Chef Jon Molnar Genuine Italian Pasta and Pizza Sauce

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As we go through the summer, I will be doing more product reviews, as we all know the summer time becomes very busy for all of us.  Well as least for me, I’d like to spend a little more time out and about with my family and friends.  So I have been given some products to taste test and I will be letting you all know how they taste and what you can do with them.
I’m sure I’ll come up with some recipes too, but I am looking forward to these products that are from all over the world.

This is one that I have today is Fantastic, I really must say…I have a great connection with the Gia Russa people which are right here in Ohio.

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Chef Jon Molnar’s love and enthusiasm for cooking can be traced back to the roots of his family. At an early age, Jon’s grandmother, Helen, demonstrated that cooking is a labor of love. With his grandmother’s guidance, Jon Molnar pursued his passion and perfected his craft at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. Since his graduation in 1994, Chef Jon Molnar has been a professional in the commercial and private sectors of the culinary world, holding prominent positions in various parts of the United States. With tireless years of experience, Chef Jon Molnar’s cuisine crusade has led him to develop Chef Jon Molnar Culinary Creations, in an effort to produce products that are of the highest quality and standards, from his kitchen to yours.

Finally, you can get genuine Italian sauces right here in the U.S.A. They taste so much better than American sauces, you may never go back. Chef Jon Molnar and the chefs of the top Tuscany restaurants in Italy now provideGenuine Italian Pasta and Pizza Saucesright here in America.

Genuine Italian Pasta and Pizza Saucesare made with the exact recipes and actual tomatoes from the Tuscany Province of Italy. Tuscany is famous for having the best tasting pizza and pasta sauces in the world. This is due to their superior recipes and superior tomatoes.

Tuscany tomatoes are the best tasting tomatoes in the world because of Tuscany’s ideal soil, ideal climate and ideal sun exposure. The recipes for the sauces are also different and superior to American pizza and pasta sauces. Chef Jon Molnar’s Genuine Tuscany Italian Sauces are all-natural, gluten-free, contain no preservatives, and are produced in a green facility. Once you taste Genuine Italian Pasta and Pizza Sauces, you will immediately notice the superior taste.

I loved this sauce so much, it was rich with a pure tomato flavor and so balanced, it was great on the pizza and with the pasta!!

This totally gets “Two Thumbs Up” from me…if you see in your local grocery store make sure you pick it up!!! 🙂

Pizza Ingredients – Crust, ricotta, provolone, spinach and Chef Jon’s Sauce

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spread some ricotta, then sauce, then spinach the top with cheese

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It was very very good!!

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Pasta easy and simple Ingredients

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cook pasta then add some ricotta, sauce top with Parmesan

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Enjoy!!!

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Summer Grilling Recipe #1

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Well as summer is here and the grills start to get cleaned and great smells permeate the air 😛
I do love me something grilled, so as the summer goes on I will be posting some easy grilling recipes.

This one is just dang simple…who doesn’t like potatoes and onions on the grill 🙂

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I’ve been wanting to do a little grilled so called potato salad…

And I picked up some Colman’s Original English Mustard…it has a kick and I like that!!

I’ve been wondering what to do with it so I came up with this…

Ingredients

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Chopped my potatoes and onions

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In a large bowl add, vinegar, mustard, brown sugar & oil

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Whisk it

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add potatoes and onions

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stir to coat and let set for a least an hour

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Put into a grill basket, keep the access dressing for later

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Done

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add a little more dressing just to coat once finished, then serve

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Recipe

4 potatoes, cubed in 1 inch pieces
1-2 large sweet onions, 1/2 inch slices, then in half again

you don’t want them to small but not too big either, remember your onions will shrink up so keep 1/2 inch strips about 3 inches long.

Marinade 
5 tsp. Colman’s Original English Mustard*
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. brown sugar

In a large bowl add all ingredients for marinade and whisk together, add potatoes and onions and toss to fully coat, set aside for a least one hour, stir to coat every 10-15 minutes.

Add potatoes and onions to grill basket, reserving the marinade.  Grill on low stirring mixture everything few minutes.  As potatoes and onions cook drizzle the extra marinade over top each time until potatoes are tender and cooked through. 

Extra Dressing

3 tsp. Colman’s Original English Mustard*
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
add  the mustard, vinegar and sugar all to a small bowl and whisk together, toss with grilled potatoes and onions and serve.

