From Peter’s Kitchen

In response to several requests, I will be posting all my recipes here in one place. Enjoy!

From Peter’s Kitchen

@ 2013 Peter A. Franzi

Beet and Blood Orange Salad

Note: I recommend using all fresh ingredient for the salad and vinaigrette. Canned beets and oranges can be substituted for the salad and frozen orange juice for the vinaigrette with less than stunning results.

Serves 8-12

8 Medium Beets (I suggest Golden or Chioggia or any of the white or striped varieties.. the common red beet will bleed significantly and may overpower the oranges.)

5 Medium Blood Oranges (any orange can substitute for a different flavor combination).

1 Medium Red onion

1/3 cup White Balsamic Vinegar (Any white wine vinegar may be substituted. I don’t recommend red wine or cider vinegar, but it’s your call).

Zest from one orange

Juice from one orange

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, crushed

¼ tsp Kosher Salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1 ½ cup olive oil.

Cook beets completely covered in boiling water for 40 minutes for al dente, 60 minutes to completely cook. Check at 30 minutes with fork to gauge. Allow to cool. Peel and cut into 1/8 ‘s. Remove peel from 4 oranges and divide into segments. Peel and slice onion into very thin slices. Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, zest from one orange (grate before cutting for juice), juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil gradually, whisking until vinaigrette is emulsified (Adjust amount of oil used to your own taste.) Pour over beet/orange/onion mixture. Toss.  Refrigerate at least two hours, preferably overnight. Adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.  Enjoy.


Corn Chowder with Chicken and Ham

4 lbs (64 oz) cut corn, fresh or frozen

1 quart milk

2 tablespoons olive or any cooking oil

2 medium yellow onions, finely diced

3 stalks celery, finely diced

2 cloves garlic. minced

2 green or red bell peppers. finely diced (optional)

1/2 pound chopped ham

1/2 pound shredded cooked chicken breast

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

SautÈ onions, celery and (optional) peppers in stock pot or large dutch oven over medium heat. Do not brown the mixture. When onions are soft, add garlic. Reduce heat to low. Cover and continue cooking while preparing corn. Stir occasionally.

In a blender or food processor, puree 3 lbs corn with milk, 1 lb at a time with 1 cup milk. (If using frozen corn, defrost before pureeing.) When mixture is smooth, transfer to pot. Add remaining 1 lb corn kernels and milk. Stir thoroughly. Bring mixture to slow simmer. Add ham and chicken and seasoning. Combine ingredients well. Cook until thoroughly heated and serve.

8-12 servings

NOTE: Do not bring soup to the boil or overcook as the corn will become tough. The soup may be frozen immediately after the ingredients are combined. I find that 1-quart freezer bags work well, making sure enough space is left in the bag to allow for expansion. Defrost before reheating.


Stuffed Bell Peppers

12 Bell Peppers

3 lbs ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, sausage or combination of any)

2 tablespoons olive oil (or any cooking oil)

2 lrg onions coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic crushed

4 stalks celery diced

2 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 cup dried parsley flakes

4 eggs, slightly beaten

2 cups bread or cracker crumbs

1 cup grated cheese (parmesan, Romano, asiago or combination of any)

salt and pepper to taste

Cut tops from peppers, 1/2 inch from stem,. Clean thoroughly. Parboil or steam 8 prepared peppers for 2 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Dice remaining 4 peppers and set aside.

Brown ground meat, drain and set aside.

Remove drippings from pot. Add oil. SautÈ onions, diced peppers and celery over medium heat. When onions are slightly browned, add garlic. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Stir in herbs until combined. Add in browned meat, mixing thoroughly, and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Stir in bread or cracker crumbs. Remove from heat. Mix in eggs, taking care not to scramble them in the process. Add cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture cool.

Preheat oven to 350ƒ.

Stuff the prepared peppers. Top each with a sprinkling of bread crumbs or your favorite pasta sauce.

Bake in covered baking dish for 45 minutes. Remove cover. Continue cooking 15 minutes longer.

Serves eight.

