Friday, January 14, 2011

Spaghetti with Stuffed Meatballs

I was looking through my freezer and pantry to see what I had to work with. I found some Ground Chicken that seemed like a nice change of pace.
Hmm...chicken burgers, no buns. No time to make any either. Ummm..chicken sausage, no. Hmmm... meatballs?? Sounds good.

I had no recipes in my arsenal. So, I went through a ton of online recipes and decided on this one. It calls for ground beef, pork, and veal; however, I am made it using only ground chicken.

Also since the Williams-Sonoma recipe calls for 3 lbs of meat and I only used 1 lb., I had to cut down on the rest of the ingredients as well. In other words, I made this recipe my own. Thanks Williams-Sonoma for the great idea!!

Half way through cooking my kids thought it'd be great to start crying and fighting. It was awesome...not really. So I brought out the old bartender in me and made myself a cocktail. A Cosmo, using Stoli Vodka and an 100% juice blend of Blueberry & Pomegranate. I call it the Antioxidant Angel. ;-) It really was a gift from above.

I found this recipe on Williams-Sonoma's website:


1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground veal
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more
for garnish
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/3 lb. mozzarella or provolone cheese, cut into
1/2-inch cubes
Olive oil for frying
About 6 cups tomato sauce (see related recipe
at left)
2 lb. spaghetti, cooked and drained
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving


In a large bowl, combine the milk and bread crumbs. Add the ground pork, veal, beef, the 1/3 cup parsley, the eggs, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix briefly with your hands. Form the mixture into 2-inch balls. Press a mozzarella cheese cube into the center of each ball, sealing it inside.

In a large electric skillet set on medium-high heat, heat 1/2 inch of oil until almost smoking. Add the meatballs and cook until browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined tray.

Discard the oil in the pan. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 10 minutes more.

Put the pasta in a warmed large, shallow bowl. Top with the sauce and meatballs and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately and pass the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table. Serves 10 to 12.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pork Chops in a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction, with Caramelized Shallots

4  pork chops
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped in quarters
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Pat pork dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium high heat until hot.  

Then cook pork, you might have to cook them in to batches, along with shallots, turning pork over once and stirring shallots occasionally. Do this until pork is browned and shallots are golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes total.

Take pork out and put on a plate. Add vinegar, sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to shallots in skillet.

Cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved and liquid is thickened slightly. This will take approx. 1 minute 

Turn heat down to medium, then return pork to skillet and turn a few times to coat with sauce.

Cook, turning over once, until pork is just cooked through, about 3 minutes total.

Pour the rest of the sauce over your chops. Enjoy :o)

My pork chops, all done. I put them in this pan and kept them in the oven, on 200 degrees, until my sides were done. Just to keep them warm.

served over white basmati rice

Dinner was awesome!!! I had never had pork chops this way. I highly recommend them. Happy Eating.

Pork Chop on FoodistaPork Chop

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ribs, Creamy Potato Salad, and Cloverleaf Rolls

I'm not cooking anything today, I'm giving my attention to a sick puppy. I'm making formula and bottle feeding him. He's alive!! This morning, it didn't look so good. Thank you internet for helping me save this little runt. :-) Give you an update in the morning. It's looking good though.

Here's last night's dinner.

Dinner was delicious last night. My mountain man loves ribs and I had some so...umm ribs it was. He had been working all day out in the cold so I knew he'd be stoked to see them when he got home.


The ribs were the easy part. I used 8 beef ribs, cut into individuals ribs.

ribs boiling, potatoes cooking

Using two different pots, I boiled the ribs for 3 1/2 hours. Let me tell you, there is something to be said for a long boil on ribs. My, my. So tender and good. they fell right off the bone.

After boiling them for that amount of time, I put them in a broiler safe pan and slathered them in KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce. Yeah I could have made my own. I should have but, this is our favorite store bought sauce.

Then I put them in the boiler, on high, for approx. 5 minutes on each side. Just enough it melt the BBQ sauce all over em'. ;-)

Creamy Potato Salad:

7 cups cubed red potatoes                                                                 
3 hard boiled egg, chopped
3/4 cup chopped red onion
palmful of thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup chopped garlic dill pickle
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup pickle juice (secret ingredient, ssshhh)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dill weed

Place potatoes and onion in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
Put potatoes in a large bowl. Add chopped egg, pickles, and green onion. In a separate small bowl, mix sour cream, mayonnaise, pickle juice, salt, pepper, and dill. Pour over potato mixture and toss gently to coat. Then, I refrigerated until ready to serve. I garnished with paprika and dill.

Cloverleaf Rolls
recipe from: "Cloverleaf Rolls", Mom's Best Meals by tasteofhome by Reader's Digest., 2005. Reiman Media Group, Inc.

cloverleaf rolls

1 package active dry yeast                                                                  
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp salt
4 to 4 1/2 all purpose flour
additional melted butter

In a mixing bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and milk; beat until smooth. Add butter, egg and salt, mix well. Add 3 cups of flour; beat until  smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and divide in half. Divide each half into 36 pieces and shape into balls.

Place 3 balls each into greased muffin cups. Cover and let rise until doubles, about 30 minutes.

Brush with  butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks.

Serve warm. YIELD: 2 dozen


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Buttercream Fingerling Potatoes w/ Shallots, Garlic, and Thyme

I went grocery shopping and tried to buy more "gourmet" ingredients. In my quest for different foods, I found some awesome potatoes, Buttercream Fingerling's. They were small with yellow-tan skin and yellow flesh and a little bit sweet. So, I decided to use them for some delicious breakfast potatoes.

I chopped my potatoes into quarters. Then I cut up 1/2 of a large shallot into thin slices and 3-4 cloves of garlic, also into thin slices.

close up
I put all these things together into a large saute pan, along with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, on medium-high heat.

 Next, I seasoned my my potatoes with thyme and pepper and let them cook until tender. Tossing and stirring occasionally.
They were delicious!! The sweetness of the buttercreams countered the onion/garlic combination so well, and the thyme made it look beautiful as well. Enjoy!!

Here's a trick to perfect bacon, everytime. Cook it in the oven!! Most packages have oven instructions on the back but...I did mine at 400 degrees for 14 minutes. I like my bacon crispy!! They look and taste great, plus if you put them on a rack in a baking pan, the grease will drip off for healthier bacon!!

Potato on FoodistaPotato