Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Baked Ziti

For the love of Pasta!

  • 2 cups dried ziti
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 jar basic tomato sauce ( Don't make it! I prefer marinara with basil)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup smoked mozzarella
  • 1 cup sharp provolone
  • 1/2 cup parm
  • 1 egg
  • Cook ziti in salted boiling water until al dente'
  • Heat saute' pan over med heat and add some olive oil; add onion; cook 5 min.
  • Add 1 clove garlic and stir one min
  • Add tomato sauce and simmer 2 min
  • Add cream
  • Add 1/2 cup of ricotta
  • Add 1/2 mozzarella cheese
  • Simmer while preparing the rest
  • In medium mixing bowl add cheeses, egg, and touch of salt
  • In large mixing bowl add drained ziti and tomato mixture; mix
  • In a oiled 9x12 casserole dish fill with half of ziti mixture
  • Add all of cheese mixture
  • Top with remaining ziti mixture

  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parm cheese
  • In small fry pan heat butter and heat until bubbly
  • Add garlic while stirring
  • Add bread crumbs and oil and stir till coated and moist
  • Add grated parm
  • Top ziti
  • 350 degree oven covered with foil 45 min and uncover and continue another 15 min
  • Cool 15 min before serving

Monday, December 29, 2008

Salmon Cakes

I made these the day before Thanksgiving because
I had extra salmon from the night before. I had it over a bed of spinach. There were tons left and because I was hosting Thanksgiving I reheated them in the oven the next day and served them as an appetizer with other finger foods and they were a huge hit.

  • 1/2 lb. Salmon Fillet; flaked
  • lemon
  • salt pepper
  • 4 tbs Butter
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 6 slices wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbs capers
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil mayo
  • 3 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 egg
(Note: I make the salmon for dinner the day before by taking 1 lb and drizzling with olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper under the broiler until flaky about 30 min.)

-Make sure your salmon is cold so it flakes nicely.
-Place 1 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs butter in a saute' pan over med/med-high heat until butter bubbles. You may need to add more oil and/or butter during cooking the veggies.
-Add onion and cook until translucent about 3 min.
-Add peppers and celery and cook till tender about 5 min.
-Add Garlic and stir for 1 min. Set aside and cool.

- Place bread in toaster to toast nicely where its completely dried out
- Place in food processor and stop when you have fresh bread crumbs

-In medium size mixing bowl whisk parsley, capers, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire, mayo, mustard, seasoning, and eggs until combined
-Add flaked Salmon, and 1/2 of bread crumbs, and veggie saute' and mix until combined
-Chill in fridge to set about 30 min.
-Make into patties and coat in the rest of bread crumbs
-Chill before ready to make (can be made 1 day ahead)
- Heat skillet over med-high and add 1tbs olive oil and 1 tbs butter until it bubbles
- Add patties and cook on each side about 3 min place on wire rack in warm oven to keep fresh
- Serve with sauce (recipe below)
( I serve over spinach leaves with crusty bread)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil mayo
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs capers
  • 1 tbs creamy horseradish
  • Splash hot pepper sauce
    • Combine and chill till ready to use

Why Im Blogging!

I can remember spending the summers in North Carolina with my Nana and Papa. My Nana always cooked a huge breakfast with eggs, sausage, toast and would prepare all day for the wonderful southern dinner. My first cooking lessons began in her kitchen.  I loved to flour the meats for frying... as you know you fry everything in the south.

When my family moved to NJ I found a huge passion for Italian. Before I only thought of spaghetti and meatballs and pizza as being Italian. I became best friends with a girl named Christina Barbato.  I loved her Italian family; they all are were wonderful cooks. Her dad owns a catering business! I can still remember eating roasted peppers with crusty Italian bread soaking up the olive oil and balsamic-so simple; yet so delicious.

My biggest cooking tragedy was spending hours and hours of making fresh pasta and filling for ravioli.  When I put them in the pot of water I watched while they separated and fell apart. I was 16 and balled my eyes out because I had worked so hard.

I named my blog Prida Foods because well, Prida is my last name.  But it's Spanish and it means pride.  So, Prida Food's it is as I take much pride in the food I make.
Im now 23 and live an hour away from my family. As I don't cook every night; I do cook meals that I can make into other meals. Now, that I have my own kitchen and can buy my own food I have been creating meals one after another. That is why I have decided to start a blog so I can keep all of my recipes together instead of written on manila paper scattered around the house.
I then started cooking for family dinners. I'll never forget my first meal. I love using garlic. I use it in everything. I guess I added too much because my mom thought she was having a heart attack but turned out to be heart burn.
I started a job as an Nanny for a Jewish and Italian family in NJ at the age of 17. The mother went to culinary school and had the freshest ingredients and I loved going there to eat! We would cook together and she gave me some good pointers that I use today. She also led me to love baking. I became great at sugar cookies. I made them for gifts one Christmas and had people calling me asking if Martha was out of jail.
I then began making things in the kitchen at home when I would cook for my brother. I would make simple things but would never follow directions and would always add different ingredients. Sometimes it was awful but my brother still ate it. One of my greatest memories is when I'd act as if I was on a food show by telling my brother how to make what I was making-then he would clap as my audience then sample the dishes!