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Easy Drop Meatballs In Marinara Sauce

Drop Meatballs in Marinara Sauce Spaghetti


This quick and easy meatball recipe from Cook’s Country utilizes a few shortcuts that make it an easy recipe for weeknight cooking.  Their technique of simmering the meatballs in the tomato sauce in the ambient heat of the oven cooks them evenly without requiring stirring all while infusing the sauce with great flavor. Using saltines in place of fresh bread gets rid of some of the moisture, making the meatballs less gummy. Perfect over spaghetti.





22 square saltines

1 cup milk

2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

NOTE: You can use a #16 portion scoop to form the meatballs. To make shaping easier, wet your hands slightly. The recipe yields enough sauce for 2 pounds of pasta. To serve, toss the pasta with some sauce and top it with the meatballs.



  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place saltines in large zipper-lock bag, seal bag, and crush saltines fine with rolling pin (you should have 1 cup). Combine saltines and milk in large bowl and let sit for 5 minutes for saltines to soften. Mash with fork until smooth paste forms.
  2. Add beef, Parmesan, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper to saltine mixture and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Divide meat mixture into 24 scant ¼-cup portions. Roll portions between your wet hands to form balls. Transfer to plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. (Meatballs can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)


  1. Combine oil and garlic in large Dutch oven. Cook over low heat until garlic is soft and golden on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Nestle meatballs into sauce. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat.
  2. Cover and bake until meatballs are cooked through and tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Gently stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Drop Meatballs in Marinara Sauce


Quick Easy Green Chicken Enchiladas (Verdes)

Quick Easy Green Chicken Enchiladas Verdes


This is a super-fast spicy, creamy, and cheesy short cut recipe that epitomizes comfort food. It can easily be doubled or even tripled depending on the number of people you are serving. This version generally serves 4 generous portions. Serve with rice and margaritas!


2 (10-ounce) cans green enchilada sauce (I used Hatch)

1 ¼ cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided

1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)

2 ½ cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (see note)

¼ cup sour cream (optional - makes the sauce creamier)

Salt and pepper

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Cooking spray

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Puree enchilada sauce and 1 cup of the cilantro in blender. Combine 1 cup enchilada sauce mixture, chicken, and 1½ cups Mexican cheese blend (and optional sour cream) in large bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Wrap tortillas in damp clean kitchen towel and microwave until pliable, 30 to 90 seconds. Top each tortilla with ¼ cup chicken mixture and roll tightly. Arrange, seam-side down, in prepared baking dish. Spray lightly with cooking spray, then top with additional 1 cup enchilada sauce mixture and remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro. Serve, passing remaining sauce at table.

Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin for Two

Glazed Pork Tenderloin Croatian Mashed Potatoes Restani Krumpir

Pork tenderloin is a quick and easy option for a quick weeknight dinner. Look for the small packages of individually wrapped “natural” pork tenderloin – not enhanced or seasoned. The combination of maple syrup, mustard and smoked paprika add great flavor to this dish. I like to serve it with Croatian Mashed Potatoes, but mashed sweet potatoes or rice also work well.

Download Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin for Two recipe


⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon dry sherry

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

¾ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 (12-ounce) pork tenderloin, trimmed and silver skin removed

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1. About 30 minutes before preparation, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir ⅓ cup maple syrup, mustard, dry sherry, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and cayenne together in small bowl; set aside until needed

2. Combine cornstarch, sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in shallow dish. Pat tenderloin dry with paper towels.

3. Heat oil in 10-inch oven safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.

4. While pan heats, roll tenderloin in cornstarch mixture until evenly coated on all sides; thoroughly pat off excess cornstarch mixture.

5. When oil is hot and just smoking, brown tenderloin well on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to plate.

6. Pour off fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add syrup mixture to now-empty skillet, bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until reduced to ⅓ cup, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Return browned tenderloin to skillet and turn to coat with glaze. Transfer skillet to oven and roast tenderloin until meat registers 145 degrees, 8 to 12 minutes.

