Family Recipes

Here are a few recipes created or handed down by family and friends. Enjoy!

HD's Best Gravy

we gotta start somewhere

"Hey, Mikey, why don't you tell that nice girl you love her? (then, in an exaggerated Italian accent) I love you with all-a my heart! If I don't see you again soon, I'm a-gonna die!...Heh, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for twenty guys someday" ... Pete Clemenza
2 x # 10 cans of stewed tomatoes
1 x # 10 can of tomato puree
1 medium can of tomato paste
2 small cans of tomato sauce

Put all of the above in the pan and stir it together ... make sure there are no lumps of paste.
Dust in enough oregano to cover the surface of the liquid
2 or 3 medium crushed, fresh garlic cloves, depending on your taste
Light dusting of pepper
A tinch of chianti ... small Italian-style wine glass (That's Dago Red to all you other people)
NO SUGAR ... we're Italians not Sicilian (Like Clemenza)
Add just enough fresh basil to give it a hint.

Simmer (three or four hours at a minimum) over a low heat for as long as it takes (make sure the heat really is low). Add water as necessary but not too much because you want it to get thick enough. Toward the end, add mushrooms or brown up some low fat (the good stuff) hamburger and add to make meat sauce OR add the meat balls if you have made some.

Most Important: Make sure you have some good bread on hand to test it as it goes along. This will not work w/o the bread test.

Christopher's Fast After Work Sauce

Sometimes Dinner Won't Wait

1 1/2 jars of Prego Garden Mushroom Sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
1 can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatos
1 small can-drained-mushroom pieces
1 1/2 cup white wine.  1/2 for the sauce and 1 for the cook

Put it all into a large sauce pan (I like using a large lidded Wok, but my wife keeps trashing my large Woks)
Bring to a simmering boil and reduce the heat to a low simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
HD's bread test still applies.
Serve over whatever you plan to eat.

Christopher's Chicken Piccata

"mmmmmmmmmm Chicken Piccata"...Homer Simpson

8 boneless chicken breasts halves
2 Cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for dredging
2/3 cup white wine (I usually use Sutter Home Moscato)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup drained capers
2 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Season Salt
1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1 BL (Boxcar Load) crushed garlic
1 Finely Chopped White Onion
More butter than is good for you.
Olive Oil (I recommend the 55 Gal Drum at Costco)

Mix 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour in small bowl until smooth. Set aside to use later.
Mix the remaining flour, black pepper, garlic salt, and season salt in a large bowl.Lightly pound chicken
between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thickness..
Dredge chicken in flour to coat; shake off excess.
Melt 1 to two tbsp butter in a pan. When melted, add a splash of olive oil, onion, and garlic
(The amount depends on taste. I use enough crushed garlic to send all the vampires in CA running for the hills).
Add 2 chicken breasts and cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
When the chicken is turned, splash with lemon juice.
Transfer chicken to platter, while being sure to scrape the pan onto the platter; tent with foil to keep warm.
Cook remaining chicken breasts, two at a time, using the same method.
Ladle sauce (below) over each layer of chicken on the platter.

While The Chicken Is Cooking...

Bring wine, lemon juice and broth to boil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in butter-flour
mixture and boil until sauce thickens slightly (I am known to add two tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved
in just enough water to be liquid) about 2 minutes. Stir in capers, parsley and 1 to 4 Tbsp butter. Season
sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle sauce (below) over each layer of chicken on the platter.
Pour remaining sauce in a gravy boat for pasta.

Makes 8 servings.

Serve over angel hair pasta.

Quick Past Fazul

It's not fancy, but it tastes yummy

 1 Package Medium Italian Sasage
  1/2 Onion
  Some Crushed Garlic (this is up to you)
  1/4 stick of butter
  1 Package Boil and Serve Gnocchi
  1 Package Lowry's Chili Seasoning
  1 can Kidney Beans
  1 can Garbonzo Beans
  1 cup water

Do the water and Gnocchi thing. While you wait for the water to boil, take care
the sauce -
Chop onion like you're making quick chili
Melt butter in a deep skillet and add onion and crushed garlic
Step away and enjoy the aroma
Wait for the garlic to brown and add the sausage
Scramble the sausage
Step away and enjoy the aroma
When the sausage has browned, drain the oil and place back on the burner.
Add the water and seasoning package (follow the directions on the seasoning)
Add the Kidney beans and Garbanzos
Cover and simmer

The water should be boiling so do the Gnocchi part. When the Gnocchis float, drain
them and mix with the rest.

To serve: Put it in a dish and eat it, I said it wasn't fancy.

