Slow Cooker Asian Style Short Ribs

This is delicious twist on traditional slow cooker short ribs! The medley of mushrooms and the sweet and spicy flavor of the sauce, pair perfectly with these fall-off-the-bone short ribs. Serve it up over egg noodles with a side Napa Cabbage Slaw and you’ve got the makings of a unique and tasty Sunday Supper!

Ingredients: Feeds 4 – 6

  • 10 – 12, bone -in beef short ribs, trimmed (approx. 4 lbs)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil (plus extra if needed)
  • cooking spray
  • 3 cups fresh, sliced, assorted mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic, divided
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger, divided
  • 1 cup low sodium beef stock
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake

Directions:

  1. Rinse and pat the ribs dry. In a heavy bottom skillet or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season ribs with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in small batches, adding oil to the skillet if needed.
  2. Transfer browned ribs to a lightly sprayed 6-qt slow cooker.
  3. Meanwhile, add mushrooms and half the minced garlic and ginger to the skillet and sauté until they begin to soften.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients including the remaining garlic and ginger, the stock, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and red pepper flake.
  5. Cover ribs with mushroom mixture and pour sauce over top.
  6. Cook on LOW for 6 – 8 hours, until meat falls off the bone.
  7. Place rib meat on a serving platter. Use a slotted spoon to remove mushrooms and garnish the meat with them. Skim fat from the cooking liquid and drizzle sauce over the platter.

*Original recipe adapted from Cooking Light, Asian Short Ribs

 

Sweet Corn Risotto

As the days grow shorter and the nights get a little colder, I start craving comfort foods like risotto! I came across this recipe in Cooking Light magazine (of all places) and made it for supper just last night, paired with grilled pork loin and sautéed asparagus. Now I took a few liberties with the original recipe and added my own twist (pancetta – because why not?!) but what initially intrigued me was the use of corn broth instead of stock. It truly adds sweetness and a velvety texture to this dish! And the best part is it simply screams, fall is here!!! Enjoy.

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Ingredients: Feeds 4 – 6

  • 4  1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups frozen corn (I used frozen grilled corn already off the cob), divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz pancetta, cubed
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped (I used a blend including white, bella and porcini)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp fresh thyme, chopped and divided
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 cup of corn with the water in your blender and pureé. Strain liquid through a fine mesh colander and into a medium sized pot. Bring corn broth to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, in an enamel coated cast iron pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the pancetta, onions and mushrooms until the fat renders, the onions become translucent and the mushrooms soften. Add the corn and let the mixture cook another minute or two, allowing corn to defrost.
  3. Add the rice, garlic, and half the thyme. Stir continuously as the grains toast and begin lose their opaque coloring.
  4. Add the wine and allow the alcohol to cook off and the mixture to thicken. Continue to stir frequently.
  5. Slowly add the heated corn broth a few ladles at a time to the mixture. Stir often and as the liquid is absorbed and the rice cooks, add more broth. You may need to reduce the heat a bit so the rice doesn’t stick.
  6. Once all the broth has been used, add the cheese and butter and stir. Add the remaining thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Original recipe courtesy of Cooking Light magazine.

Stuffed Turkey Meatballs with Mushroom Marinara

First off, thank you to all the incredible chefs and home cooks out there! I can’t tell you how many times a simple scroll through my Instagram motivates me to try a new recipe or to re-create a special dish.  Tonight’s meal is the result of such inspiration!  I recently saw a gorgeous food pic featuring chicken parmesan meatballs… I even screen shotted it, it looked so yummy!  I followed up by looking up the recipe and buying the necessary ingredients.  When I set out to make the meal from the picture, I decided to put my own spin on it to see if I too, could make a picture perfect dish! In actuality, I didn’t need the recipe I was so inspired; instead I followed my instincts and what resulted, I am hoping you’ll agree, is not only worthy of a photo, but simply delicious!

Ingredients: Feeds 4

  • 1 1/3 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp minced garlic, divided
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning, plus extra
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, plus extra
  • salt
  • red pepper flake
  • 3 – 4 string cheese sticks, each cut into fourths
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I prefer Chianti)
  • 1 cup jarred marinara sauce
  • 1, 15 oz can diced tomatoes (I use low sodium/fire roasted)
  • 1 tbsp chopped (or torn) fresh basil, plus additional as garnish
  • 1 tsp honey
  • chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the turkey, egg, cheese, breadcrumbs, 1 tsp garlic and measured spices, along with a pinch of salt and red pepper flake.  Mix well.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, scoop out enough of the meat mixture to fit in the palm of your hand once flattened to about 1/2 in thickness.  Place a string cheese chunk in the center of the meat.  Fold over the edges of the meat around the cheese trapping it in the center.  Roll the meat between two hands to form a ball and then place it on a lightly greased cooking sheet.  Repeat until meat mixture is used up.  You should be able to make 12 – 16 meatballs.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes, turning once.
  5. Meanwhile, in a enamel coated cast iron skillet, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes until glistening.  Add the mushrooms and the remaining minced garlic and continue to cook over medium heat until mushrooms begin to soften.  Add a dash of salt and pepper as well as a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and red pepper flake.  De-glaze the pan with the red wine and allow to cook down until most of the wine has evaporated.  Add the prepared sauce as well as the can of diced tomatoes and the chopped basil.  Add a tsp of honey, stir, taste and season as desired with additional salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low and simmer while meatballs cook.
  6. When the meatballs are done, add them to your sauce and allow it to continue to simmer for 15 – 20 more minutes, covered.
  7. Serve the meatballs with a generous ladle of sauce over pasta or seasoned zoodles.
  8. Garnish dish with additional parmesan, chopped parsley and/or chopped basil and Enjoy!!!

Suggestions:

You could sub ground beef or chicken for turkey when making the meatballs.  Instead of string cheese, try using a small mozzarella pearl!  

Easy Meat and Mushroom Bolognese

This is a hearty sauce you can serve over just about any pasta (I prefer something with nooks and crannies), but what really makes it easy is how effortless it is to make.  It takes 15 minutes to prep and about an hour in total to cook, yet your “guests” will think it simmered all afternoon like Grandma’s Sunday gravy!

Ingredients:  Easily feeds 4-6

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pint baby bella mushrooms, rinsed (chopped if desired)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground meatloaf mix (pork/veal/beef)
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 32 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I use Lidia’s)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb cooked pasta

Directions:

  1. In a large dutch oven heat oil over medium heat and add onions and mushrooms.  Sauté until soft and onions begin to caramelize.  Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally taking care not to let garlic burn.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, brown the meat.  Season with kosher salt and pepper while cooking.
  3. Using a slotted spoon to drain the fat, transfer browned meat to the dutch oven with the mushrooms, onions and garlic.  Mix to combine.
  4. Pour jar of sauce over the mixture.  Add the oregano and red pepper flake.  Stir and allow sauce to come to a gentle boil.
  5. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook an additional 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the parmesan cheese and light cream to the sauce and stir to combine.
  7. Drain 1 lb of cooked pasta and place in a large serving or family style pasta bowl.  Top with enough sauce to toss and coat the pasta.  Sprinkle with additional parmesan and red pepper flake if desired.  Serve extra sauce on the side.

Comments:

Of course, leaving out the mushrooms is completely acceptable if mushrooms aren’t your thing!  But if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t pass on them because they add texture and flavor and really take this sauce to the next level!  Go for it!!