Rack of Lamb

Posted on April 27th, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: chops, dinner, lamb, recipe.

Here’s the story:

Chapter 1: My husband loves lamb.
Chapter 2: I love lamb.
Chapter 3: I search and search until I find a recipe that makes the best rack of lamb.
Chapter 4: I combine several recipes to make a rack of lamb that makes my husband, “…promise to stay married to you for at least another year.”
The End

A Rack of Lamb:


1 rack of lamb
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
3 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbs rosemary (finely chopped)
1 Tsp Salt (or 2 Tsp sea salt)
1/2 Tsp black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs Brown or Dijon or Yellow mustard (to your taste)

1 Tsp each of pepper and salt necessary for a rub.

Cooking supplies:

Aluminum foil
Large Sauté or flat skillet
Glass cooking pan
Make sure your oven rack is in the middle of your oven so you have room and preheat the oven to 450°.  In a big bowl combine the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Add in Panko crumbs and mix well.
Prepare your rack of lamb (if packaged in plastic) by removing any residual liquid with a paper towel (If you got your chops from butcher they should be dry enough).  Sprinkle salt and pepper onto all sides of the lamb and rub in. Set aside.
Prepare the skillet on the stove on med high heat with 2 tbs of oil.  When pan and oil are hot begin searing each side of the lamb rack.  You want to give it 1 min. or 2 min on each side or until it is a nice carmel-y color.  Don’t forget to sear the ends.
After searing, brush the rack with the mustard on all sides and roll it in your mixed breadcrumb mixture.  Rack should be evenly coated up to the bones.
Place rack in the glass pan, bones side down.  Use a small bit of foil to cover each bone end.
Place the lamb in the oven for 13-19 minutes depending on how done you want it.   When done baking let the meat rest 5 min under a foil tent before cutting and serving.  If you have a thermometer, taking it to 120° rare should end up Med-rare after resting which is how I like it.

lamb chops with artichokes

Follow The Recipe Extra:
Two things are important with lamb chops: 1-don’t overcook 2-cover the tips of the bones.  If you do those you should be fine making this impressive meal.  For additonal fancy-ness I make them with pre-steamed, artichokes that I season with olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley, then throw in the oven on a baking sheet for the last 5 min of baking.


Sausage and Peppers

Posted on March 30th, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: dinner, recipe, sauce, sausage, spicy.

Another family recipe that we have all the time.  We like things spicy and sweet.


This is the cover of the cookbook my Nane made us for Christmas, full of all her recipes. Sausage & Peppers is in there. P.S. That’s a picture of the dessert table at my wedding.  She made everything on it but the cake.

Sausage and Peppers:

2 lbs sweet Italian sausage
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large bell peppers (your choice of colors)
1 small Spanish onion
4 cups Marinara sauce
1 cup water

Cut the sausages into 2 inch pieces.  Pan fry the sausage with the oil on medium heat until sausage is cooked.  Drain oil fromt he pan.  Add peppers and onions and continute to sauté for a few minutes stirring constantly.  At this point, add marinara sauce and water.  Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Serves 4-5.

Follow The Recipe Extra:
The thing about this recipe is it’s easy to customize.  We like it spicy so I always throw in some crushed red pepper flakes and serve either with pasta or a really good french bread.  You can also go with sweeter and add fresh basil leaves and use a tomato vodka sauce with fresh tomatoes diced and added in.  This way is good with pasta, I like a Manicotti or a Gemelli.


Wasabi and Honey Glazed Salmon

Posted on March 23rd, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: dinner, fruit, recipe, rice, salmon, sauce.

I like sweet fish. I make a great pineapple salmon as well, but this is by far my favorite salmon recipe. Why? Because it’s like having a whole sushi dinner in your mouth at once. Delicious.

Wasabi and Honey Glazed Salmon:

2 Salmon Fillets
4 Tbs. sake
3 Tbs. Honey
3 Tbs. Soy sauce
1 tsp – 1 Tbs (depending on your taste)Wasabi paste
2 Tbs. lime juice
2 Tbs. oil
sesame seeds

Start by preparing your sauce so it’s ready for use when the time comes. Put the lime juice in a small bowl and slowly whisk hone through it. Stir in soy sauce, sake and wasabi paste.

On the stove heat a high sided skillet with the oil on medium-high heat. Add salmon to the pan and sear each side for 1-3 minutes. Then reduce the heat to medium or medium low and continue cooking the salmon until cooked through. Remove salmon from the pan and set on plate or a bed of rice.

Add glaze to the skillet and simmer for one minute making sure to stir constantly. Sauce will thicken a bit. Ladle sauce over salmon and rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and a lime wedge for garnish.

