Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Meatballs and Scaccia Family Red Sauce

This is a combo recipe.  I've combined the recipe I use for meatballs which I've tweaked over the years and a recipe for Red Sauce from my friend, Sal's mother.  Sal's parents are from Sicily. His mom makes a delicious Red Sauce, and now you can too.
Meat mixture:
  • 1 lb. of ground chuck
  • 1 lb. of ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • ½ T. black pepper
  • 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 C. bread crumbs
  • ½ C. Romano cheese
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 C. finely chopped onions
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic
  • 8 (6oz.) cans of tomato paste
  • 4 (8oz.) cans of tomato sauce
  • 10 C. water
  • 2 T. kosher salt
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • ¾ C. sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large pot, sauté the veggies minus the garlic on medium heat until limp
  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute
  4. Add paste and cook for several minutes, then add sauce
  5. Add water, stir well
  6. Add salt, pepper and sugar and heat until bubbly
  7. Lower the fire and cook for 1 hour (stirring frequently)
  8. Mix all ingredients for the meat mixture in a large bowl
  9. Make meatballs and place on a baking sheet
  10. Bake meatballs for about 20 minutes or until brown
  11. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook for an additional hour
  12. Serve over spaghetti or angel hair pasta
 Tips and Tricks:
  • Meatloaf mix is ground beef, pork, and veal.  It is more expensive then buying the ground chuck and pork, but it makes great meatballs.  It’s your choice.
  • I make meatballs with an ice cream scoop.  It makes about a 1 ½ oz. meatball.  This recipe will make about 28 meatballs.
  • This freezes well. 

    Saturday, August 27, 2011

    Sausage Balls

    My friend, Ron's mom, Judy makes these when Ron and Jeff have friends over for breakfast or brunch.  I took her recipe and tweaked it a bit. One recipe will make about 50 (1" balls).
    • 2 C. biscuit mix
    • 1 lb. of hot breakfast sausage in a roll
    • 2 C. Sharp Cheddar cheese, finely shredded
    • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
    • 1 t. salt
    • 1 t. garlic powder
    • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    2. In a large bowl, mix the biscuit mix with the cayenne, salt, garlic powder, and Tony’s
    3. Add the crumbled sausage and the cheese
    4. Kneed the mixture together
    5. Roll into balls about an inch in diameter
    6. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 18 minutes
    7. Use a spatula to flip the balls after 9 minutes
    8. Remove from oven and move each to paper towels to absorb the excess grease
    9. Serve with the dipping sauce in Tips and Tricks
     Tips and Tricks:
    • These are a great for a brunch.
    • These are good with a dipping sauce made with ½ C. mayonnaise and ¼ C. of Creole mustard.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Chicken Salad

    This is a recipe I got Southern Living magazine about 15 years ago.  I added the Tony's, Creole mustard and roasting the chicken instead of boiling it.  It's easy to make.
    • 2 chicken breasts bone-in skin on
    • 1 celery stalk, chopped
    • 4 green onions, chopped
    • 1 can of water chestnuts, chopped
    • ¼ C. sour cream
    • ¼ C. mayonnaise
    • 1 T. Creole mustard
    • 1 t. chopped dill
    • 1 t. garlic salt
    • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
    3. Place chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan and bake for 35 minutes
    4. After the breast meat is cooled, cut into large chunks
    5. Mix all ingredients together
    6. Refrigerate so the flavors can “marry”
    Tips and Tricks:
    • I use a rotisserie chicken’s breast when making this chicken salad sometimes.  I put the rest of the chicken in a big pot and make Chicken Stock. Follow my link to find out how I make mine.
    • I usually cut green onions with kitchen shears.  It’s easier to cut them.
    • I cut the sliced water chestnuts with the egg slicer.
    • I have added sliced almonds to this recipe sometimes.  It looks nice, but it doesn’t change the taste of the chicken salad much.

      Saturday, August 20, 2011

      German Potato Salad

      I am German.  My Mom learned from her aunt how to make potato salad.  No recipe was written, but when I got one from the Germanfest I attended in Roberts Cove, LA and showed it to my Mom. She said, "That's it, that's the recipe my aunt used." My Mom doesn't make this potato salad (she has her own recipe, which I will share later) but I do. Here it is!  Thanks, Germanfest!

