Friday, June 21, 2013

Homemade Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Summer is here and my garden is producing an array of beautiful veggies. One of my favorite recipes to make with bountiful and beautiful produce is Minestrone Soup. My minestrone soup is hearty, flavorful and so good for you, loaded with summer squash, carrots, celery, peas, beans and potatoes makes for one filling meal. Even if you don't have a garden to pick from I am going to give you a supermarket ingredient list that makes for a quick fix. Today I am adding Tri-Color Cheese Tortellini to round out this meal into a one pot dinner winner recipe.

Jen's Vegetable Minestrone &Tortellini Soup- Serves 8

1 can of crushed canned tomoatoes
3 cerey stalk chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 carrots chopped
2 potatoes diced
2 zuccini chopped
1 can chick peas
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
1 bunch of parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 bag of cheese tortellini
1 bunch of parsley chopped

In large stock pot heat oil
Saute veggies (except potatoes) 3-5
Add in crushed pepper & canned tomatoes
Add in potatoes
Cook 35 minutes then add Tortellini
Cook 5 minutes more
Serve with Grated Parmesan Cheese and garnish with parsely

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Italian Sausage & Peppers

With the abundance of sweet summer peppers popping up in my garden there is one recipe my family and I just can't get enough of- Good ol' Italian Sausage & Pepper Hero. One of the simplest, most delicious dishes you could ever make. Three simple ingredients, sweet red peppers, red onions and sweet Italian sausage. I've fine tuned this recipe to make it a tad bit healthier, less oily and even more delicious! Sop of all the succulent pan juices with a big hunk of Italian Bread and a better dinner has yet to be done!

Jen's Italian Sausage & Peppers- Serves 4
2lbs of red Peppers- thinly sliced
3 large red onion- thinly slice
2 lbs of Sweet Italian Sausage

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Season sliced peppers & onions with salt & pepper and drizzle of EVOO
Add to roasting pan,  sealed tightly fitted with lid - bake 40 minutes or until soft
On Separate baking sheet roast sausages until 3/4 way cooked, appx 20 minutes
Remove sausage from oven, cool slightly and slice
Add sliced sausage to peppers and onion. cook 30 minutes with lid on
Remove from oven and Serve!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Easy Canapes

I'm hosting a casual cocktail party tonight and serving up my easy elegant canapes.On this platter I have a mix of stuffed mushrooms which I prepped last night and popped into the oven 25 minutes before my guests arrive. Along side my spectacular shrooms are Smoked Salmon and Dill canapes, simple and sophisticated. who says entertaining is hard!

Death by Chocolate Trifle

Summer is here! Weekend BBQ's, Pool Parties and Picnics, good times are ahead. Summer is short so don't waste your time looking for the perfect dessert to bring along. My Death by Chocolate Trifle is a DePalma Family favorite and soon will be yours too! Layers of Crumbled Chocolate Cake (Box cake mix is just fine), Followed by Chocolate Pudding (Instant not Cook &Serve), Sliced Banana and topped with Cool Whip. Continue the layers and chill overnight. Best served cold from the fridge with a tall glass of ice cold milk this a recipe kids and grown up are sure to love!

Crispy Crab Cakes

Summer is Here! It's a beautiful day in NYC. Although I can't make it to the shore I sure can bring the shore to me with my homemade crispy crab cakes. My crab cakes are made with whole lump crab, you want find any fillers here! Slightly binded with breadcrumbs and flavored with dijon, a little cayenne pepper a dash of hot sauce salt and pepper then coated in egg wash and dredged in panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch. Fresh Fabulous Fish everyone is sure to love!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Carmine's Restaurant, Atlantic City Best Meatballs Ever

Meatballs at Carmine's or what was left!
I'm Italian, I know a good meatball. Never have I ever in my life eaten a meatball better than my grandmother's- until Saturday. Until Saturday, I have never in my life ordered meatballs in a restaurant, I refused to, my grandmother's couldn't be beat. Saturday, while visiting Atlantic City, my family and I had the pleasure of dining at Carmine's Restaurant located inside The Tropicana. We started with ordering the meatballs off the appetizer menu. These are no appetizer size meatballs, they are huge and there's plenty of them. There were six to be exact but not a single bite was left on the plate. The meatballs were absolutely amazing, everything a true authentic meatball should be- soft when you cut into it but not mushy, flavorful, mouthwatering and the sauce the are simmered in is full bodied and fantastic. All you need is a bib and a good piece of crusty bread, which if you ask the waitstaff a few times they will eventually bring out. The service at Carmine's AC  is nothing to brag about. The food makes up for it, everything we ordered was delicious- penne vodka, chicken francese and sauteed spinach.  Dishes are served family style and you really do need a big Italian family to eat it, the platters are huge, really huge. The menu says platters feed 4-6 people I say more like 10 people seriously. So make sure you go with a group or not and have plenty of leftovers win/win! Carmine's is my new favorite place to eat in Atlantic City and once you give it a try I'm sure it will be yours too! I found the recipe online for Carmine's Meatballs but a fellow diner told me he tried the recipe at home but it didn't come out the same maybe you will have better luck!
Carmine's Recipe Link

Friday, June 7, 2013

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Honey Citrus Drizzle and Ginger Veggie Rice

Coconut Shrimp is one of my favorite appetizers. Succulent Shrimp battered in crispy, crunchy, sweet coconut flakes. Such richness comes with spoils, there's nothing healthy about fried coconut shrimp so tonight I'm revamping my recipe and making Baked Coconut Shrimp with a Honey Drizzle! All the flavor none of the guilt. Although when company comes over I'm still making the fried the stuff!

Baked Coconut Shrimp
2 lbs of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 flour
2 tsp of paprika, 2 tsp of garlic powder
1 egg beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray
Season shrimp with salt and pepper
Mix spices with flour
Dredge shrimp in seasoned flour then egg then cocnut
Line Shrimp on baking sheet
Bake in over 15-20 minutes until cooked through and crispy

Honey Drizzle
1/4 cup of organic honey (use local when possible)
1 tbsp of mustard
1 tbsp of teryaki sauce
1 tsp of crushed pepper flakes

Whisk ingredients and drizzle over cooked shrimp