CHEESY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

 

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This is an outstanding side dish for any meal.  It is particulary a great side dish that goes with a holiday feast.

Ingredients
 
1 32 oz. bag of frozen green beans.  If you can get good fresh green beans what would be better yet
3 tablespoons of butter
1 can of creme of mushroom soup condensed
1 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of sour creme
1 8 oz package of shredded cheddar cheese
1 can of french fried onions
 
Directions:
 
In large skillet melt butter and add flour making a paste.  Add the can of creme of mushroom soup, milk, and sour creme.  Blend together then add the cheese.  Mix the green beans into the mixture,  add salt and pepper and half of the can of french fried onions.  Transfer to a caserole dish and put in pre heated oven at 350 degrees for apporximately 30 minutes.  Add the other half of the french fried onions on top and bake an additional 10 minutes. 

CINCINNATI STYLE CHILI MAC

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I first learned about this unique way of preparing and serving this style of chili while traveling across the state of Ohio.  There is a chain out there called Steak and Shake.  Their featured entree is called Chili Mac or Skyline Chile, and it is served 5 different ways.

1 way:  just the chili
2 way chili, served over spaghetti
3 way:  chili , spaghetti and shredded cheese
4 way:  chili, spaghetti, shredded cheese and chopped onions
5 way:  chili, shaghetti, shredded cheese, chopped onions, and beans
 
What makes this style of chili so unique is the ingredients.  This style of chili is nothing like my signature chili or any other standard recipe.  It’s unique ingredients and spices make it a different yet awesome combination which is outstanding.  The secret to getting the texture right on this dish is to get the ground beef as fine as possible.  This is done by soaking the ground beef in water before starting the cooking process. 
 
1 package of spaghetti noodles
2 lbs of ground beef
1 clove of garlic minced
1 cup of root beer
1 medium onion diced
1 green pepper diced
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne powder
1 teaspoon of allspice
1 teaspoon of cinnamaon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of coriander
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon of redwine vinegar
2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
 
For the toppings:
Shredded Cheese
Chopped Onions
1 can of beans
 
In seperate pot or mixing bowl soak the ground beef in water for 10 to 20 minutes.  In large pot or dutch oven, heat some oil and add the chopped onions, green pepper, and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the ground beef after you strained it.  The meat should be now very fine in texture.  Add unsweetened cocoa,  chili powder, cayenne pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, and ground cloves.   Let this combination simmer about 5 minutes.  Add crushed tomatoes, root beer, redwine vinegar and worcestershire sauce and cook until its thickened yet still soupy, about 20 minutes.  In seperate pot, boil the spaghetti noodles, strain and serve on seperate plates.  Top with the chili and add the desired toppings you wish to make it any of the 5 ways you like.  In a salute to the city of Cincinnati …… CHEERS !!!!
 
 
 

 

THE WORLD’S GREATEST BEEF STEW

IMG_0641It’s now fall, the temperatures or going down so it’s time to crank up the soups and stews.  I have tried many different recipes of beef stews and have put together all the best little tricks to what I feel is second to nobody’s recipe.  A pot of beef stew is the ultimate comport food on a cold day.   I prefer to cook it in a pressure cooker but if you don’t have one a large soup pot will work just as well.   It is also a great recipe to cook in a crock pot.  This recipe will fill your house with an amazing smell.

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 Ingredients
2 to 3 pounds of stew beef
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
1 clove of garlic crushed
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of pepper
1 tablespoon of ground tyme
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 12 ounce can of beer of your choice
32 ounces of beef broth
1 small can of tomato paste
1 small can of diced tomatoes
12 ounces of spicy V8 juice
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 large freezer bag
3 carrots peeled and sliced
3 stalks of celery diced
2 medium onions diced
2 medium potatoes diced
1 medium bag of frozen peas
 
