Fall vegetables are starting to appear in the markets – lots of different types of squash, beets, cauliflower and cabbage are typical at this time. Hot Dogs or Franks say fall and hot dogs can fit into a healthy diet, if you read the label to make sure you are getting the right type. Check for high sodium and sugar levels in the nutrient list. Ideally, one hot dog should have less than 100 calories, no more than 6 grams of fat (and no more than one-third of that as saturated fat), and no more than 300-400 grams of sodium.
I like to purchase Applegate Farms Uncured Organic Beef Hot Dogs. They contain beef, spices and that’s about it. These hot dogs are free of nitrates and have only 70 calories, 6 grams of fat and 330 mg of sodium. Yes, they taste good and yes, they taste like a hot dog. So when the hot dog craving happens choose wisely. I like to skip the bun and prefer the way they taste cooked in sauerkraut.
Cauliflower fritters are a great way to use up any leftover cauliflower. This recipe makes a delicious side dish.
Franks and Sauerkraut Saute
Serve with your favorite pumpernickel or rye bread.
4 uncured (nitrate free), natural/organic all beef hot dogs
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped red or white onion
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
Heat a deep skillet with a cover over medium heat.
Melt the butter, add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and paprika, cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the sauerkraut and caraway, simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
Add the hot dogs and bring to a low boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes more.
2 cups cooked cauliflower florets
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup green onions or shallots, minced
3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour or almond flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Sour cream for serving
In a shallow mixing bowl mash or finely chop the cooked cauliflower. Squeeze out any moisture. Add egg, flour, cheese and spices.
Place a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Place four 1/4 cup fritter mixture in the pan and cook 3 minutes per side.
Don’t turn the fritters until the bottoms are well cooked. Drain on paper towels.
Repeat with the remaining fritters and add more oil if needed. Serve with a little sour cream on top of each fritter.
Old Fashioned Baked Beans
I make a big pot of these beans and freeze them in 1 to 2 cup containers, so they are handy for a quick meal. Of course, you can use canned beans but homemade tastes so much better.
1 pound navy beans
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 pieces thick bacon
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup honey
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup Dijon country mustard
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Rinse beans in a colander under water to remove any stones or impurities.
Place the rinsed beans in a large pot or bowl and fill with water to completely cover the beans.
Set aside, loosely covered, on the kitchen counter, overnight.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Cook the bacon in an ovenproof Dutch Oven. When crisp, remove to a paper towel to cool and, then, cut into small pieces.
Drain the beans and place in the Dutch Oven with the onions and the garlic. Mix well.
Add all the remaining ingredients, including the chopped bacon and stir until all contents are well mixed.
Add enough water to cover the beans, about 3 cups, depending on the size of your pot.
Cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for 4-5 hours – stirring several times during the baking period.
Remove the lid after 3 hours and continue baking for the next hour – to allow the liquid to evaporate into a thick sauce.
Add the kosher salt. Taste the beans and add more salt, if needed.
Beef brisket is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat that requires a long cooking time at a low temperature, but the wait is worth it. Beef brisket is a cut from the breast section and sold boneless. Because brisket is a tough cut of meat, it’s best when braised (that is, simmered in a small amount of liquid), either in the oven, in a slow cooker or on the stove top.
Two different cuts of brisket are available. Unless the recipe specifies one or the other, either may be used in recipes calling for boneless beef brisket:
- Beef Brisket Flat Half (also called thin cut, flat cut, first cut, or center cut). With its minimal fat, this cut is generally the more expensive of the two.
- Beef Brisket Point Half (also called front cut, point cut, thick cut, or nose cut). This cut is the less expensive and has more fat and flavor than the flat cut.
There are so many ways to prepare this cut of beef, but the recipe below is one of our favorites. I like to serve it with homemade baked beans and coleslaw. The brisket tastes even better if made the day before. Slice the cooled, cooked beef and place it in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the sliced beef and cover the dish with foil. Refrigerate the dish overnight and reheat the next day in a 350 degree F oven for about 45 minutes. Leftover brisket also makes a great sandwich.
This recipe requires advance preparation.
- 3 lb beef brisket
- 3 tablespoons brisket rub, recipe below
- Barbecue Sauce, recipe below
- 1 cup beef broth
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the rub:
Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar. You will need 3 tablespoons for this recipe and the rest can be saved for other uses.
To make the BBQ sauce:
Whisk all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl with a cover and refrigerate until ready to cook the brisket
Place the brisket in a dish and coat all sides with 3 tablespoons of the rub. Cover the dish and refrigerate the brisket overnight.
The next day, bring the brisket and BBQ sauce to room temperature. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray. Place the brisket in the pan. Pour the BBQ sauce over the brisket. Pour the beef broth around the bottom of the pan. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
Bake for two hours and remove the baking dish from the oven and turn the brisket over. Cover with the foil and bake for 2 more hours.
