This week’s Sunday Supper topic was to make a dish by our favorite celebrity chef. I don’t know about you, but my husband and I LOVE Emeril’s recipes. They are always so flavorful. They often use one of his spice blends, although this one does not, which really add a punch to the dish they are being used in. I prefer to prepare his spice blends at home, over purchasing them in the store. They taste better and homemade blends tend to have less sodium than the store bought ones.

Now deciding which Emeril recipe to share proved to not be too difficult. It happened to be the weekend after Thanksgiving when I was deciding what to make and I had a hamhock to do something with. Well, I had recently been perusing a new local restaurant’s menu and saw they serve Red Beans & Rice on Monday and call it Laundry Night. Apparently, in New Orleans (one my most favorite cities in the world) back in the day, the women of the household would let Red Beans simmer on the stove all day Monday, using the hamhock from Sunday night’s dinner, while they tended to the laundry.

I liked the story and loved the thought of Red Beans bubbling away in the crockpot all day. When looking for a recipe, I stumbled upon this one, and knowing Emeril never disappoints, eagerly bought the ingredients and got started. I doubled this recipe so my hubby and I would have some and so I could take a batch to ladies at work for lunch. It was a hit with him and the office…as if there was any doubt :0)

Do you like Emeril? What’s your favorite Emeril Recipe? (I also adore his Jambalaya)

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Red Beans & Rice served with Jalapeno Cornbread

Emeril’s New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons evoo
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 hamhock
  • 2 links of Andouille (Patak is my favorite and I highly recommend if you can get your hands on it)
  • 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted through, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 to 10 cups water
  • white rice (I love to make mine in the rice cooker)

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne, black pepper and thyme for about 5 minutes. Pour into a crockpot. Add the bay leaves, hamhock, sausage, beans, garlic, and enough water to cover the contents. Cook on low all day (about 6-8 hours). Use a wooden spoon to mash about half of the mixture against the side of the pot before serving. Add more water if it becomes too thick. The mixture should be soupy but not watery. Remove the bay leaves and serve with white rice.

Check out more tasty recipes featuring celebrity chefs from my fellow #SundaySupper foodies:

Starters or Snacks :

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog – Oyster and Brie Soup and Wine Pairings for Celebrity Chef #SundaySupper

Linda at The Urban Mrs. – Inspired by Bobby Flay, Lobster Chowder with Roasted Corn Salsa

Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts – Rachael Ray’s Cinnamon Popcorn

Cindy over at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings – Jamie Oliver’s Bread and Tomato Soup

Jeff at The Catholic Foodie – Drop Biscuits – Breakfast with Chef John Besh

Renee over at Kudos Kitchen By Renee – Giada De Laurentiis’ Garlic Toasts With Red Pepper Aioli

The Main Dish:

Sheila at Cooking Underwriter – Paula Deen’s Chicken in a Crock Pot w/ Sauerkraut and Apples

Laura over at Small Wallet Big Appetite – Martin Yan’s Beef Chow Fun

Claire at The Realistic Nutritionist – Alton Brown’s 40 Cloves and a Chicken

Sarah over at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends – Michael Symon’s Lola burger with crab tater tots

Susan at The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen – Ina Garten’s Baked Shrimp Scampi

Katy over at Happy Baking Days – Mary Berry’s Treacle Tart

Tammi at Momma’s Meals – Lee Drummond’s Sloppy Joe’s

Lane over at Supper for a Steal – Bobby Flay’s Rosemary Bricked Chicken

Tara from Noshing with the Nolands – Michael Symon’s Pork and Apple Scallopini

Shannon at Country Girl in the Village – Simple Red Sauce over Rigatoni. Inspired by, Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

Kris over at In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene – Rachael Ray’s Muffin Tin Meatloaf

Nicole from The Daily Dish Recipes – Paula Deen’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pickled Pork Sandwiches

Becca from It’s Yummilicious – Ina Garten’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Alice at Hip Foodie Mom – Sunday Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes from Kelsey Nixon

