Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Juicy Italian Sausage & Fennel Meatballs

Makes about 4 servings (16-18 balls)
1/2 pound bulk raw Italian Sausage
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 piece of bread (or any other piece of stale bread you have around or sub. breadcrumbs)
1 egg
3 tbsp. milk (a.k.a. a splash)
1 tsp. freshly ground fennel seeds
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. ea. salt & fresh cracked pepper
3 tbsp. pasta sauce
Sprinkle of grated parmesan to finish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Defrost your ground meats and add to a large mixing bowl. Tear small pieces of bread into your mixing bowl and add milk over it. Grind or smash the fennel seeds to bring out the flavor. Mix in the egg and the other seasonings.
Stir together and form into small 1 in. balls. Spray glass baking dish with oil, then coat bottom with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Assemble meatballs so they are barely touching in the pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden on top and the sauce is bubbly.
Pour meatballs and sauce over your favorite pasta dish and enjoy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pressure-cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

I love using pressure cookers! It takes meals that usually take all day, achievable when you get home from work. This makes the most tender corned beef ever!

Makes about 8 servings

1 small piece of not-overly-fatty cut of corned beef (otherwise you would eat this for weeks)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, cut in equal rounds
1/2 head of cabbage, cut into strips
1 can of beef broth (just add water until almost covering the meat)
1 tsp sea salt
ground pepper to taste
Pickling spices, wrapped & tied in cheese cloth (comes in the package plus a bit more if you have some on hand)

Heat a splash of olive oil over medium in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Sweat out the onions until caramelized and move them off to the edge of the pan. Sear both sides of the meat to give some color. 

Season with salt and pepper, you can always add a bit more when it's finished. Throw in the carrots and cabbage. Add the container of beef broth, if you are using a bigger cut of meat, then add a carton of broth. Submerge the seasoning packed under the broth. If the broth doesn't quite cover the meat, add water until the meat is mostly covered in liquid. Remember, the cabbage will wilt quickly down into the broth, so it's not a problem if that is partially above liquid level.

Securely put on the pressure cooker lid on, turn up the heat until the pressure builds, then reduce to low heat (follow the instructions that came with your pressure cooker). Cook for 2 hours. Turn off and let cool enough to remove lid. Uncover the cooker and cook a bit longer to reduce the liquid if desired. Remove the spice packet. 

Serve nice and hot with bread or make a ruben (great for leftovers). Don't forget to share with your friends! :)