Stuffed Baked Clams

July 20th, 2019 by Jeff in Main Dishes

Many years ago I worked in a seafood restaurant and the owner was an old gentleman from Maine.  He had cooked seafood his whole life.  He taught me his basic recipe for stuffed clams. 

1 dozen large clam or sea scallop shells, cleaned and scrubbed
2 dozen shucked clams (chopped) or 4 cans of clams (reserve juice from steamer or cans)
2 tablespoons Herbs De Provence 1 tablespoon oregano1 tablespoon salt1/4 tablespoon black pepper1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper
Plain breadcrumbs3 bay leaves1/4 pound of bacon2 cloves of fresh garlic1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
1/2 stick of butter
3 celery stalks, dicedPaprika

You need to pulverize the bacon into a paste.  I generally use a food processor or a blender until it looks almost like horseradish.  Add butter and the bacon to a large sauce pan and start to fry it out on medium heat until bacon starts to brown a little.

Add onions, peppers and celery and cook until onions are clear.  Add clams and a couple cups of the clam juice.  Reserve some (or you can use water later). 

Add the herbs, bay leaves, salt, lemon pepper and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Immediately remove from heat.  At this point, you are going to want to taste test the mixture to see if it is salty and peppery enough for your tastes.  Keep in mind that – (More…)

Mrs. Mercer’s Zucchini Relish

July 13th, 2016 by Jeff in Main Dishes

I am always giving zucchini away because it just grows like crazy.  My neighbors mother will make up this relish from time to time that is just delicious.  I use it to make the best tartar sauce in the world amongst other things.  One day she sent me the recipe.  So as not to ever forget it, I am posting it here for me and the world to use:

12 cups ground zucchini – yellow squash or cucumbers
4 cups ground onions
2 large red peppers or pimento, ground
2.5 cups vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 tbsp. ground dry mustard
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp tumeric
1.5 tsp celery seed
1tsp ground black pepper
2 tbps corn starch
5 tbsp salt

Put zucchini, onions through grinder.  Mix well with 5 tbsp salt.  Let stand overnight and then rinse with cold water.  Drain well in colander.

In a large kettle, mix the 8 remaining ingredients and cook till it starts to thicken (though it won’t thicken much at all).  Then add ground ground vegetables and mix and cook slowly for 30-45 mins.

Add to hot jars and seal.


Jeffs Chicken Surprise

November 19th, 2012 by Jeff in Main Dishes

We all love chicken.  For one thing it is a versatile meat, but it is also very inexpensive.  The problem with chicken is coming up with new recipes for it!  We eat it a lot here so I am constantly trying to find a new way to prepare it.  I came up with this just fooling around and the entire family just loves it!  I don’t know why I call it Chicken Surprise other than I was so surprised how well it came out!  This is a rather low carb meal too, for those of us who care. 🙂


4-5 whole chicken legs
1 large onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms (white, Bella, or Portobello)
3 small cloves of garlic, crushed and lightly chopped.
Seasoned salt
Canola oil
32 ounces of chicken broth
16 ounces of heavy cream
1/2 stick of butter
Salt and pepper

In a large skillet, coat the bottom of the pan with about an 1/8 of an inch of canola oil and heat to medium high (just below smoking point).  Slice the onion in half, remove the skin and then cut each half into large, thin slices.  Add to oil and cook until dark golden brown (almost crispy).

In the meantime, take the whole chicken legs and divide them into thighs and drum sticks by cutting them at the “elbow” joint.  You save $$ by doing this yourself but if you are intimidated, you could always by 5 of each instead.  Season liberally with Seasoned Salt on both sides.

When – (More…)

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Sweet Irish Soda Bread

March 20th, 2012 by Jeff in Main Dishes

I have other recipes for Irish Soda Bread, but this is my new favorite.? We developed this one just before the last St. Patrick’s day party. It is much more moist and has a sweeter flavor than my old version.

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup of butter, cubed
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325

Combine all the dry ingredients including the raisins and butter and stir until evenly distributed.

Blend all the wet ingredients and then add to the dry.

Mix until moistened.

Pour into a greased pie pan and let sit for 15 minutes.

Use a knife and cut a large X into the dough and then bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bread can be removed cleanly.

Let it cool completely on a wire rack and then wrap.? It seems to taste better if you make it the night before, but that is optional.


Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

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Jeffs Sweet Cornbread

July 12th, 2011 by Jeff in Appetizers, Snacks and Sweets

Everyone loves cornbread and I am no exception. There are basically two types: savory and sweet. I have always preferred the sweeter cornbread. The real trick it to get it moist enough where it doesn’t taste like you are just eating formed cornmeal. 🙂 Here is the recipe I usually make and it is a HIT!


2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 cup creamed corn
2 tablespoons either canola or vegetable oil
4 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of honey

Preheat the oven to 425 and let your 12 inch cast iron skillet heat up inside the oven at the same time.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and except the oil, honey and butter, mix all the wet ingredients in another bowl.? Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.? Add the oil to the heated skillet.? Pour the batter into the skillet and then cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

While the cornbread is cooking, melt the butter and honey in a small sauce pan until the butter is just melted.? Remove from heat and stir until combined.

When you take the cornbread out of the oven, pour the butter and honey mixture over the top of the cornbread and slather all over the top so every part of the bread gets coated.

Let cool for 10 minutes and then serve with butter.


