Monday, May 28, 2012

Simple Dessert - Icebox Pudding Cake

2 packages of Graham Crackers
2 package of Chocolate Pudding (or vanilla)

Make the pudding from according to directions. In a 13x9 dish, layer the pudding and Graham Crackers. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bill's Portuguese Pork Cacoila with Spicy Sauce (Spicy pulled pork sandwiches)

 If you love pulled pork, then you will LOVE this spicy version. 
Another masterpiece recipe
from Cousin Bill! This recipe is a true labor of love. 
Make it for your next BBQ, as it does need to 
be made in advance. Enjoy!
Marinade Ingredients :
1 tbs Kosher Salt
1 tbs Ground Black Pepper
1 tbs Granulated Garlic
1 tbs Minced Onion
1 tbs Portuguese All-Spice (Antonio's)
1 tbs 1 tbs Portuguese Paprika (Antoino's)
1 tbs Dried Parsley Flakes
1 tsp Dried Cilantro Leaves
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tbs Red Wine Vinegar
3 tbs Portuguese Wet Hot Crushed Peppers (Gonsalves or Antonio's)
2 cups Water
4 cups Red Wine (Cavat Pinor Noir or Merlot)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
6 Bay Leaves


2 Package of Whole Pork Tenderloins

1 28 oz. CanCrushed tomatoes or chopped with juice
1 6 oz. Can Tomato Paste(optional for thicker sauce
4-5 Tablespoons -Portuguese Wet Hot Crushed Peppers for Sauce

Directions :

Day 1 Marinating:

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together (except tomatoes) in a large, 
covered enameled 
Dutch oven or aPyrex/ Corning ware type oven-proof large covered, bowl. 
(7 - 8 quart capacity).

Trim the membrane tissue from the tenderloins and discard. 
(Some regular fat can remain and will dissolve
during cooking). Cut the tenderloins a third to half way through 
every three inches or so and liberally pierce
them through with a knife. 
(Place the whole tenderloins in the marinade and refrigerate overnight, up to two days,
covered. Stir occasionally.**)

Day 2  Slow Cooking:

Remove the Cacoila from the refrigerator 1/2 to 1 hour prior to cooking.
Pre-heat the oven to 275 degrees.

Mix in the can of tomatoes with juice to the pork and marinade.
Place in the oven, reduce the heat to 210 - 220 degrees and slow cook 
for approximately seven hours.
(Optionally stir every couple of hours if you are around or just let it go).
Remove the Cacoila from the oven.

Check the temperature of the marinade and pork with an instant-read thermometer.
The marinade should be 200 degrees plus and the pork should be 180 degrees plus.
Remove the bay leaves as you find them.

With forks, tongs, etc. break apart the pork or shred into pieces or chunky, 
as you prefer, in the marinade.
Allow to cool and absorb for 45-60 minutes, down to 140 degrees.

Place in the refrigerator, loosely covered, on a trivet and refrigerate overnight.

 Day 3 Spicy Sauce:

Remove the Cacoila from the refrigerator. Remove pork to a metal 
colander over a large bowl.
Push out as much marinade as you can (with a potato masher, etc.) 
into the bowl. 
(Return drained Cacoila to the refrigerator).

Combine this liquid with remaining marinade
(should be approximately 7 - 8 cups) with 
small pork pieces in a 4 quart saucepot. Add 4-5 tablespoons of 
wet crushed pepper to the pot. 
(Optional - Add tomato paste for a thicker sauce).

Bring the marinade mix to a boil on medium-high heat in the
 uncovered saucepot. 
Reduce to simmer on mediumto medium-low heat, for approximately 
two to three hours, 
stirring and scraping the sides occasionally, until reduced by a third to a half.

(Yields approximately 4 - 5 cups. You can +/- the reduction for less 
spicy or more spicy, 
as you desire, or you can add more or less wet crushed pepper in 
the beginning of the process).

Allow the sauce to cool down and refrigerate, loosely covered, overnight or 
until cold.

Day 4 Serving:

Reheat individual portions with or without as much Spicy Sauce 
as you may prefer. 
(Or cold).
Serve on fresh Portuguese rolls.

Use Cacoila and sauce within three days or freeze in appropriate portions.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bill's Escargot Bourguignonne with Garlic Butter


Ok, now we are going to get fancy on you! I have asked family members to send me their favorite recipes and cousin Bill surprised me with this one! Super elegant and delicious, treat yourself to this one during the week or surprise your guests at your next dinner party for a delicious first course! Thanks Bill!!


