Super Bowl Chili

In a large stock pot, brown two small red onions, diced. Add 1 orange or red, 1 yellow bell pepper, and 2-3  jalapeño peppers, diced. Brown. Add 1+ lb. ground beef, pork and/or sausage (out of casings) of your choice. Brown meat. Add 2 cans low-salt black beans, 2 cans low-salt kidney beans. (Proportions to taste). Stir. Season with 1-2 tsp. garlic powder, 2 tsp. cumin and 1/2 tsp. cayenne, salt to taste. Stir. Add 1 can whole tomatoes and 1 large jar medium hot salsa with corn. Add another 2 tsp. cumin and 1/2 tsp. cayenne. Stir. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer covered on low heat for an hour. Stir. Partially uncover and simmer for another hour or longer until thickens. Stir periodically.

When ready to eat, turn it up to high to get it hot. Serve in bowls topped with grated cheddar and side of tortilla chips.

Go Niners!


Linguine alle Vongole

At mAd Ben’s uptown NYC flat. What a treat.

Sweet & fresh little necks from Whole Foods Columbus Circle.

Serves 4. Figure 1 dozen little necks per person.

In a bowl or glass container, add the following:

A generous half cup of olive oil
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 cloves of garlic (3 chopped, 3 mashed)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3 tbs. UNsalted butter

In a deep stock pot, heat 3 tbs. vegetable oil so that a drop of water sizzles. Add the 4 dozen cleaned little neck clams. Cover and keep on high heat until clams start to open and release their juices, 4-5 minutes.

Add above sauce ingredients, stir and cover for another 3-5 minutes until all clams have opened and sauce is heated. Typically a clam or two won’t open, so don’t overcook the others, just discard the unopened ones.

Concurrently prepare enough linguine to serve 4.

Ladle clams and sauce over the pasta evenly in each pasta dish. Have a crusty bread on hand to sop up extra sauce.

The star is the sauce, finished by the nectar of the little necks. mAd Ben’s were perfectly cooked.

Braised Boneless Short Ribs

Sal the Butcher at Citarella suggested boneless short ribs. Intuitively not right for this cook. Bones bring flavor. Yet. I okayed the choice. Nicely marbled, trimmed, sans sinew. So. Tried them and a new method, too.

Oven braise was de rigueur in the past. But. New gas stove has a fan which hits at 325 degrees and never shuts off. Not pleasant in an open space when the recipe called for 375 degrees for at least 3 hours. Decided to go for top-of-the-burner. The only caveat. Have to keep up the heat to at least medium low.

Also. Changed up the prep and marinade. In a large glass bowl:

2-3 lbs. boneless short ribs
1 large carrot medium chop
1 large parsnip medium chop
1 leek sliced
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves
2 stalks celery medium slice
1/4 cup whole multi-colored peppercorns
1 tbs. garlic powder
2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 bottle good dry red wine- this time Oregon Pinot Noir

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bring to room temperature when ready to cook. Remove short ribs from the marinade. Place on paper towels to dry. Dredge lightly on all sides in flour, shake off any excess.

Strain the marinated vegetables from the wine liquid. Reserve both in separate bowls.

In a large stockpot on the stovetop, heat olive oil and brown 1 large onion medium chop. Add short ribs in stages so that all sides are golden brown. Remove short ribs to a bowl when they are browned. Deglaze stock pot with a little chicken stock and pour with browned onions over short ribs in the bowl.

Brown the strained vegetables in the stockpot. Add 1 small can tomato paste to the middle of the pot and brown. Stir in the mirepoix vegetables and blend together. Pour over the short ribs in the bowl. Clean the stockpot.

Slice 4-5 carrots and 2-3 parsnips into large diagonal wedges. Slice one leek and 2 celery stalks into thick slices. Quarter 5-6 small onions. In the stockpot, heat olive oil to medium high heat and brown all the vegetables. Season with thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add the short ribs and mirepoix vegetables to the stock pot. Stir everything together. Add the reserved wine marinade liquid. Stir. Season with more thyme, salt and pepper, garlic powder and a few red pepper flakes. Stir.

Bring to a boil. Cover. Simmer on medium low heat for 2 hours. Partially uncover and simmer on medium low heat for another 1 hour or more until meat is tender and falls apart. Keep meat covered with vegetables and liquid as it simmers.

Serve with horseradish mashed potatoes.

