Remember this post the other day for simple tomato sauce? Here is a use for those delicious onions that should not be discarded. See: Sandwich topping. They provide that little extra somethin’ somethin’ – but you’ve already done the work – win!
For me, the star here is the garlic toast. The toasting of the bread provides a sturdy vehicle for the journey of the meatballs from plate to mouth. The meatballs are tender, juicy and smothered in tasty sauce. Serve with a green salad for a satisfying meal. Bring napkins.
Note: This makes more meatballs than the two of us needed for dinner. What to do? Freeze, uncooked, on a baking sheet for a few hours, then store in a Ziploc bag for future dinners.
Meatballs (use this, or your favourite meatball recipe)
½ lb lean ground beef
½ lb ground chicken
½ an onion, finely diced
2 cloves, minced
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or about ¼- ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
Salt and pepper
2-4 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a large bowl, combine milk and breadcrumbs until liquid is mostly absorbed.
- Combine remaining ingredients, mindful not to over mix!
- Form into balls of desired size; ours were just smaller than golf balls.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet/frying pan over medium heat. Place the meatballs on the pan, browning all sides.
- Place the frying pan in the oven and bake until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of your meatballs)
Mini loaves of ciabatta bread (1 per person), split lengthwise
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine butter, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Spread on ciabatta
- Place in bread in oven (at 400F or even set to broil), open faced, until lightly toasted
- Warm approximately ¼ – ½ cup leftover simple tomato sauce per person and onions.
- Place 2-3 meatballs on bread. Smother in sauce and onions.
So, about this tomato sauce. It really is just 3 ingredients. You’re going to say to me “where’s the garlic?”, “where are the herbs?”, or many other questions that summarize: “That’s it?” This is it, guys. Deal with it, and thank me after you smell your kitchen. It does take some time to simmer, but by the time you get your pasta ready and have a cup of tea – you’re in business.
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, and juice
(San Marzano style tomatoes, if possible. When the tomatoes are the star, they better be good ones)
1 yellow onion, quartered
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan
- Bring to a gentle simmer. Slowly simmer for 45-60 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes on the side of the pot.
- Remove the onion pieces as best you can. Now, throw these onions out if you must, BUT, they are delightful. We have put them on meatball sandwiches. Post on this to come.
Seen above with homemade whole wheat pasta.
This bread haunted me. I saw it on Jennifer’s beautiful blog in March and it was all I could think about. Just a few tortuous weeks later I decided to tackle it. At 11 o’clock that night I was slicing into the best thing to come out of my oven. It was dangerous. All of a sudden my family of two had as many large loaves of delicious cheesy carbohydrates.
Luckily, this loaf is quite tasty out of the freezer. Sliced up and wrapped well in plastic wrap you can have a soft and buttery slice of cheese bread whenever you desire. It didn’t last long.
I recently made this again, taking the author’s advice and switching up the filling a bit on one of the loaves. Enter: roasted garlic.
Recipe makes 2 loaves
5 ½ to 6 ½ cups all-purpose flour (weight: 794 grams)
5 tablespoons sugar (white or brown)
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, warmed to approx 100F (I used 1%)
1 cup warm water (approximately 100F)
1 ½ tablespoon instant/bread machine yeast
¼ cup oil or melted butter
2 cups shredded old cheddar cheese
1 head roasted garlic mixed with 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella + ½ cup grated parmesan
- Combine flour, salt, and sugar in bowl of stand mixer
- Combine water and milk in a medium bowl. Add yeast and stir until dissolved.
- Add milk mixture, and melted butter/oil to flour.
- Mix with a dough hook for about 2 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Continue to mix the dough, adding more flour until you achieve a consistency that is tacky (not sticky! Think back to the blue tack you may have used to mount posters to your bedroom wall) and soft.
- Transfer to a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size (60 to 90 minutes) ** see original post for instructions on letting rise in the refrigerator/continuing the baking process on another day
- Divide dough into 2 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball into a rectangle of about 10×16 inches. Spread the filling of choice evenly over the surface.
- Roll the dough into a log starting with the short end – picture rolling a jelly roll. Pinch the seam.
- Grease your loaf pans (8 inch x 4 inch)
- To shape the loaf:
Slice the loaf in half lengthwise and face the cut sides up as best you can. Cheese will spill out – just tuck it back into place.
Pinch the farthest end from you. Carefully bring the piece on the left side over the piece on the right side. Repeat, completing the twist. Pinch the end closest to you.
Carefully transfer the twist into your prepared loaf pan.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again for about another hour.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, covering with foil at about 25-30 minutes to prevent over browning. Cook until bread reaches internal temperature of 185F.
- Let rest in pan for a few minutes – then remove from pan (running a knife along the edge of the pan, first!) onto a wire rack and allow to cool for at least an hour before slicing. It’s a long hour.
Seasons and Suppers
Hummus is a frequent flyer in our kitchen. It is so quick, inexpensive, portable, and nutritious – it is hard not to justify making it at least monthly.
Until we obtained a food processor we (by ‘we’ I mean Andrew; I do not have the patience) would use an immersion blender to make hummus. It was tedious, I hear, but I suppose it worked. The food processor makes this such a dream that you can quite literally pull it together in minutes and have lunch for the week.
The recipe below is our go-to and the roast sweet potato addition is one of many variations that we have tried. If sweet potato is not your thing, switch it out for avocado or roasted red peppers, and replace the cumin with cilantro or herb/spice of your preference. Or just have it naked.
1 medium sweet potato
1 can chickpeas (low sodium, if possible)
2-4 tablespoons of tahini
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for serving
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin (more, or less to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork. Wrap in tinfoil. Bake in oven for about an hour, or until softened. Remove from foil and slice in half to permit faster cooling. Allow to cool.
- Combine chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper in a food processor. Spoon cooled sweet potato from skin into food processor. If you’re like me, you will eat the skin.
- Run on low until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Don’t rush this step – I find at least 3-4 minutes provides a nice and smooth hummus. If you prefer a smoother dip, add more olive oil as desired. Serve in a dish with a dash of olive oil and a sprinkling of cumin. Enjoy with cut vegetables and pita bread.
Adapted from Chef Michael Smith – Chef at Home