Some Good Recipes

TASTY, EASY RECIPES.. maybe you’ll find one you like.

Updated: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 by Amanda

Alan Alda’s Pasta With Tomatoes & Parmesan 6 Oct 2006


Alan Alda taught Martha Stewart how to make this. It’s delicious! The easiest pasta dish you will ever cook. You don’t even boil the pasta.
(Makes 4 to 6 helpings depending on serving size)

  • 3/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
  • 1 pound rigatoni or penne (or similar sized) pasta
  • Two 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesano-Reggiano cheese (I use 3/4 cup because I love this cheese)

1. Pour the oil into a 2½-quart (or larger) baking/casserole dish or bowl. Add dry pasta and stir until well coated. Let stand for 20 minutes or longer. (I add some chopped onion and/or minced garlic to this pasta/oil mixture but the original recipe has no onion or garlic in it. I also add basil and/or oregano if I have it/them.)

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Add the canned tomatoes to the pasta/oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or a fitted pot lid. Bake and stir every 15 minutes (then re-cover). Bake for 45 to 60 minutes for al dente, or until the pasta is done to your taste.

4. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the cheese, and stir together. Serve & enjoy.


Perfect Roast Beef 4 Nov 2006


Basic, infallible, very easy; slow-roasted in the oven. Will not dry out. Use any beef cut you like. A boneless eye round roast works great. These directions also make the perfect boneless pork loin roast.

Preheat oven to 500°F. Put a thawed or fresh cut roast in an open roasting pan. Place into preheated oven. No seasoning is necessary; this slow cooking method enhances the natural flavor of the meat. (Believe it or not beef has flavor.) Roast at 500°F for five (5) minutes per pound. For example, a 4 lb. roast should be baked for 20 minutes at 500°F. Then TURN OFF the oven WITHOUT OPENING the oven door. Let the roast remain inside the hot oven for 2 hours. Again, do not open the oven door until after 2 hours. Then remove the roast, slice, and serve, no resting of the roast is necessary.

Delicious served cold: After roasting, cool to room temperature, wrap tightly and refrigerate. To serve, slice thinly against the grain. This slow-roasting recipe produces tender sliced roast beef (or pork) for making delicious deli-style steak sandwiches, Dagwoods, grinders, cheese steaks, hoagies, subs, chef salads, etc etc.

(adapted from the Pass the Plate recipe collection from the Episcopal Churchwomen in New Bern NC)

Roasted Tomato Sauce (oven or grill, very easy, fun to make) 6 Oct 2006


Roasted tomatoes make the BEST sauce. After roasting you can mash them, puree them, or freeze them in their chunky state and decide what to do with them later. Add whatever you like: sweet or hot peppers, mushrooms, different herbs and seasonings, etc, etc. It’s hard to mess up this recipe unless you forget the timer and burn some tomatoes. Even then it still comes out pretty good, just remove anything scorched/burnt.

Ingredients:
  • Around 2 pounds of tomatoes, peeled if desired, halved, then quartered (or cut into 1-inch cubes). Scoop out the seeds for best flavor. Should measure around 4 cups or so.
  • If using cherry tomatoes, remove the stems and halve each one but don’t worry about the tiny seeds.
  • 1 chopped Walla Walla or Vidalia (or similar) large sweet onion in 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil (or 1/4 c. dry basil)
  • 8 or 10 cloves of whole garlic, peeled
  • About 1/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
  • About 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • About 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the tomatoes as desired. I cut them in half & scoop out the seeds before chopping. This only takes a few minutes.

1. Place the chopped tomatoes in a large roasting pan, jelly-roll pan, cake pan, or any baking sheet with sides. Add the onion, basil and garlic, distribute evenly. You can crowd the vegetables, but don’t go beyond one layer. Lightly drizzle olive oil over everything, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Roast in a preheated 350 to 400F degree oven (the hotter the oven, the shorter the roasting time) until the prepared tomatoes turn a deep golden brown – from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on oven temperature and size of the chopped pieces. I usually roast everything at 350F for 40 minutes or so. Just check it now and then to avoid overcooking or burning.

OR: You can also roast the vegetables over indirect heat on the grill, with the cover on.

When done (by either cooking method) the tomato mixture will have browned, collapsed and look wrinkled.

