Meatballs – You will LOVE these!

Every single one of us in this house love these meatballs.   You can always cut this recipe in half.  This recipe will make about 24 meatballs.  Our family loves meatballs so cutting in half wouldn’t cut it here!  Simple and Delicious!

Meatballs

Ingredients

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2 slices of white bread
1/2 cup milk
1# ground beef
1# ground pork (If you don’t have you can use ground beef only.)
1/4 cup of diced red onion (you could use white onion too. )
1 Tablespoons chopped parsley (you can use 1 teaspoon of dried or just leave out. I tend to leave it out.)
2 egg
1 cup grated parmesan (I like to grate my own but you can use whatever you like. I also like to use Pecorino Romano or other hard Italian cheeses. Shake it up!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste (I would use 1 teaspoon salt for this recipe)
2 Tablespoons olive oil

1.   In a bowl soak the bread in the milk.  This is called a panade and is a very important step.  This makes the meatballs moist and delish!October 035
2.  In a medium bowl, mix the ground beef, ground pork, bread and milk, onions, parsley, eggs, cheese, and garlic.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  
3.  Form the mixture into 1-2 inch since balls.  I like them about 2 inches.
4.  Put olive oil in non stick skillet.  Fry meatballs over medium to medium high heat until browned on each side.  When I make meatballs I usually am adding to a sauce to cook through.

Also, I fry 10-12 meatballs at a time in the skillet.  Don’t over fill the skillet or you will steam the meatballs and not get that golden crust.  Since I usually have more than 10-12 meatballs after each frying session, I wipe out the oil and start with a clean skillet and start all over.  That way they fry up perfect. 😉

If you are going to make the meatballs and not add to a sauce, brown them in the skillet then transfer to a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.  You could also cook them through in the frying pan.  I have done it both ways.

Enjoy!!

 

Stuffed Shells – Scullion Crew Favorite

I think I could make Stuffed Shells every weekend and they would be gone in a heartbeat.  All of us love them.  Especially the next day, if they survive that long.  Here is this simple recipe that takes no time at all.  If you don’t make your own sauce (which takes 15 minutes for a quick one) then use a jar.  Here you go;

Stuffed Shells

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Ingredients

1 Box – Jumbo Stuffed Shells
Tomato Sauce or buy a jar (whatever works for you)
1 -32 ounce container of Ricotta (I use whole milk Ricotta)
3 cups shredded Mozzarella (2 cups for mixing in the bowl, 1 cup to top the shells before putting in oven.)
1 cup shredded Parmesan
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (If I have it I use it, if I don’t it is still wonderful!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.
2.  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
3.  In medium bowl, stir together cheeses, eggs, salt, pepper
4.  Use a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, spread bottom of dish with 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Fill each cooked shell with cheese mixture and add to baking dish.  August 2014 050When baking dish is full, spread remaining sauce over shells; sprinkle with additional mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese, if desired. (It depends on my mood.  I usually use mozzarella cheese.)
5.  Bake  35-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is lightly browned.August 2014 008

 

I will be surprised if you don’t love this simple and delicious meal.  I think I may have to make this over the weekend.  Enjoy!!

Pasta Primavera – Simple and Delicious

It is almost Summer.  That means veggies!  I wanted to make a nice and easy meal this Sunday with veggies.  No meat I said to myself.  I told the crew I was going to avoid a meat dish this Sunday.  We will have Pasta Primavera, Israeli Salad and rolls – from Costco, I guess I was a little lazy! 🙂  Well, I did make what I wanted but I also grilled some chicken.  Eric loves chicken. I offered chicken and he accepted.  So much for no meat.  I marinated the chicken using some of the mint that I am growing.   I checked a few different recipes for the Pasta Primavera.  I ended up doing my own thing and it turned out quite delicious.  Here goes;

 

Pasta Primavera

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces – As you can tell from the photos my veggies were cut a bit large.  Eric did suggest next time making pieces smaller. Thus, bite sized pieces! He loved it thought!! 🙂
6-8 asparagus spears (depends on the size.  I had some thin ones and used 8), sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup chicken (or veggie) broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 Tablespoon basil, chopped (fresh from my herb garden)
Olive Oil
Butter
Salt and Pepper
1 pound pasta.  I used Rigatoni.  Next time I will use a shell or large elbows.  You can use whatever you want.  (get that pot of water boiling for your pasta.  Don’t forget to add salt to the water.  I add 1 Tablespoon to 8 cups water)

Directions

1.  I ended up roasting the broccoli, asparagus and red pepper.  Preheat oven to 425.  Put the cut up veggies in a bowl, add 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Mix together.  Put in oven for 10-15 minutes.  You want them firm not mushy.  10 minutes was my limit.June 1 2014 040
2.  If you haven’t done so, get the water boiling for the pasta.  Cook pasta while you are preparing veggies and cream sauce.
3.  Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil and melt 1 Tablespoon of butter to a frying pan. ( I used my stainless steel frying pan.)
4.  Add the onions to the olive oil and melted butter.  Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the carrots and cook about 5-8 minutes. Throw in garlic last couple of minutes.June 1 2014 041
5.  When onions, garlic and carrots are done set aside in a bowl or plate.
6.  To the same frying pan add 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 Tablespoon butter.  Heat through until butter melted.
7.  Add 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup half and half to chicken broth mix.  Stir together.  Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese.  Stir until heated through.  The sauce thickens as it is heated through.  About 5 minutes. Just before you add the veggies to the cream sauce, add 1 Tablespoon basil. Mix together.June 1 2014 042
8.  Add all veggies to the cream sauce and mix together.
9.  Add above to the pasta.  Mix together and serve!June 1 2014 043

We all loved this dish.  Martin2 and Rachel were working but I sent them a care package.  They both text to let me know this was delicious.  I will definitely make this again soon.  The farmers market will inspire me to use some different veggie combos next time. It did take some time, but I love my kitchen time!  I say cut your veggies and grate your parmesan the night before.  That way you will be good to go the next night to make this simple and delicious meal.  Served with Israeli salad, marinated chicken for those who wanted it, our favorite Costco rolls and for dessert – cheesecake!  Enjoy!!

