Friday, September 7, 2012

Homemade Turkey Meatball Sandwich Casserole

My friend Andrew, whom I have known since kindergarten, works for ConAgra and has been working on a Hunt's tomato sauce which comes in a resealable carton, as opposed to a can.  He gave me a carton of it to try, and Skirell and I were trying to come up with something different to try it with, since it's a new product.  We decided meatball sandwiches would be amazing, and after a little Pinterest searching, this is what I ended up with.  The Hunt's tomato sauce was perfect to use for this, and I had some leftover which I was able to save since it is resealable now!  Next time you are at Target or Wal-Mart, look for the sauce to try on your own! (How was that, Andrew?)

First, the recipe for the homemade turkey meatballs...I forgot to take a picture of just the meatballs, but you get the idea.

1 lb lean ground turkey
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used whole wheat Italian seasoned)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon EVOO
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a large bowl, place the ground turkey, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, cheese, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.  Quickly whip the 2 eggs together in a separate bowl, then pour in the large bowl with everything else, and mix all ingredients.

Use a tablespoon to loosely measure out the mixture.  Place the mixture in your hand and roll it into a ball and then set aside for cooking.  Repeat this process until you have used all of the mixture.  Place a large skillet over medium heat.  Drizzle the pan with the EVOO, and place the meatballs in the skillet.  Turn the meatballs every couple of minutes to brown on all sides.  When the turkey meatballs are all done, let them rest 3-5 minutes.  If they are extra large, finish cooking them in the oven.  

Now, use those meatballs to make the casserole.  If you want to skip the first step, you can use frozen turkey meatballs as well.

1 baguette French bread, cut into 18-24 slices about 1/4" thick
Olive Oil
Meatballs (I used about 30)
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce (I used Hunt's)
shredded mozzarella cheese to taste 
2 small cans mushroom slices
8 oz frozen diced green peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush each slice of bread with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.  Toast in the oven oil side up for 10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.  In a separate bowl, mix together the meatballs, mushrooms, green peppers, and tomato sauce to coat.  Remove the bread from the oven, and line a baking dish on the sides and the bottom with the slices of bread.  Spoon meatball mixture into the baking dish on top of the bread.  Cover the top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.  Return to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.    

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Best Stir-Fried Chicken from Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter

I finally bought a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook My Father's Daughter.  I became slightly obsessed after reading her introduction, and almost started crying when she was talking about her relationship with her father.  I never knew too much about her, or that she enjoyed cooking.  Each recipe is accompanied with a little story, which I love.  Basically, if you don't have the cookbook, go get it!  This is her recipe for the best stir-fried chicken, and we loved it.  It is nice to have a meal where you don't feel terrible after, especially when you are craving Chinese food.  The recipe didn't call for any vegetables, but I added carrots, broccoli, and diced green peppers.  I also toned down the garlic and ginger.  Enjoy!
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into small (about 3/4") cubes
2 tablespoons corn starch
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup peeled and minced garlic
1/4 cup peeled and minced ginger (I used ground ginger, & cut amount in half)
1/2 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
pinch red chile flakes (optional)
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (unrefined if possible)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I used low sodium)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for serving 

Toss the chicken with the cornstarch, a large pinch of salt, and quite a bit of pepper.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick wok over medium-high heat (this is a gentle stir fry).  Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and chile flakes if using them and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Add the vinegar, sugar, and 5 or 6 grinds of black pepper.  Boil on high for 3 minutes, or until the sugar has really caramelized  the vinegar has mellowed a bit, and the whole mixture is dark brown and sticky and lovely.  (This is when I added the green peppers, broccoli, and carrots).  Add the soy sauce, cook for another 30 seconds, and serve immediately, sprinkled with the cilantro. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Brown Sugar and Dijon Glazed Pork Loin

I have been terrible lately at planning meals, which is why we have been eating out so much.  Last week we finally wanted to settle down and cook something new.  I was looking for something easy, but good, since I didn't prepare anything the day before.  I stumbled on this recipe and loved the way it turned out!  The mustard and brown sugar combo tasted great on the pork roast, and would be really good with a baked ham.  You may notice my nice makeshift roaster in this picture.  I don't own one yet, so I rolled pieces of foil to create one for the roast to sit on.  It actually worked out perfectly! One of these days I will get one :) Enjoy!
Pork loin roast (I used one about 2.5lbs to have enough for leftovers)
Large grain Dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
Brown sugar

Trim the fat from the roast, leaving only a quarter inch of fat on top at the most.  Season the pork loin with salt and pepper and open roast the pork on a rack at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cover the entire surface with the large grain mustard, then press the brown sugar into the mustard, all over the roast.  Return the roast to the oven, reduce the heat to 375 degrees.  Continue to roast until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees on a meat thermometer.  Baste the roast with drippings several times during cooking.  Let it set for 10 minutes before carving and serving.