Advertisements

Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Homemade SpaghettiO’s With Meatballs

Homemade SpaghettiO's (1)

What’s better than reliving one of your favorite childhood meals. You know the one I’m talking about, SpaghettiO’s with meatballs! Well, I’ve recreated a Homemade SpaghettiO’s With Meatballs for you and its super easy to make.

Making homemade sauce and meatballs takes this to dish to a grown-up level that will definitely surprise you, guests. I have a couple of secret ingredients for the meatballs that are going to blow your mind!

Let’s start by making the meatballs and getting them into the oven before working on the sauce.

Normally I wouldn’t use a store-bought basil pesto however, in this instance, I’m using it as one of the ingredients for my meatballs. If you’re going to go this route, buy the basil pesto you get from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, rather than the jarred version. In some of my earlier posts I’ve mentioned using basil pesto in meatballs really elevates the flavor, and when you think about it, they’re really ingredients you would most likely add to the meatball mixture anyway.

When making the mixture for the ground meat, you want to start with the flavorings in a bowl first. The mixture needs to have the consistency of wet sand.

Next, you’ll add your choice of ground meat and combine. I use a fork to slowly combine the wet flavoring mixture to the ground meat. Keep the ground meat as loose as possible, do not over mix. This will ensure you’ll have super tender meatballs.

Below are three “portion scoops” or cookie scoops. The one in the middle one is around a 2-ounce scoop and is perfect for my mini meatballs. Relative to half the size of a gold ball.

ice cream soops.jpg

 

Equipment: 2 baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, 2 6-quart saucepots, cookie scoop
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients For Meatballs: Yields 48 meatballs
2 pounds (your choice of ) ground meat, chicken, turkey, pork, beef, or veal.
2 extra large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup half-and-half, room temperature
1/4 cup water, room temperature
1/4 cup Ricotta cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup of a fresh store-bought basil pesto
5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese. (grated Parmesan cheese is fine too)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 heaping tablespoons dried parsley flakes (finely chop and use double this amount of fresh)
1 to 1 1/2 cups of  Italian bread crumbs (you want the consistency of wet sand)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Ingredients For Sauce:
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 large onion diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, basil sprigs for garnish
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, for cooked pasta
2 packages of la Molisana pasta

Directions For Meatballs:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray them both with non- stick cooking spray.
Start by placing all the flavorings for the meatballs into a large mixing bowl. When blending in the bread crumbs, start with 1 cup, add an additional 1/2 cup if needed. The finished consistency should look like (and have the texture of) wet sand.

Add in the (your choice of) ground meat. Using a fork to combine the flavorings and meat together, do not over mix.

NOTE: If the ground meat starts to stick to the ice cream scoop, spray with a little non- stick cooking spray and the meat will release easier.

Scoop the meat mixture into your hands, roll into balls, then place the meatballs on the greased parchment paper lined baking sheets. Each baking sheet should hold 24 meatballs. For nice golden brown meatballs, spray the tops of the meatballs with a little non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes.

Directions For Sauce:
While the meatballs are in the oven, start the sauce. On med-high heat add the olive oil to a heavy bottom pot. Add in the onions, cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until translucent. Add the minced garlic, Kosher salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, brown sugar, and tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes. Next, add the chicken stock. Let the stock come up to a bubble and reduce by half. Once the stock has reduced, add in the tomato products. Turn the heat down to med-low and let simmer until the meatballs come out of the oven.

After the meatballs come out of the oven, add them to the sauce. Simmer the sauce for another 45 minutes.

Cook 2 packages of the pasta according to the directions. In a large serving bowl, add the well-drained cooked pasta. Add 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and toss through. Ladle the sauce with meatballs over the pasta and toss through. Add fresh basil leaves.

Serve up table side into individual bowls. Garnish each bowl with sprigs of fresh basil. Have extra cheese on hand for your guests.

Advertisements
2 Comments »

Sirloin Tips With Mushroom Gravy

Sirloin Tips With Mushroom Gravy (1)

Sirloin Tips With Mushroom Gravy (2)

This dish is one of our favorites. I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked to make my Sirloin Tips With Mushroom Gravy. The meat is so tender, the mushroom and onions pair perfectly with that deep brown gravy that swims over the egg noodles. This recipe is really easy to make. Let me show you how.

I prefer to use a large sautèpan to brown and caramelize the meat because of its large surface area. I do the browning in two batches so as not to overcrowd the meat during the browning process, then I transfer the meat to the braising pot.

2018-06-07 07.54.01

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Heavy bottom braising pot with lid, large sautépan, large pot, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, 6-quart pot

Ingredients:
pinch of Kosher salt
pinch of granulated sugar
1/4 cup red wine, divided
1 1/2 pounds of top sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch bite-size pieces
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tbsp for mushrooms, 3 tbsp for egg noodles
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil,  2 tbsp for browning each batch of the sirloin steak cubes, 1 tbsp for mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, minced
3 fresh sprigs of thyme (if the stems are woody, strip off the leaves, if the stems are still green and tender, no need to remove them)
1/4 cup good red wine
2 cup unsalted beef stock, reserve 1 cup of chilled beef stock for a slurry, (*see slurry)
1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1-10 1/2-ounce can of beef consommé
2 pints of Cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 pint of Shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
2 yellow onions chopped
1 package of NO Yolks Broad Noodles, prepared
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley to garnish egg noodles, (optional)

Directions For Browning Sirloin:
Lay the steak cubes out on a sheet pan and pat dry with paper towel. Season with Kosher salt freshly cracked black pepper. Using your hands, toss until all the sirloin tips are coated with the seasoning.

