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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Confetti Sweet Corn

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White corn and shoe peg corn are my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I like yellow corn, but if I had to choose it’s always the white variety. I have 2-10 ounce packages of frozen thawed shoe peg corn here. I always look for the fresh corn first but if I can’t find it, this is my “go to” when I want to make this dish. I will tell you that if I could have found the fresh, I would have grilled it first to add some of that smokey flavor to the kernels. It’s alright though, I’m going to be adding some delicious ingredients to the corn to make it even better. So now for the other ingredients, I have green, yellow, and red bell peppers, carrots, and some red onion that I’ve diced up into a 1/4 inch dice. On med heat, in a cast iron skillet, I have some unsalted butter along with a little olive oil melting away.

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Once the butter and oil is ready, next I add in all the colorful veggies. I stir them around for a minute then sprinkle with some Kosher salt, and black pepper. I saute everything for 3-4 minutes just to get some color on the veggies. Next I add in the  shoe peg corn. Continue to saute the corn with all the veggies  for another 2 minutes, enough to warm the corn through. Then turn off the heat, pour the colorful corn with those veggies into a serving bowl, and add some Chiffonade some fresh basil leaves and stir those through. There you have it, a simple, delicious, and colorful dish.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 6-7 minutes
Equipment: Cast iron skillet
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2-10 ounce packages of thawed frozen shoe peg corn
1/4 cup of 1/4 inch diced carrots
1/4 cup of 1/4 inch diced red, yellow, and green bell pepper
1/4 cup of 1/4 inch diced red onion
1/4 cup of Chiffonade fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper

Directions: Note: If using an indoor grill pan to grill the corn first. Get the grill pan nice and hot first, then brush the ears with a little Canola oil first before setting them on the grill. Just a  minute or so on all side to get the nice charred grill marks. Next let them cool down a bit before trying to handle them to remove the kernels from the cob.
Melt the butter and oil on med heat in a cast iron skillet. Next add in all the veggies with Kosher salt and pepper. Saute for about 3-4 minutes, enough to soften and get some color on the veggies. Add the corn in just to warm through, stirring everything together for another 2 minutes. Turn the heat off, then add in the fresh basil leaves. Pour into serving bowl.

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Chicken Sausage Meatballs Over Pappardelle

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Thanks to my mom and grandmother, I’ve learned so much in the art of making great meatballs. The one important thing that they both told me was not to overwork the meat, when mixing all the ingredients together. Well, keeping that in mind, I went one better. I came to the conclusion, that if you mix all the wet ingredients along with the spices first, then add in the meat, there was less likelihood of over mixing. Let me show you what I mean.

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First, in a large mixing bowl I add in all the ingredients that will flavor the meat. After it’s been mixed together, I’m looking for it to have a wet “mud like” consistency as shown in the above picture. I do use a secret ingredient, fresh store-bought basil pesto.In another bowl I have some ground chicken ( it’s a mixture of dark and white meat) and sweet Italian sausage. I then add the wet ingredients to the meat and just mix through enough to where all the meat has all the flavorings running throughout the meat. I use a fork to do this with. It does take a minute to accomplish this task but it will ensure that no over mixing happens.

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I used a pound of ground chicken and a pound of sweet Italian sausage for this recipe. Using the large size ice cream scoop, to keep them all the same size,I then rolled out each meatball. This yielded about 22 golf ball size meatballs. On two baking trays lined with parchment paper, that I lightly sprayed some non-stick cooking spray, I lay the meatballs out, with a little room between each one. Lastly before baking them off I sprayed the tops with a little of that non- stick cooking spray to ensure they would brown nicely.

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While the meatball are baking in the oven, I start on the tomato sauce. In a large pot on med heat I sauteed some diced onions until translucent. To the onions I added in some minced garlic, dried oregano,crushed red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, and black pepper. I stirred that together and then cooked those for a minute more. Next for the tomato paste for some of that deep tomato flavor. I stirred that around until the tomato paste melted in with the onions and garlic. Next I added a little low sodium chicken broth. I let that come up to a bubble then I reduced the broth for a couple of minutes before adding in the tomato product. Next I added in a bit of brown sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and let all this come up to a bubble before reducing it to a slow simmer.

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About 20-25 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees, it was time for the meatballs to come out of the oven. I added all the meatballs to the sauce and let everything simmer together on med low heat for around 45 minutes. After 45 minutes of simmering this delicious meatball sauce, I started preparing the pasta.

