Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Original recipe by Mrs. Wilkes; The Boardinghouse Cookbook


1 cup butter, divided
1 (15-ounce) can sliced pineapple
1 cup light brown sugar
Maraschino cherries, halved

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pineapple juice (SAVED FROM CANNED SLICED PINEAPPLE)

1 egg


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 10-inch springform pan.  Next, place parchment paper on  bottom and sides of springform pan.  You will need to cut the parchment paper.


Melt 1/2 cup of the butter and pour into the10-inch springform pan.  In order, place the pineapple rings in melted butter mixture.  Cut the Marashino cherries and place each half in each center of the pineapple rings.  Sprinkle brown sugar over pineapple rings and cherries.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup butter, milk, and vanilla, and saved pineapple juice.  Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.  Add the egg and beat for 2 more minutes.  Pour batter over the pineapple rings and cherries and bake for 40 minutes.

Carefully remove the cake from the springform pan.  Turn (flip) the cake over onto a serving platter.  Carefully remove the springform  bottom layer and parchment paper.  Serve with vanilla ice cream. 

Serves 10 to 12

Individual Pineapple Up-Side Down Cakes

Here's another idea, . . . use a jumbo muffin pan and make individual pineapple up-side down cakes.  Make sure you use non-stick spray on pans before starting recipe.   Individual cakes will bake faster, so bake the cakes for 30 -35 minutes.

Graham  8/15/12

Friday, June 29, 2012

Classic Ragu Bolognese

Classic Ragu Bolognese
Original recipe by Bon Appetit


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olice oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
6 oz ground beef (85% lean)
6 oz ground veal
3 oz thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 cups beef stock or chicken stock, divided
3 tablespoon tomato paste
   kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk
1 lb tagliatelle or fettuccine
   finely grated Parmesan for serving


Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions, celery, and carrots.  Saute until soft, 8 - 10 minutes. 

Add beef, veal, and pancetta; saute, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 15 minutes. 

Add wine; boil 1 minute, stirring often and scraping up browned bits.  Add 2 1/2 cups stock and tomato paste; stir to blend.  Reduce heat to very low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, 1 1/2 hours.  Season with salt and pepper.

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan; gradually add to sauce.  Cover sauce with lid slightly ajar and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until milk is absorbed, about 45 minutes, adding more stock by 1/4-cupfulls to thin if needed.  DO AHEAD: RAGU CAN BE MADE 2 DAYS AHEAD.  Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled.  Rewarm before serving.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before al dente.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.  Transfer ragu to a large skillet over medium-heat heat.  Add pasta and toss to coat.  Stir in some of the reserved pasta water by tablespoons if sauce seems dry.  Divide pasta among plates.  Serve with Parmesan.

4 - 6 servings

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer Blueberry Crisp

Summer Blueberry Crisp
Original recipe by Martha Stewart

This summertime dessert is so wonderful-awesome-deliciously good! Oh my god, serve it with vanilla ice cream and you'll scream!  Enjoy!


6 cups (3 pints) fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Mix blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. 

Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish.

Step 2

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, nuts, baking powder and salt, set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy with a electric mixer.  Pour flour mixture into butter mixture.  Using your hands, squeeze topping pieces together to form clumps.

Step 3

Sprinkle topping evenly over filling. 

Bake until filling is bubbling in the center and topping is golden brown, about 1 hour.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chicken Andouille Gumbo

Chicken Andouille Gumbo
Original recipe by The Gumbo Shop


1 chicken, 2 - 21/2 lbs
3 quarts water
1 lb. fresh or frozen okra, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbls. cooking oil
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 16 ounce can chopped tomatoes
3/4 pound Andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt


Cut chicken into eight pieces, cover with water and simmer for about one hour until chicken is tender.  Remove the chicken from stock and cool.  DO NOT THROW AWAY STOCK, set aside.

In a large heavy skillet saute the okra in 2 tablespoons oil for about 10 to 15 minutes or until all "ropiness" is gone.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven, heat 1/2 cup oil over medium high heat.  Add the flour  and make a dark brown roux.

As soon as the proper color is achieved, add the onions, bell pepper and celery and saute, stirring occasionally until tender.  During this process, allow the vegetables to stick to the bottom of the pan a bit, then scrape the bottom with a metal spoon or spatula.  This allows some of the natural sugars in the onions to caramelize, rendering great depth of flavor.

When the vegetables are tender, add the tomatoes, Andouille sausage and sauted okra.  Continue cooking and stirring for about 15 minutes.  Add the bay leaf, thyme, basil, sage, peppers and salt and mix well.  Pour in about 8 cups of the chicken stock, bring to a slow boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Add the cooked chicken and additional stock if necessary and simmer for 15 more minutes.  Adjust seasoning and serve in large bowls over steamed rice. 

Serves 8 to 10

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan


2 to 3 chicken breasts, boneless
1/2 cup salt (to brine the chicken)
Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs
olive oil
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Italian parsley
1 pound (16 oz) spaghetti

"All Time Favorite Tomato Sauce" 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 rounded tablespoons minced garlic
2 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes w/ puree
1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 to 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning


Step 1

Make the "All Time Favorite Tomato Sauce" (see post, dated April 2012)

Step 2

Preparing the chicken

Start with a boneless chicken breast split into two halves.  Cover chicken in wax paper on a cutting board and using a meat mallet, flatten the chicken until it is 1/2-inch uniform thickness. 


Step 3

Brine the chicken in a solution of 1/2 cup of salt dissolved in 4 cups of cold water for 20 minutes.  Dry off the chicken.

Step 4

Coating the chicken

Bowl 1: flour
Bowl 2: two eggs and a small amount of water, mixed well
Bowl 3: Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese

First, dredge the chicken through the flour.  Shake off the excess flour.

Second, dip the chicken in the egg mixture.

Third, cover the chicken in the Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.  Press down to maker sure it is thoroughly coated.

Step 5

Cooking the chicken

Fill a large skillet with 1/2-inch olive oil.  Heat oil on medium heat until hot, but not smoking.  Saute each piece of chicken until golden brown.

Step 6

The finale

When all is done, place the chicken cutlets on a baking dish.  Spread tomato sauce on each cutlet and then sprinkle mozzarella cheese and chopped parsley on each cutlet.   Place baking dish under the broiler for a few minutes until cheese starts to bubble.

Serve and eat with a side of spaghetti, bread, and salad.  Enjoy!