MERRYFIELD APPLE CAKE

Merryfield Apple Cake

A nice cake that travels well for outings and works equally well for guests. 
Inspired by a recipe by the same name in The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 9 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Granny Smith apples peeled and diced
  • 2/3 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1/3 cup raisins chopped
  • confectioner's sugar

Instructions

  • Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven 325 degrees F. Grease well and flour a 9-inch square cake pan.
  • In large bowl of a stand-mixer at low speed, mix well first 7 ingredients (flour through eggs), scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat 3 more minutes. Stir in apples, nuts, and raisins.
  • Spread evenly in pan. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar just before serving.

Notes

COD CHOWDER WITH MADEIRA

Cod Chowder with Madeira

A creamy chowder with bite sized pieces of cod and diced vegetables.
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Soups - Main Course
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 ounces Canadian bacon trimmed of fat and 1/4" diced
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions approximately 1 medium
  • 1/2 cup carrots peeled and 1/4 " diced, approximately 1 medium
  • 1/2 cup celery trimmed and 1/4 " diced, approximately 1 stalk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 2 cups Russet potatoes peeled and 1/3" diced, approximately 2 medium
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons minced dried thyme leaves or 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds cod fillet cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 cups 2% milk preheated in microwave
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons Madeira
  • minced parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Place a 6-quart stock pot over medium heat; add canola oil. When hot, add Canadian bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Gradually add water while whisking to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Add potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Continue simmering uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons canola oil over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons of flour, whisk while cooking for about 3 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Gradually add preheated milk, whisking smooth between additions and until thickened and smooth.
  • To the stock pot with vegetables, add fish; cook another 3 minutes. Remove bay leaf and add milk mixture, stir to incorporate, and return to a simmer. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, stir in Madeira, sprinkle with minced parsley and serve.

Notes

Haddock fillet may be substituted for the cod.
Makes 2 quarts.
Serving Ideas: oyster crackers, cornbread, green salad or a side of steamed green vegetables.

STRAWBERRIES AND GRAPEFRUIT

Strawberries and Grapefruit

A nice pairing. Can be served as an appetizer for a spring meal.
Prep Time15 mins
Course: Fruit
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups sectioned grapefruit

Instructions

  • Combine fruits and gently stir to incorporate.

CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP

Cream of Asparagus Soup

This is a fabulous soup that does not have complex ingredients. Make sure the asparagus is in season for the best flavor.
Based on a recipe from Favorite Meals from Williamsburg, compiled and adapted by Chalotte Turgeon, 1982, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, p 30.
Total Time50 mins
Course: Soups - Starter
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups asparagus approximately 1 1/2 bunches, tough ends removed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup roughly chopped yellow onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk preheated
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Instructions

  • In a 6-quart stock pot, boil chicken broth. Add asparagus, onion, and bay leaf. Return to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
  • Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow to brown. Add preheated milk in increments, whisking smooth between additions. Mixture should be smooth and thick. Set aside off heat. 
  • Puree asparagus-chicken broth mixture using an immersion blender or blender until very smooth. Add milk mixture and either use immersion blender or whisk to incorporate. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  • Serve chilled or warm.

Notes

A double batch takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare. 

CHICKEN OR VEAL MARSALA

Chicken or Veal Marsala

Boneless chicken breast or veal scallopini browned in a frying pan and served with a simple Marsala wine sauce and sautéed mushrooms. Including mushrooms is optional.
Based on a recipe from The New York Times Cookbook, Craig Claiborne, Harper & Row Publishers, NY, 1962, p 158.
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course - Chicken, Main Course - Veal
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

MUSHROOMS

  • 1 pound white mushrooms stems trimmed, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

MEAT

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds veal or boneless chicken breast cut laterally into thin even slices
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup canned concentrated chicken bouillon
  • minced parsley for garnish

Instructions

MUSHROOMS

  • In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms; sauté until cooked. Set aside in covered bowl to keep warm.

