Saturday, April 1, 2017

"BROOKLYN PAT'S" HOMEMADE MANICOTTI....With Sue's Sauce and Meatballs.

I'm on a Facebook page called
Ina Garten Fan Club....and for anyone who cooks or bakes
who doesn't love our Ina!
Ina can basically do Anything where Food is concerned and for some strange reason makes it sound difficult but then tells you
how easy it is....and We Believe Her!
I so enjoy being in this group of other people who love....like I do...to cook and bake and ask questions...and get new ideas...
Because it's not just about Ina....I would like to think that
Ina simply inspired the site....
We are young... we are old.... we are in between and we are
Men and Women....
We share ideas and who doesn't love a compliment every now and then....
So when I posted tonight's dinner and got people asking for the recipe....I thought the easiest way to do that would be
back to my original favorite way to let people know what I like to
do best....
Besides critiquing and making fun of "My Pillow.com" in my last post....
and telling you all about my crazy life with the Boss..
I do love to cook and bake going back to high school...
so.....here is the recipe for
"Brooklyn Pat's Homemade Manicotti"
with a touch of Sue's meatballs and sauce!
Enjoy!!
sauce...
I jar Rao's Marinara sauce

I also discovered that at Costco they sell a brand called 
Premium Organic Paesana tomato and basil...
2 jars for $6.99....a steal and just as good as Rao's...
1 large can of Cento petite diced tomatoes
(or any good Italian brand)
2 dashes of garlic salt
2 teaspoons of sugar
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meatballs....
1 pound of ground chuck
2 eggs
1/2 cup of dried Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of fresh bread crumbs...
I actually use a hot dog bun put through my food processor
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
I love the smell of the McCormick Grinders mixed peppercorns..
water as needed to bind mixture together...
I use about 1/4 cup...
heat a large dutch oven or any heavy pot with a lid
when hot add a few dashes of olive oil
when oil is hot add your meatballs...
brown lightly then add the above sauce, diced tomatoes, the garlic salt (husband hates real garlic but you can certainly use that instead of the garlic salt) and the sugar...
simmer for a few hours....
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Making the manicotti shells.....
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
beat the egg with the milk....add the salt and then a little at a time whisk in the flour until there are no lumps...
Heat a flat skillet or if you have one use a French Crepe Pan...
Sur La Table sells one
 for $15.96 - 19.96
de Buyer Blue Steel Crepe Pans...
well worth the money....Anyhoo...
I spray the pan lightly with Olive Oil spray and I add a touch of butter for taste...
have a cookie sheet ready and sheets of parchment to place the crepes as you are making them...
I use the parchment so they don't stick to one another....
Plus I just love parchment paper...
I fell in love with it when I realized how cheaply
Costco sells it for...
Using a ladle work quickly by putting the batter....which will be very thin...on to the hot pan....swirl around to make your circle.
I always screw up the first one never remembering how to turn them over.
Using a spatula and a fork after a minute flip it over and cook it about another minute on the other side.
They should be slightly brown....very slight.
This batter amount made 8 manicotti...
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The filling....
1 8oz. container of good quality Ricotta cheese
1 egg....
a handful of grated Parmesan cheese....
1 tablespoon of minced parsley (dried or fresh)
Or...
I used a big handful of fresh spinach that I rough chopped..
salt and pepper...
Mix well....then place a good amount on each crepe...
These are so much easier to fill because you have an open surface to work with. Place the cheese in the center then take each side and fold it towards the center. Put some of the sauce in the bottom
of a baking dish...
place the manicotti seam side up on top of the sauce...
add a little more sauce on top and some more Parmesan cheese...
I also used some grated Asiago....gives it a nice bite...
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Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes...
let it set up for about 15-20 minutes before serving....
________________
I like to add an extra sauce to serve with the pasta
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream....Let that come to a simmer then add about a cup of grated
Parmesan and some white pepper....I use regular fresh ground pepper.....and I added Asiago to the sauce also...
Add more cheese until you get the thickness you prefer...
Drizzle the Alfredo Sauce over the Manicotti....
Then sit back and wonder how many pounds you just gained....
Bon Appetit from Atlanta Georgia!!


Saturday, March 18, 2017

APPLE STUFFED APPLE CAKE!

Let me begin by saying I have never
tasted this cake....only made it once for a
friend....but it sure smelled wonderful...
After posting a picture on Facebook I was asked
for the recipe so here it is.....
Of Course my middle name is "Sandra Lee" so
You know that a box mix had to be involved....
I started with this box of Pillsbury
Caramel Apple Cake Mix...
Walmart seems to have every possible variation
of cake mixes on the Planet....My friend who got
to eat the cake (and who I asked to critique it)
Thought it was Spice Cake....but I can assume that
somewhere it had the taste of apple...
I dragged out these ingredients with the thought
of sautéing some wonderful "Mutsu" apples
I had just gotten at the local farmers market...

I love Mutsu apples for baking and they are
exceptional in apple strudel if you ever come across them...
The Apple Strudel...BTW....I do make from scratch...
I'm not totally lazy....
Back to the Apple...A Mutsu is also called a 
"Crispin" apple....it's half a Golden Delicious that's been
bred with some Japanese apple....In any case
it's wonderful....If you have never tried them
and you ever see them.....buy some....
When baking something that you want people to
think you made by scratch it always helps
to use a fancy pan....
This is the MaryAnn pan from Williams Sonoma..
Daughter gave it to me years ago and I can't tell you
all the wonderful cakes I have baked in it...
Certainly worth buying one...You will use it
Over and Over....
You can fill that top part with all kinds of
stuff....
Think flavored whipped cream and strawberries in
the summer....
Hershey's Chocolate pudding mixed with
Real Whipped Cream on top of a
Devils Food Cake for the Winter....
And sautéed apples for the Fall...
So I made the cake according to the box...
This pan does need a good spraying of cooking spray..
I use the baking kind that has the flour in the spray...

Let the cake cool before you flip it out....it can be
Tricky...
  

I sautéed two large apples in Good
Butter...
Cut in to slices....
I added a genorous sprinkling of
Cinnamon....and some brown sugar...
about 1/2 cup...and cooked them
until very tender....these apples break down
pretty fast so this did not take long at all...
I pre-cook apples when I make pies and
strudels also...it prevents the dough
from over baking and the apples cooked
perfectly...


I then chopped up some walnuts for a 
fabulous topping I planned to use....
A bit blurry....
But this is a crumb cake mixture that is similar to
the Jersey Crumb cake recipe and I added the
Walnuts...
Here's how you make this...