muffins WEEKLY SPECIALS 2/23/2015 Courtesy of 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 1 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 egg 1 cup Liberté Classique Lemon 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 1 tablespoon lemon juice Topping: 1/3 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel   PREPERATION:
  1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.
  2. In another bowl, beat the egg, yogurt, butter and lemon juice.
  3. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  4. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 5 minutes; leave muffins in pan. Using a toothpick, poke 6-8 holes in each muffin.
  6. In a saucepan, combine the topping ingredients. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Spoon over warm muffins.




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1 medium eggplant, cut into ¾″ cubes

5 tbsp. olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 small yellow onion, minced

1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. spicy Italian sausage, casing removed

1 can Daily Pantry Whole Peeled Tomatoes, undrained and crushed by hand

16 fresh basil leaves, torn by hand

8 oz. rigatoni

2 oz. Pecorino Romano, grated


Heat oven to 500°. Put eggplant into a bowl and drizzle with 2 tbsp. oil. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. Transfer eggplant to baking sheet and bake, turning occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack; set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chile flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic softens, about 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up into small pieces until browned, 16–18 minutes. Add tomatoes and half the basil, season with salt, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to tomato sauce. Stir in reserved eggplant and toss to combine. Stir in remaining basil and season with salt. To serve, transfer pasta to a platter and garnish with Pecorino.



Shrimp & Crab Cakes w/ Lemon Aioli



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1 lb peeled shrimp, pureed in food processor

1/2 lb fresh crab meat

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 green onions, minced

1/2 small red onion, minced

1 small red bell pepper, minced

3 cups bread crumbs

7 tbsp plus extra for frying, Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or any EVOO)

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp Dijon mustard

3 cloves garlic, chopped

Salt and Black Pepper

Combine shrimp, crab, garlic, onions, and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Season well with salt and black pepper.  Form into small cakes and dredge in breadcrumbs. Heat a large pan with olive oil until hot.  Add the cakes and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per-side.  Serve warm topped with aioli.

To make the aioli, place lemon, mustard, and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth.  With the motor running slowly add the olive oil until smooth and thick. Season with salt and black pepper.



Penne Alla Norma



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1 – 24 oz. jar of Monte Bene™ Tomato Basil pasta sauce

1 lb penne pasta

4 medium Italian eggplants

1 cup- fresh, cubed mozzarella

½ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese

½ cup vegetable oil

8 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp salt


  1. Cut eggplant into 1/8″ lengthwise slices.
  2. With a 10″ deep saute pan on medium heat, saute all eggplants until wilted.
  3. Drain any leftover oil and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Add Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce to the eggplant.
  5. On medium heat, bring to the sauce to a simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Take 1/2 cup of sauce and mix it with the cooked pasta so the pasta does not stick.
  7. Add the mozzarella and continue to simmer on medium heat for an additional 1 minute.
  8. Plate the pasta and top evenly with the sauce, eggplant, and mozzarella.
  9. Sprinkle evenly with Pecorino Romano cheese and basil.


Crunchy Cornmeal Tomatoes w/ Spicy Mayo


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1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon minced chives

1 cup yellow cornmeal plus extra if needed

1 teaspoon salt

4 Backyard Farms Tomatoes on the Vine, stems removed and each tomato cut into ¼ inch thick rounds

1 cup buttermilk

½ cup vegetable oil


Combine the mayonnaise, hot sauce and chives in a small bowl and set aside.  Combine the cornmeal and salt together and spread on a dish or baking sheet.

Coat each tomato slice in the buttermilk then coat both sides in cornmeal. Set the slices aside on a baking sheet. Use more cornmeal and salt if need be.

In a non-stick sauté pan heat the oil until it begins to shimmer. Add the tomato slices a few at a time and brown well on each side. Drain on paper towels. Place the slices on a serving platter and pass the mayo.