Cooking with Roberta

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Vampire Slayer Tomato Vegetable Sauce


This wonderful late summer garden fresh sauce comes with the recipe to can it for the winter months. That way there you get that summer goodness all year round.

10 lbs ripe tomatoes preferably Roma diced coarsely

5 lbs zucchini cut into narrow bite size pieces

1/2 lb crushed coarsely chopped garlic

2 Tbs cooking oil

1 1/2 lbs chopped onion

1 1/2 cups virgin olive oil

1/2 cup diced fresh parsley

1/2 cup diced fresh basil

1/4 cup diced fresh oregano

1/2 cup sugar

2 lbs chopped sweet peppers of various colors

2 Tbs. salt

24 ounces fresh tomato paste

2 Tbs. salt

1 tsp. pepper


Use 12 quart or larger enamel pot for sauce and large saute or cast frying pan, and when canning use pot thick bottomed and deep enough to cover jars being canned by at least three inches. One inch is for the water to cover and submerge the jar. And have at least two inches room for the boiling water not to go over the side of the pot. Canning tongs are very helpful when placing and removing jars from the canning pot. (Have sterilized jars by boiling prevously or putting through the dish washer.)


1. Peel and chop garlic and onion and saute in 2 Tbs. oil for twenty minutes stirring occasionally then removing vegtables from heat and put in enamel cooking pot.

2. Chop zucchini, peppers and tomatoes into bite size pieces and put them enamel cooking pot.

3. Chop parsley,basil and oregano.

4. Add chopped herbs, sugar, 1 1/2 cups olive oil, salt and pepper.

5. Place enamel pot of vegtables over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking/burning for two hours fifteen minutes.

6.Add paste and stir in gentlycontinue cooking for 45 minutes stiring ocasionally and remove from heat.

7.Place hot water for canning on high to boil.

8. Fill jars carefully 1/2 inch from the top of each by using a special canning funnel or by cutting 1 1'2 inches off the bottom of a styrofoam cup for less mess.

9. Cover each filled mason jar with a new seal and ring evenly and snuggly but not over tightening.

10. Boil filled jars at about 212 degrees for 30 minutes for pints and 35 minutes for quarts.

11. Remove from boiling water and place on a towel having the jars about 1 inch apart from each other to cool. Popping noise will indicate appropriate seal. But double check though.

12. If any of the jars did not seal properly while cooling store in refrigerator up to 5 days or freeze.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Homemade Chicken Noodle and Vegetable Soup

This soup would chase the worse cold away and warm the coldest heart!




serves around 33

2 hour cooking time












8 beef bouillon cubes
2 1/2 gallons water
fresh ginger root (size of thumb)
1 stick butter
3 1/2 pounds chicken bone in and skin
2 pounds boneless thighs
1 celery plant including leaves (about 2 pounds)
3 pounds fresh carrots
1 large red fresh sweet pepper
1 bulb garlic (at least 8 to 18 cloves)
2 medium onions
3 lbs swiss chard (preferably bright lights variety for color.)
2 tbls fresh tarragon
1 tbls fresh oregano
1/2 cuo fresh basil
2/3 cup fresh parsley
3 lemons sliced for usable garnish

1. On med-high heat in preferably a cast iron pan fry bone in chicken in stick of butter. Keep chicken covered but vented to allow steam to escape by 6 to 8 minutes skin side down flip and 5 to 8 minutes second side. (Don't worry if it is still pink inside.)

2. While meat is cooking start to cut vegtables. Garlic is to be chopped, celery in 1" pieces putting leafy tops aside for later use, carrots in 1/3" circles.

3. Take very large 4 gallon or bigger and pour 2 gallons hot water in and add bouillon.

4. Place cooked bone in chicken in pot leaving butter and chicken drippings in frying pan.

5. Put boneless chicken in frying pan with drippings on med/high heat and 4 minutes each side in covered vented pan to brown exterior and add to chicken soup pot leaving butter and drippings in frying pan.(Don't worry if pink inside.)

6. On med/high heat in dripping frying pan place onions then garlic and then place celery on top
with out stirring for 5 minutes and then cooking for an additional 8 to 14 minutes until almost tender and with slotted spoon leaving drippings in frying pan place cooked veggies into soup pot.

7. Remove frying pan from heat set aside reserving drippings and pan for further use.

8. Throw cut carrots and ginger halves in soup pot.

9. Place soup pot on high heat and bring to boil. Careful not to burn.

10. While soup is starting to heat to boil wash swiss chard thoroughly trimming tips of stems.

11. Cut trimmed stems from leaves and cut stems in 1/2" pieces and add to soup pot to boil and boil at least 30 minutes before adding next ingredients.

12. Cut swiss chard leaves in 3" pieces and chop parsley,tarragon,basil, red pepper(keeping red peppers aside with celery leaf tops) and oregano coarsely and add ingredients to pot.