MEAT

  • In a pie plate combine flour, salt, and pepper.
  • In same skillet over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons oil and heat until shimmering.
  • Dredge meat in seasoned flour and place in single layer in skillet. Brown chicken in two batches, if necessary. Brown on both sides until slightly under-done and transfer to paper towel lined plate.
  • When all chicken has been browned, return to skillet, add Marsala, cook one minute longer over medium heat. Transfer meat to warm serving platter; top with reserved mushrooms.
  • Add bouillon to pan juices. Use whisk to scrape loose browned bits and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste. Pour over mushrooms and meat. Sprinkle with some minced parsley and serve immediately.

Notes

This recipe can be scaled up for a party. Instead of using chicken cutlets, cut chicken into nuggets and cook in a big batch.

ANDALUSIAN CREAM SOUP

Andalusian Cream Soup

A creamy textured soup with a flavor that offers a balance of tomatoes, celery, and onions. It is rice based but is finished with some light cream.
Inspired by the popular menu fixture, Crème Andalouse, at La Bonne Soupe in midtown Manhattan.
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Soups - Starter, Vegetarian
Servings: 11 cups
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 2 cups yellow onions sliced 1/4" thick, approximately 2 medium-size
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
  • 2 1/2 cups diced celery with leaves
  • 4 cups peeled and diced tomatoes approximately 2 pounds
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth preheated
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste approximately 1 teaspoon

GARNISH

  • fresh parsley leaves chopped

Instructions

  • Place sliced onions in medium bowl and add cold water to cover and cider vinegar. Let soak at least 15 minutes while preparing remaining ingredients. Drain, use towel to squeeze out excess moisture. Roughly chop; a food processor saves time.
  • Place a 6-quart stock pot over medium heat. Add butter or margarine and melt.  Add onions and garlic; saute until onion is transparent, approximately 4 minutes. Add celery; saute until celery begins to soften, approximately 4 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, broth, and tomato paste; stir to blend well. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add rice, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until rice is tender, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, cool slightly. Use an immersion blender  or blender to puree until very smooth.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. If too thick, adjust consistency using additional broth. If planning freeze a portion, set it aside before adding cream. Use a whisk to slowly add correct portion of cream to remaining soup. Reheat, if necessary. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve hot.

Notes

Using a food processor to chop onions and celery will save time.
For vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
If doubling, use an 8 quart stock pot and allow additional time. 
Use field tomatoes or canned for the best flavor. If using fresh tomatoes, add additional time.

STIR-FRIED PORK AND PEPPERS WITH GINGER, SCALLIONS AND HOISIN SAUCE

Stir-Fried Pork and Peppers with Ginger, Scallions and Hoisin Sauce

A nice stir-fry with pork loin, marinated in soy sauce and sherry, combined with red and green peppers, green onions and a sauce made with hoisin and dry sherry. Sesame oil drizzled on just before serving lends a nice, slightly nutty flavor.
Based on a recipe by Rosa Ross, New Wok Cooking, Clarkson Potter, May, 2000.
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course - Pork
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin sliced 1/4" thick

MARINADE

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

REMAINING INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 scallions (green & white part), minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced 3/4 inch
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced 3/4 inch
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

Instructions

  • If serving with rice, start rice first.

MARINADE

  • In a medium bowl, add all marinade ingredients; stir to combine. Add sliced pork, toss to combine; allow to marinate at least 10 minutes.

STIR-FRY

  • Place a large non-stick or cast iron skillet (approximately 11 inches) or carbon-steel wok on stove, add canola oil and over high heat, heat until just smoking. Add scallions and ginger; stir-fry until aromatic, approximately 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, add only pork, reserving excess marinade for sauce at end. Stir-fry pork until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add peppers; stir-fry another minute. Add hoisin sauce, sherry, salt, and black pepper; stir to combine. To reserved marinade, add 2 tablespoons of water, then add to skillet. Heat through, stirring to blend well. Remove from heat, drizzle with sesame oil, and serve immediately.

Notes

The ingredients will just fit in an 11 inch skillet, to scale-up a larger pan is required.