In a large preheated sautèpan on medium heat, add half (2 tablespoons) of the olive oil. Add half the steak cubes to the sautèpan, do not overcrowd. Allow them to brown, 3-4 minutes, then flip the sirloin tips to brown on the other side, again 3 to 4 minutes. Brown the steak cubes in two batches. Once all the cubes are browned off, transfer them to the braising pot.

To release those delicious flavor bits stuck to the bottom of the sautépan, start by turning the heat to medium-high. Add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted add the diced onions, mushrooms, fresh minced rosemary and thyme sprigs. Using a wooden spoon continue to stir scraping the bottom of the pan. Next, add the minced garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the wine to deglaze the pan.

Using the wooden spoon again, scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan. Season with a sprinkle of Kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Once the wine has completely evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes, transfer the mushroom and onion mixture to the braising pot.

Reserve 1 cup, in a small bowl or container of the unsalted beef stock. Place into the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
On medium-high heat, add the remaining unsalted beef stock, beef consommé, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Bring to a boil then turn the heat off. Place the lid on, transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour, or until meat is tender.

To the reserved 1 cup of chilled unsalted beef stock add 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk both together until it forms a smooth paste.

Remove the pot from the oven. Using pot holders, remove the lid. Turn the heat to medium. Add the *slurry slowly, stirring occasionally, and cook until thickened and bubbly. Once the sauce has thickened turn the heat to off and replace the lid to keep hot.

Start the egg noodles.

Cook the egg noodles according to package directions. In a large bowl add the remaining butter and chopped parsley. Drain noodles really well, then add to the bowl, toss to combine.

To serve. place buttered parsley egg noodles into a serving bowl, ladle the Sirloin Tips With Mushroom Gravy over top. Serve hot.

*Slurry: For each cup of liquid you want to thicken, start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a bowl or measuring cup. Add an equal amount of cold liquid and whisk until smooth paste forms.

 

Leave a comment »

Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables

2018-03-03 19.19.32.jpg

2018-03-03 17.44.34

What’s the definition of comfort food?, Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables. It’s so comforting you’ll get warm fuzzies inside! I do have to honest here, I didn’t make my own dumplings or this dish, I took some help from my local grocery store. I mean, making your own from scratch is probably best and can make all the difference in the world to the finished dish except if you’re like where the value of your time is really important, these store-bought dumplings are a quick alternative to making your own, a great time saver.

One ingredient that’s a staple in my frig is, chicken fat. Steve loves to grill chicken thighs and doesn’t use the skin, he gives those to me. I render the skin down and collect all the drippings for recipes such as Matzo ball soup and this dish. Chicken fat can add extra flavor to your dish. I’ll show you how I incorporate it.

2018-03-03 15.40.01

2018-03-03 17.44.34

2018-03-03 19.19.32

 

Equipment: 4-quart sauce pot with glass lid, 6-quart stockpot
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Note: While chicken is poaching, prep the vegetables.
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 2 tablespoons chicken fat (or 3 tablespoons of olive oil)
1 yellow diced yellow onion
3 diced carrots
3 ribs diced celery
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
pinch of dried rosemary (crush up in your hand)
1-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
1-10 1/2 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 package of Mary B’s Open Kettle Dumplings (12 ounces, break strips in half- freeze unused dumplings)
1 package frozen peas – optional
6 cups of low sodium chicken broth (make sure there is enough broth to come over the half-way mark)
4 tablespoons of corn starch
4 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup of finely chopped, fresh flat leaf Italian parsley

Tip: While chicken is poaching, prep all the vegetables for this dish.

Directions For Poaching Chicken:
To start, place 3 boneless-skinless chicken breasts, in a single layer, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, and a sprinkling of Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, into a large pot. Cover the chicken with either water or (I’m using) unsalted chicken broth. If the 1 quart of broth does not cover the chicken completely, add water so that it will cover the chicken by at least 1-inch.

Bring the chicken to a boil on medium-high heat. You’ll see some white scummy foam collecting on the surface as the liquid starts to boil.  Since I’m not using the poaching liquid for this recipe, there is no need to skim this off, it’s fine to leave it.

As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer. The chicken will typically finish cooking between 25 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and whether it has a bone.  The chicken breasts are done when they are opaque through the middle, and an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken reads- 165 F.

Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid, transfer the cutting board, and begin shredding them using two forks, transfer to a bowl.

Directions For Frozen Dumplings:
Gently separate the dumplings right before adding them to the broth.

Directions For The Chicken And Dumplings:
In a small dice, dice the onions, carrots, and celery.  Finely mince the garlic. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil, and chicken fat over medium heat. Add in all the vegetables, poultry seasoning, bay leaves, and a pinch of dried rosemary. Season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Saute until the onions until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add cream of chicken soup to the pot and stir. Next, add the chicken broth (making sure to add enough broth to where it comes up to over the halfway mark in the soup pot), and give another good stir. Turn the heat to medium-high and wait until it returns to a boil. Once boiling, drop in the dumplings one by one. Let them boil in the soup, (45 minutes according to the package), stirring occasionally until they are all tender. Next, carefully fish out the two bay leaves.

Return cooked shredded chicken to the pot and gently stir through.

To Thicken Broth: Optional
In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons of corn starch with 4 tablespoons of water.
Add to the boiling broth, a little at a time, stirring to reach desired consistency.

 

1 Comment »

%d bloggers like this: