Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Spaghetti, Meatball & Sausage Dinner

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I found this recipe some newspaper a while ago and I halved it and it still made a large batch.  Enough to feed my family for supper one night, leftovers the next day and I froze the rest of the sauce for another meal.  This was so simple and delicious.  This could be your new go-to spaghetti  meal.  The only catch is that it simmers for about 3 to 4 hours.  So you almost need a Sunday afternoon to simmer it and have it for supper.  We like lots of meat in our spaghetti so I used a 1 pound package of hamburger to make the meatballs.  You could easily cut the hamburger/meatball mixture in half in you want less, but it was great with the whole pound.  I could've used a whole pound of the sweet Italian sausage too.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Sunday Spaghetti, Meatball & Sausage Dinner

4 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon basil (you can use fresh, just use 2 tablespoons)
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes
1 14-ounce can plum tomatoes
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage links (I found these in a bag by the frozen meatballs in my local grocery store)
1 pound hamburger
3/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
spaghetti noodles

Heat oil in large pot then add onion and saute for about 3 minutes.  Add basil, garlic and oregano and saute one minute more.  Add tomatoes, sugar and salt.  Bring sauce to a boil and reduce heat.  While you are waiting for the sauce to boil slice up the sausage links.  In a bowl combine hamburger, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and eggs then form into meatballs.  After sauce comes to a boil add sausage and meatballs (yes raw) to sauce and simmer for about 3 to 4 hours stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the pot.
Cook desired amount of spaghetti noodles for your meal and serve sauce over noodles with some fresh Parmesan cheese on top.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta

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An old family favorite that never gets old.  We all love this really simple stove top dish.  Serve with a side of steamed veggies and you have a whole meal!

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta

8 ounces uncooked tube or spiral pasta
1 pound hamburger
6 bacon strips - cooked & diced
1 can tomato soup
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook pasta and hamburger in separate pans.  When beef is done, drain and put in another bowl.  Cook bacon in skillet til crisp then drain on paper towels and crush.  Add beef back to skillet along with bacon, soup, ketchup and mustard.  When pasta is done drain and add to skillet and heat through.  Shut heat off and add cheese.  Place lid back on skillet until cheese is melted and serve.

Philly Cheese Steak in the Crock Pot

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I've made this recipe a few times - mostly for company since it makes a big batch.  Very simple to make and smells wonderful.  It will fill the crock pot to the top but will reduce quite a bit while cooking so don't be worried if you think your crock is too full.  Make sure to have some deli hoagie buns, A-1 sauce and provolone or mozzarella cheese!

Philly Cheese Steak
in the Crock Pot

2 large onions
2 medium green peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 medium red pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 pound thinly sliced round steak
1 clove garlic, finely-minced
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water*
1 teaspoon beef base*
1 teaspoon pepper
deli hoagie rolls
shredded mozzarella cheese or sliced provalone cheese

Spray Crock Pot with cooking spray.  Place the sliced onions and peppers in the bottom of the Crock Pot.  Lay steak slices on top of vegetables.  In a bowl whisk together the minced garlic, Worcestershire, water, beef base and pepper.  Pour over steak slices.  Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours or high 3 to 4 hours.  Mix together before serving.  Place desired amount of beef/veggie mix on a roll and top with A-1 steak sauce (if desired) and desired cheese.

*If you don't use beef base, substitute beef broth

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

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This recipe was given to me from a friend who thought it would make an excellent addition to my blog.  I agree.  It has a nice creamy mushroom taste.  Very subtle flavors.  It definitely does not have an over-powering taste.  I could almost add more paprika next time and possible more chicken base for the flavor.  Get yourself a good Hungarian Paprika - don't cheap out on it.  It makes all the flavor worth it.  I served it to my parents one night with cheeseburgers on the side and there wasn't much left.  Enough for me to have some for lunch the next day.... and of course it was even better then.  I just used plain old mushrooms - but next time I might chop up Portobello mushrooms and use those instead. 

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 tablespoon Hungarian Paprika
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups water*
1 tablespoon chicken base*
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons parsley
1/2 cup sour cream

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Saute the onions for 5 minutes then add mushrooms and saute for 5 more minutes.  Stir in dill, paprika, soy sauce, water and chicken base.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes.  In a separate bowl whisk flour and milk together.  Pour this into the soup and whisk well to blend.  Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes stirring occasionally.  Finally stir in salt, pepper, lemon juice, parsley and sour cream.  Mix together and heat through about 3 to 5 minutes.  Do not boil - serve immediately.

*If you don't use chicken base you can just use 2 cups of chicken broth.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fried Chicken

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I have never made a classic fried chicken before.  Not because I was afraid or didn't have a recipe - I guess the thought just never occurred to me.  Until I read The Help.  I had the urge to get some chicken and soak it in buttermilk, but didn't follow through on my urge until I watched the movie.  There is just something about fried chicken, isn't there?  Like comfort food at it's most basic, delicious form.  The sound of the oil cooking it and the delicious smell coming from the pan.  If you aren't drooling now - you will be when you make it!  This recipe isn't any specific recipe I found or had passed down to me.  I think you can really make it with as much or little seasoning you like - to me - more seasoning in the flour is better.  I didn't have chicken pieces so I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  I'm just going to give you the recipe how I made it - you can do with it what you want!

Fried Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Marinade: 1 pint buttermilk, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups crisco (for frying)

In a marinating container or gallon ziploc bag pour in marinade ingredients and squish the bag around to mix the ingredients.  Place chicken in bag and let sit in the fridge at least 4 hours but would be best if it sat all day.  It makes for really tender chicken. 
After the chicken has sat in the buttermilk mixture remove chicken and dispose of buttermilk mixture.  In another large sealable bowl, gallon ziploc bag, or even a good old fashioned brown paper bag, dump in the flour, garlic salt, paprika and black pepper.  Shake it around a bit to mix.  Put in your chicken and shake until all breasts are covered well.  I threw in all the chicken at once - if you prefer to do one at a time that is fine also.
In a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat melt the crisco to prepare for frying.  After it's all melted place all the chicken breasts in at once and let fry uncovered for about 10-15 minutes.  The top will start to golden up a bit more and you will be able to tell when to flip it.  Flip chicken to fry other side and this time I covered it and let fry for another 10-15 minutes.  Don't turn the heat up - you may even want to turn it down if anything.  You'll be more likely to burn the chicken if you turn it up.