Reuben Stuffed Shells

The Reuben ‘sandwich’ is a North American grilled sandwich composed of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing, or Russian dressing, grilled between slices of rye bread.

The Reuben actually has a couple of origin stories. It just depends on who tells it.  Of course, all the ingredients have roots in places besides North America. You have the cheese which is Swiss. The rye bread comes from eastern Europe. Corned beef is an ancient way of preserving meat in cultures all over the world. Sauerkraut has a very ancient history and most likely originated with the Mongols or in ancient China. 

The combined flavors of a Reuben sandwich are so amazing that its inspired many recipe ideas and ways to incorporate the flavors into other foods.

Reuben Stuffed Shells pack all that flavor into a jumbo pasta shell and the homemade croutons make sure that you won’t miss out on the rye bread that Reubens are known for.

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Reuben Stuffed Shells
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
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SERVINGS
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
SERVINGS
Votes: 1
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Instructions
Croutons
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in dried parsley. Add bread cubes & toss to coat. Place directly on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp. Crumble the croutons into small pieces. Set aside.
Sauce
  1. In a saucepan, melt butter & add flour. Cook until bubbly for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking continuously until heated & slightly thickened. While continuing to whisk, add mustard & cheese. Cook until a thin sauce consistency develops; season to taste with salt & pepper. Cover & set aside until ready to use.
Stuffed Shells
  1. Shred corned beef with a fork. In a large bowl, add corned beef (reserve 3-4 Tbsp for topping), 60 gm Swiss cheese, sauerkraut (drained), cream cheese & Thousand Island dressing. Mix well
  2. Spread cheese sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Fill cooked shells with corned beef mixture & place in baking pan. Top with reserved corned beef. Sprinkle croutons & remaining 120 gm Swiss croutons over shells. Cover with foil.
  3. Bake about 30 minutes or until slightly bubbling.

Garlic Bread Meatball Bombs

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

Although, we have not officially reached the first day of fall (Sept. 23), this part of the year often begins with a tinge of melancholy. Even so, there are many ways to appreciate Canada’s most sentimental season.

Part of our country’s appeal is its four season’s: Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall. We are entering the season of the fall harvest and the leaves on the trees begin their transformation to stunning shades of orange, red and yellow.

Labor day week-end gives us an opportunity to enjoy family and friends before summer is officially over. I remember as a kid, once we arrived at the Labor Day week-end all those ‘lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer were gone’. Back to school for another year. So, whatever your choice of relaxation is, you know good food will play a big part in the week-end gatherings.

Meatball bombs are a round homemade ‘hot pocket’. They have everything in them you need to make a great tasting meal. Serve two bombs per person. That means each person gets two meatballs, two dinner rolls, lots of sauce, and some gooey, cheesy goodness. Serve these with a simple side salad to round out the entire meal.

Speaking of Hot Pockets, I’m sure most everyone has tried them at some time since they have been around for over 40 years.

Probably the one lasting memory if you have,  is you know that the first bite of the microwavable, molten-in-the-middle meal will burn at least three layers clean off the roof of your mouth.

The frozen creations known as Hot Pockets were created by two Jewish Iranian brothers Paul and David Merage, who immigrated to the United States from Tehran. In 1977, the Merage brothers founded Chef America Inc. and set out to create a portable sandwich whose dough would actually retain its crispness after a few minutes in the microwave. Their creation, which debuted in 1980, was called the Tastywich, but it didn’t last long with its original name. By 1983, after some recipe tweaking, the Tastywich had a new name and Hot Pockets officially hit the market.

History aside, if you’re looking for some flavorful garlic bread meatball bombs, this is just the dish for you! And, you have the choice to use a lot of prepared ingredients from your grocery store, or you can make them all from scratch. There are options for both types in this recipe.