Follow The Recipe Extra:
To complete the “sushi restaruant” taste this meal has to have steamed edemame as a side dish. There are tons of varieties that you can get from the frozen food section at the grocery store. Also I always use a sake in the dish that I can drink with dinner. I’m partial to Momokawa Pearl sake served cold.


Minestrone Soup á la Aunt Teri

Posted on March 16th, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: cheesey, dinner, onion, recipe, sausage, Stews.

For Christmas this year my family decided to make gifts for one another.  My gift included all of the family soup recipes.  I came across this minestrone soup recipe and though I’ve never really favored this soup, I thought I’d give it a try.  I’m beyond glad that I did!  It was rich, broth-y and filling.  I loved it and you will too!

Minestrone Soup:

1 lb. of Italian bulk sausage
2-3 stalks celery diced
2-3 carrots sliced
2 onions chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1-28oz can of italian diced tomatoes
2-8oz. cans tomato sauce
2 Tbs parsley flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 cans beef broth
1  tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

2 small zucchini sliced
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 can great northern beans (or cannellini if you prefer)
1 cup uncooked macaroni noodles
Parmesan cheese

Begin by browning and draining the Italian bulk sausage.  Place browned sausage in a large stock pot with 3 cups of water on high heat.  Boil for 8 minutes then add all of the ingredients above the dashed line. Reduce the pot to a simmer and cook for 1 hour (or as much as 6 hours).

After the hour add the rest of the ingredients and the noodles.  Simmer for 1/2 hour more or until macaroni is cooked.  Serve with Parmesan cheese and a good bread.

Follow The Recipe Extra:
This recipe makes a ton of soup and it’s a filling soup at that.  Luckly its a soup that freezes very, very well.  Put any extras in a tuperware in the freezer.  When ready to reheat, put it in a stock pot and add a little water on med heat.  It will defrost nicely and taste wonderful.


Mixed Fruit Jello Cake

Posted on March 6th, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: cake, dessert, fruit, recipe.

Every year my big, extended family tries to go on a vacation together.  Usually it involves a combination of sun, a beach, hotels, a condo, hiking and always, always lots of good food.  We have a lot of summer b-days so we always need a cake.  We love to have Jello cake when it’s hot out.  It’s Refreshing! and chilly. It can usually be made with any combination of cake and jello but I prefer the following.

click for larger image Mixed Fruit Jello Cake:

1 box of Cherry Chip cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 large box Berry Blue Jello
1 tub of whipped cream
Fresh berries

For this particular cake I bake the cherry chip cake into two 13″ round pans by following the directions on the box. When the cakes are done, set them aside still in their pans and prepare the jello following the normal directions on the box.  When the Jello is ready and the cakes have cooled a bit take a dinner fork and poke holes all over the two cakes.  Then, pour the jello over the cakes, making sure you get both cakes thoroughly.  Put the cakes in the refrigerator over night.

The next day use whipped cream between the two cakes and stack them.  Coat the whole cake with whipped cream and sprinkle some fresh berries on top.  Serve.

Follow The Recipe Extra:
This is a really simple recipe so the extras are in short supply.  The best I can do is give you another of my favorite combinations.  Vanilla cake, pineapple and cherry jello.  It’s an easier pineapple upside-down cake.


Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Posted on February 28th, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: cheesey, dinner, pasta, recipe, sauce.

My grandma, who we call Nane, gave everyone in the family a cookbook that she had made and published for Christmas.  With great grace she also gave me permission to post everyone of the recipes I make from her cookbook.  So here’s the first of many recipes that the generations in my family have been eating for years. Thanks Nane!

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells:

12 Jumbo Shells
1 10oz. Package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 Egg white, slightly beaten
2 Tbs. Milk
1 26oz. jar of Marinara sauce (your choice)
mozzarella cheese

In a bowl, combine spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg white and milk.  Mix throughly.  In the meantime, heat a stock pot of water to boil and add the jumbo shells.  Cook only for 5-7 minutes.  Remove the pot from the stove and drain shells, carefully so as not to tear.  Put aside in a bowl.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a 9×13 inch casserole dish, coat the bottom with a small amount of the marinara sauce.  Fill each shell and place in the baking dish in rows.  Pour the remaining sauce over the shells and cover with mozzarella cheese as desired.

Cover and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Then remove cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes more.  Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Follow The Recipe Extra:

The key to stuffing shells is not to over cook them in the water.  Only cook for 5 minutes and check them regularly. Also to make filling easier, use a pastry bag or a corner-cut ziplock.


Authentic Tacos – Ben’s Mom’s Style

Posted on March 22nd, 2008 by Danielle.
Categories: Beef, cheesey, dinner, ground beef, Intermediate, mexican, recipe, tacos.

