Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Slow Cooker Italian Pot Roast with Parmesan Risotto


This recipe is similar to my favorite pot roast (which also includes crushed tomatoes with a hint of thyme and rosemary), so I decided to give this one a go... definitely helped that I had all the ingredients on hand. This one couldn't have been easier- I put everything in my lined crockpot and let it do its job. 9 hours later, the pot roast was warm and smelled crazy good. Darin and I both said this was a keeper.

Note- We made the parmesan risotto, but we both agreed we liked this dish more with a baked potato. However, for a fancier dish, the risotto is the way to go.

For the Italian Pot Roast
  • 2-3# pot roast (trimmed of visible fat)
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato juice (I used (2) 5.5 fl oz cans)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion flakes
  • 1-1/4 oz package Au Jus mix
  • 1-oz package Italian salad dressing mix (I used the Zesty Italian Salad Dressing mix)
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Directions
  1. Add a slow cooker liner to your crockpot. (I always ALWAYS use a liner- makes clean up a breeze!)
  2. Place the roast into your slow cooker.
  3. In a 2-cup measuring cup, add the remaining ingredients and mix well; then pour the liquid over the pot roast, set the temperature to LOW, and cook for 8-12 hours. (I cooked mine for 9 hours.)

Parmesan Risotto
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan, add the olive oil and rice. Evenly coat the rice with the oil.
  2. Add the chicken broth, and mix well. Let the mixture come to a boil, then lower the heat and let it maintain a slow boil ("3" setting on my stovetop) until all the broth is absorbed (it took 17 minutes for me). Make sure to occasionally stir so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
  3. Once all the water has been absorbed, add the onion powder and black pepper.

Source: Adapted from Plain Chicken, originally from Food.com

Coach's Stack


I had just made Shay's Meatloaf the night before, and I used the leftover meatloaf to create another dish from her blog... the base is a garlicky Texas Toast topped with a slice of meatloaf, which is topped with homemade mashed potatoes.

I had already made the meatloaf the night before, and had leftover baked potatoes (which I quickly mashed with some butter and heavy cream). I love dishes that are versatile, and this was easy and tasty.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef (used 85% lean, but may use 90% lean next time)
  • 1 cup Saltine cracker crumbs (that's about 12 crackers) (used whole wheat Saltines)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup (will cut down to 2/3 cup next time)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (will cut down to 1/4 cup next time)
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Mashed potatoes (homemade or store bought)
  • Texas Toast (baked, this is our favorite)
  • French's fried onions (garnish)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix ground beef, cracker crumbs, eggs, onion, salt, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce,  and tomato sauce in a bowl.  
  3. Put in  a greased 9x9 inch baking dish, bake 60 minutes. (Toss in foil-wrapped baked potatoes simultaneously.)
  4. Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and mustard in a bowl.  
  5. Once 40 minutes is up, top casserole with sauce and return to oven for 15 minutes.
  6. To assemble the "stack", place a piece of baked Texas Toast on your plate. Top it with a slice of meatloaf, and then some mashed potatoes on top. Garnish with fried onions.

Source: Mix and Match Mama

Ina Garten's Seafood Gratin


Since coming back from Key West, we decided that for Valentine's Day this year, we would cook a nice meal and relax. It was such a nice treat! We had inclement weather, so staying warm and cozy was the perfect way to enjoy our special day together.

I had made this years ago but didn't blog about it, and Darin has been making (large) hints how he wanted to make it. We picked up all the ingredients from Kroger, and ended up picking up (2) lobster tails from Costco. Since the recipe called for cooked lobster, Darin looked up his #1 resource (youtube for the win), and the lobster was cooked perfectly.

All in all, the ingredients list is long but it didn't take long to make it, and the results were fantastic! Definitely more expensive than our average weekend meal, so it's a great recipe for a special occasion. Since it was just for the 2 of us, we were able to eat for 3 meals total!


Ingredients
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp white wine, divided
  • 3 Tbsp tomato puree*
  • 1# raw shrimp (26-30 per lb), peeled and deveined
  • 8-10 oz raw tilapia, cut into 1" chunks (tilapia is fine here too)
  • 10-16 oz cooked lobster meat, cut into 1" chunks (we use the meat from 2 lobster tails)
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups thinly-sliced leeks, white and green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1 cup peeled, shredded carrots (roughly 3 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions
  1. Combine claim juice, cream, white wine and tomato puree in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer on medium, and add the shrimp. Let cook 1-2 minutes, then flip over and cook the other side until pink and opaque (it took an additional 2 minutes for us). Remove to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the pieces of cod to the stock mixture until just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove to the same plate with the shrimp using a slotted spoon.   (Once the shrimp have cooled enough to handle, cut in half if desired and return to the bowl.)  
  3. Add the cooked lobster to the bowl. Continue to cook the sauce until reduced by half, about 15-20 minutes.  (Make sure the sauce has thickened or else you'll have runny gratin sauce.)
  4. Combine 1 Tbsp of the butter in a small bowl with the flour and mash together with a fork.
  5. Whisk the butter-flour mixture with the salt and pepper into the sauce and continue to simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5-8 minutes.  Set aside. 
  6. In a medium sauté pan, melt 3 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat.  Add the leeks and carrots and cook for about 15 minutes, until softened.  
  7. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp of wine and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes more. Add the cream sauce and cooked vegetables to the bowl with the seafood and toss to blend well.  
  8. Divide the mixture between individual gratin dishes.  If not baking right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When you are ready to bake the gratins, preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Place the filled gratin dishes on a baking sheet.  
  9. Melt the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter in a small bowl.  Add the Panko, parmesan, parsley and garlic to the bowl and toss with a fork to combine.  
  10. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the prepared gratins.  Bake 20 minutes, until the top is browned and bubbling.  Serve hot.
* Note- You can substitute 3 Tbsp tomato puree = 1 Tbsp tomato paste + 1.5 Tbsp water

Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Shay's Meatloaf


I still hold big love for my favorite meatloaf, but I don't always have the time to make it- especially on weeknights. I had been eyeing this meatloaf recipe for awhile and whipped up the meatloaf before work so I could pop it into oven when I got home.

It was easy to prep, and unlike my other meatloaf recipe, you bake this in a 9x9 baking dish. Thus, when the meatloaf is cooked, you cut it up... kind of like a casserole. The meatloaf mix is very moist/wet, and it was very tasty! I love a nice ketchup concoction on top of my meatloaf, but felt it was too sweet. I'm putting the original recipe below, but have added my edits in italics next to the ingredient. All in all, it was easy, tasty, and a nice comforting meal to a long week. While the meatloaf baked, I wrapped individual potatoes in foil and tossed it into the oven for some baked potatoes to accompany this dish,

Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef (used 85% lean, but may use 90% lean next time)
  • 1 cup Saltine cracker crumbs (that's about 12 crackers) (used whole wheat Saltines)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup (will cut down to 2/3 cup next time)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (will cut down to 1/4 cup next time)
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Baked potatoes (optional)

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix ground beef, cracker crumbs, eggs, onion, salt, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce,  and tomato sauce in a bowl.  
  3. Put in  a greased 9x9 inch baking dish, bake 60 minutes. (Toss in foil-wrapped baked potatoes simultaneously.)
  4. Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and mustard in a bowl.  
  5. Once 40 minutes is up, top casserole with sauce and return to oven for 15 minutes.

 
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