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Zuppa Inglese (English Soup) – The Story of an Italian Trifle

Zuppa Inglese, loosely translated as English Soup, is an extremely popular Italian dessert found primarily in the Northern-Central regions of the peninsula – Tuscanny, Emilia-Romagna, the Marche and Umbria. Rich in ingredients, it’s similar to the traditional English trifle, but is nearly always home-made!

Sitting in a rustic restaurant in the hills outside the seaside town of Rimini, enjoying the conversation that flows after a hearty meal, our dinner companion – an Irishman – asked with a puzzled air, ‘but why is it called zuppa inglese?’ There seemed to be a consensus around the table – including the restaurant owner – that the dish had been developed in the immediate post-war period while allied forces were still billeted in the region. The theory goes that the dish was developed following instructions from English soldiers who wanted a little taste of home, and that the results tasted so good that the dish remained long after the troops had gone home.

It’s a nice and colourful anecdote, but sadly without foundation. If we consult Pellegrino Artusi, one of the first and most famous codifiers of Italian cooking traditions, we find a recipe for zuppa inglese in his book La Scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene – a book that was published in 1891, more than half-a-century before British troops with powdered custard rations reached Italian shores. Theories that delve back further include one that credits the recipes origins to France during the hundred years war, when the dish was named as a two-fingered salute to the English. This has little to recommend it as a theory, as there are no particular sources and the dish doesn’t appear as such in French cuisine of the period or through history.

More credible, but still without sources, is the suggestion that the dessert was created by a Florentine serving girl in Fiesole for an English family in the 1500s. One of the strongest claims to its invention lies with the town of Ferrara, which during the 1500s had a hugely rich court ruled over by the Este family, which had strong trading and diplomatic links with the Elizabethan court. One thing seems certain, that the recipe was influenced, through trade or diplomacy, by the British trifle – the first written account of which we get during the 1500s in a cookbook, The Good Huswife’s Jewell written by one Thomas Dawson. Influenced, perhaps, by the idea of the trifle, the dish though remains an intrinsically Italian one – despite its name and the use of ‘pan di spagna’ as an essential ingredient.

Let’s move, though, from the etymological and theoretical to the purely practica. How do you make a decent zuppa inglese? Ingredients:

For the sponge 6 eggs, 150 grms of sugar, some lemon or orange peel, 150grms of white flour, butter

For the cream topping 4 eggs, 4 egg yolks, 8 spoons of sugar, 4 spoons of flour, 1.5 litres of Milk, 200grms of icing sugar, Alkermes liqueur, Rum

To Make the sponge: Separate the egg white from the yolks. Beat the yolks in a mixing bowl, adding the sugar and beating until well mixed and smooth. Whip up the egg whites well, and gently start adding to your mixing bowl, mixing from the bottom of the bowl to the top to avoid ruining the consistency of the egg whites. Next start adding the flour gently, constantly mixing carefully. Get a baking tray with a high border (25cm) and pour in your mix and cook in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for about 40 minutes. Your sponge base (pan di spagna in Italian) should be light and delicate, so make sure that the oven temperature is correct and not too high. Leave to cool.

For the cream: Boil a half a litre of milk with a lemon rindt. In a mixing bowl add your four eggs, and four yolks, and mix together along with your sugar. Mix until the eggs have risen into a creamy froth. Gently start adding your flour, mixing all the while to keep the consistency or you can use an instant pot for this. Add half a litre of cold milk, along with your boiled milk (removing the lemon rind) into the mix, constantly mixing. Add your mix back into the pan where you boiled your milk, and cook gently over a low flame, stirring constantly for about twenty minutes, after which your cream should have a thick consistency. Leave to cool, occasionaly stirring to avoid the forming of a skin on top.

Putting it all together: Cut the crust off the top of your sponge base, and then cut the base into strips (thin, the first time you do it – then afterwards according to your taste). At the same time, mix together your rum and alkermes together in a bowl (into which you’ll dip the sponge fingers). The amount you use is up to you, depending upon the sort of kick you want to give to the dessert! In an appropriately sized dessert bowl, add a thin layer of your cream. Then start soaking the sponge fingers in your alkermes rum brew, and place them in a layer over the cream. Add your next layer of cream, and sponge, and so on until you finish. That’s the basic recipe – variations include topping it all off with meringue, the addition of chocolate, or fruit.It’s a mixed up muddled up dish that lends itself perfectly to innovation. Enjoy!