CHICKEN CANZANESE

Chicken Canzanese

This braised chicken recipe is all about the sauce, made with white wine, broth, prosciutto, sage, bay leaves, cloves, and pepper. At the end it is finished with a bit of lemon juice and rosemary. 
Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, Kenji Lopez-Alt, May & June 2010, p 19.
Prep Time1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Can Prepare Ahead, Main Course - Chicken
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 2 ounces prosciutto 1/4 inch thick cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 4 medium garlic cloves sliced thin lengthwise
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs about 8, bone-in, skin-on trimmed of excess fat and skin, keep skin on
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons unbleached flour
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup no-sodium chicken broth
  • 12 whole fresh sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves whole
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves minced fine, stem reserved
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  • Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Use 12-inch cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, or oven-proof pot.
  • Place pot on stove, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and heat until shimmering over medium heat. Add prosciutto; saute approximately 3 minutes when it just begins to brown. Add sliced garlic and saute until golden brown, approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic and prosciutto to small bowl. Do not rinse pan.
  • Increase heat to medium-high; add remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and heat until just smoking. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, season with black pepper, then place skin side down in pot (if using skinless chicken, place bone side up). Cook , without moving until well browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Use tongs to turn; brown on second side, approximately 5 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to large plate.
  • Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot. Over heat, add flour, and whisking constantly, cook for 1 minute. Gradually add wine and broth, using whisk to loosen browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly reduced, 3 minutes. Add cloves, rosemary stem, sage leaves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and reserved prosciutto and garlic; stir to incorporate. Place chicken in pot, skin side up (skin should be above surface of liquid), and bake, uncovered, until meat is fork tender but not falling off bones, approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. (Check after 15 minutes; if bubbling vigorously, reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F, so liquid gently bubbles.)
  • Using tongs, transfer chicken to rimmed serving platter and cover to keep warm. Discard sage leaves, rosemary stem, cloves, and bay leaves. Place skillet with sauce over high heat, bring to a boil, and reduce to 1 1/4 cups, approximately 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in minced rosemary and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce around chicken and serve.

Notes

The chicken in this recipe is braised in an uncovered skillet, so chicken with the skin on works best. However, skinless chicken is alright as well but will be a bit drier.

MOCHA CREAM CHOCOLATE ROLL

Mocha Cream Chocolate Roll

Making this phenomenal cake is not too difficult. A light, chocolate cake is baked in a rimmed baking pan and then rolled up while hot. Once cool, it is filled with coffee flavored whipped cream and glazed with melted semisweet chocolate.
The cake for this recipe is based on a Jelly Roll cake from Betty Crocker's Cookbook, Golden Press, NY, 1983, p 244.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Cooling Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 8
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE ROLL CAKE

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • confectioner's sugar

MOCHA CREAM

  • 1 3/4 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

CHOCOLATE GLAZE

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine or butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Instructions

CHOCOLATE ROLL CAKE:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line rimmed baking pan , 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch, with waxed paper and grease generously. 
  • In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • To the large bowl of a stand mixer, add eggs. Beat at high speed until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in granulated sugar. On low speed, beat in water and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture; beating just until smooth. Evenly distribute batter in prepared pan. Bake until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place paper towels that are slightly wider and longer than cake pan on a clean work surface and sprinkle generously with confectioner's sugar. When cake is done, immediately loosen from edges of pan, and invert on prepared  paper towels. Carefully remove waxed-paper. Trim off edges, if necessary. While hot, carefully roll up cake together with towel from narrow end. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. 

MOCHA CREAM:

  • Dissolve coffee in water and allow to cool. In bowl of stand-mixer combine whipping cream, cocoa, confectioner's sugar, and dissolved coffee. Beat at medium speed until stiff peaks form.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE:

  • Place bowl of mixer over a pot of hot, not boiling, water, melt chocolate together with margarine or butter. Chocolate may be somewhat stiff. Beat in corn syrup and milk until smooth and cooled. Glaze will thicken as it cools. 

FILLING AND GLAZING CAKE:

  • Unroll cake and remove towel. Spread Mocha Cream evenly over cake. Roll up. Place on serving dish, seam side down. To protect serving plate from dripping glaze, line edges around cake with waxed-paper. Spread Chocolate Glaze while still warm over top and down sides of roll. Remove waxed-paper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Variations include substituting the mocha cream with whipped cream that has been flavored with cocoa and hazelnut or coffee liqueur, or ice cream.
This recipe can be used to make a Buche de Noel by dusting with some cocoa, adding meringue mushrooms and other decorations. 