I hope you will try this next time you grill out…Enjoy!!!

*Note – If you cannot find the Colman’s in a “Mustard” form and can only find it in dry form, just take the amount in the recipe in dry and add just a little water until you make mustard 🙂

Strawberry Bruschetta

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A friend of mine was coming over because we were going to go see Theresa Caputo – The Long Island Medium.  She was in town doing a show, and if you know who she is or watch her show then you know who I’m talking about, no we did not get read.
But the show was much more then that, it was great experience and I’m happy for the people who came and might have gotten a glimmer of hope and peace.

And since we were not going to be having dinner, I thought maybe a little appetizer and a glass a wine before hand would be nice.

I had been thinking of this recipe and how I wanted to make it a little different then other recipes…well it came to me…maple syrup 🙂

(you can see from the pictures I cut the recipe in half, the recipe below is the full recipe)

Ingredients

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Dice the strawberries

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add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup

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add a pinch of salt and stir, let set for 1 hour

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add maple syrup to ricotta and a pinch of salt, stir

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Slice your baguette, brush with olive oil, bake to brown

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till light brown

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stack your basil leaves on top of one another, and roll like a cigar

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Chiffonade

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Ready to assemble 

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spread ricotta, then top with strawberries

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then basil….One done 🙂

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The rest done 🙂

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Recipe – makes 18 – 20 pieces

14 strawberries, diced (1 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
 couple pinches of salt (I used Kosher)
1 cup ricotta cheese 
18 – 20 slices of a baguette
olive oil
Fresh Basil, chopped

In a small bowl add diced strawberries, vinegar, 2 tbsp. maple syrup and a pinch of salt, stir to fully coat all the strawberries, set aside for for 1 hour, stirring about every 20 minutes. You can leave longer, the strawberries will start to release their juices, this is a good thing since we will be using all the left over juice.

In another small bowl add ricotta and remaining maple syrup, along with a pinch of salt, stir to fully combine, keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Take slices of baguette and brush with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until lightly brown.   Let cool.

Putting them together, divide ricotta among the slices of bread and spread over top, top ricotta with strawberries, but try not to get too much of the juice, you can drain, but reserve the juice for a tip later in this post.

Take you basil leaves and stack them on top of one another and roll like a cigar, take your knife and slice roll (like in photo above), this is called Chiffonade.

Top the strawberries with a few pieces of the basil and serve with the beverage of your choice…ours was some Sweet Strawberry Wine 😛

These were so delicious, what great appetizer for a party or a great dessert after a summer meal.  It’s light and it really it the spot 🙂

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Okay now I told you to keep the juice from the strawberries…which is now Strawberry Maple Balsamic Vinegar
Which you can put on a salad like I did, or you can whisk in a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil as well and toss with your lettuce or mixed greens.
This would be great on a salad with sliced strawberries and candied pecans too!!

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Pork Saltimbocca

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Saltimbocca is a dish (popular in southern Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Greece) made of veal lined or topped with prosciutto and sage.

Again I use pork, from my recent purchase of a pork tenderloin, I also had Saltimbocca at a local Italian restaurant and it was so good, that I thought I would make it with my pork.
There are many, many recipes out there, but this is one I came up with, hope you will like 🙂

Ingredients

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Place cutlet between wax paper or plastic wrap and pound thin

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Place sage leaves on pork, then top with prosciutto

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Place paper back on top of prosciutto, and lightly pound a couple of times

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Dredge cutlets in flour, add oil and butter to skillet of medium high heat

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prosciutto side down first, browning on both sides

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Place on baking sheet top with sliced Mozzarella, set aside

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drain most of the oil/butter from the skillet, add wine

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let reduce to about 1/2 cup, while scraping the brown bits from the skillet

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once reduced add a couple pinches of sugar & remaining butter to finish

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place cutlets under the broiler until cheese is melted & browned

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Then serve, I serve mine with polenta

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Recipe

1 Pork tenderloin, slice in half lengthwise, then each half cut into 3 pieces, so you have 6 pieces in total
Fresh Sage leaves, 4 to 6 leaves per cutlet
1/2 cup flour
4 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. butter, divided
8 oz. mozzarella, thinly sliced, 2-3 per cutlet
6 oz. white wine
Prosciutto – 1-3 pieces per cutlet, depends on how much you want
a couple pinches of sugar

Place each cutlet between wax paper or plastic wrap, pound thin to about 1/4 inch thick.  Place sage leaves on top of pork, then lay prosciutto over pork and leaves, allowing it not to hang over the sides.
Place flour in a shallow dish, dredge cutlets in flour, in a skillet add oil and 2 tbsp. butter and saute cutlets prosciutto side first, flipping and browning on both sides.  When cutlets are done browning place on baking sheet top with sliced mozzarella, set aside, 6 minutes before you are ready to serve, place baking sheet with pork under the broil, just until cheese is melted and brown.

