Take a Meatball and Stuff it

Inside a biscuit that is.

Coming up with new recipes can be challenging at times so taking an existing recipe or combining a couple of different ones can be the answer when you are running low on ideas.

This time around I wanted to make something quick and easy to snack on but was also in the mood for Italian which does not always go hand in hand. As many of you know a lot of traditional Italian dishes can be pretty involved and take a while to make if done from scratch. So I thought maybe stuffing meatballs inside of biscuits with a little cheese and marinara would be a good way to make a snack size Italian treat. Kind of like a mini home made hot pocket but without the burning lava part that comes out after microwaving.

This recipe can be done with frozen meatballs or you can make your own like I did but that will take a bit more time. I will include the instructions on how to make those in case you are feeling ambitious. Luckily I had some made and frozen from a previous meal.

Lets get started.

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Ingredients

1lb lean ground beef

1/2 lb Italian sausage (hot)

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

1 egg

1/2 cup finely chopped white onion

1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper

2 tablespoons of finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon course sea salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 package mozzarella string cheese

1 tube of refrigerated biscuits

1 jar of your favorite marinara or pasta sauce ( I prefer Raos Arabiata sauce)

Prep and cooking (if using frozen meatballs heat those up and skip to the next step)

Step 1: Mix everything all together in a large mixing bowl except the biscuits cheese and sauce. Using both hands roll out your meatballs in small 1″ balls. You want to make small ones that will get a little crispy on the outside and cook quickly. As you make them lay them out on a baking pan. Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees and cook the meatballs for about 20 minutes or until the are a nice golden brown on the outside.

Tip: I like to cover my pan in aluminum foil and spray with non stick spray. This makes clean up so much easier.

Step 2: After they meatballs are done set them aside to cool. Now take the string cheese and cut it into small 1/2 inch pieces. Take the biscuits and lay them out and cut each one in half. Flatten the biscuit halves and place a meatball and a piece of cheese in the center, then add a small dollop of sauce. Now fold the biscuit over and press the ends together, making a nice little doughy ball of goodness. Place the now stuffed biscuits on a baking sheet with the folder sides down.

Now put the full baking sheet in the oven and bake according to the biscuits baking directions. This should give you a nice golden biscuit on the outside and a stuffed melted bit of heaven on the inside.

Once they are done let them cool for a few minutes and get ready to enjoy a truly delicious treat.

As always I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading

JMW

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Something Lite

I know I know… It has been a while since I have posted anything and I apologize for that. With a steady stream of family and friends coming in and out of town it has been hard to find time for everything these last few weeks, but the dust is starting to settle and I am back with a new recipe. This time I have gone with something a little on the lite side simply because I have eaten more than my share of bad food while guests were in town. I decided this go round to make a simple chicken pasta. Here is what I came up with.

Ingredients

Boneless Skinless chicken breast (two pounded flat)

Angel Hair pasta (1/2 of a regular sized box)

fresh chopped garlic (1/4 cup)

Olive Oil (1/2 cup)

Grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)

Ground black pepper

Course Sea Salt

Red pepper flakes

Prep and cooking

Put each breast in a Ziploc bag and flatten with a meat mallet until they are both about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch thick. Now heat a pan and pour in half of the olive oil. Cook both breasts until they start to brown on either side (season with salt and pepper). Make sure they are cooked all the way through then set to the side.

Boil the pasta until it is to your liking. I prefer mine to be a little al dente but I know some people like it a little softer. Drain the pasta (but do not rinse it) and pour it in to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Now that the chicken should be cool enough to handle you will want to cut it into small cubes and add it to the bowl with the pasta.

Add the garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil and mix it together.

Now to season it. You want to add 1 teaspoon of course sea salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and mix it all together.

That is all there is to it folks. A simple and relatively quick dish to make that tastes great.

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This is a good dish that can be served room temperature or warmed up. While it is a lite dish it is also filling and wont leave you wanting something else an hour later. This is also one of those dishes that can be made over the weekend and stored to heat up throughout the week to save on time. I hope that you all enjoy this as much as I did and I will try and keep the breaks between posts smaller next time. Enjoy!!!

Thanks for reading

JMW

Meaty Marinara

Today marks the one year anniversary of my blog. I want to thank everyone who has stopped by to read about my adventures and to get some recipe tips too. I hope that you all keep coming back and enjoying what you read. Thanks for Reading Everyone!!!

