Goodby summer…There’s no better way to celebrate the end of summer than with an indulgent lobster roll! Whether it’s served as a Labor Day celebration lunch or dinner your family and guests will love them. Our family not only loves them but said “they are better than ‘ Joe’s’ “. This recipe is our version of the classic Connecticut style lobster roll using only butter…NO Mayo. These lobster rolls are so easy to make using pre-cooked lobster meat. We hope you’ll give it a try and let us know.
Happy Labor Day, Stay safe
Lobster Rolls - Twiins Style
Twiins serve.their take on Connecticut style lobster rolls (no mayo)!
3-4Tbspsoftened butter to spread on rolls prior to broiling
8-10bunstop split hot dog buns
Place the pre-cooked lobster meat in a large bowl (large chunky pieces)
Add diced celery, chopped parsely, salt & pepper, juice of half a large lemon. Mix well and set aside.
Turn oven to broil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place opened buns on baking sheet then smear both halves of each bun with softened butter. Place on bottom rack of oven until they start to turn golden. Remove immediately.
Melt 3 sticks of salted butter then pour into lobster mixture. Combine well and fill each bun. Drizzle each lobster roll with the melted butter that pooled at the bottom of the mixing bowl and enjoy!
You will not believe this healthy lasagna is as satisfying as the traditional one made with lasagna noodles, but it definitely is! It is filled with a blend of creamy ricotta, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, basil & is layered with ground beef as well as our homemade tomato sauce. You build the layers just like traditional lasagna only replace the noodles with cooked & seasoned spaghetti squash & topped with sliced mozzarella. This dish has it all...can be made ahead, freezer friendly and perfect for a crowd. Our family loves it and so will yours. Enjoy!
2 med to large spaghetti squash (cut lengthwise and seeded)
light drizzle of EVOO over each half of the squash before seasoning & baking.
dried oregano to sprinkle over squash before baking
salt & pepper to sprinkle over squash before baking
garlic powder to sprinkle over squash before baking
2 lbs. ground beef (85/15 or leaner)
1/2 onion, diced
4-6 large cloves garlic, smashed
32 ounces whole milk ricotta
3/4 cup grated Locatelli cheese (Pecorino Romano)
16 ounces whole milk mozzarella, shredded or leave some slices for top layer
Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise & remove seeds.
Lightly drizzle each half with EVOO then season with salt, pepper, dried oregano & garlic powder (the more the tastier). Place each half face down onto foiled baking sheet and bake until soft when touched (about 30-40 minutes)
While the squash is baking, heat a large skillet. When the pan is hot add the ground beef and brown. Add the smashed garlic and onions and cook until softened.
Drain fat and set aside in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, combine ricotta, half the shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, salt & pepper and 1 tsp garlic powder. Mix well then add chopped basil. combine and set aside.
Removed the squash from the oven when soft and let cool. Once cool use 2 forks to shred it then add to a colander to drain excess liquid. Set aside until ready to layer your lasagna.
Lower oven temperature to 350ºF.
In a lasagna pan or casserole dish, place a light layering of tomato sauce. Take enough forkfuls of shredded squash and place on top of sauce. Spready evenly. Sprinkle with some grated Pecorino Romano.
Layer half of the ricotta mixture and spread evenly.
Layer with cooked ground beef mixture. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino Romano.
Add tomato sauce to cover lightly. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino Romano.
Repeat for the second layer and top with remaining shredded or sliced mozzarella.
Sprinkle with Locatelli cheese, then a try light drizzle of EVOO on top.
Bake about 30 minutes or until cheese melts.
Best served with a nice Italian salad on the side.
Note: May be substituted with ‘Beyond Beef Crumbles’ in place of ground beef for a meatless meal.
