Diva Tasting: Zucchini Boats….

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Ingredients

  • 3 Zucchini
  • 1 Pound Pork Sausage Browned And Drained and cooked
  • 1 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 8 Oz Cream Cheese Softened
  • 1 (32 Ounce) Jar Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Trim stems from zucchini and slice lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and put in bowl. Mix seeds with browned sausage, garlic, bread crumbs, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese. Stuff squash with sausage mixture and place in 9×13 inch baking pan. Pour Alfredo sauce over squash and cover pan with foil.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until sausage is cooked. Remove foil and cover with mozzarella cheese. Cook until cheese is melted.

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Diva Tasting: Spaghetti and Meatballs Mediterranean Style…

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Ingredients

  • 3 Zucchini
  • 1 Pound Pork Sausage Browned And Drained
  • 1 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 8 Oz Cream Cheese Softened
  • 1 (32 Ounce) Jar Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Trim stems from zucchini and slice lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and put in bowl. Mix seeds with browned sausage, garlic, bread crumbs, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese. Stuff squash with sausage mixture and place in 9×13 inch baking pan. Pour Alfredo sauce over squash and cover pan with foil.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until sausage is cooked. Remove foil and cover with mozzarella cheese. Cook until cheese is melted.

SIMPLE MEDITERRANEAN OLIVE OIL PASTA#11.21.17bbc

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Lb Thin Spaghetti
  • 1/2 Cup early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
  • Salt
  • 1 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 12 Oz Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  • 3 Scallions (green Onions), Top Trimmed, Both Whites And Greens Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 6 Oz Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Drained
  • 1/4 Cup Pitted Olives, Halved
  • 1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese, More If You Like
  • 10-15 Fresh Basil Leaves, Torn
  • Zest Of 1 Lemon
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Follow package instructions to cook thin spaghetti pasta to al dente (mine took 6 minutes to cook in plenty of boiling water with salt and olive oil).
  2. When pasta is almost cooked, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Lower the heat and add garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for 10 seconds, stirring regularly. Stir in the parsley, tomatoes and chopped scallions. Cook over low heat until just warmed through, about 30 seconds or so.
  3. When the pasta is ready, remove from heat, drain cooking water and return to its cooking pot. Pour the warmed olive oil sauce in and toss to coat thoroughly. Add black pepper and toss again to coat.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and toss one more time. Serve immediately in pasta bowls, and if you like, top each with more basil leaves and feta. Enjoy!
  5. A COUPLE OF TIPS FOR THIS OLIVE OIL PASTA

First, this dish makes a feature of extra virgin olive oil and relies heavily on its flavor.  The oil is briefly heated through, but not cooked. That’s why, you’ll want to use the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can afford.

Remember, oils that are simply labeled “pure” have usually been heat-treated and refined by mechanical means and, consequently, lack character and flavor.

DIVA Tasting: Beef Tenderloin and Stuffed Mini Potatoes…..

Slow Beef Tenderloin

  • 1 Package Of Sliced Cremini Mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 3 Pounds Trimmed Beef Tenderloin Roast, Tied
  • Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Shallots
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Tarragon Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Tarragon
  • Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Season beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Place beef in the skillet; cook until brown on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes per side.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and stir in 1 tablespoon butter, shallots, and a pinch of salt; cook until shallots are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Pour tarragon vinegar into the skillet and bring to a boil while scraping any browned bits off of the bottom. Stir until liquid is reduced by half, 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Pour in stock, cream, mushrooms, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Return beef to the skillet.
  6. Roast in the preheated oven until meat is medium rare, about 45 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 130 degrees F. Transfer meat to a plate and loosely tent with foil. Set skillet over high heat and bring pan juices to a boil.
  7. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and tarragon; season with salt and pepper to taste. Return tenderloin and any accumulated juices to skillet and serve.
  8. Serve with garlic mash potatoes and green bean casserole.

Gorgonzola Stuffed Mini Potatoes#11.23.17 bb

Ingredients

  • 20 small new potatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • coarse sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet; drizzle with the oil, and toss to coat. Season with salt. Place potatoes in preheated oven and bake until very tender when pierced with a fork, 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. With a small knife, cut a cross in the top of each potato; press firmly on sides to open. Combine sour cream and Gorgonzola in a small bowl. Top each potato with a generous spoonful of the cheese mixture; garnish with chives. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Diva Tasting: Glazed Holiday Ham….

Glazed Baked Ham

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Apple Cider
  • 6 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 (8 Pound) Bone-In Smoked Ham

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Whisk Apple Cider, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard together in a bowl.
  3. Place ham cut side up in a large roasting pan; pour mixture over ham.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until ham begins to brown, about 15 minutes, basting 4 to 5 times.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Cover roasting pan with lid or aluminum foil.
  6. Continue to bake until ham is heated through, about 90 minutes more, basting frequently.
  7. Remove lid and bake until ham is well browned, about 15 minutes more. Allow ham to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Diva Musing: Giving….

Tis the season!  I just wanted to remind us that giving comes in many forms and many ways.  I encourage each of you to find some to give something to…even if only an uplifting word.  You will be amazed how your world will sparkle immediately.  Someone out there needs something you have to offer.  Give and expect nothing in return.  The joy and reward is in the giving.

Namaste, The Queen Cronista