Category Archives: meat

Un-Stuffed Cabbage–perfect for Rosh Hashana

photo 3 (4)photo 2 (2)photo 3 (4)photo 3 (5)photo 4 (3)photo 2I love stuffed cabbage and my Grandmother made the most amazing stuffed cabbage ever . I love stuffed cabbage but do not feel like dealing with the actual stuffing of the cabbage, it is way too labor intensive for me.  I have made several variations of this and found this one to my liking the best. You can play with the ingredients which is what I did . Original recipe is from Kosher by Design and it is perfect for Passover by just leaving out the rice and substituting matzoh meal in its place. Most perfect for Rosh Hashana and use rice.  Basically this is meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce with cabbage . I doubt very much that Joel would ever eat real “stuffed cabbage” but he liked this. The cabbage cooks down so much that you don’t even realize you’re eating cabbage. I also used 1/2 chicken ground meat and 1/2 beef ground meat , this is entirely up to you. I wouldn’t do all chicken because it might be a bit dry, you can definitely make this with turkey but use dark meat turkey or the balls will also be very dry. You can also make this ahead for the holidays which is always a very good thing and feel free to freeze it.  This is the original recipe , adjust amounts for how much you’re making. I made 2 lbs. of meat but made full sauce as I was testing it out. You’ll want to use a large pot for this recipe. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

Meat

3 lbs. ground meat– I used chicken and beef (dark meat turkey is best here) white meat turkey tends to be very dry. Mixed with beef it’s fine but if using alone you’ll need to use dark meat ground turkey.

2 large eggs, lightly beaten. Use room temperature eggs they work best.*see my post about eggs–a little note on my blog.

3/4 cup cooked long grain white rice, for Passover use matzoh meal and omit the rice– I usually say un-cooked rice but some people have been saying that their rice hasn’t cooked– so to keep this from being a problem use cooked rice 

1/4 cup water

1 onion finely chopped

Kosher Salt to taste–app. 1/2 to 1 tablespoon

Pepper to taste–app. 10 grinds on a pepper mill, or app. 1/4 of a tablespoon

*garlic powder if you like

Sauce:

2 packages of shredded cabbage, probably about 1 head of cabbage finely shredded, no need to do it when you can buy it pre-shredded (not red cabbage)

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Kosher Salt to taste ( app. 1/2 tablespoon)

1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher Salt

1 1/2 cups tomato juice

4 8 ounce cans tomato sauce ( or 32 ounces)

1/2 cup brown sugar ( use whichever brown sugar you have in house , it won’t make a difference. Light or Dark, I actually used dark.

1 cup sugar

3 lemons squeezed , I got about 1/2 cup , they were smallish lemons

1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl combine the meat, eggs, water, rice and onions. Season with Salt and Pepper , and if you like garlic powder. Gently mix by hand, and I do mean gently, if you over do it the meat will be like concrete. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shredded cabbage and about 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomato juice, tomato sauce, brown sugar, sugar, lemon juice and the raisins. Stir till well combined and continue cooking sauce at simmer setting.

Gently form meatballs out of the meat mixture, I made a rather nice size meatball, not too large and not too small. Make whatever size you’d like. Just do not over-handle the meat because it will cause meat to toughen. Add to cabbage mixture, just drop into the hot sauce and do not stir, you can pile them on top of one another because they will cook down.

I left it to simmer for about 1 1/2 hours . I didn’t touch the meat balls for at least the first 1/2 hour, you’ll want them to cook through and form into nice balls before you stir, so just leave them to cook. After the first 1/2 hour or so you can gently stir and move the meatballs around. They don’t require a lot of stirring around .

This dish brought back memories of my childhood and was a most satisfying main dish.

