Friday, November 26, 2010

The Metz Family Stuffing

This stuffing is a Metz family tradition. Each year, the Metz sister who is hosting Thanksgiving makes this very stuffing from scratch. It is my favorite part of any Thanksgiving meal. This years stuffing turned out absolutely perfect, chunky and moist. My mother toasted the bread the Sunday before and we prepared the entire stuffing on Tuesday so that all we had to do on Thanksgiving was bake it. Can't wait until next years.

The following recipe has no measurements because I don't keep track when I prepare it, we mainly add everything to our liking.


onions, chopped
celery, chopped
cremini mushrooms, chopped
garlic cloves, minced
water chestnuts, chopped
fresh parsley leaves, chopped
salt and pepper

1. The ingredients above get combined and then sauteed in butter until tender

Mild Italian Sausage

2. Remove casing from sausage and cook thoroughly, making sure to break up sausage into small pieces, as seen below.

Chicken Stock
Toasted white bread, cut into pieces like croutons

3. Soak toast in chicken stock, making sure every piece gets coated. Add the vegetable mixture and sausage to the toast and chicken stock mixture. Combine well.


4. Mix 1 or 2 eggs into the mix so as to coat all of the stuffing mixture. Pam a 9 by 13 pan and fill it with the stuffing mix. Stuff your turkey and let stuffing cook in there or bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour. Stirring once in the middle of baking .

5. Serve with your thanksgiving meal and enjoy!

Creamed Spinach

16 ounce package of frozen spinach, chopped
3 slices of maple bacon
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cups half and half
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Place frozen spinach in a large saucepan and cook over low or medium heat to thaw. Allow the excess water to evaporate. Be careful to not cook the spinach by stirring often. Once thawed, transfer spinach to a small bowl and squeeze completely dry.
2. While spinach is thawing, cook bacon in a large saute pan. Once bacon is half cooked, remove bacon from grease and chop finely.
3. Add chopped onions and minced garlic to the bacon grease and saute. Add bacon.
4. Saute bacon, onion, and garlic until bacon is cooked and onions are tender. Stir in flour to make smooth paste.
5. Gradually add milk. Bring sauce to a boil and simmer 10 minutes over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently.
6. Add salt and pepper.
7. Add spinach to cream sauce and bring to a boil again, mixing often to combine and mix in all ingredients.
8. Serve alongside your favorite dishes. Enjoy!

Cajun Gravy

My boss, Zaina, showed me this one. It was a great add-on to our Thanksgiving menu, especially this year with our deep fried turkeys. Everyone loved this gravy, it was delicious.

Seasoning Mix Ingredients:
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.


1/4 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 cube butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock, more if needed
1 stick butter, in all

1. In a separate bowl, combine the onion, celery, and bell pepper.
2. In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 4 minutes. With a long-handled metal whisk, gradually mix in the flour, stirring until smooth, Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until roux is dark red-brown, about 3-5 minutes (be careful to not let it scotch in the pan or splash on your skin).
3. Remove from heat and immediately stir in vegetables and 1 tbsp of seasoning mix with a wooden spoon; continue stirring until cooled, about 5 minutes.
4. In a 2-quart saucepan bring 2 cups of chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Gradually add the roux and whisk until thoroughly dissolved. Mix in butter.
5. Reduce heat to low and cook until flour taste is gone, about 2 minutes, whisking almost constantly (if any of the mixture scorches, don't continue to scrape the bottom of that part of the pan).
6. Remove from heat and set aside. Keep adding stock until a consistency you want.
7. Serve warm with your favorite mashed potatoes and/or meats, like Thanksgiving turkey. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November Posts

Hey everyone,
Sorry for my delay in posts, November has become quite busy. Due to lots of relatives' birthdays and the approaching of the holidays we had many pre-made meals by others and restaurants. We didn't have many opportunities this month to cook new things, I did repeat some oldies and goodies but no experimenting much this month. So that is my explanation for my absence, but keep in mind that December will probably be worse. Don't give up on me, I will be posting as often as I can. Look forward to my Thanksgiving recipes coming soon.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shrimp Tomato Basil Alfredo Sauce

This is something I came up with the other night, I had some half and half that was about to expire and so I needed to use it stat. So this is what I came up with. I was inspired by Olive Garden and the creamy tomato basil sauces they serve with a lot of their dishes.

