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April Recipes

CRAB CAKES

1     Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs (divided)

2     Green Onions (finely chopped)

1/4  Cup Sweet Red Pepper (finely chopped)

1     Large Egg (lightly beaten)

1/4  Cup Mayonnaise

1     Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1/2  Garlic Powder

1/8  Cayenne Pepper

2     Cans (6 oz. each) Crab meat (drained, flaked, cartilage removed)

1     Tbsp. Butter

In a large bowl, combine 1/3 cup bread crumbs, green onions, red pepper, egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder and cayenne pepper; fold in the crab meat. Place remaining bread crumbs in a shallow bowl, set aside. 

Divide crab mixture into eight portions; shape into 2 inch balls. Gently coat in bread crumbs and shape into 1/2 inch thick patties. 

In a large non-stick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add crab cakes; cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. 

Serves 4.


ASIAN CABBAGE SALAD

1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar

2    Tbsp. Water

1    tsp. Sesame Oil

1    Tbsp Brown Sugar

1    Tbsp. Olive Oil

1/2 Large White Cabbage (shredded)

1    Carrot (grated)

1    Zucchini (sliced very thin)

1/2 Bell Pepper (cut into matchsticks)

1    Cup Scallions (sliced)

1/4 Cup Almond Slivers (toasted)

2    oz. Quick Cooking Asian Egg or Ramen Noodles (broken up)

1    Tbsp. Sesame Seeds (toasted)

Put the soy sauce, wine vinegar, water, sesame oil and brown sugar in a small pot over low heat. Heat, stirring, just until the sugar has fully dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside to cool. 

Put the cabbage, carrot, zucchini, pepper, scallions, almond slivers and uncooked noodles in a salad bowl. Pour half of the dressing over it and toss vigorously until every piece of vegetable is coated. Add more dressing until the salad is well dressed. The remaining dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week. 

Garnish with the sesame seeds and serve. (Salad can be made up to a few hours before serving and refrigerated; simply omit the noodles and toss in just before serving.) 

Serves 6 to 8.


OLD FASHIONED 

GLAZED HAM BALLS

Glaze:

1/2 Cup Vinegar (any kind)

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1    or 2 Tbsp. Prepared Mustard

Ham Balls:

3       lbs. Ground Smoked Ham

1       lb Ground Pork

4       Eggs

1 1/2 Cup Milk

2       Cups Bread Crumbs

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Glaze: In a small sauce pan over low-heat, add the glaze ingredients and gently stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved.

Ham Balls: Mix ingredients together and form into individual balls. Place in shallow baking pan, cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes (they should begin to brown) Remove from oven and drizzle most of the glaze over the ham balls and continue to bake for another 20 minutes or until done. Serve remaining glaze with the finished ham balls. 

Yields: 30 Ham Balls. 


SPINACH AND ROCOTTA 

STUFFED PASTA SHELLS

12     Jumbo Pasta Shells

1       Jar (23 oz.) Ragu Homestyle Tomato Sauce

15     oz. Ricotta Cheese

1       Large Egg

3/4    Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 1/2 Cups Fresh Spinach (roughly chopped)

1/2    tsp. Italian Seasoning

1       Clove Garlic (minced or grated)

1/2    tsp. Salt

1/4    tsp. Black Pepper

1/2    Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

         Italian Parsley (chopped, for garnish)

Cook pasta shells according to instructions on the package. Drain, keep warm.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pasta sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg, garlic, seasoning, salt, pepper and chopped spinach. Fill each pasta shell with cheese filling and arrange in the sauce.

Sprinkle additional mozzarella cheese over each shell. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling on the edges. Let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving. 

Serves 4.


LEMON CHEESECAKE BARS

1 1/2 Cups Soft Coconut Macaroon Cookie Crumbs

2       Tbsp. Butter (melted)

2       Pkg. (8 oz. each)  Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened) 

1/2    Cup Sugar

1/2    tsp. Lemon Zest

1       Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1/2    tsp. Vanilla

2       Eggs

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of an 8 inch square pan, sprayed with cooking spray.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, juice and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate for 3 hours before cutting. Cut into 2 inch square bars. 

Yield 16 bars.


GARLIC-MUSTARD GLAZED

GRILLED BEEF SKEWERS

1   (2 lb.) Beef Tenderloin 

Glaze: 

4    Cloves Garlic (chopped fine)

1/4 Cup Mustard (grainy)

2    Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

2    tsp. Paprika

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1    Tbsp. Soy Sauce (low-sodium)

2    Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar

1    Tbsp. Honey

      6 inch Wooden Skewers

Soak the wooden skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes. 

The 2 pound tenderloin should be halved and then cut into 1 inch slices. Using two skewers, thread two pieces of beef on them so that the meat lies flat. Do this with all the beef.

Heat grill to high. Brush the meat liberally on both sides with the glaze. Grill the skewers for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked to medium-rare goodness (or your preferred doneness), brushing with the remaining glaze while grilling. Remove from grill and serve. 

Serves 8.

Glaze: Whisk together all glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

Note: Beef can be cut and brushed with glaze and refrigerated for a few hours or overnight. Thread on skewers and grill as directed.


SLOW COOKER PORK CHOPS

4    Bone-in Pork Chops (3/4 to 1 inch thick) 

      Salt (to taste)

      Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

      Brown Sugar (to taste)

2    Tbsp. Butter (divided)

1    Large Onion (sliced)

1    tsp. Dried Thyme or Rosemary

1    Cup Chicken Broth

1/4 Cup Apple Cider

3    Tbsp. Soy Sauce (low-sodium)

1    Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2    to 3 Tbsp. Cornstarch

2    Tbsp. Water

Season the pork chops with salt, pepper and brown sugar to taste. Either cook immediately or cover and refrigerate overnight. (Seasoning the night before will give the pork chops a deeper flavor, but isn’t necessary.)

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides until they are golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add the seared chops to the slow cooker. (It is ok to overlap them slightly, but don’t stack them on top of each other.) 

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the saute pan, followed by the sliced onion. Cook the onions until they begin to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the herbs and cook for another 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the chicken broth, apple cider, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce to deglaze the pan. Stir everything to combine and make sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Pour the liquid and onions over the pork chops. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or on high for 2 to 3 hours.

Remove the cooked pork chops from the slow cooker to a dish and set them aside. Whisk the cornstarch and water mixture into the cooking liquid. Return the pork chops to the slow cooker and cook on high until the sauce is thickened and the chops are fork tender, about 30 to 60 minutes. If the sauce is not thick enough then use additional cornstarch and water mixture, but keep in mind it will thicken more as it cools. 

Makes 4 servings.


SPRING SALAD

WITH HONEY CHIPOTLE VINAIGRETTE

4    Cups Salad Greens (frisee, spinach, arugula, cabbage)

4    Thick Slices Pancetta (cooked, chopped)

1/2 Cup Soft Asiago (grated on large holes of grater)

4    Asparagus Spears (cut in 1 inch pieces, blanched)

1/3 Cup Roasted Hazelnuts 
 

Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette:

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3    Tbsp. Balsamic

1    Tbsp. Honey

1/2 tsp. Ground Chipotle Chili Powder

      Pinch Salt, Pepper

Cook pancetta till crispy, place on paper towels until cool then chop. Set a small pot of water to boil. Add asparagus and cook for 3 minutes, Strain and rinse with cold water, set aside. Grate cheese. Place all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss. 

Serves 4.

Place all vinaigrette ingredients in a glass container and whisk or shake until combined. Lightly dress greens and toss to coat. Serve.