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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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…)


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…)


Jeffs Marsala Steak

May 20th, 2008 by Jeff in Main Dishes

Sorry, it has been a while since I have written, but work has kept me quite busy. I hope to be able to get some more recipes here!

Since the grilling season is upon us, I have been cooking a lot of steak. Not only is it quick in these busy times, but of course, delicious! Lately I have been working on pan sauces and quick marinades. I have begun to find that most marinating going on out there is too much. I see no need to marinate most anything over night in the fridge. Don’t get me wrong, I am just as guilty as the rest of you as I have done the same thing for years, but you know what? I have found that most of the time you can get the same results by marinating quickly at room temperature.

Think about it, most marinades have some sort of acidic component, such as lemon, or vinegar, and then an oil like olive oil or canola and then a few spices. What happens when you put oil into the the fridge? It coagulates and basically seizes. In my mind, once this happens, the marinating is over and all that is left is pickling of the meat.

The acidity and salt added to marinades kills most of your flagrant bacteria that will quickly spoil meat so why put it back in the fridge? – (More…)


Today Begins The Corning Of The Beef

March 7th, 2008 by Jeff in Main Dishes

Ahh yes, St. Pattys day is just around the corner, and we are already planning our party. Since the holiday is landing on a Monday this year, we are throwing the party on Sunday the 16th as probably most of you are. After our big hit party last year, we can’t wait until this St. Pattys day.

We will be making pretty much the same menu this year, but it will have one important difference. We are brining the brisket from scratch to make a truly home made dish. Our test batch last month came out wonderful so today we picked up about twenty pounds of beef brisket and got our corned beef brine going. For those of you who have never done it, you should know it requires eight days of brining so you better hurry!

Here is the recipe we use for turning 4-6 pounds of beef brisket into corned beef:

6 cups of water
2 cups beer
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 packed cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup pickling spice

Stir all the ingredients together in a large wide pot and make sure the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the meat and weigh down with a heavy plate and then cover. Refrigerate for 4 days, stir the brine and turn the meat, and refrigerate for another 4 days.

You can multiply this recipe if you are using more than 6 pounds.

Now all you have to – (More…)


Slow Cooked Smokey Pork Loin

February 27th, 2008 by Jeff in Main Dishes

Pork loin can be one of those dishes that will test your patience. If you over cook it, be prepared for a dry experience; if you don’t spice it up right, a bland one. I have always assumed this is why that particular cut of meat is cheaper than most of the other pork cuts. I am of course referring to the center cut loin, not the tenderloin.

This recipe has gotten me through many a dinner with wows and exclamations on the flavor and juiciness.


1 3-5 lbs. pork loin (not tenderloin).
3 cloves of garlic minced.
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (about 2 tablespoons) chopped fine.
1 tablespoon fresh thyme.
5-8 slices smoked bacon (the good kind that you get at a deli or butcher, preferrably apple wood smoked bacon).
About 3-4 cups chicken stock or broth.
About 3 tablespoons of flour.
Extra virgin olive oil.
Salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 225.

Take the garlic, rosemary, and thyme and if you have a small food processor, process until well combined. Add olive oil slowly until it forms a liquidy paste. About 1/4 cup.

Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the pork loin.

Heat a dutch oven or any other heavy pot (that has a lid and can be used in the oven) on your stove to medium high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil starts smoking, add the loin, fat side down to the pan and sear – (More…)


Jeffs Slow Cooked Braised Brisket

February 13th, 2008 by Jeff in Main Dishes

Years ago, beef brisket was considered one of the least desirable cuts of meat. Cooked like other meats, it will come out tough and stringy. With no surprise, it was usually purchased by those with less money. Over the years recipes came about that made brisket one of the most sought after dishes in the Americas.

There are many ways to cook brisket, but generally all of the techniques have one common thing: low and slow cooking. By cooking (or smoking) the meat slowly, the tough connective tissue begins to break down leaving the meat soft and letting the flavor out.

One of my favorite ways to cook brisket is by braising it. This basically means cooking it slowly with liquid. Although this may remind you of a pot roast, it is really a bit different. Here is a recipe of mine that is very simple but has wowed more than a few people at my table.


1 4-5 pound beef brisket (fresh, not corned).
1 large Spanish onion.
4 cloves of garlic, lightly chopped.
About a half teaspoon ground cumin.
1 – 3 cups of beef broth.
All purpose flour (about 2-3 tablespoons).
1 sprig fresh rosemary (do not remove leaves from sprig).
Salt and pepper.
Canola oil.

Preheat oven to 225.

In a large heavy pot with a heavy lid, preferably a dutch oven (must be oven safe), bring up to a medium high heat. While you are waiting, liberally salt and pepper – (More…)

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