1.   Chopped Parsley (Fresh or dried)                                    To Taste
Chopped Dill (Fresh or dried dill weed) Optional        To Taste
Unsalted Butter                                                                  1 Stick
Minced Garlic                                                                    3-5 Cloves…..To Taste
Lemon Juice                                                                       1 Teaspoon or so

2.   Snails                                                                                    1 Can-‘Roland’ Escargots Snails
Chopped Shallots                                                              @ ½ Shallot
Salt and Black Pepper                                                     To Taste
Red Burgundy Wine (Sub Pinot Noir, etc.)                 A Couple of Ounces

3.      Snail Dishes or Mini-Cupcake Pans

Cream the butter in a bowl. (I usually cut the stick up in small pieces and put it in a small metal bowl on top of a pan of hot water from the tap a couple of times to soften or microwave on a low power level @30 seconds a couple of times ). Beat in the minced garlic, parsley, dill,
Lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Rinse the snails a couple of times in the can with cold water and strain. Saute them in a couple of teaspoons of the butter mixture with the shallots and red wine. (A minute or two at medium –high heat).

Put the snails in the dishes or pans. (One snail in each section). Spoon a little of the shallot mixture from the pan over each one. Place a spoon of butter mixture over each snail (Use it all).

Bake in a pre-heated oven at @ 425 degrees for 8 minutes. (Do not over cook).

Serve the snails in the dishes or pan with small pieces of Italian or French bread for soaking up the butter, shallot mixture.

A nice bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau or similar wine goes well with dish.

By Bill Onysko

Carol's Olive Puffs and Bleu Cheese Cheese Ball

I have some pretty good cooks in my family and these two delicious recipes comes from my cousin Carol. If you are looking for some yummy delights to make for your next party, then these are the two to try! Your guests will go crazy!! Thanks Carol!!

Olive Puffs
2 c. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 lb. butter
3-4 doz. small stuffed olives
Combine all ingredients except olives. Mix very well; chill. For each puff, use a generous teaspoon and shape into a ball. Push finger into center and make a deep depression. Put olive in, shape the dough around to fully cover the olive. Bake in preheated oven 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Do not brown. Makes 3-4 dozen.
 Bleu Cheese Cheese Ball

8 oz cream cheese
4oz Bleu cheese
4 oz Old English (Kraft 5 oz jar)
1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt

Let cheese soften - whip together and roll into ball. refrigerate for 1 hour or more.  Roll in walnuts (or other type)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stuffed Chicken Tenders Wrapped in Bacon

1 package of chicken tenders
1 package of Ranch Powdered Dressing
1 jalapeno sliced into thin sticks
1/2 block of cream cheese cut into cubes
maple syrup
salt and pepper

Season each piece of chicken on both sides with the ranch dressing.  In addition, lightly salt and pepper as well. Add a piece of cream cheese, jalapeno and roll up with bacon around each piece of chicken. Secure with a toothpick and add to baking pan. Drizzle with maple syrup and bake for 35 minutes at 400 or until the bacon is crispy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Grandma Anna's Baked Chicken

6 chicken thighs
garlic powder
olive oil

Season the chicken on both sides(and under skin) liberally with salt, pepper and lots of garlic powder. This is the trick. Drizzle with olive oil (don't be stingy). Bake at 425 for about 25-30 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and cooked.

Broccoli with Garlic and Olive Oil

2 heads of fresh broccoli cut into florets
3 cloves of garlic sliced
olive oil

Wash and cut the broccoli. In a large pan, put in enough olive oil to coat the pan. Add your garlic and brown the garlic. Add the broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the garlic mixture and add 1/4 cup of water and cover. Toss every couple of minutes and add more water until the broccoli is soft. Once this happens, re season with salt and pepper and make sure any water is evaporated. You want this to get a bit caramelized as well.

*You can toss this one with pasta too!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Penne Arrabiata!

1 can of Pastene Crushed Tomatoes
1 lb of cooked Penne pasta (DiCecco is one of my favorite brands to use)
6 cloves of slivered garlic
1 tsp-1tbs of red pepper flake (for less spicy, use 1 tsp)
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup of fresh Italian parsley finely chopped
Extra Virgin Olive oil
salt and pepper
Romano and Parmesan cheese

In a large frying pan add your olive oil, garlic and hot pepper flake. The trick here is to brown the garlic as much as you can. Brown the garlic, but do NOT burn. Once this has browned, add in your tomatoes (add salt and pepper to taste) and let simmer about 5 minutes. To this add your wine and let this cook about 15-20 minutes. Add in your fresh parsley and add in your cooked pasta. Cook on the stove for about 1-2 minutes. Add in Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese. Serve!

*Add sausage, shrimp or chicken to this dish.

Penne all'arrabbiata

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Perfect Treat for Mother's Day Brunch! Pain Perdu

1 loaf of Brioche Bread cut into 2 inch thick pieces
6 eggs
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon
2 cups of crushed corn flakes
Vanilla Ice Cream
Dulce de Leche
Maple Syrup
Fresh strawberries, bananas blueberries, etc

Mix the eggs, sugar and cinnamon. Dip the bread in the egg mixture for 5 minutes. Remove the bread from the egg mixture and push both sides into the crushed corn flakes.
In a large skillet, melt a tablespoon or so of butter until bubbly and fry the Pain Perdu on each side until golden brown.

