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Posts Tagged ‘carrot’


The great thing about turkey pot pie is that it uses up so many Thanksgiving leftovers in one dish. But it’s also great if you’re not going to be making a big Thanksgiving meal and you want all the flavors without all the fuss. Serve this with some mashed sweet potatoes and a side of cranberry sauce and you’ll be in a good place.

Turkey Pot Pie

2 cups diced or shredded leftover turkey (or one turkey breast roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper)

2 celery stalks, diced

1 cup carrots, diced (could be leftover, pre-roasted)

1 onion, minced

1 1/2 cups leftover gravy, loosened up with a 1/4 cup water (or use chicken stock thickened with a roux of 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour)

1/2 cup white wine

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon rosemary or thyme, minced

Pie dough for 1 9-inch pie or cut into individual ramekin/soup bowl-sized discs

Saute the onion and celery in a couple tablespoons of olive oil until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and herbs and cook for a few minutes if raw, or if leftover, go ahead and add the turkey, gravy, wine, and lemon. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary (however, everything has generally been pre-seasoned, so you need to check).

Divide into ramekins, filling 3/4 of the way up. Cover the ramekins with the pie dough pieces and make sure to seal well along the edges. Cut a couple slits in the dough to let steam escape. They will most likely bubble through, but it’s not a problem. To make the dough brown nicely, you can brush the tops with a beaten egg or some olive oil and sprinkle a little sea salt on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the crust starts to brown if already warm, or 45 minutes from the freezer. Make sure to place a pan beneath in case they bubble over.

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I’m not a big fan of going out for Valentine’s Day because restaurants typically overcharge and it feels a little forced. Plus, my favorite evenings are ones spent at home over a delicious meal– why do something different? I see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to be reminded how good we have it every other day of the year. And when I think about what my favorite meal is, and what I would like to share, it always comes back to pasta. Of course.

I love a simple bolognese, and some fresh spinach linguine makes it even better. We had this with a 17-year old brunello that my parents gave us, and it was a perfect evening.  Full disclosure: I decided to take the evening off from blogging, and I took these pictures the next day with leftovers. No distractions. But it’s just as good the next day, even more reason to make some tonight.

Linguine Bolognese 

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

2 garlic cloves

1/2 onion

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup red wine

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons chopped oregano or marjoram

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor and grind into a chunky paste. Brown the meat in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure to really brown the meat well and don’t move it until it starts browning. This is the best opportunity to develop flavor.

Once the meat is browned, move it to the side of the pan to add the vegetable paste and allow it to start browning as well. Season everything with salt and pepper and the oregano. Once the vegetables have softened and browned a bit, add the tomato paste and let it rust for a few minutes. Add the milk and wine and stir through. Add the sugar. Let the whole thing simmer for an hour until it thickens and the flavor deepens. Toss with pasta in a saute pan with a little of the pasta water and some parmesan and enjoy!

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I don’t talk up my own food very often, but I have to say that this stew was really killer. You can call it beef stew or beef bourgignon or brasato al chianti, but it’s all very similar. The meat was just falling apart and tender with delicious carrots and flavorful gravy. I served it with some egg noodles, but I think it would also go really well with some polenta. The key is in the browning of the meat–you MUST brown the meat well. And don’t try to cut the cooking time, it will not be as succulent and fork tender. Yum. I want more of this.

The Ultimate Beef Stew

1 pound beef chuck, cubed

4 carrots, chopped in large pieces

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, whole

1 sprig rosemary

4 sprigs sage

5 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2-3/4 of a bottle chianti

1 tablespoon sugar

Dry the meat well with a paper towel and season with salt. Brown in a very hot pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. DON”T move them until they get a nice dark sear–they should look like a delicious steak. Brown on all sides and remove to a plate.

Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and saute until softened. Add the tomato paste, sugar, rosemary, and sage. Add the meat back in. Pour in enough wine to almost cover the meat. Simmer very low for 2 hours or until the meat is falling apart. Serve on egg noodles or polenta. Leftovers are even better!

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Arancini are a traditional bar snack in Italy and they are usually made earlier in the day and sit at room temperature on the bar until they are eaten. I usually don’t get around to making them because I rarely have leftover risotto. In fact, for my party I made a whole batch of risotto just to make these. Be warned, they do take a bit of work and I probably won’t make them in such a large batch again but they are great. With some homemade marinara, they’re a perfect, filling snack.

Arancini

1/2 onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pinch saffron

2 cups arborio rice

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup white wine

1 cup pecorino, grated

2 eggs

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup olive oil

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, and saffron for a minute. Add the rice and toss in the oil to coat and toast for a few seconds. Add the wine and reduce. Add the chicken stock as the liquid gets reduced in stages. Season to taste. Once the rice is al dente, let the risotto chill until cold. Add an egg and the pecorino and mix together. Roll into small balls and refrigerate at least an hour. In separate bowls, place the flour, 1 egg beaten with a splash of water, and the panko. Dip the balls into the flour, then the egg, then the panko. They should be kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Put the rest of the olive oil in a pan and fry the balls, rotating them on each side as they brown. They are cooked already, so you really just need to brown them.

