That’s Some Spicy Meatball Sub!

I have no good reason for getting fixated on meatball subs.

I’m not a big sandwich fan, nor a big sub fan. I enjoy them from time to time.

But I got a craving for a meatball sub.

So I thought about what it should taste like.

And then I created one.

And we had them, and we ate until we could eat no more, and we still had half of each one left. So be warned!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 sub loaves, or hoagie rolls, or small baguettes slice nearly in half, and pressed open.
  • 12 slices of your favorite Italian meat. I used Sopressata, but Genoa, pepperoni, or any other is fine.
  • 10 meatballs commercially purchased or homemade
  • 1 recipe of marinara sauce, again, purchased or homemade
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the rolls, cut side up on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until toasted. Remove and shut off oven.
  2. Heat your marinara sauce, and place the meatballs in the sauce to warm with it.
  3. When ready, place six of the sliced salami on each roll, overlapping.
  4. Spoon out five meatballs on top. Spoon additional sauce over, about 3 tablespoons in total
  5. Put 1/2 c of the mozzarella on each.
  6. Place back in oven and let the cheese melt from the reserved heat.

Serves: 2

NOTE: The recipe for the meatballs makes many more than just 10 of course. Slip unused ones into a freezer bag and pop in the freezer. I had mine already in the freezer, so this dish was fast for me. The marinara sauce is way more than you will use for this dish. This also freezes wonderfully and will also hold in the fridge for a good week, should you wish to make some spaghetti! You could make a much smaller amount of course, but heck, who doesn’t like a freezer full of almost made meals?

Poofy Potato Souffle

Taters, taters, taters. Every woman I know (okay so I’m living a sheltered life), is searching for more new ways to fix the potato.

And here is one!

And it’s good, which is a double bonus.

And it’s versatile, so it’s a triple bonus.

And it looks very nice.

And did I say it tasted good and was versatile?

Well, get busy and make it then.

Inspired, and virtually stolen from Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and chunked up
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/3 c flour
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c chopped scallions
  • 1/4 c parsley, chopped
  • 2/3 c cheese, Gruyère, baby swiss, cheddar, whateva!, shredded

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the potatoes until fork-tender and drain.
  2. Add milk and butter, mash. (you can do this early in the day. They are easier to work with at room temp when you are assembling.
  3. Whisk the flour, milk and eggs together, so it looks like a pancake batter.
  4. Using a shallow baking dish which has been greased (I used a deep dish pie plate which was perfect), pour 1/2 of the batter into the bottom.
  5. Scoop up mounds of the potatoes and flatten between your palms and then place on the batter, until the batter is covered.
  6. Add the scallions, parsley, and some salt and pepper over this.
  7. Then scatter the cheese over that.
  8. Pour the remaining batter over, covering everything.
  9. Place in a pre-heated 400° oven for about 25-30 minutes or until just browning up.

Serves: 6

NOTE: Lots of fun things with this. Change the herbs. (You can add them to the potatoes when you mash if you wish instead of sprinkling on top of the taters. Of course, use any cheese you wish. Also consider using some sausage slices over the potatoes or cooked bacon, which could make this a rather lovely luncheon meal. You can (as Rufus did) make these in 6 ramekins instead of one dish, and that makes it super elegant. If you decide on Parmesan cheese, I’d be inclined to put that directly in the potatoes and mash it in, but that’s up to you. You could of course add some cooked veggies too. The sky is the limit.

Shrimp and Andouille Cajun Alfredo

I believe that my favorite fusion cooking is Cajun and Italian. I mean they just sing together.

This recipe is simply perfect. I changed nothing except made about a half recipe. I owe it all to Patrick Johnson at JustaPinch who put this together.

This is quite spicy and you may want to tone down the heat a bit, that is up to you. I used chipotle powder for the “hot chili powder” and that stuff is a big on the hot side, so be forwarned. We really did love it though.

We had I think enough for 3 people easily, so this full recipe is probably good for 6 people I think. Those were very big servings too!