Summer Bolognese

I call this summer bolognese because it’s lighter than my regular bolognese recipe . It’s made with fresh tomatoes which makes all the difference. I made this sauce the other night and I have to say it was just perfect . It cooked up in no time ( about 1/2 hour) and tasted fresh and delicious. Of course if you would like it vegetarian just omit the chicken. I wanted the protein so added a pound of ground chicken you can also use turkey and if you want ground beef. This time I kept it fairly light and used ground chicken. Used a thick ropy pasta — Bucatini and it was perfection on a plate made with fresh tomatoes.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 garlic cloves– minced– I use a mini food processor always for mincing garlic — just makes it easy

1 lb. ground chicken, turkey or beef

Kosher Salt to taste

1/4 cup dry white wine

4 Tbsp. tomato paste if you use double concentrate use 2

1 lb. cherry tomatoes ( which are abundant and fresh right now)

12 oz. Bucatini or any spaghtetti you like or rigatoni or penne would work here as well

about 1 cup of Pasta Water — which you may or not need

Finely Grated Parmesan for serving

Directions:

In a large skillet or pot heat oil then add garlic and cook till softened ( a few minutes) don’t brown it just soften it — sometimes you’ll need to turn off stove and let it just cook for a couple of minutes to soften.

With pan at medium high add chicken and cook, breaking up chicken for about 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and fully cooked.

Add wine and reduce heat to medium low. Continue breaking up meat till it’s small pieces until wine is evaporated– another 5 minutes or so. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring till absorbed into chicken and cook for another few minutes.

Add tomatoes and let it cook down, stir to coat the tomatoes with the mixture — allow the tomatoes to cook till they are ready to burst — about 5 minutes. I used a masher ( see photo) and I smashed down on the tomatoes and burst all of them. You can leave some whole if you like but I didn’t because this is where the sauce will come from. Stir occasionally on medium low but don’t allow to burn. Allow sauce to thicken for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until very al dente ( at least that’s how we like it)

Reserve about 1 cup of cooked pasta water because you may need it if sauce is too thick.

Taste sauce for salt and add accordingly. I probably added a teaspoon of Kosher Salt — everyone’s taste is different for salt so add to your liking.

Drain pasta and I used tongs and transferred pasta to pan with sauce. Tossing it in and cooking at a low simmer the pasta and the sauce thickened and I added a little pasta water at a time till I reached a perfect consistency . I probably used about 1/2 cup of pasta water. ( which also contains salt so consider this and don’t over-salt sauce — you can always add salt but it’s tough to take away if you make it too salty. The sauce was creamy and delicious .

Remove from heat and if you’d like add fresh basil.

Transfer to pasta bowls and top with Parmesan.

Brisket made very easy–in the slow cooker

This Brisket recipe is probably the easiest recipe I have ever made . I like my Brisket made in the slow cooker and this recipe makes it so very easy , you don’t even have to brown it first on the stove top.

It has a sort of barbecue flavor rather than the traditional brisket flavor. If you have a slow cooker and can order a few very simple ingredients this one is for you.

Please stay safe and stay home and keep on cooking along with me.

Ingredients:

5 lbs Brisket–if you use a larger brisket adjust the seasonings and maybe add another 1/2 cup of sauce

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 tsp. Onion Powder

1/2 tsp . Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp Paprika — you can use Smoked Paprika but I used regular

1/2 tsp. Cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper– I used 1/2 tsp. because we like the heat

1 1/2 cups Honey Barbecue Sauce — I used Sweet Baby Rays (any sauce will do but this is very good and available at most supermarkets)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp. Cornstarch

Directions:

Pat Brisket dry with some paper towels . I take out a large baking sheet and place the brisket on this to do this next step.

Sprinkle brisket generously with Salt and Pepper. Mix all other dry spices in a small bowl . Dry rub both sides of the brisket with this mixture

Stir together the Barbecue Sauce and brown sugar

Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and then pour half the of the sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the seasoned brisket fatty side up into the slow cooker. Don’t worry if it’s very big for the cooker because it shrinks down considerably. Cover the top of the brisket with the remaining sauce.

Cover the slow cooker and set heat to low for 9 hours, or until fork tender

When the brisket is finished cooking, remove it carefully from the slow cooker and put on a cutting board

Pour the sauce from the slow cooker into a large bowl and let it cool

Slice off the fat cap from the top of the brisket and discard

Flip the brisket over so the leaner side faces up. You can see the grain of the meat this way. Slice the brisket against the grain at a slight diagonal. Thin slices are best– I use an electric knife which really helps here.

