Vella's Market in Constantia, NY

 


        Vella's Market in Constantia, NY
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Our Favorite Recipes

Look each week for new quick and easy recipes to try.
Ingredients are available at Vella’s.

We’ve got the ingredients you NEED at a price you’ll LOVE!

PARMESAN SPAGHETTI SQUASH

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed (3 lb.)
4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
Salt and black pepper to taste

PREHEAT oven to 400º.
BRUSH cut sides of squash with 1 tsp. oil and place, cut side down, on baking

GUMDROP LOAF

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 lb. gumdrops, sliced or small decorating candies
1 cup raisins

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; stir in vanilla.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk; fold in gumdrops and raisins. Pour mixture in a greased 9 in. x 5 in. x 3 in. loaf pan.
4. Bake at 350º for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.
Yield: 1 loaf.

ITALIAN PORK STEW

2 cups dry Great Northern beans
8 oz. bulk Italian sausage
1 lb. lean boneless pork
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups carrots, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. instant beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp. thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley

1. Rinse beans; drain. In a large saucepan, combine beans and 6 cups cold water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Transfer beans to a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker.
2. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up sausage as it cooks. Drain fat. Transfer sausage to slow cooker. Cut pork into cubes. In the same skillet, cook pork, half at a time, until pork is no longer pink. Drain fat. Transfer to cooker. Add onion, carrots, garlic, bouillon granules, thyme and oregano. Stir in 3 cups water.
3. Cover, cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.
4. If using low-heat setting, turn slow cooker to high heat setting. Stir wine into tomato paste. Add mixture in cooker along with parsley. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more.
Makes 6 servings.

CRUNCHY DROP BISCUITS

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
1 egg
1 cup milk

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
2. In another bowl, beat egg and milk. Stir into crumb mixture just until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake at 450º for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.

CARAMELIZED ONION QUICHE

1 refrigerated pie crust
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cups thinly sliced onions
5 eggs
1 cup 2% milk
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 oz. Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)
Arugula (optional)

1. Heat oven to 375°. Fit crust into a 9-inch pie plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until browned and soft, stirring once in a while, about 35 to 40 minutes. (If onions begin to burn, reduce heat to medium-low.) Set aside to cool a bit.
3. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, salt and nutmeg. Remove pie plate from refrigerator. Sprinkle cheese evenly on bottom of crust. Scatter onions on top. Pour egg mixture over cheese and onions. Bake quiche at 375° for 45 minutes or until eggs are set and crust is browned. Cool 10 minutes
on a wire rack. Serve with arugula, if desired.
Makes 6 servings.

LEMON SQUARE BARS

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter, melted
4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5/8 cup lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x13 in. pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups flour and confectioners’ sugar. Blend in melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Combine the sugar, baking powder and 1/4 cup of fl our so there will be no flour lumps. Stir the sugar mixture into the eggs. Finally, stir in the lemon juice. Pour over the prepared crust and return to the oven.
4. Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until bars are set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
Makes 24 servings.

SPICY THREE PEPPER HUMMUS

2 (16 oz.) cans garbanzo beans, drained
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/8 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp. tahini
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 sliced jarred jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tsp. liquid from the jar of jalapeno peppers
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. dried oregano

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, jalapeno and juice from the jalapeno jar. Season with black pepper, cayenne, cumin and oregano.
2. Mix using the whisk attachment on low speed until the ingredients start to blend, then turn the speed to medium and blend to your desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Make sure your container is sealed well, or your fridge will smell like garlic!
Makes 24 servings.

PUFF DELIGHTS

1 egg
1-1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 loaf (1 lb.) sliced sandwich bread

1. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg, cheese, butter, mustard and onion powder until smooth.
2. Spread two slices of bread with cheese mixture; stack together and cover with third slice. Cut off crusts. Cut sandwich into four squares or triangles. Spread tops and sides (not bottoms) with some of the cheese mixture. Repeat with remaining slices and remaining cheese mixture.
3. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and freeze. Remove and store in a resealable plastic bag.
4. To serve, place on a foiled-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes or until browned. Serve hot. Yield: 5 dozen.
TASTE TWIST: For extra-easy Puff Delights, in a mixing bowl, beat the cheese, 3/4 cup butter, mustard and onion powder until very light and fluffy. Spread on bread slices; bake as above. Cut each slice into
4 squares or 4 triangles.