So do please splurge now and then and make this delight. It’s heavy on calories and fat of course, but then you only eat a meal like this every couple of weeks or so, right?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 lb of shrimp (I used medium) peel, deveined
  • 6 TBSP Cajun seasoning, this recipe or commercial
  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 1 pkg Andouille sausage (or another if you have a preference)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5 cloves garlic, micro-planed
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb of linguine (personal preference here too)
  • 2 c cream
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 1 TBSP black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (I didn’t use any–the cheese and sausage have plenty)
  • 1 stk butter, sliced
  • 1 1/2 c parmigiano-reggiano or a very high-grade parmesan
  • 1/3 c chopped parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the shrimp in a bag and use 1/2 of the Cajun seasonings. Shake and refrigerate for an hour or so. (I went ahead and cooked the shrimp early and just placed it in a bowl. Once cooked you just want to reheat it in the finished sauce at the end. The recipe is somewhat busy and so having this done ahead allowed me to pull a salad together and so forth and not be rushed.)
  2. To cook shrimp, place in a saute pan with half of the EVOO and cook, for a minute or two on each side. Remove from pan, and use this same pan to do the sauce in.
  3. Get a pot of water heated for the pasta to cook in.
  4. To the saute pan, add the rest of the EVOO,  and the sausage, cut into slices. Just saute lightly. Add the onions, and then the pepper flakes, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook just until onions are softened.
  5. Add the cream, milk, rest of the Cajun seasoning, pepper and chili powder and salt if using. Stir until well mixed.
  6. Bring to a soft boil, add the butter and melt it in, and then the cheese, shredded, stirring and reducing the temperature to a very low heat. You can leave it here, stirring now and again, for as much as 20 minutes if need be.
  7. Cook the pasta al dente, drain and pour into the saute pan and mix until all is coated.
  8. Then add the shrimp back in and mix until just heated. Place in a serving dish and cover with the parsley.

Serves: 6 generously

NOTE: This really is good. I urge you to try it. We had it with a nice salad and some very good french bread. Perfect.

Passionate Pineapple Cobbler

I’ve been obsessed with pineapple recipes lately. Not that kind that pair pineapple with meat, I’m not too fond of that, but rather dessert type things.

So I ran across some cobbler recipes, and discarded certain things I did not care for, and added a few that I did, and of course, eventually came up with this rather delectable offering that helps to assuage my pineapple addiction.

You can vary this a bit of course. You could add other fruit to it, but that will dilute the pineapple flavor, and for me, that was the point.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple with juice (unsweetened)
  • 1 8 oz can of pineapple chunks, with juice (unsweetened)
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/3 c flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp butter, cut in small pieces
  • 2/3 c cream of 1/2 c milk
  • 3 tbsp milk or cream for glazing
  • 1 c of sweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp sugar for top
  • 2/3 c pecans, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the pineapple, sugar, cornstarch and 3 tbsp butter in a saucepan and heat until just bubbly and thickened. Set aside to cool.
  2. Starting with the flour, add together all the rest of the dry ingredients, and whisk together.
  3. Add the butter and with a pastry blender, work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the milk or cream, reserving a bit, and then deciding if it’s the consistency you wish, adding the rest if needed. (I like my dough to be wet but not pourable).
  5. Using a 12 x 12 square pan or similar size, pour the cooled pineapple into the pan which has been greased and floured.
  6. Cover that with the coconut.
  7. Then, with a large serving spoon, scoop spoonfuls of the dough on the top, leaving some space between scoops, until all the dough is used up. Flatten out so that all of the dough is fairly uniform in height. Brush with milk or cream and then sugar the dough tops.
  8. Sprinkle the pecans in and around the dough on the surface.
  9. Bake in a pre-heated 350° until the biscuit topping is done. Around 30 minutes.

Serves: 8

NOTE: You of course can add other fruit as I mentioned. Cherries would be the usual choice. Also the nuts can be omitted or changed to something you like better. Almonds would be great or walnuts. Cinnamon could be added to the biscuit topping batter. I would suggest 1/2 tsp. Can be served with ice-cream.