13.While soup is cooking place frying pan with drippings back on high heat and stir fry, red pepper and celery tops stirring often enough to prevent burning for 8 minutes then add entire contents of pan including drippings to soup pot.

14. Add 1/2 gallon hot water into pot and allow to come back to boil and cook for 18 more additional minutes stirring occasionally so it won't burn.

15. Add 24 to 30 ounces whole grain pasta to boiling soup pot. (I used rotini.)

16. Continue cooking soup for additional 18 minutes (stirring occasionally...careful not to overcook noodles).

17. Reduce heat to medium low and add sauted chopped red peppers and celery tops in soup pot with drippings and simmer about 8 more minutes. (Careful not to overcook noodles.)

18. Serve with fresh lemon slice and a smile.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hot German Potato Salad


Another awesome recipe inspired by my late grand mother.You haven't had tater salad until you've tried this variation.It is so mouth watering delicious it will leave you asking for more!

serves 8

8 minutes to cook(if potatoes are precooked left overs)

14 to prepare

24 minutes to cook if using fresh raw potatoes


3 lbs cooked potato large bite size chunks (Red or white,peeled or unpeeled,roasted or boiled left over potatoes are perfect to create this in a fast fashion!)


3 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese original


3/4 cup diced red onion


1 1/2 cups Balsamic vinegar


4 Tbs. butter


6 oz bacon (cut into bite size pieces to prevent choking.)


1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley


3 Tbs. Dijon mustard



1. Chop Potatoes, bacon,onion and parsley (keeping potatoes seperate)


2. Boil potatoes if necessary.


3. Cook bacon,onion and parsley in butter over medium high heat until bacon is cooked; stirring frequently.


4. Add vinegar, mustard and Philadelphia Cream Cheese and stir until cream cheese softens and is evenly distributed.


5. Toss cooked potatoes in gently to not break up potatoes and serve warm/hot.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Golubtsy


Golubtsy is a Russian dish that my Ukrainian grandmother Ethel use to make.She also cooked tomatoes and other vegtables fresh out of the garden. The Golubtsy along with my home made sauce will just pop in amazing flavor in your mouth when served together!
Serves 16
2 hours cooking time
14 prep time


1 (One) very large cabbage's outer 16 leaves [Or more if two leaves are necessary to wrap due to a smaller cabbage.] (Remove core of cabbage to make outer leaves come off more readily. Cooking of whole cabbage- using center cabbage in another recipe or as a sidedish- makes leaf removal easier/without breakage. Or take outer leaves of raw cabbage and cook them only before stuffing Golubtsy.)


16 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese Whipped


3 tbls. Mrs. Dash Italian


14 oz. whole grain brown rice (I use 4 bags 10 minute rice.)


2 1/2 cups shaved Parmesan cheese


3 lbs. ground meat (I used beef and pork this time.)


4 large eggs



1. Boil large pot of water that is salted for flavor and add either entire cabbage with core removed(You will need something heavy to hold cabbage to submerse completely.) or outer leaves only and cook until tender.


2. Cook rice according to directions in a separate pot.And when the rice is done rinse with cold water briefly to cool and strain. (This is where the cook in bags come in handy...no mess!)


3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.And mix all of the ingredients including the cream cheese, meat, rice, Mrs. Dash, eggs and cheese with hands until blended.


4. Scoop approximently one cup of filling at the base[This is where the stem was.]of each cabbage leaf and proceed to roll from bottom towards the top of the leaf folding side flap of each leaf to envelope the filling making a 'pillow like' pocket that the filling is completely enclosed in it's casing.Lay each Golubtsy in baking dishes seam side down not touching each other.


5. Cover with preferably my homemade tomato sauce (or broth to be served with sour cream) and bake in a 350 degree oven for 80 minutes spooning sauce/broth on occasionally during cooking process. Serve or freeze for later!



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Homemade Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce


Golubtsy is a Russian dish my Ukrainian grandmother Ethel use to make for us. I'd like to share it with you. First I'll share with you how to make a delicious sauce with a variety of garden fresh vegtables. Then the Golubtsy recipe will follow!

'Home Made Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce'
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup diced garlic
1/2 cups fresh chopped basil
1 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh oregano
3 cups chopped fresh onions
3 cups chopped fresh (red and/or green sweet)peppers
10 pounds chopped fresh tomatoes(remove where stem is attached)
2 tbls salt to taste
2 tbls balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
12 oz. tomato paste
1 lb. chopped mushrooms
1. Stir fry onions,peppers and garlic in oil on high heat until sligtly brown in the bottom of a 8 quart heavy/thick bottomed pot.

2. Stir in herbs,mushrooms and salt and brown for 5 more minutes.

3.Reduce to medium heat and stir in fresh tomatoes,sugar and vinegar letting sauce cook for for two (2) hours stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

4.Mix in tomato paste after cooking/simmering sauce.

5. Continue to cook for 1 hour more and can,freeze or use in other recipies...Golubtsy recipe follows!