BROCCOLI SOUFFLE

1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs, seperated

1. Place broccoli in a saucepan, add water to a depth of 1 in. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain well. In another saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour and seasonings until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until
thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Remove from heat, add broccoli. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and glossy; set aside. In another mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until light and lemon-colored. Fold into broccoli mixture. Fold in egg whites. Transfer to an ungreased 2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 325º for 50 minutes or until top feels firm when lightly touched.
* TASTE TWIST: Substitute frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, for the broccoli.
Makes 6 servings.

ULTIMATE LIME PIE

12 graham crackers
4 tbsp. granulated sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. grated lime zest

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers and 2 tbsp. sugar to form fine crumbs (you should have 1-1/2 cups crumbs total). Add the butter and pulse to combine.
2. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 in. pie plate. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust; bake until the center is just set, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely, about 1 hour.
4. Just before serving, using an electric mixer, beat the cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the pie and sprinkle with the zest.
Makes 12 servings.

SMASHED ROOT VEGETABLES

1/2 lb. medium parsnips (about 3), peeled
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1- 1/2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 in. pieces
1- 1/2 lb. rutabaga (1 large), peeled and cut into 1 in. pieces
1/ 2 lb. medium carrots (about 4), peeled and cut into 1 in. pieces
Kosher salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Chopped fresh chives, for serving

1. Quarter the parsnips lengthwise. Cut out and discard the woody centers. Cut the remaining parsnips into 1 in. pieces. Using a piece of kitchen twine, tie the rosemary and parsley together.
2. Place the parsnips, herbs, garlic, potatoes, rutabaga and carrots in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp. salt, reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
3. Remove and discard the herbs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, drain the vegetables and return them to the pot. Drizzle the oil over the vegetables, season with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper and using the back of a fork or a potato masher, smash the vegetables (adding some of the reserved liquid if the vegetables seem dry). Sprinkle with the chives before serving if desired.
Makes 8 servings.

HOT FUDGE ICE CREAM BAR DESSERT

1 (16 oz.) can chocolate syrup
3/4 cup peanut butter
19 ice cream sandwiches
1 (12 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup salted peanuts

1. Pour the chocolate syrup into a medium microwave safe bowl and microwave 2 minutes on high. Do not
allow to boil. Stir peanut butter into hot chocolate until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Line the bottom of a 9x13 in. dish with a layer of ice cream sandwiches. Spread half the whipped topping over the sandwiches. Spoon half the chocolate mixture over that. Top with half the peanuts. Repeat layers. Freeze until firm, 1 hour. Cut into squares to serve.
Makes 18 servings.

PORTOBELLO PANINI

STIR
1/4 cup olive-oil mayonnaise
2 tbsp. minced jarred roasted red peppers
SAUTE
1 bag baby spinach (6 oz.)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
BRUSH
2 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and gilled (6 in.)
Olive Oil
PREPARE
1 loaf round, unsliced artisan bread
4 oz. thinly sliced Swiss cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
PREHEAT grill to medium-low. Brush grill grate with oil.
STIR together mayonnaise and red peppers.
SAUTE spinach and garlic in 1 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until wilted, 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Press out all extra liquid through a sieve. Season spinach with salt and black pepper.
BRUSH both sides of portobellos with olive oil; season with salt and black pepper. Grill portobellos gill-side up, covered, until liquid pools in the caps, 4-5 minutes; flip and grill 2-3 minutes more. Let portobellos cool enough to handle, then thinly slice at an angle; drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.
PREPARE bread by trimming off the top and bottom crust with a serrated knife to about 2 in. thick; cut in half horizontally.
TO ASSEMBLE place Swiss on one slice of bread and spread with the mayonnaise mixture. Add spinach and onion, then fan out portobello slices in a single layer. Top panini with remaining bread slice.
BRUSH both sides of sandwich with olive oil. Place panini on grill and weight down. (a cast iron skillet or bricks wrapped in foil work great!) Grill panini, covered, until bread begins to brown around edges, 2-3
minutes. Remove weight and carefully flip panini using a large broad spatula.
Replace weight on top of panini and grill, covered, until cheese begins to melt, 2-3 minutes more.
REMOVE panini from heat and cut into 4 servings.
Makes 4 servings.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE ICE CREAM CAKE

