Tag Archives: green beans

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

16 Jan
Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Flavor bombs, I tell you, and it’s no joke when I say these are da’ bomb! These large puppies are not only packed with flavor, they are the size of small cannon balls. I was searching the interwebz for something to make with my half-priced pound of ground turkey I found in the Reduce for Immediate Sale bin at the grocery, and came across several recipes for ground turkey meatballs. The thing is, I didn’t have all the ingredients for any single one, so did was I always do. I printed them all out, and mish-mashed them together to come up with this.

BONUS: Earlier in the week I had made some homemade croutons from roasted garlic-infused olive oil and grated Parmesan. I used leftover bread I took home from our company party.

Making Homemade Croutons

Making Homemade Croutons

Gosh aren’t they lovely?

Homemade Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Croutons

Homemade Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Croutons

They ground up in my Ninja perfectly to use as a binder for the meatballs. Keeping the roasted garlic theme in mind, I did a quick roast of three large cloves of garlic in my toaster oven for 20 minutes.

SECOND BONUS: The night before I had made a huge batch of our favorite side dish to go with whatever the heck meat we had (See I love these so much that I can’t even remember what I ate with them as in my mind they are the star of any meal.) I had plenty of this rosemary bliss to serve with the meatballs, so of course I carried the rosemary theme through to the meatballs. Recipe here ——–> Rosemary and Butter Red Potatoes and Green Beans.

Buttered Rosemary Red Potatoes and Green Beans

Buttered Rosemary Red Potatoes and Green Beans

UN-BONUS: Sometimes my math isn’t so good. I was trying to figure out how long to set the timer so I could take the meatballs out of the oven about 5 minutes before they were done to zest some Parmesan over the top of them. I usually cook meatloaf about an hour, but figured I would check them with an instant-read thermometer at 30 minutes. So. I set the timer for 40 minutes. Why? I have no clue. Slightly on the dry side, but the spinach did help a lot with keeping them from being a disaster. The pan juices in the casserole dish poured over was also a perfect remedy.

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach, Garlic, and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

3 large cloves garlic, peels left on
1/4 cup bread crumbs (from flavored croutons if you have them, or make your own!)
1/4 cup finely minced onion (I used the same Ninja that I ground up the breadcrumbs in)
1 pound ground turkey
8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary (I crush the dried leaves with a mortar and pestle)
Pinch of dried thyme
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Ground black pepper, to taste

Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and roast for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven (toaster oven is more economical). Remove and let cool, then peel and mince.

Meanwhile, process the croutons into bread crumbs, remove, then process the onion into a fine mince. (Store-bought bread crumbs are fine, as well as mincing your own onion with a knife.)

Processing the Croutons into Bread Crumbs

Processing the Croutons into Bread Crumbs

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and get ready to mess up your hands. Thoroughly combine all the ingredients using both hands.

Ground Turkey Meatball Ingredients

Ground Turkey Meatball Ingredients

When completely combined, scoop out a large handful and roll around in your hands and shape into the size of a large golf ball or small tennis ball. (What is that size? A rubber squash ball?) Either way, you should end up with six fairly same-sized meatballs.

Turkey Meatballs Ready to Bake

Turkey Meatballs Ready to Bake

Place the meatballs in a small oil-sprayed baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes (not 40 please) or until an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Remove foil then grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over top. Cook for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve immediately with any sides of choice.

Baked Spinach Garlic and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Baked Spinach Garlic and Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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Texas Chicken-Fried Steak with all the Fixin’s

17 Feb
Chicken Fried Steak with all the Fixin's

Chicken Fried Steak with all the Fixin’s

We are hosting a foreign exchange student (Caroline) from France for three weeks, so my blogging has been (and will be) a bit spotty as we try to entertain her and introduce her to the “American” style of living. And part of that experience includes food, of course! So far I’ve made crock-pot beef stew (which I have yet to ever blog about), my Garlicky Parmesan Chicken Tenders, and my hubby made her Huevos Motuleños. She’s also experienced the All-American hot dog and fries (Nathan’s All-Beef Jumbo, of course).

But the grand-daddy of an All-American meal (in my book) is good old-fashioned Texas Chicken-Fried Steak with all the fixin’s. (Meaning, mashed potatoes, peppery cream gravy, and green beans.) I posted my recipe for this over two years ago, then reblogged it later but never took a new photo, so figured it was a good time to dust it off, upgrade the photos and add a little more detail to the ingredients and steps. And the bonus to this is I instructed Caroline on how to make all this and she did it all herself (with some guided supervision). She did great! And we all cleaned up our plates and she absolutely loved this meal. I think you would too! I’ve included quite a few photos with this one, as it was fun being able to photograph someone else doing the work. 🙂

Chicken-Fried Steak with all the Fixin’s

4 to 6 russet potatoes, 3 tablespoons butter, and milk as needed
4 to 6 cubed steaks, or round steaks, tenderized
3/4 cup flour
Generous amounts of ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt, to taste
2 eggs with splash of milk
1 1/2 cups milk
Reserved flour (about 2 tablespoons)
Vegetable oil for skillet
Fresh green beans

First peel those potatoes and get them boiling in a pot of water and cook for about 20 minutes. Go off and do something else during this time.

