Archives for category: main dish

Inspired by a sweet and sour meatball sauce recipe in Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld, I made these:

Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe - perfect as an appetizer, or serve on noodles.

They were great as fingerfood on toothpicks, but would also be tasty served on a bed of noodles! Of course you can always make the meatballs without the sweet and sour sauce, and serve them with spaghetti and red sauce. Here’s what I did…

FOR THE MEATBALLS:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 1/2 c. Italian-style Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 c. beef broth
  • 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • 1 Tbs. steak sauce
  • 1/2 c. crushed pineapple in natural juice
  • 1-2 Tbs. orange marmalade
  • optional: cornstarch (if needed for thickening)

MAKE THE MEATBALLS: Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine meat, Panko bread crumbs, milk, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 c. of the chopped onion. Shape mixture into meatballs; approximately 1-2 inches each. Place on cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

WHILE MEATBALLS BAKE, MAKE THE SAUCE: In a small saucepan, heat oil on med-high heat, then add 1/2 c. onion, and sugar. Cook for a few minutes until onions are soft and starting to brown. Add broth, ketchup, steak sauce, pineapple, and marmalade. Bring to a boil, and cook a couple more minutes. If too thin, add a little cornstarch a teaspoon or so at a time until desired thickness. Strain sauce into a bowl with a mesh colander, and discard “pulp” mixture left behind in the strainer.

TO SERVE: Dip meatballs in sauce, and place on serving dish or on noodles.

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One-Pot Beef and Guinness Stew Recipe

Easy freezer-friendly beef stew. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or anytime you crave warm comfort food. Just start everything in a dutch oven or heavy pot on the stove, and transfer the whole thing to the oven.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 lbs. small potatoes (I used a mixture of red and yellow), cut into chunks
  • 2 white onions, diced
  • 32 oz. beef broth
  • Irish stout beer – I used one 11-oz. bottle of Guinness Extra Stout
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper, for seasoning
  • 16 oz. frozen baby peas, thawed

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a heavy pot or dutch oven (5-quart size or so) on the stovetop, toss beef with flour and stir in tomato paste. Add potatoes, onions, broth, beer, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat, occasionally.

Cover with lid and place pot in oven. Cook until meat is fork-tender, approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in peas, then season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

TO FREEZE: Prepare according to recipe. Cool, then divide into a few containers, label, and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw, reheat, and serve.

adapted from marthastewart.com

 

I am officially obsessed with handmade pasta! You need only a few simple ingredients and the combinations of flavors, herbs, spices, and fillings you can add are endless. The kids love cranking out the pasta into sheets, and noodles, and cutting ravioli shapes. Here’s some ravioli we made with my favorite red sauce:

Cheese Stuffed Ravioli Recipe with Red Wine Marinara Sauce Recipe - pasta dough with just 2 ingredients!
WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 ½ cups (14 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus any additional needed for dusting/kneading
  • 1 container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional: grated cheese for topping
  • Red Wine Marinara Sauce

WHAT YOU DO:

STEP 1. MAKE THE DOUGH

MIX: Mound the flour in the center of your work surface. Using your hands, make a well in the middle that will be wide enough and deep enough to hold 4 eggs. Add 4 eggs (save 1 egg for the filling), and add any optional liquids or flavoring (for example chopped spinach, or ½ cup dry white wine, and/or herbs and spices such as basil or parsley). Using a fork, beat the eggs (and any liquids/flavors). Gradually incorporate small amounts of flour from the sides of the well as you go, until all the flour is mixed in. This will be a lumpy mess, but the next step will take care of that.

KNEAD: Knead for 3 minutes or so. If the dough is really sticky, add a little more flour. The dough should be slightly springy and just a tiny bit sticky. Knead for 10 additional minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Wrap ball-shaped dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature, for an hour or so.

STEP 2. WHILE THE DOUGH RESTS, MAKE THE FILLING
In a bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 1 lightly-beaten egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

STEP 3. After dough has rested, roll into sheets. I used a hand-crank pasta machine, but you could use a rolling pin and flour as well.

Place dough sheets on work surface and place dollops of ricotta cheese every few inches. Wet the dough with a few drops of water around each cheese, then place a second dough sheet on top, and seal with your fingers. I used a cutter to cut out square shapes (a roller tool or knife would work well too). If you want to get really gadget-y (ha) I have also seen molds/forms for homemade ravioli.

