Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs
recipe courtesy America's Test Kitchen

2 slices high-quality white sandwich bread
1/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 large egg yolk
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
4 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1 pound spaghetti

Remove and discard the crusts from the bread, then tear the bread into small pieces. Mash the bread pieces and buttermilk to a smooth paste in a large bowl, using a fork.
Add the beef, pork, Parmesan, parsley, yolk, garlic, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper to the mashed bread. Stir the mixture gently until combined and uniform. Form the mixture into 1 1/2 inch round meatballs (about 12 meatballs).
Pour the oil into a skillet until it measures a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook until nicely browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a paper-towel-lined plate and discard the oil left in the skillet.
Place the skillet with any browned bits over medium heat and add the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce the heat to low and add the meatballs. Continue to simmer, turning the meatballs occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes.
While the meatballs are simmering, add 1 tbsp salt and the spaghetti to boiling water. Cook, stirring often, until the spaghetti tastes almost tender but is still firm to the bite.
Top the pasta with the spaghetti and meatballs and enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Slow Cooker Tamale Pie

This recipe caught my eye in my Taste of Home magazine because it won the grand prize in a slow cooker contest. It was really easy to put together and tasted really great.

Slow Cooker Tamale Pie
recipe courtesy Taste of Home

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
1 can (11 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 pkg (8 1/2 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
2 eggs
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Sour cream and additional cilantro, optional

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the cumin, salt, chili powder and pepper. Transfer to a 4 qt slow cooker; stir in the beans, tomatoes, corn, enchilada sauce, onions and cilantro. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until heated through. (I cooked mine in the oven at 200 degrees for about 6 hours).
In a small bowl, combine muffin mix and eggs; spoon over meat mixture. Cover and cook 1 hour longer or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream and additional cilantro if desired.