Jen over at Juanita’s Cocina – The Neely’s White Turkey Chili

Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips – Crockpot Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis

Isabel at Family Foodie – Polenta with Garlicky Shrimp inspired by Chef Todd English

Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet – Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce, From Emeril Lagasse

Bobbi over at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen – Cheesy Poblano Chicken

Patti at Comfy Cuisine – Tyler Florence’s Chicken Francese

Chris from Sustainable Dad – Pork Tenderloin with Jerusalem Artichokes and Negroni Vinaigrette

Roxanne over at The Roxx Box – Jambalaya Pasta with Penne, Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille

Sue from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz – Rachael Ray’s Spicy Corn Chowdah Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Jamie at Mama Mommy Mom – Penne with Asparagus, Smoked Gouda and Prosciutto. Adapted from, Giada De Laurentiis’

Tora over at Tora’s Real Food – Pork and beans with Alton Brown’s pickled pork

Amazing Sides:

Megan from I Run For Wine – Curtis Stone’s Acorn Squash Roasted with Thyme

Sandi over at Midlife Road Trip - Gabriele Corcos’s Gnocchi di Patate

Shelby at Diabetic Foodie – Orange Pecan Black Rice, adapted from Ina Garten

Katie from She likes Ruffles, He likes Truffles – Chef Fabio Viviani’s Spinach and Artichoke Risotto

Sweet Endings:

Kim over at Cravings of a Lunatic – Chocolate Cream Puffs with Hazelnut Filling

Renee over at Magnolia Days – Brownie Tart

Connie at The Foodie Army Wife - Inspired by Ree Drummond – Scrumptious Apple Coffee Cake

Paula over at Vintage Kitchen Notes – Bill Granger´s Cherry Tart

Pam from The Meltaways – Savannah Sheet Cake

Amber at Mama’s Blissful Bites – Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding

Jaime over at Mom’s Test Kitchen – Southern Tea Cakes

Amy over at Kimchi MOM - Crack Pie, I Can’t Quit You

Lyn from The Lovely Pantry - Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Squares

Melanie at From Fast Food to Fresh Food – Sand Tarts

Wine Pairings:

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Please join on us via Twitter for #SundaySupper on December 2, 2012, throughout the day. In the evening, we will meet at 7 PM EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat. All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

There are two secrets to perfect egglant parmesan:

  1. peeling
  2. sweating

The skin of an eggplant is quite bitter and can ruin the whole dish.  Be sure to take a few extra minutes to peel your eggplant before slicing it.

Eggplant is packed with water.  To make it fry up crisp, you want to draw some of the water out.  To do that, you want to “sweat” the eggplant.  That means you will slice it and salt each side, very generously.  After just a few minutes, you will notice beads of “sweat” on the slices.  That is the moisture being drawn out.  After about 30 minutes, rinse the slices with water, pat dry, and they’re ready to get dressed for the frying pan!

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Nothing quite makes my mouth water like freshly fried eggplant. Especially when there is a pot of homemade marinara close by.

Eggplant Parmesan {+Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce}

Ingredients

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped (you can used jarred, or make at home)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and juices
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Sugar, to taste

Eggplant:

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Oliv oil, for greasing dish (I use myMisto)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2  tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4-pounds), cut into round slices (it’s your preference how thick you want to slice them, my husband likes them really thin) and sweated
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
  • 12 ounces grated mozzarella, plus1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces grated fontina
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn

For the Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

Directions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.  Add the red peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Emulsify with a hand blender and process until smooth.  Add the parsley, basil and oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes longer and season with sugar to cut the acidity.

For the Eggplant:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 15 by 10 by 2-inch baking dishwith olive oil and set aside.

Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl.  Add the herbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together.

Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture.  Shake off any excess breading and transfer the egg plant to a baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Heat 1/2-inch of oil in a large straight-sided saute pans over medium heat .  Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch.  Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with some of the tomato sauce and arrange 1/2 of the eggplant over the sauce.  Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce, grated mozzarella, fontina, Romano cheese and fresh basil.  Repeat to make 3 layers ending with the sauce. Bake for 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Top with the fresh mozzarella and remaining Romano and bake another 10 minutes, until hot and just beginning to brown. Let rest 10 minutes before serving, slice and serve!

Check out more #SoulWarming dishes from the #SundaySupper community below:

Main Entrees:

Chili/Stews:

Soups:

Desserts/Beverages:

Join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your Sunday Supper Soul Warming Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

This week’s #SundaySupper topic was “What does Sunday supper mean to you and your lifestyle?”

In our home, Sunday is a day that we look forward to.  It’s a day we like to pack up our dog, kayak and a few friends and head to Stone Mountain Park for some outdoor fun.  Now, the end to a day of play in nature (and often times a weekend with a little too much fun ;o)  is always a hearty home cooked meal.  Once dinner is placed on the table, we rehash stories from the weekend and share what’s on the horizon for the days ahead.

st mtn

Kayaking at Stone Mountain with our pup not far behind

So, when a few weeks, ago my husband requested meatloaf, I knew just the recipe I wanted to try.  I came across it on one of my favorite recipe sites and had been wanting to prepare it for some time. Although I often think of meatloaf as a cold weather entrée, the blackberry bbq sauce on this one makes it perfect for a summertime meal. Of course I tweaked the original recipe a bit, as I don’t eat veal, I’m obsessed with Vidalia onions, I loooove garlic and I never buy whitebread.  I’d also like to add that it’s not only the bbq sauce that makes this recipe special.  I have never put milk in my meatloaf before and I am now a firm believer that it’s the secret to THE most moist meat you will ever eat.  Give it a try and I’m sure you will agree!

Meatloaf with Blackberry BBQ Sauce

Printable Recipe

Ingredients for meatloaf:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 Vidalia onion, diced
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp each of salt and pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup 1% milk
  • ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs

Ingredients for blackberry bbq sauce:

  • 2 Vidalia onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups blackberries (if using frozen, like I did, make sure they are thawed)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • generous pinch each of salt and pepper

For the sauce:  Add all the bbq sauce ingredients to a blender, or food processor, and blend until smooth.  Pour into a small saucepan and heat on medium for about 20 minutes (if you have a splatter screen, now is a good time to use it).  After 20 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

For the meatloaf:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together in a bowl until evenly distributed.  Fill a greased, 5×9 pan  with the meat mixture and  spread out so it’s even on top.  Spread about a half a cup of the bbq sauce on top of the meat and bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes.  Be sure to check on the loaf about every 30 minutes and when the sauce begins to turn brown on the top, place aluminum foil over the top to keep the sugars in the bbq sauce from burning.

Once the meatloaf is completely cooked, remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

When serving, pour some of the bbq sauce on top of the slices of meatloaf and serve with a couple hearty sides. I went with mashed potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts.

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Meatloaf: pre-oven

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Meatloaf: post-oven. Mmmm, check out that crust.

While you’re here, be sure to check out the amazing recipes that my fellow foodies in the #SundaySupper community have put together for today’s topic. They inspire me each week and I’m sure they’ll do the same for you!

On Top of Old Smokey…

November 11, 2011

Not everyone {my fiance included} knows this old children’s song about the meatball rolling out of the door. I’m not sure if it’s because he grew up in the north, or just because I love food so much I grew up singing about it.  Anywho, if you have kids, it’s a supercute little jingle to sing when making and serving any dish involving meatballs. 

Lyrics to On Top of Spaghetti {sung to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey”}

Although I serve this meatball dish on top of brown rice, this meatball and gravy recipe could certainly be served over spaghetti noodles, or you could finish cooking them in a traditional marinara instead of the gravy.  The link below suggests stuffing meatballs into a large pasta noodle, which also sounds interesting. Either way, this is sure to make a warm, comfort food dish that your family will request again and again.