7. Using potholders (skillet handle will be hot), remove skillet from oven. Transfer tenderloin to cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, being careful of hot skillet handle, transfer glaze left in skillet to small bowl and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Brush tenderloin with 1 tablespoon glaze, then slice ¼ inch thick. Serve pork, passing remaining glaze separately.

Quick Loaf Pan Lasagna For Two

Quick Loaf Pan Lasagna serving

Generally, lasagna is reserved for large gatherings, but this scaled down recipe makes a mini version that serves two generous portions. Using jarred tomato sauce saves time, but you can use your favorite homemade if you have it on hand.

Download Quick Loaf Pan Lasagna For Two

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces 85% lean ground beef

2 cups jarred tomato sauce, Rao’s or Muir Glenn, or homemade

4 ounces whole-milk or part-skim ricotta cheese

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus 2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

1 large egg, lightly beaten

⅛ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon pepper

4 no-boil Barilla lasagna noodles

4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat into small pieces, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

3. Stir in tomato sauce and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper in bowl and set aside.

5. Cover bottom of 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with 1/2 cup sauce. Top with 1 noodle and spread one-third of ricotta mixture evenly over noodle. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella and cover with 1/2 cup sauce. Repeat twice, beginning with noodle and ending with sauce. Top with remaining 1 noodle, remaining 1 cup sauce, remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella, and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

6. Cover pan tightly with foil sprayed with vegetable oil spray and bake until bubbling around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard foil and continue to bake until browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped basil or parsley. Serve.

Quick Loaf Pan Lasagna recipe

King Arthur Flour Super Easy Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza

King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza

I’ve seen this recipe posted so often recently, with rave reviews, that I decided I’d better make it and see for myself. One bite of this crispy, crunchy, cheesy pizza and you will understand why it is King Arthur Flour’s recipe of the year. It’s similar to a Chicago deep dish, but the crust is so soft and tender, like focaccia, and the mozzarella melts around the edges, forming a deliciously crusty edge. Kristen Miglore from Food 52 posted a great video that shows how easy this recipe is to make at home, you can view it here

Download King Arthur Flour Super Easy Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza recipe

For the Crust:

2 cups (240g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast or active dry yeast

3/4 cup (170g) lukewarm water

1 tablespoon (13g) olive oil + 1 1/2 tablespoons (18g) olive oil for the pan

For the Topping:

6 ounces (170g) mozzarella, grated (about 1 1/4 cups, loosely packed)

1/3 to 1/2 cup (74g to 113g) tomato sauce or pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought (Rao’s or Muir Glen Pizza Sauce are both good options)

*freshly grated parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and/or fresh herbs for sprinkling on top after baking, optional


