Parmesan Cheese

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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Zucchini Fritters with Marinara Sauce

Gardens are producing a surplus of zucchini right now.  I am so excited because there are so many things you can do with zucchini.  I am sharing a recipe that can double as an appetizer or be served as a main course.  I hope you enjoy this.  It’s what the Butcher is having for dinner tonight.

Zucchini Fritters

1 zucchini shredded (either with a grater or a food processor)
1/2 sweet onion grated or chopped very fine (optional)
3 eggs
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
salt and pepper to taste (you will want to exclude additional salt if you salt the zucchini before squeezing out the excess moisture)
1 to 2 teaspoons cracked fennel seeds (optional if you really want more Italian flavor)

2 to 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tito and Son Pasta Sauce (available at your local meat market)

Squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini. You can also salt the shredded zucchini and let it sit for 15 minutes and then squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini. Mix the eggs with the shredded zucchini. Add the onions (if using) and add the Parmesan cheese and spices. Mix together. You may want to add additional Parmesan cheese or eggs depending on the size of the zucchini. Form the Mixture into balls (about 1/4 cup each)

Place 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil into an iron skillet. Heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot (a drop of water in the oil sizzles) place the “fritters” in the pan. flatten down the balls with a spatula and crisp on both sides. This will take approximately 6 minutes per side. Drain. Keep warm in a 250 degree preheated oven. Repeat with the next batch.

I recommend serving these delicious fritters with a side of Tito Francona and Son Pasta Sauce. That’s all for this week. Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table

 

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Lasagna without noodles

You might think this recipe makes no sense.  Lasagna, without lasagna noodles?  Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.  I have been so hungry for lasagna.  I am avoiding sugar and carbohydrates.  I didn’t feel like messing with zucchini so I adapted my lasagna recipe and made it without noodles.  The flavor was wonderful and the noodles were not missed at all.  It was very easy to assemble.  The leftovers were amazing.  I hope you like this as much as the Butcher and I did.

Lasagna

Group 1
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of sausage (available at your local meat market)
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of extra lean ground beef (available at your local butcher shop)
2 Tablespoons Granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon Parsley Flakes
1 Tablespoon Basil Flakes
32 oz. can of tomato puree
16 oz. can of tomato paste

Group 2
2) 15 oz. container of Ricotta Cheese
2 to 3 beaten eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of Parsley Flakes
8 oz. of Parmesan Cheese (available at your local meat market)
1 pound of grated Provolone/Mozzarella Cheese (available at your local butcher shop)

Remove sausage from casing. I used several varieties (Hot Italian, Mild Italian, and Butcher’s Wife Sausage). Place the sausage in a 5 to 6 quart roasting pan and place over medium heat. Stir until sausage is starting to brown. Mix in the Extra Lean Ground Beef and cook until all the meat is cooked thoroughly. Add the Garlic, Basil and Parsley Flakes and stir into the browned meat. Add the Tomato Puree and the Tomato Paste (you can also use 2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce–I would still use the garlic) and stir. Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

Put the eggs in a large bowl. Add the 2 containers of  Ricotta Cheese, the Parsley Flakes, the salt and pepper and mix together with the eggs.

Spray the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish with a “no stick” spray. Take 1/2 of the Group 2 filling and layer it in the bottom of the baking dish. Put 1/2 pound of the grated Provolone/Mozzarella Cheese on top of the Ricotta cheese filling. Put 1/2 of the Sauce with meat on top of the grated cheese. Repeat the layer ending with the Sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the Lasagna for 45 to 50 minutes. The grated cheese should be bubbling through the sauce when it is done.

I can guarantee this will be a family favorite. Leftovers will freeze nicely for a quick lunch or dinner.

That’s all for now. 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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