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Pastor Ryan’s Bolognese Sauce

21 Jan
While I’m honestly still in search of my “favorite” bolognese, this was a pretty delicious attempt.  For me, it was a little too chunky…I kind of like a smoother sauce with meat versus an overall chunkier one.  Regardless, I wouldn’t mind eating this again!

Pastor Ryan’s Bolognese Sauce

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups grated carrots
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons dried Oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons dried Basil flakes (or substitute fresh if you have it)
  • 1 can (6 Ounce) tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (to 2 Cups) red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 cans (28 Ounce) whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat. Add grated carrots and onions and cook for a few minutes. Make a well in the center of the mixture and then add in the ground beef to well. Cook for a few minutes until brown, gradually stirring it into the carrot mixture.

Add oregano and basil. Once the meat is browned and combined with other ingredients, make another well. Add tomato paste and let it heat up. Add garlic and stir to combine.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add red wine. Stir together. Add Worcestershire and canned tomatoes and stir. Add milk, stir, and let simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Serve over pasta with Parmesan.

Source: Pioneer Woman Cooks

Raspberry Sauce

30 Dec

I hope everyone had a delightful Christmas.  We went home, and I didn’t want to leave.  True statement.

So after all the Christmas cookies (which I’m still eating…like literally within the last five minutes), I feel like we need to start driving the eating habits bus in a more appropriate direction aka not off the side of a cliff.  This raspberry sauce is an excellent mix-in to yogurt, and with only 3 tbsp. of sugar in the batch, it’s not too bad for you either!  My favorite thing about it is you use frozen raspberries since acquiring fresh this time of year would likely prove a little costly.

Raspberry Sauce

  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 12 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed (still frozen works but will just take longer)

In a small saucepan, stir together the cornstarch, sugar and water. Add the raspberries and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture boils. Continue stirring and boil one additional minute.

Pour the sauce into a mesh sieve placed over a bowl to remove seeds.

Can be served warm or cold, but store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Source: Bake at 350

(Angel Hair) and Meatballs

20 Jan

I think I’ve mentioned that I grew up in a heavily Italian neighborhood, so although I’m not Italian myself, I enjoyed the benefits of wonderful Italian food growing up.  Sauce is something people take very seriously, and even my non-Italian mom makes delicious sauce.  This sauce though, all I can say is WOW.  Completely delicious, and I honestly have thought about it several times since making it, which, for me, says a lot.

If my brother  were visiting, I’d just pull out some sauce and it put it in its own pan to simmer before I added the meatballs, so it’s easily adapted to a vegetarian meal!

(Angel Hair) and Meatballs

Recipe slightly adapted from Mrs. D Loves to Eat, originally from Brown Eyed Baker

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1, 28-oz., can tomato puree (I used diced as that’s what I had on hand, and since you blend it all at the end, it worked fine!)
  • 1, 28-oz., can tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • Water from rinsing extra sauce and puree from inside of cans (about 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup)
  • 3/4 cup.  grated parmesan or romano cheese

To begin, heat the olive oil and saute the onion in a Dutch Oven (or large stockpot) over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic for another 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent.  Add tomato sauce, tomato puree, parsley, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, cheese, water, and sugar.  Once it’s all combined, bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and place the lid on the pot with a little bit of a crack to let some of the steam escape.  Let simmer for at least 2 hours. (Adding the meatballs at the 1 hour mark to allow them plenty of time to cook through if not cooking them in the oven.)

Discard the bay leaf, and remove the meatballs to a bowl with a slotted spoon.  Blend the sauce until smooth using an immersion blender, or if you don’t have one, blend no more than 2 cups of sauce at a time very carefully in a blender.  Since it’s hot, I would take the pour hole insert out of the top and put a kitchen towel (it will get sauce on it so use an old one) over it to hold on to avoid burning your hand and blowing the top off!  Return the meatballs to the sauce.  Serve with grated parmesan, because there’s no better way than more cheese!

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

There are two ways to make the meatballs – either simmer in the sauce or cook in the oven.  This time I cooked them in the sauce, although I would try the oven method as well as I think both ways would be/were delish!

