Archive for ‘Meats’

November 20, 2011

Orange Roasted Turkey

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May 31, 2010

Crème de persil with chicken

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February 16, 2010

Roman Salad

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January 1, 2009




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January 1, 2009


The first time I tried these was when my Aunt Debi made them and wow, they were so good.  These are a Slavik meat pie and there are a lot of variants of this meal.  These are popular throughout the Balkan regions, midwestern US and northern European countries.   You can find this made with flaky phyllo dough, puffed pastry dough, biscuit style dough or even wrapped and fried like an egg roll.  Depending on the region fillings vary from spinach to carrots to cabbage to potatoes and for meats you’ll find almost any type of ground meat.

I tend to follow my aunt’s recipe except I add potatoes as well and reduce the cabbage as my kids are not big fans of cooked cabbage, and they won’t touch sauerkraut, which is what my grandmother would use.  The nice thing about bierocks is that they can be stored and reheated very easily; if frozen they keep for a good while as well.  And they really are easy to make!


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January 1, 2009

Italian Meatballs


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January 1, 2009

Stuffed Bell Peppers


stuffed peppers16

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January 1, 2009

Chicken Alla Cacciatora

My daughters aren’t big on bell peppers, so my recipe is a bit different than the usual. I also do not bread the chicken breasts and I don’t use thighs.   I serve it over rotini and like the side dish of fresh green beans the best.


4 boneless chicken breasts
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp rosemary
1 Tbsp thyme
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

  • Slice the tops of the chicken breasts across, almost all the way through, spacing each gash about half an inch apart. Lay with the unsliced part down into a skillet over medium-low heat.
  • In a medium bowl stir together chopped tomatoes and onions. Spoon equally over each chicken.
  • In a small bowl, blend oregano, rosemary, thyme, pepper and salt. Spoon evenly over the chicken breasts.
  • Using a press, press one half of a garlic clove over each breast.
  • Spoon juices over the top while cooking. Once the underside is thoroughly cooked, turn chicken over – tomato mixture should stay beneath the chicken once turned.
January 1, 2009

Swedish Meatballs

This is a favourite at our house and was a family recipe that I have dressed up a little with my ‘secret’ ingredients.


1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup bread crumbs, seasoned

1/8 cup crushed graham crackers

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 egg

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice

  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly with your hands.
  • Roll into 1 to 1.5 inch diameter balls.
  • Place in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Brown thoroughly.
  • Add in your choice of mushroom gravy.
  • Simmer over low heat.
  • Serve over homemade egg noodles, or prepared packaged noodles.


January 1, 2009

Irish Stew

We go to a Celtic Festival each year locally and I tried getting the lady at one of the vendor stations to give me her recipe for this and she flatly refused. Her husband winked and began explaining how it is made, butchering it thoroughly. She got agitated with him and began telling me the correct recipe. He gave me a wink, and she gave me the recipe and man is it delicious!  I love beef stew and this stew has such a rich flavour and is just so filling. It really is a meal unto itself and I serve it with biscuits unless the store has soda bread for once – I can’t bake bread.


2 lb beef, cubed*
10 large potatoes, cubed with skin on
1 lb carrots, sliced to 1/2″ thick
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bottle Guinness
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 cans Campbell’s beef stock

*I usually use a roast or if there is a good deal on sirloin, I will buy steaks for this

  • Using a large skillet, place over medium to high heat for about 3 minutes. Lay beef cubes in skillet and vigourously shake the skillet to prevent them from sticking. After thirty seconds, turn them over and then drop them into the cooking pot. For the majority of this cooking, you will use a crock pot or a large pot over very low heat. If you are using a pot over direct heat, you will want to stir it occasionally.
  • Pour in the bottle of Guinness, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Allow to cook for two hours over low heat.
  • After two hours, add chopped onion and carrots to the pot and add only enough water to cover the tops of the foods in the pot. Cook for two more hours over low heat.
  • After two hours, add potatoes and add only enough water to cover the tops of the foods in the pot. Cook for two more hours over low heat.
  • Serve steaming.
January 1, 2009

Pollo Florentine

Ask anyone what Florentine means and they’ll say it means spinach; except Italians.  The association of spinach and Florence, Italy actually originated in England.  When Catherine de Medici introduced spinach to English cuisine, since she was from Florence, spinach and egg or cheese mixtures became known as Florentine.  Actual Florentine dishes usually are seafood rich with olives and squashes and potatoes.