Once cooled, shred squash into large bowl
Brown smashed garlic and ground beef
Once cooked, drain excess liquid
Lightly drizzle EVOO then spread small amount of tomato sauce to lightly cover bottom of casserole dish
Spread layer of squash over sauce
Combine ricotta and seasonings in a bowl
Layer ricotta mixture on top of squash
Sprinkle half the meat mixture over ricotta mixture
Sprinkle with grated cheese then top with tomato sauce and spread
Repeat for the 2nd layer
Add 2nd layer of ricotta
Add 2nd layer of ground beef
Add final layer of tomato sauce and top with sliced mozzarella cheese and spinkle with grated cheese & a drizzle of EVOO
Creamy Chicken Florentine with Garlic & Mushrooms - Twiins Style
Our family went wild over this meal! They loved it so much not a morsel was left, not even a single strand of linguine! This amazing dinner is a quick and easy, one-skillet meal that you'll have on the table in less than 30 minutes. Your family or guests will think you slaved all day in the kitchen just for them. It's a win-win for sure. Using pre-sliced gourmet blends of mushrooms makes preparation a snap. The silky smooth creamy sauce will have your family requesting it every week. Buon Appetito!
10-20 ounces fresh baby spinach (use a minimum of 10-oz)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Reserve 1 cup cooked pasta water
If you are serving over pasta now is the time to fill your pot with water & bring it to a boil, then add salt to the water.
Season both sides of chicken pieces with salt, pepper, & garlic powder to taste.
In a large skillet heat the EVOO on medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and brown on both sides until the chicken is cooked and no longer pink. Remove from skillet & set aside. Add the chicken tenderloins and brown on both sides until no longer pink. Remove from skillet & add to plate of cooked chicken thighs.
Add mushrooms to skillet & cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir several times. Remove from skillet & set aside.
Melt the butter in the skillet add minced garlic & tarragon. Saute for 1 minute.
Using a whisk add the flour to the skillet & whisk continuously until starts to thicken.
Add the baby spinach and cook until wilted & sauce thickens.
Add back the mushrooms & all chicken, cover & low simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Remove chicken to a platter. Don’t drain the pasta…using a pasta ladle or tongs simply scoop all the pasta from the pot of water into the sauce & mix well. If needed add an additional 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the sauce.
Serve or over your favorite pasta with a side salad. Buon Appetito!
Note: Chicken cutlets may be used in place of tenders & thighs.
Not everyone likes sardines but Teresa and I love them! To be honest, when my husband & son heard I was making sardines & eggplant they made some weird faces. I told them that's what I was cooking so they could either join me or cook for themselves! The combination of eggplant, sardines, garlic, onions, and tomatoes was making my mouth water. This dish doesn't have a strong 'fishy' taste at all but the flavor is reminiscent of Sicilian cuisine. My son had one request; please add some tomato sauce to it. Since I didn't have any made I whipped up a quick sauce using Italian stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic & oil. At first, their faces were very skeptical and then they took their first bites. I'm pretty sure they didn't want to say they liked it, but those weird faces turned to smiles and both wanted to split the 4th eggplant, which I immediately said 'NO', it's mine and Teresa's lunch for tomorrow! Moral of the story: never be afraid to cook what comes into your head because it just might be a new family favorite...you never know. Enjoy!
2 (4.375 oz) cans skinless boneless sardines in olive oil, drained and flaked
2 large eggplants, cut in half lengthwise (leave stems on)
1/3 cup EVOO
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1 ½ large sweet onions, diced
4-6 large cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) cans Hunt’s Italian style diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoons Hunt’s Italian style tomato paste with garlic & basil
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon dried oregano (more or less to taste, fresh oregano may be substituted.)
1/4 cup grated Locatelli cheese (Pecorino Romano)
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Quick Tomato Sauce (any homemade or jar sauce is fine) more if you are serving with pasta
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Cut eggplants in half, lengthwise with the stem attached. Score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern being careful not to cut through the skins.
In a large skillet on medium heat, heat 1/3 cup oil then lower heat. Add the eggplant, flesh down. Cover and cook until completely softened but not falling apart. About 10 minutes. Carefully flip over and cook until soft, about 5 minutes more. You may have to do this in 2 batches if your skillet isn’t large enough.
When done, let cool in a separate dish. Once cooled, leaving a 1/8-inch border, gently scoop eggplant flesh into a bowl and chop. Lightly drizzle some EVOO on the bottom of a baking dish and place the eggplant shells gently inside, close to each other to support them from flattening.
In the same pan, add the 1 Tablespoon EVOO and saute onions for about 6-7 minutes on medium heat. Add all remaining ingredients including the chopped eggplant & flaked sardines, except the grated Locatelli and mozzarella cheeses. Remove from heat and combine well.
Sprinkle with Locatelli cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese then top with 1 or 2 spoonfuls of quick sauce down the middle, again sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese again. Bake about 5-10 minutes or until cheese melts.