      • 6 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes
      • 3 eggs
      • 6 green onions, finely chopped (greens only)
      • ½ lb. bacon, cooked crisp
      • 1 T. Dijon mustard
      • ¼ C. apple cider vinegar
      • 1 t. kosher salt
      • ½ t. black pepper
      1. Boil potatoes and eggs in one pot together until potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes
      2. While potatoes and eggs are boiling, cook bacon until crisp (save the drippings)
      3. Quickly fry the green onions in the bacon drippings until limp
      4. Whisk the drippings, onions, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper together
      5. Peel and cut the potatoes and eggs and while the potatoes are still warm pour the combined mixture over the potatoes and eggs
      6. Serve warm
      Tips and Tricks:
      • I cut green onions with kitchen shears.  I think it is easier than chopping them.
      • Apple cider vinegar is not necessary, but only use light colored vinegars.  Darker vinegars (like a balsamic) change the color of the potatoes and eggs and then it looks bad.

      Wednesday, August 17, 2011

      Crabmeat Au Gratin

      This is another recipe from the cookbook that my sister-in-law, Darlene made me.  It is rich and creamy and we like to eat it with crackers.
      • 1 lb. of lump crabmeat
      • 1 celery stalk, chopped
      • 1 large onion, chopped
      • ½ bell pepper, chopped
      • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
      • ¼ C. flour
      • 1 pint of half and half
      • ½ stick of butter
      • 1 t. kosher salt
      • ¼ t. black pepper
      • ½ t. cayenne pepper
      • 2 egg yolks, beaten
      • 1 C. grated cheddar cheese
      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
      2. In a skillet, sauté the onions, celery, bell pepper in butter, until limp
      3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
      4. Add the flour, then pour in the half and half gradually and stir constantly
      5. Add the egg yolks, salt and peppers
      6. Add the crabmeat and mix will
      7. Spray a casserole dish with a cooking spray and transfer the mixture to the baking dish
      8. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned
      Tips and Tricks:
      • This can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.  Don’t put the cheese on top until you are ready to bake it and serve it.
      • I serve this with crackers.  Flaky buttery crackers like Club or Ritz are good.

      Saturday, August 13, 2011

      Tamale Bites

      These are little bites of heaven!  The recipe comes from my friend, Jeannien's cousin, Marlene.  It makes about 200, so make them for a big party or clear out some room in the freezer.
      • 4 lbs. of ground chuck
      • 1 pack of chili seasoning or ¼ C.
      • 1 pack of taco seasoning or ¼ C.
      • 2 T. garlic powder
      • 2 (10 oz.) cans of Enchilada sauce 
      • 1 lb. of Mexican cheese, shredded
      • 1 corn bread
      Corn bread:
      • 2 C. corn meal mix
      • 2 C. milk
      • 2 eggs
      • ½ C. vegetable oil
      • 3 (10oz.) cans of enchilada sauce
      • 1 can of Mexican Rotel
      1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
      2. Prepare the corn bread and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
      3. Reduce the heat of the oven to 350 degrees
      4. Allow the corn bread to cool, then crush the bread into crumbs
      5. Mix all ingredients for the tamale mixture in a large bowl
      6. Use a 1 inch scoop leveled, then roll into balls
      7. Place tamale bites on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray
      8. Bake for 30 minutes
      9. At this point you can freeze the tamale bites until you are ready to serve them, or
      10. Heat the sauce, add the tamale bites and enjoy!
       Tips and Tricks:
      • This is a great Mexican Fiesta dish.  Everyone loves these.
      • These freeze well without the sauce.  If you have leftovers that you want to freeze with the sauce, they become mushed up after they are reheated.  They still taste great, but they don't hold their consistency of balls.

      Wednesday, August 10, 2011

      Broccoli Cheese Soup

      When Gabby had her jaw surgery, we ate a lot of soup.  This is a combination of a few recipes I found thanks to Food Network.  I tweaked it a few times, but it is really yummy.
      • 1 large onion, chopped fine
      • 4 stalks of celery, chopped fine
      • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
      • ½ stick of butter
      • 1 t. of fresh thyme, chopped fine
      • 1 t. kosher salt
      • ½ t. white pepper
      • A pinch of fresh nutmeg
      • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
      • 1/3 C. flour
      • 6 C. chicken stock
      • 2 (16 oz.) chopped broccoli
      • 1 pint of half and half
      • 2 C. sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
      • 1 lb. of Velveeta, cubed
      1. In a Dutch oven, sauté onions and celery in butter, until limp
      2. Add garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper and cook for 1 minute
      3. Add flour and cook for 3 minutes
      4. Slowly add the chicken stock while whisking constantly
      5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the stock thickens, about 5 minutes
      6. Add broccoli and cook for 10 minutes
      7. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is the consistency you like
      8. Add the half and half, then the cheese
      9. Heat until all the cheese is melted and serve
      Tips and Tricks:
      • Making your own chicken stock for this recipe is cheaper and tastes better.  Follow my link to find out how I make mine.
      • You can use heavy cream in the place of the half and half if you want a thicker soup.
      • The fresh thyme really makes a big difference in this soup.

