Category Archives: meat

Un-Stuffed Cabbage

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. 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!

This will be on our Rosh Hashana menu this year with raisins and meat , sweet and sour, oh so perfect!

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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 uncooked long grain white rice, for Passover use matzoh meal and omit the 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.

Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas

I love Sheet Pan Meals as most of you know by now. I also love Fajitas! They can be super healthy and light and when you make at home you’re in control of the oil and the salt and everything else that goes into them. I have to say I love them best rolled in a soft tortilla with guacamole and sour cream and a little hot salsa. They’re also good just served up on the plate . Rice and Beans are a nice side dish with this as well.

This is a healthy and fun dinner for the entire family which you can make in under an hour. Everything cooked on the sheetpan which makes for minimal clean-up is a win win in my book.

Enjoy!

*should serve 4

Ingredients:

1 lb. flank steak–sliced against the grain into 1/2″ strips –if making for 4 people you may want to add a little more meat ( 1/2 lb.) everything else can stay the same

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp.garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. kosher salt–if you’d like more salt you can add

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 onion ( spanish onion is good here) sliced no more than 1/4 inch thick

1 red bell pepper–thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper –thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper–thinly sliced

some lime wedges and chopped fresh cilantro for topping

flour or corn tortillas — I like the small ones

I had guacamole, chopped fresh jalapenos, sour cream , and some delicious salsa  as toppings. This is entirely up to you.

*side dish suggestions to stretch this meal would be rice and beans!

DIrections:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl combine all the dry spices, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper and stir until evenly mixed

In a large bowl, combine steak strips , onions and bell peppers. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil,  sprinkle the minced garlic. Mix everything until it is evenly coated in oil and garlic. Sprinkle seasoning over everything. Mix again until everything is evenly coated.

I sprayed a large sheet pan with cooking spray. I used a very large sheet pan if you don’t have a very large one you can use two sheet pans. Lay all the vegetables and meat onto the sprayed sheet pan (s). Try your best not to overlap and to spread in a single layer.

Cook for about 20 minutes or until steak is finished. You may want to remove steak and continue cooking vegetables. I like my veggies a little crisp but don’t want to over cook steak. The last 5 minutes of cooking I placed tortillas in aluminum foil and placed right on the sheet pan to heat up.

When veggies were finished to my liking I added the steak back on the sheet pan mixed everything up and plated it up. Served with warm tortillas and lime wedges and sprinkled cilantro ( optional) .

Put extra toppings on the table so everyone can make their own tortilla .

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I know that Spring has sprung but there is still a chill in the air and it still feels a lot more like winter than spring. This is what I like to call Winter’s last breath time of year.  Being I am so much more of a morning person than a night person I love to cook in the morning, not elaborate breakfasts mind you but Dinner. I prep , chop and set up my slow cooker and it’s all in by 8 a.m. I cooked this on low for 8 hours and then on high for 2. You can do it on high for 6-8 as well. Almost fool-proof and you’ll love the benefits. When you enter your home at the end of the day your house will smell amazing, your dinner will be almost ready and you’ll have one pot to clean after dinner! Wow! Now of course you’ll have a bit of a mess in the morning but that’s OK because you’ll have more energy in the morning . Shop ahead and have all your ingredients ready and you’re set . I love slow cooker meals.

This is what I did:

Ingredients:

2 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes — the butcher usually has this meat already cut up. You can add an extra lb. of meat if you have more people.

5 medium size carrots, sliced into chunks

1 lb. baby potatoes — they come in a bag and are perfect just the way they are. Of course you can cut up larger potatoes if you wish.

1 small white onion–diced

3 cloves garlic–minced

3 cups Beef Broth

2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp. Italian Seasonings–dry and available in most spice sections

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4 cup Flour

2 cups Frozen Peas– I used frozen peas you can also add frozen corn if you like or use both.

Directions:

Take out the meat and dry it off with a paper towel. Sprinkle liberally with Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper on all sides. Heat a skillet with a little olive oil and sear on each side for a few minutes just to get a crust on the meat. You will not be cooking the meat just searing.

I spray my slow-cooker with cooking spray (Pam) and then add the meat, the carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic.

Add the beef broth , tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, italian seasoning, and I added about a 1/2 tsp. of Kosher Salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill (6) . You can taste at some point and always add more.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or High for 6-8 hours. An hour before serving, I take out about a cup of gravy from the beef stew and whisk with 1/4 cup flour. Then stir into the stew along with the frozen peas. Stir and taste for S and P at this point.

I let it cook on high for 2 more hours. You should let it cook for at least 1 more hour after the addition of the flour. The flour will thicken the gravy, so you’ll want to cook for at least 1 more hour on high setting.

Enjoy! a loaf of crusty bread would be in order on the side.