This dish uses prosciutto, which is an uncooked Italian ham, chicken and a spinach and cheese blend.  Even though prosciutto is salt cured, I guess I am a bit of a worry wart in that I always cook it anyhow.  I also use fresh mozzarella for this recipe, it blends much better with the ricotta than the shredded type that has drying agents applied.  The extra spinach mixture I bake for twenty minutes in a separate dish and serve with the chicken.

Ingredientspollo florentine 16

3 cloves garlic

1/4 pound Italian parsley

1 pound fresh spinach

1/4 pound fresh mozzarella

1 egg

1 cup ricotta

4 slices prosciutto

4 boneless chicken breasts

2 Tablespoons bread crumbs


  • Chop parsley and spinach, combine into medium mixing bowl.
  • Press garlic cloves into spinach blend.
  • Use a cheese slicer to loosen shreds from mozzarella ball.
  • Add egg, ricotta and mozzarella to spinach blend.
  • Beat thoroughly until well blended.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Slice chicken breasts open.
  • Spoon two heaping spoonfuls of spinach blend into chicken breast pocket.
  • Close and wrap prosciutto around chicken.
  • Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Serve.

pollo florentine 3pollo florentine 4pollo florentine 8pollo florentine 10

pollo florentine 12

January 1, 2009

Apple Fried Chicken

When we began our diet, we started looking for healthy alternatives to some of our favourite dishes and this became a quick hit.   The apples give a slight hint of a sweet flavour but are not overbearing. Serve with steamed veggies for a healthy dinner.


1 jar apple butter (I prefer Musselmans)
1 cup plain corn flakes, crushed
4 boneless chicken breasts

  • Pour apple butter onto a plate and roll chicken breasts over until coated – it can be rather thick.
  • Place crushed corn flakes onto another plate and coat chicken thoroughly in crumbs.
  • Cook over medium heat, turning chicken, until thoroughly cooked.
January 1, 2009

Chicken Parmigiana

This is an incredibly simple dish to whip up with only about an hour prep time needed, and yet it presents like you slaved for hours.  As a side note, this recipe can be likewise used for veal parmigiana, by changing the meats.

CIMG2817 The critical part of this creation is filleting the chicken breasts to no more than 1/2 inch thickness and trim as much fat or skin as possible.  Using a fillet knife, you can shave an average 6 ounce breast into 3 – 4 fillets.  You’ll notice when working with raw meats, I typically use a synthetic cutting board as sanitation of these boards is much easier.

I use my homemade Sicilian marinara for this recipe, but you can use your own or a jarred brand if you prefer and serve over your choice of pasta.


2 lbs boneless chicken breasts

1 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon crushed oregano

1 tablespoon crushed thyme

1 tablespoon crushed rosemary

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

  • Preheat oven to 250 F.
  • Over medium heat, pour olive oil into a skillet and allow to heat.
  • Pour spices and bread crumbs onto a flat surface or plate and stir gently with fingers.
  • Lay breast fillets gently onto the crumbs, turning until well coated.  Do not press the meat into the crumbs.
  • Gently lay fillet into skillet and cook 3 – 4 minutes each side.
  • Remove from skillet and lay into a glass 13 x 9 baking dish, or onto a metal pan lined with foil.
  • Using one cup of Parmesan, layer the chicken breasts with cheese evenly.
  • Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes and remove from heat.
  • Turning cheese side down, set over selected pasta and marinara sauce.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese and allow to melt slightly before serving.


January 1, 2009

Spezzatino Maiale


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January 1, 2009

Rice and Beans, Italian style



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January 1, 2009

Asparagus Wraps

These appetizers are soooo easy to make but look super schmancy! I have also served them as a side with dinner as well and they are just so tasty.  I have tried various cheeses, but I like gouda best. White cheeses look the best, display wise.

