Quickest Best Antipasto EVER! and Easy

Antipasto, Antipasti (plural), translated as “before the meal”.  In Italian cooking it means an appetizer typically consisting of olives, anchovies, cheeses, sliced sausage, peppers, artichoke hearts and various meats.  Many Americans also believed it was the course served before pasta.The most hearty and daring of guests may enjoy Peprocini, anchovies and roasted garlic cloves in their antipasto. For Allergies or dietary preference*****omit meats for vegetarian. *****check all ingredients for wheat/gluten free. A low calorie option, omit meats and add ingredients that are oil free, and fat free. Most items can be purchased water packed.antipasto2

Holidays tend to be complex.  Delicious Appetizers are a treat to give and to serve. Quick appetizers that relieve the load might even taste better. I have received more compliments on this easy recipe than any other.

Quick, Easy, One dish Antipasto, Great for traveling, 5-10 minutes prep time.

Ingredients to mix together in nonmetallic dish. You can assemble in minutes for a quick pull together take along or marinate a day ahead for melding of all the flavors. Preserve cheese if making ahead do not add until just before serving.

  • 1 large jar, 28 ounces of roasted peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 can or container of olives; Black, Kalamata, green or mixed, pitted  may be prefered
  • 1 Jar marinated mushrooms
  • 1 can of Artichoke hearts cut to bite-size or two jars of marinated
  • Have the supermarket deli cut  a half pound each of provolone and Genoa salami,  into 1/2 inch slices , cube at home into 1/2″
  • 1 dozen cherry tomatoes halved, or 6 shredded and minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp  dried oregano or basil, or both.
  • dress with premium olive oil. Omit to cut calories

There is no wrong ingredient, add these optional favorites to your audience’s taste, or serve as sides.

  • pepperocini
  • pepperoni
  • mortadella cubes
  • Italian Capicola, shredded or cubed.Various cheeses, Blue, Feta, shredded or flaked Parmesan
  • 1 Cup of your favorite pasta cooked and chilled before adding, penne, rottini, farfalle bows or Orecchietti, **** gluten free options are available
  • anchovies
  • red raw onion
  • roasted garlic
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • shredded prosciutto di parma, sliced and shredded thin
  • hot pepper flakes
  • roasted Asparagus, Zucchini or Eggplant
  • Capers for a salty bite

Serve with Crusty breads, or varried  lettuces to make quick salads

  • a crusty loaf of bread

 

 

Homemade Old Fashion Boston Baked Beans from Scratch

Had a craving for bake beans and natural casing franks the other day.  We opened a can of B&M, the original standard. What a disappointment. That set the stage for a craving that wouldn’t go away until we made a REAL batch from scratch.

Rich Grandma’s Brand Molasses, bacon, brown sugar, hmmm, I could taste them before they were cooked.

There is no wrong way to prepare beans, vegetarian, spicy or extra meaty. Read all ingredient labels to keep it gluten free. Many prepared sauces add wheat including barbecue sauces and soy sauce. baked-beans-2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce or 1/2 cup or ketchup
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 1/2 cup of molasses
  • 3/4 cup of any sugar, brown, white, honey or agave
  • 3-4 cups of favorite broth. Beef, Chicken or vegetable broth to make meat free
  • 1/2 lb salt pork  or bacon, slab bacon works best****omit to keep vegetarian
  • 1/8 cup brown mustard
  • 1 lb of your favorite dried beans for 4 cans of  beans rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste as you cook

Instructions to Prepare beans

  • For canned beans, rinse and drain, and proceed to cooking
  • Dried beans,  start by rinsing in a colander, pick out any debris. Boil beans for 3/4 of an hour, rinse and drain. Place beans in a dutch oven pot on the stove or a crock pot. An alternate method to reduce the gassiness that beans can display naturally, is to soak overnight.

Cooking

  • Rinse and score salt pork in 1″ cuts add to the bottom of  the pot or crock pot, add beans, or add  1″ pieces of bacon
  • mix well all wet and dry ingredients preserving 1 cup of broth
  • Add mixture and enough broth to cover beans.
  • keep liquid high enough to cover beans at all times.
  • on stove top, bring to a soft boil , turn down to simmer. In a crock-pot start on high, reduce to low when it bubbles.
  • cook until tender and yummy,  8-12 hours*******canned beans reduce time to half.  Dried beans take at least 6-8 hours to become tender.

