Mrs J drove into town to do her part at the shelter so I fiddled about in the kitchen. I knew breaded meatballs were a thing but I’ve never tried any until today. The meatballs were basic Italian sausage with lots of Parmesan, chopped parsley, garlic, bread crumbs, an egg, a splash of milk and salt and pepper. I knew the breading would burn if they had to cook for a long time so I made mine fairly small – about an inch or so. Smaller than golf balls, anyway. I tried one rolled in just the breadcrumbs and it did OK, but the rest of them were floured, dredged in egg, and then rolled in the breadcrumbs.I used olive oil and watched the heat, keeping it medium low, and tried to roll the meatballs to keep any one side from getting too brown. You pretty much need to stand over the pan the whole time. This skillet is pretty full because it’s the last batch and my legs were tiring.This is the photo the whole effort was leading up to. I buttered both halves of one of my buns and toasted them before adding the meatballs and spooning on sauce. After grating Parmesan over it all they went back into the toaster oven for a minute or two.
I have been fighting a cold this week and all I want is orange juice and homemade soup. So, of course, that’s the theme for tonight’s recipe exchange. Soups. And there are plenty on the blog, because both JeffreyW and I love soup. Just search on soups and you’ll come up with almost 300 entries.
Here are few selections:
Cream of Chicken Soup, click here.
From Joshua D (Yutsano), Cauliflower Beer Cheese Soup, click here.
From JeffreyW, three soups:
Vegetable Beef Soup, picture above and recipe here
Moroccan Spicy Lamb Soup, recipe here
Parmesan Potato Soup, with Bacon, click here
What’s cookin’ in your kitchen this weekend? What must have recipe gets you through cold season?
Tonight’s featured recipe takes very little effort, so you can have quick and easy homemade soup for a weeknight dinner or when feeling under the weather.
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 8 oz sliced carrots
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes (or equivalent fresh)
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 tsp oregano, crushed
- 1 tsp basil, crushed
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach, rough chopped
- 20 oz pkg frozen tortellini
- 4 oz grated Parmesan
Add all ingredients to saucepan, except spinach, tortellini & Parmesan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat & let simmer for 15 minutes. Add tortellini and bring to boil again, reduce heat, let simmer 10 minutes, add spinach and let simmer additional 5 minutes, until tortellini is tender. Serve with Parmesan garnish.
That’s it for this week. I’ll try and have a Bixby update later…he’s been sleeping a lot the last two days, so I’m thinking, growth spurt. – TaMara
Mmm… shred some potatoes and cook them down in chicken stock for the base soup – then start with those little flourishes that make cooking fun. This one has onions, celery, and carrots along with the potatoes. Let them cook down a while then hit it with an immersion blender. I used some Swiss that I’ve had in the fridge for too long for the cheese component, then stirred in some heavy cream at the end. Bacon or ham works well in this sort of thing. Shave some Parmesan on top for a garnish.
I’m repeating the holiday gift series this week. We’ll start with flavored popcorn:
One of my favorite things is the mixed can of flavored popcorn. Unfortunately they can vary in quality and price. And if you’re paying a premium, well let’s face it, it all hype, because popcorn is cheap, as are most of the ingredients that go in flavored popcorn. So I thought I’d pull a few recipes together this week so you could make your own variety tin of flavored popcorn. I actually have a tower of gift boxes that I’m thinking of filling with different flavors. You can use decorative plastic and ribbon, or holiday tins, or zip-lock bags placed in pretty gift bags.
For the first recipes, I thought something cheesy.
White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn
- 8 cups popped corn
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese powder
- 1/4 tsp dried mustard
- dash of cayenne
- salt to taste
It might be easiest to do this in two batches. In a large bag, toss popcorn thoroughly with butter to coat completely. Mix together cheese and spices, toss with popcorn in the bag until everything is well coated. Spread out on to baking sheet for 30 to 60 minutes before packaging (this keeps it from becoming soggy).
- 8 cups popped corn
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tsp chili powder
- dash of garlic
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan (I’d use the Kraft style for ease)
- salt to taste (the Parmesan may make it salty enough)
Again, you may want to make this in batches. Mix together butter and spices and toss with popcorn in a large bag. Add cheese and toss again until well coated. Spread out on to baking sheet for 30 to 60 minutes before packaging.
Additional flavor ideas:
White cheddar cheese powder and taco seasoning. Parmesan and dry packaged buttermilk ranch dressing seasoning.
Originally posted Dec 2011
Mrs J makes a killer pie crust using the smittenkitchen.com butter recipe. We like these with crusts on the bottom, too. I bought some 6″ anodized aluminum pie pans a while ago and these pies came right out of them without greasing the pan, Lots of butter in the crust.Sometimes I mix the fillings with the white sauce, these were assembled in layers – veggies then meat then sauce, then the same again.I cooked a white sauce with a little nutmeg and a teaspoon of dry mustard. It seemed lacking so I turned it into a mornay sauce by grating in a few ounces of Parmesan. It would have been a little better with more half and half, these came out a bit drier than I like.Top them with another crust and seal the rims with a fork, trim the excess dough, then give them an egg wash. This wash was a whole egg beaten with a dollop of dairy.Pop them into a 350 oven until they get some nice color, about 30 minutes.
This turned out pretty well. The bacon made that a foregone conclusion but the Parmesan was an experiment gone good. I simmered potato pieces in chicken broth until they were soft and then pureed everything in the pot with an immersion blender. The bacon crisped up in a separate pan and was added after the blender did its job – save a little for garnishing at the table. There’s some milk in there to thin it, lots of grated Parmesan and some cheddar I had leftover from burritos. Seasonings include dried thyme, oregano, fresh ground black pepper and salt. I used the same microplane grater I grated the Parm with on a little bit of carrot that you can see in the photo if you look hard.Since I am lunatic I took the chance to add a little color to the plate with a healthy slug of my hot sauce. It was good but I wouldn’t let the lack of it dissuade me from demolishing a future bowl of this soup.
This is another one of those doughs that stayed out on the counter all night – two cups of bread flour, a quarter teaspoon of yeast, one cup of water, a wee pinch of salt and a sprinkle of sugar. I massaged it into place in my pizza pan and let it rise there for another hour then par baked it at 425 for five minutes. There isn’t a real sauce, per se, just some roasted grape tomatoes that I made last summer and then froze just for something like this. It also has bacon, thin sliced coppa, some ham, a caramelized onion, mozzarella, and some nice Parmesan grated over it at the table.
I’ll just pop these leftover slices into the freezer just like this and then seal the individual slices in vacuum bags, they make great grab-‘em-and-go lunches for Mrs J when she heads out to the shelter.
We have a couple of grape tomato bushes out back and they have been churning out tomatoes by the score. I went out this morning and picked a half bucketful and there were that many on the ground. I went looking for a roasting recipe and Martha Stewart came through for me.I used more olive oil than required, probably, and had a lot of fresh thyme. These took longer than a hour and I bumped the temp up to 400 or so before I got much in the way of a color change. I stirred them once and returned them to the oven.We ate some of them with angel hair pasta for lunch. My basil has gone to seed but I did find a few bright green new leaves that looked tender. The portion of the tomatoes I used for the dish had a tablespoon or two of butter stirred in. Pretty good stuff, not sure what to do with the rest of the tomatoes, I picked enough to fill that pan three times, the last batch is in the oven as I write this.