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Chef Pete

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"My dish of well seasoned food knowledge, tips & videos with a side of humor

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Nino’s Lent Recipes

February 16, 2018
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In this set of recipes, I’d like to turn you on to 3 different dishes, all of which feature a common theme.

They’re ALL stuffed (as will you) because they’re ALL delicious! Even better, they’re easy to make.

Let’s get started!

Nino’s Seafood Department has some fabulous 8- to 10-ounce boneless trout, which are perfect for stuffing and make a right-sized meal for two. What I like about this recipe is that you don’t have to buy a ton of ingredients.

Gear No 1

Boneless Stuffed Trout with Roasted Vegetables, Spinach and Caramelized Onion

Serves 2

1 – 8 to 10 oz                        Ruby Red or Rainbow Trout

½ Medium-Size                      Sweet Onion, Chopped

2 tsp                                     Fresh Garlic, Chopped

2 TBSP                                 Vegetable Oil

½ Cup                                  Nino’s Seasonal Roasted Vegetables (Chopped Fine)

3 Cups                                 Baby Spinach Leaves (Fresh)

½ Cup                                 Nino’s Spinach Dip

As Needed                           All-Purpose Flour (About ½ Cup)

As Needed                           Vegetable Oil (About ¼ Cup)

 

  1. In a small skillet on medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in 2 TBSP vegetable oil until onions begin to soften and turn a nice caramelized brown. Be careful not to burn.
  2. Add the spinach, turn off heat, stir to wilt spinach in the sauté mixture for 1 minute, and then drain off all excess fat and juices. Allow the mixture to cool.
  3. Season the cooled sauté mixture with salt and pepper, and stir in the spinach dip and chopped, roasted vegetables.
  4. Fill cavity of trout fillet with mixture, flour the entire stuffed trout and pan sear in the vegetable oil on medium-high heat approximately 5 minutes on both sides (or until medium brown).
  5. Test for doneness by flaking the fish flesh to ensure it’s firm and by making sure it has turned an opaque color. Additionally, you can finish the stuffed trout at 375 F for 10 minutes to be certain the filling is indeed heated through.

Easy peasy, my next recipe is a cross between a spaghetti dinner and a pizza. This 2-for-1 recipe might just become one of your NEW family favorites! After Lent, add either meatballs, Italian sausage or pepperoni to make another version.

Stuffed Salvaggio’s Italian Bread with Penne Pasta, Marinara and Aged Provolone Cheese

Serves 4

1 Loaf                            Salvaggio’s Italian Bread (UNSLICED)

3 Cups                           Penne Pasta

1 – 24 oz.                       Salvaggio’s Marinara Sauce

½ Cup                           Fresh Basil Leaves, Chopped

12 ounces                      Shredded Aged Provolone Cheese (Alternately, mozzarella or pizza cheese will do nicely.)

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cook penne pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Rinse and drain well.
  3. Heat marinara in a large saucepan, add cooked penne pasta and stir together.
  4. Cut the top third off the Salvaggio Italian bread, end to end. Save this “lid” for later.
  5. Carefully pull out the center section of the bread, leaving a sturdy cavity wall of about ½” thick. Discard interior bread or use later for bread crumbs, stuffing, etc.
  6. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese around the interior of the carved-out loaf, and pour the penne pasta/marinara mixture in to fill the cavity.
  7. Top the penne mixture with the remaining shredded cheese and place on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top cheese is melted and bubbly.
  9. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped, fresh basil. The lid can be added at an angle to the open top for presentation. This dish is typically cut into 2”-wide slices.
  10. In addition, you can add grated Parmesan cheese or other non-meat items to the penne pasta, such as roasted vegetables, bell peppers or diced tomato.

 

If my stuffed Italian Bread recipe isn’t simple enough for you, my last recipe certainly can’t get any easier because Nino’s is going to do most of the heavy lifting on this one.

 

Not only will this recipe satisfy the seafood lover in your family, but it’s also elegant enough for a formal meal.

 

Crab Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Lobster Bisque

Serves 2 

2                               Medium-Size  Zucchini (1 ½” dia.)

4                               Crab Cakes from Nino’s Seafood Department

1 Pint                        Nino’s Premium Lobster Bisque

¼ Cup                       Parmesan Cheese

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Choose as straight a zucchini as possible to be sure it will lie flat. In any case, it is also helpful if you trim an ever-so-slight flat spot on the underside of each one to ensure they won’t roll.
  3. Wash each zucchini, and then slice off the top ¼ to 1/3 of each zucchini—end to end. Then, using a small spoon, hollow out the center of each, leaving a ¼” thick wall to ensure adequate structure.
  4. Tear apart the crab cakes and fill the empty cavity of each zucchini, mounding any additional to make each slightly overfilled.
  5. Place the stuffed zucchini side by side in an appropriately sized casserole or oven-safe dish.
  6. Heat the lobster bisque, and then pour it over and around the zucchini. Sprinkle the zucchini with the grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Tent the casserole lightly with foil and bake in a 375 F. oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the crab stuffing is heated through and the zucchini is soft and tender.
  8.  Serve 1 stuffed zucchini per person, with sauce.

I hope you will try them and enjoy them.

 

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