Marinara

1 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 carrot, grated

1 can San Marzano tomatoes

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup red wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a couple minutes. Add the oregano and carrot and cook for a couple minutes. Season with salt. Add the rest of the ingredients and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender if you wish.

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I can’t decide what kind of lasagna I like best. I love the traditional meat one as well as my favorite mushroom lasagna. I also make one with veggies that’s pretty delicious. This one is definitely up there. It’s a little sweet, a little salty. Perfect for the first real week of fall. We’re starting to see root veggies in the green market and it’s always exciting to see the changing seasonal produce. I’m not a huge fan of ricotta generally (there are some exceptions….), so I generally don’t use it in lasagna, but you could add some to the cheese mixture if you want to. Just a note on mine here, I used whole wheat flour and whole wheat lasagna noodles, but you certainly don’t have to.

Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Lasagna

1 butternut squash, chopped into 1″ dice

1 bunch carrots, chopped into 1″ dice

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon real maple syrup

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour, AP or whole wheat

2 cups whole milk

12 sage leaves, chopped

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 amaretti cookies

1 1/2 cup grated Italian fontina or sharp, aged pecorino

1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

1 package lasagna noodles, regular or whole wheat

18 basil leaves

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.

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.

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.

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.

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There’s nothing like the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven. If you’re having people over that you want to impress, roast a chicken because it will perfume your home and it’s unbelievably easy to do. I originally used to follow Julia Child’s recipe from the classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking (which of course is delicious), but I honestly think you don’t have to do all the extra steps to have some delicious chicken. Now I do a variation of this depending on what I have in the fridge. And I always make stock with the carcass after so I have it when I need it in the freezer.

Garlic and Lemon Roasted Chicken

1 roasting chicken, about 3.5 pounds

3 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves

1/2 onion, chopped into pieces

1 lemon, chopped into wedges

1 cup chopped carrots

2 cups red potatoes, halved

2 figs, halved

2 whole garlic cloves

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 sprigs thyme

Mix the butter and garlic together in a bowl. Dry the chicken with a paper towel and make sure any extra flaps of skin and fat have been removed. Season the cavity with salt and pepper and stuff it with the onion, lemon, thyme, whole garlic cloves, and figs. Any remaining pieces can go in the pan. Also add the potatoes and carrots to the pan. Separate the skin from the breast gently with your fingers and spread most of the butter mixture under the skin.

Spread the remaining butter mixture on the outside of the chicken and season with some salt and pepper. Place in the pan on top of the veggies and nestle it in.

Roast the chicken at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then baste with the olive oil and lower the temperature to 375. Baste every 10 minutes. A 3.5 pound chicken should take about an hour and 15 minutes, because the rule of thumb is 45 minutes plus 10 minutes for every pound. But I always go by temperature, you should make sure the thickest part of the breast is 165 degrees and the juices should be clear when you pierce it between the body and the leg.

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Well, this was the post I was waiting to do. Spaghetti and meatballs is one my all-time favorite meals, and my blog is named after them. I was lucky enough to share this meal with some great friends, so it was a fantastic evening. Almost everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs, it’s really hard to go wrong. The secret ingredient in mine is actually in the sauce- the anchovies. I promise, you will never know they’re there but they make it so delicious. The meatballs soak up the flavor as they cook in the sauce, you can leave them in longer and they just get better and better. And because one of my friends is a vegetarian, I kept them separate at our dinner…it’s her loss though…(She had her own sauce, no anchovies)

I’ve started doing my meatballs in the broiler instead of frying them because it’s just so much easier. If you prefer, you can fry them in a frying pan with some olive oil until browned. I don’t particularly like baked meatballs because they don’t get the extra flavor from browning, and they don’t hold together as well unless you use more breadcrumbs and egg. And well, meat without the crusty brown bits just isn’t as tasty.

Meatballs

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground veal

1/2 pound ground pork

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg

1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce

1 tablespoon sage, minced

1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Mix everything except the meat together until combined (you leave the meat until the end so it doesn’t get overworked). Add the meat and combine with a fork until just mixed.

Make them into golf ball-sized meatballs, rolling between your hands. Place them on a baking sheet with some olive oil.

Broil them for 15 minutes or so, until they brown on the outside.

Tomato Sauce

3 anchovies

1/2 onion, chopped

1 carrot, grated

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon sage, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup red wine

1 can San Marzano whole tomatoes, crushed

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

Melt the anchovies in the olive oil until they have broken up. Add the onion and let them soften but not brown. Add the carrot, garlic, sage, and oregano and cook for a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add the tomatoes and sugar. Let it cook down for 15 or 20 minutes.

For the spaghetti and meatballs, you would add the meatballs to the tomato sauce at this point and let them finish cooking together for 10 minutes. Cook some spaghetti according to the package instructions. Remove some of the tomato sauce to a saute or frying pan along with some of the pasta water. Let that cook down for a minute, then add the pasta to cook for the last minute together. Plate and put some meatballs on top. Sprinkle the parsley over and some grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

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