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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wiseguy Gravy

Author: John Rivera

In my constant pursuit of the perfect Italian meal, I keep returning to Italian Sausage. That flavor of roast pork, spices like fennel seed and oregano, pop out like tiny fireworks. You can buy it hot or mild, I like both, but whatever you do, buy it fresh and buy it from a good Italian deli or food market. Italian sausage from the supermarket just doesn't make the grade.
Now ever since The Godfather, Mafia life has become part of the romance of modern American culture. For better or worse. Who can forget Marlin Brando saying 'Make him an offer he can't refuse"? Or Michael in 3-"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!". And then there's Clemenza making 'the gravy' when the crew has 'gone to the mattresses'. "You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste. You fry it--you make sure it doesn't stick. You get it to a boil. You shove in all your sausage and your meatballs, hey? And a little bit o' wine. An' a little bit o' sugar, and that's my trick." Gravy is what all made men call red tomato sauce. Its that simple.
But I make a variation of Clemenza's recipe. I put some olive oil in a pan, CHrow some gaaaalic in, THEN the sausages and the peppers. Brown one side and keep turning until they have become a golden brown. This is done with the heat on medium. Using the same pan, pour in the tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, salt, sugar, pepper, spices, and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat to low, cover, and let simmer until done. And 'done' is the subjective part. The longer it cooks, the more the flavor melds. Be sure to stir with a wooden spoon. Why a wooden spoon? Because that's what mama mia used. That's why. If you want to really simplify things, any quality jar of red sauce can be used and then embellished with salt, sugar, wine etc.
You can serve this over any pasta and try topping with chopped fresh basil. Any good dry red wine pairs well with this gravy.
6 Italian sausages
1 large can tomato sauce or 1 bottle sauce like 'Prego'
1/2 8oz can tomato paste
4 or 5 cloves garlic
1 large can stewed tomatoes with juice
olive oil
Fresh oregano, thyme, sage etc (dried will work) to taste
Salt, pepper, sugar to taste
1 cup red wine
You can find more recipes like this with video, as well as music and art with an Urban feel on my blog, Urban Life.
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About the Author

I am a musician, producer, writer, photographer, chef. I have a website, John Rivera Urban Life where I have showcased my artistic passions. My site is full of useful information about cooking, urban living, music, art and an 'anything goes' section where I talk about anything from politics to philosophy. Guest bloggers are sometimes featured.

Monday, May 23, 2011

How To Make Cream Scones with Orange Glaze - Step By Step Directions

Author: Emely

Scones should be a cake and a biscuit all in one. Cream, although traditional, makes for a gummy scone, so we prefer half-and-half for a lighter— and better—crumb. For the best results, use cake flour. Makes 8 scones.
Ingredients and directions :


  • 31⁄4 cups cake flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3⁄4 cup half-and-half
  • 1⁄2 cup dried currants or golden raisins Orange Glaze (recipe follows)
  1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Mix the fl our, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal, pressing the butter through the tines and into the fl our until uniformly textured like very coarse sand.
  3. Whisk the eggs and half-and-half in a medium bowl. Pour into the fl our mixture; stir a few times with a wooden spoon, just until moistened. Stir in the currants or raisins, just until a batter starts to pull together but still lies in bits and pieces in the bowl.
  4. Dust a clean, dry work surface with fl our, then turn the batter onto it. Knead a few times until the dough holds its shape. Should it be sticky, lightly dust your hands with fl our. Be careful: for tender scones, you want to add the smallest amount of flour possible at this stage. Gently pat—do not roll—the dough into a circle about 9 inches wide. Cut it into 8 pie-shaped wedges and transfer these to a large baking sheet.
  5. Bake until lightly browned and somewhat firm to the touch, about 18 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Cool completely and top with Orange Glaze.
To store: Once fully cooled, do not top with the glaze; instead, store in a ziplock plastic bag for up to 2 days at room temperature or for up to 2 months in the freezer.
Variations: Add 1 ⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and/or 1 ⁄4 teaspoon grated nutmeg with the sugar. Substitute chopped dried apples; chopped dried figs; chopped dried pineapple; chopped dried
Bread : strawberries, dried blueberries, dried cranberries; or mini-chocolate chips for the dried currants or raisins.

