Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Short Rib Pasta Sauce

I love pasta. Sigh.  I prefer my pasta with meat sauce. As much as I love any one of my favorite bolognese sauces and as much as I don't mind browning some ground beef and adding it to a jar of sauce, I do get tired of the same thing again and again. That's what attracted me to this recipe. I was looking for something different to pour over my carbs.


Short Rib Pasta Sauce

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: less than 20 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 oz chopped pancetta or bacon (about 1/2 C)
2 1/2 lb beef short ribs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 C flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 C fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14 oz) can tomatoes (whole or diced)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 bay leaves
2 1/2 C beef broth
3/4 C red wine
1 pound fresh pasta (linguine or fettuccine)
4 to 6 tsp shaved bittersweet chocolate

Place the olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium heat. Cook the pancetta until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, season the short ribs with salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside.

Add the short ribs to the pan and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total.

Meanwhile, combine the onion, carrot, parsley and garlic in a food processor and blend until finely minced. Then add the tomatoes and tomato paste and pulse.

Once the short ribs are browned, carefully add the mixture from the food processor to the pot. Return the pancetta to the pot and stir. Add the rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, beef broth, and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and simmer for another hour and a half, stirring occasionally.

Remove the meat and bones from the pot. Discard the bones. Shred the meat and return it to the pot.

Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the pot and stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta liquid 1/4 cup at a time, if needed, to moisten the pasta.

Transfer to serving bowls, top each bowl with 1 teaspoon of chocolate shavings. Serve immediately.

My Notes:
I made this the first time last fall. It took me forever and a consultation with the butcher to figure out that short ribs were, in fact, beef and not pork. Brad and I both liked it last fall and we liked it again this fall.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries

I'm always looking for fun side dishes. Knowing how well the roasted sweet potatoes went over, I decided to try another sweet potato recipe.

From Tasty Kitchen

Active prep: 10 minutes
Inactive prep: 1 hour
Baking time: 35 minutes

2 whole large sweet potatoes
3 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Olive oil cooking spray

Cut the sweet potatoes into small fries, about 1/4 of an inch thick. When they are all cut, place them in a bowl with warm water and 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt. Fill the bowl with more water, so that all the fries are covered. Leave them to soak for  an hour. The soaking is important because it makes the fries crispy.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining kosher salt and black pepper onto the pan. Drain the water from your bowl of fries and spread them out evenly on the baking sheet. Top with the remaining salt and pepper and spray the fries with a little more cooking spray.

Place them in the oven and bake for about 30-45 minutes, until the fries are crispy and browned. Flip the fries at least once during baking. If the fries are cooked, but not crispy, place them under the broiler for about a minute.

 My Notes:
I am, apparently, not very good at baking fries. They always come out a little brown. There is always smoke billowing out of the oven, and the smoke alarm goes off every time. Brad really liked these, though.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hawaiian Burgers

It was hot today - like Indian Summer hot. It wasn't sunshiney or bright blue - just hot. A day like today calls for something that tastes like summer.

1 can (20 oz) unsweetened crushed pineapple
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1/4 C reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
18 miniature whole wheat bungs
Baby spinach leaves
3 center-cut bacon strips, cooks and crumbled
Swiss cheese, 6 slices

Drain pineapple, reserving juice and 1 1/2C pineapple. In a large bowl, combine 3/4 C reserve crushed pineapple, pepper, and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 18 patties; place in two 11 x 7" dishes.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, pepper flakes, and reserved pineapple juice. Pour half of marinade into each dish; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning once.

Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain and discard marinade. Grill patties, covered, over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F and juices run clear. Melt small amount of cheese on top of each burger.

Grill buns, uncovered for 1- 2 minutes or until toasted. Serve burgers on buns with spinach, pineapple, and bacon.

My Notes:
These were good, but a lot of work. Next time, I might use the same recipe to make regular burgers. I'm a little hesitant, though, because I'm not sure they would stay together. The addition of the pineapple made the small burgers crumbly; I'm not sure what effect it would have on regular burgers.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

The meal at a recent book club meeting was breakfast. I was in charge of dessert and wanted to make something that wouldn't need to bake there. That's how I ended up with blueberry muffins.

