Zucchini Cordon Bleu

Slice a zucchini lenghthwise. Place on a pie pan skin side down and drizzle olive oil on top. Generously sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Add strips of thinly sliced ham. Put zucchini/ham into the oven and turn it to 400 degrees. When it reaches that temp, let it bake for 5 minutes.

Take it out and add slices of jarlsberg cheese. Put under the broiler until cheese is bubbly and brown. C’est tout.


It’s good served with Tabasco Chipotle sauce for a spicy zip.


Thanksgiving Braised Short Ribs

Turkey is boring. We prefer this rich late autumn feast instead.  Serves 8.

6 + lbs. short ribs cut 1/2″ thick and of like sizes. This recipe takes a whole bottle of red wine, so a French Beaujolais works well. It’s not too expensive, but good enough to be the main ingredient. The meat has to marinate overnight in the mirepoix.

For the marinade:

2 cups sliced celery
2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup sliced parsnips on a slant
2 cups sliced leek
2 cups parsley sprigs
1 tsp. juniper berries or 1/4 cup gin
1 bottle red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2+ tsp. red, green, black whole peppercorn mix
Any leftover celery, carrot, parsnip chunks

Ditched the old glass baking dishes when we moved to the City, so using large freezer bags this year. Divide the short ribs into two large bags and add half of the marinade to each. Ziploc and put in a large bowl in case there is any leakage. Refrigerate overnight.photo-50

Before cooking take baggies out of the refrigerator and pour into large bowl. Take out the short ribs and pat dry on paper towels. Let all come to room temperature.

To Cook:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Strain the vegetables from the marinade liquid in a bowl. Reserve both liquid and strained veggies separately.

Dust short ribs with a little flour on all sides. In a large stock pot, brown meat on all sides, in a little olive oil. Brown in stages so not crowded. Remove meat from pot with tongs to a large bowl after each browning stage.

Add the strained vegetables to the pot and brown. Add 1/3 cup tomato paste to the middle of the pot and brown. Bring the vegetables into the paste and stir.

Return the meat and add the wine liquid from the marinade to the stock pot. Turn to medium high heat. Stir all veggies, meat, wine marinade lightly to blend. Cover and place pot on middle rack in oven at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Peel 3 cups cipollini onions, add to the pot and stir in. Cover again and bake for another 1 hour until meat is tender. Add chicken broth if needed to keep meat covered and moist.

Uncover the pot and bake for another 20 minutes to brown. Remove pot from oven.

Serve with mashed turnips or horseradish mashed potatoes. Or both.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cornbread Celery Apple Stuffing

When not hosting Thanksgiving, bring stuffings. This is my fave.

Make 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Cornbread stuffing as directed.

Separately, in a large skillet, in a little olive oil, brown one sweet onion, coarsely chopped. Add 2 cups peeled, cored, chopped tart green apples, 2 cups thickly sliced celery stalks. Brown. Add ground black pepper, garlic powder to taste.

Blend mixture loosely into the cornbread stuffing. Put in a baking dish in 375 degree oven covered until heated through.

When ready to eat at your host’s home, pop into a hot oven uncovered to reheat and crisp on the top before serving.

Baked Turnip Casserole

Perfect side with Osso Buco, Braised Oxtails or even the traditional Thanksgiving Day turkey. Smooth. Nutty. Delicious.

Chop a large peeled turnip into small chunks and cover with water in a saucepan. Cover and boil until chunks are tender. Drain. Let cool to room temperature.

In a bowl, hand mash with a 1/4 stick butter and 1/4 cup milk. Season with salt  & pepper to taste. Stir in 1/2 cup plain yogurt, and add a pinch of cayenne. With a hand mixer, blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour into a casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly and brown on top.

Stuffington Post Turkey

The best turkey isn’t stuffed at all. With stuffing. And. A smaller bird is best. So. If you have many guests, maybe make two. Buy a fresh free-range 10-12 pounder.

Remove the neck, heart, liver, gizzards. Rinse them in warm water and place them on a paper towel in a baking pan large enough for the turkey. Rinse the turkey with warm water, inside and out. Pat it dry all around.

In the cavity, sprinkle kosher salt and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight on the paper towels with the gizzards in the baking pan.

On Thanksgiving, remove the turkey and gizzards from the paper towels. Discard the towels. Place the turkey and gizzards on a dish. Let them come to room temperature.

Wash out the baking pan, rinse thoroughly and dry. Drizzle the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Slice 2 large sweet onions and spread around the edges of the pan.

Stuff the turkey cavity with one orange, cut in half;  a sprig of fresh thyme; and a whole head of garlic, with just the top cut off.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the gizzards on the onions. In the middle of the baking pan, place the turkey on its side, wing and leg up. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven.

Turn the turkey to the other side, the other wing and leg up. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Bake for another 45 minutes. Remove from oven.

Turn turkey to breast side up. Baste legs, wings, breast with juices from the pan. Bake for another 45 minutes. Turkey legs should be loose and skin crispy. Use a meat thermometer to assure doneness. If necessary, cover the turkey with aluminum foil and continue cooking until juices from leg joints run clear.

Serve with Stuffington sides. Happy Stuffington Post Day!


Sausage Mushroom Stuffing

Make Pepperidge Farm Bread Stuffing as directed. 2-3 bags.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.

Add one large sweet onion, coarsely chopped.

Add a bunch of scallions, thickly sliced.

Sauté until translucent.

Add crumbled Italian sausage meat, taken out of casings. 3 sweet, 3 spicy.


Add 4 cups Crimini mushroom caps, quartered. Brown.

Deglaze with 1/2 cup dry red wine. Stir.

Season with oregano, basil, garlic powder to taste.

Stir and remove from heat. Let stand to room temp.

Add to the stuffing in the pot and gently blend together.

Pour into a baking dish.

Divide into 2 dishes if necessary for quicker heating.

Pop in the oven, around 350 degrees, covered to heat through.

When ready to serve, uncover and reheat in oven until crispy on top.

Cornbread Celery Apple Stuffing

My favorite.

Make 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Cornbread stuffing as directed.

Separately, in a large skillet, in a little olive oil, brown one sweet onion, coarsely chopped.

Add 2 cups peeled, cored, chopped tart green apples. Brown.

Add 2 cups thickly sliced celery stalks. Brown.

Add ground black pepper, garlic powder to taste.

Lightly blend into cornbread stuffing.

Put stuffing in a greased baking dish in 375-degree oven covered until heated through.

Then uncovered ’til crispy on top.