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Garlic Bread Meatball Bombs
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Ingredients
Dinner Rolls
Garlic Butter
White Sauce
Servings
Ingredients
Dinner Rolls
Garlic Butter
White Sauce
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Instructions
Dinner Rolls
  1. Dissolve yeast & sugar in lukewarm water & allow to sit a few minutes until frothy. Add oil, salt, & 2 1/2 cups flour, beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining 1/2 cup flour to form a stiff dough..
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover: let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.
  3. Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 18 pieces. Pinch the ends of each dough piece together in the center. Place seam side down. Use the palm of your hand to gently roll each dough ball until smooth and round.
  4. Place the dough balls in a parchment lined baking dish. Cover & allow rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  6. Lightly brush with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Remove rolls to a wire rack.
Meatballs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs & mix well. Divide mixture into 18 meatballs & place on a foil lined baking tray. Bake 35 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Remove from oven & set aside.
White Sauce
  1. In a saucepan, cook butter & flour until bubbly. Slowly add broth & cream; boil for a FEW minutes, add soy, salt & pepper. Set aside.
Assemble & Bake
  1. Hollow out the top of each roll with a sharp knife. The hole will need to be slightly bigger than the meatballs, but not so deep that you puncture the bottom.
  2. Set the rolls into a 9×13" baking pan which has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together garlic butter ingredients. Using the back of a teaspoon, liberally smear the holes of the dinner rolls with the garlic butter. Use all of the butter evenly into each dinner roll.
  4. Spoon about a tablespoon of the prepared sauce into each of the hollowed out dinner rolls. Place a cooked meatball into each hole. Top each meatball with the remaining sauce mixture. Evenly distribute the cheese over each of the dinner rolls. Sprinkle on the Italian seasoning.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven.
  6. Using a sharp knife, slice between each dinner roll. Garnish with parsley if you wish.
Recipe Notes
  • For a QUICK & EASY meal use:
  • 12 (store bought) dinner rolls
  • 12 frozen meatballs, cooked
  • FOR SAUCE: 
  • 1/2 cup dried tomato paste
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • NOTE: I found for the original recipe it was easier to make the meatballs & sauce first, then the rolls. Just a suggestion!

Crown Roast of Pork

HAPPY EASTER!

Turkey at Thanksgiving. Prime rib at Christmas. Brisket at Hanukkah. Ham at Easter. Candy at Halloween. Holiday food pairings make each separate celebration special—and something special we look forward to each year.  One reason ham became the meat of choice for Easter dinner is because it was available. Historically, pigs were slaughtered in fall and cured over the winter. They were ready to eat once spring arrived and the Lenten fast ended. Today ham is available year-round and while Brion loves pork chops, ham is definitely not a meat he enjoys. Enter the pork crown roast ….

With its skyward-reaching ribs, a regal crown roast makes a stunning Easter dinner centerpiece.

Charred sticks of bone jutting from a wreath of fork-tender meat make this main seem medieval – as well as fit for a king and queen. There’s just something about a crown roast that makes it look like it belongs in the center of a long table in the dining room of a drafty castle filled with tapestries and enormous fireplaces.

The presentation is solely for appearance. If you can roast a turkey, you can prepare a majestic crown roast of pork.

Marinate the roast overnight or season it simply with salt and pepper, then tuck it into the oven. The interior space of the crown is a perfect spot for stuffing, making a beautiful presentation. Set it on a bed of greens or herbs, tuck in a few cranberries & persimmon slices around the rim and there you have it! Carving a crown roast is no more effort than slicing straight down between the rib bones.

Crown roast of pork is made from the rib portion of the loin. The meatiest part of the ribs forms the stable base of the crown. Common fears with making any roast are overcooking and drying it out or cooking it unevenly. If you roast a crown roast in a low & slow oven, you can get the entire roast pretty much exactly at the proper temperature from edge to center.

To enjoy with our meal, I’ve added some spiced cranberries. Now this is not just your basic cranberry sauce. Brion came home with a spiced cranberry liqueur to try so I couldn’t resist putting some in the cranberries. Wow, what an upgrade!

