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Discussion Starter #101
This was good! Kinda boogered it up trying to get it out of the pan, (shit happenes right) but it tasted the same. Spinach n Sausage Manicotti with a grilled Bacon Caesar Salad.




Bit of a hassle to make and for sure a weekend dish unless you make it ahead (I made it in the afternoon and put it in the oven for dinner) but worth it.


Manicotti




Ingredients:
8 manicotti shells

Sauce:
1/4th lb Sweet Italian Sausage
1 32-ounce can of Tomatoes
3 to 4 cloves garlic (crushed n chopped)
1 small onion (medium chopped)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Small handful of fresh basil, (course chopped)
Few Sprigs of Tarragon (chopped while chopping the basil)
Small handful of fresh parsley (course chopped)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Couple tablespoons Olive Oil

Filling:
8 oz fresh Spinach
Tablespoon or so of Olive Oil to sauté Spinach
Salt to taste
1 glove of Garlic (crushed and chopped)
2cups ricotta
1 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 Egg (lightly beaten)
2 cups shredded mozzarella

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the manicotti until shy of al dente, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and cool to handle.

For the sauce: Brown the Sausage, fine chop when brown and set aside. Place in a food processor (I used a Vitamix blender) the canned tomatoes, garlic, onion, sugar, basil, tarragon, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and the Olive Oil. Blend until smooth, place the sauce in a pot and simmer 20 minutes.

Pour half of the sauce into large baking dish.

For the filling: Sautee/season the Spinach, drain, and chop. Mix together in a large bowl the spinach, ricotta, half the Parm, salt and pepper to taste. Taste to adjust seasonings before adding the egg. Once the egg is incorporated, spoon the filling into a large plastic food storage bag and trim the corner. Pipe the filling into the manicotti and put in the baking dish. Cover the stuffed pasta with the sausage, remaining sauce, mozzarella and Pharm. Cover and store for a make-ahead meal.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and bake until brown and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes.

Denny
 

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Discussion Starter #102 (Edited)
This meal was more than good, it was outstanding. My workout partner turned 55 yesterday so I had her and 4 of her girlfriends over for lunch before they headed up to OK to do some gambling for her birthday. Let's just say this is the way I like to eat and so did they. Got some real brownie points out of this one. Fricken great meal and one I'd be happy with in a fairly high end restaurant.

Appetizer: Eggplant Fries with a Honey Mustard dipping sauce.





Main Course: Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Pan Seared Salmon.

Before the final garnish of Bacon and Shrimp as you can see the salad part better in this picture. Over a bed of Arugula with a Basil/Tarragon vinaigrette. Basil and Tarragon picked fresh from my deck garden picked about two minutes before the vinaigrette was made. The Salmon was brined for about 5 hours and done using the pan seared no oil technique for a better crust. Killer meal!!



After final garnish.



Desert: Why birthday cake of course.

I've posted how to make both before and the Shrimp/Avocado is just a slight variation where I cubed the Avocado instead of making a stuffed Avocado. Outstanding meal and highly recommended if you like healthy food with a lot of texture and flavor.

Denny
 

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Discussion Starter #103
This was surprisingly good. Not the steak, the potatoes.



Gotten so anymore that a steak, is a steak, is a steak. I honestly get more excited with what ya balance it out with. Basic steak really. Salt it, let it sit a bit, a bit of baking soda n oil with fish sauce as a rub, then reverse sear method, hit it with some butter. Yawn. The potatoes came out outstanding and it was just a play dish. Basically I combined a ham n scalloped tators dish with a gratin potatoes dish and got lucky.

Ingredients:

Two Jumbo Potatoes (1/8th inch sliced)
1/2 a large Valdila Onion (sliced super thin)
1/8th inch thick sliced Ham
Parmesan Cheese
Cream
Flour
Butter
Celery Seed
Fresh ground Salt n Pepper

Directions:

Slice the potatoes and par boil them until they are 75-80% done. Drain and let residual cook till cool enough to handle them. Butter a baking dish. Layer of potatoes, Salt n Pepper, dusting of flour, sprinkle of Cream, layer of Onions. Repeat only sprinkle some celery seed on the second layer. After two layers, add a layer of Ham in the middle as you want the Ham to cook as little as possible. Two more layers on top and grind a good layer of Parmesan Cheese on top. Top with Onions.

