Monday, March 14, 2011

Mom’s Corned Beef and Cabbage

In honor of St. Patty's Day, here is how to make some lucky Corned Beef and Cabbage!

3-4 lb Corned Beef
1 head of cabbage cut into wedges
½ cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic minced
2 bay leaves
1 tbs whole peppercorns
6 Med potatoes quartered
6 Med carrots

Meat topping
Prepared mustard- such as deli or spicy brown mustard
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp Ground cloves

For the meat:
In large pot place corned beef and barely cover with HOT water. Add chopped onion, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover and simmer 4 hours.

After the 4 hours remove meat to a baking dish and add the potatoes and carrots to pot. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes. Add cabbage wedges and cook 20 minutes more.

Mix together ¼ brown sugar and ½ tsp of ground cloves. Spread the meat with the mustard and sprinkle the meat with the sugar/cloves mixture. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Cut meat against the grain and arrange a dish with your potatoes, carrots and cabbage…

Don't forget the Irish Soda Bread!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mama's Cheesy Mashed Potatoes- Italian Style

My husband always told our kids that he only married me for my meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Apparently before me, he thought potatoes came in a box. Here's a cheesy way to make mashed potatoes. Recipe borrowed from Donna Martinez.

Potatoes – count on 1 potato per person and add 1 extra to the pot. Cut in quarters
Locatelli Romano or Parmesan grated cheese (NOTE: this does not mean Kraft parmesan! That's a sin!)
Mozzarella cheese shredded
1 stick margarine cut up (add more margarine if you use more than 5 large potatoes)
½ cup milk or more if needed

In a pot of water add cut potatoes and salt. Cook until fork tender.
Drain most of the water out of the pot until a small amount of water remains at the bottom
Return potatoes to pot and add margarine and salt and pepper
Add small amount of milk and using an electric hand blender mix well until lumps disappear. Add more milk as needed until potatoes are whipped and fluffy.

In a baking dish layer in half of the whipped potatoes and then sprinkle a layer of Locatelli or Parmesan Cheese and then a layer of shredded Mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and layer cheeses again.
Bake at 350 until top begins to brown.

Chicken Cordon Bleu- great date dinner

This is the perfect meal to make for a date or just to impress someone. Chicken Cordon Bleu sounds fancy, but it's so easy. Just remember to warn them about the toothpicks!

1 lb chicken cutlet-thin sliced
¼ lb deli ham
¼ lb swiss cheese
seasoned bread crumbs
chicken broth/ stock
gravy master

If chicken pieces are not wide you can pound them out with some saran wrap and use meat mallet to make them wide.
Take a slice of ham and swiss to fit your chicken slice. Roll from small end to large end and secure with a tooth pick or two.
Roll in egg mixture and then bread crumbs. In a large frying pan, melt margarine and add rolled chicken pieces. Brown on all sides on medium heat. Don’t let the margarine get dark and add more margarine if needed. When all are browned you can put them in a 350 degree oven covered with foil and bake while you make the gravy. If you want to wait until gravy is made to bake that is fine too.
In the melted butter add some flour until liquid is absorbed and pasty. Slowly add chicken broth/stock a little at a time until you have the gravy consistency that you want. Add small amount of gravy master and, if needed, salt and pepper.
If you like mushrooms in this, you can brown them in the margarine before you add the flour.

When gravy is done you can check the chicken to make sure they are cooked and you can also add the gravy to the baking dish. and then bake a few minutes more.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Italian Hamburgers

I'm known for making a ton of food every night because there's always a chance that all these kids will show up.

2 lbs Chop Meat
4-5 cloves Garlic
1 small Onion
½ c Bread crumbs
½ c Grated cheese
1 Egg
1 package Mushrooms
2-3 chopped scallions
Gravy Master
6 ounces or more to taste Red wine or Marsala
1 small can Beef broth
1 small Mozzarella cheese
Baking pan (deep)

Make 4 hamburgers out of first 7 ingredients. In a large fry pan heat small amount of olive oil to pan and place burgers in pan on med/high. Cover and turn when well browned. When burgers are cooked remove and add mushrooms and chopped scallions to the pan and sauté. After mushrooms are cooked add flour to make gravy. Add in the wine first then the beef broth slowly to get a nice consistency. Add small amount of gravy master. Make sure gravy is thin it will get thicker in the oven.
Pour mixture over burgers in a baking pan and cook covered with foil for 30 minutes.
Remove foil cover and add mozzarella cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.