Lamb with Orzo–Greek Style in One Pot

photo 1 (48)photo 1 (47)  Now that we put the clocks ahead 1 hour and it is starting to feel a lot like Springtime out here in the Rockies I figure it’s time for some new Spring flavors. The orzo is just delicious and has a real mediterranean feel.  I made this delicious dish which has real “Greek” flavor and if you’re looking for something new to make this could be the one.  This dish was a wonderful and fragrant meal with delicious spices , lemons and feta cheese.  I realize that there are people out there who are opposed to eating lamb and I get that and am not trying to convince you to eat it but I think that this dish was intended for lamb because of the distinct flavoring of the lamb. You can definitely tweak this recipe to your liking, I added the black olives to my dish at the end because Joel really doesn’t like olives of any kind. ( his loss). Tzaziki sauce would be perfect served alongside, and I have a recipe for that on my blog as well (look under A Taste of India and Greece posted on September 13 ’11) .  You can also make and freeze the lamb portion which is always a plus to me. I love the flavors that went into making this and while I realize that this recipe is a bit time-consuming it is well worth the effort. When you smell the mix of spices in your kitchen simmering alongside the lamb you will understand what I mean. This should serve 4 beautifully as a main dish, maybe you can stretch to 6. Enjoy!

I have to give credit to FOOD52 for this recipe, I made a few tweaks myself but the original version comes from there.

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground lamb

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 average size yellow onion, finely chopped

6 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, drained and smooshed with your hands

14 ounce can of chopped/diced tomatoes

5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

*optional 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped — serve alongside in a separate bowl if you’re not certain everyone will like them

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Orzo:

1 lb. orzo pasta

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed please ( app. 1 average lemon)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

In a good sized Dutch Oven type of pot  heat one tablespoon olive oil ( by the way I always spray with Pam first for easier cleaning) . Heat the one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. Add the lamb and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill. Cook, stirring to break up the lamb until it is nicely browned. Remove the lamb when cooked through with a slotted spoon to a separate bowl .

Add the onion and garlic to the pot , cook on medium heat , stirring occasionally, until onions and garlic are softened and onions are transparently golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices (cinnamon, oregano, cumin, coriander, and red pepper) and cook until they are fragrant , about 2 minutes. Then stir in the smooshed tomatoes. ( I placed a strainer in sink, drained the can of San Marzano whole tomatoes and with my clean hands smooshed up tomatoes, it’s actually fun).

Cook the smooshed tomatoes in the spices, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. Then add the can of diced tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add the cooked lamb back to the pot, give it a good stir,  cover the pot and leave it to cook, stirring and tasting for salt every once in a while, cook for about 1/2 hour.

After  1/2 hour , you can stir in the fresh spinach and cook for a few minutes till spinach is wilted. I only used 1/2 the spinach because Joel really doesn’t love spinach, if I wasn’t making it for him I would have added whole amount.  Taste for salt but keep in mind you will be adding cheese and olives which will add saltiness.

While the lamb and tomatoes are simmering away, cook the orzo in a separate pot of well-salted water. Cook orzo until al dente and reserve a cup of the pasta water .  I added pasta water to the orzo and a little to the sauce as well.

Drain the orzo and toss the orzo with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice  and the parsley, you may want to add some pasta water to this as well if you feel it needs additional liquid.

I served in individual shallow bowls placing the orzo first and spooning the lamb mixture on top.  I then sprinkled with feta and olives on my bowl and just feta on Joel’s bowl. Serve hot.

Pour a nice glass of red wine and relax and enjoy.

2 tablespoons olive oil

Simple Red Chili — Turkey or Beef

It’s time to start thinking about Superbowl not to mention cold winter nights. The food that always comes to mind is chili. I have already posted my white bean chili, which I love but this is a more common version. Chili is not an exact science and you can feel free to make substitutions where you like. Obviously the toppings are optional and at your own discretion. Chili is just so easy to make. It sits on the stove or your slow cooker and when you’re ready to eat it, it’s all done. I like chips or taco shells with this. I love fresh jalapeno on the side chopped up, guacamole, refried beans, etc. If you don’t want beef, make it with turkey instead. I usually make it with turkey but this time out I made it with ground beef because I couldn’t get the turkey. We just landed in Aspen and the small market by the airport only had ground beef so it will have to do. I usually make this one day ahead for a special event. This allows the flavors to all meld together and then I just reheat–couldn’t be easier.

A little trick I learned a while back was to add a little Masa flour. It is usually available in the section with Mexican foods. I stumbled upon it quite by accident, and sneak it in with this recipe. I use about 1/8 a cup of Masa flour to about 1/2 cup very hot water. I add it during the first 1/2 hour and see how it thickens up. I probably use about 2/3 of the flour in the end, and it adds a corn flavor and thickens up the chili. (Directions are below.)

Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey–If I am using ground turkey I prefer ground dark meat if you can find it. It’s much more flavorful . You can use white meat turkey but try for 85/15. That’s 85% white meat with 15% fat. I just find the O% fat to be very dry. Of course these are all personal choices.

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (12 – 14 oz) tomato sauce, and then about 1 –  2 cans of water

1 can (Ro-tel) diced tomatoes and chilies

1 can (15 oz.)red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/8  cup masa harina (corn flour) found in the Mexican food section of the supermarket (Mix flour with about 1/2 cup very hot water. It will be quite thick. Drop in by spoonfuls and mix well to incorporate. I probably used 2/3 of the flour mixture. This is optional but ever since I discovered it, I’ve been using it.)

1 can yellow corn (optional, but I always like to add it in. I use a small 8 oz. can)

1 small can (4 oz.) poblano green chilis, cut up or diced (also in Mexican aisle)

1 teaspoon ground oregano (I use Mexican oregano. Use it if you can get it. If not, regular is fine.)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I like the heat. This is optional. You can also take down to 1/4 teaspoon.)

1 teaspoon kosher salt (then you will taste for additional salt. I added 1/4 teaspoon more at the end.)

Grated shredded cheddar or jack cheese for serving

diced red onion and diced fresh jalapeno for serving

Tortilla chips, guacamole, sour cream and salsa for serving

*cilantro for topping (I love cilantro so I chop it up and leave it out for individual garnish.)

Directions:

Place the ground beef or turkey in a large stock pot (Le Creuset) and put in the garlic. Cook over medium heat until meat is browned. Drain off any excess fat.  Add in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, and reduce heat to low. I use the 15 oz. can of tomato sauce as a measuring cup and add 1 -2 cups of water (this time out I used 1 1/2 cans of water.) Let simmer for an hour or so, covered, occasionally stirring, and adding water, if necessary.

Place the masa harina in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup water and stir together with a fork. Add masa mixture to the chili and stir together and taste for seasonings. Add more water if needed. Add the beans, corn, and chilis. I usually add salt at this point. Simmer for another 1/2 hour or so covered. It can simmer for a long while, if you so desire. Or, turn off heat, and just heat up 1/2 hour before serving.  You should check for thickness. During the last 1/2 hour, I added a bit more water .

Serve with assorted toppings I’ve listed. Cheese, jalapenos, chips, guacamole, salsa, chopped red onions, sour cream  and cilantro. We love small soft tortillas on the side of our chili!

What I made for Dinner – Turkey Bolognese

It is finally cold out and it’s the time of year I break out my Le Creuset and make some heartwarming Bolognese sauce. It’s November so let’s make Turkey Bolognese!!!  This is one of our most favorite meals and I will have enough sauce for 2 meals because one 1/2 will get frozen for another day when I don’t have the time to cook. Perfect Sunday night meal. I must say Pasta is probably my most favorite food to eat. Bolognese sauce is one of my most favorites. Today I decided not to go to my usual Bolognese which is delicious but very heavy and rich. I went with a lighter approach today using Turkey and Chicken Sausage because I couldn’t find italian turkey sausage and didn’t feel like hunting it down, and the chicken sausage worked just fine. I did use dark meat turkey because 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 . The only negative to this sauce is that it really needs 3- 4 hours for the sauce to cook down. 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 and spaghetti squash.  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 Recipe for how to recipe, posted 12/20/2012.

Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus more if necessary

1 lb. 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.

1 pound ground Turkey ( I used dark meat )

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

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 ( see notes)

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.

When the sauce is ready for serving, bring a large pot of water and prepare pasta according to package directions.

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. The only problem with doing it yourself is that you must get the extra moisture out.

*Spaghetti Squash – just have the store cut it in half because it’s a tough one to cut at home. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and scoop out the seeds. Spray a rimmed baking sheet and turn squash open side down on baking sheet and cook till soft, probably 45 minutes or so. Remove from oven and with a fork remove the inside of the squash into a bowl, it comes out like very thin spaghetti.

Happy New Year Brisket

Brisket can definitely be an intimidating thing to make. I once made it as a young cook, and it was perfectly inedible. Back then, I couldn’t believe how long it takes to cook, but it does take very long. Now I usually make it in the slow cooker, which is awesome; but I don’t have a slow cooker in New York, and I don’t have time to run out and buy one. So this time I used my trusty Le Creuset, which worked out beautifully. A lot of people have some pretty awesome brisket recipes and I welcome you to send me yours. This really couldn’t be any easier and it’s super tasty. This original recipe came from my friend, Michele (with a few comments from Karyn too.) I did change a few things to the original recipe, but not a lot and I thank Michele for the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

4 lb. brisket (I didn’t need larger but you can adjust this recipe for whatever size brisket you use)

Lawry’s seasoned salt (I’ve never used this before today but I found out it doesn’t contain MSG, as I had previously thought)

2 large Spanish onions (Karyn uses Vidalia, which is also good), sliced thickly

2 cans of tomato sauce , I used the 16 oz. size. You can also use the 1 can of 28 oz. size. It depends on you and how much sauce you like.

