Updated 2010-04-02 23:36:50 ID=595:1

© 2010 The Romantic Table
©2010 The Romantic Table, Caesar Salad 2010-04-02 23:27:28:252
©2010 The Romantic Table

Caesar Salad with Romaine Lettuce and a quick fresh lemon Caesar salad dressing that only takes minutes to prepare.

April's Recipes Give Us Reason to Celebrate

It's tax-time but even if you're feeling like a pauper, this month's recipes are some easy, low-cost ones we can entertain and eat like a king!

Tax-Time! It's that time of year again when we pay our dues for the privilege of living in this nation. I don't know about you, but even if I haven't been a spendthrift, after I pay my taxes, my wallet and I feel like paupers.

But friends relax! This month's recipes might look and taste "high-falutin", but they can be prepared and served for pocket-change.

Most people love to eat Caesar Salads, but are mystified by the preparation involved. Well have we got a surprise for you! We've come up with a quick fresh lemon Caesar salad dressing that will only take minutes to prepare. And it's SO-O good!

The true Caesar Salad does NOT have anchovies in it. Rather, the anchovy flavor comes from a few drops of Worcestershire Sauce. So what you start with is our fresh Lemon Vinaigrette, add a few drops Worcestershire Sauce, mix in a couple other things, then toss with some hearts of Romaine lettuce, add a little shredded Parmesan cheese and top with croutons and you'll be in "Salad heaven!"

This salad is so good you'll be able to serve it as an appetizer-salad. Our croutons REALLY make it--and they're easy to make. We'll show you how. Keep these little gems in mind for also serving with soups!

©2010 The Romantic Table, Spaghetti with Broccoli and Sun-dried Tomatoes. 2010-04-02 23:33:13:253
©2010 The Romantic Table

Spaghetti with Broccoli and Sun-dried Tomatoes.
A low-cost pasta entree that we've come up with is a Spaghetti with Broccoli and Sun-dried Tomatoes. It starts with a trito of sauteed bacon, onion and crushed red pepper flakes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and a splash of white wine and cook for a few minutes, add the steamed broccoli saute a minute or two, then toss with spaghetti. (With Parmesan cheese at the table to top it off.)

A really nice "more formal" dinner entree this month is our Sweet and Sour Tuna Steaks Trapani Style. This recipe originates in Sicily, Italy. We like to serve this on a mound of caramelized sweet and sour onions. It's a very savory taste that goes well with Saffron Orzo or steamed baby Yukon Gold potatoes that have been tossed with butter and parsley.

©2010 The Romantic Table, Sweet and Sour Tuna Steaks Trapani Style 2010-04-02 23:36:29:254
©2010 The Romantic Table

Sweet and Sour Tuna Steaks Trapani Style, served on a mound of caramelized sweet and sour onions.
Our last offering this month is a quick, low-cost appetizer that you can have on hand anytime when you need a good-tasting "emergency appetizer." We call it Quick from the Pantry Stuffed Clams. It uses the canned minced clams that are readily (and inexpensively) available at most grocery stores. This recipe is almost as good as our more costly one that uses fresh clams--and is much quicker than the Stuffed Clams Central Coast Style.

So if this is a hard time of the year for you, at least these recipes won't send you to the "Poor-house." ALL of us are in the same boat, so there's no reason to give up. We just have to use our imagination a little bit more for finding lower-cost ways to entertain. We hope these recipes help you.

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A tip from Sue!

Cut down on the splatters as you fry or saute

When you're frying meat or fish you can cut down on the splatters by either using a splatter guard or even easier, by simply using a cover for the frying pan. But adjust your heat down to compensate for the increased heat buildup.