1 (18 oz.) package small chocolate chip cookies
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup hot fudge topping
2 quarts vanilla ice cream
1 cup whipped cream
12 cherries

1. Crush half the cookies, about 20 to make crumbs. Combine crumbs with melted margarine and press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan or pie plate. Stand remaining cookies around edge of pan. Spread 3/4 cup fudge topping over crust. Freeze 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, soften 1 quart of ice cream in microwave or on countertop. After crust has chilled, spread softened ice cream over fudge layer. Freeze 30 minutes.
3. Scoop remaining quart of ice cream into balls and arrange over spread ice cream layer. Freeze until firm, 4 hours or overnight. To serve, garnish with remainder of fudge topping, whipped cream and cherries.
Makes 16 servings.

SOUTHWESTERN SALAD with SHREDDED ROTISSERIE CHICKEN

1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 (10 oz.) bag chopped romaine lettuce
1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded and skin & bones discarded (about 4 cups meat)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz.) can yellow whole kernel corn, rinsed & drained
1 large red tomato, seeded & diced
1 (8 oz.) package shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. diced black olives
Spicy Ranch Dressing (recipe below)

1. On a large platter, layer lettuces, chicken, beans and remaining 4 ingredients. Serve with Spicy Ranch Dressing. Makes 4-6 servings.

SPICY RANCH DRESSING

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (1 oz.) package ranch dressing
2 tbsp. finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. hot sauce

1. In the container of a blender combine all ingredients, and process until smooth. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to a week. Makes about 2-1/4 cups.

CHICKEN & BROCCOLI STROMBOLI

1 yellow onion, chopped
4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 small head broccoli, chopped
1/2 lb. ground chicken or turkey
1 lb. pizza dough, thawed if frozen
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (2 cups)
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning

1. Preheat the oven to 425º. In a skillet, cook the onion in 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium, 3 minutes; transfer one-third to a plate. Add the broccoli and 1/2 cup water; cook 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. In the same skillet cook the chicken in 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium-high heat, breaking apart
with a wooden spoon, until browned, 4 minutes. Tansfer to the bowl; season with salt and pepper.
2. Coat a baking sheet with 1 tbsp. EVOO. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Stretch each piece into an 8 by 4 inch oval and sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Spoon one-quarter of the chicken mixture down the center of each, then top with remaining cheese. Fold one long side over the filling and fold in the ends; roll
into a log. Transfer to the baking sheet, seam side down. Brush each with the remaining EVOO and cut 2 diagonal slits in the top. Bake until golden, 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in the skillet, cook tomatoes and reserved onion over medium, 5 minutes. Season, serve over stromboli.
Makes 4.

ITALIAN PASTA SALAD

1 (16 oz.) box tricolor bow tie pasta, cooked according to package directions
10 oz. small plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4 in. thick rounds
1 (8 oz.) package extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1 cucumber, diced
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
4 oz. pepperoni, chopped
4 oz. salami, chopped
1 1/2 cups Italian dressing

1. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, and all remaining ingredients, stirring well. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Makes 4-6 servings.

FRENCH TOAST BITES

2 cups milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Vegetable oil, for frying
Maple-Glazed Bacon, cut into 2-in. pieces
1 (14.1 oz.) loaf brioche, cut into 2-in. pieces
1 cup fresh blueberries
Fresh mint leaves
Wooden picks

1. In a medium bow, whisk together milk and next 4 ingredients.
2. In a large skillet, pour oil to a depth of 1/4 in., and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.
3. In batches, quickly dip bread pieces into milk mixture, letting excess drip off, and fry until golden brown on all sides; drain on paper towels.
4. Thread 1 piece French toast, 1 piece bacon, 1 blueberry, and 1 mint leaf onto wooden picks. Serve immediately.
Makes 10 servings.

