My Kitchen Favorites
The challenge which created this series of pages was to come up with a list of the different dishes I've been known to prepare. These are not the only ones I know, but are the most often made. I know there are more which I haven't made in a while, they will be added to the lists accordingly (as I remember them!) Thank you for your interest.
A lot of the problems with sharing recipes is, many of us do not follow a written recipe once we have it by memory. A dish may have started out that way, but once done to preference, it becomes a simple habit. Just put in "so much of this" and "so much of that" and it works great.
Also I know what works together and what I like. Many of my recipes are done from having made them so often I don't know the specifics anymore. I advise learning what combinations work for you, experiment with what you like and see what happens. Find a recipe which sounds good and play with it to your liking.
Categories include Main Dishes, Italian Favorites, specialties from the Grill, Oven Roasts, Comfort Foods
In some cases a recipe will sound bizarre or impossible. I recall when I first learned the recipe for cocktail meatball sauce. Two completely opposite ingredients mixed together in equal parts and magic happened. I compare it to how Oxygen and Hydrogen, two gases but when mixed the right way becomes water. This recipe is included in these pages.
Chicken cut into strips and sauteed with onions and peppers with soft shells and a salsa on the side for fun.
Haven't done this one yet, every time I start I end up with Lamb Creole. I'm sure this will be amazing if I can get past the preference.
Covered in a zesty BBQ sauce and slow grilled to caramelize the sauce onto the chicken.
Yes I do make things without meat in it.
Swirls of Pasta with chopped purple onions, green, red, yellow and orange peppers, celery,
shredded carrots and radishes; all mixed in with Italian dressing. With Pasta Salad, it's all about the color. I also do use a lot of the dressing as the pasta soaks it up pretty quickly.
Potatoes, Peppers and Onions
All the ingredients cubed and mixed with Olive Oil and Italian seasoning (Oregano, Basil, Thyme), salt and black pepper then baked in the oven until done, stirring periodically to evenly brown the potatoes.
No menu is complete anymore without some form of Buffalo Wings.
First seasoned with hot seasoning, then cooked in a convection cooker to reduce the oily aspects of frying for about 30-35 minutes , and finished with a Buffalo Sauce. BBQ Wings are also made for those who can't take the heat. You can fry them, but it's so much more of a mess and all that oil...
Ground beef with a tangy Barbecue blend and glaze.
Fantastic comfort food!
Tomatoes, Onions, Celery, Peppers, Garlic = Creole
Just need to add a preference, lamb, chicken, beef, shrimp etc.
(My preference and suggestion is Lamb)
Creole is comprised of Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Garlic and Celery and spiced with Paprika and Cayenne Pepper. Served over rice this is a nice warm dish. The spice heat can be varied up or kept down.
For four servings:
2 whole chicken breasts skinned and boned
1/2 tsp sale
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped green peoper
2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
1 can (1 1/4 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp paprika
Dash cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water
(optional: minced celery leaves for garnesh)
1) wash chicken, trim off any excess fat, pat dry
2) With kitchen shears cut chicken into 1" pieces, toss w/ salt & pepper
3) In a large skillet heat oil, add chicken & cook over medium-high to high heat for about 5 minutes or until chicken is opaque on all sides and very slightly golden, tossing chicken frequently. Remove chicken and juices; set aside.
4) In same skillet heat oil, add onion, celery, green pepper and garlic, sauté until vegetables are tender.
5) Stir in tomatoes and their liquid, bread-up with a spoon. Stir in 1/2 cup water, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper and bay leaf.
6) Bring to a boil. cover and simmer over low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir in chicken and juices.
7) Blend together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Stir into chicken mixture.
8) Uncover and simmer over low heat 10-15 minutes or until chicken is done and tender. Serve over rice.
I have found I like to double everything whenever I make it. The ratios are easy to double; 2 of onion to 1 of each of the other elements. You can substitute chicken with lamb, beef, turkey, shrimp, lobster etc. The aspect of "creole" is the
combination of onion, celery, peppers, tomatoes and garlic. I also tend to add a lot of extra meat to it since there is always an abundance of the mixture left over.
Instead of Chicken, you can use any of the following.
Lamb ** THIS IS THE BEST OF ALL! ** I first did Creole with chicken, then one day I noticed a piece of boneless lamb and remembered how well it works when I make a Marinara Sauce. So I tried it. I will never use anything else. Lamb Creole is amazing. Tomatoes seem to infuse with lamb in a fantastic way.
This was a popular favorite at Christmas for a few years. Logistics at my current home made this virtually impossible for the entire family to participate in the process properly. My "Fondue" dinner was pretty straight forward as the different elements will show. We did all three major kinds of Fondue, Meats, Cheese, and Chocolate.
At first I would have cubes of Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Pork and Shrimp. This became way too much so it was cut down to Beef and Lamb. Special fondue forks were used to hold the meat as it was dipped into a small fryer (a "Fry-Daddy" ). There would then be sauces to dip in, though most just had them "plain" straight out of the fryer. (After it cooled a bit of course.)
