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Chicken Cutlet Roll-Ups

September 15, 2017 Entrees, Menu No Comments

Chicken cutlets are a staple in just about every household. By adding just a bit of seasoning and a few everyday ingredients, this recipe takes chicken cutlets to a whole new level. The key to this recipe is to use thin sliced chicken cutlets. You want the cutlets to be easy to roll and fold. Instead of giving specific measurements, I am just going to share with you the basic steps that I take to make four to six roll-ups. You can adjust the filling ingredients to your liking!





Step 1

Lightly brush both sides of the cutlets with olive oil. Season both sides with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder.


Step 2

Place in single layers the filling ingredients that you choose.
Here are just a few tasty suggestions:

  • prosciutto, provolone and fresh basil
  • pepperoni and mozzarella
  • chopped artichoke hearts and tomatoes
  • chopped olive salad
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • crab meat


Step 3

Carefully roll up the cutlets, and either tie them with butcher string or secure them with a tooth pick.


Step 4

Place the roll-ups on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350˚ for 35-40 minutes, until chicken is done.


Crab Gravy Pizza

May 29, 2015 Entrees, Menu No Comments

Summer is finally knocking on our door…which means it’s time for me to fire up the barbecue grill, dust off the yard games and stock up on some tasty summer brews. One of my all-time favorite summer meals that I enjoy making for our family is crabs and macaroni (you can find my recipe for crab gravy by clicking here). Last year, as we were sitting around the table, sipping the last of our beer and staring at the pile of empty crab shells, my brother-in-law Shane suggested one of the most brilliant, yet simple dinner ideas. “Why don’t you make a crab gravy pizza?” Genius at it’s best! One of the glories of this fabulous dinner is dunking bread into the gravy, so spreading the gravy onto a pizza shell would make total sense. Since crab gravy is a bit of a seasonal treat, and because we had our meal late in the season last year, we both agreed to keep that idea on the back-burner until this coming summer. It was a long wait, and we discussed the idea many a times…but the time has finally come to put this brilliant recipe to the test.

Instead of making a big pot of slow-simmering crab gravy, I decided to put together a quicker, simple version of the sauce, using a 1 lb can of pure claw crab meat (the claw meat is cheaper than the lump, and works perfectly with this recipe). My goal was to make the gravy thick and meaty, so that you would get a generous taste of the crab meat with every bite. I also decided to use pre-made traditional style pizza shells (not the thin crust), so that they can hold the gravy without breaking apart. For the cheese topping, I decided to go with fresh shaved parmesan cheese. We top our pasta with parmesan cheese, so this was the obvious choice. To avoid having the cheese melt into the gravy, I added it to the pie towards the end of baking, layering it loosely.

While I don’t normally brag about the dishes that I share with you, I do have to say that this pizza was A-MAZING! The rich taste of the gravy combined with the fresh shaved cheese on top of the toasted crust worked exactly how I wanted it to. It was well worth the wait to put it together. And I have to give Shane full props for the inspiration on this one.

If you are a fan of crab gravy and if you like messing around with new pizza ideas….give this one a try. It’s the perfect summer party food!

Crab Gravy Pizza

1 lb can pure claw crab meat
1 small can (12-14 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 small can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 tspn Italian seasoning
1/4 tspn Old Bay seasoning
1/4-1/2 tspn sugar (your preference to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 pre-made pizza shells (not thin crust)
1 small block parmesan cheese (shaved down using a vegetable peeler, to about 25-30 slices)

Pour crushed tomatoes, sauce and crab meat into a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add seasonings and sugar, stir well. Add salt and pepper, stir well. Cover with lid to simmer, stirring occasionally and adjusting seasoning to taste. Remove from heat after about 35-40 minutes, when gravy is flavored to your liking. Set aside to cool – you don’t want to add hot sauce directly to the pizza shells. You can prepare the sauce and refrigerate up to 1 day ahead of time.

Preheat oven to 425˚. Spread a generous and even amount of sauce onto each shell. Place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove pizzas from oven and top with fresh shaved parmesan cheese. You can layer it loosely or lattice-style. Place back into the oven, bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from oven. Slice, serve and enjoy!





Crab and Corn Chowder Pot Pie

March 26, 2015 Entrees, Menu, Soup No Comments

The idea for this recipe has been simmering on my “to cook” list for a while now. I finally had the opportunity to put this dish together recently, and I’m very happy to say that it was everything that I was hoping for. Crab and corn are a classic combination to begin with, so I knew that adding crab meat to a creamy corn chowder would work well. Because cornbread is often served up with corn chowder, I decided to use cornmeal when making the dough for the pot pie, so that the grainy and sweet cornbread flavor would be incorporated in every flaky bite of the pot pie crust. The addition of the cornmeal to the dough worked as well as the crab meat did in the chowder. When all of the ingredients were finally combined, the end result was incredibly tasty and very enjoyable. Normally, I would save a creamy chowder or a pot pie dish for the cold winter season. This dish however is a bit lighter and sweeter than a traditional winter chowder, so it can be enjoyed just about any time of the year. And if you’re not in the mood for a hearty pot pie, you can serve up the easy to make chowder on its own!