NOTE: Stuffed peppers may be frozen before baking. I find a one-gallon freezer bag will hold 4 peppers. Make sure the peppers are completely defrosted before baking.


Tortellini Salad

2 lb frozen or fresh tortellini

3 green onions chopped

1/2 lb fresh mushrooms sliced

1 can large black olives

Chiffonade* of fresh basil leaves (10)

16 oz Italian salad dressing (bottled – I recommend Bernstein’s – or homemade)

1/4 cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese

Cook tortellini al dente (follow package directions). Rinse thoroughly with cold water. Drain completely. Combine tortellini with remaining ingredients. Toss well. Refrigerate overnight. Toss again before serving. If mixture is too dry, add more dressing, 1/2 cup at a time.

* Stack basil leaves and roll lengthwise, creating a straw. Slice along the width, making fine strips.

Stuffed Pasta Shells Florentine a la Pietro

Preheat oven to 350ƒ

15-20 Large pasta shells (you may also use manicotti)

1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, Italian sausage or combination)

1 large onion (red or yellow), finely chopped

3 cloves garlic minced

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 lb frozen spinach, thawed and chopped

10 leaves fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1/4 cup fresh parsley (or 3 tbsp dried)

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1 egg

1 1/4 cup grated parmesan, Romano, or asiago cheese

1 cup seasoned dried bread crumbs

4 cups (approx) tomato pasta sauce


Cook shells al dente according to package directions. Rinse with cold water. Allow to cool.


Brown ground meat. Make sure meat is broken into very small bits. Remove from pot and drain well. Remove drippings from pot. SautÈ onions and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add basil, parsley and dried herbs. Cook on low heat for 3 minutes. Add meat and spinach. Stir in nutmeg. Mix ingredients thoroughly . Continue cooking until most the moisture from the spinach has evaporated. Remove pot from heat and add beaten egg. Mix thoroughly, taking care that egg does not scramble. Add the bread crumbs and one cup of the grated cheese. Mix thoroughly. Mixture should be consistency of thick paste. If mixture is too dry, add another egg – if too moist, add more bread crumbs, 1/4 cup at a time. Cool to room temperature.


Coat bottom of baking dish with sauce. (Baking dish should be at least 1 1/2″ deep.) Fill each shell with approximately 3 tsp of filling. Arrange stuffed shells with open side down on sauce coated baking dish. Make sure to leave at least 1/2 inch space between shells. Completely cover each shell with sauce, then remaining cheese. Bake in 350ƒ oven for 25 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Oven Fried Pecan Chicken

1/2 cup biscuit mix

1/2 cup ground pecans

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 tbsp. butter or margarine

1 (2-3 lb, or however much you want) chicken pieces

Combine first 5 ingredients, mixing well; set aside. Melt butter in a baking dish. Dredge chicken in pecan mixture, and

place in the prepared dish. Bake uncovered at 350ƒ for 30 mins. Turn chicken over and bake n additional 30 mins. or until done. Voila!!

White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries and Pecans


2 1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups (12 oz) white chocolate chips

1 1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats

1 cup dried cherries (or raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots or dried fruit of your choice)

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375ƒ

In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Stir in chips, oats, fruit and nuts. Drop by well-rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8-10 minutes: cool on wire rack.

Makes 5-6 dozen cookies

Molasses Cookies

3 cups flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, at room temperature

1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together dry ingredients; set aside.

Beat butter and both sugars until fluffy. Add egg, molasses, and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until completely incorporated.

Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough between pieces of waxed paper (or on a lightly floured surface) until 1/4-inch thick. Cut out cookies; place on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until almost firm.

Banana Date Bread

2-1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

2 eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature

1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

1 cup pitted dates, snipped

1 cup ripe bananas (about three), mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large (9-inch by 5-inch) loaf pan.

Sift together first six ingredients. Stir in sugar and nuts. In separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Add to dry ingredients; mix until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Pour into prepared pan; bake one hour. Let cool in pan five minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are very adaptable. If you prefer chewy cookies, roll them thick; if you like your cookies crispy, roll them thin. Cut them into shapes appropriate to the season, and sprinkle with colored sugar before baking for a festive touch. Note: You can easily mix the dough in a mixer, rather than using a food processor. Makes about 30 cookies.