A mix of Swiss, Gruyere and other cheese along with white wine and garlic. Take a cube of bread on a fondue fork and dip it in the melted cheese. In a traditional fashion, one can also dip it in a liquer or brandy like Kirschewasser (German for Cherry Water).
A liquid chocolate fountain is used for dipping into. The dipping items included but was not limited to butter cookies, various fruits, pieces of cake, fingers, spoons, straws. They loved the Chocolate Fountain!
Italian Marinara / Spaghetti Sauce
This is probably the first complex food I learned. I learned it from my mother.
I make a big batch of it at once. When done, I portion off and freeze in quantities of 1 qt. I'm not sure if I know how to make a small amount anymore. Here's how it goes.
Cover the bottom of the pot with olive oil.
Take Lamb neck bones, (I like to use as many as I can fit in the pot). Season with salt and pepper.
Saute lamb neck bones until brown. You can add in additional amounts of the meat, e.g. chops, cuttings, cubes.
Once browned, remove from the oil and set aside.
Depending on the quantity being made, use 1-3 large onions finely chopped and saute them until they start to become translucent. During this time, add in at least 1 complete bulb of garlic.
When this is all ready, pour in the tomatoes. I use both crushed and whole peeled Italian style, crushing the whole tomatoes with my hand before they begin to get warm. I tend to use at least 5 - 6, 28oz cans if not more depending on the size of the pot I am using. As I said, I make a large amount at once. Sometimes up to almost 20 quarts.
Once the tomatoes are in the pot, return the lamb to the mix. At this time pour 2 fistfulls of Oregano into the pot, crushing them in your hands as you do. Do the same with about half the amount of Basil.
Add salt and pepper, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the temperature down and allow to simmer for 4-6 hours depending. Be sure to stirr the sauce often to prevent it burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
When the meat begins to fall off the bone, try and extract as many of the empty bones as possible.
Meat Recipes and Favorites
Barbecue Chicken Covered in a zesty BBQ sauce and slow grilled to caramelize the sauce onto the chicken.
The sauce is one my mother taught me. It consists of the following ingredients.
Heinz Ketchup (I use an entire medium to large bottle)
Spicy Brown Mustard (about 3 big globs from the bottle)
Lemon Juice (about 2-3 Tbl spoons)
3/4-1 cup Brown Sugar
1 Finely diced onion, (an equivalent amount of dried minced onions work as well)
Worchestershire Sauce (about 2-3 TBL spoons)
A light sprinkling of Cheyenne pepper
Salt & Pepper
1/2 - 1 stick of butter.
Simmer everything together until evenly mixed, the sugar and butter are melted. Taste repeately to make sure no one ingredient stands out.
These cuts are slow roasted for a juicy, tender meal. They are each seasoned differently as I have come to prefer for each cut. Standing Rib Roast Little is done to this very taste filled cut. Just salt and pepper and slow roasted to perfection. One of my personal favorites.
Eye Round or Bottom Round Roast
To me this is a much better use of the bottom round than as a "Pot Roast". Both the Bottom Round and Eye Round roasts I prepare the same way. Pieces of garlic are stuck into the roast, the outside has salt and pepper sprinkled on it and then sliced onions are attached with toothpicks covering the whole roast. A sprinkling of Worcestershire sauce completes
this recipe. It is then slow roasted for juicy tenderness. An amazing gravy is made from the drippings, though it really doesn't need any.
This has been a popular favorite at the family's Christmas Brunch each year. My own special mixture is injected into the ham and then the remaining is poured over the top to create a glazing. Generally, the marinate consists of Maple Syrup, Brown Sugar, Honey, Mustard and sometimes Cinnamon. Roasted for 8 hrs on low heat, it is extremely tender and moist.
Roast Leg of Lamb
One of my favorites! Garlic stuck into the meat, crushed garlic and mustard coating on the outside, slow roasted to ensure the tender and juicy qualities of this fantastic roast. Later topped with the gravy made from the drippings.
Seasoned and roasted in the oven to come out tender and juicy.
Beef Brisket marinated in red wine, fresh chopped garlic and onion, turmeric, Worcestershire then slow roasted for hours for an amazing tenderness.
I love a good meatloaf. One day I found an interesting recipe for a meatloaf. When I read the ingredients I quickly discovered they were the exact same as my Bar-B-Que Chicken BBQ sauce my mother taught me.
I make the same amount of sauce, some goes in the meat mixture, the rest goes over the top as a glaze right before going into the oven.
I start with
3lbs of ground beef
about 1 1/2 lbs of Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 1/2 eggs per lb of meat
2-4 medium onions, chopped small, not finely diced.
2 - 4 cups of water on hand to add as necessary.
Mix by hand until the proper consistency. It needs to be firm, sticks together, not too watery or too dry from the bread crumbs.
It goes into the the oven at 350 until an internal temperature of 160, due to the raw eggs in the mix.
Once removed, let stand for about 15 min.
Roast Rack of Lamb
I love the taset of roasted lamb. Slow roasted rack of lamb seasoned by coating lightly with spicy brown mustard, then with ssalt, pepper and rosemary. I do not add in mint jelly, (never was a big fan of that combination.)
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.
