Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese

Homemade Mac & Cheese

Can you think of anything better than a Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese? I’ll bet your answer is no, I agree.

Meatloaf Withh Sundried Tomatoes (2)

Meatloaf Withh Sundried Tomatoes (1)

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Mac & Cheese (4)

Mac & Cheese (6)

Mac & Cheese (7)

Mac & Cheese (5)

Mascarpone Cheese

Mac & Cheese (2)

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Mac & Cheese (8)

Mac & Cheese (3)

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White Cheddar Mac & Cheese (3)

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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White Cheddar Mac & Cheese (1)

Homestyle Mac & Cheese

Homemade Mac & Cheese

Meatloaf Withh Sundried Tomatoes (2)

 

 

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 9 x 13 baking dish, 2 (6-quart) saucepots, whisk

Ingredients:
1 box or pound of Cavatappi (or elbow macaroni)
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter plus 6 tablespoons
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
12-ounces (4 cups) Gruyère cheese, freshly grated
8 ounces (2 cups) white cheddar, freshly grated
4 ounces Mascarpone, room temperature
1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded for garnish on top
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon sweet Paprika (substitute smoked paprika)
1/2 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (reserve 1/4 cup for breadcrumbs)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook according to the instructions of the box, 6 to 8 minutes, drain really well.

At the same time, heat the milk and heavy cream in a small saucepan, but do not boil. Melt 8 tablespoons (1-stick) in a large (6-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes while whisking, until it’s light blond in color. Whisk in the hot milk and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and grated nutmeg, continue whisking until sauce thickens and becomes smooth.

Off the heat, switch to a wooden spoon, add the Mascarpone first, stir to combine. Next, add the grated Gruyére, white Cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, again stir to combine. Add the cooked macaroni, 1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, mix to combine. Pour into a 9 x 13 buttered baking dish.

Topping:
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan. Add the Panko breadcrumbs, Paprika, remaining Italian flat-leaf parsley, toss to coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top of the casserole. *Dot the top with the remaining butter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and macaroni is browned on top. Optional, sprinkle finely shredded Parmesan cheese and Italian flat-leaf parsley over the top while hot.

Serve hot.

*Dot: To scatter bits of butter over food.

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes

 

 

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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 your guests. I’m also adding a couple of secret ingredients to 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.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Sweet Basil (2)

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Basil and Italian flat-leaf parsley

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The first secret ingredient for my meatballs is fresh basil pesto. 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 add basil pesto to your meatballs, look for the fresh pesto that’s kept in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, rather than the jarred variety.

In some of my earlier posts, I’ve mentioned using basil pesto in my meatball recipes and it really elevates the flavor. When you think about it, they’re really ingredients you would most likely add to your meatball recipe.

The second secret ingredient I’m using is whole milk ricotta cheese. Ricotta doesn’t add any noticeable flavor but it definitely acts as a tenderizer.

Note:
Anytime you want to make meatballs start with the flavorings in a large mixing bowl first. You want the flavoring mixture 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” better-known as cookie/ice cream scoops. The cookie-dough scoop in the middle is equivalent to 1 1/2 tablespoons and perfect for my mini meatballs. Relatively speaking that’s half the size of a golf ball.

ice cream soops.jpg

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Homemade SpaghettiO's (2)

Homemade SpaghettiO's (1)

 

 

 

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

Ingredients For Meatballs: Yields 48 meatballs
2 pounds ground pork, substitute ground beef, chicken, or turkey
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 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 to 1 1/2 cups of Italian breadcrumbs, Italian-style
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground 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 chicken stock, unsalted
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves,  reserve extra sprigs of basil for garnish
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated for the cooked pasta
2 (1-pound) 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 the (your choice of) ground chicken. 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 medium-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.

In a large stockpot of boiling salted water add the pasta. Cook according to the directions on the package. 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 tableside into individual porcelain pasta bowls. Garnish each bowl with sprigs of fresh basil. Have extra cheese on hand for your guests. There you have it my Homemade SpaghettiO’s With Meatballs.

This meatball and tomato sauce recipe works with any style of pasta you choose.

Linguine With Meatballs

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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.

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

Olive Oil

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Rosemary

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Sirloin-Tips-With-Mushroom-Gravy-2-4

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Heavy bottom braising pot with lid,  12-inch sauté pan, large pot,  large mixing bowl, 1 (6-quart) pot, whisk, small bowl

Ingredients:
1 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
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil plus 1 tablespoon for the 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 of Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups beef stock, unsalted, reserve 1 cup of chilled beef stock for a *slurry
1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
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 onions, large dice
1 package of NO Yolks broad noodles
1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped to garnish egg noodles, (optional)

Directions For Browning Sirloin:
Cut the steak into 1 1/2 inch bite-size pieces, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Toss to coat.

In a preheated sautèpan over medium heat add half the steak cubes to the sautè pan, do not overcrowd. Allow them to brown, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip the sirloin tips to brown on the other side, again 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to the braising pot. Repeat this process for the second batch.

Using the same sauté pan, used to brown the steak, turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter melts add the diced onions, mushrooms, fresh rosemary, and thyme, continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes. Next, add the garlic, stir to combine, cook for another 2 minutes.

Pour in the wine, using a wooden spoon, to *deglaze by scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, continue cooking until the wine reduces by half another 2 to 3 minutes, transfer the mushroom and onion mixture to the braising pot.

Pour 1 cup of beef stock into a small bowl or container. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill until the time comes to make the *slurry.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Still over medium-high heat, add the remaining unsalted beef stock, beef consommé, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Bring up to a simmer, turn the heat off, cover and transfer to the oven to 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. Remove the lid and turn the heat to medium. Add the *slurry slowly, stirring occasionally, cook until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat to off, cover to keep hot.

In the meantime, 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.

*deglaze: To dilute meat sediments on the bottom of a pan in order to make a gravy or sauce. Typically done with wine.

*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.

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