  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
  2. Place the flour, salt, yeast, water, and 1 tablespoon (13g) of the olive oil in medium/large bowl.
  3. Stir everything together with wooden spoon or rubber spatula to make a shaggy, sticky mass of dough with no dry patches of flour. about 1 minute by hand. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to gather the dough into a rough ball; cover the bowl with towel or plastic wrap.
  4. After 5 minutes, uncover the bowl and reach a bowl scraper or your wet hand down between the side of the bowl and the dough, as though you were going to lift the dough out. Instead of lifting, stretch the bottom of the dough up and over its top. Repeat three more times, turning the bowl 90° each time. This process of four stretches, which takes the place of kneading, is called a fold.
  5. Re-cover the bowl, and after 5 minutes do another fold. Wait 5 minutes and repeat; then another 5 minutes and do a fourth and final fold. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest, undisturbed, for 40 minutes. Then refrigerate it for a minimum of 12 hours, or up to 72 hours. It'll rise slowly as it chills, developing flavor; this long rise will also add flexibility to your schedule.
  6. About 3 hours before you want to serve your pizza, prepare your pan. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons (18g) olive oil into a well-seasoned cast iron skillet that’s 10” to 11” diameter across the top, and about 9” across the bottom. Heavy, dark cast iron will give you a superb crust; but if you don’t have it, use another oven-safe heavy-bottomed skillet of similar size, or a 10” round cake pan or 9” square pan. Tilt the pan to spread the oil across the bottom, and use your fingers or a paper towel to spread some oil up the edges, as well.
  7. Transfer the dough to the pan and turn it once to coat both sides with the oil. After coating the dough in oil, press the dough to the edges of the pan, dimpling it using the tips of your fingers in the process. The dough may start to resist and shrink back; that’s OK, just cover it and let it rest for about 15 minutes, then repeat the dimpling/pressing. At this point the dough should reach the edges of the pan; if it doesn’t, give it one more 15-minute rest before dimpling/pressing a third and final time.
  8. Cover the crust and let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature. The fully risen dough will look soft and pillowy and will jiggle when you gently shake the pan.
  9. About 30 minutes before baking, place one rack at the bottom of the oven and one toward the top (about 4" to 5" from the top heating element). Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  10. When you’re ready to bake the pizza, sprinkle about three-quarters of the mozzarella (a scant 1 cup) evenly over the crust. Cover the entire crust, no bare dough showing; this will yield caramelized edges. Dollop small spoonfuls of the sauce over the cheese; laying the cheese down first like this will prevent the sauce from seeping into the crust and making it soggy. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella.
  11. Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the bottom and edges of the crust are a rich golden brown (use a spatula to check the bottom). If the bottom is brown but the top still seems pale, transfer the pizza to the top rack and bake for 2 to 4 minutes longer. On the other hand, if the top seems fine but the bottom's not browned to your liking, leave the pizza on the bottom rack for another 2 to 4 minutes. Home ovens can vary a lot, so use the visual cues and your own preferences to gauge when you’ve achieved the perfect bake.
  12. Remove the pizza from the oven and place the pan on a heatproof surface. Carefully run a table knife or spatula between the edge of the pizza and side of the pan to prevent the cheese from sticking as it cools. Let the pizza cool very briefly; as soon as you feel comfortable doing so, carefully transfer it from the pan to a cooling rack or cutting surface. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
  13. Serve the pizza anywhere from medium-hot to warm. Use a large serrated knife to gently cut through pizza, using sawing motion. Sprinkle with optional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, red pepper flakes, herbs and serve.

King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball

Quick Skillet Paella for Two

Quick Skillet Paella for Two final

Some may scoff at the idea of a “shortcut” paella that tastes great, but this recipe really delivers amazing flavor in record time. A few key ingredients lend to the authentic flavor – saffron, smoked paprika, and Spanish chorizo – all add tremendous flavor. Everything is cooked in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, but a well-seasoned 12” cast iron skillet will work too, and either pan will produce the paella’s signature crispy bottom crust called soccarat. If you are cooking Paella for more than 2 or 3 people, you might want to consider a traditional paella pan.  These are wide and shallow dishes that are perfect for cooking and serving paella.  Typically you can get them in carbon steel or enameled steel.  Carbon steel lasts longer but is more work to maintain; enameled steel is easier but won’t withstand heavy use.

Download Quick Skillet Paella Two recipe

6 ounces extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 small onion, chopped

½ red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

¼ cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 bay leaf

¾ cup Valencia or Arborio rice

Salt and pepper

2 ¾ cups chicken broth

3 ounces Spanish dry-cured chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

Pinch saffron threads (optional)

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

¼ cup frozen peas, thawed, optional

Lemon wedges

  1. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Season chicken thighs with salt and ground pepper, set aside until needed.
  3. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and red pepper and cook until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in wine, tomato paste, garlic, paprika, and bay leaf and cook until liquid evaporates, and mixture looks oily, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in rice and cook until grains are well coated with tomato mixture, about 1 minute. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stir in broth, Spanish chorizo, saffron, (if using); chicken; and ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  5. Bring to strong simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, over medium heat until liquid level falls just below surface of rice but paella still looks wet, 10 to 14 minutes. (After first 5 minutes of simmering, do not stir or paella will become starchy.)
  6. Add shrimp to pan and nestle halfway into rice. Continue to cook until shrimp are mostly pink, and all liquid has been absorbed, 4 to 7 minutes longer (paella will crackle and pop when liquid is absorbed).
  7. To develop crust (socarrat) on bottom of paella, continue to cook until crackling and popping sounds become more pronounced, while occasionally rotating skillet over the burner for even browning, 3 to 5 minutes. At this point, shrimp should be almost completely pink, and paella should look dry on top.
  8. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with peas and parsley, cover, and let warm through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and s.erve with lemon wedges and drizzle with extra oil.