Wild Game Recipes: Smoked Panfish (Bluegill, Sunfish, Brim)

Most of my wild game recipes have something to do with the grill. I’m big on flames and wood smoke when it comes to cooking. If you haven’t tried smoking some of the fish you’re catching, then you have new culinary territory to explore. How about smoked panfish?

Combine a rod, reel, line, hook and red worms with your favorite fishing spot, and get yourself a mess of fish. Clean the fish as you normally would (remove head, fins and tail), but leave the skin and scales in place. Remove the upper and lower fins right down to the spinal column. Also, be sure to slit the skin on the top and bottom of the fish so the skin and scales on each side of the fish aren’t connected.

What You’ll Need:

  • clean charcoal grill with a top and standard wire grilling surface
  • briquettes
  • wood chips (mesquite or hickory)
  • paper towel
  • cooking oil
  • cleaned, rinsed and patted dry panfish

The Process of Smoking the Fish

While you get your grill up and running (with the grilling surface removed), soak a handful of wood chips in water. After the fire is hot, place the wire grilling surface over the fire to get that hot. Use a little oil on a paper towel to (quickly and carefully) wipe the grilling surface. This makes certain it’s clean and provides better assurance of a stick-free operation.

Drain excess water off of the wood chips and carefully move the grilling surface out of the way so you can spread the chips over the top of the coals. After you’ve spread the wood chips, replace the grilling surface and put a single layer of panfish on for cooking/smoking. Center the fish over the coals, allowing enough room to turn the fish with a flat blade BBQ spatula/turner/flipper.

Cook the fish using a low heat. Allow enough air inside the bottom of the grill to keep the fire going, but close down the top vents to keep the hot smoke in there to do its job. Slow and low is the way to allow the smoke to permeate the meat and make the wood chips last longer. Turn the fish if the skin/scales start to brown up from the heat, otherwise, leave them cook on one side for about 45 minutes before turning them over for another 45 minutes on the other side.

Check periodically to see if the fish are cooked sufficiently. Heat of the coals, length of time on the grill, and distance from the coals will all play a role in determining how long the fish can and should stay on the grill. Don’t be too concerned if some of the skin blackens as the scales and skin help protect the flesh from burning.

If your fire goes out or is too low, but you know you’ve done a good job of smoking the fish, you can finish cooking on a cookie sheet in the oven.

Your Reward

If you’ve done this right, you should have tender and moist fish with the consistency of fried fish but with a nice smoked flavor. The sides of the fish should easily fall away from the main skeletal structure with just a little effort, leaving you to pick out only the rib bones and a few stray bones from the fins that may still be in place. The meat should slide off of the skin and scales quite easily.

Why Does Salmon Taste So Fishy?

The AHA (American Heart Association) recommend eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week. Fatty fish include one of my favorites, salmon. But what do you do if you have been getting salmon and can’t stand the fishy smell and taste?

This time around we will talk about what causes that fishy smell, and at least one thing that you can do about it.

Why do salmon or any other fish smell fishy in the first place?

As an angler that at least from time to time pulls salmon out of the water in the morning and has them for dinner that night, I can tell you that salmon should not have a fishy taste or smell. But, if you leave that nice fresh salmon in the fridge for a few days, it starts to smell ‘fishy’.

The reason for this is a chemical called trimethylamine N-oxide that scientists believe act as an anti-freeze and to protect a fish’s cellular proteins under the pressures they encounter in the deep. The problem starts after a fish dies.

After a fish has ceased to be, trimethylamine N-oxide starts breaking down into Trimethylamine. It is this chemical that causes the characteristic fishy smell you probably have experienced in a fish market before.

Prevention is key to avoiding stinky fish!