Chicken Cacciatore

As the weekend approaches everyone knows I always ask my family what they would like me to make or bake.  Whenever I ask Kent (for those who don’t know that is my hubby) he rarely has a suggestion.  He actually requested Chicken Cacciatore this weekend.  I was shocked.  I checked to see what recipes were out there.  As always America’s Test Kitchen got my vote.  Believe it or not I have never used wine in a recipe.  I always replace it with broth.  I know, you are thinking how crazy that is.  Especially how much I love to cook.  Well, I am not a fan of wine and just never bothered to use it.  I mentioned to Kent I wanted to avoid the wine.  He said to make it per the recipe or find another one.  Since he rarely has any opinion about what I throw on the table I decided to make this recipe exactly as written.  That included the red wine.  I checked out on their website on what type of wine I should use.  They recommend using a red wine made with berries.  I Found Red Rock Winery Merlot in our basement stock.  02162014 005 This wine has a blend of raspberries and blackberries.   Let’s begin;

Chicken Cacciatore

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Ingredients

8 bone in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 ounces Portobello mushrooms, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) dices tomatoes, drained (oops, I just realized I didn’t drain)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (all I had was dried thyme.  I used 1 teaspoon.)
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind (2 inches, about 1 ounce), this is optional (I weighed 1 oz piece of Parmesan rind)
2 teaspoon minced fresh sage leaves (their was the option to use rosemary.  I used rosemary instead.  I LOVE rosemary!)

Directions

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1.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes.  Add four chicken thighs, skin side down and cook, not moving them until skin is crisp and well browned, about 5 minutes.  Using tongs, flip the chicken  and brown on second side, 5 minutes longer.  Transfer browned chicken to large plate.  Brown remaining thighs.  (It is best to do them in 2 batches.  They will not brown if you crowd all 8 in one pan.)  Set the chicken aside.
2.  Drain off all but 1 Tablespoon of fat from the pot.  Add onion, mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt; saute over medium high heat, stirring until browned.  About 6-8 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, remove and discard skin from browned chicken thighs.
4.  Add garlic to pot and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5.  Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly until combined with veggies.
6.  Add wine, scraping pot bottom with wooden spoon to loosen brown bits.  Stir in broth, tomatoes, thyme, cheese rind (if using), 1/2 teaspoon salt (Omit salt if using cheese rind), and pepper to taste.
7.  Submerge chicken pieces in liquid and bring to boil. 02162014 006 Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 45 minutes.  Turn chicken pieces with tongs halfway through cooking.
8.  Discard cheese rind, stir in sage (or rosemary), adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve!

We served over pasta.  You could use rice, noodles or even mashed potatoes.  Whatever you desire.  It really was simple and delicious.  I look forward to making this dish again!

 

 

Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Every Sunday I make dinner for all of us.  It is very informal.  I like informal.  No pressure.  That is what weekends are for!!  Sometimes Eric & Rachel, Martin & Martin, Lily & Paige show up, sometimes they don’t.    Eric shows up most Sundays. 🙂  Just depends on what they are up to.  Needless to say I always have a family meal on Sunday, no matter who is here!  I decided to make these Chicken Parmesan Sliders.  I also made the Chick Fil A sandwich along with it.  They were both big hits.  I used 2 different kinds of rolls.  I bought the Kings Hawaiian Savory Butter Dinner Rolls as the recipe suggested. I also made the hamburger/dinner rolls I previously posted.  The home made buns won the taste test.  Here is the recipe for the Chicken Parmesan Sliders.

Chicken Parmesan Sliders
(compliments of The Slow Roasted Italian)

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 chicken breasts (1 1/4# total), cut into 1/2 inch steaks (I pounded the chicken to 1/2 inch)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 ounces grated fresh Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup marinara sauce (I used my tomato sauce recipe, always have that on hand!)
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package Kings Hawaiian Savory Butter Dinner Rolls

Directions

1.  Preheat oven 400 degrees. Place rolls on a cutting board, using a serrated knife, cut rolls in half lengthwise.  Open rolls and place tops on one side of the baking sheet and bottoms on the other side, cut side up.
2.  Melt butter in a small microwave safe bowl, stir in garlic powder.  Brush butter on cut side of bread.  Bake bread for 8-10 minutes until bread is lightly golden brown.
3. Prepare chicken by slicing the thickest part of the breast about 1/2 inch thick.  (As I mentioned, I pounded the breasts to 1/2 inch thick).  Cut the breasts into pieces that will fit on the rolls.
4.  Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.  Sprinkle all of the chicken with salt and pepper. (I put the 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small bowl.  I now use this combination on all of my meats.  This is a perfect amount and great seasoning.  No flavoring is as simple as salt and pepper!)
5.  Cook until browned, about 4 minutes each side.
6.  Remove bread from oven.  Carefully remove top halves of rolls and place on plate.  Set aside.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the bottom halves.  Top with cooked chicken pieces.  Drizzle each chicken piece with 1 Tablespoon of sauce and top with mozzarella cheese.
7.  Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted.
8.  Place top halves back on chicken.  Serve and enjoy!

This was simple and very delicious.  Huge hit here.  Give it a try!!