Serve by itself or over your favorite pasta!
Gently scoop flesh from skins
Saute onions, then remaining ingredients
Fill skins with eggplan & sardine mixture then top with a little shredded mozzarella
Add 2 T sauce on top of mozzarella then sprinkle with grated Locatell and top with additional shredded mozzarella
This recipe was actually a wonderful accident. I defrosted a pound of ground veal only to realize when I started to cook it that it was ground veal chorizo (quite spicy) Well it turned out pretty good and my family enjoyed it so here it is. Enjoy!
1 lb ground veal chorizo (spicy and gives a nice reddish color to the sauce)
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 large onion, finely minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons capers (optional)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tsp chopped thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
12 ounces orecchiette pasta
2 Tablespoons butter
In a large deep skillet, heat EVOO. Add the onion and minced garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until soft, about 4-6 minutes.
Raise heat to high. Add the ground veal then season with salt & pepper. Cook until veal is fully cooked and no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes. Any juices from the veal should be evaporated.
Add the white wine. Bring to a boil. Boil until almost evaporated, about 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, thyme, rosemary, and optional capers then simmer over medium-low heat until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Cook the orecchiette according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta liquid before draining well. Add the pasta to the skillet. Add the Parmigiano=Reggiano cheese, chopped parsley, and butter. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. If too dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water until the consistency desired.
Serve right away with some crusty bread and Enjoy!
Note: You can add vegetables of your choice to make this a one-pan meal.
With the first spoonful of our savory Tuscan Bean Soup you will be swept away to Tuscany admiring the sunflowers. It’s chock full of vegetables, delicious flavor & of course love! Serve as a main meal for either lunch or dinner and don't forget the toasted crusty bread to soak up every last drop. Enjoy!
3 (15.5 oz) cans cannellini beans with liquid (divided into 3/4 and 1/4)
1 rounded tsp Hunt’s tomato paste with garlic & basil
1 leek, chopped (both white & green parts)
2 yellow onions, diced ( I was out of yellow onions so I substituted with red)
2 cups large celery stalks, large dice (about 3-4 ribs)
2 cups large carrots, large dice (about 5-6 peeled carrots)
8-10 garlic cloves, smashed then chopped (Add more or less to suit your taste.)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 large bay leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
3-4 handfuls baby spinach, torn by hand (escarole or kale may be substituted)
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups beef broth
1 small piece of rind from a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 ounces Ditalini pasta (any small pasta may be substituted.)
Pecorino Romano, freshly grated cheese (Locatelli), or Parmigiano-Reggiano (not the stuff in the green container, please!)
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, add the EVOO. When EVOO is hot enough add the leeks, onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and salt & pepper. Sauté on medium heat about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, spinach, cheese rind, and 3/4 of the canned beans. Cook for another 3 minutes on medium-low flame until fragrant. Using an immersion blender, blend the remaining 1/4 beans then add to the pot and stir.
Add the tomato paste and stir well.
Add the hand-crushed tomatoes, both broths & stir well. Add 3 oz of ditalini to the soup. (If you’re making more than 3 oz of pasta, we recommend you cook it separately & add it right before serving.)
Bring to a slow boil. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for about 40-45 minutes or until vegetables are done.
While the soup is simmering, prepare the ditalini pasta following package directions.
Ladle soup into bowls & add the pasta. Sprinkle with grated Locatelli cheese (Pecorino Romano). Enjoy!
Note: You can double this recipe for a big batch to freeze for later use. Just don’t add the pasta before freezing.
To make this soup gluten-free, use GF broth & GF pasta.
If you're a lobster & seafood lover, this chowder is a must-try. It's filled with lobster, jumbo lump crab meat, shrimp, corn kernels, all delivered in a silky, creamy texture that's loaded with seafood flavor. (When we made this batch we were out of carrots so you won't see any in the photo. We never missed them; however, they do add a pleasant sweetness when included). One spoonful and you'll be transported to the waterfronts of Maine or Cape Cod.
2 -3 Tablespoons butter
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/4″ slices
3 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ slices
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1½ Tablespoons tomato paste
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2” cubes.
