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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Cabbage Soup

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Cabbage soup has to be one of my very favorites when it comes to food for the soul. I find, if your a fan of stuffed cabbage than you will love this soup. For this soup, I’m using an 8 quart stock pot. This size pot will hold enough liquid and cabbage needed for this recipe. I’m also using Savoy cabbage (green cabbage is fine as well) and a 90% lean ground sirloin which will make for a healthier and better tasting soup.

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Yields, 6 servings
Equipment: 8 quart stock pot
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2-1/2 pounds ground sirloin
5 cups of chopped Savoy cabbage ( or green cabbage)
1 cup of diced onions
1 cup of diced carrots
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup of quick cooking rice  (quick cooking rice in a bag)
2 quarts of unsalted chicken stock
2 cups of good tomato juice
Home-made croutons for garnish
Grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese for garnish

Directions:
The very first thing I do is to prep all the veggies that will be going into the soup so they will be ready for me when I need them. This includes the onions ,garlic, carrots, and cabbage.

So I just start out with a little olive oil in the bottom of the pot. You need that because the meat is very lean. On med high heat, I add the ground sirloin, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, and start the browning process.  To the ground sirloin, I add in the Kosher salt, black pepper, tomato paste, and some crushed red pepper flakes. Once the meat has browned completely, about 5-7 minutes,

I add in the diced onions and minced garlic. I cook those together letting the onions start to soften, another couple of minutes. Next, the diced carrots, stirring those through. I let all this cook together for another 5 minutes.

With the stove still on med- high heat, I add in the unsalted chicken stock. Once the stock is added, carefully, with my wooden spoon, scrape up any bits that may be stock to the bottom of the pot.  Lowering the heat to medium,  I slowly add in the chopped Savoy cabbage. Using the wooden spoon to push the cabbage down into the liquid.

As the Savoy cabbage softens and has all been submerged into the chicken stock, I add in a cup of quick cooking rice. All that is, is the rice you can buy and cook in the pouch. I just remove it from the pouch and add it right into the pot. I let all this simmer (adjust the heat, if needed, to a slow simmer) for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Finally, the very last ingredient I add is tomato juice. I add that right at the end, stirring it completely through. I then turn the heat off and cover the soup. Letting all those flavors mingle together for about 10 minutes or so before serving. Remove the bay leaves before serving.  I garnish with some home-made Ciabatta croutons and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. You can find my recipe for my homemade croutons very easily. Type, Ciabatta croutons into the “search bar” at the top of my home page.

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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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Stuffed Cabbage

Let's Dish

Small

packages

filled with

delicious

goodness!

Stuffed Cabbage (2)

Stuffed Cabbage is one of those dishes I love to make for family and friends. I love everything about it. I like to start with the filling for these little packages of joy.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 5 servings
Equipment: 9 x 13 baking dish, 6-quart stockpot, 12-inch sauté pan

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of chopped yellow onions (1 large onion)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
1- 28-ounce cans of crushed San Marzano tomatoes and the juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed lightly
1/2 cup of golden raisins (regular raisins are fine)
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 large head of green cabbage with outer leaves

Ingredients For Filling:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground sirloin
2 extra large eggs lightly beaten
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of apricot jam
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
3/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1/2 cup of par-cooked long grain white rice ( cook the rice half the required time)
1 tablespoon of chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

DirectionsFor Sauce:
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until translucent. Add in the chicken stock,  bring up to boil, and reduce by half. Next, add in the crushed tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, raisins, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil,  then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer 1 cup of sauce for the filling aside to cool. Set the remainder of the sauce aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the entire core of the cabbage with a paring knife. Place the cabbage in the boiling water for a few minutes. Using a pair of tongs, peel off each leaf as soon as it’s pliable. Place each of them on a plate lined with paper towel.  At least 12 leaves will be needed.

For the filling, in a large bowl combine the ground sirloin, eggs, ricotta cheese, apricot jam, crushed red pepper flakes, chopped onions, minced garlic, par-cooked rice, thyme, dried oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add 1 cup of the sauce to the meat mixture and mix together gently using a fork to combine all the ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To assemble, place 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Remove the hard triangular rib from the base of each cabbage leaf with a paring knife. Place  1/2 cup of the filling in an oval shape near the rib edge of each leaf and roll up toward the outer edge, tucking the sides in as you roll, like you would a burrito.

Place 1 to 2 ladles of the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Lay the cabbage rolls, seam side down into the baking dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top of each cabbage roll. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour or until the meat is cooked and the rice is tender.

Serve hot.

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Sunday Gravy

Sunday Gravy (2)

In our house, tomato sauce was referred to as Sunday Gravy.  I remember my mom and nana putting the tomatoes through a food mill. They preferred a strained version of their Sunday Gravy.

Over the years I’ve taken my Nana’s basic recipe and made a few changes. My nana never mixed meat into her sauce. The sauce with the meat was always separate from the tomato sauce that went over the pasta. I prefer my Sunday Gravy to be full of meat. I suppose I’ve started a new tradition.

Sunday Gravy

Sweet Italian Sausage

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven with lid, 8-inch sauté pan with lid, mesh sieve

Ingredients:
1 pound of Sweet Italian sausage (5 links)
1 pound ground sirloin (90% lean 10% fat)
1-28-ounce cans of San Marzano, crushed
1-28-ounce can of San Marzano, whole tomatoes
1 yellow onion, small dice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, 1/4 inch dice
1 fresh bay leaf (substitute dried)
2 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 pint of cremini mushrooms, quartered (optional)
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup of red wine of your choice (Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon  of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of fresh basil

Directions:
Start by dicing the onion, carrot and mincing the garlic. Set those aside before starting the meat.

Place the 5 sausage links into a small sauté pan with 2 cups of unsalted chicken stock and cover. Turn the heat to medium, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer (low boil) for 15 minutes. Transfer the sausage links to a plate. Drain the fat and liquid from the sauté pan, return the links back to the pan. Turn the heat medium-high and cook the sausage links until they reach golden brown in color, around 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the sausage links to a plate and set aside.

In the same sauté pan, don’t bother removing any of the fat left from the sausage it will flavor the beef, add the ground sirloin. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. On medium-high heat, sauté the ground beef while breaking up the meat up with a wooden spoon. Once the meat is completely brown, 7 to 10 minutes, remove from the heat, using a mesh sieve drain any fat. Transfer the ground beef to a bowl and set aside.

In a Dutch oven heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and tomato paste stirring occasionally. Next, add the carrots, continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, minced garlic, dried oregano, bay leaf, and thyme, stir to combine, cooking for another 5 minutes.

Pour in the Cabernet and 1/2 cup of unsalted chicken stock. Bring to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer. Allow the liquids to reduce by half before adding the meat back into the pot, around 5 minutes.

Finally, add the crushed and the whole peeled tomatoes. Using a pair of kitchen shears cut the whole tomatoes in half. Stir gently and simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

After 3 1/2 hours taste for seasoning to see if you need to add a little more salt. Turn off the heat and add chopped fresh basil and stir. The sauce is done put a lid on it and keep warm until pasta is cooked

Cook the pasta of your choice in boiling salted water until al dente. My Nana always told me do not to drown your pasta in sauce, use it as a condiment. You want a little of everything but, you want the Sunday Gravy to compliment the pasta.  It really is so much better this way.

 

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