The Classic Meatball

I though I knew meatballs until 3 years ago. Typically, meatballs of my past were overworked, dry, and flavorless. Any hope of a delicious meatball would be to drown it in some sort of sauce and hope for the best.  You’ll find the texture is light with fantastic flavors of fennel and oregano that’s sure to make you rethink the meatball.  During the busy workweek or prepping for a party you can’t get much easier that tossing them in the oven to cook!

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Ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef

1 c. ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp canola oil

½ c. italian seasoned bread crumbs

¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. fennel, ground

2 minced garlic cloves

1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

5 c. crushed tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees and coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan with canola oil
  2. Combine the grounded beef, ricotta, eggs, italian bread crumbs, parsley, oregano salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and fennel in a large bowl and mix by hand until blended.
  3. Shape the meat into 1½ inch sized firmly packed golf ball sized meatballs.
  4. Placed the meatballs into the prepared baking dish so that they fit tightly so that they are touching both in  rows and columns.
  5. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees from the center of the meatball.
  6. While the meatballs are cooking, heat the crushed tomatoes, fresh minced garlic, and fresh basil in a sauce pan to heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. Drain the cooked meatballs of any excess grease and add the heated tomato sauce.
  8. Return the meatballs and sauce to the oven and continue roasted for another 15 minutes.

Yields 2 dozen

Adapted by The Meatball Company

Easy Gourmet Quiche

Prior to tasting quiche, I thought it was one of the most difficult dishes to make. Watching my step mom make it for the first time, I was convinced I’d need a DOZEN eggs…minimum! It was so so delicious! She used so much gooey cheese, flakey crust! I was in heaven! I was torn, her recipe was exhausting!

Several weeks later I stumbled across a recipe in the newspaper of all places and my world was forever changed. Since 1998 this is the ONLY  quiche recipe I’ve every used. The beauty of this recipe is the versatility. You can make this dish your very own. Use this recipe for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner! Crustless or  individual quiches using a muffin tin this is the PERFECT recipe and you’ll never need another recipe ♥

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine mayonnaise, evaporated milk, lightly beaten eggs, and flour in a large bowl mix well.
  3. Add any combination of other ingredients i.e. broccoli or ham or spinach*
  4. Pour mixture into the pie crust
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes

*I have several combinations that are a big hit with family and friends:

Tuna, onions, and mozzarella cheese

Veggie quiche

Broccoli, ham cubes, and cheddar cheese

Bacon and Eggs

On a recent trip to Nashville, the legend of the “pork belly” was made alive for me like never before. The meat was tender AND crispy, then add to the flavors a creamy poached egg and I was in heaven. Me being me, I had to recreate this dish with my own twist and voila…Bacon & Eggs!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork bell, uncut slab
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 room temperature eggs
  • 1 bunch turnip greens, washed and torn

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
  2. Clean the pork belly by placing it under cold water to wash. Score the fatty side of the pork belly by creating diagonal markings in one direction and then the opposition direction to create diamonds.
  3. Rub the fatty side of the meat with olive oil and then rub the kosher salt into the diamonds on the fat.
  4. Season the rest of the pork belly and place the pork belly fat side up in a foil “boat” by bringing all of the edges of the foil around the meat leaving only the top of the pork belly exposed.
  5. Roast the meat for 3 hours. DO NOT baste the pork belly skin.
  6. After 3 hours, reduce the heat to 275 degrees and cook for an additional hour.
  7. Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest while preparing the rest of the meal.
  8. Add the pan juices from the pork belly to saute pan on medium-high.
  9. Place the turnip greens in the pan with the juices and saute for 10 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a raging boil. Gently add the eggs and cook for 6-8 minutes.  The longer the eggs cook the more solid the yolk will be.
  11. Placed the cooked eggs under cold water to cool then remove shell.
  12. Prior to serving, place the rested pork belly back in the oven on 425 for 15-20 minutes to create a crackling crust.
  13. Salt and pepper to taste
  14. Remove, serve, and enjoy!

Seared Sesame Tuna with Garlic Roasted Radishes

Several years ago, I finally got brave enough to get out of my comfort zone of canned tuna and radishes from a bag. Typically, I’d eat canned tuna or tuna in the form of sushi and my extensive knowledge of radishes is pretty much limited to a salad, so imagine my surprise when I tasted an everyday radish transformed by roasting it! Yes, it’s unusual, yes it’s beautiful and it takes about 30-35 minutes tops!  Before you pass by this recipe, give it some reconsideration, all of the ingredients work well together to give you a “party” in your mouth.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of radishes, cut in half
  • ¼ c. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, base removed from each piece, but keep the garlic skin on the clove
  • 2 pieces tuna fillets
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cracked Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut the radishes in half and toss with garlic, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper
  3. Bake the radish and garlic mixture for 30 minutes or until fork tender
  4. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium high and add measured olive oil
  5. Season the tuna with desired salt and pepper
  6. Press the seasoned tuna in the sesame seeds, coating both sides
  7. Sear the tuna for a minimum of 1 minute on each side
  8. Depending on the thickness of the tuna, you may cook it longer
  9. Let the tuna rest for 2 minutes, and slice
  10. Remove the radishes from the oven and remove the garlic from the skins and mash
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper and coating the radishes with the mashed garlic
  12. Place the sliced tuna on the radish mixture and top with sliced red onions and pomegranate seeds and serve

Spicy Sesame Ginger Wings

Over the past couple of years between Football, Basketball, and Golf seasons, I have eaten my weight 3 times over in wings! A little sweet, a little spice and the traditional wings are transformed into a treat that’s not only crispy, but magically transformed.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven broiler and spray the broiler pan rack with non-stick spray.
  2. Place the chicken wings in a bowl and combine with the canola oil and salt and toss to coat.
  3. Arrange the coated wings on the broiler pan rack and broil 12 inches from the heating element for 45 minutes, turning until golden brown and crispy.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, Asian chile sauce, Sriracha, ginger, and 1 scallion in a blender until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  6. Add the chicken wings to the sauce and toss to glaze for 5 minutes.
  7. Place finished wings on a platter and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

adapted from Food & Wine