MAPLE-GLAZED BACON

1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 (16 oz.) package bacon

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil, and top with wire racks. Spray racks with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a small saucepan, cook syrup and next 3 ingredients over medium heat, stirring often, for 6 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Reserve 1/3 cup syrup.
3. Place bacon slices on prepared wire racks. Brush remaining syrup on both sides of bacon.
4. Bake, brushing both sides of bacon with syrup every 10 minutes, for 20 to 25 minutes or until bacon is golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush with reserved 1/3 cup syrup. Transfer bacon to parchment paper and let cool completely.
Makes 10 servings.

CHICKEN MEATBALL & VEGETABLE SOUP

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning
1 lb. ground chicken or turkey
1/2 cup orzo
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets

1. In a large pot, heat the EVOO over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 minutes. Add the carrot and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
2. In a large bowl, gently mix the chicken with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Roll 1 tbsp. of the chicken between your palms, forming a ball, and drop into the broth. Repeat with the remaining chicken (you should have about 20 meatballs).
3. Stir in the orzo and simmer 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and summer until the meatballs are cooked through, the orzo is al dente and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Season before serving.
Makes 4 servings.

CHEESY BEAN DIP

1 can (16 oz.) baked beans, drained and mashed
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup fi nely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Assorted taco chips and tortilla chips

1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients. Cook stir until the cheese is melted. Serve warm with chips.
* TASTE TWIST: For a hotter dip, a few slices of finely chopped jalapeno peppers (be sure to wear gloves) may be substituted for the hot pepper sauce.
Makes 3 cups.

OPEN-FACED PULLED PORK BARBECUE SANDWICHES

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (4 to 5 lb.) boneless pork shoulder
1 (32 oz.) carton chicken broth
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. bottled minced garlic
2 cups barbecue sauce
6 sliced Texas toast, baked according to package directions

1. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and next 4 ingredients. Pat pork dry with paper towels, and rub sugar mixture over pork.
2. In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine broth, onion and garlic. Place meat over onion mixture; cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or until pork is fork-tender.
3. Remove pork from slow cooker, discarding cooking liquid. Using two forks, shred meat into bite-size pieces, discarding fat.
4 In a medium bowl, combine shredded pork and barbecue sauce. Divide among Texas toast; serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.

FRIED CUCUMBERS

1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 cup sour cream

1. In a skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in the cucumbers, salt and pepper. Saute until lightly browned. Stir in remaining ingredients; cook until heated through.
Makes 6 servings.

PINEAPPLE SWEET RIBS

Total Cookinig Time: 3 hr. 45 min.
2 slabs baby back ribs

DRY RUB
2 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. garlic salt
1-1/2 tsp. onion salt
1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cumin

LIQUID SEASONING
1 cup pineapple juice
1 tbsp dry rub
1-1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1- 1/2 cups bottled barbecue sauce (your favorite)

1. Remove membrane from back of ribs. In a small bowl, combine dry rub ingredients and mix well. Set aside 1 tbsp. of the rub for liquid seasoning mixture and apply remaining rub generously to front and back of ribs. Pat gently to ensure that rub adhears to ribs.
2. Build a fire (a combination of charcoal and wood) for indirect cooking by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. When coals register 250º, place slabs meat side up on grill over empty space. Close the cover and cook with indirect heat for 2-1/2 hours, adding coals as needed to
maintain 250º.
3. Cut 2 pieces of foil large enough to wrap each slab of ribs completely and stack them to create a double layer. Remove ribs from grill. Place each slab, meat side down on a doubled foil square.
4. In a small bowl, combine liquid seasoning ingredients, including 1 tbsp. dry rub. Pour 1/2 cup of the liquid over each slab, then tightly wrap and seal foil. Place wrapped slabs back on grill, close the lid
and cook over indirect heat for 1 hour.
5. Remove the ribs from grill, unwrap and discard foil and liquid. Brush barbecue sauce on both sides of ribs. Return ribs to grill for 15 minutes or until sauce caramelizes. Remove ribs from grill, cut and serve with additional sauce, if desired.
* SUGGESTED WOOD hickory, peach, apple.
Makes 4-6 servings.

