Spaghetti with Angel Hair Pasta

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Just the Basics

This is one of the best Spaghetti dish’s I’ve ever had. The secret is in the simmer. You’ve got to let this baby reduce and get the most flavors you’ve ever loved from your favorite Italian seasonings, sink in and settle like little bombs for your taste buds to explode when they hit your tongue!

The meatballs are entirely another matter however and they are just as explosive. But, it’s something I haven’t decided to share with the rest of the world yet, and quite honestly I’ve misplaced my recipe’s “Exact” ingredients, so I’m sorry to say you’ll have to work with another recipe if you’re wanting Meatballs. In the meantime you can brown some Italian sausage and hamburger mix if you’d like to keep it simple and Americanized. I promise you it will be, almost as good! 😉

1/2 small onion, chopped (optional)
1 1/2-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (3 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (7 1/2 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 cup beef stock or bouillon (for a long period of simmering for flavors to meld. If you don’t want to simmer it as long, add less)
1 1/2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine (a good Cabernet!)
1/2 lb Angel Hair Pasta
1/2 to taste parmesan cheese

Directions:
1 Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions are softened.
2 Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and beef stock (bouillon).
3 Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.
4 Stir well and barely bring to a boil.
5 Stir in red wine.
6 Simmer on low, stirring frequently for at least an hour. A longer simmer makes for a better sauce, just be careful not to let it burn!
7 Cook the Angel Hair pasta Al dente. (This means under cook them and strain)
8 Add the pasta to the sauce and let it soak up the remaining liquid as it reduces, stirring frequently.
When the runniness is gone from the liquid, serve.

Calzones- Saucey, Meaty, Golden Brown and Cheesy

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Alrighty then; so here we have it, the infamous Calzones!  Now, for me these are to pizza what Beer is to football; I just GOTTA have one!  So if you’re anything like me, meaning you LOVE’s the football, how can you go wrong with packing an oven full of calzones on game day?  Hell, they even look like little footballs, don’t even try to deny it!  But I know the day of the game everyone is ordering their favorite pizza, but a lot of the regular fast action deliveries don’t have calzones on the menu.  So… whatcha-gunna do now??  Well read on and I’ll tell you how to solve this little problem, because with this recipe and my step by step how to video it’s literally as easy as hut-hut-HIKE!

Combine the following and let it stand 10 min. to activate.
You’ll know it’s activated if it doubles in size.

1 tsp. dry yeast
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 cup hot water 110 degrees f

Separate bowl Combine in the following order

1 cup hot water 110 degree (hot water out of your tap is fine)
3 cups BREAD flour (this is key, use bread flower)
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (Thyme, Rosemary, Marjoram etc.)
1/2 tsp garlic powder

To make the Calzone dough, add the activated yeast and mix all ingredients together in a mixer or knead it by hand. It’s designed to be a little sticky, so adding a few tbls. of flour here and there to get it to a desired pizza dough consistency is normal if you need to. Roll the dough into a ball and thinly coat 2 tbls of olive oil on the outside to prevent dryness and cracking. Now just let it rise for the next hour or so, or even refrigerate if you’re wanting it for later. Just be sure the dough gets to room temperature and practically doubles in size before you roll it out for Calzones. Roll it out thin; maybe an 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch, TOPS! Next, throw down your favorite sauce (spaghetti sauce will even work), meats, veggies, whatever. Most use Mozzarella cheese but if you can 50/50 with Provolone, that’s the way to go, trust me; even Ricotta cheese is fantastic, especially if you use prosciutto.  At this point all you have to do is close the Calzone by folding the dough in half and pinch the sides all the way around the pocket(pie crust style), then cut a few slits in the top so the air can escape while it bakes.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees and baste the calzone/Calzone’s with egg wash while the temperature rises.  Egg wash is just a whipped egg and 1 Tbls of milk.  At this point if you’d like, you can call it good or you can throw down some sesame seeds over the top before the final bake.   A wooden slate or stone is best for baking but a pan works just fine. About 8 to 10 minutes is all it’s going to take for you to enjoy the final product.  I like to keep my eye on it and bake it ‘till it’s a nice golden shiny brown!  Either way, you’ll thank me!

Chili Relleno Recipe

Chili Relleno RecipeChili Relleno Recipe

Chili Rellenos are so good, and so easy to make

I’ll admit that my Chili Relleno Recipe can be a little bit tedious the way I like to make them, but they are most certainly well worth it.  I like to stuff them with a lot more than just cheese which for me makes them taste so much better than just a battered chili.  This recipe I use Spanish rice which I prepared just before I started broiling the chilies, but I believe you can stuff them with any of your favorite cooked meats.

This Chili Relleno Recipe requires just a few items that you can get from any regular grocery store.  Of course the number one priority on your list should be some large green Chili’s.  The only other item’s you’ll need is some jack cheese, eggs and some Spanish rice or your favorite meat.  I think you could stuff these chilies with more vegetables if you like and they would be fantastic; maybe some spinach, or tomatoes, or even some sautéed zucchini; all of the above even.  Get creative and don’t be scared about it.  The best thing I think you can always do when you follow someone else’s basic “how to guide” with their personal take on a recipe is to take it with a grain of salt; meaning, you should realize that yes they may have some good experience cooking what they’re teaching about but what they are teaching is also based on their own personal tastes as well.  So when it comes to any recipe you make, I strongly encourage people to improvise and throw in items that are personal favorites.  I’m not saying you should get crazy and change out the seasonings and the overall preparation of the recipe, especially if you’ve never made anything like it before.  I’m just saying that if you know for sure that you would possibly prefer vegetables over meat for example, then swap it out and go for it!  Especially when it comes to this Chili Relleno Recipe Okay, enough said!

Chili Relleno Recipe steps and preperation

Now the best way to start any Chili Relleno Recipe is of course with your Chilies.  Wash them, clean them and get them ready for a broil in the oven; or if you would like to take it a step further, throw them on a grill.  It doesn’t matter really.  You’re just going for the general desired color and texture of a fired cooked Chili.  Just make sure which ever you decide, you give them a turn now and then to make the coloring even on every side.  In the oven, I turn them every 2 minutes or so.  After you’ve cooked them evenly, pull them out and throw a moist towel over them so the chili can soften up a bit.  5 to 10 minutes is all it will take.  Then make a small incision in each one of the Chilies and stuff each one with only enough rice and cheese to be able to close back with a partial flap.  This will ensure that there isn’t any spillage.  At this point you can pull the seads out as well if you’ve got your mind set on all of the tedious pet peeves of traditional authenticity, but if your not trying to impress the President of the United States, I’m pretty sure you can live without doing it.  Traditionally you’re also suppose to peal the skins off at this point, then you roll them in flour and dip them into the egg mixture and fry.  Just so we’re clear, I don’t peel skins.  I think it’s pointless and it adds a chard effect to the flavoring of the Relleno.

When it comes to the egg mixture, you’re going need to separate the yokes from the whites, and blend the whites separately with a little bit of water and baking powder to make the eggs frothy.  Then slowly add the yokes one at a time, all the while mixing the eggs on high speed.  This is very important.  The yokes have got to be very frothy and bubbly or the batter is going to run all over the place when you drop the chili in the fryer.  All you have to do from here is dip and submerge one chili completely in the egg mixture ever so gently to ensure the flap doesn’t open and dump out the filling, then slowly add the chili to the hot oil in your fryer or your pan with oil.  Oil in a pan doesn’t need to be more than one inch, and once you’ve browned one side just flip it over to the other and do the same.  Then strain on to some paper towels and serve.  Hope you enjoy my Chili Relleno Recipe!