Pork Chops With Jack Daniels Citrus Glaze

August 11th, 2009 by Jeff in Main Dishes

The thing about pork chops is, well, I have had them just about every way they can be cooked or at least it feels that way sometimes.  The other night I found I had more time to make dinner than I thought I did, so I decided to try and create something completely different.  I started reducing this, adding to that, remembering flavors of dishes that impressed me long ago and just trying to come up with something different for pork chops.

This recipe worked out great and let me tell you, there is many a time when I get cooking like this when it just doesn’t work out.  Fortunately this was not one of them!


5 pork chops about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
20 oz can of pineapple slices with juice, chop pineapple in a food processor
32 oz beef stock
1/3 to 1/2 cup molasses
1 to  1 1/2 cups Jack Daniels bourbon whiskey
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp fresh ground mustard seed
2 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425

I am not going to lie to you here, I played this by ear, but I wrote down what the amounts as I went along.  Feel free to taste test this along the way and adjust to your liking!

In a small sauce pan, bring the beef stock to a boil and reduce 80% (about 20-30 minutes).

Add the chopped pineapple and half of the juice from the can.

Remove pot far away from the burner – (More…)


Cream Of Chicken Stew

December 13th, 2008 by Jeff in Soups

Not long ago I was talking with my cousin Neil, and he was telling me about how everyone in his house had come down with some sort of bug.  I know how that feels!  There is nothing worse when everyone is sick.  For one thing, nobody wants to cook. 🙂

Of course, there is nothing better when your sick than some home made chicken stew so I decided to make them up a batch so A. they would not have to cook, and B. the chance to make them feel a little better.

Neils’ wife Melissa has been asking me for the recipe every since, and I haven’t written it down because it is just one of those dishes I just make as I go along.  Well, the other day I made it again and tried to keep in my memory how I did it.  So Melissa, this one is for you, I hope I got it all right. 🙂


1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
1 large onion, roughly diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed (or pressed)
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 large carrots chopped
1 can sweet corn
1 can green beans
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
chicken stock/broth
1 stick of unsalted butter
about 1/4 cup of flour
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (not that dust from the green can)
1 1/2 cups of bow-tie pasta or cheese tortellini (uncooked)
About a cup of heavy cream
Canola oil

Preheat oven to 250.

In a large dutch oven or – (More…)


Chicken Fried Venison

December 13th, 2008 by Jeff in Main Dishes

I finished work the other day and it was a long one. I knew I had to cook dinner, and I knew what I had to use: venison. I was not in the mood for a long drawn out recipe and  I could not choose anything else because I did not want the meat to sit in the fridge any longer. So I just whipped up chicken fried venison!

I mean it, I just did it off the top of my head because I did not have the energy to see how others were doing it. It came out magnificent! Now “chicken fried” has nothing to do with chicken, it basically means you are cooking something the same way you would fried chicken. Well, that is basically what I did, except I used healthier ingredients.


6 small venison steaks (loin would probably be the best)
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or crushed and made into a paste
1 med onion, diced
1/2 cup red wine (Merlot)
2 cups beef stock
Canola oil

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large cast iron skillet, add enough of the oil so you have about 1/2 inch of it in the skillet.  Heat to medium high (about 350 degrees F).

Meanwhile, add the flour, salt, paprika, and pepper into a plastic resealable bag.  Add the steaks to the bag, shake and press the flour into – (More…)


Barbecued Kielbasa On The Grill

September 8th, 2008 by Jeff in General Cooking


Now that we have moved back to upstate New York, I find myself eating more and more kielbasa.  It seems to be everywhere up here and I really have not had it for a long time.  Not being a huge saur kraut fan, I try to find different ways to make it, but most recipes are rather plain for my tastes.  I decided to try and barbecue it and wow, I am glad I did!

Kielbasa is a polish sausage and the flavor is rather salty with a hint of heat way in the back.  These mild flavors makes it a rather versatile sausage.  I am really surpised at the lack of recipes for it.  Almost all of the ones I searched for included some sort of slow cooking process (usually in a crockpot) but nothing for barbecuing on the grill.  Well, let me tell you, we raved over this!


2 large kielbasa links (about 2 pounds).
1 medium red onion, finely diced.
Oil infused garlic olive oil (extra virgin) OR regular extra virgin olive oil with a teaspoon of minced and crushed garlic.
3/4 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade and gelatinous).
1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard.
1/2 cup of brown sugar.
1 tablespoon honey.
1 teaspoon hot sauce (chipotle if you can).
1/4 cup ketchup.
Salt and fresh ground pepper.

In a small sauce pan on low heat, add enough of the olive oil to coat – (More…)


Catch Wild Yeast With A Sourdough Starter

August 14th, 2008 by Jeff in General Cooking

Over the last few months I have really taken an interest in wild yeast.  Sure, those yeast packets you get from the store are fine, but the idea of catching something locally and enjoying a unique flavor just to your area is just too appealing to me.  Everyone has heard of sourdough bread from San Fransisco and the reason why you cannot get that anywhere else is because of the natural yeasts and bacteria native only to that area.  These impart unique flavors to the breads from that region.

Now there are thousands of sourdough bread recipes, but one thing they have in common is a starter.  Isn’t that annoying when you see that and you don’t have one?  I mean, it basically stops you in your tracks.  Well I have been expiramenting with making my own for a while and the results are incredible.  Here is a look at my somewhat wet starter that I just fed today:

Sourghdough Starter

Yeah, it isn’t pretty, but it is alive!  So how does one go about catching their own yeast and making a starter?

I can only tell you what I did, but you will find there are a lot of techniques out there, but for me, this is practically fool proof.

Take 1 cup of rye flour (the least processed you can find) and 1 cup – (More…)

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