Friday, October 22, 2021

Rocco's Off Wooster

The Clams Casino

Our new house favorite - Eggplant and Bacon

It seems like quite a while since we had Rocco's Off Wooster for dinner on a Friday night. We ordered Clams Casino and our new favorite combo - Eggplant and Bacon!! A perfect combination. The pairing is right up there with Peanut Butter and Jelly, Saltine Crackers and butter (a childhood favorite), Burns and Allen (you have to be a certain age to get that one), and Bogart and Bacall.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Chicken Cacciatore Version 2


From La Cucina, The Regional Cooking of Italy. Chicken Cacciatore Version 2. 
I made this over the weekend so it this was a heat and serve meal.

Honestly do not know if this was better than Version 1. It was just as delicious.

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
cut-up chicken 
1/2 cup dry white wine 
1/2 lb plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 green or yellow pepper, cleaned of seeds, and chopped 
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan and add the onion. When the onion is golden, add the chicken pieces and let them brown. Pour in the wine, add the tomatoes and sweet pepper, and adjust for salt and pepper. Cover and cook at low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

Interestingly the first time I made this recipe was on a Monday night. Not sure how interesting that is, to anyone else...

Once again, it was a hit. In half an hour and dinner was on the table. Next time I will roast the peppers ahead of time. That is what took the longest.

2 bell peppers, halved
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 large onion, sliced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. sandwich steaks
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
8 slices provolone

Preheat oven to 325º. Place peppers in a large baking dish and bake until tender, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, 6 minutes. Add steak and season with more salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in Italian seasoning.
Add provolone to bottom of baked peppers and top with steak mixture. Top with another piece of provolone and broil until golden, 3 minutes.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

BBQ Ribs and Air Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

This is our usual Slow Cooker BBQ Rib Recipe.

I start with a rub of onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. I removed the membrane for the underside of the ribs. I pat the ribs with the rub and brush both sides of the ribs with BBQ Sauce. 8 hours in the slow cooker. I removed the ribs from the Slow Cooker and placed them on an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet (easy clean-up is so important). I brushed the ribs with more sauce. They go under the broiler set on low for almost 5 minutes. They are tender and the BBQ sauce is caramelized.

The Mac and Cheese Balls are always a winner.

1 cup leftover mac and cheese, refrigerated
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup plain breadcrumbs

Combine the macaroni and cheese and the cheddar cheese in a bowl.

Put the flour in a second bowl.

Combine the eggs and milk in a third bowl.

Put the bread crumbs in a fourth bowl.

Form the mac and cheese and cheddar cheese into small ball shapes. This was not as easy as it seemed. It took a few tries but with a little effort, they came together.

Roll the balls in the flour, and then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs.

I put the Mac and Cheese balls on a tray and put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm up.

Insert the Fry Tray into the basket. Insert the basket into the Fryer.

Set the cooking temp to 360˚ and the cooking time to 3 minutes. Let the air fryer preheat.

Place the mac and cheese balls in the basket.

Cook at 360˚ for 5 minutes. Rotate the mac and cheese balls and cook for another 5 minutes.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

It's Time for those Pork Chops!

Yeah!!! My favorite Saturday Night Dinner!!!

The recipe, pretty basic stuff.
The chops are breaded with a mixture of Panko and plain bread crumbs, rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper. I browned the pork chops in some olive oil on each side until browned and added a little white wine to the pan. After the wine is reduced I popped the pan in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Roasted Flat Iron Steak with Olive Oil-Herb Rub

I do love this recipe. It is so fast to get on the table. The meat melts in your mouth, even with all that green stuff on it.

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1 1/2-pound) flat iron steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over steak. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak to pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until browned. Add wine and broth; cook for 1 minute. Spread herb mixture over steak; place pan in the oven. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until the desired degree of doneness. We went for 13 minutes and got perfect Medium Rare to Medium.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with pan sauce.

I think Patrick thought he should try a piece of this. Sorry, not tonight!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Ina Garten's Unforgettable Beef Stew and Air Fryer Eggplant Fries

Yesterday I picked up stew beef. I was going to try a different recipe, but why stray from a recipe that always works.