Tree Trimming Lobster Pasta



When the Tree Gang comes for its annual decorating festa, it’s a good time to celebrate with lobster pasta.


1/4 lb. fresh cooked lobster meat from Citarella per person. More is better.

Serves 8+.

In a large stock pot on medium high, melt 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. butter, add juice of 3 lemons. Season with cracked white pepper to taste. Add the lobster meat just to warm not to cook.

Make 2 lbs. fresh fettuccine, cooking only about 4-5 minutes in salted boiling water. Drain.

To plate. Ladel the lobster meat and butter sauce over the fresh pasta. Garnish with diced sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, whole capers, and sprinkle with dried basil. Top with fresh lemon zest.

Buon Natale!


Note: Aragosta v. Astice. It looks like a New England lobster is astice. A warm water langouste appears more aragosta

Stuffingtons Post 2019

New twists on old themes. For the Stuffings.

This year instead of Pepperidge Farm. Williams Sonoma Focaccia Stuffing Mix with Mediterranean Herbs and Cornbread Stuffing Mix with Sage.

Focaccia Sausage Mushroom With Scallions & Red Onions

Serves 10
In a large stockpot in a little olive oil brown 2 small red onions diced, 1 large package Crimini mushrooms quartered, 2 hot Italian sausages and 2 sweet Italian sausages, crumbled out of their casings. Season with oregano, basil, ground black pepper to taste. Add a small bunch scallions sliced green and white parts. Stir. Make 1 package of the Focaccia stuffing as directed. If calls for water use low sodium chicken broth instead. Stir into the sausage mushrooms and onions until loosely blended. Pour into a deep baking dish, cover and bake at 350-375 degrees until cooked through. Cool in an oven-ready serving dish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve bring to room temperature and heat through uncovered in the oven at 350 degrees until brown on top.

For those with onion allergies. Omit the scallions and onions and can add a small finely diced root vegetable instead. Parsnips, turnip.

Cornbread Celery Apple

Serves 10
In a large stockpot in a little olive oil, brown 2 small Vidalia onions diced, 1 bunch celery hearts, sliced and diced, and 2-3 green tart apples peeled, cored and diced. Stir. Can omit onions. Make 1 package of the Cornbread Stuffing as directed using Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock instead of water. Stir into the celery apple mix and loosely blend. Season with celery salt, white ground pepper, thyme to taste. Pour into a deep baking dish, cover and bake at 350-375 degrees until cooked through. Cool in an oven-ready baking dish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve bring to room temperature and heat through uncovered in the oven at 350 degrees until brown on top.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Chop the following into medium-sized chunks: 1 large purple carrot, 1 large red carrot, 2 medium white carrots, 1 medium orange carrot, a few stalks of celery, 1/2 medium red onion. Cut half a small cabbage into shreds. Drain a can of black or white beans. Open a small can tomato paste. 2 boxes Pacific chicken broth.

In a large stock pot, brown the carrots, celery and onions in a little olive oil. In the middle of the pot, brown a small can of tomato paste. Stir into the vegetables. Add 2 boxes chicken broth plus water to cover. Season with garlic, ground black pepper, celery salt to taste. Add the black beans and cabbage. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until all vegetables are cooked through and tender.

Garnish with shredded jack cheese and serve with hard crust bread.

Apple Carol

Start with Hudson Valley Ginger Gold Apples. Tart and crisp. Core and peel six to eight. Cut into thick slices.

Make your favorite pie crust and press it into a rectangular shallow baking pan so that it covers the whole pan, but is not too thick. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pie crust mix. Press the apple slices into the crust in the pan to cover.

Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Like about 2 to 1, but to your own preference. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mix so it covers the apples, not too much, just lightly.

Mix a little more of the sugar-cinnamon mix into the reserved pie crust mix and blend. Sprinkle the pie crust-sugar-cinnamon crumbles over the apples.

Dot the whole pan evenly on top with a stick’s worth of salted butter pieces. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden and apples are soft but not mushy. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Creamy Ricotta Pasta

In a large skillet, brown 1 large zucchini diced; 6 large crimini mushrooms, chopped; 1 small bunch of scallions thickly sliced. Add 8-10 pitted kalamata olives, halved. Stir and simmer. Drain one can Marzano whole tomatoes. Chop and add to the skillet. Heat and stir. Season with oregano, basil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes. Take off heat and add large dollops ricotta cheese. Stir into the sauce. Serve over fresh pasta topped with a generous amount of lemon zest.