We're not sure where this family favorite recipe came from, our Mom or Grandma Florence, but we do remember how we looked forward to eating it on the holidays and everyone taking home leftovers (Mom lost many Tupperware containers over the years). Our family always cooked a lot more food than was necessary as do we, typical Italian style! We have so many fond memories of sitting down to dinner with our grandparents, parents, all the aunts, and uncles and of course the cousins always seated at the kid's table. Over the years we have shared this recipe with many friends who love it. It's so rewarding to know our family recipes have become part of another family's holiday traditions.😋
Optional: 2 apples, chopped & coated in lemon juice to prevent browning (Barbara includes apples for her family and Teresa’s family prefers to leave them out)
In a deep 8-10 qt pot brown the onion, celery, and sausage in butter. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning.
Mix in the herbed stuffing cubes into the sausage mixture along with the apples if using.
Heat the chicken broth and add as needed until moist and mixed well (everyone has their own preference for moistness).
When cooled, stuff the turkey and cook according to turkey weight.
This stuffing can be prepared the day ahead and refrigerated until ready to stuff the bird or baked in a casserole dish. Take out of the refrigerator at least a half-hour to be room temperature before stuffing the bird.
Fill both cavities of the turkey loosely with the stuffing mixture. Roast turkey according to package directions for a stuffed bird.
The remaining stuffing can be baked separately in a covered casserole dish at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Remove cover and let cook until top starts to brown and gets lightly crusted.
Note: Barbara always serves her stuffing with a Cranberry, Orange Relish. You can also use traditional sliced cranberry sauce or turkey gravy.
Many years ago while hosting a large Thanksgiving dinner I was looking for something different to serve in place of the traditional cranberry sauce. I don't remember if I found this recipe in the food section of a local newspaper or a magazine but it quickly became a family favorite. I took oranges and cut them in half, scooped out the insides, cut a zig-zag pattern around the rims then put the relish recipe below into each orange cup. I then placed them all around the turkey on a large platter. It makes a beautiful presentation for special dinners.
2 apples, chopped (put in lemon juice to preserve color then drain)
Fresh asparagus marinated in olive oil & garlic are combined for some heavenly flavors on this light side dish. Top it with crumbled blue cheese (our husbands favorite, Boursin garlic & herb (Barbara's favorite) feta or Parmesan. Whatever cheese you choose, you will love these asparagus! 😋
ice water in a large bowl (have ready while asparagus are cooking)
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the asparagus & cook uncovered for 2 minutes. Immediately remove asparagus & put them into a bowl of ice water. Drain well & pat dry with paper towel.
In a large plastic resealable bag, combine oil, vinegar, garlic, green onions, salt & pepper. Add asparagus; seal the bag and turn several times to coat well. Refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour.
After an hour, remove from refrigerator and drain asparagus. (Discard remainder of marinade if not using for salad dressing or a rice dish)
Place the asparagus on a serving platter and sprinkle with your favorite cheese.
Note: Left over marinade can be used to season rice or as a salad dressing. It’s really good and why waste all those great flavors!
Don't know what to do with those leftover veggies? Why not turn them into a delicious side or appetizer that is sure to please kids & adults! We often have leftover broccoli or zucchini as it's our husband's favorite vegetables. We were inspired to make these patties as a result of all the leftover breadcrumbs & egg while making breaded chicken cutlets. Our Mom taught us to not waste so she would mix these leftover ingredients together and form patties to fry with the chicken cutlets. As kids we loved them more than the chicken cutlets! 😋
12-ounces chopped broccoli florets, cooked
1¼ cup Italian style breadcrumbs (we used Progresso, not gluten-free)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
3/4 shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp salt (omit if salt sensitive)
dash of pepper to taste
Cooking Spray to coat baking sheet
1 3½” lid (we used the lid from a 16-ounce Argo cornstarch container. Any size lid of your preference will work but the Argo lid was the perfect width & thickness of our patties)
In a large bowl combine beaten eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, cheddar cheese, oregano, cooked chopped broccoli, onions, garlic, salt & pepper, mixing well. Add the breadcrumbs mix together with a fork then mix by hand as you would making meatballs or meatloaf. Must be a thick, pasty texture.
Preheat oven to 400ºF and spray baking pan with cooking spray.
Place the plastic wrap over the lid, overhanging 3-inches in all directions. Fill with mixture slightly mounded, press down with your fingers, flip the patties over onto the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until bottom is golden brown.
Flip patties and continue baking another 7-10 minutes.
Remove from oven let stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.
Can be dipped into your favorite dipping sauce i.e. ranch dressing, blue cheese, or tzatziki sauce.
Note: This is a great way to make use of any leftover vegetables and makes a great grab-n-go snack.
If you stayed away from making your own empanadas because you were intimated to make your own dough, DON’Tbe afraid! After trial and error & almost giving in to prepackaged pie crust, we found a great recipe from a book titled Empanadas: The Hand-Held Pies of Latin America. Not only is this dough flaky and delicious, but it also compliments any filling. The next time you’re having a small gathering of friends or family, give these a try. They make a great appetizer, side or snack for any occasion. 😋
An added bonus of this recipe is that it can be made gluten-free and tastes just as terrific!
Servings: about 12 discs using a 4½” round cookie cutter
1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 Tablespoons sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
8 ounces regular cream cheese, cubed & chilled
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed & chilled
1 egg beaten with a Tablespoon of water for egg wash
parchment lined baking sheet
1 ½ tsp of your favorite herb (i.e. thyme, oregano, cumin, etc. More or less to taste.)