The distillery it comes from is located in the heart of Barrhead, Alberta. ‘West of the 5th’ was started by brothers Nathan and Caleb on their family farm in 2018. The family grows over 10-acres of fresh fruits to be used as flavoring in their award-winning moonshines. In just four short years of operating the distillery, the brotherly band have brought home five provincial recognition awards for their spirits.

With that being said, let’s enjoy & appreciate our Easter meals as we anticipate spring & the coming of a new season.

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Crown Roast of Pork
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Roast
  • 4-5 kg (13 Ribs) pork crown roast Frenched & prepped by butcher or yourself if you prefer.
Savory Stuffing
Fingerling Potatoes
Baby Carrots
Snow Peas
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Roast
  • 4-5 kg (13 Ribs) pork crown roast Frenched & prepped by butcher or yourself if you prefer.
Savory Stuffing
Fingerling Potatoes
Baby Carrots
Snow Peas
Votes: 1
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Instructions
Marinade
  1. The night before roasting meat, combine all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread marinade generously over entire roast, including bottom & between rib bones. Place roast in a large dish, cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate overnight.
Spiced Cranberries
  1. In a medium nonstick saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Lower heat & cook until reduced & slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, take out cinnamon sticks & cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Stuffing
  1. Peel & cook potatoes, drain & mash. Set aside. Chop veggies. In a saucepan, melt butter & sauté veggies with herbs, salt & pepper. Remove from heat; combine with bread cubes, mashed potatoes & chicken broth. Add only enough chicken broth until it is moist but not mushy or falling apart. Mine usually takes the whole 2 cups. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cooking Crown Roast
  1. Remove marinated roast from refrigerator & allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 F. Adjust oven rack to a lower position. Place the roast on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking pan. Transfer to oven & roast until internal temperature reaches 160 F , about 8 hours. Remove from oven.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 350 F.
  4. Fill the center of the crown with prepared stuffing, mounding it slightly. Return roast to oven & roast until both roast & stuffing are browned & crispy on the exterior, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, tent with foil, allow to rest for 15 minutes as it reaches the internal temperature of 165 F.
  5. Remove strings & carve by slicing in between each rib & serve with pork gravy & spiced cranberries. If you have extra stuffing, bake for about 30 minutes in a buttered casserole dish for a future meal.
Roasting Veggies
  1. While the crown roast is cooking, prepare veggies. Since you are using a 'low & slow' cooking temperature it will be necessary to stove top 'roast' the potatoes & carrots.
Fingerling Potatoes
  1. Wash & place potatoes in a glass microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 8 minutes. Remove & allow to cool for a few minutes. Heat skillet to a medium heat & add butter. Sauté the potatoes & add seasonings to taste. Cook for about 6-8 minutes until the potatoes are softened & browned.
Baby Carrots
  1. Steam carrots in microwave for a few minutes to partially cook them. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add baby carrots, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are browned in spots & tender crisp, 6-8 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar & honey to skillet. Cook, stirring often, until liquid is syrupy & carrots are evenly coated, about 1 minute. Remove from heat & sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.
Snow Peas
  1. Rinse, drain & trim snow peas. Heat a skillet over medium high heat, about 2-3 minutes. Add the olive oil & trimmed pea pods. Move them around to coat in oil, let them sear for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid excessive browning. Add the minced garlic, stir again & let mixture become fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Add the water & stir to move the snow peas around, Let the water evaporate & steam the pods, cooking them through, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Recipe Notes
  • Depending on the amount of people you are serving the roast to, the amounts of veggies may need to be increased.
  • Roasting at this low, slow temperature produces the most incredibly tender roast you could imagine. I always use this same theory when roasting baby back ribs & get super tender ribs as well.

Italian Sausage Lasagna

Whether you prefer a sweet or spicy variety, there’s no denying the delicious versatility of Italian sausage.

