Sunday, March 12, 2017

Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

I was in the grocery store and saw a package of ground land and decided to buy it.  Then I got home and had no ideas.  I decided that lamb is used frequently in Greek cooking so Mediterranean flavors would be the perfect match.  The cool yogurt Sauce is a nice balance to the Meatballs.  The Meatballs are soft inside and crunchy outside.  All of these items are easily found in your local store and this recipe is quick and easy to make.  If you want to use these as an appetizer for a party, make smaller Meatballs.  If you want to make them as a main course, make 15 Meatballs.  They are great either way.


For the Sauce:
16 oz container of plain yogurt
1 tsp fresh chopped dill
5 leaves fresh mint, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch salt and pepper

For the Meatballs:

2 large garlic cloves, vminced
1 TBS fresh parsley, minced
1 TBS fresh mint, minced
1 tsp fresh oregano, minced
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1 lb ground lamb

Here's how:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Start making the Sauce.

Set a small holed strainer inside a medium sized bowl.  Place three sheets of paper towel inside of that then place the yogurt inside the paper towel.  This is to thicken the yogurt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine all the meatball ingredients except the lamb in a bowl and stir until completely combined.

Add the lamb and use your hands to make a uniform mixture, being careful not to work the meat too much.

Make into equal sized Meatballs and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake for twenty minutes, turning halfway through.

Turn up the oven to 450 degrees F and leave the Meatballs in for 5-7 minutes.  You are trying to brown the koutside, not burn them.  You do not need to wait until the oven is preheated to do this.  Just crank up the oven with the Meatballs in there.

Remove the Meatballs and set aside.

While the Meatballs are baking in the oven, finish the Sauce.

Pour the liquid that has come out of the yogurt down the drain.  Discard the paper towel and place the yogurt into the bowl.

Stir in all the remaining sauce ingredients into the yogurt and set is aside until the Meatballs are done.

Serve the Meatballs with the dipping sauce on the side.  This would go great with a Greek salad.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Squash and Scallion Quiche

This recipe was inspired by my Garden of Eve CSA share from the past two weeks.  As the season progresses, I have been getting more and more great produce and quiches are great ways to use up some of the fresh vegetables and herbs.  The eggs, scallions, squash and basil are all from my share.  The parsley and milk are from the farm market at the Garden of Eve.  The cheese I used here is Parmesan but you can use your favorite cheese here.  One of my favorites is goat cheese from Catapanos, this is also sold at the market.  I used a store bought pie dough because I did not have time to make my own, but homemade works here too. The flavor of this quiche reminds me of early summer when the produce starts to come in.  I know summer is here when squash and basil arrive.  


1 pie crust
1-2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 medium or up to 5 small squash or zucchini, mixed is good, diced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 scallions, cut into small rounds, green and white parts
5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade 
2 TBS fresh parsley, minced
6 eggs, beaten
1/3 milk
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese or your favorite cheese

Here's how:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  

Place the dough in a deep tart pan or pie dish.

Use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust.  This prevents it from puffing up.

Place parchment paper or aluminum foil over the paper or foil.

Pour pie weights or beans into the pan or dish.

Bake the crust for 15 minutes.

Remove the wights and paper and continue to bake the dough for 5 more minutes.  

Remove from the dough from the oven and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan on the stove over medium high heat.

Add the squash, salt and pepper to the pan.

Saute the squash for 7-10 minutes until lightly browned and remove it from the heat.

Pour the squash into the bottom of the dough.  Top with the scallions, herbs and cheese.

In a bowl, combine the eggs and milk and beat until combined.

Pour the eggs over the top.

Bake the quicke in the oven 25-30 until the top is lightly browned and the eggs are set.

Eat and enjoy now or let cool to room temperature.  

Friday, January 1, 2016

Turkey Orzo Soup

This recipe is made up of ingredients leftover from Thanksgiving.  I used the carcass to make the stock.  The carrots, celery, thyme and onions were leftover from the stuffing and gravy.  The only ingredient not leftover is the orzo.  The best thing about this recipe is that it is more of a concept than a recipe in that most items can be substituted for something else you have on hand.  The turkey meat can be chicken, turkey stock can be chicken stock or vegetable stock, and orzo can be any small pasta or rice.  If you have some fresh parsley on hand use it, if you have leeks or shallots use them instead of, or in addition to, the onions and garlic.  The point of this recipe is not to buy ingredients - it is to use what you have in the fridge and pantry. I used the meat from the turkey legs because that is what I had, but a combination of white and dark, or just white, can be used.  The cheese rind is used to add a richness to the broth, if you do not have one it is ok to leave it out.  One thing that you need for this recipe is the lemon.  It is added at the end for a brightness to the soup.  All of the ingredients are savory and the lemon wakes up the soup in a way that does not add lemon flavor.  It is the secret ingredient that takes the soup from good to great.  Do not add it at the beginning, it is added just before you serve.


