Category Archives: Appetizers

Steak and Blue Cheese Hand Pies


A hand pie, I will have you know, is when you put fillings in little circles of pie crust, fold it over, and then bake it like a turnover.  In Michigan, we call these pasties (that’s pronounced PAHS-ties, as opposed to PAYS-ties, and you are all filthy if you thought the other thing).

Oh wait. First I want to address the fact that neither Sue nor I have written a blog post since July.  Well, we have the following to say for ourselves: we were busy, and apologize for the long delay. I CAN say that we cooked many interesting things while we’ve been away, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with potato chips on it, a Christmas yule log, crab jambalaya WITH CRABS THAT I MYSELF CAUGHT FROM THE OCEAN, KILLED* AND CLEANED, a turducken and a devil’s food cake, but we didn’t blog about any of it. (Hint on the PB&J: you put the chips right on the sandwich!!!)

*I didn’t kill them, my boyfriend did. Crabs are a lot harder to kill than you’d think, and also if, say, you try to kill one and just piss it off instead, it gets verrrrry fighty.

So, hand pies/pasties, which are basically the same thing. Pasties originated in Cornwall, and arrived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Cornish immigrants who came for the UP copper mining.  They can be filled with savory or sweet things, though traditionally it would be beef and root vegetables.  The crust is a traditional shortcrust pastry, a basic pie crust with a 1:2 fat to flour ratio. We filled ours with some leftover jerk chicken, and made some with steak, blue cheese and caramelized onion. That’s the recipe I’ll post, because it’s going to make you cry, it’s so good. This recipe makes about 7 hand pies.


2 cups flour

1 cup cold butter, diced

3/4 cup very cold vodka

1 tsp salt

Egg wash (whisk together one egg with 2 tsp of cold water and set aside)


1 lb or so of sirloin steak, salted and peppered on both sides

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup wine, any kind will do

salt and pepper

blue cheese

Method:  In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and butter until the mixture is grainy like sand. Drop in the cold vodka about a teaspoon at a time until the mixture JUST holds together. DO NOT OVERMIX. Remove the dough from the food processor, shape it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This resting process is extremely important and I think has something to do with gluten but I forget, so just do it, or else watch this video.  Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

While the dough is resting in the fridge and the oven is pre-heating, make the filling.  In a cast iron pan on medium-high heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter and sear the steak for 2-3 minutes per side, then remove to a plate and let rest. In the same pan but heat reduced to medium, melt the remaining tbsp of butter and cook the onions until browned and even lightly charred, scraping up all the delicious beef bits.


After maybe 6 or 7 minutes, deglaze the pan with whatever wine you have and cook until the liquid is absorbed, then turn off the heat. Dice the steak into cute little bite sized pieces.


good luck not eating this before you put it in the hand pies.

After resting and preparing the filling, unwrap the dough, separate it into as many balls as you want to have hand pies (we  made 7 with this amount of dough), and on a lightly floured work surface, roll each dough ball out into a  little circle.


my boyfriend ends up doing most of the gnarly jobs. rolling out dough, killing crabs, etc.

Pile a little steak, a little onions and some blue cheese bits onto the circles, fold them over into a half moon shape, pinch the ends together with your fingers (or use the tines of a fork to crimp them) and lay them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with egg wash and bake them for 20-25 minutes or until browned.


egg wash SEEMS stupid and pointless, but it gets the crust all brown and delicious. a good idea would be to feed the leftover egg wash to your dog. i bet he would like it.

You can reheat these in the oven as long as they last, which will be zero days. I took these to work for lunch and I didn’t heat them up, I just kept it on my desk so when I ate it it was room temperature and the crust was crisp and fantastic and I wish I still had some of these but I don’t because we ate them all. Also, MAY I SUGGEST eating the steak ones with a little dollop of raspberry jam. Good GOD they’re delicious.

