My friend Kathleen cooks a hell of a lot more meat than I do. I bow to her expertise, especially on huge chunks of flesh, which scare the begeezus out of me. So read, emulate, enjoy.
Notice the free-wheeling style of these recipes. It’s not fun, unless you throw something unexpected in the pot.
CHICKEN FLORENTINE BURGERS:
1 pound Ground Chicken
5-9oz Frozen Spinach, cooked and drained & cooled
6-8oz Grated Swiss
Plain Bread Crumbs
Optional: Sauteed Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic
Sautee any optional ingredients and let cool. Add chicken through breadcrumbs and mix. Add optional ingredients as well. Grill on well oiled pan or grill so burgers will not stick as burgers are very lean.
PENNE AND SAUSAGE WITH TOMATO CREAM SAUCE:
1 Box Penne (or Rigatoni)
1 Package any flavor large Italian Sausage Links
2 Jars Bottled Marina (Any Flavor)
1/2-1 cup cream (any- heavy to fat-free half & half)
Optional: Sauteed Onions, Bell Pepper, Mushrooms
Cook pasta until al dente’. Meanwhile, braise sausage links in pan with enough water to almost cover with lots of minced garlic until cooked through. (May need to add more water as they cook.) Heat sauce and add any spices you like and any optional additions. (I usually use garlic, mushroom, pepper and onion flavored marina or any combo.) After sausage is cooked through, let cool so you can handle, then slice into quarter-sized pieces. Add to marinra and let cook a bit to meld flavors. After it cooks a bit, lower heat on sauce and add cream and let cook on low to meld flavors for a few minutes. Mix in pasta and serve.
GARLIC PORK LOIN:
3# Pork Loin
extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Optional: Rosemary, lemon juice, lemon zest
Place 1″ deep cuts all over loin. Add sliced garlic pieces in cuts. Pat loin dry and coat with olive oil (mixed with lemon juice/zest if adding). Rub salt (I use Kosher) and pepper and optional rosemary to taste over loin. Brown on all sides then place in 375 degree oven until cooked thorugh. (I like mine well-done, but can cook until a safe “pink”).
STUFFED PORK LOIN:
3# Pork Loin
1 Box Stuffing Mix
Optional: Sauteed Apple, Dried Cranberries, Garlic, Toasted Pecans or Walnuts.
Prepare stuffing mix according to directions. Add in sauteed onion and celery (and apple, cranberries and or nuts). Let cool. Butterfly Loin. I cut mine into a triple butterfly -cut loin into the first two lines of the letter “Z” so it’s a tri-fold. Lay loin flat and spread stuffing mixture over. Roll jelly-roll style and tie with butchers twine. Season with S&P. You may brown loin at this point if you like. (I don’t always as it’s hard for me not to lose the stuffing!) Bake at 375 until done to your liking.
Note: Sometimes I use regular stuffing or cornbread. Either is fine.