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I am totally a fan of pappardelle. The wide ribbons of pasta allow so much surface area for  the sauce to cling. I just follow the instructions on the package using the standard salted boiling water. After I’ve drained the pasta really well, I take a cupa of freshly grated Parmigianp-Reggiano cheese and place that into the bottom of the bowl. First I toss the cheese through the pasta, but very gently so all those ribbons get coated with the cheese. Then I take a couple of ladles full of the tomato sauce and toss it through as  well. See the cheese sticks to the pasta, and the sauce sticks to the cheese. Win Win! Finally I finish with ladling some of the meatballs on top with a bit more sauce, and a little more sprinkling of that cheese. Garnish with some great cheese bread and serve.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes ( this includes making the meatball mixture and dicing the onions and garlic for the sauce)
Baking Time For Meatballs: 20 minutes at 375 degrees
Cooking Time For Tomato Sauce: 45 minutes
Yields: 22 golf size meatballs
Equipment: 2 baking trays lined with parchment paper, large Dutch oven pot
Ingredients For Meatballs:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound of ground chicken
1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup of fresh basil pesto ( store-bough can be found in the refrigerated section where fresh pasta sauces are)                 1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 cup of plain Panko bread crumbs
1/2 a cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3 cloves of freshly grated garlic
2 large beaten eggs
5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup of Ricotta cheese
1 cup up of half and half ( start with 3/4’s of a cup and add the rest if needed to get the correct consistency)

Ingredients For Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 diced onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
2 -28 ounce cans: 1 each of San Marzano whole tomatoes and crushed tomatoes ( break up whole tomatoes with back of a wooden spoon)
1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for the pasta (reserve some for garnish)

Directions; Start with making the meatball mixture. Then roll the balls out and lay them out onto 2 parchment paper lined baking sheets that have been sprayed with non- stick cooking spray. Also spray the tops of the meatballs lightly with the spray. Bake them off at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. While the meatballs are baking off, start on the tomato sauce. Once all the ingredients have been added to the pot, like described above, and the tomato sauce is at a low simmer, it should be about the time to remove the meatballs from the oven. Next, add them to the sauce. Let all this cook on a slow simmer for 45 minutes. When the sauce has been cooking for about 35 minutes, start the water boiling (don’t forget to salt the water) for the pasta. Drain the pasta really well, have some grated cheese ready in the bottom of a large bowl before adding in the drained pasta. Toss the cheese through the pasta, then ladle in some of the tomato sauce and toss that through. Place some of the lightly coated pasta into a serving bowl, add on a ladle or two of sauce with the meatballs and finally sprinkle with cheese. Serve with some great cheesy bread.

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Harvill’s Produce Farmers’ Market

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Having been in the food industry most of my life, and working with local restaurants, Harvill’s has been the top local produce provider in the Orlando area as far back as I can remember. Located at 8775 S. Orange Ave. Orlando, Florida, they’ve just recently opened a retail market to the public. I visited it today and it’s awesome. I took a few pictures to give you a peek at what’s in store for you.

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If your local and looking for great produce at really reasonable prices, make Harvill’s produce farmers’ market- retail store a must stop.

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Marinating With Yogurt

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Whenever I buy a lean type of protein, or one like chicken, with no skin, I usually use some type of brining method to help tenderize the meat. But what about smaller portions of meat that may not need that 24 hour brine?

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For example: center cut boneless pork loin chops. I think marinating smaller cuts like this that are around and inch in thickness are an excellent candidate for #yogurt. Yogurt is naturally acidic, and this allows for any protein, like chicken or pork is submerged in this creamy tangy substance, to act as a tenderizer. Other cultures have used yogurt for many years just for this reason. Plus you can add any spices you like with the yogurt to enhance the flavor or whatever you’re making.

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I use Greek yogurt, it thicker with less liquid and I think that it clings better to the meat the the regular variety. Here I’ve added a tablespoon of  dried oregano, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper. You could really add any type of dried spices you like depending on the type of flavor profile you’re going for. I mix the yogurt up combing everything together, then I submerge the pieces of pork making sure they are all coated really well.  Next I cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 -2 hours. Because of the size of the pieces, they wouldn’t need any longer than that. After they come out of the frig. I just bread them in my favorite type of breading. I’ve used a mixture of Panko and Italian seasoned bread crumbs for this recipe. Around 50/50. I then dip them into the bread crumb mixture, shake the excess crumbs off and shallow pan fry them in a neutral flavored oil. I used grape seed oil here, but Canola oil, even Cocoa nut oil but be fine. I fry them for a minute or two on each side, just to get some great color on them. Place them on a wire rack over a pan. This will allow heat to flow evenly around the pork. From there, I place the pan with the wire rack into a 350 degree oven to finish the pork by baking them off. This process takes maybe another 15-20 minutes.

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Once you’ve tried this way of marinating you’ll be amazed how tender and flavorful it is.

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