1.  Preparing the meat, place the flour in a large freezer bag.  Put the meat in the bag and shake it up so the meat is completly coated with flour.  In large soup pot heat oil and take the meat from the freezer bag and put in the hot oil.  Cook the meat until it is completly browned.  Add 2 cups of water.  If cooking in pressure cooker seal and cook pressurized for about 1/2 hour.  If in a pot, simmer for about 1 hour until meat is tender.  If your cooking it in a crock pot, transfer to the crock pot.  This is the most important part of great beef stew.  Your ultimate goal is to get the meat soft and tender.
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2.  After meat is browned add the beef broth, V8 juice, worchershire sauce and beer.  Add the onions, potatoes, celery, and carrots, diced tomatoes, tomato paste,  thyme, paprika, bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper.  
 
3.  If cooking in soup pot, simmer on low for at least 4 hours.  In a crock pot its obvious, set on 10 hours and come back after work to a bowl of heaven.  If cooking in a pressure cooker, bring to preasurized and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.   Add the frozen peas to the stew a few minutes before serving.  Remove the bay leaves before serving, CHEERS !
 

GRILLED PRIME RIB

IMG_0435  There is nothing more mouth watering than a piece of juicy prime rib !!!  I get a whole piece of rib roast and cook it on my grill.  It’s easy and for special occasions it is awesome !!!  The most important thing when cooking prime rib is to let it get to room temperature before cooking it and letting it rest before slicing it.

Ingredients
 
1 large USDA Rib Roast
4 cloves of garlic crushed
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of ground black pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil
 
Let roast sit until room temperature,  in seperate mixing bowl combine garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil.  rub the roast all over with the spice mixture.  Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.  Heat grill and get good and hot.  Place meat on grill and rotate every 30 minutes.  Continue until the meat thermometer reads 125 degrees for medium rare, about 2 hours.  Take the meat off the grill and wrap in tin foil for abou 10 minutes.  It’s now time to cut and serve, absolutely delicious, CHEERS !!!!
 
 

THE ULTIMATE CLAM BAKE

IMG_0544  This is the ultimate party cuisine that I make for special occasions.,  In this picture is our son Alex who I made this for his 21st birthday.  You need a big seafood cooker which I do on a propane burner.  Its without a doubt a big hit.

Ingredients
 
Old Bay Seasoning
Red Potatoes
Spicy Sausage
Whole Cloves of Garlic
Corn On The Cob
Alaska King Crab Legs
Clams
Shrimp
 
In Pot put about 6 inches of water and bring to boil.  Add garlic and seasoning.  Put potatoes and corn and let cook for about 5 minutes.  Add sausage and let cook for about 2 more minutes.  Add crab legs and sausage, let cook for about 7 minutes until the clams look like they are about to start to open.  Add shrimp and put old bay over them.  Let the entire pot cook for about 3 minutes.  Turn off the flame and let it sit in the steam for about 5 minutes.  It’s now time to take the pot of love and dump on a table lined with paper.  CHEERS !!!!
 

Maryland Creme Of Crab Soup

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There is nothing like a thick bowl of creme of crab soup.  The secret is to put some creme of sherry in it.

Ingredients
 
1 pound of crab meat
1/2 stick of butter
2 pints of heavy whipping creme
1 quart ofhalf and half
2 tablespoons of parsley
2 tablespoons of old bay seasoning
1 teaspoon of salt
1 bottle of creme of sherry
 
Bring the half and half and heavy whipping creme to a boil.  Add parsley, salt, old bay and butter.  Add crab meat, simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When serving put some sherry in the bowl and mix with the soup, delish !!!!

