 3 Tbsps. salt, add shells and stir occasionally, when water returns to boiling, turn down heat and simmer shells 9 minutes then drain; place drained shells onto an olive-oiled baking sheet and toss to coat so that they do not dry out.
Place about 1 1/2 cups prepared Alfredo Sauce in the bottom of the large baking dish. Stuff each shell using about 3 Tbsps. of cheese filling and place shell seam side down in rows, shells touching. Pour just enough additional sauce on top of shells to keep them moist. Reserve any extra sauce for serving or other future pasta creation or freeze it. Shells should not be fully submerged. Cover the pan with foil and bake in 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil cover, then top with 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano combined with 2 cups grated mozzarella. Continue to bake just until top cheese is melted and bubbly. Total bake time is normally about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 to 20 minutes prior to serving. Serving option – drizzle a squiggle of marinara sauce over plated shells and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley/green scallions and large shards of Parmigiano. Option: Prepare with Marinara sauce. Shells freeze well.
Z’S FLORIDA JUMBO MEAT STUFFED PASTA SHELLS in RED SAUCE
Z’s Jumbo Meat Stuffed Pasta Shells in Red Sauce
16 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
>Sauté in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until wilted & most liquid is evaporated; drain excess liquid, put aside
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 – 3/4 cup extra dry vermouth
>Sauté onion until translucent – about 4 or 5 minutes; add garlic, cook for 1 minute; add vermouth, sauté an additional minute; add all to the bowl with the spinach and set aside.
1 1/2 lbs. of each ground
Chicken (or Pork)
Veal (or Turkey)
1/4 cup beef broth
>In the same pan used to cook onion and garlic, sauté meat, stirring constantly and breaking it up, adding beef broth to help it remain a crumbly texture. Remove from heat.
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 Tbsps. fresh dill, finely chopped (Note: chop fresh dill, store in freezer in airtight container)
1/4 cup scallions (green onions), finely chopped
2 tsps. fresh basil, finely chopped
2 Tbsps. oregano
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. pepper
>Stir in all of the above and while the mixture is cooling, cook pasta shells.
5 oz. grated parmesan
1 cup Mozzarella, shredded
1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
3 eggs, slightly beaten
Cooked chopped spinach/onions/garlic mixture that was set aside
>Add to meat mixture and stir to combine to complete the filling
1 1/2 – 12 oz. box of jumbo No.95 pasta shells like Ronzoni or similar (about 30 shells per box) OR Manicotti or Cannelloni shells.
>Bring water to boil in large saucepan, add 3 Tbsps. salt, add shells and stir occasionally, when water returns to boiling, turn down heat and simmer shells 9 minutes, then drain; place drained shells onto an olive-oiled baking sheet and toss to coat so that they do not dry out.
> Place about 1 1/2 cups Red Sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Stuff each shell 3/4 full and place shell seam side down in rows, shells touching. Pour just enough sauce on top of shells to keep them moist. Reserve any extra sauce for serving or other future pasta creation or freeze it. Shells should not be fully submerged. Cover the pan with foil and bake on 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil cover, then top with 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano combined with 2 cups grated Mozzarella. Continue to bake just until top cheese is melted and bubbly – total bake time is normally about 40-45 minutes. Let cool 15-20 minutes prior to serving.
Drizzle a squiggle of white Alfredo sauce over plated shells and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley/green scallions and large shards of Parmigiano.
Prepare one pan using Red Sauce and another using Alfredo sauce. Shells freeze well.
KAY’S NEW MEXICO CHIPOTLE CHICKEN SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Kay’s Southwestern Chipotle Chicken Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 – inch cubes
salt and pepper
1 cup green and red bell peppers, seeded and diced small
1 onion, diced small
1/2 cup tomato, diced small
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 canned chipotle, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup canned black beans
1 cup pepper jack cheese, freshly grated
Fried tortilla strips
Cilantro cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Slice squash in half, scoop out seeds, wrap in plastic and microwave on high for about 8 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper, melt butter in a sauté pan and sear chicken until golden. Remove and place in a bowl.
Sauté bell peppers and onions until tender; add in tomato, garlic and chipotle, and sauté for another minute until everything is caramelized.
Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream.
When squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out the insides with a fork and add it to the bowl with the chicken.
Add sauteed veggies to the bowl along with black beans and 3/4 cup of cheese.
Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly,
Remove from the oven and garnish with tortilla strips, cilantro cream and chopped cilantro.
PABLO’S TEXAS WHITE CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
Pablo’s White Chicken Enchiladas
10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan.
Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Rill up in tortillas and place in pan.
In a saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to boil, you don’t want curdled sour cream.
Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
Bake 22 minutes and under high broil for 3 minutes to brown the cheese.
The sauce doesn’t freeze very well, so if you’re making them ahead of time. Just make and freeze the Enchiladas. Make the sauce the day of.