STRAWBERRIES with BALSAMIC VINEGAR

16 oz. fresh strawberries, hulled and large berries cut in half
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper or to taste

1. Place strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle vinegar over strawberries and sprinkle with sugar. Stir gently to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour but not more than 4 hours. Just
before serving, grind pepper over berries.
Makes 6 servings.

HAM SALAD DEVILED EGGS

1 dozen eggs, hard-cooked, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
6 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. minced green onion
1 tbsp. minced fresh dill
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
Garnish: paprika

1. In a large bowl, place egg yolks. Place egg whites, cut side up, on a serving platter.
2. Add ham and next 7 ingredients to yolks. Mash to desired consistency. Spoon, or pipe into egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
Makes 10-12 servings.

GRILLED ZUCCHINI ROLL-UPS

1/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. olive oil mayonnaise
1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme
1 tbsp. minced fresh oregano
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
Salt and black pepper to taste
10- 8 in. long strips zucchini, 1/4 in. thick and about 2 inches wide
Minced lemon zest and fresh thyme

PREHEAT the grill to medium-high. Brush grill grate with oil.
COMBINE feta, cream cheese, mayonnaise, 1 tbsp. thyme, oregano, lemon juice and 1 tbsp. olive oil for the filling; season with salt and pepper.
COAT zucchini with remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil; sprinkle with salt.
Grill zucchini, uncovered, until tender, about 2 minutes per side. Let zucchini cool.
PAT zucchini dry and spread a scant tablespoon of filling evenly on each.
Tightly roll zucchini slices; garnish with zest and thyme.
Makes 10 appetizers.

TEX-MEX CHICKEN SOUP

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp. ancho chile powder
2 (28 oz.) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (32 oz.) container low-sodium chicken broth

For serving: diced avocado, cilantro, shredded chicken, sweet corn, black beans, tortilla chips, sour cream,
grated Cheddar, lime wedges.

1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very tender and beginning to brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
2. Add the chile powder and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (and their juices) and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Using an immersion blender (or a standard blender, working in batches), puree the soup. Ladle into bowls and serve with toppings.
Makes 6 servings.

APPLE-PEAR CRISP with PEANUT BUTTER

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3 small Gala or Empire apples, peeled & chopped
2 medium pears, peeled & chopped
1 tbsp. water
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chunky sweetened peanut butter
3 tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/4 cup fat-free whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spread oats in a single layer on jelly-roll pan. Toast 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once halfway through.
2. Meanwhile, in a 4 qt. saucepan, combine apples, pears, water, sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Cook on medium 10 to 12 minutes or until sugar dissolves and fruit softens, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cranberries; divide the mixture among 6 shallow 12 to 16 oz. baking dishes.
3. In a medium bowl, combine oats, peanut butter and flour. With fingers, rub to form small clumps; sprinkle over fruit mixture in baking dishes. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. To serve, top each with 1 tbsp. whipped cream.
Makes 6 servings.

BARBECUED PORK RIBS

PORK RIBS
2 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp. dark molasses
1 tsp. salt
5 lbs. meaty pork ribs

