Spaghetti and Meatballs

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/10/meatballs-and-spaghetti/

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In the future, sear the meatballs a lot. They won’t get overcooked. Don’t drain the diced tomatoes for the sauce. I ended up with ~30 meatballs. I doubled the sauce and it was a very appropriate amount…doubled amounts are noted below. I used 50/50 pork/beef and it was fine, veal probably isn’t necessary for this recipe.

 

For the meatballs: 
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 1/4 cups fresh white bread crumbs (about 5 slices, crusts removed)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
3 teaspoons minced garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup good red wine
1 (28-ounce) can pureed tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can chopped or diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For serving: 
1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan

Make the meatballs: Place the ground meats, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, onion powder, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have something like 30 meatballs?

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan.

Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.

Bell Pepper Couscous

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/rainbow-bell-pepper-couscous-recipe.html

This was good, very heavy on the bell peppers. Leftovers make a good addition to chili.

 

Ingredients
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
Half an onion (I used yellow)
3 medium red, yellow, green or orange bell peppers or a mix, finely diced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup couscous

Directions
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2/3 cup water, the bell peppers, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the peppers just begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the couscous, immediately cover and remove from the heat. Let stand, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 7 minutes.

Transfer to a platter or large bowl and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.

If it’s not moist enough, add broth. Don’t add too much salt.

Chicken Kiev

http://food52.com/recipes/11471-chicken-kiev

 

Absolutely need toothpicks to do this. Easier to make a full batch (per the website recipe) of herb butter and freeze half – blend the herbs and butter instead of placing them separately. Make sure to sear as much as possible, these don’t need too much time in the oven.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • .5 handful Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, finely chiffonaded
  • 4 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • .5 white wine
  • Extra lemon juice for sauce
  • Lemon wedges

 

Directions:

  1. Pound and flatten the chicken breasts. Make the breasts as thin as possible, but try not to tear the breasts – 1/4-inch is a good thickness to aim for. You are going to slice each flattened breast in half.
  2. With the “smooth” side of the breasts down, lightly season the breasts with salt and pepper. Then, put 1/4 of the herb butter on each half chicken breast.
  3. Fold over the breasts on the sides first, and then top and bottom. Skewer with 2-3 toothpicks to secure. The goal is to not let the butter out.
  4. Dust the Kievs in flour, very lightly.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Using tongs, place the Kievs in the skillet and brown nicely on all sides, including the tops and bottoms of the Kievs. The browning may take about 15 minutes.
  6. Place the Kievs in a 300°F oven while you make the sauce.
  7. If you find that some of the Kievs have released their butter, that is fine – it happens all the time. To the skillet, add the wine and scrape all the good bits into the wine. If you need to add butter to the sauce, just a small pat will do. Reduce the sauce until it is nicely brown and shimmering. Taste — and for a little brightness, you may want to add a tiny bit of lemon juice. If the kievs release juice in the oven, pour into the sauce.
  8. Plate the Kievs and pour the sauce over them. Serve with lemon wedges. Make sure to reduce the sauce adequately.