Meats, Seafood & Casseroles

Pancit Biho
Submitted By Marilu McQuilkin, S&A Cherokee, Cary

“My all-time favorite traditional Filipino dish, and my mom’s specialty. As a cook who throws in ‘a pinch of this and splash of that,’ it wasn’t easy to get her to write it down!”

Slice finely:
3 links Chinese sausage
1 medium onion
2 cups carrots
2 cups celery
2 cups cabbage
2 cups pork
2 cups chicken
Other ingredients:
1 package rice noodles, very skinny kind, 4-layer WAI WAI brand if available. If not, use 2 packages of another brand.
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 chicken bouillon cubes
salt and pepper, to taste
green onions, chopped, for garnish
hard-cooked eggs, sliced, for garnish

Soak rice noodles in warm water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Boil the pork and chicken in 3 cups salted water. When cooked, remove the meat. Add bouillon cubes and soy sauce to the broth and keep warm.

Heat skillet with oil, add Chinese sausage and cook until transparent. It should smell good! Set aside.

In same skillet, sauté minced garlic and onion until transparent. Add vegetables, reserved chicken and pork, 1 cup of the broth and noodles. Blend and stir until thoroughly mixed, adding more broth as necessary. You’ll probably use all the broth. Don’t let it dry out, or it will stick.

Add the Chinese sausage. Continue turning till noodles are cooked. Add ground black pepper and salt to taste. When done, cover and remove from heat.

When serving, garnish with chopped green onions and sliced hard-cooked eggs.

Easy Beef Brisket
Submitted By Susan Reinhard, Raleigh  

5- to 6-pound beef brisket
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
4 to 5 sweet yellow onions, cut in rings
4 to 5 whole carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
4 bay leaves
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
4 tablespoons oil, divided for sautéing
 1/2 cup flour for coating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together flour, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Coat the brisket with the flour mixture. In a very large skillet, sauté the brisket in 2 tablespoons oil, browning on both sides.
In a large Dutch oven, sauté the onion rings in 2 tablespoons oil until just softened. Add carrots, and cook another 2 minutes. Place the brisket on top of the vegetables.

Use the tomato paste to “frost” the brisket, as you would a cake. Cover completely with the tomato paste. Sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper over the brisket and veggies. Add bay leaves and put into oven.

Bake for 3 ½ hours, or until meat is tender.

Remove from oven and when cooled, place the meat on a cutting board. Slice the meat across the grain and arrange on a large platter. Remove the bay leaves.  

Using a slotted spoon, place the veggies alongside the meat on the platter. You can pour the sauce over all, or put in a gravy boat for serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Spinach
Submitted By Elizabeth Wooten, Wake Forest

“Serve with baked apples this time of year, or with sweet or baked potatoes. I love it for a gathering of family or friends. It is very tasty!”

3 to 4 pounds pork tenderloin
8 ounces goat cheese
16 ounces fresh spinach
salt and pepper to taste
bacon slices, about 10

Cut the tenderloin almost in half lengthwise, leaving the loin still intact. Use a meat pounder and flatten the meat thin. Once the meat is flattened somewhat, slice the goat cheese and put on one side of the meat in a 9×11-inch baking dish. Place the spinach on top of the goat cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Close and wrap the bacon around the tenderloin. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes. Serves 4 to 6. 


ABC (Artichoke, Bacon, Chicken)
Submitted By Amy Sherman, Cary

“This dish makes it seem like you slaved in the kitchen! It seems sophisticated but it is simple, and my kids even like it. I had to learn to use anchovies in dishes because they are ridiculously unappealing to deal with, but they add a certain something to the sauces. This dish goes well with a simply done veggie like steamed brussel sprouts, broccoli or green beans, and leftovers do well over salads the next day.”

3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup olive oil
6 preserved anchovy fillets
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup leftover bacon, crumbled (I use proscuitto, sliced)
2 14-ounce cans of artichoke hearts, quartered
2 pounds chicken breasts, pounded flat and then cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
parsley, chopped, for garnish

Prepare the garlic, chicken, artichokes, lemon zest and prosciutto, because this recipe moves quickly. Set oven to broil.