Broiling refers to my cooking inside with a top broiler as opposed to grilling where the cooking is done outside on a bottom heat grill. The primary difference is the top broil as opposed to the grill having the heat coming from underneath.
I only do two cuts this way. I've found grilling them causes them to come out a little tougher to chew.
One of my favorite cuts, the Chuck steak is a cut of beef and is part of the sub primal cut known as the chuck. The typical chuck steak is about 1" thick and containing parts of the shoulder bones, and is often known as a "7-bone steak," as the shape of the shoulder bone in cross section resembles the numeral '7'. All I do with this is to use Adolph's Meat Tenderizer and use a waffle head tenderizing hammer on both sides. Before broiling I put A-1 on the face up side along with the chopped onions, (which can be either freshly diced or the seasonings dried version). Then broil to my liking (rare of course).
Shoulder Lamb Chops
Different from the Loin Lamb Chops, these as the name implies, are from the shoulder cut and at times resemble the "Chuck" cut of Beef. With these I like to just use the same method with Adolph's Tenderizer but only put on Granulated Garlic as a final flavoring before broiling.
** The marinates and sauces used on the Beef, Pork and Lamb Steaks, Chops & Ribs have been known to vary
considerably, all varieties are favorites of ffriends and family.
And who doesn't love Ribs?! Picking them up and gnawing on the bones, trying to get that last piece before moving onto the next one.
** Beef Ribs
Though I prefer the long bone in Beef Ribs, they are generally a bit harder to find with substantial meat on them, so the already cut short ribs end up sufficing.
** Pork Spare Ribs,
There are different cuts for the pork ribs, most common are normally whats referred to as "Baby Back" ribs.
Though I rarely serve these, which is only due to the lack of portion size on them, they are a great delicacy.
Steaks & Chops
A Porterhouse is the "King of the T-Bones". A center "T Shaped Bone" divides two sides of the steak. On one side is a
tenderloin filet and the other is a top loin which is better known as the New York Strip Steak. With these cuts I like to use a marinate consisting of equal parts store brand Italian dressing and Lea and Perrin's Worcester sauce. I marinate at least over night and will usually freeze the steaks in the marinate to cook at a later date.
Strip / Shell Steak
The "Strip" also called a "Shell" Steak" is harvested from the “short loin” section of a beef. The tenderloin section extends into the short loin. A strip steak without the bone is called a “New York Strip Steak”. With the strip or shell steak I do the exact same process as with the Porter House, as these are in effect the same cut minus the Fillet half.
A thick cut of sirloin, tenderized, marinated and grilled. And who doesn't love Ribs?! Picking them up and gnawing on the
bones, trying to get that With the Sirloin my usual process is the same as the Porterhouse and will sometimes not use the Italian dressing in the marinate. With the Sirloin I've found using the Worcester sauce is the best route. It can be mixed with the Italian Dressing if so desired.
The top round is a boneless cut from the rear of the steer with big, juicy flavors. It’s often labeled London broil, which is a bit of a misnomer: London broil refers to a preparation method (marinating, broiling or grilling, and thinly slicing), not a cut of beef. I prefer the thicker cut, despite the grocery stores cutting them into thinner "steak" like thicknesses of 1/2" - 1". Give me a 2 1/2"-3" London Broil any time! Much better for slicing for sandwiches. I found my favorite recipe for this cut on the back of an A-1 bottle. Using equal parts of store brand Italian dressing and A-1 as the marinate, I will let it set overnight before cooking.
Broiled Lamb Chops
Outside on the grill
Marinate in simple Italian salad dressing, Only additional seasoning is salt, pepper and garlic. The meat doesn't need any more than that. So flavorful!
6-12 lb Bone In Prime Rib
Kosher or Sea Salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Roasted Garlic Horseradish Cream Sauce (optional, for serving)
Prep Time: 10 Hours 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 Hours 35 Minutes
Total Time: 14 Hours 5 Minutes
Yields: 6 to 10 People
If desired, for ease in carving, ask your butcher to cut the meat off of the ribs and chine (backbone) and tie it back on. Most grocery stores sell it this way already. I prefer it uncut.
The day before you plan to roast your prime rib, season it liberally on all sides with salt and pepper. This helps create the outer crust.
Place the roast on a heavy baking sheet with the fat cap side up and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight (or up to 24 hours).
Remove the prime rib from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours before roasting.
Preheat oven to 250°F with the rack in the lower third of the oven. (I'll usually do it at 180, the slower, the more tender. Requires patience though.)
Place prime rib on a v-rack in a roasting pan with the fat-cap side up.
Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat (away from the bone) reads:
120-125°F for rare, (Do it this way, you can always cook an individuals portion more)
128-130°F for medium-rare, (To me, this is over cooked)
or 132-135°F for medium and medium-well. (In my opinion, this is inedible)
This will take 3-4 hours.
Remove the prime rib from the oven, tent with foil, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Uncover the roast and sear it in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the exterior is brown with a crisp crust.
Carve the prime rib and serve with Roasted Garlic Horseradish Cream Sauce on the side.
This is a family favorite. We love Prime Rib and slow roasting is the only way to do it correctly