Cook at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes covered, raise oven temp to 425 and uncover. Cook till you start to see some browning of the onions. Remove from oven, cover and let sit in a microwave oven to let the flavors gell and the dish to firm up. Cut it n eat it. For us in the summer desert is usually Mellon or Fruit. In this case I bought a Santa Clause Mellon as I had never had it before. Great Mellon! Like a better Honeydew.

Denny
 

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Discussion Starter #106 (Edited)
This was good. Remember, I like my side dish's. Rich as hell, but a lot of flavor.

Pan seared Salmon over Vidalia Onion Mango/Avocado Pico de Gallo with blistered Tomatoes and Bacon/Brie Grits.




Bacon/Brie Grits

Ingredients:
½ cup Ground Grits
1 ½ cups of Chicken Broth
1 cup Cream
½ cup of Brie Cheese
8 oz uncooked Bacon (chopped)

Directions:
Cook the Bacon first. Add Grits, 1 1/2 cup Chicken Broth in a covered pan and bring to a boil. Add the cup of cream and turn heat to the lowest setting occasionally stirring the Grits. After 30 minutes, add Cheese/Bacon to the Grits and mix well keeping the pan in a warm place.


Denny
 

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Discussion Starter #107
This was good.



Eggplant Parmesan with Grilled Italian Sausage over Herbed Fettuccine with grilled Vandalia Onions and Sweet Peppers

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose Flour
2-3 large Eggs

1/2 oz cream
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt n Pepper
1
Eggplant
Oil for frying

Marinara Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:
Get organized and arrange dredging plates, a holding plate and a serving plate. Get your oil up to 375 degrees. In the first plate, add the flour, the second the slightly beaten eggs with the cream, and in the third plate a mixture of Breadcrumbs, Cheese, with a light salting and peppering.

Slice the
Eggplant into 1/2" slices. Dip them first in flour, next egg, next the Breadcrumb mixture. Set on a holding plate for frying. Then just fry until golden brown and salt them again fresh out of the oil.

Top with some homemade Marinara sauce, Mozzarella Cheese and put into a warm oven till the Cheese melts. Place on top of Fettuccini with a Basil/Tarragon Butter/Olive Oil sauce. Top with grilled Sweet Italian Sausage.




Denny
 

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Yum. My daughter had a "grown up grilled cheese" at a restaurant that basically is several types of cheese. She made us each one last night with Swiss, American and pepperjack. It was pretty good. It can't compare to your stuff, but for a 13 year old experimenting, it was good.
 

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Discussion Starter #109
Yum. My daughter had a "grown up grilled cheese" at a restaurant that basically is several types of cheese. She made us each one last night with Swiss, American and pepperjack. It was pretty good. It can't compare to your stuff, but for a 13 year old experimenting, it was good.
I've just had a little more practice. At 13 I was heating up canned SpaghettiO's adding a little American Cheese to them thinking I was slick. Good for her!

Got a Chief event tonight that I will be helping with this afternoon. These are always a great time for me to learn new things from people who do this for a living. Sounds like you got her on the right path early.

Denny
 

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Discussion Starter #110
Ran into a deal on Halibut at Whole Foods so I stepped up the whole meal a notch. Really don't recommend grilling Halibut because it is so tender and flaky. The trick is a good coat of oil, score the skin so it doesn't curl, quick sear and finish in an oven with butter on top. Cook it too much and it will just fall through the grates. Frankly I would have pan seared it but my grill was on to do the radicchio so I went to plan B. Great meal. My favorite fish.

Grilled Halibut over a harvest grain porcini mushroom risotto, heirloom tomatoes from my garden with olive oil n basil, and grilled radicchio with an apple/raspberry Carmel sauce





Denny
 

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Discussion Starter #111
This was good.

Fried Oyster Mushrooms



Very good appetizer. Went to a food fest over the weekend and a guy there grows mushrooms and sells them. Looked great, a little stiff on his price. Morals were $52.00 per pound and Oyster Mushrooms were $16.00 per pound. Tempting but the price???!!! While staying at a friends in college his dad would go Moral Mushroom hunting all the time. Which really meals he sat n drank in a bar all day long and bought some mushrooms. Didn't matter, fried Morals are a delicacy. Was at my favorite Asian store yesterday stocking up on goodies and they had some really good looking Oyster Mushrooms for $5.05 per pound. Priced more to my liking. Anyway got the idea to treat them like they were Morals, dredge in flour n fry. You can never replace a fried Moral, but these were good.

The main course wasn't bad either.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp.



