Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Recipe #291: Swedish Meatballs

I can't really think of anything to say about these other than the fact that they were delicious!  Be sure to make plenty of gravy, too.  I served them with egg noodles.  Yet another great recipe from  I do have to add, though, that I managed to not notice the part about the sour cream, which printed out on the second page (both ingredients AND directions!)- and this still turned out delicious!


2 slices day-old white bread, crumbled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon butter
1 small onion, minced
2/3 pound ground beef
1/3 pound finely ground pork
1 egg
1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or as
2 cups beef broth, or as needed
1/2 (8 ounce) container sour cream


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Place the bread crumbs into a small bowl, and mix in the cream. Allow to stand until crumbs absorb the cream, about 10 minutes. While the bread is soaking, melt 1 teaspoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion until it turns light brown, about 10 minutes. Place onion into a mixing bowl; mix with the ground beef, ground pork, egg, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. Lightly mix in the bread crumbs and cream.
3.Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Pinch off about 1 1/2 tablespoon of the meat mixture per meatball, and form into balls. Place the meatballs into the skillet, and cook just until the outsides are brown, about 5 minutes, turning the meatballs often. Insides of the meatballs will still be pink. Place browned meatballs into a baking dish, pour in chicken broth, and cover with foil.
4.Bake in the preheated oven until the meatballs are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove meatballs to a serving dish.
5.To make brown gravy, pour pan drippings into a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the pan drippings until smooth, and gradually whisk in enough beef broth to total about 2 1/2 cups of liquid. Bring the gravy to a simmer, whisking constantly until thick, about 5 minutes.  Just before serving, whisk in the sour cream.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Recipe #290: Braised Chicken with Kale

Finally, a new recipe made recently (tonight!)  I went to the store with no clue what I'd like to make, and I just bought a few things that grabbed my attention- whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick) and kale.  I went online to find a recipe and this one was PERFECT!  I had everything on hand, plus my new purchases, and it turned out delicious.  The chicken is very moist and the kale still maintains a good texture despite all of the cooking.  This is from Cooking Light's website.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided  (next time, I'm using all butter- I set off my smoke alarm!)
  • chicken leg quarters, skinned  (I didn't notice the skinned part and left that on)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • garlic cloves, chopped
  • (16-ounce) package cut prewashed kale (I used two whole heads of kale)
  • (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained (I used unflavored)
  • (14.5-ounce) can fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth (I used mostly Chardonnay)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. 2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons canola oil. Sprinkle the chicken with black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place flour in a dish, and dredge chicken. Place 2 leg quarters in pan, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining 2 leg quarters. Remove from pan.
  3. 3. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add garlic; cook for 20 seconds. Add half of kale; cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining half of kale; cook 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Cover and bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; stir in vinegar. Serve chicken over kale mixture.

Recipe #289: Steak Tartare

I've been wanting to try this for a long time and finally got around to it.  I'd had steak tartare a few times before in nice restaurants.  Yes, it IS raw beef, which is why you need to pick very lean, very fresh meat for this recipe.  I didn't have the usual quail egg for this one (which, yes, I ate raw in Nashville...) but it still turned out nicely.  It makes for a good base recipe that I'd like to play with- adding other seasonings or pickles or trying entirely different approaches.... and I need a different form besides a funnel.

Still, it was a success, and I even got Nick to eat it!  Copied from I added capers to mine.

1 pound finely ground beef tenderloin (I hand-cut filet mignon)
1 teaspoon brown mustard
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (e.g.
Tabasco™), or to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon brandy
1 pinch salt, or to taste
ground white pepper to taste
1 egg
1.In a medium bowl, mix together the beef, mustard, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brandy, salt, pepper and egg until well blended. Arrange the meat in a neat pile on a glass dish, and cover with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve as a spread on crackers or toast.

Recipe #288: Apple Pie, From Scratch

Sorry it's been so long since my last post.... been super busy with work between overtime and travel, and then even once I got home, getting the motivation to cook stuff was nearly impossible.  I made this pie several weeks ago and never posted the recipes.  It turned out AMAZING.  I'd eaten dinner and then after discussing desserts with a friend via Facebook, I suddenly had a huge craving for apple pie.  At 8pm, I went to the grocery store to get the ingredients and was definitely not disappointed.

As you can tell from the picture, cutting the pie made it fall apart, but it was still delicious with some good quality vanilla ice cream on top!  The crust is full of flavor.



1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water


Mix shortening, flour, and salt together with a fork or pastry blender until very crumbly.  Add as much water as needed to hold together and mix lightly with a fork.

Roll gently on a floured pastry cloth (or parchment paper) to about an inch larger than the pie plate.  Fold carefully in half, lift to pie plate, and unfold.  Press into pan.  For the top, use a pizza cutter to slice pieces for weaving, as in the picture.

Pinch the ends together.



Double crust pastry (above)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 while sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
5(ish) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Cinnamon, to taste


Melt butter in a sauce pan.  Stir in flour to form a paste.  Add whie sugar, brown sugar, and water; bring to a boil.  Reduce temperature, simmer five minutes.

Meanwhile, place the bottom crust in your pan.  Season apples to taste with cinnamon, and fill the bottom crust, mounded slightly.  Cover with lattice work crust.  Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust.  Pour slowly so that it doesn't run off.

Bake 15 minutes at 425, then 35-45 minutes at 350.