STEP 4. COOK

Bring 6-8 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil. Add pasta, and boil until firm but not mushy (fresh pasta only takes a few minutes). Drain and serve with red wine marinara sauce.

adapted from The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Two-Ingredient Homemade Egg Pasta Recipe

Two Ingredient Homemade Pasta Recipe - Just eggs and flour - I will never buy the boxed stuff again.

Here’s a fun and easy recipe: homemade egg pasta. It’s just two basic ingredients: flour and eggs. You can use this to roll out in flat sheets for cutting into fettuccine noodles or tagliatelle. It’s also perfect for filled pastas such as ravioli or tortellini.

The fun part is you don’t even need a mixing bowl – just make a “bowl” out of flour right on your work surface and place the eggs in the middle.

We used a hand-crank pasta machine to roll out the dough. Our kids thought this was great. It was like a PlayDoh Fun Factory – except we got to eat our work.

I cut some of the pasta dough into fettuccine and spaghetti noodles, and used a hand stamper tool to make ravioli another time.

Of course there are tons of flavors and liquids you can add to this basic pasta dough: try 6-10 oz. of spinach, or a teaspoon of grated lemon zest and 6 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or even ½ cup dry white wine to your dough while mixing. Herbs and spices (basil, parsley, etc) or even vegetable purees can be great additions.

And if you’re making ravioli or tortellini, there are so many delicious options for the filling besides the usual ricotta: for example butternut squash, mushrooms, blue cheese, etc.

I made the batch in the photos with just plain old, boring, flour, since we have a bunch of it. I do want to try switching up the flour, though, and experiment with cornmeal, rice, semolina, whole wheat, and/or buckwheat.

Anyway, here’s the basic recipe. It makes approximately the same amount as 1 pound of store-bought dried boxed pasta.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 ½ cups (14 oz.) all-purpose flour

WHAT YOU DO:

MIX: Mound the flour in the center of your work surface. Using your hands, make a well in the middle that will be wide enough and deep enough to hold the eggs. Add eggs, and any optional liquids or flavoring. Using a fork, beat the eggs (and any liquids/flavors). Gradually incorporate small amounts of flour from the sides of the well as you go, until all the flour is mixed in. This will be a lumpy mess, but do not worry. The next step will take care of that.

KNEAD: Knead for 3 minutes or so. If the dough is really sticky, add a little more flour. The dough should be slightly springy and just a tiny bit sticky. Knead for 10 additional minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Wrap ball-shaped dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature, for 30 to 60 minutes.

ROLL OUT (<– said in my best Transformers voice): Using a rolling pin (and extra flour for dusting) or pasta machine to turn the dough into sheets. Cut into desired shapes, or add filling if you’re making stuffed pasta.

Tip: I sprinkled a tiny bit of cornmeal on the dough before I put it through the roller the first time to keep it from sticking, and I put a tiny amount of cornmeal on the plate for the finished pasta and tossed the noodles around to keep them from sticking. To keep noodles from drying out, cover with a damp towel as you go.

COOK: Bring 6 to 8 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil. Add pasta, and boil until firm but not mushy (depending on the thickness of your pasta, anywhere from 30 seconds-2 minutes or so). Drain and serve.

adapted from The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Two Ingredient Homemade Pasta - just flour and eggs - I will never buy the boxed stuff again

 

Chili and oyster stew are a Christmas tradition on my side of the family. When I was younger I only liked the chili but now that I have grown wiser in my ways and my tastes have matured (ha!) I looooovvvve oyster stew too.

Here is a link to my “no recipe” recipe chili.

And here’s how our Christmas 2015 oyster stew turned out…

Oyster Stew Recipe adapted from Paula Deen- a Christmas tradition - we always have oyster stew and chili

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 12 oz fresh raw oysters, undrained
  • 1 quart (32 oz.) whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • optional toppings: oyster crackers, sliced green onions

WHAT YOU DO:

Saute onion in butter until tender.

Add oysters, milk, and seasoning.

Cook over low heat until edges of oysters begin to curl, and the stew is hot but not boiling.

Top with crackers after serving and garnish with sliced green onions.

recipe adapted from PaulaDeen.com