– Cat



Filed under Appetizers, Baked Goods, Meat, Recipes

Raspberry Jalapeno Jam, or Why Canning is Awesome

Canning is awesome. It is also making a huge comeback (did it ever disappear? I mean, I guess not, but now it is hip). In fairness I have always been on board, my mom has been canning things for years, but I think there was a generation or two out there who kind of lost the art and trust me- it is an art. I have wanted to can for a long time, but it is an intimidating task. There are a lot of steps to can properly. There is also the fear of the big B (botulism) or just plain ruining a batch of something you spent hours making. So here’s the thing, maybe next summer I’ll be ready to teach you about canning but for now, I’m going to tell you about the places I am learning from. If you have ever canned, thought about canning, or read blogs in general there is a good chance you have heard of the blog Food In Jars. It is incredible. Not only is it a great resource for how to but also recipes and links galore. Another resource I have been using heavily is the book Put ‘em Up. It is a fantastic comprehensive guide to all kinds of preserving. It is laid out well and includes illustrations, tips, and delightful recipes.

Today was my first canning experience on my own. I chose a 90 degree day here in Denver because I’m smart and I plan ahead. Wait, what? Here is the thing about canning, It’s a task it’s kind of labor intensive and if you have a small kitchen it will probably get really hot and steamy (and not in a good way). Frankly, it’s really easy to put off. My point is- don’t put it off. The rewards are amazing. Being able to give someone something you canned all by yourself is kind of an awesome experience. Learning how to preserve the flavors of summer in a jar that costs less than a dollar and doing it for ½ the price of what it would cost to buy those things out of season. Totally. Worth. It.

After reading Food In Jars a few days ago I couldn’t pass up this recipe, and I’m glad I didn’t because it was incredible.

Raspberry Jalapeno Jam

beautiful fresh raspberries

yay canning!

That’s right people. It’s as good as it sounds. For this part of the recipe I’m going to direct you to the source, then I’m going to tell you how I used that delicious jam to make the best summer meal ever. Which was…

Grilled pork chops with Raspberry Jalapeno Jam served with goat cheese and arugula smashed potatoes.


2 bone in pork chops

Salt and pepper to season

2 Tablespoons Raspberry Jalapeno Jam

4-5 medium sized red skin potatoes (or other waxy variety)

4 oz goat cheese

1 Tablespoon (or so) olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large handful of arugula


Liberally salt and pepper the pork chops up to 2 hours in advance, chill until ready to grill. Grill the pork chops over medium high heat until they reach an internal temp of 145 degrees*. Let rest under foil while you mash the potatoes.

Boil a pot of water and season with salt (remember, if you don’t salt the water your potatoes will be bland no matter how much salt you add after cooking). If the potatoes are small leave them whole, if not cut them in ½. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and put in a large bowl, add the goat cheese, and olive oil. Mash with a potato masher or a fork until the goat cheese is incorporated and the potatoes are all mashed and slightly creamy- you may need more olive oil or even a small splash of milk if you like. Add salt and pepper to taste (about ½ tsp each). Fold in arugula and serve warm.

Top each pork chop with a tablespoon of raspberry jalapeno jam and serve with a spoonful of the mashed potatoes.

A few notes:

* USDA recommends cooking pork to a minimum internal temperature of 145, resting it under foil will raise that temperature slightly. This is the best temperature for moist pork chops, but it might be a little pink for some so please cook it to whatever temperature you feel comfortable.

– Goat cheese is really delightful with the raspberry jalapeno jam but you could substitute cream cheese if goat cheese isn’t your thing.

– Speaking of which, this would be delicious with just goat cheese on crackers. It would really be a great addition to any cheese plate.

– I joined a CSA this summer. It is a great way to eat local produce and support a local farm. I am also truly looking forward to the challenge of my weekly baskets and figuring out how to eat or preserve everything! I’m diving right in kids, get on board!


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Filed under Appetizers, Canning, Meat, Recipes, Sides

Asian Chicken Wings

this is the prettiest picture ever. that is because susan took it.

To me, chicken wings are the fowl equivalent of sugar pie, which is when you take all the odds and ends from your pie crust and bake them with sugar on it.  Chicken wings are what is left over when the parts of the chicken people actually want are spoken for: unsellable, weird pieces of what is very obviously a bird.  The marketing department of Giant Chicken Conglomerate, however, figured out a way to make money off the pieces no one in their right mind would actually want:  PUT A LOT OF SAUCE ON THEM.  Realistically, chicken wings are vehicles for sauce.  Which actually I am totally fine with, though it does raise a question that has troubled me for some time.  Why must we use animal parts to ferry sauce from our grubby hands to our  mouths?  Why is it not ok to eat sauce with a spoon?  Some questions just don’t have answers.

