Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lamb Burgers

Lamb Burgers with Feta Sauce and Spinach


Handful walnut halves, about 3 to 4 tablespoons
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup whole milk yogurt
2/3 cup feta crumbles
1 tablespoon freshly chopped marjoram or oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
Few sprigs mint, leaves chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
A couple pinches ground cinnamon
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 bunches farm spinach leaves, stemmed, washed and dried
Nutmeg, freshly grated
Pita bread with large deep pockets


Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, and the onions. Cook for 5 minutes to soften, then put them in mixing bowl to cool.

While onions cool, put the yogurt, feta, half of the marjoram or oregano, mint, salt and pepper, to taste, and the nuts in a food processor and process to a thick, smooth sauce.

Add lamb to the bowl with the onions and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the remaining marjoram or oregano, paprika and cinnamon. Form the mixture into 4 patties. Heat 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patties 3 to 4 minutes on each side for pink centers.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in another skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic clove and let it infuse the oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the spinach and let it wilt, then remove the pan from the heat, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste.

Shake off excess liquid as you place the spinach into an open pita pocket. Add the lamb patties to the pocket. Drizzle in some of the feta sauce. Add a few more leaves of spinach on top and serve.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tomato Curry Lamb

Tomato Curry Lamb

Ready In: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings: 4

4 bone in shoulder lamb chops
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion sliced in rings
2/3 cup apple cider
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, then stir in cider, soup, curry powder, basil and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, then pour over chicken.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour
4. Serve over rice or couscous

Menu 9/19 - 9/25/2011

9/19 - Mon - Pizza
9/20 - Tue - Ravioli Bake
9/21 - Wed - Chinese Take-out
9/22 - Thu - Mixed Bean Chili and Corn Bread
9/23 - Fri - Buffalo Wings, Carrot and Celery Sticks
9/24 - Sat - Sausage, hashed brown bake with broccoli **
9/25 - Sun - Roast Chicken, home fried potatoes, asparagus

Hash Brown and Egg Casserole
Servings: 6

1 (2 pound) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 pound pork sausage
1 1/2 cups frozen chopped broccoli
1 small onion, diced
4 eggs
1 can evaporated skim milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and ground black pepper to taste (because the sausage and cheese are salty, I only add pepper)
12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 quart baking dish. Place the hash brown potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook and stir the sausage and onion until the sausage is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink; drain. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and pour over the potatoes. Layer with half the Cheddar cheese, the broccoli, the sausage mixture, and the remaining Cheddar cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove cover; return casserole to the oven and bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Diane's Creole New England Clam Chowder.

We got lots of snow last winter and needed soup but I have to admit to being lazy and I doctored a few cans and invented

Diane's Creole New England Clam Chowder.

1 can good quality clam chowder (I use Snows)
1 can cream style corn
1 can clams with juice
1 Andouille sausage, diced
1 slice bacon, diced
1 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon (or more) Creole seasoning or Emeril's essence.

Cook the sausage and bacon until done but not crisp, add the onion to the fat and sauté till translucent. Add the can of chowder, clams and corn and stir to blend. Add the Creole seasoning and heat to serving temperature.

It was YUMMY! even thouugh it came from a can. We used more Creole seasoning on each bowl.

Menu 9/12/11 - 9/18/11

9/12 - Mon - Pizza
9/13 - Tue - Rice Cooker Sausage Lasagna**
9/14 - Wed - Chinese Take-out
9/15 - Thu - Kielbasa and Red Cabbage Braised in Slow Cooker
9/16 - Fri - Granny's Chicken Stew with Polenta
9/17 - Sat - Chili and Corn Bread
9/18 - Sun - Ravioli Amatriciana

Rice Cooker Sausage Lasagna

1 pounds (dry - uncooked) lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (or any pasta, I always use whole wheat)
1 pound loose hot Italian sausage, out of casing, browned
16 ounce container ricotta cheese
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 28 ounce can tomato puree or diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce (I always have home made, but store bought is fine)
1 cup warm water

Brush inside of rice cooker pan with olive oil.

Brown sausage in a skillet. Use wooden spoon or potato masher to break up into smaller clumps.

Mix together the ricotta cheese, garlic, oregano 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and half cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a bowl.

Cover the bottom of the rice cooker pan with 1/2 of the can of tomato puree. Place one third of lasagna or pasta on top. Add half of the sausage. Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop place dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture (using up half)on top of sausage. Repeat with the tomato puree, pasta, sausage and cheese. Top with the last third of pasta.

Add warm water, then 2 1/2 cups of marinara sauce and top with the remaining cup of mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Place pan in rice cooker, and close cooker. Cook on mixture setting (or white setting if you don't have a mix setting) until done.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Menus changing because of Hurricane Irene!

One week ago today,Irene came to visit. Hurricane Irene that is. We lost our electricity for over 48 hours and had to change a bunch of meals around. Also, our favorite local music place where we had planned to go tonight for dinner was destroyed in flooding so another meal changed. So, here is a current menu for today going forward.

Menu 9/3/11 -

Sat 9/3 - Pineapple Pork Ribs, String Beans
Sun 9/4 - Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Mon 9/5 - Pork Chops Murphy**
Tue 9/6 - Kielbasa and Black Bean Stew
Wed 9/7 - Chinese Take Out
Thu 9/8 - Arroz Con Pollo in Rice Cooker
Fri 9/9 - Out
Sat 9/10- Buffalo Chicken Strips over Spinach Salad with (Blue Cheese Crumbles and dressing for me, vinaigrette for hubby)
Sun 9/11- Meatball Strogonoff over Egg Noodles in Rice Cooker

Pork Chops Murphy

8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 thick pork rib or loin chops (on the bone)
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 cup bottled HOT cherry peppers in vinegar (with juice)(I use more!)
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce

In 2 TBS olive oil, brown potatoes and let cook until knife can be inserted easily, but not falling apart. Remove from pan.

Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. In same skillet from potatoes heat the other 2 TBS of olive oil and brown chops on both sides. Remove from pan.

Add onion slices and cook over medium heat stirring often for 10 min. Slit peppers and let juices run into pan. Add peppers and stir into onions. Return pork chops to pan and spoon peppers and onions on top. Add tomato sauce and cook 10 minutes until cooked through. Add potatoes back in before serving.

**I love the hot peppers! I often use the ones stuffed with prosciutto and provolone for this recipe. I slice them open and add at least 2 tablespoons of the vinegar brine to the pan in addition to what comes out of the peppers.