1 cup flour

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

pinch salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly grease baking sheets.

Place flour, cinnamon, and salt in work bowl of food processor; pulse five or six times until blended. Remove to a small bowl. Process butter and brown sugar about 30 seconds, scraping down sides once or twice, until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and process about 10 seconds to blend. Add flour mixture and pulse six to eight times, just until blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour or overnight. (Dough may also be frozen up to a month.)

Roll out dough, half at a time, to 1/8-inch thick. Cut with cookie cutter and place cookies two inches apart on baking sheets. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake seven to eight minutes until firm and just beginning to darken at edges. Cool on wire racks.

Apricot Bread

1 cup dried apricots, cut in pieces

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1 egg, at room temperature

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup orange juice, at room temperature

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

Soak apricots in water for 30 minutes; drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan.

Cream sugar and butter. Add egg; mix well. Add water and orange juice; mix well, scraping bowl often. Sift together dry ingredients; add to sugar mixture and beat well.

Pour into loaf pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Cran-Apple Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple juice

2 egg whites, at room temperature

1 cup finely chopped apple

1/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

1/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin tins with cooking spray, or line with paper liners.

Sift together dry ingredients. Add juice, egg whites, and apple; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in cranberries and raisins just until combined.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 14 to 16 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool five minutes before removing from pans.


Chocolate Pecan Pie

4 eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 cup white corn syrup

1 tablespoon flour

1/3 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans

1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs. Add sugar, vanilla, bourbon, corn syrup, flour, and butter; mix well. Stir in chips and nuts. Pour into pie shell; bake 40 minutes.

Lemon Curd

This is a heavenly lemon spread. It’s delicious on English muffins, toast, or pancakes. Or blend it with an equal amount of whipped cream and serve as an elegant dessert. Makes about 1-3/4 cups.

3/4 c sugar

grated rind and juice (1/3 c) of 2 lemons

1/2 c butter

3 eggs, beaten

Put all ingredients in the top of a double boiler, over hot water. Stir until mixture is well blended and begins to thicken. This takes only a few minutes; it will continue to thicken as it cools.

Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal, or into scrupulously cleaned jars for refrigeration or freezing.

Chocolate Meringues

6 Large egg Whites

1 1/4 cups superfine sugar*

2 cups ( 12oz bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 175 degrees. Line several sheets with parchment paper or wax paper, and set aside.

2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of superfine sugar over the beaten egg whites, and continue to whisk on a low speed.

3. Increase speed of mixer, and mix constantly, continue to add superfine sugar ONE TABLESPOON AT A TIME, until all the sugar has been incorporated and the mixture is firm enough to hold stiff peaks. It is important that all sugar be dissolved after each spoonful! Fold in the chocolate chips.

4. Pipe or spoon small amounts of mixture onto your prepared baking sheets, spacing mounds about 1 inch apart. Bake meringues until completely dry to the touch, about 3 hours.

5. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a airtight container up to 3 days.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen depending on the size of spoonfuls you use.

Serving Suggestion:

You can dust meringues with confectioners sugar, or coco powder for color presentation.

I like to leave them just as they are.

* Sugar must be pure cane superfine instant dissolving sugar. Domino’s makes the one I use, it is sold in a 1lb box. If the wrong sugar is used the cookies will not dry out, and be more like marshmallows, and will stick to the paper, and not come out.



1/2 cup water

2 1/2 cups of sugar

1 lb. of butter (not margarine—very important)

1/4 cup of white corn syrup (Karo)

1 bag of mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

(Have the cookie sheet, chocolate bits and nuts ready before you start cooking)

Boil all ingredients to 285ƒ, stirring constantly. Pour onto well greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with chocolate chips. When they begin to melt, brush with pastry brush, very gently. Sprinkle with finely chopped pecans. Let cool, then break into pieces.


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