The good news is, these chicken wings have a really good sauce.  It’s more like a glaze, really.  And it can be modified very easily.  If, for example, you are making these for someone who does not hate ginger, it would be lovely to put ginger in the sauce!  I’m not usually one for recipes that require a long marinating time, because I don’t plan food in advance much, but the longer these marinate, the better they will be.  Because you broil them, the skin gets all crispy and caramelized from the sugar and the fat, and soy sauce, garlic and sugar are a magical combination in any situation.  Also, if, like me, you make these for a whole bunch of people during which time you drink a large quantity of red wine, you will appreciate how salty, sweet and spicy they are in contrast to how drunk you feel.  And, if, like me, you ALWAYS want a snack when the red wine-drinking is over, these are excellent left over.

Vaguely Asian Chicken Wings (these proportions are for 1 lb of chicken wings, double, triple, 14-ple as needed.)

1 lb chicken wings

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup  brown sugar

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1-2 tsp Sriracha, depending on how spicy you like things

Some other things you could add to the sauce if you wanted:  minced ginger; sake, if you have some lying around; sweet Thai chili sauce; peanut butter, if you want a peanut sauce kind of thing; ponzu; FISH SAUCE, and I would highly recommend this; grated pear, which I use when I make Korean bulgogi, it is magic.

Method:  Whisk together the sauce ingredients, coat the wings with it for at least 2 hours, but preferably 24.  When you’re ready to cook them, put all the wings on a cookie sheet (reserving the marinade) and bake them in the oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or so, until they’re more or less cooked through.  Take them out, brush the glaze you reserved back over them and put them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.  Take them out, flip them all over, broil the other side for 2-3 minutes.  If you want to then flip them one MORE time and broil the other side for a further minute, you can, because there’s so much fat in chicken wings it is basically impossible to overcook them, and you’d rather have the skin be crispy all the way around, trust me.  Serve, with Sriracha and chopped green onion for garnish.

– Cat

another beautiful picture, courtesy of susan.


Filed under Appetizers, Meat, Poultry, Recipes

Kruse and Muer style Gazpacho and Herbed Croutons

I’m sure by now everyone has heard of the show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, in which celebrity chefs discuss the restaurant that makes their favorite cheeseburger, chocolate cake, fois gras, whatever. Well, if I had to choose it would be Kruse and Muer bread (also the Brazilian coconut shrimp soup from Shuga’s, but that’s another post).  Kruse and Muer is one of a family of restaurants in metro Detroit, where I grew up.  Their bread, universally called  “Kruse and Muer bread”,  is famous, and AMAZING.  I don’t think there is a single person within a ten mile radius of a Kruse and Muer restaurant that doesn’t love this bread.  One time when Cat still lived by one, I made her cut up a loaf and put it in a Ziplock and bring it to me in Denver. When it got here, I wouldn’t share it with anyone. If Cat still lived near one, I would make her send me some weekly. It is THAT good.

Beyond the bread, Kruse and Muer has a fantastic menu. They have an amazing cheese tortellini in a tomato cream sauce that tastes like no other tomato cream sauce you’ve ever had. Not to mention their famous pizza, with a crust made from the famous bread.  One of my other favorites was their gazpacho, which they only served in the summer during the height of tomato season. I should disclose that one of the many components that made their gazpacho fantastic was the croutons made from the famous bread.

I would love to say that I have learned to replicate the bread, but I haven’t. What I do have is the “bread blessing” recipe. This is not top secret, it has been floating around Rochester, Michigan for years and years, and it’s in a cook book by Chuck Muer, restaurant founder. The bread recipe provided with the blessing, unfortunately, comes nowhere near the chewy crusty deliciousness of real Kruse and Muer bread, but if you are looking for a flavor that reminds you of that beloved bread, this will do the trick. This bread blessing tossed with a good French baguette, will make some fantastic croutons; one of the key components to their amazing gazpacho. Are you wondering what a bread blessing is? Simply, it’s herbed oil or butter that is brushed on to bread after it is risen and before it is baked, it is also commonly brushed on just after it comes out of the oven.