Combine flour, sugar, herbs & salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse for 20 seconds, or until combined.
Add the cream cheese and butter and pulse until the mixture comes together and forms a ball, about 2 minutes. Remove the pastry from the food processor.
Divide the pastry ball in half.
Shape each half into a flat disc on plastic wrap, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. ( Can be refrigerated up to 48 hours before rolling out).
Remove from refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes before rolling out.
Using a well-floured pastry mat or surface and a well floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry to about 1/8″ thickness. Keep your surface & rolling pin lightly floured to prevent sticking & tears in the dough.
Using a 4″ to 4½” round cookie cutter or bowl, cut 12 rounds, rolling & cutting the scraps as needed. ( Keep scraps covered while working).
Place 2 level Tablespoons of filling on the bottom half of each pastry round.
Brush the edges with egg wash & fold over to form a half moon.
Seal the edges of the empanada with your finger using your thumb or forefinger to look somewhat scalloped.
Transfer the empanadas to the baking sheet & chill uncovered 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400º F, brush the empanada tops with egg wash.
Bake 12-15 minutes until golden, halfway through baking rotate the baking sheet to ensure even baking.
Remove from oven when done & let rest 3-5 minutes before serving. Best served warm.
Empanadas are little hand-held pies that can be served as an appetizer, lunch or dessert depending on the size and filling. Traditional empanadas are shaped like half moons. We were inspired by the upcoming celebration of Valentine’s Day so we shaped ours into hearts that you can enjoy with your special someone. ❤
These empanadas smelled so good while they were baking, for a moment we thought we were walking down a street in Argentina! We could hardly wait to eat them. They are filled with a delicious combination of meat, vegetable & cheese.
Servings: 6-8 (depending on the size of your cookie cutter. We used a 5″ x 4″ heart-shaped)
Sauté onion & garlic in EVOO on medium-low until soft & lightly golden, 5-10 minutes. Add oregano & cumin. Stir another minute.
Turn heat up to medium and add spinach, cook, stirring until spinach is wilted & soft, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat & let cool. Season with salt & pepper.
Put bulk sausage in skillet, Cook and brown while breaking up into smaller pieces until done.
Remove from heat and spoon sausage meat onto paper towels removing as much fat/grease as possible. Do not clean skillet at this time, keep sausage fat in skillet.
Add flour to the skillet and whisk the milk gradually until mixture is smooth.
Add butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil and is thickened.
Remove from heat and whisk in the eggs. Return to heat and cook, stirring until mixture comes to another boil and thickens, the sauce will be a paste consistency.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Chop the cooled spinach, onion & garlic mixture. Add into the cheese sauce along with well-drained sausage.
Roll out the empanada dough to 1/8″ thickness. Cut 2 hearts with a 5″ x 4″ heart-shaped cookie cutter. Brush the edges of 1 heart lightly with egg wash.
Place 2 Tablespoons of filling in center of the heart, cover with another heart-shaped cutout. Press edges together firmly all around with thumb or forefinger forming a sort of scalloped edge. Brush with egg wash then bake about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Best served warm.
Whenever we visited our beautiful, tiny, Grandma Tessie, we always looked forward to her cauliflower frittata (“cauliflower pie” as she called it). Although she never learned how to cook before getting married, it wasn’t long before she became a wonderful cook. Unfortunately, she never wrote down any of her recipes which have led us to weeks of trial & error to recreate. We’re happy to say we finally got it!❤️
1/4 cup chicken broth or stock
1 head cauliflower, florets only (16-ounce frozen cauliflower florets may be substituted)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
8 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon light or heavy cream
3/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoned bread crumbs (for Gluten-free either omitbreadcrumbs or replace with4C® Gluten-freeseasoned breadcrumbs)
4 Tablespoons EVOO
Salt & Pepper to taste
Frittata Pan ( a large skillet with a cover can be used in place of a frittata pan)
Cook fresh cauliflower florets in a large pot with chicken broth and salted water. If using frozen cauliflower florets add chicken broth to cauliflower and microwave on high 8 minutes…either method, cook until soft but firm, not mushy.
Drain the cauliflower and set aside in a medium bowl to cool. Once cooled, chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces
Spray skillet with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
On med-high heat add 4 Tablespoons EVOO and heat until hot.
Add onions and cook on med-high until golden brown & caramelized.
Add garlic, cook an additional 1 minute. Add chopped cauliflower, sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes, meanwhile…prepare egg mixture
After beating the eggs add cream, Pecorino Romano cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper, mix well.
Lower heat to med-low and pour the egg mixture into the skillet and stir to mix then cover. Cook until eggs set about 5-6 minutes. Watch closely that it doesn’t burn.
Using a large plate, cover the top of the skillet so you can flip the pan over and back into the skillet for an additional 5 minutes. Make sure you use oven mitts to protect your hands from getting burned while flipping.
If using a frittata pan, simply flip the pan over to other pan side and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Insert a toothpick into the center to test for doneness. If still clinging to toothpick cook additional time until toothpick comes out clean.
Slide frittata onto a serving dish and garnish with parsley sprigs and grated cheese (optional).
Frittatas can be served warm or room temperature and make a great brunch item or side dish for any meal.
For a variation try using your favorite vegetables in place of cauliflower.