The predominant flavor in ‘mild’ Italian sausage is fennel, or actual anise, a licorice like flavor with a little more earthiness. This emulates the style of sausages in Northern Italy, known for milder flavors with a noticeable presence of both fennel and garlic. It will also typically have a small amount of red pepper flakes to open up the flavors.

The ‘hot’ designation means a higher content of pepper flakes, or the addition of cayenne, giving you that spicier flavor that is more common in the southern regions of Italy.

‘Sweet’ is pretty straightforward, little bit of sugar, milder flavors around that, sometimes some mild herbs, typically a lot of basil and such to round it out.

In this meal, the layers of lasagna noodles blanket a creamy béchamel sauce and a filling with a savory ‘Italian sausage’ flavor and tender artichokes. Truly a comfort food meal.

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Italian Sausage Lasagna
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Instructions
Filling
  1. Drain artichokes (reserving oil) & slice in halves; set aside. In a heavy skillet, heat artichoke marinade oil; sauté garlic, onions & mushrooms for a few minutes.
  2. Add ground pork, sun-dried tomatoes & spices. Cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; add artichokes. Remove from skillet & set aside until ready to assemble lasagna.
Béchamel Sauce
  1. In the skillet, melt butter over low heat. Once the butter is completely melted and bubbling, add the flour & mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes until flour just begins to take on some color.
  2. Slowly start adding the milk, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Continue to simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, stirring often. Season with a pinch of salt, white pepper & nutmeg.
  3. Set aside until you are ready to use, by pouring the sauce into a glass bowl & covering with a buttered sheet of plastic wrap. Cook lasagna noodles. Grate cheeses.
Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of the béchamel sauce on the bottom. (Set aside 1 cup of the béchamel sauce for the top.) Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles over sauce; spread some of the filling over noodles, top with a sprinkling of the grated cheeses. (Make sure to reserve a bit of cheese for the topping.) Repeat layers, ending with noodles.
  3. Spread the reserved 1 cup of béchamel sauce over the noodles & top withy the remaining grated cheese. Cover with foil, bake for 35 minutes, remove foil & bake until bubbly & lightly browned on top, about another 15-20 minutes.
  4. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Stuffed Pork Medallions w/ Cabbage & Apples

Tenderloin has always been one of my favorite ‘go to’ meats. Lean, tender, tastes great, so what more could you ask for?! I’m forever pairing it with another kind of stuffing or roasting it with different glazes or marinades.

Today I wanted to roast it with the classic combo of cabbage and apples. The perfect accompaniment probably because you really don’t need to add much else to the meal to make it taste great.

Cabbage isn’t glamorous. It doesn’t have a fancy name but it is common, versatile and lasts forever in the refrigerator. Even the smallest head yields enough for at least two or three meals.

When cabbage is roasted, a caramelized sweetness comes out, giving it such a nice flavor and especially when paired with apples.

Sometimes, cabbage is avoided because when cooked, the sulfur that it contains multiplies, giving off an unflattering odor. It helps to avoid using aluminum pans when preparing cabbage; aluminum reacts strongly to the sulfur present in the leaves. Stainless pots make a much better choice.

You can neutralize the odor by adding 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Certain ingredients will also help absorb the odor. Try adding a bay leaf or a couple of ribs of celery to sautéed cabbage. The sulfur odor will be absorbed without changing the taste of the cabbage. Simply discard the bay leaf or celery before serving.

No doubt about it, the flavor in this meal doesn’t lack for anything.

