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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs

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I’m giving this traditional Italian vegetable soup a makeover. I’ve added chicken sausage meatballs to what was an already perfect soup. Now it’s even heartier. This is my Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time 48 to 50 minutes minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Food Processor, 6-quart saucepot, cookie dough scoop, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients For Chicken Sausage Meatballs:
1 pound of ground chicken breasts
1 large egg
2 tablespoons of finely fresh chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup of heavy cream
5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of freshly ground Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

Ingredients For Ribollita:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 diced onion
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1 cup of carrots (2 medium-size carrots), diced
3 ribs of celery (1 cup), diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 15-ounce cans of Cannellini beans drained and rinsed, 1 15-ounce can to be puréed
1 bay leaf,
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes
2 quarts of unsalted chicken stock
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil leaves
3 cups of chopped kale
3 cups of chopped Savoy cabbage
5 slices of good sourdough bread, crusts removed
1/2 a cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
*E.V.O.O for drizzling over the top of each bowl

Directions For Chicken Meatballs:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Line two rimmed baking sheet pans with parchment paper. Spray each one with non-stick cooking spray.

In al large mixing bowl add all the ingredients from the list above, except the ground chicken, mix to combine. Add the ground chicken last. Using a fork, combine all the ingredients (flavorings) throughout the ground chicken. Do not overmix.

Note: Every few scoops of the meat mixture spray the inside of the scoop with non-stick cooking spray for easy removal. After forming a few meatballs, lightly spritz your hands with warm tap water. This will give your meatballs a smoother texture.

Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop the meat mixture into your hands to form the meatballs. Lightly spray the tops of all the meatballs with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, use this time to prep all the vegetables from the list above. Once you’ve prepped the veggies the meatballs should be ready to come out of the oven. Set the two trays of meatballs aside.

Start the Ribollita.
Over medium heat, add the olive oil and diced onions. Sauté until soft and translucent but not brown. Add crushed red pepper flakes and diced pancetta, cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Next, add the diced carrots, celery, and bay leaf stir to combine. Add the minced garlic, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook together for 10 minutes until the veggies start to soften. At this point, add the whole canned tomatoes with their juice. Use a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes.

Next, add the chopped cabbage and kale, and freshly grated nutmeg, cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the greens wilt down. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the puréed Cannellini beans, stir to combine. Next, add the whole beans, again stir to combine.

Pour in the unsalted chicken stock. This is the point when you add the cooked meatballs. Still on medium-low heat simmer for another 15 minutes. At this point add in the cubed bread and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. The bread will dissolve and thicken the soup. The Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs is done at this point. Turn the heat off add the fresh basil leaves, stir to combine.

To Serve:
Ladle a good helping of the Ribollita into large porcelain soup or pasta bowl. Add a nice helping of the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Finally. lightly drizzle your best *E.V.O.O on top. I promise, if you love really good soup or a delicious stew, I would say try making my Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Monday Night Football Burgers On Pretzel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

 

Monday Night Football Burgers On Prezel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Next, to having pizza or wings, burgers are really another great choice to have when you’re watching the Monday night game.

I came across these amazing pretzel buns, at the grocery store. They’ll make the perfect vessels for my burgers. These are my Monday Night Football Burgers On Pretzel Rolls With Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

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Today I’m using ground beef for my burgers. You could substitute, ground pork, chicken, or turkey for this recipe, any choice you make will be delicious.

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Monday Night Football Burgers On Prezel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground beef (80% lean to 20% fat ratio)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
8 to 10 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of barbecue sauce (favorite brand)
2 tablespoons of grilled steak seasoning blend
2 tablespoons of dried parsley
10 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
1  cup of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced thick
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups of mixed greens

Ingredients For Roasted Sweet Potatoes:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thick wedges
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Start by adding to a large mixing bowl, ground beef, garlic powder, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, grilled steak seasoning blend, and dried parsley.

Using a fork, mix all the ingredients together without over mixing. You just want everything to be combined evenly through the meat. Gently pat the mixture down into the bowl, using your hands to score the meat into 4 sections. This helps to ensure the burgers are relatively the same size. Take one of the sections, making a nice patty with your hands. Using your thumb push down in the center forming a dimple. This will ensure they will cook evenly.

In a preheated cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt and swirl 2 tablespoons of butter all over the bottom of the pan. The objective is to form a nice crust on the outside of both sides of the burgers.

Set all 4 patties into the cast-iron skillet. After about 6 minutes, (these burgers are pretty thick) flip them and add 2 more tablespoons of butter in the center of the pan to help form the crust on the other side of the burger patties. Remember you only flip the burgers one time. Cook the burgers on the other side for another 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the cooked burgers to a sheet pan and cover with foil to stay warm.

