Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Pappardelle With Chicken Sausage Meatballs

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Thanks to my mom and grandmother, I’ve learned so much about the art of making great meatballs. The one important thing that they both told me was not to overwork the meat when adding in the flavorings. Well, keeping that in mind, I went one better. I came to the conclusion, that if you mix all the wet ingredients along with the spices first, then add in the meat, there was less likelihood of over mixing. This is my Pappardelle With Chicken Sausage Meatballs. 

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Sweet Basil (2)

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Prep Time: 30 minutes (time includes making the meatballs and dicing the onions and garlic for the sauce)
Cook Time For Meatballs: 25 minutes
Cook Time For Tomato Sauce: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 22 golf-size meatballs
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper, large 6-quart Dutch oven,6-quart saucepot,  2 large mixing bowls, colander, cookie-dough scoop, olive oil cooking spray

Ingredients For Meatballs:
olive oil cooking spray
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pound of ground chicken
1/4 cup of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup of fresh store-bought basil pesto (store-bought fresh pesto can be found in the refrigerated section where you find the fresh pasta and sauces)
1/4 cup of  Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of plain Panko bread crumbs
1/2 a cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3 cloves of garlic, freshly grated
2 large eggs, beaten
5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup of Ricotta cheese, room temperature
1 cup of half-and-half (start with 3/4 cup until you get the consistency of wet sand)

Ingredients For Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 diced onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1 cup of unsalted chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can of San Marzano whole tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated for the pasta (reserve some for garnish)
1/4 cup of fresh basil, julienned

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Start in a large mixing bowl, by adding all the ingredients that will flavor the meat, mix to combine. The mixture needs to have the consistency of wet sand as shown in the above picture.

In another large mixing bowl, containing the ground chicken (a mixture of dark and white meat) and sweet Italian sausage add the flavoring mixture. Use a fork to evenly distribute the flavoring mixture throughout the meat. It does take a minute, but it will ensure there’s no chance the meat will become compacted compared to if you were to use your hands to combine the ingredients.

To ensure the meatballs are the same size use a large cookie-dough scoop as seen in the above picture. This yielded about 22 golf-size ball meatballs. On two rimmed baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper lightly spray olive oil cooking spray. Scoop out the meatball mixture and roll them into golf-size meatballs. Arrange the meatballs at least 1 1/2 inches apart. Spray the tops of the meatballs with a little of the olive oil cooking spray to ensure they brown nicely. Bake for 25 minutes.

Tip: Use the cooking spray, (a light spritz) to lubricate the cookie-dough scoop every so often. This will ensure the easy release of the meat mixture.

In the meantime in a large saucepot over medium heat, add olive oil and diced onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.  To the onions, add the minced garlic, tomato paste, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Continue stirring, cook for another 1 to 2 minutes

Next, add the chicken broth. Let that come up to a bubble and simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the crushed and whole tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon break up the whole tomatoes. Next, add brown sugar, stir to combine. Bring the sauce up to a bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally.

Once the meatballs come out of the oven, transfer them to the sauce and let everything simmer together on medium-low heat for another 45 minutes. Remove from the heat add the fresh julienned basil, gently stir to combine. Cover to keep warm. After 45 minutes, start cooking the pasta.

In a large saucepot of boiling salted water drop the pasta.

I love to use Pappardelle for this dish. The wide ribbons of pasta have so much more surface area for the sauce to adhere to. Follow the cooking instructions. Drain the pasta really well.  Add a cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into the bottom of a large mixing bowl tossing the cheese through the pasta, very gently, so all those ribbons get coated really well. Then add a couple of ladles full of the tomato sauce, using a pair of tongs toss to combine. What you are witnessing is the cheese sticking to the pasta and the sauce sticks to the cheese. Win-Win!

Finally, I finish with ladling the meatballs on top with a bit more sauce, and a little more cheese. Serve with some crusty cheese bread and garnish with fresh basil. This is my Pappardelle With Chicken Sausage Meatballs.

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Homemade Salisbury Steak

Homemade Salisbury Steak

Homemade Salisbury Steak has to be the one TV dinner you knew if you grew up in the ’70s. I believe the most popular brand was the Hungry Man TV dinner. They were a great time saver for parents and offered all the major food groups. My mom also had her own recipe for Salisbury steak and hers was so good.

Today I’m making my version of this iconic meal. My Homemade Salisbury Steak with mash potatoes and corn brings back so many memories. This one’s for you mom!

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Olive Oil

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:38 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) cast-iron skillet, large mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, whisk

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground sirloin (90% lean)
1 pound ground pork
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 stick butter plus 1 tablespoon (3 tablespoons total), unsalted
1 large onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1-pint of white button mushrooms, sliced
1 (8-ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 tablespoon fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 to 1 1/4 cups seasoned breadcrumbs, Italian-style
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
8 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of ketchup
2 tablespoons of fresh garlic, grated
3 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup of beef bone broth
1/2 cup of beef comsommé
1 teaspoon of Kitchen Boquet, seasoning sauce
1 (15-ounce) bag of frozen sweet corn, thawed

*Cornstarch slurry
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon of beef broth, unsalted

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl start with ricotta cheese, freshly chopped Italian parsley, Italian seasoned bread crumbs, beaten eggs, 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, freshly grated garlic, 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, mix until the consistency is like wet sand. If needed, adjust by adding an extra 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs.