Orange Glaze (Makes about 1⁄3 cup)

Ingredients :
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup confectioners' sugar
Directions :
Mix the juice, zest, and melted butter in a small bowl; stir in just enough confectioners' sugar so that a smooth glaze forms. Drizzle over the cooled scones before serving.
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Find The Best And Most Popular Emely's INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING with pictures.
Welcome to Emely's cuisine.

Friday, May 20, 2011

How To Cook Grilled Rack of Lamb, Summer Vegetable Salad, Basil and Charred Tomato - Ingredients And Directions

Author: Emely

Hey…My name is Emely. Some of you know me from the posts i made on many websites in this post i will like to show you one of my greatest recipe with step by step directions for preparing Grilled Rack of Lamb, Summer Vegetable Salad, Basil and Charred Tomato….Let's begin

Grilled Rack of Lamb, Summer Vegetable Salad, Basil and Charred Tomato

Skordalia :
  • 1 tablespoon almonds
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 small potato, boiled with skin, chopped (use warm)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sparkling water
Vegetable salad :
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch thick strips
  • 1 ear corn, husk removed
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 small red onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 8 arugula leaves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Charred Tomato Vinaigrette:
  • 5 plum tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Rack of Lamb Salad:
  • 2 American Lamb racks, Frenched
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  1. Skordalia (makes about 3/4 cup):
  2. In food processor, grind almonds until very fine. Add garlic, potato, salt, pepper and process until smooth. Add vinegar and sparkling water and process until consistency of creamy mashed potatoes.
  3. Tip: Can be prepared day ahead. Bring to room temperature the day of use.
  4. Vegetable Salad:
  5. Brush vegetables with 2 tablespoons oil. Grill peppers, zucchini, corn, eggplant and onion over medium-hot coals. Turn and grill on both sides. Peel and seed peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut other vegetables into 2-inch pieces. Cut corn off cob. Place all grilled vegetables and arugula in bowl. Combine vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, basil, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables and gently toss.
  6. Charred Tomato Vinaigrette (makes about 1-1/2 cups):
  7. Toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon oil. Cook on grill or in hot oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Cool, peel, remove seeds and finely chop, drain. In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, vinegars, garlic, sugar, cumin, salt and pepper. Whisk in oil until well blended.
  8. Rack of Lamb Salad:
  9. Brush racks with oil, season with salt and pepper. Grill racks meat-side down, over medium-hot coals. Cook for 8 minutes, turn racks. Cook 8 additional minutes or to desired degree of doneness. Use meat thermometer to test lamb, 145°F for medium-rare, 160°F for medium or 170°F for well. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Internal temperature will rise approximately 10 degrees. Cut each rack between bones into chops.
  10. To assemble: In the center of 8 plates, place 1/2 cup vegetable salad. Place 1 chop on top. Put a heaping spoonful of Skordalia on chop and lean a second chop against the first. Generously drizzle plate with tomato vinaigrette and top with arugula leaves.
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour
Bon Apetit, Emely
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Find The Best And Most Popular Emely's INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING with pictures.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to Make a Variety of Meatballs: Beef and Pork Balls, Applesauce Meatballs, Stovetop Mushroom

How to Make a Variety of Meatballs: Beef and Pork Balls, Applesauce Meatballs, Stovetop Mushroom