Blueberries are a little scary this time of year, but I still gave it a try.
Coffee Cake Blueberry Muffins
Taken from Ina Garten

Makes 16 muffins
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes


12 Tbsp (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 C sugar
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz (about 1 C) sour cream
1/4 C milk
2-1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 half-pints fresh blueberries, picked through for stems

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 16 paper liners in muffin pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed. Fold in the blueberries with a spatula and be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup just over the top, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a cake tester comes out clean.

My Notes:
These were okay. Really? I wanted them to taste more like the Bette Crocker blueberry muffins that come in a box. You know - the ones with the little can of blueberries inside. My main problem was that the blueberries clumped together in the bottom of the muffins.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chicken Provencal Soup

Fall = Soup. This recipe from Beth seemed perfect.

Adapted from Chicken Provencal Stoup
by Rachael Ray

Prep time: less than 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes 4 servings

 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced in 1/4"
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchinis, halved and sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced in 1/4"
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 lb small red skinned potatoes, cut in thin wedges
1 C dry white wine
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 qt + 1C chicken stock
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced

2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 small jar olive tapenade (4 oz)
Crusty bread

Heat medium soup pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, carrots, garlic, zucchini, pepper, and onion. Season with salt and pepper and sage, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add wine to vegetables and reduce for about one minute.

Add tomatoes, potatoes, and stock to the pot. Cover and raise heat to high. Bring to a boil.

Add chicken and simmer 8 to 10 minutes until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked.

Serve in shallow bowls topped with olive tapenade and parsley. Pass bread around at table.

My Notes:
I channeled my inner Rachael Ray when I made this and gathered all the ingredients first. It was quite the pile; there's lots of stuff in this soup! It tasted great, though. I was thinking that it would end up being more of a stew than a soup. It was definitely a soup, though. It's something I would make again.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Zucchini Slop

This one-pot side dish is exactly what summer tasted like in my childhood. I have no idea how my mom came up with the recipe or when she started making it. I just know that I love it.

So, I am sharing it with you so you can enjoy the last of the zucchinis and keep a little taste of summer in your fall.

Mama Sue's Zucchini Slop
Makes 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes of chopping
Cook time: About 50 minutes

4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp butter (additional butter to taste)
1 green pepper, cored and seeded, roughly diced
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, peeled, quarter, and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes, onion, garlic, and butter in a large pot. Barely cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until potatoes begin to soften, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Add green pepper and zucchini. Continue cooking over medium heat (uncovered) until all ingredients begin to turn to soften and turn to slop, about 15 to 20 minutes. It is important to stir often.

Also, you might need to add water or milk to reach desired consistency. I prefer a thick consistency, like a stew. Add salt, pepper, and additional butter to taste.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Index (as of 9/1/10)

Pork and Chive Pot Stickers
BBQ Meatballs
Spicy Caramel Popcorn

Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Brown Sugar Bacon
Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Walnut Apples
Breakfast Burritos
Overnight Sticky Buns

Leek and Potato Soup 
Broccoli Leek Soup
One Pot Chili
Minestrone Soup
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
Pasta Fagioli Soup
Corn and Chicken Chowder

Caeser Club Sandwich

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
Chopped Salad (from Buca's)
Caesar Salad with Garlic Croutons
Gorgonzola and Bacon Dressing
Greek Panzanella

Macaroni and Cheese (Barefoot Contessa)
Fancy Mac and Cheese (Pioneer Woman)
Macaroni and Cheese (Pioneer Woman)
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Shrimp, Feta, and Herb Mac and Cheese
Taco Mac

PASTA - Vegetarian
Apple Walnut Ravioli
Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese
Zucchini, Tomato, and Ricotta Pasta

PASTA - with Chicken
Chicken and Bacon Pasta
Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Tomatoes
Mushroom Marsala Pasta with Chicken and Artichokes
Loaded White Cheddar, Garlic, and Chicken Pasta

PASTA - Other
Spaghetti Puttanesca 
Artichoke and Sausage Pasta
Spaghetti and Meatballs

PASTA - Sauces
Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions
Classic Bolognese Sauce
Spaghetti Bolognese (from Pioneer Woman)