Next, add the ground pork and sirloin to the bowl, combine everything together, do not overmix. In the bowl, using your hands, divide the meat into four (4) equal quadrants. Take a quarter of the mixture and form an oval patty. Hold the patty in your hand, with your other hand, take your fingers and make indentations going across the patty on one side. Transfer the patty to a plate. Repeat this process three more times.

As the patties cook, the indentions will act as though they’ve been cooking on a grill and give you great looking grill marks. Repeat this with the other 3 patties. Transfer to a platter and set aside.

In a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the patties indentation side down first. After patties have browned for 3 to 4 minutes, turn the patties over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Transfer the patties to a platter and pour off any excess grease.

In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 1/4 stick of butter. Add the sliced onions, stir and cook until golden brown. Next, add the sliced white button mushrooms. Stir, and cook until the onions and mushrooms start to soften 7 to 10 minutes. Add the fresh thyme leaves stir to combine. As the onions and mushrooms get some nice color, and their liquid has evaporated, season with 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper.

At this point, to the onions and mushrooms add ketchup, around 5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, seasoning sauce (Kitchen Boquet), rosemary, and beef broth, and beef consommé, stir to combine.

Next, in a small mixing bowl add 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of beef broth. Whisk until smooth and paste-like. Add the *cornstarch slurry to the sauce, stir to combine. When the sauce starts to thicken turn the heat down to low.

As the patties are simmering, spoon some of the gravy with mushrooms and onions over the top of each one. Let simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the patties are no longer pink in the middle.

Keeping with the tradition of the “TV Dinner”, I like to serve my Homemade Salisbury Steak with my Homestyle Mashed Potatoes and sweet corn.

*Cornstarch Slurry: For each cup of liquid you want to thicken, start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add an equal amount of cold liquid (broth or water) and stir until smooth paste forms. This is your slurry. Wisk the slurry into the hot, simmering liquid you want to thicken.

Homestyle Mashed Potatoes With Chives

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Salmon Cakes With A Chive-Dill Aioli

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I’m a huge fan of salmon. Any way you prepare this fish I love salmon.  My Salmon Cakes With A Chive-Dill Aioli is Steve and my favorite.

Salmon pairs perfectly with asparagus so that was an obvious choice to go along with my Salmon Cakes. There’s a great recipe for Roasted Asparagus With Lemon Pepper on my site. The link will be posted below. How about Salmon Cake Sliders? Topped with peppery arugula and slices of avocado. These sliders are super delicious.

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Chives (2)

Chives (2)

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Red Onion

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Salmon Cakes (2)

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Salmon Cakes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields: 10 cakes
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, non-stick 12-inch sautè pan, 2 large mixing bowls, 1 (2.25 ounce) cookie-dough scoop (large cookie-dough scoop)

Ingredients:
1/2 pound fresh wild salmon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons of butter, unsalted, reserve 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small red onion, fine dice
1 1/2 cups of celery, fine dice (about 4 stalks)
1/2 cup of red bell pepper, fine dice
1/2 cup small yellow bell pepper, fine dice
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon of fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh chives, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup of good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 large egg, lightly beaten
Fresh chives for garnish (1 1/2 inches in length)
Lemon slices for garnish

Ingredients For Salmon Cake Sliders:
1 package of Hawaiian buns
1/2 stick of butter, unsalted
2 avocados, sliced
2 cups of arugula

Ingredients For Aioli:
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
juice 1/2 lemon
1 clove grated garlic
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of fresh chives, finely chopped
a pinch of Kosher salt
a pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Directions For Aioli:
In a bowl add the mayo and Dijon mustard. Add the lemon juice, grated garlic, salt, pepper, fresh chopped dill, and fresh chopped chives. Mix all the ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until ready to use.

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
Place the salmon on a sheet pan, skin side down. Drizzle a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or just until cooked. When the salmon is done, remove and cover with foil and let rest for another 15 minutes.

After the salmon has rested, transfer to the refrigerator to cool, around 15 to 20 minutes. This will allow the salmon to flake and come right away from the skin. You want to flake the salmon in large chunks, you really want to see the salmon throughout the cakes.

In a large sautèpan, on medium-low heat, using 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil, add all the veggies, spices, capers, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. Add the Italian flat-leaf parsley, stir to combine, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Once cool, transfer the vegetable mixture to a large mixing bowl add the breadcrumbs, mix to combine.

Flake the chilled salmon into a large bowl. Add the beaten eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, the fresh dill, and chopped chives. Combine the bowl containing the salmon with the vegetable mixture, stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Using a 2.25-ounce cookie dough scoop, shape into 10 salmon cakes. Transfer back to the refrigerator for 1 hour to set.

Preheat oven to 250-degrees F.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil, in a large sautèpan, over medium heat. In batches, add in the salmon cakes and fry 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Line a plate with a paper towel setting the salmon cakes on the plate to drain. Next, transfer the salmon cakes onto a baking sheet pan to keep warm the oven.

Serve my Salmon Cakes With A Chive Dill Aioli Sauce. This dish is great with a side of my Lemon Pepper Asparagus.

Serve the Salmon Cake Sliders on buttered toasted buns with arugula and avocado.

Lemon Pepper Asparagus 

My Salmon Cake Sliders

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