Monday, February 25, 2008

Meatball Mix for Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 cup minced Italian parsley
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk

Soak bread crumbs in milk for a few minutes. Combine all ingredients except egg and mix with hands to evenly combine. Add egg and mix.

Form meatballs about 1" in diameter. Saute in olive oil to brown on top and bottom. Add to sauce and simmer for at least 45 minutes to cook through.

Makes enough for 3 meals. Freeze leftover, uncooked mix for later.

Red Sauce for Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • tomato paste
  • splash red wine
  • 1 can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. dried basil

Saute garlic in olive oil until it just starts to color. Add tomato paste and stir for a few seconds, then add wine. Add tomatoes (trim any skins or tough bits and strain off most of the juice) and mash with a potato masher. Add dried herbs and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for a hour on the stovetop or several hours in the crockpot. Check consistency: if too thin, allow to simmer lid off until slightly reduced.

Makes slightly more than enough to sauce 1/2 box spaghetti.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mushroom Barley Soup

Variation of Zingerman's Ann Arbor Mushroom and Barley Soup from Epicurious. I loved it -- not Peter's thing.

  • 1 1/4 cups whole, hulled barley
  • 1 oz. dried mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large or two small onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 ribs celery with leaves, diced
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh button mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth or water (Better Than Bouillion works fine)
  • sour cream for garnish

1. Soak the barley in 6 cups water for several hours (I did 6 hours). Add more water if necessary and parcook for 45 minutes.

2. Soak the dried mushrooms in enough hot water to cover for a half hour. Strain through a filter. Reserve the water. Coarsely chop the dried mushrooms.

3. Melt the butter in a stockpot and sauté the onion, celery, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, carrot, garlic, and all the mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes.

4. Lower the heat and add the flour, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until thick.

5. Heat the broth or water. Add a cup of at a time to the mushroom mixture in the pot, stirring.

6. Turn the heat to high, and add the reserved mushroom water and barley. Stir well.

7. Simmer, covered, for about an hour or until the barley is tender and the soup is thickened, stirring often.

8. Add additional chopped parsley, mix thoroughly, and adjust seasonings.

9. Stir in a bit of sour cream at the table.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Greek Shrimp

  • butter + olive oil
  • garlic, minced
  • shrimp
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • white wine
  • orzo or other pasta, cooked to your liking

Thaw shrimp. Melt butter with olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic for one minute, then shrimp. when they're starting to pink up, add tomatoes and a bit of white wine. Quantities are all to your liking so test and serve when you like it. (Possibly originally from a Moosewood Cookbook.)

Serve over orzo or other pasta.

Pesto Shrimp

This is really simple and really yummy.

De-vein the shrimp if you need to. Set aside in a bowl and squeeze a bunch of fresh lime juice on the suckers. Let them marinate anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. You can cover them in a dish and plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge while they soak up the lime juice.

Meanwhile cut up some garlic.

Heat up a skillet.

Add some butter.

Put in garlic and let that brown a few minutes and then add shrimp. Add some white wine and let it simmer. As the liquid cooks off, liberally apply more lime juice and then paprika... Let the liquid cook off. You'll know they are done when they are pink and firm.

Also, you can sauté them in some simple butter and a little bit of wine and then use any really good store Pesto sauce. The key ingredient there is REALLY good pesto sauce. Not the cheap stuff. Make any plate of pasta or gnocchi (!!!) and add the pesto and cooked shrimp on top. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and some parmesean cheese... Instant success.

Thai Fried Rice

Semi-improvised for dinner tonight -- delicious!

  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 1 star anise
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2-3 cups brown rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T light vegetable oil
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup snowpeas, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1/2 can pineapple, cut in small dice
  • 1/2 can baby corn, chopped
  • 1/2 can straw mushrooms
  • 2 Tbs fish sauce
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • 1 small handful coriander leaves
  • 2 T crushed peanuts

In a mortar and pestle grind the star anise and peppercorns to a fine powder. Add the cilantro, garlic, 2 T fish sauce, and ginger and grind to a smooth paste.

Lightly poach the chicken breast in chicken broth and slice thinly.

Steam the carrots for 2 minutes, add the peapods and steam 1 minute more; shock with cold water.

Heat a wok to medium-high, add the oil, then fry the paste for 30 seconds or so - until it smells nicely fragrant. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Crack the eggs, and then pour into the wok as you would for sunny side up. Cook for roughly 30 seconds without stirring allowing the white set a bit, then vigorously stir the egg so it scrambles. Immediately add the rice, and gently break it apart, stirring so each grain is coated in the egg and spice mix. Add the vegetables, chicken and pineapple, stir well and cook for a further 60 seconds. Add the fish sauce and sugar, stir well, then tip onto a waiting plate. Lay the slices of tomato around the rice, then scatter the top with the coriander leaves, and peanuts.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pasta with Chicken Sausage, White Beans, and Spinach

Semi-improvised on 2/6/08:

  • 1/2 box gemelli
  • 4 chicken sausages, sundried tomato flavor, sliced on a diagonal
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 6-oz bag baby spinach
  • 1 can cannelini, rinsed
  • about 2 ounces part-skim low-moisture mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350. Put water on for pasta. Cook chicken sausage in grill pan. Saute onions in olive oil with a little salt. Add spinach in bunches and cook until wilted. Meanwhile, cook pasta to doneness. Combine all ingredients in large ovenproof skillet, adding pasta water as necessary (about 1/2 cup) to moisten and combine. Heat, uncovered, until cheese is melted.

Serves 2 1/2 people for dinner with two lunch-sized leftovers

NOTES: try Parmesan instead of mozzarella. Fresh basil would be a nice addition if you have it.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Beef and Noodles

  • 1 pound leftover beef roast
  • ½ bag noodles, cooked to package directions and drained
  • 1 8oz can of mushrooms drained
  • 4 cups beef broth warmed
  • ¼ cup worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1+ Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas rinsed in cold water
  • 1 stick of butter, margarine, or ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350. In a deep pot melt butter, add flour and cook till it is the color of coffee with cream. Add warm broth and worcestershire sauce stir till boils and thickens. Add all other ingredients and stir till completely incorporated. Cover and bake 30-45 minuets or till it's hot and bubbling.

Leftover pork or venison roast will work. This dish does reheat well and just like chili it tastes better the second time around.

Chicken Stroganoff Pasta

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups hot cooked wide egg noodles (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • variation: add carrots, peas

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown. Spoon mixture into a large bowl.

Combine 1/4 cup flour and paprika in a shallow dish. Cut each chicken breast half in half lengthwise; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Dredge chicken strips in flour mixture; shake off the excess flour mixture. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Sauté 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Add chicken to mushroom mixture.

Add broth and sherry to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low. Place sour cream in a small bowl; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Stir with a whisk until combined. Stir sour cream mixture and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt into broth mixture. Stir in chicken mixture; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Add noodles and parsley; stir well to combine.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 2/3 cups)

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 427(28% from fat); FAT 13.5g (sat 5.7g,mono 4.7g,poly 1.6g); PROTEIN 28.7g; CHOLESTEROL 101mg; CALCIUM 96mg; SODIUM 625mg; FIBER 3g; IRON 3.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 47g

from Cooking Light