The Chief's Dorrito Chicken"

Well, It Sounds....Interesting

4 lg chicken breasts (boned)
  1/2 tbs of cumin
  1 tsp sea salt
  1 small bag of nacho cheese dorritos
  4 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
  1 egg beater
  2 cups of your favorite salsa
  cheddar cheese

1. Trim the chicken. NO FAT. Also trim to uniform thickness.
2. Dust with cumin and salt and set them aside.
3. Grind your Dorritos into crumbs. A food processor works very well for this.
3a.You should have approx. 1.5 cups of crumbs
4. Put oil in a heavy frying pan large enough to hold all the chicken and salsa.
4a.Fire up the burner until oil is hot.
5. Egg beaters into a bowl and dorrito crumbs onto a plate
6. Dip each chicken breast in the egg beater then roll in the dorritos.
7. Arrange coated breasted in the pan. reduce heat to medium.
8. Cook 4-5 minutes per side or until coating has a crusty feel to it. Cooking time
will also depend on how thick your chicken breast is.
9. Remove chicken from the pan and wipe out excess oil. Add the salsa to the pan.
10.Return the chicken to the pan. Cook 4-5 more minutes turning the chicken once.
11.Add cheese to quantity/taste. Cover the pan and cook until the cheese melts to
desired consistancy.
12.NEVER say "BAM!" anywhere in the process.

Serve w/chopped lettuce, tomato, black olives, and a dab of sour cream and/or guacamole,
along w/beans and your favorite tortillas, or Mexican rice (a different recipe).
Goes very nice with a sauvignon blanc or margaritas.

Mom's Gushy Rice

by very special request

 1 Whole Chicken
 Garlic Salt (or Powder)
 Lemon Pepper
 2 cups shredded cheese (I like Colby Jack but any cheddar mix will do)
 1 can mushroom pieces (or 1 to 2 cups fresh)
 3 to 4 cups short grain rice (depends on the amount of broth you end up with)

1. Place chicken in a pot big enough to hold it and cover with water. 2. Season with the garlic and lemon pepper. It will depend on the size of the bird and the amount of water you end up with. Practice makes perfect on this.
3. Bring the water to a boil, cover and turn the heat down to a simmer for about an hour or until the meat begins to drop off the bones.
4. Turn off the heat and remove the bird from the water.
5. Carefully remove the meat from the bones and place it back into the broth.
6. Once all the meat is back in, add the mushrooms and rice (The ratio of broth to rice should be about 1 to 1. If needed, add Swanson's chicken broth.)
7. Bring the heat back up until the broth boils, turn down to LOW, cover and simmer for 20 min or until the rice is tender.
8. Add cheese and mix well.
9. Serve
Feeds many.

HMCD's Puttenesca Sauce

By Popular Demand
It'll make your tastebuds a good way

6 to 8 cloves of garlic - sliced really thin, like tissue paper.
  1 medium white onion - chopped
  1 jar sun dried tomatoes in olive oil - Julian cut
  1 small can sliced black olives
  1/3 jar calamata olives chipped
  1 medium can petite diced tomatoes
  1 jar (or can) artichoke hearts - quartered
  salt and pepper to taste
  2 to 3 tablespoons Mexican oregano
  1 tablespoon dried basil
  4 tablespoons fresh basil - chopped
  1 - 2 oz red wine
  olive oil 
Optional: Anchovies Mushrooms Sausage red pepper flakes

Add olive oil to a large sauce pan and warm over medium high heat
add garlic and onion and stir over medium heat until onion is translucent - 3 to 5 minutes
Add salt and pepper to taste
Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time and bring back up to heat. START with the diced tomatoes.
Simmer at medium low heat for about 20 minutes or until the wine has reduced out.
Add the fresh basil
Serve as soon as possible over whatever pasta you choose.

Another From The Chief (or is it Chef?)

Scallops and Shrimp Scampi with a Twist, of course

6 to 8 cloves of garlic - sliced really thin, like tissue paper.6 large scallops
6 large shrimp
1/2 cup diced onion
4 thinly sliced garlic cloves 
2-3 stalks of chopped green onion
Fresh sweet plum tomatoes
Red pepper flakes
Approx 1/2 cup olive oil and butter
1/2 a lemon
A handful of spaghetti 

And...we're off and running.
First get the pasta going.
In a bowl put some cleaned baby spinach leaves and some basil.
When the pasta 1s done, give it a quick rinse then place in the bowl to wilt the spinach/basil.
Toss it lightly to mix.
Heat the butter/olive oil then add the scallops. Cook them about 7 min until they feel right.
Toss in the onion and garlic and let it saute for another few minutes then add the shrimp and sprinkled in the red pepper flakes.
When things are getting close, toss in the chopped green onion and tomatoes to just warm a bit.
Poured all this over the pasta and mix. Squeezed the lemon on last to add a bit more freshness.
Served with a big salad a chilled chardonnay.

Zena Saluzzi's Meatballs

"Courtesy of the Cardella family"

2 lbs ground beef
1.5 lbs ground port (I like using rolls of breakfast sausage)
2 cups plain bread crumbs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
2/3 cup dried parsley
8 eggs (depending on the size. 8 Ostriche eggs would be a bit much)
4 cloves of garlic - minced
2/3 cup of water
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix by hand until well blended
Roll into balls as desired. 1.5 to 2 in diameter works best IMHO.
Fry in extra virgin olive oil (preheat oil to medium temperature). Oil should cover 1/2 of the meatball.
You can also brown them up @450 degrees in the oven if you don't want the extra goodness of frying.
Brown one side and turn to brown the other. Don't over cook! The meatball will finish cooking while simmering in the sauce (gravy for you eastern paisans)
Drain on paper towels and allow to cool.
If you aren't using them today, place them on a cookie sheet to freeze and then ziploc or vacume seal for later. Trust me, they'll keep!