Uncover the baking dish and continue to bake the brisket for one hour or until very tender.
Let the brisket rest for 15 minutes. Slice the meat against the grain and serve with the sauce.
Homemade Baked Beans
For this recipe, the beans do not have to be soaked overnight. Check the sell by date to be sure the beans are not old. Old beans do not cook evenly and tend to be tough, so the cooking time is much longer.
- 1 lb dried navy beans, washed and drained
- 3 slices thick bacon
- 1 onion finely diced
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Cook the bacon until crisp in a Dutch Oven. Remove the bacon to a paper towel and when cool, break into small pieces. Set aside
Cook the onion in 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat until tender. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add mustard and garlic powders, honey, molasses and ketchup. Stir well.
Add the beans and cooked bacon and stir until coated in the sauce. Add the water, return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil.
Cover the pan and place in the oven. Cook for about six hours, stirring occasionally and adding more water, if necessary, to keep the beans barely covered.
After five hours remove the cover and add the salt and vinegar. Stir until blended.
Cook the beans for an additional hour or until the sauce is thick and the beans are tender.
Apple Fennel Coleslaw
- 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Gala or Fuji apple, peeled and grated
- 3 cups very thinly sliced red cabbage
- 3 cups very thinly sliced savoy cabbage
- 3 medium carrots, shredded
- 1 large fennel bulb, cored and shredded
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, honey or agave, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the grated apple and mix well.
To the same bowl, add the cabbage, carrots, fennel and green onions, tossing until well combined. Chill until serving time.
Later in the week you can use some of the leftover brisket to make sandwiches. Here is an easy recipe to make homemade rolls to make those sandwiches extra special.
Easy Homemade Sourdough Sandwich Buns
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- ¾ cup water
- 2 ¼ cups bread flour
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon butter at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 package instant yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- Cooking Spray
Combine all the ingredients in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment until the dough comes together.
Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is soft and pliable. This dough does not come together in a ball.
Push the dough to one side of the bowl and coat the bowl with cooking spray. Push the dough to the other side of the bowl and coat that side of the bowl.
Push the dough back and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the dough evenly in a greased hamburger pan – use about ¼ cup of the dough in each of 8 bun cups.
Let rise covered for one hour. Bake the rolls for about 25 minutes until golden. Switch the pans halfway through the baking time. Cool on a wire rack.
San Marino was founded in 301 C.E. (A.D.) by a Christian stonemason, Marinus, who fled the island of Arbe to escape the anti-Christian persecution by the Emperor. Taking refuge on Mount Titano, Marinus founded a small community for Christians. In memory of Marinus, the area was named the Land of San Marino, then the Community of San Marino, and finally the Republic of San Marino. The state of San Marino was able to maintain its independence despite frequent invasions and in 1291 Pope Nicholas IV recognized San Marino as an independent state.
The territory of San Marino consisted only of Mount Titano until 1463 when the republic joined an alliance against Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini. As a reward for Malatesta’s defeat, Pope Pius II gave San Marino the towns of Fiorentino, Montegiardino, and Serravalle. In the same year the town of Faetano voluntarily joined the young state. The nation has remained the same size ever since.
San Marino has been occupied by invaders only twice, both for short periods of time. In 1503 Cesare Borgia occupied the country until the death of his father, Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI. The political unrest that followed the Pope’s death forced Cesare Borgia to withdraw his forces from San Marino. In 1739 Cardinal Alberoni, in an attempt to gain more political power, used military force to occupy San Marino. However, civil disobedience and clandestine communications with Pope Clement XII helped to ensure recognition of San Marino’s rights and restoration of its independence. Since 1862 San Marino has had an official treaty of friendship with Italy.
San Marino is tiny at only 24 square miles, and there’s very little about stepping into the Republic from Italy that would make you feel like you’ve left the country that surrounds it. This is, however, the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world.
San Marino is made up of a few towns dotted around the mountain sides. The capital of San Marino is itself called ‘San Marino’ and is situated high up on a mountain top. The capital is surrounded by a wall and three distinct towers that overlook the rest of the country. The towns surrounding the capital are more industrial than the main city.
San Marino has a Mediterranean climate – the warm summers and the mild winters being the most typical features. Although the steep slopes, cliffs and castles of San Marino are impressive, what really takes your breath away is the view from the town. On a clear day you can see the Adriatic Sea a few miles to the east, and in other directions the hilly land rises into central Italy where it is possible to make out small hill-top villages and other castles and fortresses.
The most popular sport in San Marino is, without a doubt, soccer and the San Marino national team has been taking part in international competitions since 1986.
The San Marino Formula 1 Grand Prix auto race takes place every year at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Autodrome.