HUMMUS

Hummus

Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, Matthew Herron, May & June 2008, p 19.
Prep Time25 mins
Resting time30 mins
Course: <= 30 Min Prep, Can Prepare Ahead, Hors D'Oeuvres, Snacks, Vegetarian
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons tahini stirred well ( Joyva or Krinos are best)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 14 ounces canned chickpeas drained and rinsed (Pastene or Goya are best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic minced, 1 average clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 to 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or parsley leaves

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients except cilantro or parsley to a food processor and process until fully ground and smooth, scraping down sides of bowl periodically. 
  • Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle with cilantro or parsley, cover tightly and allow to sit at least 30 minutes so flavors meld. Before serving drizzle with some olive oil.

Notes

Serving ideas:  Use as a dip for raw vegetables, tortilla chips or chips with sesame seeds, and pita bread. Use to make a vegetarian wrap with vegetables.
To prepare using dried chickpeas, place 1/2 cup rinsed chickpeas in large bowl and cover with 1 quart of water. Soak overnight. Drain. In large saucepan over high heat, add chickpeas, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 quart water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are tender, about 1 hour. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water then drain and cool. Continue with recipe for Hummus, using  cooking water in place of tap water.

CREME CARAMEL

Crème Caramel

A classic French restaurant dessert menu item. The caramel turns to a sauce as the custard cooks and, when inverted onto a plate, yields a beautiful golden color.
Based on a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Zoe Coulson, Hearst Books, New York, 1980, p. 359.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Desserts - Other
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

Caramel

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Custard

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter eight 6-ounce custard cups very well. Gather a rimmed baking pan to fit custard cups.

Caramel

  • In small saucepan, over medium heat, add 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Stir with a whisk continually, until sugar melts and turns to a light brown syrup. Distribute evenly into prepared custard cups. Place cups in rimmed baking pan.

Custard

  • In large bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and 1/2 cup granulated sugar on low speed, until lemon colored. Beat in milk and vanilla. Distribute evenly on top of caramel in custard cups.
  • Put hot water in rimmed pan to just within one inch of top of cups. Bake 1 hour or until when a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack, then refrigerate until cold. To serve, run a knife around edge of custard cup, place dessert plate on top and invert. Caramel should flow over edges of custard, forming a pool of sauce around it. 

Notes

Prepare a day in advance or early in the morning.

CHICKEN CACCIATORE

 

Chicken Cacciatore

Based on a recipe by Lisa Schroeder, Danielle Centoni that was excerpted from the cookbook Mother's Best and found on finecooking.com.
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course - Chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken cut into serving pieces or 3 pounds chicken legs and thighs
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound button or cremini mushrooms sliced 1/4-inch thick, approximately 2 cups
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 3/4 cup carrots peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick, about 1 large carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups green bell pepper seeded and sliced 1/4- inch thick, about 1 medium pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic finely chopped, about 3 large cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc ( for a deeper flavor use red wine and add a tsp of dry oregano)
  • 28 ounces canned unsalted diced tomatoes with juice

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a Dutch oven with lid works best, but a cast iron skillet or oven-proof non-stick skillet that can be covered tightly with a lid is fine too.
  • Mix flour, 1 tsp. pepper, and 2 tsp. Kosher salt in a shallow dish. Coat the chicken on all sides.
  • Heat Dutch oven over medium heat for several minutes. When hot, add 1/4 cup of oil; heat until shimmering. Add chicken, skin side down in single layer; cook over medium heat without moving for about 4 minutes, or until browned on first side. Turn over and repeat, reduce heat if it browns too quickly. Transfer to large plate lined with paper towels.
  • In oil remaining in pot, saute onions until translucent., about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrots, green pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook while stirring an additional 2 minutes. Add wine and stir to scrape up browned bits. Add tomatoes and their liquid.
  • Return chicken to pan, submerging in vegetable mixture; bring to a simmer. Cover tightly with lid and place in oven. Cook for about 1 hour, or until chicken is very tender.
  • Sauce should have a rich-soup consistency. If watery, transfer chicken to a bowl and cover to keep warm, reduce sauce over medium-high heat until thickened. Add additional salt to taste.