Hi All!
So I’m sure you’ve noticed that the winner of last week’s poll was…..TACOS!! For those of you that voted for pork chops or chicken, never fear, those recipes will be coming shortly regardless. So, on to tacos. When Ben and I first started dating I made tacos for dinner one night. He was a little confused by my method – taco shells, ground beef with that sauce-powder you get at the grocery store. Then we went to his mom’s house one night and she made the most amazing tacos and I understood.  She’d been making these tacos for him since he was little. Now granted, these are certainly not the best-for-your-diet tacos, but they are soooo good. I’ve learned to make them and even though it seems difficult and perhaps a little dangerous (see the extra below), they are so worth it if you can stick through the cooking. :) This recipe doesn’t have many ingredients, but make sure you read all the instructions before trying to make them, this is not a read-for-the-first-time-as-you-cook recipe.


Ben’s Mom’s Authentic Tacos:

For tacos:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 small pkg of corn tortillas (12-20 tortillas)
Vegetable oil

For garnish:
Avocado sliced thin
Tomatoes diced
Mexican style shredded cheese
Refried beans
Green Taco sauce

Cooking materials:
cookie sheet covered in paper towel or news paper
Large round skillet
Large splatter screen
tongs – the longer the better
Paper towels

Open up the package of ground beef and the tortillas. With a butter knife or your fingers spread about 1-3 tablespoons of meat on half of one tortilla. Your tortilla should look like a pie graph with one half filled in with meat. Make sure you press the meat into the tortilla firmly, that will help keep the meat on the tortilla when you are cooking. Prepare all of the tortillas in this manner until you are either out of meat or out of tortillas.

Set uncooked tacos to the side of the stove. Heat the oven to 200 degrees and place the cookie sheet with the paper towels or newspaper inside it. On the stove heat about 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is heated, slip your first uncooked taco into the oil. The tortilla should be floating meat-side up. With your tongs move the tortilla around in the pan a little to coat the face up side of the taco with oil. This will help soften the tortilla to make it easier to fold. You’ll be able to see the ground beef browning on the side touching the tortilla. When it’s about 1/2 way brown use your tongs to fold the empty side of the tortilla over making the taco shape. Now that it’s taco shaped, turn the taco over in the oil to cook the other side. When the beef is browned, pull the taco out of the skillet.  Try to drip most of the excess oil back into the pan as you take it out. Place the cooked taco in the oven on the paper. This will soak up the extra oil and make the tacos crispy. You may put another taco in the pan now and restart the process. Replenish the oil as needed to cook all the tacos. When the last one is done, leave the tacos in the oven for 10 minutes so the last few can crisp.

Follow The Recipe Extra:
The Oil – It will spatter!! Make sure you are using your screen! I always make these tacos wearing long sleeves and it helps if you put a piece of paper towel on the top of the screen to keep spatter from jumping up at you. Also, towards the end you’ll find that the tacos and oil spatter more, and seemingly for no reason. This is for two reasons, 1.) the temp of the oil is too high or 2.) the oil has residual meat in it. The solution for problem 1 is to turn the stove down (duh!) and for 2 you can use an empty can in your sink to pour the old oil into and put new oil into the pan and continue. Do not touch the hot oil can with your bare hands until it has fully cooled!

The Tacos – You can usually cook two tacos at a time depending on the size of your pan. You should always be removing one, folding the other in 1/2, and then adding a new one to replace the one you just took out. I cannot recommend doing more than two at a time the first time that you do this.

The Meat – Sometimes the meat will fall out while you are flipping or removing. The key to avoiding this is long tongs and always turning, flipping or removing the tacos by using the tongs on the side of the taco that is open.

You – This recipe makes a lot of tacos. Lucky for you they are awesome left over. I included the list of condiments that we use, but use whatever you want. Everything is good on these tacos. Finally, if you’re a little nervous or concerned about splattering oil or burning yourself, then only heat the oil to the temp that you are comfortable with. The tacos will take longer to cook, yes, but you will have a more enjoyable time making them if you aren’t worried about the oil.

Enjoy – feel free to comment with questions!


Anyone? Anyone?

Posted on March 12th, 2008 by Danielle.
Categories: quiz, recipe, vote.

So I can’t decide, I’ve got 3 recipes to post and I’m not sure which one to post.So those of you who are reading can comment below and pick. Voting will end Friday, March 21st!


1. Cheesey Crispy Chicken with bacon
2. Ben’s Mom’s authentic tacos3
3. Pork Chops with a pear glaze

Follow the Recipe Extra:
They go in order from easiest to make to most complicated.