Now that you know that the fishy smell comes from a chemical that is too long to pronounce breaking down into one moderately more pronounceable, the key element in avoiding it is obvious.

Buy fresher fish!

Even the freshest fish at the store has had to undergo the process of being caught, processed, frozen, thawed and displayed at your local grocers. Under the best circumstances it has been at above freezing temps for only a few days, but that is still long enough for trimethylamine N-oxide to start breaking down and stinking up your otherwise beautiful fish.

Find the busy fish markets and avoid ones that look questionable. Don’t be shy about asking to smell your salmon or other fish before you buy it. If it smells fishy now, then it won’t be any better by the time you take it home.

Take care of your fish before you cook it!

You know how the meat counter is usually one of the first stops when you wander through a grocery store? How might that affect your fish? I suggest making the stop at the fish counter your last stop before you check out. You may even want to bring along a small cooler with a cold pack in it do keep your fish in on the ride home.

Too psycho for you? Considering that the fishy smell we are trying to avoid is the breakdown of chemicals, the colder we can keep our fish, the slower that process will be and the less fishy smell your salmon will have.

Lastly, try and buy fish the same day you are going to cook it. At most I would buy it the night before and keep it in the bottom of your fridge where it is coldest.

What can you do to eliminate that fishy smell?

If after all this, you can’t avoid some of the dreaded fish smell, one thing you can do is drizzle it down with lemon juice. Lemon juice is acidic and actually converts the volatile chemicals in the amines to a much less volatile salt. The effect of this is to bind up the stinky chemicals into form you don’t smell and taste as much.

I hope this article has been useful to you in realizing that salmon should not be fishy tasting or smelling. Good fresh salmon tastes sweet and quite honestly, like salmon. There is no other way to describe it. So shop more carefully, smell fish before you buy it and store it right to avoid ‘stinky fish syndrome’.

What Types Of Food Do You Use For Sides On Nutrisystem?

I sometimes hear from folks who are a little confused about how to add in the fresh, grocery store side items to their Nutrisystem meals. And there can be some reluctance about even bothering with the sides because no one wants to work hard on the diet only to add in food that counteracts what you are trying to do so that it thwarts your progress. I heard from someone who said “what am I supposed to add in to my Nutrisystem meals? I don’t want to eat the wrong things.” I’ll respond to this in the following article.

The Add Ins Are Broken Down Into 4 Categories. You Can Chose From Any Category Each Day: One of the real goals of Nutrisystem is that you eat a very balanced diet from all of the food groups while eating foods that are glycemic friendly. To that end, the add ins are broken down into 4 categories. as follows: smart carbs; power fuels; vegetables; and extras. Ideally, you will chose from each group each day. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. You receive a grocery add in guide with your order and they will tell you how much of each category you should have. They also give tons of examples with suggested quantities.

For example, foods under the “smart carbs” category are foods like fruits, juices, whole grains, and pastas. In a real world example, you could have one medium banana or a slice of oatmeal bread with your breakfast from your own grocery stash. Or, you could add in a half cup of pasta or beans at lunch. For dinner, you could eat strawberries on the side.

The next category that we’ll look at are the “power fuels” and this is mostly lean protein like cheese, yogurt, nuts, peanut butter, and lean meats. A real life option might be adding in Canadian bacon at breakfast, a yogurt cup at lunch or some additional lean meat at dinner. Peanut butter and nuts also counts in the “power fuel” category. Now, the “vegetable” category is reasonably self explanatory. As you might expect, there are a wide variety of vegetables on this list. In general, you are allowed an entire cup of vegetable which is quite a bit.

The “extra” category are things like condiments (mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, salad dressings, oils) and snacks like popcorn and pumpkin seeds. Don’t confuse these snack foods with the daily snacks that you eat on Nutrisystem. It works like this. On this plan, you eat three main meals (breakfast, dinner, and lunch) plus side items at every meal (choosing from the categories I just talked about.) In addition to these main meals with sides, you get to have two snacks and a dessert. These are included with your Nutrisystem package. So remember that the grocery sides are just that. They are sides to be eaten on the side of your main meals. But you also get snacks between meals to help keep you from getting as hungry.

