Pete's White Summer Sangria

1 bottle Pinot Grigio...Barefoot is inexpensive  (and named appropriately!)
4 oz brandy (or to taste)
6 oz  Monin White Sangria mix ( or to taste)
(Monin can be purchased from Carrabba's restaurant or online)
fresh raspberries, sliced strawberries, lemons and lime slices, orange slices
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, including fruit, and serve over ice.
If you have a Sangria emergency, you can make your own simple syrup:
1 C water, 1 C sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks (broken). Bring mixture to a boil...a minute or two until the sugar is dissolved.  Cool and use in place of Monin.  Left overs can easily stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Seriously Simple Shrimp and Grits

There are more variation of shrimp and grits than there are shrimp in the sea! Here is a basic, I mean really basic,  recipe.
Peeled, deveined shrimp (even at the beach I like Costco's brand)
Stone Ground Grits
(We love Geechie Boy Grits from Edisto Island, SC)
McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning and Old Bay Seasoning
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Stone ground grits ( I prefer yellow) are heartier and tastier than regular white grits. You can order online or go to a specialty grocery store to find them.  Cook according to the instructions...they take a lot of care and attention but they're worth it!
 Toss thawed shrimp (tail off) with olive oil and Old Bay Seasoning...use as much as you like.
Skewer shrimp and sprinkle liberally with McCormick's Steak Seasoning and Salt.
We like to grill them on a hot grill or in the oven. 2-3 mins each side.
Serve over grits in a bowl...add hot sauce, if you like some kick, and salt and pepper to taste.
Fresh sliced tomatoes are a great side dish as is a good Bloody Mary!!

Spaghetti con Ragu'

 8 oz. of ground pork and 1 lb ground turkey

1 can tomato concentrate or paste

1/2 to 1 C warm water
1/2 C Marsala or Chianti...Marsala is sweeter like Port and Chianti has a bolder flavor
1 28 oz of San Marzano whole, peeled tomatoes (crush with hands and remove tough stem)
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 T oregano

extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes, if you like some heat
Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano reggiano), Pecorino, or Asiago
Red pepper flakes
All of these ingredients are adjustable to your liking! I never measure...
In a  skillet cook pancetta or ground pork and turkey.  Set aside.
Mix Marsala, tomato paste and 1/2 C warm water in a bowl.
Prep carrots, garlic, onions.Brown garlic in olive oil...some Italians discard the garlic because it may have a bitter taste or cause indigestion but we usually leave it in unless I've burned it! This burns easily!
Add chopped onion & carrot. The carrot may seem odd but most tomato dishes need something sweet to cut the acidity...sometimes I use a little sugar or honey.
Add San Marzano tomatoes to onion mixture. I crush with clean hands and discard the tough stem.
Add meat and then wine mix to skillet. Stir well.
Add oregano. Cover. Simmer all day if possible! But at least an hour. 
Stir occasionally.  If you find the sauce is too thick for your taste add a little hot water.
Season with salt & pepper.
For the noodles...Use spaghetti or linguine for this sauce. (It's too hearty for a thinner noodle in my opinion.)
Add noodles to a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook for exactly 7 minutes. Do not drain noodles. Using tongs or a spaghetti spoon, remove noodles from pot to a large bowl. Mix with a little sauce or pasta water to keep from sticking. Add parmesan cheese, asiago, red pepper flakes (what ever suits your noodle!!) and serve with salad and grilled bread.

Basic Quiche

1 Pillsbury Pie Crust (you can make your own, but why?!)
6 large eggs
1 Cup half and half
1 1/4 Cups Swiss cheese, shredded
1/4 Cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
pinch of salt and pepper (opt)
1 thin sliced onion, sautéed in 1 T olive oil until translucent
Pre-bake the pie crust about 10-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the crust is just golden.
Pour in filling, top with cheese.
Beat eggs and cream together pour on top of filling and cheese.
Be sure all fillings are submerged under egg mixture.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper (opt)
Bake at 350 for about 40-45 mins until golden brown and set.

For fillings I like:
Fresh broccoli, well chopped
Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Sliced mushrooms
Spinach, fresh or frozen (be sure to rinse and drain frozen spinach very well)
I usually cook whatever fillings I am using with the onions and olive oil. And proceed with the directions above!

White Chicken Chili

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