Notes

Skinless and boneless chicken thighs work well. Serving suggestions include wide egg noodles or farfalle pasta.

SHRIMP SCAMPI

Shrimp Scampi

This is a classic recipe for shrimp broiled in lemon, garlic, and butter. A fun fact is that if the garlic is a bit old the acid in the lemon will turn it a blue-green color, so make sure the garlic is fresh!
Based on a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Zoe Coulson, Hearst Books, New York, 1980, p 164.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time38 mins
Course: Main Course - Seafood
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds large fresh shrimp shelled and deveined
  • 4 large garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Garnish

  • lemon wedges

Instructions

  • Preheat broiler. Line rimmed baking pan with foil. 
  • Place shrimp in single layer on pan.
  • In 1-quart saucepan or microwave dish, add minced garlic, butter, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper). Heat until butter is melted.
  • Spoon butter mixture evenly over shrimp. Broil until shrimp are pink and cooked, about 5 - 8 minutes.
  • Serve immediately sprinkled with parsley and garnished with lemon.

Notes

Serving suggestions include rice and steamed vegetables.

STUFFED PEPPERS

Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course - Beef
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 8 large green or red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese plus an additional 3 tablespoons
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain or brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup red wine optional
  • 28 ounces canned unsalted crushed tomatoes with 1 cup reserved

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking dish large enough to hold all the peppers.
  • Cook rice according to package directions.
  • Bring a 6-quart stock pot 2/3 full with water to a boil.  Trim off tops of peppers and carefully remove seeds and pith. In 2 batches, par boil for 10 minutes. Use tongs to remove from pot; cool upside down on a large plate.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic; saute until onion is transparent. Add meat, use a spoon to break it up and cook until no longer red. Drain and discard juices.
  • Stir in rice and all remaining ingredients, except reserved cup of tomatoes. Spoon mixture into peppers. Place, top side up, in greased baking dish. Top each pepper with approximately 2 tablespoons of reserved crushed tomatoes and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake uncovered until peppers are tender, forty minutes. Serve while hot.

Notes

Red peppers will be sweeter than green ones. Serving suggestions include steamed corn and tossed salad. Stuffed peppers do not freeze well.

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

The addition of rum, pureed pineapple, and ginger greatly improve this traditional recipe. The yellow cake with pineapple and ginger has a topping of melted butter, rum, brown sugar, with pineapple and pecans.
Based on a recipe  from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, 1985, Workman Publishing, NY, p 87.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 9 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

Topping

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 9 slices canned pineapple natural juices drained with 1/2 cup juice reserved for cake
  • 25 pecan halves

Cake

  • 1/2 cup margarine room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 3 slices canned pineapple
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice reserved from canned pineapple

Garnish

  • Whipped Cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with two sheets of foil that crisscross and overhang edges, so cake can be easily lifted out after baking.
  • Pour melted butter into bottom of lined pan. Sprinkle brown sugar and rum evenly over butter. Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar. Use pecan halves to fill empty spaces. Set aside.
  • In bowl of a stand mixer, cream margarine and granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  • Using a blender or food processor, puree 3 pineapple slices with  1 tablespoon rum. Beat into batter in mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Beat into  batter in portions, alternating with reserved pineapple juice.
  • Spread batter evenly over pineapple slices in cake pan. Bake until golden and center springs back when gently touched, about 35 - 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. While still hot, grab sides of foil, lift cake out of pan and onto a cooling rack. Immediately invert onto serving platter and remove foil. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, if desired.

Notes

This recipe requires slightly more than one standard 20 ounce size can of sliced pineapple.
Use an oblong cake pan and scale up recipe one and a half times for approximately 13 servings.

SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS

Sausage and Peppers

Total Time45 mins
Course: Can Prepare Ahead, Main Course - Chicken, Main Course - Pork, Sandwiches
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic sliced
  • 2 red peppers sliced 1/2" wide x 3" strips
  • 2 green peppers sliced 1/2" wide x 3" strips
  • 1 medium onion sliced 1/4" thick
  • 1 pound sweet Italian pork or chicken sausage
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • Place sausage in a skillet and add water to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, occasionally turning sausages. After water has completely evaporated, continue cooking to brown sausages, turning as they brown. Once completely brown, remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess grease. When slightly cooled, slice.
  • Meanwhile, in a 6-quart pot heat oil. Add garlic, cook until brown then discard. Add sliced onions and peppers; cook 2 minutes, stirring. Stir in basil, salt, and peppers. Reduce heat to medium; cover; cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Stir in sliced sausage.
  • If preparing ahead, reheat in oven at about 350 degrees F.