1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, small diced
5 small carrots or 2-3 large, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
3 celery stalks, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 TBS kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, minced
5 fresh thyme sprigs 
2 small or 1 large Bay leaves
1 Parmesan cheese rind
12 cups turkey stock, homemade preferred
3 - 4 cups cooked turkey meat
3/4 lb orzo
1/2 lemon

Here's how:

Heat the oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.

Once the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper.  

Sauté the veggies for five minutes until are soft but not browned.

Add the garlic and saute for one minute.

Add the thyme, bay leaves, cheese rind and stock. 

Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, add the turkey meat and simmer for 12-15 minutes until th veggies are soft enough to eat but not mushy.

Turn off the heat and add the orzo.

Let the soup sit for 10 minutes to allow the orzo to cook in the hot broth.

Remove the thyme stems, bay leaves and cheese rind.  Discard them.

Check the broth to see if it needs more salt and pepper.

Squeeze the lemon juice into the soup, stir it in and serve.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cheesy Onion Dip

With the World Series beginning tonight I wanted to come up with a dip recipe.  This one is easy to make and all the ingredients are easily found in the grocery store.  This dip is hot so it can be served on tortilla chips, pita chips or any other hearty chip.  The cheeses in this recipe can be substituted with Swiss, Mexican Mix, Asiago or any other shredded cheese you have on hand.


1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar jack, divided into 1 cup and 1/4 cup
2/3 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella 
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 large garlic clove, minced

Here's how:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine all of the ingredients, except 1/4 cup cheddar jack, in a medium sized bowl.  Stir to combine completely.

Pour the mixture into a one quart casserole dish.

Top with the remaining cheddar jack.

Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven for twenty minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for twenty minutes more until the dip is hot throughout and the cheese is melted on top.

Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips or your favorite chip.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pot Roast with Tomato and Beef Gravy

I have not been posting for a while.  But I am  now home with a new baby so I hope to be able to create new recipes while I am home.  This recipe comes from looking into my fridge and pantry and putting it together.  The meat is from my CSA meat share and the veggies are a combination of CSA and organic from the store.  The beef stock is homemade but a store bought version works too.  If you can your own tomatoes use them, but I was out of them so I used San Marzano from my favorite  Italian market; but any brand or type works here.  As the weather gets cooler, this pot roast is a perct way to warm up.  This only takes 30 minutes to put together but a few hours to cook in the oven so make this recipe when you are home for a few hours.


2 TBS olive oil
2 1/2 lb top round beef roast
1/4 cup flour
1 TBS salt, divided
2 tsp pepper, divided 
3 large carrots, cut into one inch pieces
3 large celery stalks, cut into one inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into one inch pieces 
8 oz sliced mushrooms, I used baby Bellas
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 cups beef broth
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Bay leaves
28 oz can crushed tomatoes

Here's how:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

On the stove, heat a Dutch oven with the olive oil inside on medium high heat.

In a medium sized bowl, add the flour and half the salt and pepper.

Add the meat to the flour mixture and coat it completely.

Add the meat to the heated Dutch oven and brown it on all sides.  About 2 minutes per side.

Remove the meat from the Dutch oven and set it aside.

Add the carrots, celery, onions and mushrooms to the Dutch oven  Add the remaining salt and pepper.  

Stir and sauté for five minutes.

Add the garlic and sauté for one minute.  

Add the beef broth and use your spoon to scrape of any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add the tomatoes.  

Stir in the tomatoes.

Tie together the rosemary and thyme with kitchen twine and add it to the Dutch oven.  Add the Bay leaves.  

Nestle in the beef.  

Bring the liquid up to a simmer. 

Put the lid onto the Dutch oven.

Place the Dutch oven into the oven for two and a half hours.

Remove the Dutch oven from the oven.  Lift lid to see how it looks. 

Remove the Bay leaves and thyme and rosemary bundle.

Slice or shred the meat and serve it with the sauce and vegetable on top.  

You can make some egg noodles and serve that with the meat and sauce on top if you want a complete meal.