For sauce

Once you cook the last of the cutlets, drain most of the oil/butter, add the wine and with a wooden spoon scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Once the liquid has reduced to a about 1/2 cup add a couple pinches of sugar and the remaining butter and serve over the Saltimbocca.

Serve with the side of your choice, this time I made some polenta.

Enjoy!!

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Mint Julep’s for the 139th Running of the Kentucky Derby!

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Yes we have Mint Julep’s in the house!!

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How can you have a Kentucky Derby Party with out Pie…I covered that in my last post 😉

Or without Mint Julep’s!!!!

HAPPY DERBY DAY EVERYONE!!!!

So cheers to the Kentucky Derby that will run tonight at
6:24 pm est.

It’s just simple all you need is some Kentucky Bourbon!!!

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And the official sliver mug…okay I don’t have that but if you
would go to the Derby your’s would be served in them 🙂

Mint Julep Cup

Ingredients

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sugar and water in a pan to make a simple syrup

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I use about a 1/4 cup of mint, then I muddled it with the end of a wooden spoon

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Done muddling 🙂

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Then I add ice, bourbon, simple syrup, cap it

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Shake it, pour over crushed ice

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Then serve with a garnish of mint

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Recipe

Kentucky Bourbon 1 – 1 1/2 oz each glass
Mint – lots of mint, to muddle in glass
simple Syrup – 2 – 4 tbsp. its up to you
2-4 tbsp. water, club soda, 7up etc.
Crushed ice

Simple Syrup is equal parts water and sugar (mine is dark because I use pure cane sugar) heat in a sauce pan stirring to melt then let cook for a couple of minutes then let cool before using.

Okay as I was out last week look what I found

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Yes this is a Mint Julep Soda

Plantation Style Mint Julep Soda

The soda was pretty good, it was like Sprite or 7up with Mint, I enjoyed it, it was rather refreshing if I do say so myself 🙂

I also poured a little into my “Real Mint Julep” 🙂

So now I’m ready for the Kentucky Derby, I one for each hand 🙂

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Cheers everyone!!!

HAPPY DERBY DAY!!!!

Oh and don’t forget your hat!!!

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“The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports”…PIE!!!!

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If you are reading this post saying to yourself…what is “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” Pie?  

Then I would say 1. maybe your are not from Kentucky or surrounding states or 2. you don’t follow horse racing 🙂

Yes horse racing, and not just horse racing “The Kentucky Derby” 

The Kentucky Derby is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. 

This Saturday (first Saturday in May) May 4th, 2013, will be the
139th running of The Kentucky Derby!!

 The race is known in the United States as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” or “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” (hence the name of my recipe)  for its approximate duration, and is also called “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winner.

It is the first leg of the US Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes, then the Belmont Stakes.  

A horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown.  Which in it’s 138 years of running only 11 horses became “Triple Crown Winners”, the last one in 1978 the horse was Affirmed ridden by Steve Cauthen, a local boy 🙂

The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup

Location- Churchill Downs    Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Inaugurated 1875
Race type – Thoroughbred
Website http://www.kentuckyderby.com/
Race information
Distance 1¼ miles (10 furlongs)
Track Dirt, Left-handed
Qualification 3-year-old
Weight Colt/Gelding: 126 lbs (57.2 kg)
Filly: 121 lb (55 kg)
Purse –  US$2 million
1st: $1,425,000
Bonuses US$ 200

Oh… you say you are asking me who I pick in this years race, well I like 2 horses…1 – Java’s War, yes for he’s name because you know I love JAVA!!
2 – Verrazano, he’s beautiful dark brown in color (like my pies) and his post position is 14th and that’s me favorite number 🙂

Okay so now that you know all about “The Kentucky Derby” let’s talk PIE!!!