Notes

Save time by cooking sausages and vegetables simultaneously in separate pots. A double batch takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve with rolls or Italian bread for a sandwich.

CHICKEN OR VEAL PROVENCALE

Chicken or Veal Provençale

A very easy and excellent recipe combining tomatoes, mushrooms, and wine with chicken or veal. Serve with pasta or noodles and a green vegetable for a complete meal.
Based on a recipe from The New York Times Cookbook, Craig Claiborne, 1961, Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., New York, NY, p 159.
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course - Chicken, Main Course - Veal
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or veal rib meat or scallopine up to 2 pounds of meat
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 ounces white mushrooms trimmed and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 16 ounces canned diced, unsalted tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • chopped parsley

Instructions

  • Cut meat into thin even slices. Pound, if necessary, until until even. Evenly coat with flour. 
  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add meat and brown on both sides, cooking until slightly underdone. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • In remaining oil in skillet saute garlic and mushrooms until mushrooms release their liquid.
  • Add tomatoes and liquid, wine, salt, and pepper. Simmer, reducing liquid somewhat, approximately 10 minutes.
  • Return meat to pan, submerging in sauce, until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

WAFFLES

Waffles

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Breads
Keyword: Freezes Well
Servings: 12 waffles
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs separated
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Serving Suggestions

  • maple syrup warmed
  • ice cream
  • confectioner's sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat waffle iron. Set a serving platter in oven and heat to about 175 degrees F.
  • Beat egg whites until they hold a soft peak and set aside.
  • Use mixer to combine remaining ingredients.  Use whisk to fold in beaten egg whites just until combined.
  • Cook waffles according to waffle iron directions. Serve immediately or place on serving platter in oven until ready to serve.
  • Freeze leftover waffles between sheets of wax paper. To reheat, microwave to partially defrost and then toast lightly.

GINGERBREAD CAKE

Gingerbread Cake

This recipe incorporates both fresh and ground ginger to create the right about of spiciness in this moist cake.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 9 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

Serving Suggestions

  • Whipped Cream
  • vanilla ice cream
  • confectioner's sugar

Instructions

  • With oven rack in the middle position, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 inch square cake pan.
  • In large bowl of stand mixer, add baking soda to the boiling water. Stir in molasses, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
  • In a separate medium bowl combine flour, ground ginger, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ground cloves.
  • To large mixing bowl with sugars, add eggs, oil, and grated ginger. Mix until combined.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to bowl with mixer at low speed. Once incorporated; then beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, spraping sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • Transfer batter to greased and floured pan. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or simply dust with confectioner's sugar.

MACARONI AND CHEESE

 

Macaroni and Cheese

This is not a sophisticated recipe, nor one to serve to guests, however one cannot argue with its fifteen minute prep time and the fact that leftovers never stay around long, making it ideal for a weeknight family meal. 
Based on a recipe that must have originated in the US in the late fifties or early sixties, given its ingredients.
Total Time15 mins
Course: <= 30 Min Prep, Main Course - Pasta
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta small tubular shapes, like elbow or penne, that hold sauce, work best
  • 10 3/4 ounce can condensed tomato soup Campbell's Healthy Request is a proven favorite
  • 8 ounces 2% extra-sharp white cheddar cheese grated

Instructions

  • In a 6-quart stock pot, boil water and cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain in a colander.
  • Using same burner but with heat turned off, return pot to stove, and immediately add condensed tomato soup. Return pasta to pot and stir to evenly coat. Add cheese, stir until melted and pasta is uniformly coated. Serve immediately.

Notes

The only thing that can go wrong with this recipe is that if the pasta cools too much before the cheese is added, then the cheese won't completely melt. This recipe is best when eaten immediately; leftovers never seem to reheat well.