Denny
 

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Hey Denny does Moo Shu Pork count? No pics sorry.
It's one of my faves.
Garlic, ginger, soy sauce, white pepper and a touch of cornstarch on the pork. stir fry in sesame and soy bean oil. Add cabbage when pork is par-cooked. When cabbage is tender crisp add soy and white pepper and stir fry a minute longer. We use thin flour tortillas with hoisin sauce and green onions for garnish.

I get the pork steak from a small town butcher. 30 mile drive, but worth it. 3 good size pork steaks cost me $4.50.:cool: Wife grew up with their kids. She probably knows who raised the piggies too.
They butcher hogs twice a week so it's super fresh.
Smokehouse on site.
BTW I also get leaf lard chunks from them and render my own for cooking.
 

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Discussion Starter #113
Hey Denny does Moo Shu Pork count? No pics sorry.
It's one of my faves.
Garlic, ginger, soy sauce, white pepper and a touch of cornstarch on the pork. stir fry in sesame and soy bean oil. Add cabbage when pork is par-cooked. When cabbage is tender crisp add soy and white pepper and stir fry a minute longer. We use thin flour tortillas with hoisin sauce and green onions for garnish.

I get the pork steak from a small town butcher. 30 mile drive, but worth it. 3 good size pork steaks cost me $4.50.:cool: Wife grew up with their kids. She probably knows who raised the piggies too.
They butcher hogs twice a week so it's super fresh.
Smokehouse on site.
BTW I also get leaf lard chunks from them and render my own for cooking.
Sure it does! I love Moo Shu Pork and cool deal on where the pork came from. The hardest part is steaming the wrappers and getting the right ones. Sometimes try the Philippino Lumpa wrappers.

Denny
 

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Smoked some T-bones at the bachelor party I went to this past weekend. Injected 'em with garlic butter, lightly covered them with salt, pepper, and a pinch of ground red pepper...It's pretty hard to eat a steak and whack it at the same time, but damnit I made it happen. Shit was legit.
 

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Discussion Starter #115 (Edited)
Smoked some T-bones at the bachelor party I went to this past weekend. Injected 'em with garlic butter, lightly covered them with salt, pepper, and a pinch of ground red pepper...It's pretty hard to eat a steak and whack it at the same time, but damnit I made it happen. Shit was legit.
Damn, where are the picturers? I don't want to hear about, give me a chance to taste it too. Picture is worth a thousand words, bet ya never heard that. :) Lobster Mac n Cheese with a side of homegrown heirloom tomatoes. I'll post picturers in the morning (hint, hint) but my biggest stress point is it a summer meal, just something good? Hope I can sleep tonight worrying about it. OK, back to fighting trolls.

Denny
 

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Damn Denny, lobster Mac sounds like the titties.

I left my phone in the truck the majority of the weekend. 14 guys that are all around my size, drunker than cooter brown? Something is getting broke lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #118
Damn Denny, lobster Mac sounds like the titties.

I left my phone in the truck the majority of the weekend. 14 guys that are all around my size, drunker than cooter brown? Something is getting broke lol.
Here is your titties. Better get used to homegrown tomatoes for a couple of weeks. You know how they are, when the start to ripen, they all start to ripen.



Denny
 

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Here is your titties. Better get used to homegrown tomatoes for a couple of weeks. You know how they are, when the start to ripen, they all start to ripen.



Denny
That looks good Denny!
 

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Discussion Starter #120
That looks good Denny!
Really was. Very lucky that I have the time and experience to be able to do these things a home. Eating this way going out would cost a fortune. Amazing how cheap you can do it yourself. Betting it was way under $4.00 per serving especially considering I grew the Tomatoes and Basil. I gave my girlfriend (whoop, I mean workout partner) some who is from Boston and she went ape shit texting me back as she is a big Lobster fan.

Speaking of eating well for cheap..............



The Chicken was on sale for 69 cents per pound. The Brussels Sprouts were $1.99 per pound while the Sweet Red Pepper was 2 for a buck n a half. Basmati Rice came from Costco. The most expensive part was the Shishito Sweet Peppers and those were $5.09 per pound and was less than a 75 cents worth on the plate. The entire meal was less than what a Big Mac would cost, then you would have to upgrade to get a Coke n Fries. The funny thing is the first time I had the Shishito Peppers was at Iron Chef Morimoto's Nobu in Dallas. Ran into Brook Shields as she was eating there. It was served as an appetizer and it cost about $13.00.

Denny
 
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