      Saturday, August 6, 2011

      Shepherd's Pie

      This is the one dish that all the kids (and teachers) would run to the cafeteria to get on a day when it was served.  It's got it all: meat, starch, veggies, and cheese!  I got this recipe from Alton Brown on the Food Network.  Enjoy!
      • 2 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
      • ½ stick of butter
      • ½ C. half and half
      • 2 t. kosher salt (1 t. in the boiling water, 1 t. in the mashed potatoes)
      • ¼ t. ground black pepper
      • 1 t. garlic powder
      • 1 egg
      Meat Filling:
      • 1 lb. of ground chuck
      • 1 lb. of ground pork
      • 2 T. vegetable oil
      • 1 large onion, chopped
      • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
      • 1 C. baby carrots, chopped
      • 1 t. kosher salt
      • ½ t. black pepper
      • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
      • ¼ C. all-purpose flour
      • 2 T. tomato paste
      • 1 can beef broth
      • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
      • 2 t. rosemary
      • 1 t. thyme
      • 1 C. frozen corn
      • 1 C. frozen peas

      • ½ lb. of sharp cheddar cheese, sliced thick 
      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
      2. Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until they are soft
      3. In a skillet, brown the ground meat and pork with the salt, pepper, and Tony’s on medium heat, about 5 -7 minutes
      4. Strain the meat and reserve
      5. Strain the potatoes, add the butter, return the potatoes to the pot
      6. Whip the potatoes with a mixer, adding the half and half, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and finally the egg
      7. Reserve the potatoes
      8. In the same skillet, heat the oil on medium-high heat and sauté the onions and carrots until limp, about 10 minutes
      9. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute
      10. Add the meat and coat with the flour
      11. Cook for 2 minutes
      12. Add the tomato paste and coat the meat
      13. Add the beef broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, and thyme
      14. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes
      15. Add the peas and corn and stir thoroughly
      16. Spread the meat mixture into a 13” x 9” x 2” baking dish
      17. Using a spatula, spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture, carefully sealing the edges of the pan with the potatoes
      18. Add the sliced cheese on top of the potatoes
      19. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the cheese melts and starts to slightly brown
      20. Allow the pie to rest for 15 minutes before serving
      Tips and Tricks:
      • You should be able to cut this casserole into squares to serve.  Getting the first square out is the hardest, like with lasagna, but after that it isn’t bad.
      • I think this actually tastes better the next day after it sits in the refrigerator overnight.  You can make this the day before you want to serve it, put in the refrigerator, and bake it the day it is to be served.

      Wednesday, August 3, 2011

      Smothered Cabbage with Pickled Meat

      This is another one pot meal.  My Mom and Dad liked making meals that could be made in one pot.  If you don't like cabbage, you might still like this dish.  The cabbage becomes sweet when it is cooked down.  The way we make this there is a bite of meat with every bite of cabbage. YUM!
      • 2 large heads of cabbage
      • 2 large onions, chopped
      • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
      • 1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into semi-circles
      • 1 lb. pickled pork
      • ½ C. vegetable oil
      • 1 T. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
      • ½ T. kosher salt
      • 1 t. black pepper
      1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil on medium heat and add the onions and sauté until limp
      2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
      3. Add the sausage and pickled meat and fry off
      4. Cut the cabbage in half and then into bite-size pieces
      5. Rinse the cabbage in a strainer
      6. Add the cabbage and the salt, pepper, and Tony’s
      7. Cook covered until the cabbage starts to wilt, about 1 hour
      8. Remove the cover and cook for an additional hour, or until the cabbage begins to brown
      Tips and Tricks:
      • You don’t need to add water.  The water from rinsing the cabbage will be enough.
      • The amount of time you cook the cabbage depends on how you like cabbage.  We like to cook it until it is very soft and starts to caramelize.  You can adjust to make yours the way you like.