Melt butter and olive oil in medium pan on low heat. Place in anchovy fillets and mush them with the back of a wooden spoon as the butter melts. Stir in garlic and lemon zest. Stir in proscuitto. Cook until browned but not burned.

Place chicken and artichokes in a large baking dish with raised sides. Pour mixture in pan over chicken and artichokes. Mix and place in oven. Stir occasionally to avoid burning; cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serves 4 to 6.

Seared Diver Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto with Spiced Butter
By Ken McNamee, Chef Ken’s Catering, Cary  

For the scallops:
12 large fresh diver scallops
2 tablespoons clarified butter
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper
For the Spiced Butter Sauce:
8 tablespoons butter, or 1 stick
4 tablespoons roasted garlic puree
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and set aside at room temperature.

For the squash:  
3 tablespoons butter
1 extra-large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons brown sugar

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Season the squash with salt and pepper, add to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely brown, about 6 minutes.

Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the brown sugar and cook until the squash is caramelized, but still holding its shape, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

For the risotto:
About 2 quarts chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slabs of smoked bacon, cut into ½-inch dice
1 cup minced shallots or onions
1 pound arborio rice
1 teaspoon fresh sage
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons plus another 1 tablespoon, reserved, of fresh flat leaf parsley

In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and keep hot on a low flame.

In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in rice and sage. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the rice is coated, turns a milky opaque white and begins to stick to the bottom of pan, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Add the wine and boil until completely reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle about 1 cup of the simmering stock into the rice. Cook, stirring often, until the stock is almost completely absorbed by the rice.

Continue cooking and stirring, adding another cup of stock only when the previous addition has been absorbed. After 15 minutes, begin tasting the rice.

Add remaining stock. The rice should be firm yet cooked through in 18 to 20 minutes cooking time. Stir in spiced butter and parsley, season with salt and pepper, then gently fold in squash cubes, being careful not to mash them.

Keep risotto in a warm place while cooking the scallops.

Finally, to finish the dish, heat a large sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the clarified butter. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, then gently add scallops to pan.

Cook for about 2 minutes, depending on size of the scallops; the goal is a brown caramelized color to the scallops. Turn over and cook for another 2 minutes, getting the same color on the opposite side. Once cooked, turn off heat.

Plate risotto, and flatten out a bit in order to rest scallops on top. Sprinkle reserved parsley over the dish and serve. Serves 4 main course or 6 for appetizer. Parts of recipe adopted from Alfred Portale’s Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook.

Crab-Stuffed Tilapia
Submitted By Kristy Pickurel, Cary
“Elegant, yet simple!” 

1 1/2 cups white wine 

1 tablespoon green onion, minced 

Parsley, to taste

4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces 

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated 

1 tablespoon sour cream 

White pepper, to taste

1 cup crab meat 

4 tilapia filets 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the white wine, green onion and parsley in a saucepan. Heat until liquid reduces to about 3 tablespoons. Stir in butter pieces one at a time, until melted. Stir in cheese, sour cream and pepper until all ingredients are melted. Add crab meat and keep saucepan on low heat. Lightly spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Bake two of the tilapia filets for 3 minutes. Remove from oven, and top the filets with the crab meat mixture. Place the two remaining filets on top of the crab mixture. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes until fish are thoroughly cooked. Serves 4.

Pan Roasted Chicken Roulade with Ham, Gruyere & Sweet Red Pepper Stuffing
By Ken McNamee, Chef Ken’s Catering, Cary

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 tablespoons bread crumbs

6 thin slices good quality ham

6 thin slices Gruyere cheese

1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, deseeded and cut into strips

1 large minced garlic clove

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little extra to coat the pan

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

1 to 2 teaspoons tomato paste

¾ cup white wine

¾ cup chicken stock

To prepare chicken roulade:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, minced garlic, olive oil and herb.