Author: Grandma Linda

Meatballs have long been a staple of our recipe collections. They are so popular we even have the silly song about sneezing and losing them! Meatballs are great as appetizers, in spaghetti, or as an inexpensive entree. With grocery prices soaring, most of us are looking to make our food dollars stretch farther. Meatballs are one of the ways we can do that. With that in mind, here are three very different Meatball Recipes. The first combines Ground Beef and Pork Sausage, the second is made with Applesauce, and the third cooks on top of the stove. You are sure to find a recipe for your family among these choices. These are all recipes from my large collection of old fashion recipes. I love sharing these older recipes with you. It is my goal not to let all these old recipes disappear and you are the key to that end.
This recipe is from a very old Iowa church cookbook, making it a meat recipe from the Heartland.
3/4 cup finely crushed soda crackers
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb pork sausage
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sage or Italian seasoning
dash of black pepper
Combine cracker crumbs, egg, and milk in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the cracker mixture; mix well. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in a shallow pan. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 soup can of milk
Mix the soup and milk together using a wire whisk or fork. Pour mixture over the meatballs and return to the oven for another 25 minutes or until done.
2 lb hamburger
2 eggs
1 can (16-oz) applesauce
3 cups soft bread crumbs
2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the above ingredients and mix together well. Form the mixture into meatballs. Brown lightly in a large skillet. Place in baking dish or pan, in one layer if possible. Pour the following sauce over the meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour for approximately 20 meatballs. Adjust baking time to more or less depending on the size of your meatballs.
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
Mix together well and pour over the meatballs before baking.
This is an old recipe I got from my late mother-in-law. She got it from a co-worker at a factory in Bloomington, Indiana approximately fifty years ago.
Mix 1 can of cream of mushroom soup with 1/2 soup can of water until well blended.
Combine the following ingredients:
1/4 cup of the soup mixture
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup bread or cracker crumbs
2 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp minced parsley
1 beaten egg
Mix the above ingredients well and shape into meatballs about 1 1/2-inch diameter each. Brown in a skillet in 2 tablespoons of shortening. Pour off the excess drippings. Add the remaining soup mixture to the skillet, cover, and cook over a low heat for about 20-25 minutes. Baste occasionally during cooking.
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Grandma Linda is a collector of vintage recipes. She enjoys sharing these old-time recipes with others on her blog at or check out her diabetic blog at

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Caja China Style Texas Brisket

Caja China Style Texas Brisket

Author: Mathew Masters

This amazing recipe is courtesy of Dorothy Randoll. We'll be preparing a 15-pound brisket. Your caja china (also called a Cajun microwave) can hold as many as 5 or 6 briskets of this size! So here's the list of what you need:

La Caja Asadora Roasting Box
Oven mitts
Aluminum foil
Instant read thermometer
Dry rub
Basting sauce
Basting brush
Barbecue sauce
Rimmed pan that will fit inside your caja china

You will want to buy the brisket untrimmed, meaning it should have a thick cap of fat on it. For the dry rub we prefer Bad Byron's Butt Rub, but any dry rub of your choice can be used. Other ingredients include ½ cup of kosher salt, 2 tablespoons of black pepper, 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon of onion powder. Stir these entire together well. For the basting sauce, and this is great anytime your roasting pig as well, you can use about 1 cup of either apple juice or a 50/50 cider vinegar and water blend. Another option is a thin, sweet barbecue sauce. Anything thick runs the risk of burning in the hog cooker.

Now let's get to the sauce…here is the recipe for Dorothy's Barbecue Sauce:

¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup bottled barbecue sauce
½ cup catsup
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)
1 tablespoon paprika

Combine all the ingredients in a jar and blend thoroughly.

To prepare the brisket before placing in the pig roaster (note: a Caja China does much more that just bbq pig!) place it on the baking sheet and add plenty of dry rub to all the meat surfaces. Be sure your caja china box is on a dry, level surface. Have 20-25 lbs of Kingsford charcoal on hand. Begin roasting with the fat side of the brisket up. Start the fire on the charcoal grid of your La Caja Asadora or La Caja China model pig roasters, and allow 20 minutes for the coals to burn evenly. Spread the charcoal evenly over the surface of your roast box. After an hour brush the brisket with the basting or barbecue sauce and add 4-5 lbs of charcoal evenly over the burning coals. After the second hour seal the baking sheet with aluminum foil, using oven mitts to carefully apply it. Recover your caja china with the charcoal pan and grid. Add an additional 2-3 lbs. of charcoal at this point. After the third hour you are ready to check the temperature of the brisket using your meat thermometer. The desired internal temperature is 180 degrees. Once the brisket has reached the desired temperature, remove it from your Cajun microwave style roaster and let rest before carving. Serve with warm barbecue sauce on the side. You'll want to be sure to have lots of napkins available for this one! Enjoy!
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Mat Masters is the President and CEO of Latin Touch, Inc. a Miami, Fl based business that is one of the leading online retailers of consumer products with a Hispanic flavor. His background includes a decade of experience in marketing and distribution. More information about his products offerings including caja china style grills, whole pig roaster accessories, domino tables, and electric pressure cooker, etc can be found at