Turkey Meatballs and Gravy

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • evoo cooking spray
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • s & p to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Mix together turkey, onions, parsley and salt.  Shape mixture into meatballs and set aside. 

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and set over med-high heat.  When pan is hot, add mushrooms and saute 2-3 minutes, until tender.  Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

Add meatballs to hot pan and brown on all sides.  Return mushrooms to pan and add thyme and salt and pepper.  Stir.  Add 3/4 cup of broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer untilmeatballs are cooked through, about 3 minutes. 

Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/4 cup of broth.  Add mixture to pan and simmer 1 minute.  Serve hot over brown rice (or pasta).

Not Your Mama’s Lasagna

October 26, 2011

This comforting dish not only looks and smells like fall, it tastes like it.

The sweet aroma of roasting root vegetables with maple syrup and nutmeg wafting from your oven will let your family know that it’s not just October outdoors, but that it’s arrived in your kitchen, as well.  Although, it’s not the traditional lasagna recipe with ground beef and marinara, it’s sure to be a family favorite and has certainly been added to my fall menu rotation.

A warm slice of heaven

Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Lasagna

Printable Recipe

Serves 8-10

  • 1 butternut squash, chopped into 1″ dice
  • 1 bunch carrots, chopped into 1″ dice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour, AP or whole wheat
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 12 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 amaretti cookies (amaretti is the Italian word for macaroon)
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Italian fontina
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 package lasagna noodles, regular or whole wheat
  • 18 basil leaves  

 1.Combine the squash, carrots, half the olive oil, brown sugar, half the nutmeg, maple syrup, half the salt and pepper on a sheet tray. Roast at 450 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until it starts to caramelize.

Goin' in the oven

2.Meanwhile, make the bechamel by combining the flour and butter in a pan for a couple minutes. Add the milk and the remainder of the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat.

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Whisk away!

3.Combine the roasted vegetables with the remainder of the olive oil, amaretti, and sage leaves in a blender. Blend into a thick puree. You can thin it out with the stock until it’s the right consistency, but don’t make it too watery.

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The food processor works great for blending

4.Put a thin layer of the vegetable puree on the bottom of a buttered lasagna pan. Put a layer of noodles and then a layer of puree and a layer of bechemel sauce. Sprinkle some of each grated cheese on top and spread out some basil leaves. Continue to layer in the same order until you have finished the puree and bechemel. Sprinkle more cheese over the top and drizzle some additional olive oil over the top. Bake covered with aluminum foil for 40 minutes at 450 degrees. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until bubbling. Let cool 10 minutes until serving.

You can even serve a small slice of the leftovers cold as a dessert…or a late night snack ;0)

 Related articles:

Beer me.

February 15, 2010

The Ingredients

If I was ever on that show The Best Thing I Ever Ate…Soup this recipe would be the best Beer Cheese Soup I’ve ever eaten.  Quite possibly the best soup, period.  I can’t wait to make this in football season.  (The Spicy Popcorn Garnish will really wow your soup eaters :0)  Thanks Emeril! 

Beer Cheese Soup with Spicy Popcorn Garnish

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 c. chicken stock
  • 2 c. pale ale (The #’s Ale I picked up at The Parish Market was delicious)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 c. sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 1 1/2 c. crumbled Stilton
  • salt and white peppar to taste

Heat butter in a pot.  Add parsnips, onion and celery and cook until tender, about 12 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Sprinkle flour over veggies and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly.  Gradually whisk in broth and beer.  Add bay leaves and cayenne.  Simmer, stirring often, for one hour until the soup cooks down.  Add heavy cream and cheeses (slowly) and stirring constantly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.  Garnish with Spicy Popcorn Garnish.

Spicy Popcorn Garnish

Heat oil in a pot and season with a pinch of cayenne.  Put one corn kernal in the pot at the oil heats.  Once it pops, add the remaining kernals.  Cover pot with lid as popcorn pops, about 2 minutes.  Toss popped corn in a bowl with remaining ingredients and serve atop soup. 