A Pie of a Tamale

As best I can understand it, a tamale pie is tamales without all the work.

Anyway, the gist of the recipe is ground beef, seasonings and a cornbread top. At least that’s the way I’ve always made mine.

You can play with the heat here as much as you like without doing any real damage either way. I find the canned chiles to be fairly mild so I do recommend some fresh jalapeños if you want to kick up the heat.

My recipe seems about par for the course, but I have more “stuff” than most I think.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground round
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 sweet pepper (any color), diced
  • 2 lg cloves garlic, micro-planed
  • 1  4 oz can green chiles, chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeños, seeds removed if desired, and finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP adobo sauce
  • 2 TBSP good quality chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 15 oz can of any type beans you like, rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 recipe for cornbread ( see note) 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Brown meat with onions and the chiles.
  2. Add the spices and mix in and simmer for about 10 minutes until done.
  3. Add the beans, tomatoes and corn. Stir and heat through.
  4. Make the cornbread.
  5. Place the meat mixture into a baking dish. a 10 x 6 is great.
  6. Spread with the cornbread mixture.
  7. Place in a 425° oven for about 25 minutes.
  8. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese of your choice.

Serves: 6-8

NOTE: You can substitute masa harina for the cornmeal. Also you can add chiles to the batter and shredded cheese as well. I prefer my cheese as a condiment. I would also suggest that you can make about 2/3 of a cornbread recipe. It makes for a bit thinner top and doesn’t overwhelm the meat so much. But it’s up to you!

Tangy Tartar Sauciness

You can call me lazy.

Aww, that wouldn’t be at all nice.

But I am. Which means I don’t really make ravioli. Or other picky things. I’m not much for cupcakes either.

But I do make tartar sauce, on the rare occasion that I can force myself to all the work involved in making fish and chips. The real deal fish and chips.

Now I used to make a really basic tartar sauce, but I’ve become more sophisticated. So this is the one I made today. And frankly it ain’t half bad. And I have a few other ideas which I threw down in the notes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 c mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c sweet pickles, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce of your choice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix it all together.

Serves: 4

NOTE: consider adding some grated onion, dill pickles or capers to the mix. I might go for that for a more elegant piece of fish, one that is sautéed and not deep-fried with a breading.

 

Aw Shucks Southwestern Pasta Salad

If ever there was a recipe that is not sacrosanct in terms of ingredients, this would be the one.

You can add, subtract, change the amounts, just about do whatever you want, to make it fit your tastes.

That’s the beauty of pasta. It adapts. It has the ability to serve as the foundation of so many other tastes, and blend them beautifully.

This is but one version you might try. Quite frankly, it was what I had on hand at the time.

The dressing, however, can be used as a standard upon which to choose the veggies you wish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 of a box of pasta of whatever shape you prefer.
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/2 c chopped scallions
  • 2/3 c chopped cherry tomatoes (or romas)
  • 1 c corn (frozen if fine)
  • 1/2 c Pico de Gallo (home-made preferred but commercial if you desire)
  • 2 tbsp Mexican spices (taco seasoning–homemade or commercial)
  • 2/3 c vinaigrette (using either lime juice or lemon as the acidic instead of vinegar)
  • 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the pasta al dente and then cool until no more than warm.
  2. Add the veggies of you choice or those above.
  3. Add the mayo to the vinaigrette and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the spices to the vinaigrette and stir until mixed.
  5. Place the pepper flakes on a cutting board and run a knife over several times until it is minced. Add to the vinaigrette.
  6. Pour over the salad, and mix.

Serves: 6

NOTE: You may wish to consider beans of any type, rinse before adding. Broccoli flowerets, cauliflower, lima beans, green beans, radishes, carrots, the list is pretty much endless. You might substitute a finely minced jalapeño or other fresh hot chile for the pepper flakes. Consider a pickled hot pepper. Note also that the addition of shrimp, seasoned ground beef, chicken, ham, etc., would make this a complete meal.