Adjust seasoning as you go, many variations include; BBQ sauce, maple syrup, garlic,Worcestershire, Soy sauce, Bourbon, sweet or hot peppers and  even diced carrots for sweetness.

Enjoy

Chimichurri Sauce

chimmi steakHaving steak and want to perk things up? Pretend you are just back from Miami, whip up a Miami favorite, an Argentinian Chimichurri sauce over Beef.  The sauce is great also with Pork, lamb and Chicken.

Make this sauce ahead, great for sirloin, ribeye, flank and skirt steaks.

Its a Cilantro/parsley pesto like sauce.  I am going to experiment with the ingredients listed  for the best taste, any suggestions? Steffie prefers straight Cilantro  without the parsley.

Basic Combo of the items below,   add all in a food chopper or  processor

  • 1 bunch approx. 1 cup of either Cilantro or fresh Parsley or a combination, washed and trimmed of stems.  Towel dried before processing
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon  Vinegar, lime or lemon juice, aiding in preserving green color
  • 1/2 cup of your preferred oil, olive, canola or vegetable
  •  1/4 tsp of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper flakes optional
  • Fresh or jarred garlic to taste, optional.

Spoon over steak right off the grill, add a wedge of lime to each plate

 

Short Rib Chili – Winter Pleaser

This may be the most decadent chilli you will ever taste, Rich, Savory, and you can  make it as spicy as you would like. Great for a holiday party or football tailgating. Serves 6 or more. If you are calorie counting it isn’t for you.  Take multiple opportunities to remove fat, once after roasting, and once after the long cooking. The  rendered fat can be preserved in the freezer as a starting base instead of using oils and other fats. Just remember it will have a spicy kick.srib chili

To cook this delicious, satisfying chili you need  5-10 hours of cooking minimum, but it’s worth every bite.

  • 5 pounds of short ribs, meaty beef back ribs, or combination of 1lb marrow bones and  4 lbs. well marbleized chuck
  • 1 very large onion  sliced
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Spice mixture, Fajita spice, taco mix, prepacked Chili Spice or make your own blend  with Chili powder, garlic powder, Paprika, cumin
  • 2 whole jalapenos or pablano peppers  ** substitute with a small can of Goya brand chipoltes in sauce
  • 1 can 28oz  kitchen ready tomatoes,  sauce, puree, or 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon fresh Cilantro optional
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-8 cups  stock, Beef chicken, or vegetable
  • 1 cup mixed green peppers  in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups of  cooked mixed beans, black, white,or red,  for an option to an all meat chilli

preheat oven to 350 degrees

in large roasting pan,  place onion, garlic cloves, carrots and whole jalapenos on the bottom,

evenly distribute and coat spice mixture on all sides of meat and bones,  place meat and bones In one layer on top of the  base of sliced onions and carrots.

roast in oven for 1 1/2 hours  turn frequently to brown,  the more the beef and onions are caramelized the richer the flavor.

Remove from oven until cool enough to work with.  Remove all gristle and cartilage. At this time you may want to keep the bones, to increase flavor.

Place all ingredients from the roaster into a large dutch oven/stock pot or crock-pot, except  whole jalapenos/pablanos.  Seed and preserve for final step.

Add crushed tomatoes, Cilantro, green,red and yellow peppers and enough broth to cover the meat. Skim fat before next step. Simmer on low for 1 hour on top of the stove.  If using crock pot 2 hours on high.

Remove from heat, remove all bones and excess fat. Meat should be at a point where it can be easily shred. If you want to have beans in your chili now is the time to add them. Finely chop the jalapeno or pablanos that had been seeded. Simmer an additional 2 hours to 4 hours on top of the stove or 8 hours  in crock pot on low. Add salt and pepper and spices to taste. If mixture is too dry add more broth to reach the consistency of chili, if mixture is too wet, allow to simmer with lid off until liquid is reduced. The longer you cook the better it tastes.  This may be a two day process. **** continue to add spice salt and pepper to taste.

Serve as an entree with Rice, creamy Polenta, taco shells, or crusty rolls, Gluten free eating?  Try Udi’s new line of hotdog and hamburger rolls, they are  the best find! How about Gluten-free Corn bread.

If you have additional time you can chill between steps and skim chilled fat. A pressure cooker can be used  to speed up the first simmering process. instead of 1 hour,  use pressure cooker 30 minutes with 3 cups of beef broth as the liquid.