Braised Pork Ragu brings your basic tomato sauce to a whole new level! We simmer our pork ragu for hours to bring out the most delicious, sophisticated flavors that will impress your family & friends. This is a hearty meat sauce and any leftovers can be frozen for a quick, last-minute weeknight dinner with pasta, risotto, mashed potatoes, or polenta, just use your imagination. It's the epitome of Italian comfort food and sure to please. Can you tell we love it?? ❤😋
2½-3 lbs. pork shoulder, bone-in (use boneless if bone-in is not available)
Kosher salt to season pork shoulder
2 Tablespoons EVOO
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
8 cloves Dorot frozen garlic, minced ( you can get Dorot’s at Target & Trader Joe’s)
Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread with Smoked Salmon & Chive Butter
Servings: 1 loaf
If you thought a good gluten-free Irish Soda bread was impossible, think again. After several attempts we finally found a combination that works and tastes great, so get ready for St. Patrick's Day. You don't have to miss out on a wonderful Irish tradition because this recipe is full of flavor & texture. Try it with your corned beef and cabbage meal or as an appetizer with salmon & chive butter or jam. You will love this GF Irish Soda Bread. 😋☘️
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the gluten-free flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the flour resembles pea-sized crumbs.
Stir in the currants & raisins that have been coated with gluten-free flour.
In a measuring cup mix together with a fork, the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest.
Switch to using your hands to mix batter together to form a wet dough that can be shaped into a round loaf. Dough will be very sticky. Place onto parchment lined baking pan & form a loaf, see pictures below.
In a separate bowl combine the 1 Tablespoon of melted butter and 1 Tablespoon of buttermilk. With a pastry brush, brush the loaf with butter/buttermilk mixture.
Use a sharp knife to cut a small X on the top of the loaf.
Bake at 375° for 50 – 55 minutes, or until golden brown and no wet batter is visible in the x slit.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. (Cuts better when cooled)
Assembling the Appetizer
Slice the soda bread into 1/4-inch thin slices
Cut each slice into a 2-inch square or rectangle until you have 16 pieces. Wrap the remaining bread in plastic wrap & store in a cool dry place.
Mix the softened butter and chives together then spread a small amount onto each square.
Top with a small fold of salmon & garnish with a small sprig of fresh dill.
Note: Recipe for salmon and chive butter adapted from Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, The Hearty Boys at Food Network.
Add cubed eggplant to a colander along with a generous amount of course salt & drain for 30 minutes.
Heat EVOO in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
Add pancetta and cook 4-5 minutes until browned & crispy, stirring occasionally. Add sausage to skillet & cook 7-8 minutes until golden brown. Remove the sausage & pancetta with a slotted spoon. Set aside in large bowl.
Set aside 3 Tablespoons of the oil & fat from the skillet and discard the rest.
Add fennel & onions to skillet along with a pinch of salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Add eggplant to fennel & onions and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add the sausage & pancetta mixture back to the skillet.
Add crushed tomatoes, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Simmer for 40 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
While mixture is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water then drain pasta in a colander.
Add the pasta and the 1/2 cup pasta water to the skillet then cook 1 additional minute to incorporate. Stir in the 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese.
Add the pasta to a large serving bowl and top with spoonfuls of ricotta cheese and basil leaves.
This is a fabulous dish for a gathering of good friends accompanied by a simple salad, crusty Italian bread and a glass of dry red wine.
If you love ravioli or lasagna and want to cut down on carbs this is the recipe you’ve been waiting for! Not only is this dish delicious, but it’s so easy to make. Zucchini makes a great substitute for the traditional lasagna noodle or ravioli while delivering that classic Italian flavor. It can be layered like lasagna or folded into a ravioli style. Trust us…you will not be disappointed.
2 cups ricotta, whole milk
4 medium zucchini ( if making lasagna, add more zucchini for more than 2 layers)
Heavenly is the only way to describe this fabulous, hearty corn & crab chowder. My good friend, Nancy Baker, cooked this today for our bridge club gathering. Everyone loved it and Nancy was kind enough to share her recipe with me for our blog. Thank you, Nancy! ❤
1 Tablespoon EVOO
2 Tablespoons butter
2 potatoes, peeled & diced (red potatoes hold their shape best for this)
2 cups shrimp/lobster seafood broth (homemade) or chicken broth (vegetable broth can be substituted)
1-quart whole milk (2% or unsweetened almond milk can be used in place of whole milk)
3 cups corn kernels, drained well or frozen can be used
8 oz. lump crab meat, uncooked
gluten-free crackers (oyster crackers if gluten-free not needed)
sliced scallions for garnish
hot pepper sauce (optional)
Chop vegetables and set aside.
Add EVOO & butter into a large deep pot over medium heat.
Add the vegetables & bay leaf.
Add salt, pepper & Old Bay® Seasoning.
Sauté vegetables 5 -7 minutes, then sprinkle in flour a little at a time. For a thicker chowder add more flour. Cook mixture for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in cold broth until the mixture stops thickening.
Stir in milk a little at a time & combine. You may not use the whole quart and that’s ok.
Bring soup to a boil, add corn & crab meat. Lower heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove bay leaf.
Taste. Add additional salt, pepper or Old Bay if needed. Let sit covered about 30 minutes or longer to meld all the flavors.
Ladle into soup bowls and top with gluten-free crackers, hot sauce & sliced scallions.
If serving buffet style, keep chowder warm in a crockpot on the warmest setting.
Notes: To make homemade shrimp or lobster broth use any cooked or raw shells from shrimp or the cooked shells from lobsters. These can be frozen until you have a bag full to make a wonderful seafood broth. Fill a pot with the shells and just enough water to cover them for about an hour. Bring to a boil & immediately lower to a low simmer, uncovered. When done, discard the shells and let the broth cool off. Pour into 1 cup food storage bags and freeze until needed. Never throw away your shells again!