Beer Cheese Soup with Spicy Popcorn Garnish served in mini Le Crueset pots

I’ve never made shepherd’s pie before, but I keep seeing recipes for it pop up as a yummy winter dish.  So, on this Sunday evening I thought I’d give it a try (tweaking an Emeril recipe) and it was better than I anticipated (Jim ate three servings!)

Shepherd’s Pie:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • handful of cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (I almost always double the garlic in recipes, this originally called for 2 cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup beef broth (I throw water and beef bullion together, $ saver)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can of corn
  • 4 cups Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, optional

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

 Heat olive oil and butter in a pot.  Add onion through oregano and sauté on low for about 10 minutes.  Add minced garlic after 9 minutes have passed.  Once 10 minutes are up, add tomato paste and cook on low for another 8 minutes.  (Make sure you check every few minutes to keep from burning.)  Toss in ground beef through pepper and cook until meat is no longer pink – about 5 minutes. 

Veggies and meat w/ tomato paste (and a fun gadget)

Layer a baking dish with canned corn, then add meat/veggie mixture.  Top with Mashed Potatoes, sprinkle with parm and bake for 40 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

 Mashed Potatoes:

  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled quartered
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3/4 cup whole milk or whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 Put potatoes in a pot and add water, filling to about an inch above potatoes.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt to water, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a small pot, heat milk and butter.  Once butter has melted, turn off heat and cover to keep warm (before adding to potatoes). Drain potatoes, put back in pot, add milk and butter concoction, parsley, pepper and remaining salt.  Beat with a hand mixer until smooth.

Everything layered and ready to go in the oven

We enjoyed this comfort food on a cold, rainy night.  Jim claims this was the best meatloaf he’s ever had in his life.  You decide.

The final product: served with roasted veggies and potatoes

Sun-dried Tomato Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained (save the oil)
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Handful of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup beef stock (made with 1 cup water and 1 bullion cube)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup of water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Put water on the stove to boil, add bullion once the water is boiling and take off heat.  Saute the onion, on low heat, in the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes until onions are clear, about 8 minutes. 

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, tomatoes, sautéed onions, egg, garlic, breadcrumbs and half of the sliced mushrooms (save the other half for the gravy).  Freeform the meat into a loaf in a roasting pan, then pour beef stock into the bottom of the pan.  Cook meatloaf for 1.5 hours, basting regularly.

Once meat is cooked, remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes.  Move meatloaf to a platter and put the roasting pan on the stove over medium, high heat.  Mix two tablespoons of flour with water, then whisk into juices in the roasting pan.  Add mushrooms and stir until the liquid starts to simmer.  Once simmering, add milk and stir until you have a rich gravy for your meatloaf!

This minestrone is a family favorite and is requested often, especially in the winter months…although it’s great year-round.   It’s especially delicious when served with a nice crusty piece of Italian bread.  I like to make this on Sunday to take with lunch during the week.  This recipe makes a vat, so you might want to plan to freeze some if you don’t think you’ll be able to eat it all through the week.

Minestrone

You need this:

  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 5 cups of water (to add during cooking)
  • 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained and rinsed (this cuts down on the sodium content significantly)
  • Handful of peeled baby carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or a couple of fresh sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 cup tiny, beaded pasta (I use Kroger’s Private Selection Acini de Pepe)
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 (10 oz.) box of frozen spinach
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Basil sprigs for garnish

To do this:

  • In a large pot, combine broth through s&p.  

    Minestrone Soup

  • Cover and simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Thirty minutes before the soup is done, add pasta, zucchini and spinach (I leave the spinach out when I start cooking, and toss it in even if it’s not completely thawed.  This dish always needs more liquid…you will need to add more water or chicken broth as you heat up individual servings later)
  • Cover and cook 30 more minutes.
  • Remove bay leaves and season, to your liking, with s&p. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Garnish with basil, if desired.

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