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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Homemade Skillet Tamale Pie

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Cook Time: 50-55 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients:
1 box of Krusteaz honey corn bread
1 egg
1/2 cup of sour cream
3/4 cup cream style corn
3/4 cup enchilada sauce
2-1/2 pounds of ground pork
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onions
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of chili powder
1-1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
7 tablespoons of drained Rotel
1/4 cup low sodium beef broth
2 cups of shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup of chopped scallions for garnish

Directions:
Set oven temperature at 400 degrees F.

First, wipe down the cast iron skillet with a paper towel that’s been lightly greased with vegetable oil. Follow the directions of the back of the corn bread box. To a large bowl, add the egg, milk, and vegetable oil. To those ingredients, add in 3 tablespoons of drained Rotel, (tomatoes with green chilies), cream corn, and sour cream. Mix all those ingredients together until well combined. Next, add in the dry ingredients from the box. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the cast iron skillet and bake for 20 minutes.

While the corn breads in the oven baking, start the filling for the tamale pie. In a large saute pan, add olive oil with diced onions. On medium high heat, saute the the onions for about 3-4 until soft, then add in minced garlic, let cook for another minute. Next, add in the ground pork, cumin, chili powder, Kosher salt, dried oregano, and black pepper. Brown the ground pork, onions, and spices for about 10 minutes. To the meat mixture, add in another 4 tablespoons of the drained Rotel along with 1/4 cup of low sodium beef broth. Stir to combine, and let simmer, on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes or until liquid had evaporated.

Take the corn bread out of the oven. Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the corn bread. Then add 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce all over the top. Letting the sauce seep down into the corn bread. Using a slotted spoon, (allowing any extra liquid to drain completely from the meat) transfer the meat mixture onto the top of the corn bread.

To the meat, top generously with the shredded cheese. Spray the dull side of the foil with cooking spray. This will ensure the cheese won’t stick. Cover the skillet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and broil for an additional 5 minutes until cheese is golden brown. Top with slice green onions. Remove the skillet from oven and let rest for about 15 minutes to set.

 

 

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Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders

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Is it just me, or does everybody love a great meatball? Well, I guess I can answer that question. I brought these Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders to a party recently and they disappeared just like that! Serving them on Hawaiian rolls, well need I say more…Simmered low and slow, this tomato sauce is a recipe I’m really proud of. The star, my mozzarella stuffed meatballs.

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Next, dice up the low-moisture Mozzarella cheese into 24 1/2-inch cubes. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the meat mixture into your hand. Place the cube of mozzarella into the center of the meat mixture wrapping the meat around the cheese as seen in the above pictures.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On two rimmed baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, place 12 meatballs on each sheet pan. Spray the meatballs with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. The meatballs will be a golden brown. You could do this in a frying pan, but I find this way to be a lot easier, quicker, and not as messy.

While the sauce simmering away on top of the stove, the meatballs are browning off in the oven. After the 30 minutes, take the meatballs out of the oven, transfer them into the simmering sauce.

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Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for another hour. Turn the heat to off and add in some fresh torn basil leaves, gently stir through. Place a lid on the pot to keep everything warm until you are ready to make the mini sliders.

Slice the little sweet Hawaiian buns in half filling each one with a Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball. Bring these delicious sliders to any party, or just have them at home. You won’t be able to eat just one!

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Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Cook Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Yields: 24 meatballs (golf size)
Equipment: Dutch oven, 2 rimmed baking sheets, food processor, large mixing bowl, 2-ounce cookie-dough scoop, 12-inch sautépan

Ingredients For Sauce:
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 12-ounce jar of roasted Piquillo peppers, purèed (substitute roasted red peppers)
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1 diced onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves

Ingredients For Meatballs:
2 1/2-pounds of ground pork (substitute ground beef, chicken, or turkey)
1/4 diced finely chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
24 1/4-inch diced low sodium Mozzarella cheese
1/2 a cup of heavy cream
1/2 a cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, (1 tablespoon dried parsley)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1 1/4 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
2 packages of mini Hawaiian buns

Directions:
Let’s start with my tomato sauce that the meatballs are going to bathe in. Set the stove to medium heat. Add olive oil to a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven. Next, add the crushed red pepper flakes. To that diced onion and minced garlic. Sautè for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.

The next ingredient is tomato paste. Stir the tomato paste around and let it bloom in the hot oil. Add the unsalted chicken broth. Bring the broth up to a bubble and let the broth reduce by half. Pour in two cans of crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, and brown sugar, stir to combine.