JIM’S TEXAS GROUND BEEF TORTILLA LAYER CASSEROLE
Jim’s Mexican Ground Beef Tortilla Layer Casserole
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper seeded and diced
1-2 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
1 large jalapeno pepper seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2-4 tsp cumin (or to taste)
salt and black pepper
2 10 oz cans red enchilada sauce
1 15 oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cups frozen corn
9 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided (can use more or less)
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
coarsely crushed tortilla chips
Set oven at 350 degrees. Grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. In a large skillet brown the ground beef with onion, garlic, green bell pepper and jalapeno (if using) until the beef is no longer pink; drain any fat then return to skillet and add in one can of enchilada sauce, black beans, corn and cumin. Bring the ground beef mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally, then season with salt and lots of black pepper. Arrange 3 corn tortillas in the bottom of the baking dish, cutting as needed to cover bottom of the dish. Spread 1/4 cup canned enchilada sauce over the tortillas in the baking dish. Cover the sauce with 1/3 of the cooked ground beef mixture, then about 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Repeat the layers twice but omitting the final cheese layer on top. Drizzle any remaining canned enchilada sauce (from the second can) on top. Cover with foil and bake in a 350-degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with more cheese (any amount desired) then return to oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Let stand 10-15 minutes before slicing. Top with sour cream and/or tomatoes, green onions and crushed tortilla chips if desired.
PAULA’S NEBRASKA THREE CHEESE CHICKEN or BEEF ENCHILADAS
Paula’s Three Cheese Chicken or Beef Enchiladas
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces (You can also substitute 1 pound of ground chuck fried and drained)
1 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup chunky salsa any brand
1 pkg Old El Paso chicken enchiladas dinner kit
1 cup cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (in half).
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
Cook chicken in butter in large skillet for 5 to 7 minutes or until cooked through. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir in water and add seasoning mix and chicken. cook 4 to 8 minutes until thickened. Spoon chicken mixture into tortillas add a tablespoon of shredded cheese, roll up and place in greased 11 x 7 baking dish seam side down. Top with salsa and remaining shredded cheese. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream on the side, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
KRISTEN’S MO DORITO CASSEROLE
Kristen’s Dorito Casserole
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can celery soup
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped shallots including the green part
bag of Doritos
sour cream for garnish
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes for garnish
chopped parsley for garnish
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brown and drain hamburger. Add cheddar cheese soup, celery soup, and Rotel tomatoes and sliced shallots. Mix well, then pour into a baking dish, alternating layer of soup mix and Doritos. Start with soup mix and finish with soup mix. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, chopped tomatoes and chopped parsley.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Bell Peppers
4 bell peppers yellow, red, and orange
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
10 oz. Rotel (1 can)
1 cup cheese Colby Jack (shredded)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the ground beef and drain grease, then return to the pan. Add taco seasoning, garlic powder and Rotel and stir together over low heat until combined. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to about room temperature. Next slice each of the bell peppers in half and remove the core and seeds leaving the stems intact. Set aside. Next add your cubed, softened cream cheese to a large bowl and beat on medium speed with a handheld mixer until whipped. Add your shredded cheese to the bowl and beat in. Pour your beef mixture into the cream cheese mixture and fold together with a wooden spoon or spatula. Place all of your peppers open side facing up on a baking sheet. Evenly distribute the meat and cream cheese mixture between all eight pepper halves and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. I like to sprinkle a little extra cheese on top of the stuffed peppers. You can prebake the peppers in the oven for 5 or 6 minutes before adding mixture to soften.
2 Tbsps. olive oil
3 large chicken breasts, cut lengthwise into 6 thin breasts
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. butter
2 tsps. minced garlic
1 shallot finely chopped
16 oz. baby Bella mushrooms washed and sliced
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the chicken by cutting the large chicken breasts lengthwise. This will turn one large piece of chicken into two thinner, more uniform slices of chicken. In a small bowl combine the spices and sprinkle each side of the chicken completely. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and lightly cover the bottom of the skillet with olive oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering (flick a few drops of water into the skillet and if it sizzles the oil is ready to brown the chicken). Add the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. It is not necessary to cook through, as the chicken will finish cooking in the oven. Remove the chicken and set aside. In the same skillet add the butter, minced garlic, finely chopped shallot, and sliced mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms over medium heat. If you feel you need to, reduce the heat to medium-low. The mushrooms will reduce greatly while cooking. Allow the mushrooms to cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes. Add chicken stock and the white wine to skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer and allow it to reduce by half. Stir in the heavy cream and allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes more until it has thickened. Add the chicken to a casserole dish and top with the mushroom sauce. Bake the chicken at 350 degrees covered with foil and or lid for 20 minutes. Remove the foil or lid and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Serve over cooked egg noodles or rice with a garden salad.