Crab and Corn Chowder Pot Pie

Step 1: The Chowder
1 shallot, finely chopped
6 cups frozen corn, divided (sweet or white corn)
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tspn dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
6 oz can crab meat

Lightly coat a large sauce pan with cooking spray. Add shallot; cook and stir over medium heat for 4 minutes or until tender. Add 4 cups corn; cook and stir until corn is softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until corn is tender. Cool slightly.


Carefully process soup in batches in a blender, until smooth; return mixture to the pan. Add the red pepper, Old Bay seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper, crab meat and remaining corn and broth; cook and stir for 10 minutes or until the corn is tender. Set aside.


Step 2: The Pie Crust
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour, plus more for shaping
1 tspn salt
2 tbspn shortening
1 egg
1/4 cup water

Combine cornmeal, flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening. In a separate bowl, beat together egg and 1/4 cup water. Add to cornmeal mixture.

Shape the dough into a ball, using extra flour to prevent sticking. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3: The Pot Pie
Preheat oven to 375˚. When ready to assemble the pot pies, remove dough from fridge and roll it out on a floured surface. You’ll want to cut the dough into circles large enough to slightly overlap your serving bowl, so the thinner you roll the dough the more dough you will have to use.

Divide the chowder equally among 6 oven-proof individual serving bowls or ramekin dishes.




Brush the outside edges of each bowl with an egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make a criss-cross slit in the center of the dough. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.




Baked Flounder Roll-Ups with Lemon, Butter and White Wine Sauce

April 30, 2013 Menu No Comments

The May 2013 edition of La Cucina Italiana magazine has an interesting recipe which immediately caught my eye. Braciole di pesce (sole braciole with almond biscuit crumbs), is their creative play on traditional braciole. For those of you that are not familiar with traditional braciole, it is a thin slice of meat (usually beef) that is rolled with a bread-based stuffing and is pan fried and often added to a Sunday gravy. La Cucina’s version is using fillet of sole (which is a thin-cut fillet) stuffed with crushed butter biscuits, almonds and parsley. A very interesting – although odd – combination to say the least.

This dish inspired me to try my own version, instead using flounder and a more traditional stuffing of crabmeat, fresh parsley and breadcrumbs. Now, before I go any further, you are probably wondering what the difference is between my roll-up recipe, and the classic stuffed flounder. The answer: nothing, really. The presentation may be different (the stuffing is contained in the roll-up as opposed to being stuffed in a cut pocket), but the delicious combination works the same for either version.

Just like traditional meat braciole, you can adjust the stuffing ingredients to your liking. Scallops, shrimp and spinach all work well as stuffing ingredients for fish. However, unlike traditional braciole, a fish roll-up, particularly one using a flaky fish such as flounder, is best prepared baked instead of fried. While a flaky fish can be flipped once in a frying pan, its delicate texture would make it difficult to successfully cook on all four sides without falling apart.

To add some depth and flavor, I made a quick lemon, butter and white wine sauce on the stove top and drizzled it on top of the roll-ups after they were done. It was the perfect compliment to the fish, marrying all of the flavors and tastes together with each bite.


4 pieces flounder
salt and pepper
1 6-oz can white crab meat, drained
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1tbspn fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tspn butter, plus 1 tbspn butter
1 tbspn olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 350˚. Mix together the crabmeat, breadcrumbs and parsley. Lightly season the flounder fillets with salt and pepper (if the flounder pieces are large, you can cut them in half, length-wise). Lay the flounder out flat and evenly spread the crabmeat mixture on all four pieces. Roll up the fillets and secure tight with a toothpick. Lightly brush the flounder fillets with 1 tspn melted butter.

Place the fillets, seam side down, on a lightly sprayed baking dish. Bake uncovered for about 15-20 minutes or until the fillets become flaky.

About midway through the baking time, you will start to prepare the sauce. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add 1 tbspn butter. When butter is melted, add the chopped shallots, stir in and cook until translucent. Add the lemon juice and the wine, heat until wine starts to reduce.

When the fish is done, remove from the baking tray and place onto a serving dish. Evenly drizzle the sauce over the fillet roll-ups, then sprinkle with additional fresh chopped parsley.

This dish serves well with steamed greens and a crisp white wine.

The flounder fillets with the crabmeat filling spread evenly on each piece (top photo),
then rolled and secured with toothpicks (bottom photo).



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