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

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Juicy Bacon Burger

I love sports, especially football, so it is with great sadness that I acknowledge the end of football season with this Sunday’s exhibition of the Super Bowl. In honor of the final match (although it would be better if GREENBAY were playing)  I figure why not go out with a BANG and introduce you to the Juicy Bacon Burger!  I don’t know if you know this Super Bowl “factoid”, but all foods consumed on Super Bowl Sunday are CALORIE FREE 🙂 with that being said here is a bit of  heaven on a bun, kinda…

I don’t always eat burgers, but when I do it’s the Juicy Bacon Burger!  This burger is one of the juiciest, most decadent hamburgers I’ve ever eaten or made in my life. How can any sandwich with egg, cheese, and bacon be wrong? To help you get to know me better, I’m not a fan of sandwiches or hamburgers so to endorse this hamburger is a BIG DEAL. This recipe does come with a warning: you will need several napkins and a nice cold beer to enjoy the ultimate burger experience! photo-001

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz ground Short Ribs*
  • 8 oz ground Sirloin*
  • 8 oz ground Chuck*
  • 8 slices smoked bacon, thick cut
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 4 large eggs, fried
  • ½ c Red Onions, pickled
  • 4 dill pickles, thin sliced
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • spicy ketchup (¼ c ketchup combined with ¼ c sriracha, add cayenne pepper to taste)

*If you don’t own a Kitchen Aide mixer with the meat grinding attachment, have your grocery store butcher grind the meats for you.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the stovetop grill pan and cook the bacon on medium-high until brown and crispy. Drain the bacon on paper towels while reserving the fat of the bacon in the pan and return it to the stovetop.
  2. Combine the ground meats in a bowl and season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Shape into patties that are a bit larger than the English muffins.  Place the burgers in the hot skillet containing the bacon fat and  cook the burgers 3 minutes on each side for doneness that is  medium rare. Cook an additional 2 minutes on each side for a well done burger.
  3. Place the sliced cheddar cheese on top of the flipped burger during the final minutes of cooking.  While the burgers are resting (the resting step is VERY important because this is what makes the burgers JUICY), lightly grill the English muffins for 1 minute. Pan fry each egg to your level of doneness (I prefer the yolk to run to add to the “juiciness”).
  4. Rest a patty on each of the bottom layers of the English muffins, followed by sliced pickles, red onions, fried egg, spicy ketchup and ENJOY!

adapted from Michael Symon

Elegant and Easy Standing Rib Roast

I am a lover of BEEF! There I said it, I love many types of beef especially rib roast and I think this love has been passed on to my son. As a teenager, we had an unspoken game where he’d try to eat EVERYTHING in sight, and I’d try to create meals where he wasn’t IMMEDIATELY hungry after he ate. I lost MANY MANY times 🙂

Anytime I can find a recipe that screams GOURMET flavor, but utilizes minimal effort it automatically gets a look from me. That’s where this elegant and easy roast comes in. You can’t get much easier, but people will swear you’ve been cooking all day!

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Ingredients:

5 lb standing rib roast, allowed to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour

1 Tbsp canola oil

2 Tbsp kosher salt

3 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary

5 fresh minced large garlic cloves

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and rub the roast with the canola oil and minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt, rosemary, and fresh ground pepper. Place the roast on the rack in the roasting pan with the rib side down and the fatty side up.  Roast the meat for 1 hour then turn the oven OFF! Leave the roast in the oven but DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR for 3 hours.  30-40 minutes before serving, turn the oven to 375 degrees and reheat the roast.

*DO NOT remove the roast or re-open the oven door from the time the roast in placed in the oven until it is ready to serve! #BonAppetite

Noodle Soup with Vegetables and Beef

It’s official…I LOVE soup…I LOVE NOODLES…and I’m COLD! I think I’m driving my daughter bonkers, but it’s quick, filling, healthy, and easy to make. What’s NOT to love? This is my “go to” meal after a weight lifting session to help power me back up, but tonight this is my “go to” warm me up meal (smile). If you’re familiar with Bim Bim Bap, a wonderful Korean dish made with rice, this is a quick version using noodles as the primary starch.

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Ingredients:

1 package of Ramen noodles

2 oz raw flank steak

2 green onions chopped

5 baby bella mushrooms thinly sliced

1/4 cup matchstick carrots

1 half cucumber sliced

1 cup wilted spinach

1 tsp sesame seeds

drizzled sesame oil

Prepare the Ramen noodles according to the package directions. While the noodles are cooking, slice the raw flank steak as thinly as possible and set aside. Slice all of the remaining veggies and place in small piles. Place cooked noodles in the bowl and arrange veggies and steak on top of the noodles.  Pour the hot broth on top of the noodles and veggies, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and drizzle with sesame oil….ENJOY!