We're keeping things simple for Thanksgiving this year so we will forgo the traditional apple pie & pumpkin cheesecake for our (OH so simple & delicious) gluten-free apple crisp. Not having to make pie crust saves a lot of time in the kitchen with better than pie results! We use Gala apples for this recipe as they are juicy, sweet, and hold their shape well. It’s a big hit with our family by itself or topped with a little vanilla ice cream or a Klondike Heath Bar divided (pictured below).
cast-iron skillet (10-inch preferred but 12-inch will do)
5-7 large Gala apples (approximately 1200 g), peeled, cored & cut into wedges
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 Tablespoons salted butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup gluten-free flour (we use Bob’s Redmill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour)
2½ Tablespoons brown sugar
2½ Tablespoons white sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) salted melted butter
3/4 oats (regular old fashioned or Quaker 1 minute)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
In a large bowl place the apples, lemon juice, white sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Toss until all apples are well coated and combined. Set aside.
Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a heated cast-iron skillet.
Add the 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Stir to combine well.
Add the apple mixture to the skillet, mix well. On medium-low heat keep a simmer while preparing the topping.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, 2½ Tablespoons of brown sugar, 2½ Tablespoons of white sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Once combined, add the 8 Tablespoons of melted butter. Stir well to combine.
Add the oats and chopped pecans.
Stir the apples in the skillet, liquid should start to thicken. Add 1/4 cup of water over the apples and combine. It will create a syrupy mixture when done.
Remove skillet from the heat and sprinkle the crispy topping mixture evenly over the top.
Place the entire cast-iron skillet in a pre-heated 375º F over and bake for 35 minutes until the crispy top is golden brown edges are bubbling.
Best served while hot but delicious cold or at room temperature too. Top with vanilla ice cream for an added treat!
Note: To cut your total prep time in half, peel, core & slice your apples ahead of time. Sprinkle some lemon juice on them to prevent apples from turning brown then cover & refrigerate until you start the mixing portion of ingredients.
Thai Sweet Chili Chicken Gluten-Free - Twiins Style
It's no secret our second favorite cuisine after Italian is Thai. Who can resist crispy, tender chicken bites coated in a scrumptious sweet chili & sesame seed sauce just like your favorite Thai restaurant? Since we haven't been going out during this pandemic, we wanted to reproduce the meals we would order at a restaurant. Tonight we served it over Jasmine brown rice which soaks up the flavorful sweet chili sauce. Our husbands gave us rave reviews so we hope your family will too. Try this recipe for a quick & easy weeknight meal or impress your friends & family with great appetizers once you can gather again. 😋😋
deep skillet or wok
oil for frying (peanut or canola or olive)
4 large skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1½-inch cubes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour)
3/4 cup corn starch
1½ cups Thai sweet chili sauce (store-bought or homemade, check the label to make sure it’s GF)
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2-3 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted in a small, dry skillet
2 cups brown jasmine rice
4 cups gluten-free chicken broth
Place brown jasmine rice in a medium bowl filled with cold water, enough to cover rice. Set aside for 20 minutes. (soaking in water helps breakdown the bran and keeps the rice from sticking together.)
While the rice is soaking, use this time to start prepping the chicken & the remainder of ingredients.
After 20 minutes, drain the rice and place in a medium saucepan. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, lower heat to a low simmer and cover. Cover and cook approximately 40 minutes, check after 30 minutes.
Using a shallow bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt & pepper and mix well.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
Dip each piece of chicken into the egg then roll into the flour mixture to coat well. Repeat with all of the chicken pieces.
Heat about 3-inches of oil in a wok or deep skillet. Make sure oil is very hot before adding dredged chicken.
Fry 5-8 pieces of chicken at a time, depending on the width of your skillet, until golden brown. Do not overcrowd as it will cause the chicken to steam instead of crisping.
Remove and drain on paper towels then repeat until all the chicken is cooked.
Heat chili sauce until hot. Pour over the chicken bites to combine. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
Spread cooked rice on a plate and top with sweet chili chicken bites. Garnish with extra green onions and enjoy!
Prep all ingredients
Frying dredged chicken pieces in a wok
Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet
Place cooked chicken bites on paper towels to absorb excess oil
Thai Sweet Chili Chicken ready to serve
Plate & ready to eat & enjoy!
NOTE: If you want to include more vegetables in your meal, steam some broccoli or cut green beans and add to the chicken before serving.
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