BARBECUE SAUCE
1 (14 oz.) bottle ketchup
1 (12 oz.) bottle chili sauce
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, molasses and salt. Bring the marinade to a boil; set aside to cool.
2. Put the ribs in a large, turkey-size baking bag or sealable plastic bag. Support the bag in a 12x14-inch baking pan. Pour the marinade over the ribs and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning the bag occassionally to thoroughly coat the meat.
3. The next day, preheat the oven to 375ºF.
4. Drain and discard the marinade from the bag. Cut 4 slits in the top of the baking bag, if you are using one. Otherwise, drain the marinade, transfer the ribs to the baking pan, and cover the pan with foil. Bake ribs for 2 hours.
5. While the ribs are baking, prepare the barbecue sauce. In a large saucepan, blend 1/3 cup water, ketchup, chili sauce, 1/2 cup brown sugar and dry mustard. Bring this mixture to a boil. Stir well to dissolve the sugar; set aside to cool.
6. When the ribs are cooked and tender, open the bag or remove the foil and discard the drippings. Lower the oven temperature to 350ºF.
7. Brush the ribs on both sides with the barbecue sauce and return them to the oven to bake, uncovered for 30 minutes longer. Just before serving, throw the ribs onto the barbecue or blacken them under the broiler to give them a bit of a char, about 2 minutes.
Makes 10 servings.

CLASSIC BAKED POTATOES

6 large russet potatoes, washed & dried
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.
2. Rub potatoes with olive oil, and place on prepared pan. Sprinkle potatoes with salt.
3. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a fork easily pierces potatoes.
Makes 6 servings.

SPICY SHRIMP-STUFFED POTATOES

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. medium fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup minced green onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Classic Baked Potatoes (recipe above)

1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, red pepper, and salt. Add shrimp, tossing to coat.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add green onion and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add shrimp mixture and cook for 2 minutes or just until pink. Add broth and lime juice; cook for 2 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Stir in cilantro.
3. Split open Classic Baked Potatoes, and divide shrimp mixture among potatoes.
Makes 6 servings.

TACO-STUFFED POTATOES

2 lbs. ground chuck
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 (16 oz.) jar mild taco sauce
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Classic Baked Potatoes (recipe above)
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped green onion

1. In a large skillet, cook ground chuck, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until browned and crumbly. Drain well, and return to pan. Stir in taco sauce, cumin, chili powder, and salt cook
over medium heat for 5 minutes or until heated through.
2. Split open Classic Baked Potatoes, and divide meat mixture, sour cream, cheese, tomato, and green onion among potatoes.
Makes 6 servings.

MIXED VEGETABLE GRILL with BALSAMIC-HONEY MARINADE

2 yellow summer squash
2 green zucchini
1 eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red onion
4 roma tomatoes
1 lb. button mushrooms

MARINADE
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup honey
1 tbsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley

1. Quarter squash, zucchini and eggplant lengthwise and cut in half. Quarter peppers and discard cores and seeds. Cut onion into thick slices. Cut tomatoes in half. Place vegetables in a large bowl along with mushrooms.
2. In a small bowl, combine marinade ingredients and mix well. Pour over vegetables, cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours.
3. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to high heat. Remove vegetables from marinade and place in a grill basket or on grate directly over coals (approximately 450º) for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, turning once. Transfer vegetables to a large serving bowl. Add parsley, mix well and serve.
Makes 8 servings.

BAKED BEAN CASSEROLE

1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 sweet bell pepper, cored, seeded and
fi nely chopped
2 (15-16 oz.) cans pork and beans
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. brown sugar
6 to 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9x13x2-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a 4 to 5 quart Dutch oven, brown the ground beef, onion and bell pepper. Add the pork and beans, barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar to the ground beef mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Transfer mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Crumble bacon over the casserole and cover with aluminum foil. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 12 servings.

MINI CHERRY BERRY PIES

1 lb. fresh strawberries
2 (12 oz. pkgs.) frozen cherries, thawed and drained
12 oz. fresh raspberries
3 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. orange zest
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
Pinch kosher salt
3 refrigerated rolled pie crusts
Flour for the work surface
1 large egg, beaten
12- 3 in. disposable foil pie/tart tins
Small star-shaped cookie cutters