So to answer the question posed, the choices for side items are extensive but you are given a lot of good information with your order. Basically, you can pick a side from any of those four categories, depending upon what might go nicely with your meal. So you might have some yogurt (power fuels) with your breakfast bagel, some carrots (vegetable) with your chicken salad lunch, and some pasta (smart carbs) with your steak at dinner. And you would still get an 2 additional snacks and a dessert on top of all of this.

What to Serve With Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken tortilla soup is a Mexican dish made with rotisserie chicken, tomato paste and Mexican spices. It is a recipe that you can easily prepare to serve during dinner parties, potlucks or just a simple meal that you are having at home. This can be prepared in many ways, and to avoid all the calories and fats, you can even have your own variety to make at home.

While chicken tortilla soup tastes as delicious as it looks, wouldn’t you prefer it if there are other foods or drinks to go with it instead of eating it plain? Now, you might be asking about what to serve with this delicious soup. Here are some suggestions so that your meal will be more delectable.

Beans and Salads
Beans and salads make perfect companions for chicken tortilla soup. For the beans, you can have a bowl of black or pinto beans or refried beans that are non-fat. You will definitely love both dishes, even if the beans do not have that much ingredients mixed with them. On the other hand, you can choose to have a green salad if you can whip it up. What you make will depend on your choice of vegetables and dressings. You can have a salad made vinaigrette which is made of olive oil, minced garlic, lime juice and cilantro. Should you choose to have garnishes, avocado slices, tomatoes or red onions will be perfect.

Entrees of your Choice
Chicken tortilla soup can make a perfect meal even if it is just the dish that you are going to have. However, it can also be perfect for meals that are Mexican-themed. What you have to keep in mind when choosing the dishes for the main course of the meal will be the richness of the tortilla soup. There are those who make the soup rich, usually made with cheese and sour cream. For this, a lighter entrée is well-suited for the meal such as taco salads and other similar recipes. For light soups which are made with broth, chicken enchiladas and quesadillas will be perfect for the meal.

Drinks and Desserts
There are drinks and desserts that go well with chicken tortilla soup. Beer is one that you might want to consider such as Mexican beers. If you prefer wine, you can also have it such as Sauvignon Blanc or any wine of your choice. You have to choose those that will not compete with the flavor of the soup that you are having. Should a non-alcoholic beverage be your choice, flavored water is suggested as well as pineapple ginger drink. Moreover, desserts that are suited for this dish include pineapple or lime ice or a bowl of fresh fruit.

There is indeed a variety of what you can serve with chicken tortilla soup, from drinks, entrees to desserts. Aside from these suggestions, you can also think about other food to serve with this tasty soup, depending on your preferences. But if you choose to just have the soup, you can always do so.

What To Cook In A Crock Pot: 3 Mouth-Watering Slow Cooked Dessert Recipes

Using a slow cooker is a versatile way of preparing a variety of dishes from appetizer to dessert. Depending on how much time you have to prepare a meal, there are quick recipes as well as several hours worth of cooking time using a crock pot. This time, why not try making sweet and mouth-watering dessert dishes that you and your family can all enjoy? Try these slow cooker dessert recipes now!

Slow Cooked Black Forest Cake

What you need:

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
  • 1/2 cup butter

In a saucepan, melt the butter then heat the reserved pineapple juice. Set aside. Place the crushed pineapple in a slow cooker then top with the cherry pie filling. Add chocolate cake mix to the pot then pour pineapple juice mixture all over it. Cover and cook for 3 hours on low. Spoon the cake into serving bowls and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Crock Pot Warm Apple Tapioca Pudding

What you need:

  • 4 cups sliced ​​apples
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons small pearl tapioca
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, mix together apples, brown sugar, pearl tapioca, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to coat apple with mixture. Transfer to a slow cooker then pour lemon juice and boiling water over the mixture. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high or until apples are tender and mixture has thickened. When ready, stir in raisins before serving. Serve warm.

