Mom’s Seafood Cioppino

Ingredients:

– 1 large onion
– 1 red bell pepper- sliced into thin strips
– 5 large diced tomatoes or 1 26 oz. can of diced tomatoes
– 1 cup red or white wine
– 1 cube chicken bullion or 1 cup clam juice

– olive oil, butter
– 1 pinch of saffron
– 1/4 tsp. ground thyme
– 2 cloves garlic minced
– 1 bay leaf
– 1/2 tsp basil

– one can canned clams and clam broth
– ½ lb. each shrimp (cleaned and de-veined), scallops, crabmeat, mussels
– 1 lb. white fish (halibut, sea bass, or talapia)
– 8 fresh clams

Garnish (optional)
– 1/2 tsp. parsley
– Red Pepper Flakes

Cooking:
1. Saute onion until transparent in olive oil
2. Add red pepper strips and a pat of butter for flavor. Cook until soft.
3. Add diced tomatoes cook until soft.
4. Add white or red wine, crushed chicken bullion cube, clam juice [drained juice from can of clams].
Reserve the clams from the can to add to the sauce later.
5. Add herbs and seasoning and let simmer for 20 min.
6. Add the seafood in this order with a lid on the pot:
– Fresh Crab (let simmer for 5 min)
– White fish
– Whole live clams
– Mussels
[let the shells open up- when the shells have opened you can add the other seafood in the following order. If any of the shellfish shells do not open after a few minutes and all the others have opened- throw the unopened ones out- they are bad].
– Remaining clams reserved from the can
– Shrimp
– Scallops
[Cook these last items just for a few minutes- if you overcook they will become tough].
6. Serve over fettucini and sprinkle with parsley and red pepper flakes

Italian Meat Sauce

Ingredients:

1 large yellow onion
1 Tbs olive oil
1 lb. lean ground turkey or chicken sausage
2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
1 tsp celery salt
1 chicken bullion cube
1/2 Tbs Thyme
1/2 Tbs Oregono
6 fresh basil leaves
1 Tsp Ground Black pepper
8 mushrooms
1 very large fresh tomato ( can sub 1 16 oz. can of crushed tomatoes)
1 cup red wine (merlot or cab)

Cooking:

  1. Sauté 1 onion in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until the onion is transparent.
  2. Add 1 lb. of ground lean beef and sauté until cooked.
  3. Add spices
  4. Add about 6 large sliced mushrooms and 2 diced mushrooms- sauté until just cooked.
  5. Add tomatos
  6. Add red wine
  7. Cook for about 15 minutes.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potato with Sage, Bacon and Pecan

I cobbled this together from several online recipes. I was looking for something to go well with a Pork loin Roast with winter fruit. Initially I was thinking just the sweet potato with sage, but I wanted something with some bitterness to cut the heaviness of the apricot/prune glaze on the pork. That’s where the brussel sprouts came in. The combination worked perfectly. While the pork was meant to be the focal point, this side stole the show.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Brussel sprouts (trimmed of loose leaves and halved)
  • 1 lb. Sweet Potato 1-inch cubes (one large potato)
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 4 strips of bacon (diced)
  • 1 cup red onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
  • 1.5 Tbs Sage

Prep

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400
  2. Toss sprouts and potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl
  3. Saute onion and bacon in frying pan over medium heat until onions begin to release – 3 min.
  4. add pecans and sage saute for another 3 min
  5. Combine bacon, onion pecan mixture with sprouts and potatoes in the mixing bowl
  6. Transfer to 8X11 inch roasting pan and roast for 35-45 min

Top Shelf Cherries

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh cherries (Bing or Rainier), stems and pits removed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
  • Pinch of fresh nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp whole allspice berries
  • whole star anise, broken in half
  • ¾ cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup cherry liqueur (I use Cherry Marnier)

Directions:

In a large pot combine water and sugar. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the pot and add the pod. Stir in the cinnamon stick, nutmeg, allspice and star anise. Bring to a simmer. Once sugar has fully dissolved, remove from heat and cover for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pack cherries into clean and sanitized jars, leaving ½ inch space from top of the jar.

After 15 minutes, remove the vanilla bean pod, cinnamon stick, allspice and piece of star anise. Stir in brandy and cherry liqueur. Ladle the syrup mixture over the jars of packed cherries, ensuring that the liquid covers the cherries completely. Cover tightly with lids.

Optional: Process jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Store in a cool, dry place. Store cherries for 2-3 months before serving to allow flavors to develop. Refrigerate jars after opening.

 

Classic French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 4 thick slices (6 normal slices) of 2-day-old brioche or challah bread, better if slightly stale
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • butter (to grease pan)

optional a)

  • 1.5 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1.5 tsp Grand Marnier

optional b)

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Prep:

  1. Whisk wet ingredients (all but bread) in a large mixing bowl
  2. Pour mix into 8×11 baking dish
  3. Soak each slice of bread in baking dish for 1 minute per side
  4. Transfer to buttered pan over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes per side