Start by covering a sheet pan with foil. Before using the same skillet, take a paper towel and wipe out some of the burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. On medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter swirl the butter all over the skillet. Once the butter has melted add the pretzel buns to the skillet. Allow them to absorb the butter and toast for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted buns to the covered sheet pan. Repeat the process for the remaining two buns.

While the burgers are cooking, rub 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil all over the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet. In a small mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

Spread the sweet potatoes wedges onto the baking sheet pan sprinkling them with the seasoning blend, toss to evenly coat all the wedges.  Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning them halfway (15 minutes)through the cooking process until caramelized on the outside and fork-tender. Remove the pan of potatoes from the oven, transfer the potatoes to a large serving bowl. While hot, sprinkle the sweet potatoes with Kosher salt.

Set the oven to the broil position:
Evenly divide the shredded Monterey cheese between the four burgers. Place under the broiler to melt the cheese. Keep a close eye on them, 1 to 2 minutes.

I sliced up some of my favorite toppings, mixed greens, sliced heirloom tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onions. It’s time to build the burgers. Nice toasty buns, delicious perfectly cooked burgers, then the toppings. Finally the roasted sweet potatoes. These are my Monday Night Football Burgers On Pretzel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

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Blackened Chicken Caesar Pasta Bake

Baked Grilled Chicken Caesar Pasta.jpg

In my twenties, going out to dinner with the girls was so much fun. Having a cocktail and always ordering a Caesar salad with blackened chicken. I can remember the first time I had a Chicken Caesar Salad like it was yesterday. You know, that cold crisp romaine lettuce topped with the warm grilled chicken and drizzled with that wonderful creamy Caesar dressing. Oh, and the cheese, that cheese, so good!

Now the chicken that you’re able to order comes one of two ways, grilled, or grilled and blackened. I always choose the blackened, I love the spiciness of the chicken alongside the cool creamy Caesar dressing.

What a great idea! Take the flavors of the creamy Caesar dressing and make that into a sauce, then add pasta, blackened chicken, breadcrumb topping, and bake. I’ll call it my Blackened Chicken Caesar Pasta Bake!

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: indoor grill pan, large mixing bowl, 12-inch sautépan, 4-quart saucepot,
1-quart saucepot, colander, 9 x 13 baking dish

Ingredients For Chicken:
6 chicken cutlets
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons blackened seasoning
1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Ingredients For Blackened Seasoning:
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Ingredients For Blackened Seasoning:
Combine all the spices together in a bowl until evenly mixed. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark dry place.

Ingredients For Topping:
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
2 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

Ingredients For The Caesar Sauce:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
3 heaping tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups of whole milk or half-and-half, heated
1 cup unsalted chicken broth, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 to 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 pound penne pasta

Directions:
1). Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish
2). Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
3). Preheat grill pan on medium-high heat (both front and back burner)

In a large mixing bowl add the chicken cutlet, olive oil, and blackened seasoning. Using clean hands, mix together until all the chicken is evenly coated with oil and spices.

Place the chicken cutlets onto the grill. Cook 4 minutes on the first side, 3 minutes on the flip side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Let cool, then slice on the bias.

Next, in a large sautépan on medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the Panko breadcrumbs to the pan, stir until they’re completely coated with the melted butter. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until a very light golden brown. Remove from the heat. Add the dried parsley, stir to combine. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the pasta. Cook pasta until slightly undercooked by 1 to 2 minutes. Remember, pasta will continue to cook during the baking process. Drain the pasta. Let the pasta stay in the colander while you make the sauce.

In a 1-quart saucepot on medium, heat the milk just under the boiling point.

In a 4-quart saucepot on medium heat add the butter, Once butter melts add the anchovy paste and minced garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Next, add the flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk the in the chicken stock, then the heated milk and Worcestershire sauce continually whisking until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, stir to combine.

In a large mixing bowl add the penne pasta. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the sauce to the bowl and mix with penne, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce. Next, gently fold in the sliced blackened grilled chicken until combined.

Transfer the mixture to a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish. Using a spatula smooth the mixture evenly throughout the dish. Top with breadcrumb topping. Spray non-stick cooking spray on the dull side of the foil. This will prevent the topping from sticking to the foil. Cover and bake for 35 to 40 minutes then uncover and continue baking until the top is golden brown.

Make sure to let rest for at least 20 minutes before cutting. This will give the dish time to set.

I like to serve my Blackened Chicken Caesar Pasta Bake with a Romaine salad dressed with a drizzle of *E.V.O.O., fresh lemon juice, and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. There you have it, the best of both worlds in one dish!

*E.V.O.O. is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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