July 21, 2017

Summery Spaghetti and Meatballs

for the meatballs:
2 lb 90% lean ground beef
1 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino romano
1/3 cup bread crumbs
pinch nutmeg
1 egg

for the sauce:
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz petite diced tomatoes
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced basil
1 tablespoon minced oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil

to serve:
1 lb spaghetti, cooked to package instructions

Start the sauce first. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan. Add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onions are softened. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally.

In a medium sized bowl, add all of the meatball ingredients. With a gentle hand, combine all ingredients and form into 1 to 2-inch meatballs. Place on an (oiled or nonstick) broiler pan and broil for about 5 minutes or until just starting to brown.

Add to the sauce. Continue to cook until the meatballs are fully cooked and most of the liquid has been cooked out of the sauce. Serve over hot spaghetti.

Pro tip: Leftover meatballs in sauce freeze remarkably well.

My thoughts:
Just because it is summer doesn't mean one can't crave spaghetti and meatballs! As a nod to the season, I added some grated (and squeezed dry using a paper towel) zucchini which pretty much everyone has on hand right now. It isn't quite tomato season here yet (all I've seen are cherry tomatoes and puny ones at that and the ones on my plant are still super green) so I went with canned tomatoes but if you have fresh, by all means, use that! Just peel and hand crush/chop them to equal the appropriate amounts. Either way, the dish was a fresher, more summer take on the traditonal favorite and only heated up the house a little bit.

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July 12, 2017

Elotes Inspired Hamburgers

1 lb 93% lean ground beef
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/3 cup grated cotija cheese
1 ear's worth of corn kernels

spicy mayo:
1/2-1 teaspoon Tajín Clásico seasoning (chile lime seasoning)
1/2 cup mayonnaise

to serve:


In a medium bowl, combine all of the burger ingredients until evenly distributed. Form into 4 even patties. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the spicy mayo ingredients. Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare grill according to manufacturer's instructions. Grill the burgers, flipping once until desired doneness. Place on buns, top with spicy mayo. Serve immediately.

Warning! You might hear some of the corn "pop" as it cooks!

My thoughts:
I am sure this recipe is somehow blasphemous. I admit is it is a bit of a stretch but when I realized I had all the ingredients for elotes and ground beef, I couldn't resist. It is kind of wacky but it works, I promise! Think of it as fusion if that helps. You get bursts of sweet corn and that lovely cheese flavor in every bite of burger and the spicy mayo sets it off perfectly. I served it with mango with Tajín sprinkled on, chips and guacamole. It was a great summer meal and a wonderful way to use up that last ear of corn. The burgers were so good, my husband gave an audible "Mmmm" and a thumbs up after one bite and raved about them all night.

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July 10, 2017

Cauliflower Salad with Marinated Artichokes and Olives

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives (in brine)
1 jarred marinated artichoke, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cubanelle pepper, diced
1 large handful curly parsley, chopped
1/4 cup marinade from the artichoke jar
juice of 1 lemon


Bring a few inches of water to boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and steam 5-8 minutes or until tender. Drain and allow to cool. Place in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to evenly distribute all ingredients. Chill 1 hour prior to serving for best flavor.

My thoughts:
I know, another cauliflower salad. I can't help it! I really enjoy them this time of year when cauliflower is in season. It just tastes so fresh! Of course, I couldn't resist using a bit of pickle-y, marinated flavor. Plus you can use the marinade from the artichoke jar totally eliminating the need to make a vinegarette. The lemon juice brightens it up and keeps it all from being too heavy. The cubanelle adds a light pepperiness and crunch as well. A refreshing salad for a hot day.

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