Roasted Peppers

This just might be the simplest thing you’ll ever see on a food blog.  But they are so flavorful and you can use them in such a variety of ways that once you make them you may just always want to have them in your fridge. I add them to sandwiches, quesadillas and, just like my grandmother did, love to eat them piled on a fresh-cut slice of French bread with a piece of Provolone cheese. Add a glass of wine and call it “dinner.”

peppers-on-bread

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

6-8 Bell peppers, a variety of red, yellow and green works well

Extra virgin olive oil

Core and seed the peppers.  Slice the peppers fairly thin and arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake for a total of approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.  Peppers will be slightly shriveled and darkened when done.  Salt and pepper to taste.  If you wash the peppers just before slicing, be sure to DRY them completely before putting them on the baking sheet or they will end up “steaming” in the oven.

 

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Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

 

Pasta Salad

1 pound box spiral pasta, cooked al dente (one minute less than the shortest time listed on box)

small bunch broccoli crowns, cut up and put in with pasta for the last one minute of cooking time

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 small can sliced black olives, drained

1/2 cup or more slivered almonds

1/2 pound cheddar cheese, cubed

1 bottle favorite Ceasar or Italian dressing (I use Girard’s Ceasar)

Once the pasta/broccoli, drain and allow to cool a few minutes.  Add the red and green bell pepper and black olives and a bit of the bottled dressing, and allow to cool further before adding the cheese and almonds and rest of the bottle of dressing (the pasta will absorb a lot of the dressing, so yes, use it all).   Refrigerate before serving.

Truffle Twice-Baked Potatoes

truffle pots 2 006
Truffle is all the rage right now, and working for a store that sells artisan cooking oils and vinegars I find that people either love it or hate it.  I am a lover of it, but oddly enough I didn’t know this until I did, in fact, start selling it.  If you don’t like the flavor, skip it in this recipe, as I did for the first 20 plus years I made it for my family!  Also, as with most of my recipes, feel free to add bacon bits, green onion,  sun-dried tomatoes…you get the idea.  I’m a “whats-in-the-fridge-today?” kind of gal. 
 
                                              Truffle White Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes
 
4 large Russet potatoes
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk, warmed
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
2Tablespoons  Truffle extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan Scrub the potatoes clean and then bake in a 425 oven for an hour until done. Let cool 10 mins, then slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the insides of each half, leaving a small amount around the side to form a wall. Place potato in a mixing bowl and add the rest of ingredients, except the Parmesan. Mix until well blended and fairly smooth. Spoon the mixture back into the shells and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. You can drizzle with your choice of melted butter or extra Truffle oil at this point, then bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot.

BBQ Beans aka “Camping Beans”

1 pound Kielbasa sausage link, cut into slices

2 16 oz cans pork & beans in tomato sauce

1 brown onion, chopped fine

3/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup ketchup

3 strips bacon

    Fry kielbasa in large sauce pan or Dutch oven and remove; set aside.  Add bacon to skillet and fry to crisp; remove to drain then crumble; lower heat and saute onion in bacon drippings until softened (about 5 minutes).  Combine all ingredients in pot and cook on stove top for 1 hour over low heat, stirring occasionally. 

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