Swedish Meatballs

Delicious meatballs! Serve over noodles.

 

 

Get recipe here. 

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Individual Bacon & Cabbage Pies

Great recipe for St. Patrick’s Day! I substituted the bacon joint for packaged thick bacon slices and used pie crust instead of puff pastry.  The next time I make this, I will definitely try the author’s suggestion on adding some shredded cheddar cheese.

 

Get recipe here.

Carne de Res con Tomatillos

Comfort food Mexican style! Adapted from Mexican Cooking from Roger Hicks.

 

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds round steak
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  •  2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 12 ounces chorizo
  • 1 or 2 fresh serrano chili, or canned, sliced
  • 1 handful fresh coriander or use parsley as a substitute, chopped
  • 10 ounces of fresh tomatillos
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 new potatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock, add water if needed

 

Directions

  1. In a heavy stock pot, heat up the oil and brown the meat on all sides. Set aside. In the same pan cook the onions and garlic, until translucent. Add the chorizo and cook for a few mintues more.  Add the beef back into pot. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the potatoes. Cover and simmer for about 2hours, until the beef is tender.
  2. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a salted water. Add to the beef and cook for another   5 to 10 minutes.

 

 

Beef Stew with Smoked Eggplant Puree

This is a great comfort food recipe! It takes some time to make but well worth it.  Maybe for one of those snowed in days or family Sunday dinners.  Adapted from Cooking with Loula, Greek recipes from my family to yours, by Alexandra Stratou.

 

Beef Stew with Smoked Eggplant Puree

  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless beef brisket, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 3 whole cloves
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 pounds eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ground nutmeg [/recipe=ingredients]

 

Directions

  1. Season the beef with salt. Peel one of the onions and stick the cloves into it. Finely chop the other onion. Add about 1/2-inch of oil to a large pot set over high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Set the beef aside.
  2.   To the pot add the chopped onion, garlic, the whole onion. Reduce the heat to medium and cook till the onions are golden. Add the wine and bring to a boil until the alcohol has evaporated.
  3. Add the beef back to the pot, along with any accumulated juices. Add the tomato paste, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and some pepper. Add water barely covering the meat. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour 1/2. Check occasionally and add water if needed.
  4. Add the tomatoes, season to taste and cook for another hour, uncovered., on low heat. Taste, season and add the sugar.
  5. While the meat is cooking, prepare the eggplant. Pierce the eggplants all over, then smoke them by putting them in a broiler. Turn over constantly until charred and soft. Cut in half and scoop out the inside flesh. Place in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to collect the juices.
  6. Make a béchamel. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and all the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes golden. Whisk in the milk and eggplant juices. Cook for 20 minutes infill it becomes a thick béchamel. Remove from the heat and add the cheese and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Chop up the eggplant flesh and add to the béchamel. Season to taste once more.
  7. Remove the whole onion, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf from the meat before serving. Make a mount of the eggplant puree on a platter and top with the beef.

 

 

 

Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili

Great weeknight recipe! Quick, easy, and delicious! It was adapted from Katie Webster’s cookbook, Maple. I did modify a couple of things. The recipe called for adding 3 tablespoons of chili powder, I only added 2, and I omitted ground chipotle. It depends how much heat you like.  I topped it off with shredded cheese but, you can also add avocado, cilantro and toasted pepitas or anything you like.

 

Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup dark pure maple syrup

 

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-bottom soup pot over high heat. Add the turkey and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until completely browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Return pot to medium-high heat and add remaining oil. Add onion, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring often for about 6 to 10 minutes, until onion is soft and browned.
  3. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cook stirring for 30 to 90 seconds, until the spices are fragrant and starting to toast and darken slightly.
  4. Add the vinegar and stir for 30 seconds to a minute, until the liquid is evaporated.
  5. Add water and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  6. Add the tomatoes, beans, syrup, and browned turkey, stirring to combine. Increase  heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook stirring occasionally, for 10 to 14 minutes till onions and turkey are tender.

