Chicken Parmigiana w/Eggplant

This is a wonderful dish and easy to make.

• 2 large chicken breasts cut in half and pounded flat (~1/2 inch thick)
• 4 whole slices of eggplant
• 4 thick slices of Mozzarella (ask in the deli, mine comes from Wisconsin, not found in a bag)
• 4 large basil leaves
• Parmesan cheeses grated (for topping)
• Italian bread crumbs
• 2 eggs
• Thin spaghetti
• 4 Tbsp Butter and olive oil mix
• Audubon Ron Special Sunday Tomato Sauce or your special sauce
• Olive Oil (or Special Sunday Tomato Sauce olive oil, sauté 1 large garlic clove and several basil leaves in ¼ cup olive oil, let cool and strain)

Make your Audubon Ron Special Sunday Tomato Sauce before hand or use whatever sauce you like. It should be thick and full of tomato pulp. My sauce takes about 2 hours to make, mostly simmering.

Drag the chicken through egg and Italian bread crumbs and fry in butter/EVOO until golden brown on both sides. If you fry the chicken in batches, wipe the pan each time and add fresh butter. Set aside.

Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and paint EVOO on both sides and place in a 350ᵒ oven for 10 minutes. Care is needed not to overcook.

Stack the ingredients. On top of the chicken place eggplant, then the basil leaves, (pour a dash of Special Sunday Tomato Sauce olive oil) or olive oil, then add the tomato sauce, then the Mozzarella cheese and then sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Place on baking sheet and cook in 350ᵒ oven for 25 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve over thin spaghetti.

 

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Audubon Ron Special Sunday Tomato Sauce

The Sicilian’s call a rich tomato sauce a Sunday Tomato Gravy. I have futzed around with this sauce for a very long time. Fortunately, I have two very important cooking influences. One is Cajun Gumbo Roux based foods and the other is New York/New Jersey style Italian cooking tomato gravy based foods.

The idea here on the Italian side is to make thick rich tomato gravy separate from the other stuff. Usually tomato gravy is cooked with meats. But, I find good Roma tomatoes with a lot of pulp and go to work on the tomato gravy separate and apart.

First I cut crosses on the tops and bottoms of each tomato. Then I boil them in boiling water for several minutes until the skin starts to come off. I remove them from the pot with tongs and place them under cold water and peel the skin off. I cut them up and place them into a small food processor where I chop them maybe 10 pushes of the button.

I fry them in a wide hot cast iron skillet with one TBSP olive oil and two TBSP of tomato paste for several minutes and then I put the fire on simmer and let the tomatoes cook where the fluids evaporate (~1 hour). Then I mash them with a potato masher and add a cup of dry red wine. I then simmer them again for another hour in the wine and turn off the heat and let it sit for a while. No salt, no pepper, no sugar, I’ll address that later.

In a separate small sauce pan I sauté on low heat a large chopped clove of garlic and a bunch of fresh basil from my garden in a ¼ cup of olive oil. I cook on low until I can see a little bubbling on the sides (~20 minutes). Remove from heat, let cool and strain the oil, discard the basil and garlic. I then add 4 TBSPs of the strained oil to the tomato gravy and mix. THE BEST!!! Tomato gravy, no sugar, naturally sweet from the basil and wine and strong.

I add that sauce to any dish, mostly on pasta.

BTW, pasta is so easy make. Put 1¼ cups flour and two eggs in a food processor with 1 TBSP olive oil and pulse until you got a big ball of dough…You got pasta dough. Cut it and put it through a pasta maker. Boil it one minute and serve…

 

 

Asian Mandarin Avocado Fish and Shrimp Salad

This is a very simple dish I have worked together with a perfect sauce. The sauce can be used for chicken and pork. Start with the salad dressing. All my salad dressings are a 6:1 ratio, 6 TBSP of oil and 1 TBSP of everything else.