Lay the chicken on top of plastic wrap, on a cutting board. Cover with another sheet of plastic. Using a mallet, pound the chicken breast lightly to about a ¼-inch thickness.

Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sprinkle about one teaspoon of the bread crumb mixture onto the chicken breast.

Lay a slice of the ham on top the chicken breast, followed by a slice of the cheese and finally a strip or two of the roasted red pepper. Picking up the closer end of the sheet of plastic, roll the chicken up to make the roulade.

Once the roulade is rolled, use kitchen twine and tie a simple knot about every 2 inches.

In an ovenproof pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Sear the chicken until nicely brown on all sides, then place in oven for about 15 minutes, until internal temperature of chicken is 155 degrees F.

When chicken is done, place on a tray or plate and rest it, covered with foil, for about 10 minutes.

To prepare the sauce:

Add tomato paste to the pan chicken cooked in; after about 1 minute, add wine. Scrape all chicken seasoning from bottom of pan. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain the sauce into a holding container until needed.

To finish the dish:

Place chicken roulade on cutting board. Cut off string; slice a bit off ends of roulade to get a flat surface. Sauce the plate. Arrange sliced roulade onto sauce and serve. Garnish with green or other colorful cooked vegetables. Serves 6.

Chicken Lasagna Florentine
Submitted By Kristy Pickurel, Cary
“A crowd favorite, especially for those who like spinach artichoke dip. We usually have to double the recipe because my husband and I alone almost ate the entire thing once! We make this all the time when we need to take a meal to someone, and always receive rave reviews.”

2 cups chicken breast, cooked and chopped

10 3/4 ounces cream of mushroom soup 

10 ounces spinach, chopped 

2 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped  

1/4 teaspoon white pepper 

1 cup sour cream 

6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained

1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Stir together chicken and next 6 ingredients. Arrange 3 noodles in a lightly greased 11 x 7- inch baking dish; top with half of chicken mixture. Repeat layers with remaining noodles and chicken mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes; uncover and bake 15 minutes or until bubbly. Let lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 10.

Aunt Tek's Casserole
Submitted By Kristy Pickurel, Cary
“Named after my husband’s aunt. They had a very large extended family and not a lot of money, so when the entire family came over Aunt Tek would throw everything she had into a casserole; this is our favorite version of it.” 

1 pound ground beef, 95 percent lean

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1-2 teaspoons minced garlic, to taste 

1 onion 

1 green pepper 

2 8-ounce cans diced tomatoes  

12 ounces macaroni, cooked 

8 ounces sour cream 

1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend; I use Emeril's Essence 

1 cup shredded cheese 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brown and drain ground beef. Heat oil in a pan. Add and sauté the garlic, onion and pepper. Mix in tomatoes and macaroni. Away from heat, add sour cream, seasoning blend and ½ cup cheese. Put in casserole dish and cover with remaining cheese. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 8.

Braised Pork Hocks
Submitted By Chef Jeffrey Bane, The Chef’s Academy, Morrisville

6 un-smoked, raw pork hocks

Before cooking the pork hock, rub it with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Get seasoning under the skin as best you can. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Oil for browning the hocks
1/2 cup flour
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut in large chunks
5 juniper berries
1 3/4 cups white wine
1 cup tomato puree, not paste
2 cups beef or chicken stock, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large ovenproof pan, heat for about 1 minute. Coat the shanks with flour, shaking off the excess. Increase heat to medium-high and brown the shank on all sides. Transfer the shanks to a plate and set aside.

Pour out the excess fat from the pan and add the carrot, celery and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, and then return the shanks to the pan. Mix well. Add the juniper berries, and add more salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the wine, tomato puree and 1 cup stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven.

Braise for 2 ½ hours, turning the shanks every 45 minutes, so that they cook evenly. Add the remaining 1 cup stock as needed for liquid to ensure the dish stays moist.

When finished, the meat can be removed from the bones, and the braising liquid strained and mixed together for service. Serves 10.

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