2 tbsp. brown sugar (this is my addition. It doesn’t really change the flavor so much as cut the salt a bit)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I sprinkled Lawry’s seasoned salt on both sides of the brisket (generously) then seared it in the Le Creuset pot with a little vegetable oil–probably about a tablespoon. (After the meat was seared, it shrunk to fit perfectly in my pot but I don’t think that a larger brisket would have fit.) Next, I added the tomato sauce and onions, covered the pot and put it in the oven. I cooked it for a total of 3 hours. I checked on it after each hour, which probably wasn’t even necessary. I then let it cool, off of the heat, for about an hour. Next, I sliced it with an electric knife, which came out beautifully. The meat was soft, but not falling apart at all. I then added the brown sugar to the gravy, put the brisket in a container with the gravy and froze it. I’ll take it out the night before I serve. Karyn pulses her gravy with an immersion blender. I didn’t do this but I think it makes for a good suggestion. In fact, I might still do it next time I make this recipe.  I’ll let you know. Thanks again Michele and Karyn!

Marinated Flank Steak

I was having some people over for dinner and I like Flank Steak because you cut it up into thin slices and everyone gets a little bit without feeling like they ate a ton of meat. It cooks up on the grill super fast– about 5 minutes on each side. And it is awesome when used in fajitas!!!

This is what I did. Here are some pics from that night.

Ingredients:

3 lb. Flank Steak

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice –app. 1 large lemon

1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

2 cloves garlic–minced

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

in a medium sized bowl, mix all the above ingredients. Pour marinade over the steak, turning meat to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours but I did it overnight till dinner the next day.

Pre heat your grill and turn to medium high heat.

I like to oil the grates and spray with Pam spray. Place steaks on the grill and discard the marinade .

Grill depending on the thickness of your flank steak app. 5 minutes each side.

Enjoy!

 

Un-Stuffed Cabbage

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. 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!

This will be on our Rosh Hashana and Passover menu this year with raisins and meat , sweet and sour, oh so perfect!

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 uncooked long grain white rice, for Passover use matzoh meal and omit the 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.

Roast Pork Loin with Apples and Onions

FullSizeRender (9)FullSizeRender (8) FullSizeRender (6)FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (7)Wow!!! What an amazing delicious and easy dish is this to make. Prep is easy and pork loin is available in most butcher shops and Whole Foods type of supermarket. It will make you look like you really know what you’re doing in a few easy steps. It’s really just a dry rub on the pork but you’ll need an instant-read meat thermometer as this is very important in the cooking of this dish. Joel and I both enjoyed this very much. A winner! The roasted apples and onions were just an amazing addition to the pork.

* you’ll need a rimmed sheet pan and a cooking thermometer ( instant-read type) and make sure yours works, sometimes they stop working for no apparent reason.

thanks once again to Jessica Seinfeld http://www.doitdelicous.com and her wonderful cookbook The Can’t Cookbook which I love even though I can cook.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin * see pictures

2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into quarters ( see directions)

3 red apples

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil + 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 tsp. kosher salt ( divided 1/2 and 1/2 ) see directions

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper ( divided 1/4 and 1/4) see directions

2 cloves garlic chopped

1 Tablespoon dried thyme ( from the jar) this is not fresh thyme

2 tsp. fennel seeds ( available in most spice sections of your supermarket)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Have pork out of refrigerator and at room temperature, about 1/2 hour prior to cooking.

Cutting the onions–First peel the onions, then cut off both ends of the onions. Then cut the onions in half from end to end. Place each half of the onions cut side down and cut again. You have now quartered the onions.

Cut the apples in 1/2 from stem to end.  Remove the core, the easiest method is to use a melon-baller or a small teaspoon to remove core and seeds.  Place each half cut side down and cut in half again. Place the apples and onions in a rimmed sheet pan ( I spray with Pam cooking spray first )

Drizzle the onions and apples with 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper ( app. 12 turns on a pepper mill) Toss together with clean hands and spread into a single layer.

Chop the garlic, and combine in a small bowl with the thyme, fennel, and the remaining 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Place the pork, fat side up in the middle of the pan, push the apples and onions aside. Rub the entire pork loin with the spice rub.

Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork reads 145 degrees. Check the temperature after 50 minutes. I cooked for one hour and mine was perfect, but check temperature after 45- 50 . Your oven will determine how long it needs to cook and all ovens vary. A slight pink hue in the center of your cooked roast is perfectly desirable. Transfer the meat to a clean cutting board and let it rest for about 5 minutes before slicing. Plate it up with the apples and onions. I also served alongside roasted sweet potatoes.