PASTA - Lasagna
Lasagna with Turkey Sausage
Nicky's Lasagna

PASTA - Shrimp Scampi
Linguini with Shrimp Scampi
Baked Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Scampi

Creamy Rice with Roasted Shrimp 
Cauliflower, Brie, and Almond Risotto
Butternut Squash Risotto with Shrimp
WI Risotto
Risotto with Chicken, Spinach, Lemon, Leeks, and Garlic
Sun-dried Tomato Risotto
Spring Couscous
Green Risotto

Pizza Dough
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Chicken Alfredo Pizza
Antipasto Calzone

BEEF - Ground Beef
Hearty Salisbury Steak
Beef Enchiladas 
Hamburger Helper Stroganoff 
Stuffed Green Peppers
BBQ Meatballs
Shepherd's Pie
Stuffed Zucchini
Garlic Butter Burgers
Beef Burgers with Mushrooms and Aioli

BEEF - Roasts and Steaks
Stracotto (Italian Beef Roast)
Beef Stew
Crockpot Beef Roast
Shredded BBQ Beef (for sandwiches)
Shredded Italian Beef (for sandwiches)
Shredded Beef Tacos
Beef Tenderloin (oven-baked)
Horseradish-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

Cashew Chicken
Chicken with Olives and Artichokes
Crockpot Asian Barbeque Chicken
Thai-style Chicken with Basil
Southeast Asian Fried Rice
Tequila Lime Chicken
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Chicken Enchiladas

Pork with Brussels Sprouts
Pork Tenderloin
Asian Marinated Pork
Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Herb-Roasted Lamb

Creamy Rice with Roasted Shrimp 
Butternut Squash Risotto with Shrimp
Shrimp, Feta, and Herb Mac and Cheese
Shrimp and Sausage Skewers
Shrimp Stirfry
Linguini with Shrimp Scampi
Baked Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Scampi
Trout and Veggie Packets


Crockpot Asian Barbeque Chicken
Shredded BBQ Beef (for sandwiches)
Shredded Italian Beef (for sandwiches) 
Shredded Beef Tacos
Crockpot Beef Roast
Pulled Pork

Mustard Horseradish Sauce (for steak)
Asian Marinade (for pork)
Tequila Lime (for chicken)
Fajita Marinade (for chicken, beef, or shrimp)

Lemony Green Beans
Green Bean Casserole
Greek Panzanella

Two Potato Gratin
Potatoes au Gratin
EVOO Garlic Mashed Potatoes 
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Potato Wedges
Grilled Potatoes

Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage, Apples, and Raisins
Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Apples

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
Garlic Cheese Bread
Garlic Cheese Bread (with green onions)

BREADS - Sweet
Bourbon Pumpkin Pecan Bread
Famous Banana Bread

DESSERTS - Nutella
Chocolate Torte with Nutella Mousse 
Chocolate Nutella Lava Cakes
Heart Sandwich Cookies (Valentine's Day) 

DESSERTS - Holiday
Heart Sandwich Cookies (Valentine's Day)
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Bailey's Frosting (St. Patty's Day)
Candy Corn Kiss Cookies (Halloween)
Pumpkin Pie Bites (Halloween)

DESSERTS - Cookies
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Loaded Oatmeal Cookies
Cookie Bars

DESSERTS -Cupcakes
Little French Fudgecakes
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish cream Frosting
Chocolate Cupcakes with PB Frosting
Cherry Coke Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes
Margarita Cupcakes

Mocha Silk Pie
French Silk Pie
Carrot Cake
PB Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Chewy Chocolate Brownies
Snickers Bars
Chocolate Cobbler
Berry - Marshmallow Trifle
Chocolate PB Whoopie Pies

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Year One.

It's been one year since this crazy cooking project started.

365 days.
About 120 recipes.

There were a few disastrous incidents:
Chinese Night
Pork with Brussels Sprouts
Margarita Cupcakes

And, a few things that we made several times throughout the year:
Leek and Potato Soup
Greek Panzanella
Pizza Dough
Hamburger Helper Stroganoff
Thai-Style Basil Chicken
Snickers Bars
Chewy Chocolate Brownies

I'm working on an index for later in the week.