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Stuffed Pork Medallions w/ Cabbage & Apples
Instructions
Tenderloin Stuffing
  1. Cook rice. Place in a bowl & set aside. In a skillet, heat oil & sauté onions until tender crisp. Add garlic & mushrooms & sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Add all herbs & spices; cook another minute than transfer to bowl with rice. Add Panko crumbs & egg, stirring to combine.
  2. Remove silver skin from tenderloins. Cut a slit all the way down the long end of your tenderloin, making sure not to cut all the way through. Open the tenderloins like a book, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap & pound with a meat mallet until they are about 1/2-inch thickness.
  3. Divide filling mixture between the two tenderloins & spread evenly over the surface of the tenderloins, leaving 1/2-inch at the borders. Roll tightly starting with the long end & secure the ends with toothpicks. Season all over with salt & pepper.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat a large oven proof skillet with 2 Tbsp oil. Once oil is hot, place tenderloins in the skillet & sear about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet with the tenderloins to the oven & bake for about 18-20 minutes or until thermometer reads 145-150 F. in the thickest portion of the meat. Transfer to a cutting board, brush with pan drippings. Cover loosely with foil & allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Cabbage & Apples
  1. While tenderloin is roasting, prepare cabbage/apple mixture. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook onion in butter until soft & translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic & continue cooking just until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  2. Add the cabbage & continue cooking until wilted, 6-8 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Continue cooking until cabbage begins to caramelize, 4-5 minutes longer.
  3. Add the cubed apple, cider, mustard & brown sugar; carefully combine. Cover & cook until any liquid has evaporated & apples are soft. Place on a serving platter. Top with sliced tenderloin medallions & serve. If you wish, you could also serve the tenderloin with some mashed potatoes & oven roasted carrots.

Parmesan Baked Scallops over Egg Noodles

Whether broiled, fried, baked or pan-seared, fresh, wild-caught scallops are an excellent stand-alone dish or will compliment a salad or pasta with their sweet flavor and delicate texture.

Sea scallops are widely known for their iconic, beautiful shape …. a fan-like shell with fluted grooves. Different varieties are found in oceans all over the world and come in many sizes. For commercial purposes they are labeled similar to shrimp. A number is used to designate how many scallops of a given size it would take to constitute a pound. The label 20/30 means it would take 20/30 scallops to make up a pound and labels like U10 means it would take less than (‘under’) 10 to make a pound.

Scallops are bivalve mollusks (meaning having 2 shells- usually united by a hinge) that have a reddish-pink, upper shell and white or cream colored, lower shell.

Brion & I love seafood so this meal definitely works for us.

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Parmesan Baked Scallops over Egg Noodles
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Instructions
Gouda Sauce
  1. In a saucepan, melt butter; whisk in flour & cook, stirring until frothy. Add milk, whisking until sauce comes to a boil & starts to thicken. Add cheese & spices & continue to cook a few more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; set aside.
Parmesan Scallops
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a 9-inch square baking dish, melt butter & toss scallops in it. In a bowl, combine next 5 ingredients & sprinkle over scallops. Gently stir to spread them out in one layer. Bake about 15-20 minutes.
Egg Noodles
  1. In a pot of salted, boiling water cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain. Reheat sauce & combine with pasta. Divide between two serving plates & top each with baked scallops.

Coquilles St. Jacques

Today, July 25th is my sister Loretta’s birthday. The sibling bond is thought to be one of the most important and longest relationships in our lives. No other peer relationship involves a shared upbringing, shared genes and shared secrets. In childhood, an older sister is an admirable guide to the adolescent world. As we grow older, it is so wonderful to be able to reminisce about events or times you both recall even though to everyone else they are boring. Life events often change the dynamics of many sibling relationships. Thank you, Loretta for being such an amazing sister who has enriched my life in too many ways to count.

I chose this meal for today’s blog not only because Loretta is a seafood lover but from what I have read, it is also ‘St James Day’.

It seems, when you look for any food history that surrounds this meal there isn’t a lot available. The most repeated story is that a knight was saved from drowning by St. James. The knight emerged from the water covered with shells. Coquille St. Jacques translates as the shell of St. James with the origin dating back to the Middle ages.

Classically served in a scallop shell, this special dish consisted of scallops in a creamy wine sauce, topped with breadcrumbs or cheese and browned under a broiler. Scallops, because of their delicate, subtle nature, make a fine marriage with any number of foods and seasonings.

For our meal (in Loretta’s honor), I have used a seafood blend, mashed potatoes and a Gruyere/Parmesan topping. I wish you were here Loretta, to enjoy it with us.