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin

Author: John Rivera

a href=Photobucket" border="0" alt="Coq Au Vin" width="766" height="1024" align="top" />Coq Au Vin is French for chicken in wine. Its one of those comfort foods that a person might make on a blistery evening that would be served in a room with a crackling fire going. Or a Spring night with rain in the forecast. Its also one of those rare chicken dishes that uses red instead of white wine. It is one of those dishes that is cooked in the oven using a cast iron pan or in my case, a Le Creuset Saucier, a great enameled cast iron pan that looks as good as whatever you may put in it.
Coq Au Vin is one of the most famous French recipes and hails from Burgundy. "Coq" of course means literally 'rooster', but chicken will suffice. It truly is such a savory dish but it demands a bit of preparation. Here's what you'll need and how to do it! And no, unlike the French peasants, you won't have to go out back, grab a rooster and chop his head off. This is the simpler way.
2 cups full bodied red wine like a Cotes-Du-Rhone or a hearty Merlot or Bordeaux
2 carrots chopped
1 chopped onion
3 celery stocks chopped
fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
4 chicken thighs
1 1/2 cup pearl onions
1/2 stick butter
1 cup mushrooms quartered
4 slices bacon
1 large shallot
1 large clove garlic
Put the first 6 ingredients along with the chicken in a large pot, stir and marinate overnight. Yes, like I said, it does 'take some preparation'.
Boil the pearl onions in a pot of salted water for about 3 minutes. Using half the butter, put in the cast iron pan and sauté the pearl onions, mushrooms, garlic and shallot for about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate or bowl. Add the bacon to the same pan and sauté until done-however you may like your bacon.
Using slotted spoon, transfer the chicken from the marinade to a strainer. Put the marinade aside after straining and discarding the vegetables. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté in the oil and bacon drippings until its skin is brown, turning once, about 10 minutes.
Now add the marinade, bacon, mushrooms, garlic and shallot to the chicken and pour some more of the wine over it all. Combine flour and remaining 2 butter in small bowl. Whisk into the cooking dish. Sauté on medium heat for about 1/2 and hour. Serve with white rice or over noodles.
This dish is somewhat complicated but oh so good! And it lends itself to improvisation so don't be afraid to experiment and change the order and you may want to bake it as well. 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Pairs well with a hearty Burgundy. Enjoy!
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About the Author

I am a musician, producer, writer, photographer, chef. I have a website, John Rivera Urban Life where I have showcased my artistic passions. My site is full of useful information about cooking, urban living, music, art and an 'anything goes' section where I talk about anything from politics to philosophy. Guest bloggers are sometimes featured.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Prime Selection's Cooking Ideas: Beef Roulades with Blue Cheese and Walnuts!

Author: Prime Selection

Impress that special someone with this perfect dinner for two! For the best possible flavor, try using Wagyu Kobe Beef Rib Eye Steaks, you couldnt find a more perfect steak for this recipe. These cuts are Kobe Beef Marbling madness! The most well marbled steak on the planet. Cut from the "eye" of the Kobe Beef rib, these juicy steaks are guaranteed to leave you yearning for more. Biochemistry tests by Washington State University on wagyu fat, (Wagyu Kobe Beef), indicate that the fat from this breed has a healthier fatty acid profile. In addition, this breed also has an unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio of 2-to-1, instead of 1-to-1, which is characteristic of regular beef.
2 rib eye steaks
Essence spice
1/2 cup crumbled Maytag blue cheese
1/2 cup chopped roasted walnuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 new potatoes, cut into fourths, roasted
2/3 cup Maytag blue cheese mornay sauce
2 tablespoons fine diced red pepper
2 tablespoons fine diced yellow pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Season the pounded meat with Essence. Sprinkle the cheese and walnuts over the meat. Roll the meat into the roulades. Tie with the butcher's twine.

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil. When the pan is smoking hot, sear the roulades on all sides. Place in the oven and roast for 5 to 6 minutes for rare to medium-rare.

Remove from the oven and slice on the bias into 5 (2-ounce) slices. Place the roasted potatoes in the center of the plate. Fan the meat around the potatoes. Spoon the sauce around the plate.

Garnish with long chives, brunoise of peppers and chopped chives.
Servings: 2
Get a variety of Wagyu Kobe Beef Cuts at Prime Selections!
Allow two business days to process your order.
Once your order is processed we will e-mail you a confirmation and ship date.
Prime Selecion offers second day air as well as overnight shipping.
Receive pricing information from our checkout page in your shopping cart.
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