GUEST FAN POST #1 FROM JOE AND PAT CERASA – Recipe-Joe’s Fried Peppers

Hello Everyone,

I am so excited and pleased to present our first ever fan guest post on The Southern Lady Cooks.  This post comes from Joe and Pat Cerasa and guess what?  Joe is the one with the recipe!

The first photo is of their wedding and a little bit about this couple and their cooking habits.

Joe and I married late in life. Both of our spouses of 47 yrs. passed away and we were introduced by a mutual friend. When we were dating, he would invite me to his house to lure me into marriage with his wonderful recipes 🙂 Everytime I came…there would be a new dish on the table. Soups, stews, pot roast, roast chicken, stir fry and the favorite of all.. his fried peppers. He came from a Sicilian family and was in the kitchen with his grandma a lot of the time. She raised him and spoke no English. Joe, a little guy, was her interpreter at the grocery store. This little boy, standing on tiptoes, to see over the counter…asking the butcher for cuts of meat that grandma wanted.They would pull a little red wagon full of groceries back home.Sometimes he would walk under his grandma’s heavy beaver coat to keep warm. He became a meat cutter himself and did this for many years…..bringing home whole pork loins or a boneless beef rib to cut up. He does that to this day. Well, we did get married and from that day on…he has been in the kitchen with me occasionally, along with the spirit of his grandma. We both love to cook and get a little competitive with our recipes once in a while. When he cooks…he takes over the room. Since we have married,I have things in places handy to me, as I do most of the cooking. He’ll say…where’s this and where’s that? Where did you put this or that? I become his sous chef (second in command to the chef) occasionally…washing, cutting and preparing vegetables for cooking or wrapping cuts of meat for the freezer. His son asked him to share his recipes, so that they aren’t lost as years go by. So one day his son had a cooking lesson from his Dad. What did he want to learn first?…Fried peppers. This is a simple, peasant meal. Here’s the recipe…as Joe remembers it:

Joe’s Fried Peppers

Well, here goes with no actual recipe.

He takes 5 or 6 green peppers and cleans out the insides.( We have started using a mixture of red, yellow and green peppers).  Puts them in a pot of salted boiling water and softens them a bit. Don’t cook them too long or they get mushy. While they are cooking he browns a 1 1/2lb. of ground chuck with a couple of lg. sliced onions and 2 cloves of garlic….in olive oil. He uses quite a bit of olive oil. (that’s why we only have it a couple of times a year).  When the peppers are softened he takes them out and cools them…then slices them in strips.  He then adds the strips to the already browned ground meat and onions. He puts more olive oil on the mixture. He seasons them with garlic salt, lots of ground black pepper, some Italian seasonings, and oregano…to taste. He then covers it and cooks all this together for a while. It smells divine while cooking.

Before we eat it…one of us makes a mad dash for the store to get a loaf of Italian bread. The peppers are served in a bowl along with some dried olives that are cured in olive oil… and a couple of slices of cheddar cheese.And that’s about it…It’s very tasty and there isn’t much left over 🙂                                                                                 

The following pictures are Joe working in the kitchen cutting meat and baking a cake.

We eat a lot of good meals at our house. He is always finding recipes for me to try. He doesn’t cook as much as he did a few years ago, but when he does…I can bet that I will have a good meal…..and best of all…he cleans up the kitchen afterward.

Thank you so much to Pat and Joe for this wonderful guest post.  I hope you all will check out Joe’s Fried Peppers and leave them a comment here on the blog to let them know how much you enjoyed this.

Note:  I know there are other men and women out there with special recipes.  Just send your pictures, recipe and a little about you to [email protected]. So many people have commented that they are looking forward to seeing your favorite recipes and everyone sharing!  I plan to make a special file just for guest posts and recipes so that fans can access the page and get these wonderful recipes, too!


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  1. Knoit Poet says:

    Oh this actually brought tears to my eyes. Not only from what you shared in the great recipe but how you shared what it truly means to you in your life to cook, and live out of love in everything you do. Coming from an italian family myself, I understand what it means when they say a family that cooks together stays together. It is about so much more than food in my eyes, it is about the love that brings us together. Thank you for being an inspiration of love to all of us with this post. Brilliant first post, and may it set the standard to so many more beautiful stories like this. <3 Grazie

  2. Judy, thank you for posting this about two of my favorite people – Pat and Joe…
    This recipe looks so good – but too much for one 🙂

  3. Thanks, Judy…
    This was so much fun. Joe and I looked here first thing this morning to see what you had done with this. We are so pleased. Thanks for posting this and I hope you are successful in getting more and more guest posts. It’s a neat idea…We’ll keep reading and trying great recipes.
    Pat (Balisha) and Joe

  4. Great guest post! I love this recipe and I know a thing or two about wooing a future wife with good cooking. (Oh that sounded awfully immodest!)

  5. This looks great! I love recipes that come down through the family. And this morning I was watching the Giro d’Italia on tv and they were racing in Sicily, around Etna, so it’s all coming together for me.

    I’ll try this soon and let you know how I go.

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