Next, add purèed Piquillo peppers. These peppers give a nice sweetness and a bright red color to the sauce. Still, on medium heat let this sauce come up to a bubble, reduce the heat to low and let simmer.

Continue to simmer the sauce on low heat for 2 hours before adding in the meatballs. While the sauce is simmering, start on the stuffed meatballs.

First, add olive oil to a sautèpan on medium heat. Add finely diced onion, minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, sautè until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, add heavy cream, parsley, dried oregano, Kosher salt, pepper, ricotta cheese, Worcestershire sauce, cooled onion and garlic mixture, beaten eggs, and Panko breadcrumbs. Once this is all mixed together, add the ground pork. Using a fork, mix both the ground pork and the flavorings together to combine. Do not overmix. This meatball mixture yields 24 golf ball size meatballs.

Next, dice the low-moisture Mozzarella cheese into 24 1/2-inch cubes. Using a 2-ounce cookie-dough scoop (portion scoop), scoop the meat mixture into your hand. Place the cube of mozzarella into the center of the meat mixture wrapping the meat around the cheese as seen in the above pictures.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On two rimmed baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, place 12 meatballs on each sheet pan. Spray the meatballs with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. The meatballs will be a golden brown. You could do this in a frying pan, but I find this way to be a lot easier, quicker, and not as messy.

At the same time, the sauce is simmering away on top of the stove, the meatballs are browning off in the oven. After the 30 minutes, take the meatballs out of the oven, transfer them into the simmering sauce.

Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for another hour. Turn the heat to off and add in some fresh torn basil leaves and gently stir through. Place a lid on the pot to keep everything warm until you are ready to make the mini sliders.

Slice the little sweet Hawaiian buns in half filling each with one with a Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball. Bring these delicious sliders to any party, or just have them at home. You won’t be able to eat just one.

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Homemade Meatloaf

Homemade Meatloaf

Growing up in the ’70s, I remember one of the most traditionally made dinners was meatloaf. My mom had her version #tastethelove, my friends’ moms had their version, and my grandmother had her version. They were all delicious but so very different. I think that’s what makes this dish so common throughout many households but so individually unique. Meatloaf is a blank canvas to use whatever flavor profile you’d like. Traditionally meatloaf was made with ground beef, but that’s not the case anymore, ground pork, chicken, or turkey can be used to make meatloaf today.

My Homemade Meatloaf is a family favorite. Let me show you what goes into my Homemade Meatloaf, starting with the roasted garlic.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes (prep the vegetable while roasting the garlic)
Cook Time:  2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 large mixing bowls, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, 12-inch sauté pan, 3-quart saucepot

Ingredients:
1-pound lean ground sirloin
2-pounds ground pork
1 bulb of garlic, 4 cloves, roasted, 2 cloves, raw and minced
1 1/2 onions, small dice
3 ribs of celery, small dice
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, small dice
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Kosher salt (1 tablespoon for sautéing the veggies)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (1 teaspoon for sautéing the veggies)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups breadcrumbs, Italian-style
1/4 cup half-and-half
4 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup

Ingredients For Brown Gravy:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Kitchen Boquet, browning and seasoning sauce
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups of unsalted chicken broth

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Peel and discard the papery out layer of the garlic bulb, leaving intact the skins of the individual cloves. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to 1/2-inch from the top of the cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Set the garlic on top of a piece of foil. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over each exposed head, using your fingers to rub the olive oil over all the cut, exposed garlic cloves. Sprinkle each head with a pinch of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Wrap the garlic bulbs up in the foil. Place the foil packet on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cloves are lightly browned and feel soft when pressed. Remove from the oven, carefully open the foil packet and set aside to cool.

While garlic is roasting prep all the vegetables.

While the garlic is roasting in the oven start sautéing the vegetables. In a large sauté pan, on medium heat, add olive oil, diced onions, diced celery, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and minced garlic. As the veggies start to soften, add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and freshly chopped thyme leaves, stir to combine. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off and remove from the heat to let cool.

Adjust the oven to 350-degrees F.

In the large mixing bowl, with the roasted garlic, diced roasted red peppers, and beaten eggs add the Italian-style bread crumbs, half and half, fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, Kosher salt, fresh black pepper, dried oregano, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and the cooled vegetable mixture, mix to combine.

Next, it’s time to add the meat to the bowl with all the other ingredients. Using your hands, mix in the meat until it’s all just combined, do not overmix. After everything is combined and all that goodness is mix throughout, form the meatloaf and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form the meatloaf delicately into a pretty looking loaf. Refer to the picture above. There’s no need to do anything else to the meat. The oven will take care of making it look all nice, beautiful, crispy, and brown. Trust me!