2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp dried basil and/or 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1-2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 lb of frozen shrimp, thawed and shells removed

Cooked noodles of your choice
Grated Mozzarella cheese for topping

1. Heat the oil to Low/Medium heat in a large saute pan.
2. Add the garlic, basil, and tomatoes and saute for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often, until tomatoes are mushy tender and basil is cooked. Season with garlic salt.
3. Pour half and half into tomato basil mixture in the saute pan, add Parmesan cheese too. Bring sauce to boil, stirring frequently, then turn heat down to low.
4. Cook shrimp in the sauce, by adding shrimp to sauce in saute pan. Cook on low for a god 5 minutes until shrimp is pink and fully cooked.
5. Top your favorite noodles with sauce and mozzarella cheese, Enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Traditional Spaghetti Sauce

We have been eating a lot of restaurant marinara/spaghetti sauces lately and apparently those other sauces were not making the cut. Nick finally spoke up by asking me to make my spaghetti sauce because he had been craving the real thing and so here we are. Now the thing about my spaghetti sauce is it always varies depending on what I have on hand but it does always follow the same framework with sauteed onions, parsley, and garlic, diced tomatoes (whether they are fresh or from the can), Italian sausage, seasonings, some sauteed vegetables and 1 jar of pre-made sauce. We never just use the pre-made sauce because I always have to add my touch to it.

1/3 cup olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bundle of Parsley (leaves only), finely chopped
1/3 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
2 cups mushrooms, chopped (optional)
2 zuchini, sliced (optional)
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
2-3 Spicy or Mild Italian sausage, with casings removed
1 32oz jar of your most favorite tomato basil Sauce
1 packet of pasta, cooked

1. Heat up the oil in a large saute pan to medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, parsley, basil and optional mushrooms, saute for a good 10 minutes until onions are tender. Stirring often.
2. Add the tomatoes and optional zuchini and saute everything together until tomatoes become mushy, about 10 minutes. Stirring often.
3. Add the sausage meat to the saute pan and begin to saute the meat, making sure to use the spatula to cut up the pieces of meat, combining meat with vegetable mixture. Cook until meat is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.

4. Add jar of sauce to saute pan, mix in well so that all ingredients are evenly distributed.

5. Make sure sauce is completely heated throughout, about 10 minutes. If you are making this in advance, feel free to simmer sauce for a couple of hours in order to let flavors fully immerse. Complete meal by pairing sauce with your favorite type of pasta. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I made these for girls' night the other night, mainly for my one friend Natalie because I have made them before and she has continually begged me to make them for her again. Seeing as how her Birthday was within a week, I happily obliged. Just a FYI, you can feel free to use chuck roast instead of pork, it works the same.


1/3 cup water
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dry red peppers
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, finely sliced (optional)
2 pounds pork roast
1/2 cup- 1 cup of your most favorite BBQ sauce or double the above BBQ sauce recipe (measurement depends on how saucy you want your pulled pork filling to be)
Your choice of buns, I used sourdough slider buns (rolls)

1. Combine the following ingredients together in a slow cooker: water, white vinegar, brown sugar, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Mix ingredients well so that dry ingredients are fully blended to create a sauce. Feel free to add 1/2 cup or 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce to give the sauce a little more flavor and to make the end result saucier.
2. Add the pork roast to the slow cooker, coat roast with sauce. Cook on LOW for 6 hours.
3. Once roast is finished cooking, remove roast and tear meat apart by using two forks. Put pulled pork roast back in sauce and stir around to make sure every piece is fully coated in sauce.
4. When you are ready to serve, put a spoonful of pulled pork on the bun accompanied by a spoonful of coleslaw. Enjoy!