marinara sauce

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Sometimes you want comfort food.  Chicken Parmesan is one of my favorites but sometimes you don’t want to go through all of the steps.  I am going to give you some shortcuts so you can have comfort food without spending all day in the kitchen.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

6 chicken breast filets (available at your local meat market)
3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon crushed red-hot pepper seeds (optional)
2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
2 cups of your favorite Marinara Sauce
2 cups of grated Mozzarella/Provolone Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put 1 Tablespoon of Olive in a glass 9″ X 13″ glass dish. In a ziplock bag, place two Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil in a Ziplock bag. Add the seasonings. Mix well. Add the Chicken Breast Filets and make sure they are coated well. Put the pan in the oven and allow the Extra Virgin Olive Oil to heat up. Put the Coated Chicken Breast Filets in the pan and place on a center oven rack. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Drain the juices from the chicken. Return the chicken to the pan. Cover the chicken with the Parmesan Cheese. Put the Marinara Sauce over the Chicken Filets and place the Grated Mozzarella Cheese on the top. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the sauce heated through.

If there are any leftovers you will have a wonderful lunch or another dinner. That’s all for today. Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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Spaghetti and Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash in the Crock Pot

We are definitely in the “comfort food” season in Northeast Ohio.  I have not quite adjusted to the bone chilling weather we have been having lately.  Luckily, there are more Crock Pot meals to warm your bones than there are cold days.  I like today’s recipe because everything is done in one pot and that is always a bonus.  Don’t be afraid to make modifications to this recipe to fit your family’s taste buds.

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash in the Crock Pot

1 pound of meatballs cooked (can be frozen, just make sure they are cooked)
24 oz. jar of Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce (available at your local meat market
12 oz. can of Pizza Sauce (available at your local butcher shop
4 Tablespoons of grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons of Granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon of Dried Oregano
8 oz. can of Tomato Paste
small spaghetti squash cut around the middle with the seeds removed (scrape out with a spoon)
Optional for your Spaghetti Sauce
1 onion (peeled and diced)
2 cups of cleaned and sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds of Smoked Sausage cut in 2 inch pieces (available at your local meat market

Place the meatballs and sausage (if you are using) in the bottom of the crock pot. Place onions, mushrooms (if you are using) on top of the meat. Cover with the remaining sauce and spices. Stir together. Place the 2 halves of the spaghetti squash on top of the sauce (cut side down) and put the lid on the crock pot. Place the setting to high and cook for 4 1/2 hours to 5 hours. Remove the Spaghetti squash halves from the crock pot and put the setting on low. Wear kitchen gloves when handling the spaghetti squash because it will be hot. Use a fork to scrape the “spaghetti” out of the squash shell.  The “spaghetti” will be al dente.

Serve the Spaghetti sauce over the Spaghetti Squash. A healthy, easy meal and no one needs to be the wiser. Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

 

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Eggplant Parmesan

I love this time of the year when you can stop at roadside stands and buy fresh produce from the local farmers.  I  recently bought 2 eggplants.  My intention was to grill them, but I forgot about them.  I decided it was time to use them so I made up a quick version of eggplant parmesan.  I used it as a side dish, but it could definitely stand on its own.  I hope you enjoy this and make sure you visit our local farms to take advantage of their great fruits and vegetables.

Eggplant Parmesan 

2 small eggplants (peeled and sliced horizontally)
4 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 can of pizza sauce (Marinara sauce can be used as well)
8 to 10 oz. of Provolone cheese (sliced thin)
2 Tablespoons of fresh Basil (chopped)

Place 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a skillet and heat over medium heat. Place slices of eggplant in the skillet and brown, turn and brown the other side. Continue this procedure until all of the eggplant has been browned. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cooked eggplant in a 9″ X 13″ baking dish. Cover the eggplant with the Pizza sauce. Top the pizza sauce with the cheese. Drizzle the cheese with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place the chopped basil on top. Place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.

Remove and allow to set for 10 minutes. Cut and serve. This dish actually tasted better the next day when I heated it up. Next time I make this I may make it the day before I want to serve it. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. That’s all for now. Until next time…from Our Butcher Block to your Table.

 

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Zucchini Noodles with Bolognese Sauce

I have a great new gadget I have been wanting to try.  I know a lot of you probably already have this, but you have to understand, I am still using a grater instead of a food processor. Enough said–my new device is a Veggetti. This little marvel will turn zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes or anything else (watch the fingers) you put through the blades into curly noodles. This recipe is so delicious you won’t believe you aren’t cheating when you eat it.  I hope you enjoy this as much as the Butcher and I did. When I made the recipe the Butcher gave it a solid 8. He asked me why we were having zucchini noodles instead of regular noodles. I told him I was cooking and I don’t like to eat regular noodles. When he ate the meal he totally forgot his suggestion of regular noodles. Enjoy!

Zucchini Noodles with Bolognese Sauce

1/2 sweet onion, diced
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil (available at your local meat market)
2 Teaspoons of minced garlic, granulated garlic or fresh garlic cloves (peeled and chopped)
1 1/2 pounds Extra lean ground beef (available at your local butcher shop)
1) 24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce (available at your local butcher shop)
1) 12 oz. jar of pizza sauce (available at your local meat market)
2 to 3 large zucchini (washed with the ends cut off)
2 cups of grated Mozzarella/Provolone cheese

Heat 1 Tablespoon of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a 5 quart roasting pan over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until onions become translucent. Reduce heat to medium low.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Add the extra lean ground beef and cook thoroughly, breaking it up as it cooks.  Add the spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce and stir together with the meat/onion/garlic mixture.  Put the meat sauce in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use your veggetti to spiral cut the zucchini. Place the zucchini in a 9 X 13 inch glass dish. Pour 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the zucchini and mix it together with your hands. Place the Bolognese sauce over the zucchini noodles. Place the grated cheese on top of the sauce. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

This will be a family favorite and leftovers will heat up for a quick and delicious lunch or dinner.

That’s all for now! Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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