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup of bread crumbs with the milk and allow to soak for 10 minutes.  Mix-in the remaining ingredients and shape into 1 – 1 1/2″ balls.

Oven Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 30 minutes and add to simmering sauce to finish cooking through or cook the entire way in the oven (40-45 minutes).

Stovetop Method: Allow to simmer in the sauce for 45-60 minutes or until cooked through.


Cilantro Garlic Chimichurri

16 Dec

I feel like I must have done something wrong.  The picture of this originally made me want to run out to the store; it just looked so…fresh.  But, ultimately I unfortunately thought this was mediocre.  So now…I’m on the hunt for a new recipe!

Cilantro Garlic Chimichurri

Recipe found at:  Good Things Catered

  • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves, packed
  • 1/2 c. fresh parsley leaves, packed
  • 1/8 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cumin

In a food processor, add cilantro and parsley and pulse until chopped.  Add remaining ingredients and process until combined well, and add more olive oil if needed for mixture to come together.
Store in a small bowl (covered) and let mixture sit about one day before serving.

Gorgonzola Burgers with Red Wine and Onion Jam

31 Aug

Along with the yummy corn, we also enjoyed gorgonzola burgers and panznella (recipe to follow shortly), but both part of the not so in-focus pictures series…

I’m growing to like onions more and more, but since I altered the recipe to “stew” a little more in liquid and really take on the wine and vinegar flavor, they were almost sweet.  Very delicious as a topping, and something I’m sure I’ll be making again.

Gorgonzola Burgers with Red Wine and Onion Jam

Adapted from Smells Like Home (adapted from Bobby Flay, Grill It!, pages 50-51)

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin (makes 4 small burgers)
  • Vegetable or Canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. Gorgonzola, cut into 4 slices or use the crumbled if that’s what you see at the grocery store like I did that day
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 hamburger buns, split in half

While pre-heating your grill, split the meat into quarters and shape into patties.  This will produce smaller burgers,  so if you want ‘normal’ sized burgers, either increase the meat or decrease the number of patties to three.  Drizzle the burgers with the oil and season with salt and pepper.

Put on the grill, and when the burgers have about a minute left, put the cheese on top of each burger and then close the grill cover to melt the cheese.

Spread the butter on the cut sides of the buns and season with salt and pepper.  Place the buttered side down on the grill, and grill until a light golden brown, about 30 seconds.

Assemble the burgers spooning your desired amount of the jam on top of the burger.

Red Wine and Onion Jam

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat.   When the oil is warm, add the onion.  Stir occasionally until the onion is soft – this took me about 5-6 minutes, but could take longer depending on how ‘hot’ your medium-low is.  Then add the wine, vinegar, honey, and thyme to the pan.  Bring this to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 – 7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat to allow it to cool to room temperature.

Jam can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

PESTO…and pizza

22 Jun

Pesto is another delish item.  I could have and did – ek. eat it by the spoonful (what level of weirdness does this put me at?  kind of weird or more of a you should probably see a doctor for that weird?)  Anyways, in case you couldn’t tell, it’s tasty stuff in my book.

Then you go and combine pesto with fresh mozzerella…goodness.  I used 1/2 of the homemade pizza dough stretched it out in an unattractive fashion and spread it with pesto and slices of mozzerella goodness.  That pizza dough is also wonderful as 1/2 of the dough I used for the pizza and the other half I stuck in the refrigerator and made calzones with tonight!

Pesto

Pesto

Recipe courtesy of my cute mommy (ex-caterer/Lebanese – let me tell you, she knows what she’s doing in a kitchen)

  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup parmesean cheese, grated
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic – depends on your tastes; I usually use 4

In a food processor, blend together the nuts, garlic, salt, cheese, parsley and basil.  Process for 10 seconds. Add the oil in a slow streams and continue to process for 20 to 30 seconds or until sauce is smooth. This will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for 4 weeks, or in the freezer for 6 months.

My mom sometimes divides the sauce into ice cube trays and freezes them until firm.  Then she puts in a freezer zip lock bag so you can take them out whenever you need them which is great because then you only reheat what you need!

Pesto Pizza


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