Asian Salad Dressing/Marinade
• 6 TBSP peanut oil
• 1 TBSP soy sauce ( I added a tad more b/c I like a stiff soy sauce flavor)
• 1 TBSP sesame oil
• 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
• 1 TBSP minced fresh garlic
• 1 TBSP minced fresh ginger
• 1 TBSP chopped scallions

In a bowl whisk all ingredients.

Fish and Shrimp (for 2)

• 6 large jumbo shrimp
• 2 white fish filets (You can use flounder, walleye, cod, tilapia, etc.)

Devein and peel shrimp and chop the fish filets cross ways 1 inch. Place the seafood in a plastic zip lock bag and then pour in half the salad dressing. Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Salad

• Any green leafy salad, I used a romaine medley and escarole
• Cilantro – chopped
• 1 avocado – quartered
• 1 fresh mandarin – peeled and deseeded
• ½ cup frozen edamame (soy bean, without the shell)
• sesame seeds, for topping (optional)

Arrange everything on a plate except the fish.

Heat non-stick pan on medium heat. Remove fish from bag and set the dressing in the bag on the side, and sauté fish about 4 minutes, add the remaining dressing from the zip lock bag (this dressing has the fishy flavor) and cook another 4 minutes until the fish and shrimp are nice and tender. Remove the shrimp and plate three shrimp in line on both plates and then plate the fish. Add the pan cooked dressing to the remaining half dressing and whisk once more. Spoon the dressing equally amongst both plates and serve.

Can it be that easy?

Fish Burrito

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• Frozen flounder
• Sour cream
• Salsa
• Avocado (cut into quarters)
• Lime (Cut into quarters and squeezed onto taco)
• Cilantro (chopped)
• Flour tortilla (Microwave on high for 50 seconds)
• Rub mix (paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, old bay, etc.)

Pour oil in baking pan and sprinkle the fish with the rub mix.

Heat oven to 425ᵒ, Cook fish until done (~8 minutes)

On a warn tortilla, apply sour cream, fish, salsa, avocado, cilantro and squeeze lime on top and roll in a burrito.

 

Jamaican Jerk Sauce for BBQ Chicken and Ribs

This is one of our favorite sauces for chicken and country style pork ribs for the summer.

In a blender combine all these ingredients and blend.  Refrigerate overnight.  Add to the meat while cooking 15 minutes before serving.

• 1 tsp – Allspice
• 3 TBSP – BBQ Sauce (Sweet Baby Rays) or Catsup
• 4 TBSP – Brown Sugar
• ¼ tsp. – Cinnamon
• 5 cloves or 1.5 TBSP powder – Garlic
• 1 inch fresh or 2 tsp. dry – Ginger
• ½ cup or a bunch – Green Onions
• 2 fresh or ½ dried – Habanero Pepper
• 2 fresh squeezed – Lime Juice
• 1 tsp – Nutmeg, Ground
• 1 tsp – Onion Powder
• ¼ cup – Oil (Peanut or Canola)
• 1 tsp – Pepper, Black
• 1 tsp – Salt
• 2 TBSP – Soy Sauce
• 2 TBSP fresh or 1 tsp dry – Thyme, Ground
• 1 TBSP – Balsamic Vinegar
• Country Style Ribs, loin or baby back ribs, chicken

Spanish Rice

• 1 ½ cups long grain rice
• 1 TBSP butter
• 1 TBSP olive oil
• ½ onion chopped
• 2 Roma tomatoes chopped
• ½ shallot chopped
• 1 cup white wine
• 2 cups chicken broth
• Salt and pepper
• 1 tsp paprika
• ½ tsp cumin
• 6 fresh basil leaves chopper
• 1 can red kidney beans drained

Sauté rice, tomatoes, onions and shallots in butter and oil. Brown rice. Add wine and cook 15 minutes on high and stir. Add the rest of the chicken broth a bit at a time until you get the right ratio of water and rice. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover and boil gently, checking the rice for doneness.