Skim the fat that has risen to the top of the sauce in the large bowl. I actually have a measuring cup that filters out the fat — if you can get one of these it’s great. I didn’t have that much fat so don’t worry too much about this unless it looks very fatty which it probably won’t

In a small bowl , stir together the cornstarch and 1 Tbsp. of Water till completely smooth. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the bowl of sauce and stir to combine

Pour 1/2 the sauce back into the slow cooker. Layer the sliced meat on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the brisket

Turn slow cooker to high for about an hour till the meat and sauce are heated through and the sauce is bubbling and it thickens. Keep on warm setting if you’re serving that day.

the leftovers were great for a few days

Total cooking time is 10 hours so you can get up early like I did and get it in the slow cooker early enough to have for dinner depending on what time you like dinner

Or make ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze with the sauce and heat it up the day you want to eat it.

 

Old School Meatballs (sweet and sour)

Sweet and Sour MBalls with Turkey

I have been making this recipe since I got married in 1975. It is really a perfect recipe for holidays or any time. You can use these meatballs with rice or anything like that. They are good for a big crowd when you have poultry and want another main. A lot of you are probably very familiar with this one and have different versions of it. Believe it or not, I still have the very original recipe. I’ve made a few changes to it: I now add my own bread crumbs, which I always make from whole wheat bread but feel free to use store-bought seasoned bread crumbs; If you want you can make these for* Passover by substituting matzo meal for bread crumbs.  I also grate in a little onion (spanish); and my mother taught me to grate in a little potato so I always do that, as well. Now and then I’ll use turkey in this recipe too. Otherwise, this is  the original and it’s super easy. I  used turkey this time out, and they came out perfectly.

INGREDIENTS: (This is for one pound but you can definitely double and these freeze beautifully.)

1 lb. ground beef (Whatever kind you like. I sometimes use ground turkey. In 1975, we all ate beef, but today you might want to use ground turkey or ground chicken.

1 egg (room temp. works best)

1/4 cup bread crumbs (if you’re using from the can) I use 3 slices of whole wheat bread crusts removed. (when I doubled I used 5 slices and it was enough)

*For Passover – omit the bread crumbs and replace with matzo meal

Kosher Salt,  app. 1 teaspoon

Freshly ground black pepper to taste (1/4 teaspoon)

1 clove garlic, minced (the original calls for garlic powder but I’ve changed this as well. If you prefer, try 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon)

1/8 cup warm water (just to moisten it) when you double just add up to 1/4 , I don’t usually use the whole 1/4 cup.

1/4 spanish onion, grated

1/4 potato, grated

1 bottle (12 oz.) Heinz chili sauce

6 oz. grape jelly

Directions:

Mix meat, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic, and water all together. I then grate in the onion and potato too. Next, shape into small balls about 3/4 inches in diameter. Heat the chili sauce and grape jelly until they blend and bring to a low boil. Then drop the raw meatballs into the sauce and simmer, covered, for approx. 45 minutes and don’t touch the meatballs till they actually are cooked , this will give them a chance . I use a sauce pan if only making 1 lb. and I just pile the meatballs in and after 45 minutes I gently stir them.  Again, these can be made ahead and frozen. They are quick, easy, and so good. The larger the pot the more balls you’re able to get in, so a large dutch oven works out best for this.

* serves about 8 – 10

*you can also throw in some raisins if you’d like but throw them in when you put the meatballs in the sauce so they cook and plump up. Probably a 1/4 cup per 1 lb. should be fine. The raisins are for the sauce.

Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf is definitely one of our family favorites . Perfect for a large family gathering or just the two of you with great left-overs. I love the down home flavor of meatloaf and this one is just delicious. 

I cut the recipe in 1/2 for the 2 of us using 2 lbs. of Ground Turkey and 2 eggs and cut everything else in 1/2. I still have enough leftovers the next day and it’s just enough. If you’re making for 4 or more go with the full recipe. I served with roasted (burnt brussels sprouts and roasted red potatoes) and if you do make the whole recipe you can easily freeze the leftover for another night.