 

 

Vaca Frita

I call this the cousin of the Cuban dish, Ropa Vieja.  It’s primarily  same, minus the tomato sauce. Adapted from Cuban Chicks Can Cook by Ana Quincoces Rodriquez.

Vaca Frita

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  1. 2lbs flank steak
  2. 1/2 cup sour orange juice
  3. 1/4 cup lime juice
  4. 1/4 cup olive oil
  5. 2 medium onions thinly sliced
  6. 3 garlic cloves finely minced
  7. 2 teaspoons salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1 bay leaf

 

Directions

  1. In a large stockpot, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil.  Add the flank steak and bay leaf. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for  2 hours.
  2. Remove the beef from the water and let cool. Shred the beef by hand working with the grain. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, sour orange and lime juices. Let it marinate for 30 minutes. Drain any excess juice.
  3. In a large hot cast iron skillet, heat half the oil over medium heat. Add half the beef, onions and garlic. Stir frequently for about 10 minutes or until crispy . Set aside and repeat with the other half.

 

 

Lamb Bolognese

Now that Fall has officially started, it’s time for some comfort food. You do need some time to make this but, it’s worth it.   Adapted from The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook by Tracey Medeiros.

 

Lamb Bolognese

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
  • 1/4 pound bacon, diced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion diced small
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
  • 1 small fennel, fronds removed and reserved, bulb quartered and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley stems
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 3/4 cup fresh rough chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 pound pasta or broad noodles
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Directions

  1. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and place them in a bowl with juice and set aside.
  2. Saute the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until the fat begins to render. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to pot. Add the onions, carrot, fennel, chipotle pepper, parlsey stems, and thyme leaves.  Season with salt and cook stirring occaissionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook till frangrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook breaking up the meat, until it begins to brwon, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and all the juices, and parlsley leaves. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occaissionally, until the sauce is thick, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove and discard the chipoltle pepper and thyme sprigs.
  4. When the bolognese is almost done, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pastaand  cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water. Return the pasta and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sauce and toss to coat well. If too dry add pasta water. Garnish with the fennel fronds and sprinkle with cheese.

 

 

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Rolls

Part 2 of this week’s cooking with maple syrup. Adapted from Maple by Katie Webster.

 

 

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Rolls

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 8 whole leaves from 1 large cabbage
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dark pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

 

Directions

  1. Stack cabbage leaves in a large Dutch oven and pour the boiling water over top. Cover, set over high heat, and boil, rotating top leaves to the bottom. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until cabbage is just tender enough to be pliable, but not too soft that it tears. Drain the leaves on a work surface and let cool.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt, cook stirring often for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the onion is soft and starting to brown. Add the beef, mushrooms, and pepper.  Using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the beef is browned and no pink remains. Add tomato paste and coat the mixture. Add the vinegar, syrup and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  3. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling onto each cabbage leaf and roll tucking in the sides. Arrange the rolls in the skillet with seam side down. Pour the tomato sauce over rolls. Cover and cook over medium-low heat. Cook for about 20 minutes. Uncover and add the mozzarella cheese. Cover and cook for about another 2 minutes., until cheese melts. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

Turkey Rolls with Shiitake-Cheese Filling

Adapted from the Great American Grilling by Weber, a cookbook I’ve had for many years. I’m not really sure but, I think it came with Weber grill.

I’m not a big fan of turkey but, this was delicious and so easy to make!

 

Turkey Rolls with Shiitake-Cheese Filing

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 teaspoons oil drained from the sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons minced, drained sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 skinless, boneless turkey breasts or cutlets
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese cut into sticks, about 1/4-inch thick
  • 16 large fresh sage leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

 

Directions

  1.  Cut 4 of the mushrooms in half, and coarsely chop the remaining. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushroom halves and cook till lightly brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside. In the same pan heat the remaining chopped mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic. Cook, stirring often until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Let cool.
  2. Pound the turkey between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, until about about 1/8-inch in thickness.  Place the fontina cheese in the center, spoon over the mushroom mixture, sage, thyme and Asiago. Roll to enclose.
  3. Place on the grill and cook for about 6 minutes, turn over and cook for another 6 minutes. Serve with the mushroom halves.