Now that I have rambled on and on about bread for a page, we should probably talk about gazpacho. Gazpacho is a cold tomato and bread based soup. It is of Spanish origin, and can vary widely from recipe to recipe. One of my favorite things about Kruse and Muer’s gazpacho was the tangy, acidic bite. It’s taken some time, and lots of tasting to develop this recipe. To me, 1,298 miles from the nearest Kruse and Muer, this is the closet replication I could make (yes, I Googled that exact location).

Kruse and Muer Bread Blessing/ Crouton Recipe:

Blessing Ingredients (1/2 recipe):

½ cup olive oil

½ large garlic clove, minced or pressed

1 Tbs dried oregano

1 Tbs dried basil

¼ tsp salt

1 Tbs poppy seeds

Crouton method:

1 French baguette, which you can find in the deli section of most grocery stores, I recommend white. Cut about 2 inches of each end and set aside (to be used in the gazpacho). Cut the rest of the loaf into small cubes. On a large baking sheet drizzle the blessing over the croutons and toss with your hands to coat.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside (You can bake your croutons longer to be crispier, but this is similar to how Kruse and Muer’s are).

Gazpacho Ingredients:

4 cups of chopped tomatoes, whatever is the ripest **see note at the bottom**

3 cucumbers, stripe peeled (peeling some skin, leaving strips of some skin, or just peel it all if you like)

2 bell peppers, any color you like

1 Vidalia or other sweet onion

1 ½ cloves garlic, minced or pressed

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

Ends of the baguette from the croutons, or 2 medium slices dried crusty bread

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste (at least ½ tsp of salt and 4-5 grinds of black pepper)

Sour cream (or Greek yogurt) for serving.

Gazpacho Method:

In a food processor puree 2 cups of the chopped tomatoes, along with the bread. Drizzle in olive oil and blend again.  Pour the puree into a large bowl.

Slice the cucumbers in ½ and scrape out the seeds, then dice. Dice the onion. Remove the ribs and seeds from the bell pepper and dice.

Add diced vegetables to the puree, along with the remaining 2 cups of chopped tomatoes. Add garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and spices, mix with a large spoon to combine.Test mixture and adjust spices, oil, vinegar, and lemon juice to taste.

Serve chilled, topped with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and croutons.

Will keep in the fridge for a week.

A few notes:

** For the puree of tomatoes I used fresh large tomatoes from the farmers market, and for the additional two cups of chopped tomatoes I used quartered cherry tomatoes, orange and red. I LOVE those baby orange tomatoes, especially this time of year. If you find that at your local market, I highly recommend using them.

-Bell peppers and I are not friends. I would love to love them, but my tummy thinks otherwise. Despite the recipe above, I used just one yellow. You can use whatever color, and up to three if you love them.

-The original bread blessing does not include the poppy seeds. Before the bread is “blessed” it is rolled in a poppy seed and salt mixture. Poppy seeds are key to Kruse and Muer bread, so since I wasn’t baking the bread, I added them to the blessing.

– If you live anywhere near Kruse and Muer and you are reading this- send bread immediately.

– Sue


Filed under Appetizers, Recipes, Soup, Vegetarian

Baba Ghanoush, Baba Ghannouj, Baba Ghanoug, Babaghannoush

All words for the same wonderful, perfect, delicious smoky dip.

I like hummus.  I really do.  I think it’s nice.  Hummus is like an ex-boyfriend who has a perfect driving record and is a big fan of Third Eye Blind.  You really thought you liked him at the time;  it was all healthy and chickpea-y, was easy to bring to work in a little tupperware container and went well with baby carrots.  Baba ghanoush is like a mysterious stranger that seduces you from the mezze menu and takes you on exciting weekend excursions out of town on its motorcycle and recites little poems, which might be Baudelaire if you knew more about poetry, but could also be originals.

The point is, baba ghanoush is sexier than hummus, by 1000%.  Hummus is Bill Compton, baba ghanoush is Eric Northman.  If hummus is Jack Hodgins, baba ghanoush is Seely Booth.  If hummus is the lead singer that everyone finds adorable, baba ghanoush is the brooding, quiet bass player.  You get what I’m saying.