3. Remove pan from the oven or grill & let cool for a few minutes. Then with a spatula, scrape, stir, and blend the roasted tomato mixture together to incorporate all.

4. Pour into a large bowl or stew pot and mash everything together, or puree in a blender or food processor. Should make about 2 1/2 cups smooth sauce, or around 3 to 4 cups chunky sauce.

To freeze: ladle the sauce into freezer containers or freezer bags, leave about 1-inch head space. Let cool completely, then seal and freeze.

Crock Pot Navy Beans 6 Oct 2006

Almost no work involved. The easiest most delicious beans. Start the night before a tailgating or game party or Sunday dinner. Makes 8+ helpings, depending on serving size. Great with cornbread and your favorite grilled sausage.

CROCK POT LAZY NAVY BEANS

4 c. dry navy beans (pick over and rinse thoroughly)
8 c. water
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 c. brown sugar
4 tbsp. molasses
1/2 lb. of your favorite bacon or other cured/smoked meat, chopped
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. ketchup
1 minced onion (or more, depending on your taste/type of onion)
1/2 tsp. pepper (or more, if you like pepper like I do)

1. Mix everything together in a crock pot and bake all night on low.

2. In the morning briefly open the crock pot and stir the beans. Add a cup or so of water, or more if the beans seem dry or too thick. Stir together and replace the lid.

3. Ready by noon or earlier, depending on when you started cooking the previous night.

As for me, I usually cook the beans on low for around 6 hrs, then stir in a cup or so of water, re-cover, and let it cook for another hour or two on low. Smoked bacon or some other smoked meat is great for flavoring, or if you have a ham bone left over from a pork roast use that. If you keep Kosher, use a smoked or cured kosher sausage to add flavor, or a roasted veal/lamb/beefsteak bone (remove before serving), or other flavorful Kosher meat or sausage.
My Tip: slow cookers with the heating element on the bottom will probably need more water added than those with the wrap-around heating element around the sides.


Grilled Venison with Cranberry Chutney Dressing 12 Nov 2006

A tasty treat from the North Country where I grew up (never mind how long ago).

If you don’t have a grill, use the broiler in your oven.
Makes 4 helpings (double everything for 8 helpings)

1. FIRST PREPARE THE VENISON (THE DAY/NIGHT BEFORE):

Soak (4) eight-ounce venison steaks or similar prime venison cuts in milk for 24 hours in the fridge (the longer the better).

2. THEN FIX THE DRESSING:

Saves time and tastes best if you prepare this dressing the night before, after the venison starts marinating in the milk. Combine the following ingredients in a four-quart bowl and mix well, then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour:
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Major Grey’s chutney¹
1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon of wet mustard (I use Dijon)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(This chutney dressing mixture tastes great with anything: game, poultry, beef, pork, salmon, or whatever.)

3. GRILL THE STEAKS:
• Rinse the milk-marinated venison steaks, then pat dry with a paper towel.
• Brush steaks all over with olive oil (or melted bacon fat if you’re an “old school” venison lover)
• Pat, sprinkle, or dredge the venison steaks (all sides) with enough dry mustard to coat the meat
• Then sprinkle the steaks all over with freshly ground pepper
• Grill (or broil) venison steaks to desired doneness (to your taste)

4. DISH UP:
• Remove steaks from heat and quickly brush with 1/4 cup melted butter (or pour the melted butter over the hot steaks if you prefer), then sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
• Serve the chilled chutney dressing on top (or on the side) of each steak. Garnish with fresh cranberries and chopped parsley, if you have them.

¹Major Grey’s is a delicious type or style of mango chutney, not a brand. Use any brand of Major Grey’s chutney. Major Grey’s is an old favorite up in the North Country, served with any kind of meat or salmon. If you haven’t tried it before, now is a good time to start.

(recipe adapted from Chef Manning at the Jefferson County Children’s Home)


Best Pan-Fried Chicken 6 Oct 2006

  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
    (or 3 lbs. of chicken parts, bone in)
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or regular milk)
  • 1 cup dry potato flakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or your favorite seasoning combo for chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

1. Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. In a shallow dish or bowl (or a big food storage bag), pour buttermilk (or regular milk) and add chicken pieces. Cover (or seal the bag) and marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. (Discard buttermilk or milk after marinating.)