Quick Skillet Paella arborio rice
Quick Skillet Paella arborio rice 

Quick Skillet Paella shrimp layer
Quick Skillet Paella shrimp layer

Cauliflower Topped Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Cauliflower Topped Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

A modern twist on a comfort food classic. The incredibly delicious pureed cauliflower mash is rich, creamy, pairs perfectly with the flavorful sauce and ground turkey. Another winning recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s Super Foods magazine

Download Cauliflower Topped Turkey Shepherd’s Pie recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large head of cauliflower (3 pounds) cored and cut into ½-inch pieces

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Salt and pepper, as needed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons minced fresh chives

1 pound 93% lean ground turkey (don’t use 99%)

¼ teaspoon baking soda

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup low sodium chicken broth

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 large zipper lock bag (for piping cauliflower mash)

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium low heat until shimmering. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally until softened and beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of water and ¾ teaspoon salt, cover and cook until cauliflower falls apart easily when poked with a fork, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer cauliflower and any remaining liquid to food processor bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds. Transfer to large bowl and stir in beaten egg and chives; set aside. Meanwhile toss turkey with baking soda, 1 tablespoon water, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in broiler-safe 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring occasionally until liquid has evaporated and fond begins to form on bottom of skillet, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until skillet is dark brown, about 2 minutes. Add broth, carrots, thyme sprigs, and Worcestershire and bring to a simmer scraping up any brown bits on pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Pinch off ½-inch piece of turkey mixture, add to skillet, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook until turkey is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, stirring and breaking up meat halfway through cooking.
  4. Whisk cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water together in a small bowl, then stir mixture into filling and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Discard thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Adjust oven rack 5 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Transfer cauliflower mixture to large zipper lock bag. Using scissors, cut 1-inch off bottom of bag corner. Squeezing bag, pipe mixture in even layer over filling, covering entire surface. Smooth with the back of a spoon, then use fork to make ridges over surface. Place skillet over rimmed baking sheet and broil until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 10-15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.





Green Chicken Chili with Cornmeal Dumplings

Green Chicken Chili Cornmeal Dumplings

I found this recipe in the October / November 2018 issue of Cooks Country Magazine (loaded with great fall recipes) and it is a perfect winter comfort dish, that will satisfy any craving for Mexican food. The flavors will remind you of Enchiladas Verdes and Corn Tamales, all brought together in flavorful one-pot stew that’s quick and easy to make.  

Download Green Chicken Chili with Cornmeal Dumplings


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 poblano (or pasilla) chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

¾ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon salt

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

5 cups chicken broth

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can white or yellow hominy, drained, but do not rinse

1 cup jarred Frontera green salsa 

1 (2½-pound) rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded into bite-size pieces (3 cups)

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


1 ½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour

½ cup (2½ ounces) cornmeal

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

½ cup buttermilk, chilled

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the chili:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, poblano, pepper, and salt and cook until vegetables have softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in broth, beans, hominy, and salsa and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes.