OUR FAMILY CELEBRATES YOU WITH LOVE & AFFECTION ON YOUR DAY!

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Coquilles St. Jacques
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Course Lunch, Main Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Course Lunch, Main Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
Mashed Potatoes
  1. Cook potatoes in salted boiling water until fork tender. Drain & transfer to a bowl; add butter, milk, salt & pepper. Using a hand mixer, whip potatoes, cover & set aside.
Sauce
  1. Drizzle a tiny bit of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt & pepper & cook until tender-crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour & whisk until well combined with onions & garlic. Pour the milk slowly while whisking constantly, making short pauses from time to time to whisk until sauce becomes nice & smooth, then start pouring again. Once the milk has been added, whisk in the Dijon mustard, basil paste, dried dill & parsley. Stir in clams & set aside.
Seafood
  1. Drizzle a medium saucepan with a bit of olive oil. Saute mushrooms until liquid evaporates, set aside. Add a few more drops of olive oil to the saucepan, add the scallops & cook without moving for about 1 minute. Flip the scallops over & continue cooking until they form a nice crust on that side. Remove from pan & set aside.
  2. Add the shrimp to the pan & quickly saute them until they just turn pink & opaque, not much more than a minute. Remove from pan & set aside. Add the salmon to the pan & cook until it just turns opaque, about a minute or two. Add the salmon to the reserved sauce & stir in. Set aside.
Topping
  1. Grate cheese & place in a small dish. Add Panko breadcrumbs, parsley & melted butter. Combine well.
Assembly & Baking
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place Place a scallop in the center of each individual oven safe shell; surround with four of the shrimp. Cover with sauce, dividing it equally between each shell. Give the potatoes a quick stir & place them in a large pastry bag equipped with a star tip. Pipe a border around the filling; sprinkle topping mix over filling. Place in oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden & bubbly. Serve immediately. Nice to serve with garlic bread.

Salmon Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

How is it spelled? Portobello or Portabella – from what I understand there is no ‘right’ spelling. Both versions are accepted, but the Mushroom Council  decided to go with Portabella to provide some consistency across the market.

The scientific name ‘agaricus bisporus’, for these giant mushrooms comes from the Greek word ‘agrarius’ meaning ‘growing in fields’. A portabella mushroom can measure up to six inches across the top. On the underside of the cap are black ‘gills’. The stems and gills are both edible, though some people remove the gills to make more room for stuffing or simply to avoid blackening a dish. Did you know that most of the table mushrooms we eat are all the same variety? The difference is just age– white are the youngest, cremini the middle and portabella the most mature. I really wasn’t aware of that for many years myself.

In May and June of 2016, I posted some recipes on my blog for a variety of stuffed burgers  including a mushroom burger. They became very popular on the Pinterest site so I thought you might like to try some of them.

This recipe is for a roasted stuffed portabella mushroom. If you don’t care for salmon you can always change it up for ground beef or turkey using your favorite herbs and spices.


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Salmon Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms


Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a bowl, combine all ingredients through salt & pepper, mix well. Coat both sides of mushrooms in Italian dressing & place them upside down in a baking dish.

  2. Equally distribute the salmon mixture between mushroom caps; form a mound. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese. Bake 25-35 minutes or until mushrooms are tender & the cheese is slightly browned.

French Crepes in Paris, France

Today, July 25th, we celebrate my sister Loretta’s birthday.

                  ‘To have a sister like you is like finding a treasure in ones life’.                                                          ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LORETTA’, you deserve all the best!’

In the fall of 2001, Brion & I, joined by Loretta, made our first trip to Europe. Before that our holidays had pretty much been in the USA. This was a whole new learning curve that has forever changed the meaning of travel for us. Our destination was France, starting out in Paris, then renting a car and driving to the west coast then on down through southern France.