Baba ghanoush is exactly the same thing as hummus, but instead of chickpeas as the base, it has roasted or grilled eggplant.  If you think you don’t like eggplant (because I, for one, do not like eggplant), don’t let that put you off baba ghanoush.  A weird alchemy happens to eggplant when you roast or grill it.  It stops being a purple, weird shaped thing that tastes and feels exactly like a dish sponge, and starts being a smoky, lightly sweet and totally unique substance that is crying out for you to enjoy with some pita bread.  I don’t have a grill (yet), so I roasted mine in the oven, and for good measure kept a few pieces of the blackened skin when I processed it to make sure the smoke flavor was imparted to the dip.  I watched 6 people (myself included) devour the whole bowl of baba ghanoush in about 4.5 minutes, so it must have worked.

Baba ghanoush

2-4 smallish – medium eggplants (I like a smaller eggplant as I think they are less bitter than larger ones.  I used 2 medium eggplants this time, and it made probably 3 cups of baba ghanoush.  Next time, I will use 400 eggplants, because I never want to stop having baba ghanoush.)

3 cloves garlic

3 tbsp tahini (Tahini is sesame paste, they should have it in a jar in the mediterranean section of your grocery store.  If they don’t, you need to find a new grocery store.  You may have this in your fridge already, if you ever make hummus at home.)

Juice of 2 lemons

2-3 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper


Turn your broiler on high.  Cover a cookie sheet (rimmed) with foil, and prick your eggplants all over with a fork.

eggplants are weird.

If you don’t, they will explode, which sounds awesome, but makes an absurd mess.  Put the eggplants on the sheet under the broiler for about 30-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so to make sure it’s blackening evenly.  The eggplants will deflate slowly like a balloon, and start to look really sad and weird, as the juices run out.   When the eggplants are soft all the way around, remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.

this picture is horrible and not clear, but you can kind of see how soft the eggplants are.

Prepare a colander in the sink.  Strip the skin off the eggplants (no need to be super picky about this, some skin is okay, I’d say if you remove 90% that’s fine) and put the flesh in the colander.  Squeeze the flesh against the holes of the colander to remove all the liquid you can.  A lot will seep out.

When most of the liquid is removed, put the flesh into a food processor with the other ingredients.  Pulse until smooth and serve.  Enjoy total adulation.

mmmm dip.

– Cat


Filed under Appetizers, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers

I wanted to make something with shrimp since the boyfriend was out with the boys for the night and he’s not a shrimp fan. I was chatting with Cat about food (what’s new) and we were tossing around ideas and came up with this. I knew I wanted shrimp, but Cat said scampi was boring. She suggested adding mango, I made it pineapple instead, and boom- this idea was born.

Last summer I made a glaze for chicken with a mix of piri piri hot sauce, butter, garlic, lemon juice and cilantro, it was wonderful. That was the inspiration for the sauce.

This is a really simple quick appetizer (or dinner) whip up the sauce, skewer everything, give it a quick turn on the grill, and drizzle with the sauce. Good to go. Quick and fancy- two of my favorite adjectives.

Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers with Spicy Sweet Sauce:

Sauce ingredients:

1 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ of a medium sized jalapeno seeded and minced

Juice of 3 limes (about ¼ cup)

2 Tbs honey

2 Tbs pineapple juice (or orange juice)

1 Tbs cilantro finely chopped

Dash of Tabasco

Pinch of salt

Heat the olive oil and butter until the butter is melted. Add the garlic and jalapeno and sauté for about a minute. Add lime juice, honey and pineapple juice. Cook on medium for 2-3 minutes. Add cilantro, Tabasco and salt. Cook for an additional minute and reduce heat to low until ready to use. Sauce can be prepared in advance and warmed before use.

For the skewers:

About 1 lb of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cubed

Drizzle of olive oil

Bamboo skewers

Soak the bamboo skewers in water while you prepare everything (don’t skip this, trust me, if you do, they will catch fire). Alternate shrimp and pineapple on the skewers, drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Grill over medium heat about 3-4 minutes per side or until the shrimp is pink and the pineapple is lightly seared.