Enjoy!

*you will need a meat thermometer to check for doneness

Ingredients:

5 lbs ground turkey— I prefer chopped dark meat as it has a little fat and a lot less dry than white meat turkey. You can find 85% lean which is fine . It’s sometimes hard to find dark meat ground turkey so when I find it I buy it. It just makes for a tastier meat loaf. You can mix dark meat and white meat.

3 cups chopped yellow onions ( app. 2 large onions)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce

3/4 cup chicken stock

1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste

1 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs

3 extra-large eggs, beaten

3/4 cup ketchup/1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a medium saute pan (frying pan) , over a medium low heat, cook the onions in the olive oil, add salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent app. 10 minutes or so. Don’t brown them. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow this mixture to cool in frying pan off the heat to room temperature.

In the meantime, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, and eggs in a large bowl and mix well. Then add in the onion mixture when it’s cooled down and incorporate well. Shape into a rectangular loaf on a lightly sprayed sheet pan. When you shape as a loaf , try to make the ends even with the middle or they will dry out. ( I kind of like the ends like that but just saying…) Spread the ketchup/brown sugar evenly on top. Bake for app. 1 1/2 hours  until the internal temperature of meatloaf is 160 degrees and the meatloaf is cooked through. Once meatloaf comes out of the oven let it sit for about 5 minutes. 

Serve hot, at room temperature and delicious cold the next day.

Easy Peasy Turkey Meatballs

Sometimes you are just not really sure what to make for dinner. I had a pound of ground turkey at home. What to do with it was the question. Felt like meatballs and spaghetti kind of night, but I didn’t feel like frying or turning the oven on. I decided to just make it super easy on myself, and make my sauce which is so easy and already on my website (weeknight red sauce).  I made the sauce, made the turkey meatballs, and put the turkey meatballs raw into the sauce. The finished product was amazing. In under an hour, the turkey meatballs were done, moist, and cheesy. The cheese sort of oozed out into the sauce a bit which was just perfect. This only required one pot, and I actually used dry bread crumbs. For my real deal meatballs I make my own breadcrumbs, but tonite I just wanted easy. Easy won out! Try it. Also, I didn’t have whole milk but I had heavy cream; so I used that and it was divine.

* and just a little note about sauce if you’re not into making your own sauce try Raos marinara or arrabbiata they’re both delicious and will work out perfectly — my Weeknight Red Sauce is an easy recipe which you might want to try as well –totally up to you –no judgements here.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey (dark meat is best, just try not to use the superlean)

1/4 cup plain, dried bread crumbs

2 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup Romano or any Parmesan cheese, grated

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs and milk until well combined. Mix in beaten eggs and 1/2 cup cheese and mix well. Add turkey and gently combine (be careful not to over mix the meat). Season with salt and pepper. Shape into golf sized balls. When sauce is bubbling , drop each ball in, don’t futz with them, just leave them for about 20 minutes, lower heat to a simmer. I did cover them but not necessary. After 20 minutes you can gently nudge them and move them around, to make sure they are cooked. Some of the cheese seeps through to the sauce adding to the flavor and thickness of the sauce. These were really really good. Boiled up some pasta and there was dinner, with plenty of meatballs left over for at least another dinner. Joel will be on his own for a few days, so he’ll be able to defrost and reheat on his own!

Bolognese Sauce — Turkey or Beef

I must say Pasta is probably my most favorite food to eat. Bolognese sauce is one of my most favorites and this is my easy version.  There are different variations of this recipe that I use. One is with beef and pork sausage, another is dark meat turkey with turkey or chicken sausage. I do use dark meat turkey because I think it is much more flavorful, it is ideal but if you really don’t want to use the dark meat use 1/2 white and 1/2 dark or all white meat it’s up to you . The only negative to this sauce is that it really needs 3- 4 hours for the sauce to cook down and if you want to shorten the simmer use crushed tomatoes and probably 2 hours would be fine. The longer the sauce cooks the more flavorful it will be.  This sauce would probably serve 4 nicely with 1 lb. of pasta. You can easily double it and freeze the leftover sauce. So nice to have it in the freezer and just have to make the pasta and you have a wonderful homemade meal. I have now started serving the sauce over shredded zucchini as well.  It is so delicious and you may feel a little bit better eating it over zucchini or spaghetti squash than noodles.  Pasta or Vegetable it’s pretty awesome. Look on my blog for Zucchini  Bolognese.  And  it  freezes  beautifully.

Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus more if necessary

1- 1 1/2 lbs. Italian style Turkey or Chicken Sausage, removed from casings. You can also mix in hot or sweet Italian pork sausage if you don’t mind using the pork. I think the pork has the best flavor — just saying

1 1/2 pounds ground Turkey ( I used dark meat ) or 1 lb. ground beef — I don’t love to cook with the lean version because it’s very dry so if using any ground meat use 85/15 at least.

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely diced ( app. 2 cups)

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice or you can used diced tomatoes which break down much quicker but you’ll definitely be adding liquid to that. Just keep an eye on it. If you’re in a real hurry and don’t have time for a 4 hour simmer use 2 cans of crushed tomatoes.

1/3 cup tomato paste

1 box. Rigatoni ( or any other macaroni you like ) or spaghetti or if you like use *shredded zucchini or *spaghetti squash

Grated Parmesan Cheese for serving

Directions:

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy pan over medium high heat. ( I use my Le Creuset ) Add the sausage meat and break it up as it cooks, turning now and then, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside, add the ground turkey to the pan along with a good pinch of salt and a few fresh grind of pepper. Cook the meat stirring here and there, for 10 minutes as well, till meat is nicely browned. I remove and put in bowl with the sausage which was set aside. Add another 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook until onion breaks down and gets soft, another good 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice along with 1/2 cup of water. ( You may need more water as you go) Add the sausage and ground turkey, stir the sauce well. Bring the sauce to a boil, season to taste with salt and pepper and turn the heat to low. Cover almost completely with a lid (allowing a little steam to escape) and gently simmer for 4 hours. You may want to add splashes of water if sauce is drying out. After 2 hours I added the 1/3 cup of Tomato Paste, and replace lid and continue simmering for 2 more hours. I added water as it cooked, you’ll have to judge for yourself how much water you add. I added 1/4 cup at a time. The longer this sauce cooks for the better it is.  You will have to continually stir and check for water which I do at least once an hour if not more often. Also a splash of red wine works well here too if you have an open bottle of a medium dry red wine — chianti or malbec or pinot — you know what I mean.

When the sauce is ready for serving, bring a large pot of water and prepare pasta according to package directions. You may want to reserve a little pasta water if you still need to thin it out.

serve with sauce over the rigatoni ( or any pasta you like) with a nice grating of Parmesan.

Yum!

*so many stores now sell zucchini already shredded and it’s dry and ready to go.

Old School Meatballs (sweet and sour)– perfect for Rosh Hashana

       These meatballs are “old school” but still hold up.  If you’re looking for an easy addition to your menu this could be it.  L’Shana Tova from our house to yours. Enjoy! I cooked these last night and they cook up very fast and since the rules have changed dietary wise you can serve over rice if you’re observing Passover. If not use the bread crumbs. See notes at the bottom for adding raisins . I like to make these the week of Passover while we’re observing and not eating bread.

Sweet and Sour MBalls with Turkey

I have been making this recipe since I got married in 1975. It is really a perfect recipe for holidays or any time. You can use these meatballs with rice or anything like that. They are good for a big crowd when you have poultry and want another main. A lot of you are probably very familiar with this one and have different versions of it. Believe it or not, I still have the very original recipe. I’ve made a few changes to it: I now add my own bread crumbs, which I always make from whole wheat bread but feel free to use store-bought seasoned bread crumbs; If you want you can make these for* Passover by substituting matzo meal for bread crumbs.  I also grate in a little onion (spanish); and my mother taught me to grate in a little potato so I always do that, as well. Now and then I’ll use turkey in this recipe too. Otherwise, this is  the original and it’s super easy. I  used turkey this time out, and they came out perfectly.