The hotel we were staying at in Paris looked out over a ‘pedestrian only’ street. When we arrived it was evening and the street was dark and pretty much deserted. The next morning we heard a lot of hustle-bustle in the street below. When we looked out, the sight was just incredible! The street was lined with shops which were now open for business. It was the most beautiful sight to look down on with all its colors and activity. During the next few days we enjoyed everything Paris  to the fullest.

Down from our hotel we came upon a little street vendor selling crepes of all things. The taste was amazing! Fifteen years later, they have joined our ‘taste of a memory’ food list, knowing that so much of it was time & place.

Crepes are such a great meal. Simple to make with so many options whether it is a savory or sweet version. One of our favorite savory choices is a Seafood Crepe,  which I feature in my ebook, ‘LIVING LARGE ON A LEAN FOOD BUDGET’. For a sweet treat, you might enjoy to try these Strawberry-Citrus Crepes.

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French Crepes
Crepe batters can be stored in the fridge for a day ---- cooked crepes in the freezer.
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Ingredients
Basic Crepe Batter
Parmesan Herb Crepe; add to ingredients of Basic Crepe batter
Chocolate Dessert Crepe; add toingredients of Basic Crepe batter
Basic Dessert Crepe; decrease milk in Basic Crepe to 1 1/3 cups & add the following
Gouda Sauce for Seafood Crepes
Strawberry-Citrus Filling
Servings
Ingredients
Basic Crepe Batter
Parmesan Herb Crepe; add to ingredients of Basic Crepe batter
Chocolate Dessert Crepe; add toingredients of Basic Crepe batter
Basic Dessert Crepe; decrease milk in Basic Crepe to 1 1/3 cups & add the following
Gouda Sauce for Seafood Crepes
Strawberry-Citrus Filling
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Instructions
Crepes
  1. Place all ingredients in blender; whirl for 1 minute at high speed. Scrape down sides, whirl for another 15 seconds. Pour into a bowl & cover; refrigerate 1 hour. Heat a non-stick griddle to 350 F. Measure about 3 Tbsp of batter per crepe onto griddle. With back of spoon form batter into an 8-inch circle. Cook until golden on each side then lay on a wire rack to cool.
Gouda Crepe Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, melt margarine; sprinkle with flour & seasonings. Mix well; add milk & broth, stirring until sauce becomes thickened. Add cheese & blend.
Seafood Filling
  1. In a large skillet, saute zucchini, onion & garlic in oil for several minutes. Add mushrooms, green pepper & water chestnuts; cook 1 more minute. Combine ginger, soy sauce & water in a cup; add to vegetable mixture along with seafood. Gently stir fry ONLY until seafood is cooked. Reserve 1/2 cup Gouda sauce & add the rest to mixture.
  2. Divide filling between crepes; roll crepes & place on serving plates. Spoon remaining sauce over each of the filled crepes. Place each meal in microwave (covered) for 15 - 20 seconds on high. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired. Serve immediately.
Strawberry-Citrus Filling
  1. In a small saucepan, combine water, cornstarch, lemon juice, orange juice & sugar; blend well. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture thickens & becomes clear. Remove from heat & set aside to cool. Slice strawberries either by hand or using an egg slicer. In a small dish, combine yogurt & honey.
  2. In a large bowl, gently fold about 1 1/2 cups citrus glaze together with sliced strawberries (I used about 3 large strawberries per crepe). Lay 12 crepes on work surface & place equal amounts of strawberry/glaze mixture on one half of each crepe. Fold over opposite side then fold in half again. Place 3 crepes on each of four serving plates. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Serve Honey/Yogurt on the side as well as any extra citrus sauce you have left from filling.
Recipe Notes
  • I have been making crepes for a long time but have never bothered to buy a 'crepe' pan to cook them in. A non-stick griddle has always worked great for me.  Using a 1/4 measuring cup, first to pour a circle of batter on the griddle then with the bottom of it, keep enlarging the crepe to the size you want.
  • Being able to make all your crepe ingredients the day before then putting it all together on the day served is such a bonus.