Ingredientsasparagus and proscuitto

24 fresh asparagus spears, uncooked
2 cups fresh arugula
1 lb smoked ham or prosciutto, deli style thickness
1 lb Gouda slices

  • Fill a large saucepan half full with water and bring to boil over high heat.
  • Wash the asparagus stalks thoroughly and trim the bases.
  • Rinse arugula thoroughly and set aside in colander to drain excess water.
  • Once water is boiling, drop stalks in to water for three minutes.
  • While asparagus is boiling, lay out a large sheet of wax paper and preheat oven to 250.
  • Drain asparagus and rinse in cool water. Set aside.
  • Lay out three strips of prosciutto or ham on wax paper. Lay a couple shoots of asparagus across so that the spear tips are not covering the meat. Take a small bundle of arugula leaves and roll them between your palms and lay atop the asparagus. Top with one slice of cheese and then roll the vegetables so that the meat wraps around them.
  • Place wrap on a cookie sheet with a sheet of wax paper down.
  • Rinse repeat.
  • Place cookie sheet into oven for fifteen minutes.
  • These should be served warm.
January 1, 2009

Pork with Pomegranate Mustard Sauce


1/4 cup fresh squeezed pomegranate juice*

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice*

1 Tablespoon Grey Poupon mustard

1 teaspoon garlic, pressed

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 – 2 pounds pork tenderloin

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

*I use a juicer to extract pulp and seeds from fruit.  Save seeds.


  • In a large sealable plastic baggie, combine pomegranate juice, orange juice, mustard, garlic and zest.
  • Seal bag and use fingers to knead mustard until well blended with juices.
  • Puncture body of pork with fork intermittently along length.
  • Add pork to bag and seal, remove as much air as able before sealing.
  • Marinate for at least 4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Remove pork from bag, do not discard juice.  Lay pork in a large baking dish and cover with aluminium foil.
  • In a medium saucepan over low to medium heat, pour juice mixture and bring to a simmer.
  • Remove 1/4 cup of juice mixture and use to baste meat.  Baste meat every twenty minutes with juice mixture for 1 hour.
  • Add cornstarch to saucepan and blend with a whisk until thickened.  Add seeds and remove from heat.
  • Slice tenderloin and top with sauce.
  • Serve.
January 1, 2009

Mexican style mock Sheppard’s Pie

mexican sheppards pie

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January 1, 2009

Chicken with Apricots

A catering company I used for work had made this dish and was nice enough to give me the recipe, it is just wonderful.
I typically serve it with steamed asparagus to contrast the sweetness of the chicken.


6 whole fresh apricots, halved and seeds removed
4 chicken breasts, boneless
1/2 cup water

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  • In a small saucepan, brapricot chickening the water and apricots to a boil over medium heat. Once they begin to boil, lower the heat and use a fork to lightly mash and stir the apricots frequently.
  • As they separate in the saucepan, the consistency will be like that of a thick soup and they will separate from their skins. Remove the skins.
  • Dip the breasts individually into the apricot mixture and then lay flat into a glass baking dish. Pour remaining apricot mixture over the top and cover firmly with alumnium foil.
  • Cook for thirty minutes.
January 1, 2009


I had a strange hankering the other day for gyros and set about to make them.  When I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, gyros were a weakness I hit up about once a week.  Prior to moving there, I had never tried them, and since moving away, finding any near as good has not happened.  Most generally gyros are served with a cucumber yogurt blend, but amazingly, every grocery store I went to was out of cucumbers, so I settled for sour cream.  Also, you can use Steak-Um style beef instead of luncheon meat, it really is up to you.


4 fresh lemons

1 pound roast beef, deli thickness

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 Tablespoons vinaigrette

1 Tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

2 – 3 fresh Roma tomatoes

1 small white onion

4 pita loafs


  • Hand tear roast beef into half inch strips, and layer into a oven-safe dish.
  • Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees F.
  • Using a juicer or by hand, squeeze lemon juice from lemons.  Remove seeds and place juice into a mixing bowl.
  • Rub about one spoonful of zest from the skin into bowl.
  • Add pepper, oil and vinaigrette to bowl.
  • Stir with a fork and pour over the meat.
  • Cover tightly with aluminium foil and place into oven for one hour.
  • Individually wrap each pita with aluminium foil and place in oven for fifteen minutes.
  • Chop tomatoes and onions, toss together in bowl.
  • Slice pita in half and use a fork to split open to form pockets.
  • Stuff each half with a heaping spoonful of meat mixture and a spoonful of tomato mixture.
  • Serve.