 

EVERYBODY SAYS MY WINGS ARE THE BEST

 

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We have a family tradition on Friday nights.  At the Benda residence it’s known as Friday Wing Night.  I have fixed my way of making wings for many people and everyone that has had them say they are the best they have ever had.  Funny thing about it is the way I cook wings is so simple.  The secret to great wings is making them crispy and use an outstanding sauce.  You can use any sauce you like but the favorite in our house is Nancy’s Hot Sauce.  Places like BuffaloWild Wings don’t bread their wings which I think sets my wings apart from theirs.  I simply flour them before frying.  The only thing missing is a tall cold glass of cold beer to go with them.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken wings separated.
All purpose flour
peanut oil
Wing Sauce
 
Separate wings with sharp knife at the joint.  Put flour in a mixing bowl or in a large freezer bag.  Coat wings in flour.  Fill large skillet  about half way to the top with peanut oil.  Heat until oil is hot and put wings into pan.  Cook until golden brown.  Remove from pan, put wings in mixing bowl.  Put desired amount of sauce over the wings and mix evenly.  Take wings from mixing bowl to serving plate.  Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing, and celery.    All you need now is a nice cold beer to wash them down, CHEERS !!!
 

MY AWESOME LASAGNA

 

 

 

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On a cool day there is nothing like fixing an ole tradition, Lasagna.  I have tried fixing it a few different ways.  There is one seceret ingredient I like to add that I have never seen anywhere esle.  Pepperoni !!   Just like on a pizza, putting some pepperoni in between the layers adds a kick.  You can make it with your typical Prego or Ragu sauces but making the sauce from scratch makes it so much better.

 
Ingredients
 
2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
2 6 oz cans of tomato paste
2 large cans of tomato sauce
6 cloves of crushed garlic
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 table spoons of basil
2 table spoons of oregano
2 table spoons of parsley
4 table spoons of salt
2 packets of splenda or sugar
1 pound of ground beef
1 pound of sweet italian sausage (casings removed)
1 package of sliced pepperoni
16 ounces of ricotta cheese
2 egges
2 packages of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 box of lasagna noodles (oven ready)
 
1.  Prepare the sauce in large pot, simmer onions a little oil until soft,  add ground beef and sausage until cooked.  Add Cans of tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste.  Add basil, oregano, parsley, salt and sugar.  simmer covered for about an hour.
 
2.  In mixing bowl empty ricotta cheese into bowl, beat the eggs mix into the ricotta cheese.  Mix a package (16 oz) of mozzarella cheese into mixture.  You can add some oregano to this mixture if desired.
 
3.  Assemble the lasagna in a baking dish or I prefer the disposable tins you purchase at the grocery store.  Cover bottom of pan with sauce.  Arrange noodles 3 wide over sauce.  Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture, then put some pepperoni on top, add another layer of sauce.  Repeat this process (about 4 layers) until you get to the top.  Spread sauce over the top, spread some pepperoni and cover the top with the other package of shredded mozarella cheese.
 
4.  Spray a piece of foil with pam and cover.  Place in pre heated oven at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.  Remove from oven, uncover and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into servings.
 
 
 

 

SOUTHERN SPICEY COLLARD GREENS

 

 

 

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Being from central Pennsylvania, I never had collard greens until I worked for a company based in Georgia.  My friend Lea kept talking about how great collard greens are.  I finally one day took her advise and went and got all the ingredients and gave it a try.  I have been hooked ever since.  Like they do in Georgia, I have added collard greens to our Thanksgiving menu.  The key to good collard greens is to get the bitterness out which is what baking powder does along with the other ingredients.  You can use any kind of pork as a base.  I like using pork neck bones but many other recipes use bacon or fatback.

 
INGREDIENTS
 
1 to 2 bunches of fresh collard greens stems removed and chopped
1 pound of pork neck bones
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
3 packets of splenda or sugar
1/4 cup of molassis
2 pinches of crushed red pepper flakes
 
Place neck bones in large pot of water and boil for approximately 1 hour or until the meat falls off the bone.  Remove neck bones and pick the meat off the bones.  Add garlic, salt, pepper, baking powder, sugar, molassis, and red pepper flakes to the boiling water.  Place all the chopped greens in pot. Simmer about 45 minutes or until greens are tender, Enjoy !!!