I thought a good recipe to put up for the one year anniversary would be my Meaty Marinara sauce.

Growing up I was never a huge fan of Italian food unless it came on a Pizza (yes I know that isn’t real Italian) or in a meatball sub, this was mostly because what I was used to eating usually came from some local pizza joint that used canned everything that always tasted the same. While my mother always made a sauce that I still love to this day and occasionally make myself it still wasn’t truly authentic Italian sauce. Don’t be mad Mom, I will always love your sauce.

As I grew older and even more so after I got married I started going to more authentic Italian restaurants and discovered more traditional Italian dishes. With this I started seeing how different ingredients that you never really thought of being in a sauce are what really makes it.  You don’t just toss a hand full of dried oregano in a pot with tomatoes and magically get sauce. There are many different ingredients and combinations to take into consideration for the flavor you want.

Over the weekend I decided to put together a more traditional marinara but of course I needed to add my own twist to it. So Here is what I came up with.

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Ingredients:

1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage

1 medium white onion diced

1 large carrot finely diced

2 Celery stalks finely diced

2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes

3 tablespoons of minced garlic

3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh oregano

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt

Black pepper

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Extra Virgin Olive oil (about 1/4 cup)

Cooking

In a large sauce pan heat the olive oil on medium high heat and add the garlic. Stir the garlic around a few times and then add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the onions and celery start to turn clear. Now add the sweet Italian sausage and cook it nice and brown making sure to break it up into small pieces as it cooks.

Once the sausage has browned reduce the heat to medium and add both cans of crushed tomatoes and stir it all together. Let that start to simmer and then add the oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Now stir that all together and let it simmer a few more minutes. It is now time to add in the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons of salt and a tablespoon of black pepper. Stir that all together and reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally.

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That is really all there is to it. Its a pretty simple recipe but all of the different ingredients really meld together well to create a very tasty sauce. For all of my vegetarian friends out there (yes I do have some) It is just as good if you leave the meat out.

All that is left now is to boil your favorite pasta and cover it with a nice helping of sauce and enjoy. Maybe even heat up a slice or two of Garlic bread to top it off.  This one came out really good and has that more authentic Italian flavor that you just don’t get from a jar.

As always

Thanks for Reading

JMW

Collard Greens (Not just a side)

There are many side dishes out there that can be tweaked a little to be turned into a main course if  you just have a little imagination. Now I know that a lot of people tend to turn their nose up and say ewwww to different greens and it is mostly because of the smell they give off while cooking or just a general loathing of anything green. To you people I say give them a chance because once they are done and you get that first bite you will be hooked. I grew up eating collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens and love them when they are cooked properly which unfortunately is something a lot of places don’t do. Most restaurants will have them on the menu as a side dish and that is fine but I am here to show you that this does not have to be the case. You can make them where they are the main dish and you will be looking for something else to put on the side.

So here is what you need to make this tasty dish

Ingredients

3 bunches of fresh collard greens

2 lbs country style (pork) ribs (boneless)

1/4 lb sliced salt pork (you can use bacon but salt pork is better)

Garlic Powder

Black Pepper

Red Pepper Flakes

Prep

Cut the the salt pork into small 1″ pieces

Cut the pork ribs down to 2″ square pieces

Cut the stems off of the collards right at the bottom of the leaf and throw them away, now rinse the leaves, then cut the leaves into small 1 to 2 inch squares and set aside in a bowl.

Cooking

In a large pot with a lid you want to cook the salt pork first. You are going to cook it on medium high heat until it is golden brown and most of the fat has been rendered off to make a nice cooking oil. Then add the pork ribs in and season with the garlic powder and black pepper (Use about a tablespoon each). Cook the ribs until they are nice a brown and crisp on the outside. Now reduce the heat to medium and drain off any excess oil. Add in the cut up greens and red pepper flakes and put the lid on the pot. Cook them on medium for about 45 minutes occasionally stirring.  Now reduce the heat to low and cook for another 45 minutes.

By now the greens should be nice and soft and the ribs should be tender and starting to fall apart.

That’s all there is to it.  A nice dish that is great by itself or accompanied by sides.
Enjoy

Thanks for reading,

JMW