1. In a bowl, combine the strawberries, cherries, raspberries, cornstarch, orange zest, 1/3 cup sugar and a pinch salt. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes.
2. Make a stencil for the pie crust. Place a pie tin top-down on a piece of paper and, using it as a guide, draw a circle 1 in. larger than the tin. Cut out the stencil.
3. On a lightly floured surface, working with one pie crust at a time, roll out to 1/8 in. thick. Using the stencil, cut out 4 circles. Using the star cutters, cut out 6 stars, reserving the scraps. Fit the circle
cut-outs into the bottoms and up the sides of the pie tins. Fold any overhang under itself to create a thicker rim of dough and crimp as desired. Place the pie tins and stars on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to fill. Repeat with the remaining pie crusts.
4. Fill the pie crusts with the cherry mixture (about a heaping 1/2 cup each).
5. Shape the remaining dough scraps into a 1-in. thick disk. On a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/8 in. thick. Cut out 24 1/2 in. by 5 in. strips, rerolling and chilling the scraps as necessary.
6. Twist the dough strips and place on the pies as desired, trimming as necessary to fit; dab the ends with egg and pinch gently to attach to crusts. Place the stars on the pies as desired. Brush the dough
stars and stripes with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp. sugar. Refrigerate the pies for 30 minutes.
7. Heat oven to 375ºF. Bake the pies until the fruit is bubbly and the crusts are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

CORN AND ZUCCHINI MELODY

4 slices bacon
2 cups chopped zucchini
1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 small onion, chopped
1 pinch pepper
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly browned. Reserve 1 tbsp. of drippings. Drain bacon, chop and set aside.
2. Heat the bacon drippings in the skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the zucchini, corn and onion until tender but still crisp, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Spoon vegetables into a bowl, and sprinkle with chopped bacon and shredded cheese.
Makes 5 servings.

GRILLED CORN CHOWDER

4 ears fresh sweet corn, husked and silks removed (to yield 2 cups corn kernels)
1 poblano pepper, halved and seeded with membranes removed
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 (14 oz.) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed (1 cup)
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. peper
1-1/2 cups half-and-half or milk

1. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. Grill corn and pepper halves, cut sides down 12 to 16
minutes or until pepper is charred and the corn is tender. Remove from grill, wrap pepper in foil. When corn is cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs. Remove peppers from foil. Remove charred skin and coarsely chop. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1-1/2 cups or the grilled corn kernels, the chicken broth and potato. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. In a small bowl combine flour, salt and pepper. Stir half-and-half into flour mixture until smooth. Gradually stir into chicken broth mixture. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly, cook and stir 1 minute more. Using an immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth. Top with remaining grilled corn kernels and chopped pepper before serving.
Makes 4 servings.

PEACH AND BLUEBERRY BUCKLE

1 -3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt or table salt
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
4 peaches, each cut into 8 wedges (about 4 cups)
1 pint blueberries
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
2. In a seperate bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add half of the flour mixture, then the sour cream and then the remaining flour mixture, mixing well between additions. Fold in the peaches and blueberries. (Don’t worry if there seems to be too much fruit in proportion to batter. The batter will rise around it while baking.)
4. Transfer the batter to an 8 x 8 in. or other 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (aim for the batter not the fruit), 1-1/2 hours to 1 hour, 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.

CAULIFLOWER SOUP

6 tbsp. butter, divided
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 (32 oz.) carton vegetable broth
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup half and half
2 tsp. salt

1. In a large Dutch oven, melt 4 tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown. Add carrot and celery; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add broth, caulifl ower, and parsley. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 17 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually add milk, whisking to combine. Remove from heat, and whisk in half and half. Immediately add milk mixture to cauliflower mixture and cook for 8
to 10 minutes or until soup is slightly thickened. Stir in salt.
3. To the container of a blender, add soup, in batches, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot, and cook until heated through. Serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 servings.

POTATO SALAD WITH CELERY & HERBS

3 lb. red new potatoes
Kosher salt and pepper
1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
4 stalks celery, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely grated, for serving

1. Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add 2 tsp. salt, reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Cut the potatoes in half or quarter if large.
2. Meanwhile, grate 2 tsp. lemon zest into a large bowl, then squeeze in the juice (you should have about 3 tbsp. juice total). Whisk in the oil, mustard and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.
3. Add the potatoes and celery to the bowl and gently toss to coat. Fold in the parsley and dill and top with the eggs, if desired.