1 pound good-quality beef chuck, cubed into ~ 1 ½" sized pieces
1 1/2 cups of good red wine
2 bay leaves 
1 cup flour  
kosher salt 
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil 
1 yellow onion, chopped 
2 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1 ½" chunks
1/2 lb small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 cups beef broth
1/2 tsp chopped dried rosemary
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 


The night before, or a couple of hours before you start...
Place the beef in a bowl with red wine and bay leaves.
Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Brown the Beef
The next day, preheat the oven to 300° F.
In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour,  1/2 tbsp salt, and pepper, and combine.
Lift the beef out of the marinade with a slotted spoon, discard the bay leaves, saving the marinade.
In batches, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mix before shaking off the excess.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pot and brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly. See the notes above.
Place the seared beef in a bowl and continue to brown the remaining beef, adding oil as necessary. (If the beef is very lean, you'll need more oil.) 
Remove the beef and place it in a bowl.

Prep the Veggies
In the Dutch oven, heat another glug of oil before adding the onions, carrots, and potatoes.
Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the vegetables to the bowl with the beef.
Finish the Soup
Add the reserved marinade to the empty Dutch oven and cook over high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon 
Add the stock, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. 
Add the meat and vegetables, including all the juices to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat on top of the stove. 
Cover the pot and place it in the oven to bake it for about 2 hours, or until all of the meat and vegetables are tender, stirring once during cooking.
If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 250 or 275° F.

And those Eggplant Fries. We went out to dinner with my sister and Ralph last night and of course she gave me eggplant. At dinner, Ralph said to make Air Fryer Eggplant Fries

I found this recipe on Return To The Kitchen
Ingredients1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese1/2 tsp garlic powder1/2 tsp pepper3 eggs3 tbsp water1 eggplant1/4 cup all-purpose flourcooking spray
InstructionsPrepare your breading station. In one bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic salt, and pepper. Stir well. In a second bowl, combine eggs and water and whisk well.Peel eggplant (if desired) and then slice into "fries". Try to keep size uniform so they cook evenly.Before beginning breading, preheat your air fryer. Set it to 375 degrees for 10 minutes.Place all eggplant fries in a large bowl and add flour. Toss to coat.Then, dip the eggplant into egg then breadcrumb mixture. Repeat until all fries are breaded.Depending on the size of your air fryer these may need to be done in 2-3 batches. After the air fryer is preheated place a single layer of eggplant fries in the air fryer. Spray with cooking spray over the fries to help them get more crispy.Cook at 375 degrees for 6 minutes or until golden brown.Remove from the air fryer and sprinkle lightly with parmesan cheese if desired.Serve with pasta sauce for dipping or enjoy plain.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Beef Strudel and Air Fryer KFC Fries


Happy Sunday! I am a New Orleans Saints Fan. Chris is a New York Giants Fan. The two teams played each other today. Blah, Blah, Blah. The Giants win! 
But we are here for what we made for dinner. Beef Strudel and Air Fryer KFC Fries. Yeah, Beef Strudel has been in our repertoire, eeks almost 30 years!!!

I am not sure how I found this recipe, but I am so glad I did. These potatoes were just delicious. The recipe is from It is a copycat recipe for KFC Fries. The only changes I made were omitting the garlic powder and adding cornstarch. I find that gives an extra bit of crunch to the air fried food.

2 large Russet Potatoes
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 Tablespoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup corn starch 
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Oil for Spraying

Wash and dry Russet potatoes. Cut into wedges, set aside.
Whisk egg and milk in a large bowl. Toss russet potatoes in egg mixture until potatoes are fully covered. Set aside.
Combine flour, salt, paprika, corn starch, and black pepper in a medium sized bowl.
Take a russet potato wedge out of the egg mixture and place it in the flour mixture, coating all sides. Shake off any excess flour. Place wedge on the bottom of a greased Air Fryer basket.
Repeat with the remaining wedges, making sure the wedges are in a single layer on the bottom of the basket.
Spray the wedges with oil, covering any flour spots.
Close the Air Fryer basket and cook the wedges on 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 11 minutes. Open basket, spray any flour spots that you see on the wedges, then flip the wedges. Spray this side of the wedges. Close the Air Fryer basket and cook for 11 more minutes.