2. Mix the potato flakes, flour, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and store until you are ready to cook the chicken. Dredge the marinated chicken pieces in this potato flake/flour mixture to coat thoroughly.

3. In a large skillet, heat oil until hot (350° to 375°). Fry chicken over medium heat until golden brown and juices run clear. Turn pieces when necessary to cook evenly. Smaller pieces cook faster, so turn and remove them first.

Note: You can substitute bread crumbs for flakes, although potato flakes give the coating a nice light puffy texture.

Baked Honey Almond Chicken 6 Oct 2006

Makes 6 servings

6 bone-in chicken parts (OR 3 split cornish hens)
1/2 cup butter (or olive oil)
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Arrange chicken parts in a baking dish, set aside.
2. Melt butter (or heat olive oil) in a skillet over medium heat, and cook onion 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in honey, almonds, and lemon juice, and continue cooking until heated through. Pour over the chicken, coating each piece.
3. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking another 20 to 30 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear.


Maple Nut Ice Cream 3 Oct 2012

New England custard style ice cream, easy to make with a mixer. No ice cream maker necessary.

3 eggs, separated
1 c. maple syrup (medium or dark amber, whichever you prefer)
1/2 t. salt
1 pint whipping cream
1/2 c. nutmeats (optional but toasted walnuts are traditional)

Beat egg yolks until thick, about 2 min. at high speed. Add syrup to egg yolks while beating at medium speed, about 1 minute. Transfer to top of double boiler and cook until it forms a soft custard, stirring constantly. Remove and set aside to cool. Beat egg whites and salt together in clean dry bowl at high speed until stiff, about 2 minutes. In separate bowl, beat cream at high speed until stiffly whipped, about 2 minutes. Fold together the whipped cream and egg whites, then fold in the custard and nutmeats. Pour into deep tray or cake pan and freeze for 90 minutes or until almost firm (60 min. in my modern freezer), then remove, transfer to a mixer bowl and beat again for two minutes at medium speed. Return to freezer until frozen firm. Serves 8.

(From Grandma’s recipe file from 1946 when she bought an electric mixer.)


Montgomery Pie (makes 2 pies) 3 Oct 2012

Makes sweet mildly lemony layered pies. Extra delicious when served with whipped cream.

Start with 2 unbaked pie shells, then

1. Mix these thoroughly to form the syrup then divide evenly into the 2 pie shells:

juice and rind from 1 lemon
1/2 c. molasses
1 c. water
1/2 c. cane sugar
1 egg
1/2 T. flour

2. To make the cake top, mix these together, divide evenly, & pour over the liquid ingredients in the pie shells:

3/4 c. cane sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 egg
1 c. milk
1 t. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour

Bake at 350 (for glass pie pans) to 375 (metal pans) °F for 35 to 45 min. or until golden.

(From Grandma’s recipe file, dated “July 1955”)


Easy Low-fat Diet Cola Cake 6 Oct 2006


1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 12-ounce can of diet Coke
(that’s it, just diet Coke and cake mix)

Use any brand cake mix, add the diet Coke and mix together. Bake according to the package directions (preheat oven, grease & flour the pan, etc).

When cooled, sprinkle the cake with confectioners sugar, or top with diet Cool Whip. Or use any topping you like, fruit preserves, orange marmalade, frozen yogurt, ice cream, etc.

Variations:
diet Sprite/White Cake Mix
diet Cherry Coke/Cherry Cake Mix
(or go crazy and try your own combination)

Blueberry French-Toast Casserole 6 Oct 2006

From NEWSDAY - Easy to prepare ahead.

12 slices dry white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups), divided
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Blueberry-flavored syrup or maple syrup, for serving

To dry the bread slices: arrange bread in a single layer on a wire rack, cover loosely and let stand overnight. Or cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes, spread in a large baking pan and bake, uncovered, in a 300-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until dry, stirring twice; cool.

Place half of bread cubes over the bottom of a well-buttered, 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle cream cheese and blueberries over bread cubes. Top with remaining bread cubes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Beat in milk and syrup. Carefully pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours.

Bake, covered, in a 375-degree oven for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake about 25 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and topping is puffed and golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with additional syrup.