INGREDIENTS: (This is for one pound but you can definitely double and these freeze beautifully.)

1 lb. ground beef (Whatever kind you like. I sometimes use ground turkey. In 1975, we all ate beef, but today you might want to use ground turkey or ground chicken.

1 egg (room temp. works best)

1/4 cup bread crumbs (if you’re using from the can) I use 3 slices of whole wheat bread crusts removed. (when I doubled I used 5 slices and it was enough)

*For Passover – omit the bread crumbs and replace with matzo meal

Kosher Salt,  app. 1 teaspoon

Freshly ground black pepper to taste (1/4 teaspoon)

1 clove garlic, minced (the original calls for garlic powder but I’ve changed this as well. If you prefer, try 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon)

1/8 cup warm water (just to moisten it) when you double just add up to 1/4 , I don’t usually use the whole 1/4 cup.

1/4 spanish onion, grated

1/4 potato, grated

1 bottle (12 oz.) Heinz chili sauce

6 oz. grape jelly

Directions:

Mix meat, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic, and water all together. I then grate in the onion and potato too. Next, shape into small balls about 3/4 inches in diameter. Heat the chili sauce and grape jelly until they blend and bring to a low boil. Then drop the raw meatballs into the sauce and simmer, covered, for approx. 45 minutes and don’t touch the meatballs till they actually are cooked , this will give them a chance . I use a sauce pan if only making 1 lb. and I just pile the meatballs in and after 45 minutes I gently stir them.  Again, these can be made ahead and frozen. They are quick, easy, and so good. The larger the pot the more balls you’re able to get in, so a large dutch oven works out best for this.

* serves about 8 – 10

*you can also throw in some raisins if you’d like but throw them in when you put the meatballs in so they cook and plump up. Probably a 1/4 cup per 1 lb. should be fine

Un-Stuffed Cabbage–perfect for Rosh Hashana

photo 3 (4)photo 2 (2)photo 3 (4)photo 3 (5)photo 4 (3)photo 2I love stuffed cabbage and my Grandmother made the most amazing stuffed cabbage ever . I love stuffed cabbage but do not feel like dealing with the actual stuffing of the cabbage, it is way too labor intensive for me.  I have made several variations of this and found this one to my liking the best. You can play with the ingredients which is what I did . Original recipe is from Kosher by Design and it is perfect for Passover by just leaving out the rice and substituting matzoh meal in its place. Most perfect for Rosh Hashana and use rice.  Basically this is meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce with cabbage . I doubt very much that Joel would ever eat real “stuffed cabbage” but he liked this. The cabbage cooks down so much that you don’t even realize you’re eating cabbage. I also used 1/2 chicken ground meat and 1/2 beef ground meat , this is entirely up to you. I wouldn’t do all chicken because it might be a bit dry, you can definitely make this with turkey but use dark meat turkey or the balls will also be very dry. You can also make this ahead for the holidays which is always a very good thing and feel free to freeze it.  This is the original recipe , adjust amounts for how much you’re making. I made 2 lbs. of meat but made full sauce as I was testing it out. You’ll want to use a large pot for this recipe. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

Meat

3 lbs. ground meat– I used chicken and beef (dark meat turkey is best here) white meat turkey tends to be very dry. Mixed with beef it’s fine but if using alone you’ll need to use dark meat ground turkey.

2 large eggs, lightly beaten. Use room temperature eggs they work best.*see my post about eggs–a little note on my blog.

3/4 cup cooked long grain white rice, for Passover use matzoh meal and omit the rice– I usually say un-cooked rice but some people have been saying that their rice hasn’t cooked– so to keep this from being a problem use cooked rice 

1/4 cup water

1 onion finely chopped

Kosher Salt to taste–app. 1/2 to 1 tablespoon

Pepper to taste–app. 10 grinds on a pepper mill, or app. 1/4 of a tablespoon

*garlic powder if you like

Sauce:

2 packages of shredded cabbage, probably about 1 head of cabbage finely shredded, no need to do it when you can buy it pre-shredded (not red cabbage)

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Kosher Salt to taste ( app. 1/2 tablespoon)

1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher Salt

1 1/2 cups tomato juice

4 8 ounce cans tomato sauce ( or 32 ounces)

1/2 cup brown sugar ( use whichever brown sugar you have in house , it won’t make a difference. Light or Dark, I actually used dark.