The Food Of San Marino
Food and meals are an important part of life in San Marino. The cuisine is Mediterranean, emphasizing fresh and locally grown produce, pasta, and meat. Although it is similar to that of the Italian Romagna region which borders San Marino, the cuisine of San Marino features its own typical dishes. Popular local dishes include bustrengo, a cake made with raisins; cacciatello, a dessert made with milk, sugar and eggs, similar to Crème caramel ; and zuppa di ciliege, cherries stewed in red wine and sugar and served on local bread.
San Marino also produces high quality wines, the most famous of which are the Sangiovese, a strong red wine; and the Biancale, a dry white wine.
There are many small family-owned restaurants, often providing outdoor seating in the summer, which play an important role in the lives of the Sanmarinese, as meals are a daily part of family life and socializing.
This is the famous cake, Torta Tre Monti, from the Republic of San Marino, that is completely hand made at La Serenissima, an ancient cake factory, located in San Marino.
The cake consists of five layers of round wafers filled with chocolate and hazelnut cream and topped with a rich dark chocolate. It has a very delicate and crispy taste. It is still made with the same original techniques that have been used since 1942.
Here is a video on how this cake is made: http://www.laserenissima.sm/eng/index.asp
Make Some San Marino Inspired Recipes At Home
Piadina with Ricotta, Prosciutto and Arugula
Piadina can be made with any filling ingredients that you like or normally put into a sandwich. The bread is usually a flatbread and, unless you want to make the bread from scratch, I recommend the pita as a good substitute. Tortillas are sometimes recommended but, I think, they are too thin.
- 6 whole wheat pita breads
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the bread
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- Freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounces baby arugula (4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, mortadella or salami (at least 12 slices slices)
Preheat the oven to 225°F. Heat a stove top griddle or skillet until hot. Brush both sides of each pita round very lightly with oil and grill over moderate heat, turning once, until brown marks appear on the bread’s surface, 3 to 4 minutes. Wrap in foil and keep the breads warm in the oven while you cook the rest.
In a small bowl, season the ricotta lightly with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with the 1 tablespoon of oil and the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Arrange breads on a work surface and spread each with 1/4 cup ricotta on one side of the bread. Top with prosciutto slices, followed by the arugula salad. Fold the uncovered side of the bread over the filling and cut in half. Serve warm.
Italian Baked Beans
- 4- 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 pound pancetta, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups store bought or homemade marinara sauce
- 2 cups beef or chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a 3 or 4 quart heavy-bottomed, oven-proof, lidded pot such as a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook slowly until lightly browned and crispy.
Add the chopped onions and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to brown. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
Add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and sage and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the honey. Stir well to combine. Add the marinara sauce and the stock. Bring to a simmer; add salt to taste and the drained beans. Stir well. Cover the pot and cook in the oven for an hour and fifteen minutes. If there is too much liquid in the beans after this time, remove the cover and cook for 15-30 minutes more or until desired consistency.
Pasta Roses with Cheese & Ham
Nidi di Rondine -” Swallow’s Nests” is a popular pasta dish in San Marino. It is a quick way of making a filled pasta. It is pretty and looks difficult to make but isn’t ! The classic rosettes are filled with a little bechamel sauce sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano and topped with sliced cooked ham and fontina cheese.
- 1 Package lasagna pasta noodles
- 1 cup bechamel sauce, directions below
- 3/4 lb. prosciutto or ham, sliced thin
- 1 1/3 cup Fontina or Emmenthal cheese, thin slices
- 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
- Parmigiano Reggiano to sprinkle on top
To make the Bechamel:
- 2 tablespoons (Wondra) flour,
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Whisk milk and flour in a saucepan together, add butter and place pan over moderate high heat.
Keep whisking until sauce thickens. Season with salt and the 2 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
To pre-cook the pasta:
Cook just 3 lasagna pieces at a time in salted boiling water. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen towels. Turn them over to dry on both sides.
Pre-heat the oven to 375° F.
To fill and assemble the Rosettes:
Coat the bottom of a large baking dish with 1 cup of the marinara sauce.
Spread a thin layer of béchamel on the pasta pieces, then sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and place slices of prosciutto or ham and cheese on top.
Roll up each in piece into a cylinder. Place them close together cut side up in baking dish. Continue the process until the dish is full – if you have space left use crumpled balls of foil to fill in the space and keep the rolls upright.
Use kitchen scissors to nick the rolls in a few places and pull out pasta “petals” turning them down a little so they stay open during baking. See picture above.
Dot the top of the pasta roses with the remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top of the “roses” are crisp and golden.
- San Marino (soarintosky.wordpress.com)
- The road trip to San Marino and Venice. – City of San Marino, Italy (travelpod.com)