Slow Cooker Sweet Banana Delight

What you need:

  • 4 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix together brown sugar, rum, butter, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir to combine ingredients well. Place banana slices in a crock pot. Pour brown sugar mixture all over bananas. Cover and cook for 2 hours on low. Add coconut and walnuts to the pot 30 minutes before cooking time is up. Best served warm over vanilla ice cream.

If you're wondering what to cook in a crock pot, try these mouth-watering slow cooker dessert recipes!

Weight Loss – Best Diet to Lose Weight

Fruits are nature’s colorful creation. Their varied shapes, sizes, aromas, textures, and flavors add to the attractiveness and appeal of food.

Like fruits, vegetables also provide color and variety to meals. You don’t need to go to the vitamin shop or vitamin store when you’ve got veggies. They contain significant sources of essential nutrients, vitamins (particularly A and C), minerals (particularly calcium and iron), fiber, and phytochemicals necessary for preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health. Not only that, eating veggies is the best diet to lose weight.

Fruits and vegetables are not only cancer fighters; they also provide healthful benefits against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, obesity, diverticulosis, micronutrient deficiencies, cataracts, and birth defects.

Many people, however, regard fruits as accessory food items which one can never live without. Vegetables, on the other hand, are considered as dishes and not a major focus of meals.

Take advantage of the healthy benefits of fruits and vegetables.

  • Snack on fresh fruits or crispy vegetable strips should you get hungry between meals. Going green is the best diet to lose weight.
  • Enrich your breakfast cereals with sliced fruits.
  • Pick a vegetable or fruit you have never tasted before, like kiwi fruit, kale, or asparagus when shopping for groceries.
  • Serve fresh fruits for dessert, sliced and arranged creatively.
  • Add thinly sliced vegetables to noodles (e.g. sotanghon, miki, or misua) to increase its nutritional content.
  • Drink fresh fruit juices instead of soda, coffee, or tea to quench your thirst.
  • Choose food establishments that offer fruit-vegetable salad bars when eating out.
  • Buy fruits and vegetables in season. They are cheap and at their flavor and nutritional peaks.
  • Enhance your cooking skills by trying new fruit and vegetable recipes.
  • Garnish your food presentations with creatively sliced fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetable garnishing adds nutrients, color, and eye appeal.
  • Display fruits and vegetables where they can be seen often. You will more likely eat them if they are reachable.
  • Be innovative. Try raw vegetable salads. Simply slice the vegetables thinly. Add salt and calamansi. Toss with chopped tomatoes and onions.

Here are some recipes that you might want to try:

Pechay Salad

Ingredients

1 small bundle fresh pechay leaves, sliced thinly

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons calamansi juice

Salt to taste

Procedure

Toss all ingredients gently. Serve immediately.

Variation

Pechay may be substituted with other vegetables like Ampalaya or Radish.

Buttered Vegetables

Ingredients

1 large carrot, diced

1/4 kilo Baguio beans, 1 inch cut

1 large Singkamas, diced

1 can whole kernel corn

1/3 bar butter

Salt to taste

Procedure

Blanch carrot, Baguio beans, and Singkamas. Drain. Combine corn with blanched vegetables. Mix butter while vegetables are still hot. Add salt to taste.

Green Bean Omelette

Ingredients

1/2 kilo Green beans, 1 centimeter cut

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon Olive oil

Salt to taste

Procedure

Saute garlic and onion in a pan. Add the beans. When beans are cooked, add the beaten egg. Serve.

Use Your Toaster Oven To Make Perfectly Roasted Chicken Quarters

Most people turn to one cut of meat when preparing chicken: the breast. And that breast is typically bought both boneless and skinless. This is the most expensive type of chicken you can buy, no surprise given the high demand. It is also the least flavorful cut available. Many people turn to the boneless skinless breast because of an irrational fear of fat, a mind-set many entered into during the low fat craze of the 1990s. Others choose this cut for the ease of which it can be prepared. I’m here to show you that bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters can also be easily prepared and much more delicious than the breast meat. It does take a little longer, but the time involved is not active cooking time. Your toaster oven does all the work for you.