1 cup sugar

3 lemons squeezed , I got about 1/2 cup , they were smallish lemons

1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl combine the meat, eggs, water, rice and onions. Season with Salt and Pepper , and if you like garlic powder. Gently mix by hand, and I do mean gently, if you over do it the meat will be like concrete. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shredded cabbage and about 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomato juice, tomato sauce, brown sugar, sugar, lemon juice and the raisins. Stir till well combined and continue cooking sauce at simmer setting.

Gently form meatballs out of the meat mixture, I made a rather nice size meatball, not too large and not too small. Make whatever size you’d like. Just do not over-handle the meat because it will cause meat to toughen. Add to cabbage mixture, just drop into the hot sauce and do not stir, you can pile them on top of one another because they will cook down.

I left it to simmer for about 1 1/2 hours . I didn’t touch the meat balls for at least the first 1/2 hour, you’ll want them to cook through and form into nice balls before you stir, so just leave them to cook. After the first 1/2 hour or so you can gently stir and move the meatballs around. They don’t require a lot of stirring around .

This dish brought back memories of my childhood and was a most satisfying main dish.

Summer Bolognese

I call this summer bolognese because it’s lighter than my regular bolognese recipe . It’s made with fresh tomatoes which makes all the difference. I made this sauce the other night and I have to say it was just perfect . It cooked up in no time ( about 1/2 hour) and tasted fresh and delicious. Of course if you would like it vegetarian just omit the chicken. I wanted the protein so added a pound of ground chicken you can also use turkey and if you want ground beef. This time I kept it fairly light and used ground chicken. Used a thick ropy pasta — Bucatini and it was perfection on a plate made with fresh tomatoes.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 garlic cloves– minced– I use a mini food processor always for mincing garlic — just makes it easy

1 lb. ground chicken, turkey or beef

Kosher Salt to taste

1/4 cup dry white wine

4 Tbsp. tomato paste if you use double concentrate use 2

1 lb. cherry tomatoes ( which are abundant and fresh right now)

12 oz. Bucatini or any spaghtetti you like or rigatoni or penne would work here as well

about 1 cup of Pasta Water — which you may or not need

Finely Grated Parmesan for serving

Directions:

In a large skillet or pot heat oil then add garlic and cook till softened ( a few minutes) don’t brown it just soften it — sometimes you’ll need to turn off stove and let it just cook for a couple of minutes to soften.

With pan at medium high add chicken and cook, breaking up chicken for about 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and fully cooked.

Add wine and reduce heat to medium low. Continue breaking up meat till it’s small pieces until wine is evaporated– another 5 minutes or so. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring till absorbed into chicken and cook for another few minutes.

Add tomatoes and let it cook down, stir to coat the tomatoes with the mixture — allow the tomatoes to cook till they are ready to burst — about 5 minutes. I used a masher ( see photo) and I smashed down on the tomatoes and burst all of them. You can leave some whole if you like but I didn’t because this is where the sauce will come from. Stir occasionally on medium low but don’t allow to burn. Allow sauce to thicken for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until very al dente ( at least that’s how we like it)

Reserve about 1 cup of cooked pasta water because you may need it if sauce is too thick.

Taste sauce for salt and add accordingly. I probably added a teaspoon of Kosher Salt — everyone’s taste is different for salt so add to your liking.

Drain pasta and I used tongs and transferred pasta to pan with sauce. Tossing it in and cooking at a low simmer the pasta and the sauce thickened and I added a little pasta water at a time till I reached a perfect consistency . I probably used about 1/2 cup of pasta water. ( which also contains salt so consider this and don’t over-salt sauce — you can always add salt but it’s tough to take away if you make it too salty. The sauce was creamy and delicious .

Remove from heat and if you’d like add fresh basil.

Transfer to pasta bowls and top with Parmesan.