While the meatloaf is in the oven make start the Lumpy Mashed Potatoes, Click the link below for the recipe.

I bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Transfer the meatloaf to the counter, cover with foil and allow to rest for another 15 minutes. You want to make sure that the meatloaf is cooked completely through. Use a meat thermometer and make sure it reads at least 155 degrees F. before letting it rest on the counter. There will be some carry over cooking time.

Directions For Brown Gravy:
In a saucepot on medium heat, melt the butter, add the fresh thyme leaves. Next, the flour and whisk together making sure to get all visible lumps. Add Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, continuously whisking until mixture turns light brown in color. Turn the heat down to low and slowly add the chicken broth, whisking constantly. Add Kitchen Boquet and Worcestershire sauce. Turn the heat back up to medium. Continue whisking until gravy boils and thickens 3 to 5 minutes.

 

Lumpy Mash Potatoes

 

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Baked Cavatappi

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I think everyone loves a baked pasta dish. Maybe it’s because it brings us back to a childhood memory, a special event where everybody gathers together to celebrate something special. Whenever I mention the words”taste the love”, it really shows how much love I put into making my Baked Cavattapi.

Now because there are a few different parts to this recipe that doesn’t mean it’s hard to do. You’ll see what I’m talking about moving forward. The great news is that this dish can be made in advance, or even frozen when stored properly.

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Are you feeling this? The whole house is smelling like my grandmother’s kitchen.

 

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Yields: 8 to 10 servings
Equipment: 9 x 13 baking dish, deep-sided 12-inch frying pan, 6-quart Dutch oven with lid, large mixing bowl, mini food processor, 6-quart stockpot

Ingredients For The Meat:
2-pounds ground pork
1-pound (5 links) sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

Ingredients For The Tomato Sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, puréed
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
1-28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth, unsalted
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients For Pasta:
1 1/2 pounds of Cavatappi (1 1/2 boxes)
1 8-ounce container Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 15-ounce containers Ricotta cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella, freshly grated, reserve 1/2 cup
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated, reserve 1/4 cup
4 tablespoons of freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, reserve 2 tablespoons for the top
1 stick of unsalted butter, half to *dot the top and half to grease the baking dish

Directions For Meat-Filled Tomato Sauce:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
In a 12-inch deep sautépan, on medium-high heat, add of olive oil and whole fennel seeds cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. To the pan add both the ground pork and sweet Italian sausage. Using a wooden spoon break up all the meat. Add the minced garlic, dried oregano, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and dried parsley flakes.

Sauté until the meat is completely browned, around 10 minutes Using a slotted spoon to strain off any excess grease, transfer the browned meat from the pan to a large mixing bowl, set aside.

In a mini food processor, add roasted red peppers, in batches if need be, process until all the peppers are puréed and have a crushed tomato-like consistency. Transfer the processed peppers to a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat a  Dutch oven, on medium heat, add the olive oil. Next, add the diced red onions, Kosher salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried rosemary, tomato paste, and light brown sugar. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir until onions are soft and translucent and spices are fragrant. Add the chicken broth. Simmer to reduce the broth by half. Finally, add both cans of tomatoes, breaking up the San Marzano whole tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.

Simmer the sauce on low heat for around 25 minutes. Add the browed meat to the sauce and allow to cook together for 1 hour more.

While the sauce is simmering start the pasta.

Note: Undercook the pasta by 3 minutes according to the directions on the box. Pasta will continue to cook in the oven.

In a large stockpot of boiling salted water add the pasta, stirring occasionally. Undercook the pasta by 3 minutes, then drain. Using the same pot add back in the drained cooked pasta, Mascarpone cheese, Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 1 1/2 ladles of the meat sauce, and chopped Italian parsley. Mix to combine.

First, butter the baking dish. To assemble, add 1 ladle of the meat sauce to the bottom of the baking dish. Move the sauce around so it covers the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of the half the pasta mixture. Top with half of the reserved Mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses. Next, add a third of the meat sauce mixture spreading the sauce evenly over the top of the pasta. Repeat. End with the meat sauce on top.

For the top of the dish, sprinkle the remaining Mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses evenly all over the top. *Dot the top of the dish with small pieces of unsalted butter.

Tip: Before covering the dish, spray the underside of the foil with non-stick cooking spray so it will release without taking your cheese with it.

Bake at 350-degrees F. covered for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Let rest for 20 minutes before cutting. Serve hot.

*Dot: to scatter bits of butter over food. Refer to the picture above.

 

 

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