Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Sauce

This sauce is a base for lots of things I like to make.  I have not bought jar sauce for years.

2-28 oz. jars of diced tomatoes with puree
1 half of a sweet onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 or 4 garlic cloves
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
olive oil
about 1 tablespoon Penzey pasta sprinkle

In a large, heavy sauce pan saute the onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add the red pepper and mushrooms, cook until the mushrooms are reduced.
Add the tomatoes and pasta sprinkle. Simmer for an hour or so or place in a crock pot on low for 3 to 4 hours.
You can add meat to the sauce such as sausage.

lazy girl lasagna

A few Sundays ago I had a hankering for lasagna but didn't feel like pulling it together so decided to make a baked ziti version.

  • The Sauce
  • Hot and sweet sausage, about a pound, pound and a half, cooked, cut into bit sized bits
  • Box and half of Dreamfields ziti (cooked)
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of grated Romano and Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the ricotta, half of the grated mozzarella, Romano/Parmesan, and pepper cheese in a small bowl set aside.

"Dot" cheese mixture over the pasta, cover with the remaining pasta.  Top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese and bake until bubbly (20-30 minutes)

the great meatloaf experiment

I like meatloaf, my darling husband thinks he doesn't.  Since we have been together I have avoided making meatloaf, saving it as a "treat" for myself when we eat out.  Well, today the wait has ended.  There was a package of ground beef in the fridge that needed to be used today (the foodsaver ended up in the storage unit, buried) so I decided today was the day. Two servings later, Steve is a meatloaf convert.

I found this great recipe on Epicurious, it is originally from Gourmet (RIP)
  • 1 cup fine crumbs (I used non-fresh bread crumbs and it worked out ok)
  • 1/3 cup half and half (the original recipe called for milk, we didn't have any)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (I used a sweet onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, plus one for luck
  • 1 medium celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • dash of cinamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1  pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F
Soak bread crumbs in milk in a large bowl.
I chopped the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot very finely with a food chopper.
Cook onion, garlic, celery, and carrot in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low, then cook until carrot is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, spices, salt, and pepper. Add to bread-crumb mixture.

Finely chop bacon and prunes in a food processor, then add to onion mixture along with beef, pork, and eggs  and mix together with your hands.

Pack mixture into a 13- by 9-inch shallow baking dish or pan.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatloaf registers 155°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

my favorite cheese

When I go to the cheese department at Wegmans I just cannot get past Brillat-Savarin. It is the most luscious triple cream brie this cheese naive girl has ever tasted. My entire family is hooked. You can do the fancy fruity nutty brie thing, but in my opinion that is intended to dress up sub par cheap brie. This brie is best slathered on pieces of fresh baggette.Yum.