First, I would like to address the issue of fat. There is much evidence now that fat is good for you, especially if it comes from properly raised organic animals. No one will argue that fat from a poorly raised animal loaded with antibiotics is good for you. Yet organic meat is different; it has more omega 3 fatty acids than it’s inhumanely raised counterparts. It also lacks the build up of pesticides and antibiotics. So choose your meat wisely if you want the healthiest option.

Now let’s talk about ease of preparation. Bone-in, skin-on cuts of meat can be easily prepared. The toaster oven creates an ideal cooking environment for such cuts. The close proximity to the cooking elements beautifully crisps the skin without drying out the meat. Here is what you need for simply roasted chicken quarters:

2 organic bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters (this cut includes both the thigh and the leg, still attached to each other)

2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat your toaster oven to 475 degrees F. Rub each chicken piece with one teaspoon of olive oil; this will help crisp the skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the chicken on a baking sheet and into the toaster oven. Wait 5 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the toaster oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

That’s all you need for delicious roasted chicken. You could, of course, flavor the chicken in a variety of ways before roasting. My favorite is to use fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme paired with lots of fresh garlic. Take 4 medium cloves and mince them. Finely chop one tablespoon of thyme and two teaspoons of rosemary. Mix the garlic and herbs into the olive oil before rubbing it on the chicken. Bake following the above instructions.

You’ll find thousands of toaster oven reviews and a handy buying guide to help you along the way.

Unusual Chili Recipes – 4 Wacky But Wonderful Chili Meals

Got a hankering for chili, but tired of the same old bean chili you’ve had countless times? Good. It’s time to shake things up a little and try something different to get your taste buds excited. Here are four unique recipes for chili that will give your chili cravings some much needed variety.

=> Pumpkin Chili Mexicana

The sweet, earthy taste of pumpkin takes this dish to a whole other level of savory goodness.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1/2 cup onion, chopped, 1 cup of red or green pepper, chopped, 1 clove garlic, finely chopped, 1 pound of ground turkey, 2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained, 1-3/4 cups pumpkin puree, 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce, 1 (15-1/4 oz.) can kidney beans, drained, 1 (4 oz.) can green chilies, diced, 1/2 cup whole kernel corn, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add in the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.

Add in the turkey meat and cook until browned; drain.

Add in the tomatoes with juice, pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, beans, chilies, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

=> Memphis Barbecue Shrimp Chili

Here’s a very unique chili recipe that comes straight out of the Memphis barbecue tradition. The consistency will be very soup like and is meant to be served over rice or French bread.

1-1/2 pounds medium shrimp, 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped, 1-1/2 cups of barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, 1-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 lemon, sliced very thin, white rice and or French bread.

Peel and thoroughly clean the shrimp.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter and oil. Cook the garlic until it’s nice and soft.

Add in the shrimp and cook until pink.

Add in the barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, liquid smoke, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and chili powder.

Simmer all for 10 minutes. Add in the parsley and lemon slices. Continue to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.

Serve chili over white rice and/or French bread.

=> Italiano Chili Con Carne

Italian meets Southwestern in this easy-to-make chili dish.

1 green pepper, 6 to 8 large onions, 1 pound ground beef, 1 medium can of tomatoes, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 can of spaghetti sauce.

In a skillet, cook the ground beef until brown; drain.

Dice up the green peppers and onions and add to a saucepan. Add in the cooked beef and the tomatoes. Let simmer until all ingredients are well done. Add in the beans and spaghetti sauce; heat thoroughly.

Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.

=> Picante Cincinnati Chili

This Cincinnati version is known as the sweet chili and is served over spaghetti noodles. The picante sauce adds a nice twist to this popular dish.

2 pounds of ground beef or pork, 2 large onions, chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, minced, 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce, 1 can picante sauce, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 to1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 2 bay leaves, 1 pound thin spaghetti, cooked.

Topping: Shredded cheddar cheese, 1 chopped onion, kidney beans, heated, Oyster crackers.

In a large Dutch oven or pot, brown the beef or pork along with the onion and garlic. Add in the remaining ingredients, except for the spaghetti and the toppings. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour; stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaves. Serve the chili nice and hot over the cooked spaghetti. Use toppings as desired.