Now you say why not name your pie recipe, Derby Pie…Well there is a “Famous” Derby Pie and click here and you can read about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derby_pie  We also sell this “Famous” pie in our stores 🙂  Here in Northern Kentucky (Remke bigg’s)

If you clicked and read about it you now know that I don’t want to be sued…for using the name 🙂  Yes you heard me sued!!! 😦

And there are so many recipes out there named Ky. Derby Pie, Run for the Roses Pie, First Saturday in May Pie, May Day Pie…oh I could go on and on!!! 

So that’s why I decided that this recipe would be named for what is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports”

I am going to make 2 pies, one with a pie crust and one with a puff pastry crust.  One with flour, one without flour…Let’s see which is better 🙂

Pie #1 – no flour

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Everything in the bowl, except nuts & chips, then whip it

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for about 4 minutes, then add Nuts and Chips

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Mix up, and then pour into pie shell (below is Puff Pastry)

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Bake and done

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1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar (I use pure sugar cane)
2/3 cup light corn syrup
4 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted, cooled
1/3 cup Kentucky Bourbon…yes it must be made in Kentucky 🙂
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 3/4 – 2 cups walnuts, rough chopped
1 pie crust or puff pastry sheet (directions below)

In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, add to large bowl, all ingredients except walnut and chocolate chips.  Mixer on medium to incorporate  then mix on high for 4 minutes.  Then fold in walnuts and chocolate chips, pour mixture in to your pie shell.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until top is a luscious brown in color.

Cool at room temperature for at least 4-5 hours before serving.

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Pie #2 with flour

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In bowl add dry ingredients  and wet in another

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Whisk wet into dry, it looks like this

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add nuts and chips and fold in

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Pour into pie shell, (below is with Pie Crust)

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Bake and done

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Pie #2

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar,(I used pure cane sugar)
1/2 cup butter, melted, cooled
1/3 cup Kentucky Bourbon, again this must be bourbon from Kentucky 🙂
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 3/4 -2 cups walnuts, rough chopped
1 pie crust or puff pastry sheet (directions below)

In a large bowl add flour, salt and sugars, whisk to combine, in small bowl add butter, eggs, bourbon, vanilla, whisk to combine, add egg mixture to flour mixture, whisk to combine.

Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips, pour into pie shell, bake at 350 degrees for 35-37 minutes, it should be golden brown and look set.  

Let cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours before serving.

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Crust directions: 1 puff pastry sheet or 1 pie crust

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Just showed you the puff pastry, pie crust will work
the same way, you just would not trim the edges

Puff pastry on work surface, roll out

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place over pan, then trim edges

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fold under the edges, then flute/crimp your edge

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prick with tines of a fork all over
Puff Pastry on right, Pie crust on left

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Blind bake with pie weights or dried beans
you want your crust light brown, par baked
or that is what I did here

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Roll puff pastry/pie crust out on a floured work surface, roll out enough to have a 1 inch hang over your pie pan.  Spray pie pan, place pastry/crust over pan and gentle push to form to the pan.  Take knife or scissors and trim the corners off leaving 1 inch of the pastry, the pie crust you should not have to cut anything away (unless you made it from scratch, then you may need to trim)

Tuck pastry/crust under about 1/2 inch all the way around, then with your fingers, flute/crimp edges of the pastry/crust.  Take a fork and prick the pastry/crust lightly all over on the bottom and sides.

Now you will blind bake your pastry/crust, take a piece of parchment paper lay over pastry/crust, add on top of the parchment pie weights or dried beans.

Bake at 350 degrees just until crust is light brown in color about 20 minutes, then remove let cool for 15 minutes  then add your pie filling.  Bake as directed above in recipe you will be using.

Okay they both were very good in there own way, the one I made with the pie crust, was recipe #2 with flour.  Crust was great but can you go wrong with Pillsbury 🙂

The filling was nutty, chocolaty, and had that good taste of bourbon, it was lightly firm, seemed to hold together very well, that was due to flour.

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Puff Pastry crust with recipe #1 no flour, was very good as well, it was in my opinion a little more richer and gooey.  And I loved the Puff Pastry crust too…

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It’s really do hard to choose which was better, they both were “DELICIOUS” in their own way 🙂    Hope you will make them!!!  

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Plus I must say that you certainly can taste the Kentucky Bourbon in these pies, which is why I used 1/3 cup, you can defiantly use less or leave it out.  But here in Good Ole Kentucky…we are leaving it in 🙂   Enjoy!!