Tag Archives: meatballs

Caponata with Israeli Couscous and Spinach and Feta Meatballs in a Yellow Tomato Sauce

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Remember the eggplant I bought a couple days ago? While we’ve been slowly eating leftovers, I’ve been devising my eggplant plan. What did I come up with? Jamie Oliver’s “Incredible Sicilian Aubergine Stew,” also known as caponata. I am also making Spinach and Feta Meatballs to go alongside.

Deviations: 

  • Used kalamata olives
  • Used balsamic vinegar
  • Used 1 red bell pepper
  • Used 2 zucchini and only 1 eggplant

Ingredients:

• olive oil
• An eggplant, cut into
large chunks
• teaspoon dried oregano
• kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 small red onion, peeled and finely
chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
• a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley,
leaves picked and stems finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons  capers
• a handful of kalamata olives
• 2–3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 5 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
•  2 tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Method:

In order to make sure that my eggplant and zucchini were browned and toasty, I did several batches. I think I fried four pans full of eggplant and zucchini–and I’m glad I did. The roasted flavor really came through in the final dish. Between each pan full, I dumped it into a plate to rest.

When I was done doing the eggplant and zucchini in batches, I added them all back to the frying pan and added a bunch of dried oregano. I sauteed this for awhile, then I added the onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and parsley stems to the pan.

Five or ten minutes later (I really let this cook down quite a bit), I added olives, capers, and vinegar. Then the chopped tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. I cranked it up for about five minutes, then lowered the heat and put a lid on it.

 While the caponata was simmering away, I began making the meatballs.

Spinach and Feta Meatballs in a  Yellow Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • spinach, microwaved and squeezed dry
  • feta cheese

I hand mixed these ingredients together and pan fried the meatballs, a few at a time. When all of the meatballs were done, I took them out of the pan and let them rest on a plate. I drained the grease from the frying pan and added a pint of yellow cherry tomatoes. I let the tomatoes cook until they burst, gave them a drink of wine, and let them reduce for a couple minutes.

Then, I put the meatballs back in the pan with the sauce and let them simmer with a lid on for a few more minutes.

While everything was simmering away, I made a cup of Israeli couscous.

When the couscous was done, I poured a good deal of the yellow tomato sauce into it to finish it off.

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Trying to Find a New Normal

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This summer has been full of monumental changes that have affected my life in big and small ways.  School starts next week and I am quickly trying to establish some semblance of order to my life and trying to find a new normal.

One thing I am trying to do these days is figure out how to grocery shop and cook for one person.  In the chaos of trying to find center for myself, I have been eating out A LOT.  Too much take out, too many cheeseburgers–and my roommate has brought home fried chicken on a couple occasions. The love I have for fried chicken skin knows no bounds.

I need to start cooking again and ban fast food and soda from my life. NEED.

I have cooked a bit this summer.  Most notably, I made this last week. The roommate took it to work for lunch and said it was great. I even caught him eating a bowl of it cold, straight out of the fridge.

I also made oven roasted salsa, using the cherry tomatoes growing on my porch, last week.  And tonight, I will make some blueberry ketchup.

I hope everyone’s summers are going well…

I will updating more frequently as I dive back into cooking this fall.  Stay tuned…

Feta and Spinach Chicken Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce over Polenta

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • s & p
  • spinach (nuked; squeeze the liquid out)
  • feta (mine is from Israel.  Not super salty, but very mild and creamy.)
  • bread crumbs
  • oregano and basil (dried)

Mix it all together.  Form small balls.

Make your favorite tomato sauce.  I added crimini and oyster mushrooms to mine.

Brown meatballs; add them to your sauce and simmer for awhile.

Make your polenta.  Mine will include milk, chicken stock,  and feta cheese.

Top the polenta with sauce and meatballs.

Add some Parmesan cheese if you please.

Drink copious amounts of red wine.  And if you spill it on your carpet, remember:  White wine will take out red wine stains.

Sunday Morning Menu

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Last weekend, the husband and I cleaned out our cupboards.  The contents we unearthed?  Split peas–yellow and green. Lentils– red, brown, and green.  Rice–red, brown, jasmine, arborio, long grain, short grain, sushi.  Barley.  Couscous.  Orzo.  Mountains of grains, pasta, and beans that we have shoved to the back of the cupboard.  So, it is going to be my goal to use up these staples each weekend.

When I went grocery shopping yesterday, I had this in mind, so I didn’t buy as much as I normally would have.  I made the bratwurst soup yesterday, and today, I decided to make a split pea soup. The recipe got great reviews, can be made vegetarian, and can be made in a crockpot.

http://allrecipes.com/Cook/12683612/

The other meal I plan to make this weekend is chicken meatballs with feta and spinach in a tomato sauce over polenta.  I bought some ground chicken, which I will mix with an egg, some bread crumbs, some crumbled feta cheese, spinach, garlic, and salt and pepper.  I’ll make a tomato sauce with oyster mushrooms and make some polenta with Parmesan cheese melted into it.