Yield: 8 to 10 helpings

Grilled Peaches 6 Oct 2006

If you can’t find Greek or Greek-style yogurt, strain plain whole-milk yogurt through cheesecloth or a coffee filter for about an hour, then proceed with the recipe. These peaches are also delicious topped with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

1 cup Greek or Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon of your favorite honey
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
4 peaches, pitted, cut into halves
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Combine yogurt, honey and mint and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. (Or use a grill pan on the stove).

Brush peach halves with melted butter. Mix sugar and cardamom and turn peach halves in the mixture until coated. Lightly press the sugar mixture into the peaches with your fingers. Grill peaches 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks form and peaches are softened. Allow to cool slightly, then serve topped with yogurt. Serves 4 (2 halves per person).


Apple Pan Goody 6 Oct 2006

4 to 6 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced (Granny Smith apples from the supermarket taste great in this)
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or raisins or currants or other dried fruit)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
6 eggs
1-1/2 cups orange juice
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Maple syrup, optional

In a large skillet, sauté apples, cranberries, brown sugar and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon in butter until apples begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.

In a blender, combine the eggs, orange juice, flour and salt; cover and process until smooth. Pour over apple mixture. Sprinkle with sugar and remaining cinnamon. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve with syrup, if desired.

Yield: 8 helpings.

Zucchini Pie 6 Oct 2006

This pie is delicious. Even people who hate veggies love this pie. Perfect in the summer and through the fall when your local fresh zucchini is abundant and bountiful. You’ll need one bottom pie shell/crust.

FILLING:
6 cups of peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced zucchini (about 2 or so pounds of zucchini)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 unbaked bottom pie shell (as noted above)

STREUSEL TOPPING:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Make the filling first: In a medium (3 qt.) saucepan over medium heat, combine zucchini, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Stir to mix and cook until tender, but not mushy, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. In a large measuring cup or a small bowl, mix the flour with the remaining 1/2 cup lemon juice until smooth. Stir into the zucchini mixture. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Then make the topping: Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the chopped nuts. Divide mixture into 2 halves.

Now assemble & bake the pie: Spoon the filling into the pie shell. Top with half of the streusel topping. Place in the oven and reduce heat to 350°F. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the filling bubbles. Remove from oven. Sprinkle the remaining streusel topping over the pie. Turn on the broiler. Place pie under the broiler (not TOO close) for 1 or 2 minutes, or until topping is browned.

Cool the pie on a wire rack. Serve warm or cooled. Like most pies, best served the same day or within a day of baking. Serves 6 to 8.

(Adapted from The Classic Zucchini Cookbook by Nancy Ralston, Marynor Jordan, and Andrea Chesman)

Fried Apples 19 Oct 2006

A basic recipe for fried apples which you can serve with just about anything at any time. Makes around 6 helpings.

8 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

1. Over medium heat, melt butter in saucepan or deep skillet and add remainder of ingredients.
2. Sauté or simmer until apples are tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Serve over pancakes or waffles for breakfast. Or serve as a side dish with poultry, pork, lamb, or beef. Or serve over ice cream and/or under whipped cream for dessert. Also tastes and looks great as the filling and topping for a baked layer cake, instead of the usual frosting (refrigerate the leftovers, if any).


Perfect Peanut Brittle 4 Nov 2006


Very easy to make. No candy thermometers needed! Makes a great treat. Nice to give out at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, or for any other occasion; excellent old-fashioned bake sale delicacy; everybody loves this old-time homemade brittle.

1 pound skinless peanuts (raw, or roasted salted, it doesn’t matter)
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted peanuts)
1 teaspoon baking soda

First butter a large baking or cookie sheet. I use my trusty jelly roll pan.

Mix all ingredients, except baking soda, in an electric skillet. You can also use a large fry pan on the stove but an electric skillet works perfectly. Turn heat to high to cook, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. When candy turns a light golden brown, turn off the heat (or remove skillet from stove), stir in baking soda (it will foam up but don’t worry keep stirring) then turn onto a large buttered cookie or baking sheet. Spread out, cool completely, then break into pieces.

Note: Also delicious if made with other types of nuts – walnuts, pecans, almonds, mixed nuts, or whatever. You can adapt this basic recipe and use different nuts, seeds, and flavorings. Some people add a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract before adding the baking soda but it’s completely optional.

(adapted from the Merrymeeting Merry Eating recipe collection from the Regional Memorial Hospital in Brunswick Maine)