Drizzle the skewers with the sauce and serve warm.

notice the burnt skewers

A few notes:

If you don’t soak the skewers they will burn. See picture above. So don’t skip this step (or use metal ones).

I thought about serving these as lettuce wraps, which I still think would be delicious. Simply take everything off the skewers, wrap in a large leaf of butter lettuce (the best kind for lettuce wraps) and either drizzle with sauce, or dip them. A few leaves of fresh cilantro would probably also be delicious.

How to tell if pineapple is ripe: Look at it. Does it have a golden yellow color to it? Smell it. Does it smell like pineapple? These are the best ways to tell if it’s ripe. The pineapple should also feel heavy for its size and be firm to the touch, if it’s too soft it is probably rotten.  Here is a tutorial on how to cut a pineapple, it’s not hard, please don’t buy the precut stuff- it’s a waste of money.

Use big shrimp if you can. I used smaller shrimp, which was still delicious, but bigger is better (at least when it comes to shrimp).

– Sue


Filed under Appetizers, Recipes, Seafood

Pork and Ricotta Meatballs

Awhile back I came across this recipe in Food and Wine. The story mentioned that it was a beloved special run frequently at the restaurant A16 in San Francisco. As a foodie obsessed with the San Francisco food scene, I had to try this. When I was looking over the recipe, I was asking the boyfriend what he thought of some minor changes I thought of making to the recipe, his response was “just follow the damn recipe for once.” He makes a good point. So I did (mostly). Honestly, it was wonderful just as is; the one major thing I did was divide the recipe in half which is the recipe I have posted here. I generally am cooking for two and 24 meatballs seemed like a bit much. The 12 I ended up with seemed like too much…until all the leftovers disappeared the next day.

These pork meatballs were wonderful, they were amazingly moist, flavorful, and the sauce was thick with an earthy sweetness from the tomatoes. The only thing I would change (and is reflected in the recipe below) is extra tomatoes. Once everything cooked down I found myself craving more tomatoes. Granted, I served this as a spaghetti instead of just pork with tomatoes, I still think it would benefit from the extra tomatoes. This recipe is originally modified from Food and Wine.

Pork and Ricotta Meatballs (1/2 recipe)


¼ lb (2 cups) white bread, crust removed cut into ½ inch dice

¾ lb lean ground pork

1 ½ oz thinly slice pancetta

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2.5 oz ricotta (about ¼ cup)

2 Tbs chopped flat leaf parsley

½ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp fennel seeds, crushed

¼ tsp crushed red pepper

Kosher salt

Two 28-oz cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes (San Marzano if available)

Freshly ground pepper

1 Tbs shredded basil

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

¼ cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese


Preheat oven to 400.

In a food processor pulse the bread to coarse crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl. Grind the pancetta to a coarse paste in the food processor (you can also chop it finely, but I find this easier). Add the pork, pancetta, eggs, ricotta, parsley, oregano, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and ¾ tsp kosher salt.

Mix well. Shape into 12 meatballs. The best tool for this is an ice cream scoop, but your hands will of course work as well. Transfer the meatballs to a medium roasting pan, oiled if it’s not non-stick.

Roast the meatballs in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning once at 15 minutes.

While the meatballs roast dump all the tomatoes into a large bowl and crush lightly with your hands. Mix in the minced garlic, 1 tsp of kosher salt, and a heavy couple grinds of pepper.

The meatballs should be browned. Using a spatula, loosen the meatballs from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato mixture. Lower the oven temperature to 325 and cook uncovered for about 2 hours until the sauce is thick and the meatballs are very tender. Turn the meatballs once or twice during cooking.

Serve the meatballs over spaghetti (or on their own). Garnish with fresh basil and pecorino romano cheese.

A few notes:

I added garlic to the tomatoes because I love garlic and I felt like it. Feel free to omit it.

The meatball mixture is very wet, do not be surprised by this, just do your best to form them into balls.

In the past I haven’t ground my own bread crumbs. I usually use panko bread crumbs. I think the fresh bread crumbs really added to the moisture of the meatballs, so don’t skip this step.



Filed under Appetizers, Pasta, Recipes