To serve, place on a plate and drizzle with dulce de leche, maple syrup and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

White Bean Pasta Fagioli

1 pound of pasta (elbows are my favorite for this)
1 can of Progresso White Cannellini beans
2 cloves of smashed garlic
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of red pepper flake
salt and pepper

Get your water boiling for the pasta. Make sure you salt it and cook your pasta.
In a frying pan, add your olive oil, red pepper flake and garlic. Make sure you brown the garlic. Add in your beans and let simmer for 15 minutes.You may need to add some water if it is getting too thick. I also smash the beans while they are cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the pasta is cooked, toss it with the beans and some more olive oil. Finish with a handful of Romano cheese and grate some extra Parmesan on top. Delicious!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kentucky Derby Beer Cheese!

 Looking for a recipe to make for your Kentucky Derby Party? Try this delicious one today!

1 pound extra-sharp cheddar, cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup dark beer
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Toasted baguette slices from 2 baguettes
 Sliced tomatoes
 In a food processor, combine the cheddar with the beer, garlic, mustard and cayenne and blend until smooth. Season the beer cheese with salt.
Preheat the broiler. Spread the toasts with the beer cheese and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the toasts 6 inches from the heat for about 2 minutes, rotating the pan, until the cheese is bubbling and browned around the edges. Top with tomato slices and serve.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Marscarpone Creamed Corn

6 ears of fresh corn, corn taken off the cob
1/4 of an onion finely chopped
1 small container of Marscarpone cheese
1/2 stick of butter
2 tbs olive oil
8 leaves of fresh basil julienned
Fresh Chives finely chopped
1 tsp Old Bay
Cayenne Pepper (optional)
salt and pepper

In a large saute pan, add you butter, olive oil and onion. Saute the onion for about 10 minutes. You do not want color on the onion, so cook on low heat and add some salt to it.  Add in your corn, chives and basil. Add Old Bay and salt and pepper to taste. Let this saute for about 10 minutes. Finally, add the Marscarpone cheese, mix until melted in. Garnish with more fresh basil and chives.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spanish Tapas! Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas
4-6 potatoes peeled and chopped into one inch cubes
1 garlic clove smashed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying
Salt, pepper and Spanish Smoked Paprika (look for it at Williams Sonoma)
Garnish with Italian Parsley

In a large frying pan, add about 1/4 inch of the olive oil to the pan. Let the oil get hot and keep your pan at medium-high heat. Add in your garlic, let cook for one minute and then add in your potatoes. Season very well with salt, pepper and about 1 tbs of the Spanish Smoked Paprika. Toss and let the potatoes cook. You want to get a nice golden crispy exterior. This will take about 25 minutes. Once the potatoes are crispy and brown take them out and place on a paper towel to drain the oil. Sprinkle with salt while hot and serve with the Garlic Aioli on the side or drizzled on top. Garnish with freshly chopped Italian parsley.

Garlic Aioli
1 clove of roasted garlic (to roast garlic, take a whole head of garlic, slice in half, add salt, drizzle in olive oil and bake in an aluminum foil packet for 45 minutes. Simple)
1 cup of Hellmann's Mayo
1 squirt of Siracha Hot Sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Smash the garlic and mix all ingredients well. Serve alongside the Patatas Bravas.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crab and Artichoke Fondue (dip)

Crab and Artichoke Fondue

1 can of artichoke hearts drained and rinsed and chopped in food processor 
1 garlic clove smashed
1/2 white wine
1 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 pound of lump crab meat
1 block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (I find this brand to be the best)
1 cup of Hellmann's Mayo
1/2 Sour Cream
1 cup of Parmesan cheese (plus a little extra for the top)
1/2 cup Gruyere Cheese (Asiago or Fontina work well here too)
1 tsp Old Bay
1 tsp fresh chives chopped finely
1 tsp of fresh lemon juice + some zest
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)

In a saute pan (medium heat) add your olive oil and garlic. Saute the garlic until golden, add in the artichokes, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in white wine and lemon. Let cook 5 minutes. Lower your heat on the stove to medium-low and add in the cream cheese, mayo, sour cream and both cheeses. Cook until the cheeses are all melted and blended well. Fold in your crab meat, Old Bay, Cayenne Pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Place in a baking dish and top with extra Parmesan and bake for 25 minutes at 375 or until bubbly. Garnish with chives.

*Top with extra crab meat, chives, parsley and Old Bay
**Substitute the artichokes for spinach
***Like extra spicy? Add in chopped jalapeno

Crab and Artichoke Appetizer
If you want to get extra fancy, stuff cherry tomatoes with this dip, add some Parmesan cheese on top and broil for 1 minute.