For the dumplings:

  1. Meanwhile, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl. Stir buttermilk and melted butter together in second bowl until butter forms clumps. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir with rubber spatula until incorporated.
  2. Add chicken and cilantro to chili and stir until incorporated. Using greased ¼-cup dry measuring cup (and using spoon as needed to free dough from cup), drop 8 level scoops of dough around perimeter of pot and 1 level scoop of dough in center, spacing scoops about ½ inch apart.
  3. Bake, uncovered, until tops of dumplings are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Butternut Squash Risotto Balsamic Drizzle

Butternut Squash Risotto Balsamic Drizzle 

The natural sweet flavor of butternut squash combines perfectly with the rich creamy risotto. This recipe from Cook’s Illustrated uses the squash's seeds and fibers to help deepen the earthy squash flavor. Makes a great fall dish, and the balsamic drizzle is optional, but delivers great finishing touch.

Download Butternut Squash Risotto Balsamic Drizzle recipe

Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a first course


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 butternut squash (medium, about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded (fibers and seeds reserved), and cut into ½ inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)

¾ teaspoon table salt

¾ teaspoon ground black pepper

4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 small onions, chopped very fine (about 1 ½ cups)

2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

2 cups Arborio rice

1 ½ cups dry white wine

1 ½ ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup)

2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves

¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Balsamic Drizzle

1 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

For the Drizzle:

  1. Combine vinegar and sugar in a small pot over medium-high heat and bring up to a bubble. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the liquids until they've reduced by about half and are thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use

For the Risotto:

  1. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add about 3 1/2 cups squash in even layer and cook without stirring until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer squash to bowl and set aside.
  2. Return skillet to medium heat; add reserved squash fibers and seeds and any leftover diced squash. Cook, stirring frequently to break up fibers, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to large saucepan and add chicken broth and water; cover saucepan and bring mixture to simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain bare simmer.
  3. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat; when foaming subsides, add onions, garlic, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until fully absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, strain hot broth through a fine mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Return strained broth to saucepan and discard solids in strainer; cover saucepan and set over low heat to keep broth hot.
  5. When wine is fully absorbed, add 3 cups hot broth and half of reserved squash to rice. Simmer, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and bottom of pan is almost dry, about 12 minutes.
  6. Stir in about 1/2 cup hot broth and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 3 minutes; repeat with additional broth 2 or 3 more times, until rice is al dente. Off heat, stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, Parmesan, sage, and nutmeg; gently fold in remaining cooked squash. If desired, add up to 1/4 cup additional hot broth to loosen texture of risotto.
  7. Serve immediately on warm flat plates, drizzled with Balsamic glaze and extra parmesan.Butternut Squash Risotto cubes  Butternut Squash Risotto saute
    Butternut Squash Risotto saute

Veggie Impossible Pie with Parmesan Crust

Veggie Impossible pie Red Pepper Scallions

“Impossible Pie” was a recipe most often found on the back of Bisquick boxes. I don’t think I ever made one, but the idea intrigued me. I stumbled on a recipe in Cooks Country Magazine (February/March 2013 issue) which, as usual, they had improved greatly. Their version uses chopped deli ham, but since I often have vegetarian guests, I substituted chopped roasted red bell pepper for the ham. This makes a great brunch dish, and can be served warm or at room temperature.

Download Impossible Veggie Pie Parmesan Crust

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons melted

3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

8 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (2 cups)

4 ounces roasted red bell pepper (or thickly sliced deli ham), chopped

4 scallions, minced

½ cup (2½ ounces) all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup half-and-half

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg       


  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie plate with softened butter, then coat plate evenly with Parmesan.
  2. Combine Gruyère, red bell pepper, and scallions in bowl. Sprinkle cheese-and-ham mixture evenly in bottom of prepared pie dish. Combine flour, baking powder, pepper, cayenne and salt in now-empty bowl. Whisk in half-and-half, eggs, melted butter, mustard, and nutmeg until smooth. Slowly pour batter over cheese-and-ham mixture in pie dish.
  3. Bake until pie is light golden brown and filling is set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Slice into wedges. Serve warm.

*To serve our “Impossible” Pie as an hors d’oeuvre at your next party, forgo the pie plate and instead bake it in an 8-inch square baking dish. Slice it into 1-inch squares and serve warm or at room temperature.


Sprinke cheese over entire pie plate, pressing gently into butter pie dish

Parmesan buttered pie dish