Peeling the Potatoes

Peeling the Potatoes

When you get back from whatever you just did, keep the potatoes boiling. Mix together the flour and the seasonings to taste on a plate. I had Caroline add a lot of black pepper. Beat the eggs with the milk in a bowl.

Preparing Egg and Milk Wash

Preparing Egg and Milk Wash

Whisking the Eggs and Milk

Whisking the Eggs and Milk

Dredge the steaks in the flour mixture until coated, then dip in the egg mixture to coat. Dredge the steaks once again in the flour until coated well  (your fingers will get nice and clumpy at this part) and set aside on another plate or rack. Reserve the extra flour mixture for the gravy.

Dredging the Cubed Steaks

Dredging the Cubed Steaks

Check your potatoes at this point, and if done, go ahead and drain them, return to pot and whip them up with the butter and enough milk to make them creamy. Cover and put over lowest heat setting possible.

Double-Dredged Cubed Steaks

Double-Dredged Cubed Steaks

Whipping the Potatoes

Whipping the Potatoes

Next, heat about an eighth- to quarter-inch of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, preferably cast iron, until hot, but not smoking. I used two cast iron skillets so we could cook six steaks all at once, but you could also do this in batches in one skillet. Very carefully set each steak in the hot oil with a spatula.

Let the steaks sizzle in the oil for about four or five minutes, until you see red juice bubbling out of the top. Carefully slide the spatula under each steak and gently flip them over. Fry for about another five minutes until crispy brown, turning down heat if needed to prevent burning. Remove the steaks from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Turn heat off of skillet. This is a good time to start cooking your green beans, too, however you prefer to make them.

Frying the Cubed Steaks

Frying the Cubed Steaks

For the cream gravy, pour all but about two tablespoons of oil out of the skillet (or one of them if using two) and make sure the crispy bits stay in the pan. Add the reserved seasoned flour into a jar, then add the milk. Cover, and shake, shake, shake that baby until all the flour is completely incorporated.

Adding Milk to Flour for Gravy

Adding Milk to Flour for Gravy

Turn the heat back on to medium high under the skillet with the oil, then slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, until the gravy starts to thicken. Add lots and lots of more pepper at this point, and salt to taste. Continue whisking until the gravy is the consistency you want, adding more milk or water if it gets too thick.

Whisking the Cream Gravy

Whisking the Cream Gravy

Put the chicken fried steaks on each plate, pour a generous amount of cream gravy over them, and serve with mashed potatoes and more cream gravy, and fresh steamed green beans with butter (or vegetable of choice). Crazy Texas Good!

Chicken Fried Steak with all the Fixin's

Chicken Fried Steak with all the Fixin’s

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Texas Chicken Fried Steak

9 Sep

YUM! Here is what we had for dinner tonight. I posted this over a year and a half ago, and I think I’ve only made it once or twice since then. Indulgent, but oh so satisfying! Here is the recipe in case you weren’t a follower that long ago:

Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy, Yumm!

Amazingly, my daughter announced last night she would be glad to help make dinner tonight. My plan was to teach her how to make some good old-fashioned chicken fried steak with cream gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans. I even bought some cubed steaks a couple of days ago because I was craving some good Texas food.  (I haven’t tenderized a round steak in years for this. It doesn’t help that the head of my cheap wooden tenderizer flies off every time I use it. My mom has this fantastic solid metal one, which I’m sure she got from her mother.)

The recipe came from my mind, because any true Texan just “knows” how to make it. Since my daughter was born and raised in Oregon, I guess this osmosis effect never transferred this particular ability to her. Unfortunately, when I told her it was time to make dinner, her idea of “helping” to make dinner was to peel the potatoes and put them in the pot to boil. I practically had to force her to watch me bread the steaks, and off she went on her iPod Touch to chat with her friends. No matter, she’ll come around eventually.  This recipe is for two, but it is easily multiplied. This is an “eyeball” recipe, as amounts really depend on how many steaks you are cooking and how much gravy you want to go with them.

Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy

2 cubed steaks, or round steaks tenderized
Flour
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Paprika
Salt to taste
1 egg
Milk
Oil for skillet

On a plate or in a bowl, mix together about a half cup of flour and the seasonings to taste. I liberally add a lot of black pepper. Since my no-salt hubby is gone, I added a little bit of salt tonight! Beat the egg with some milk in a bowl. Dredge the steaks in the flour mixture until coated, then dip in the egg mixture to coat. Dredge the steaks once again in the flour until coated well  (your fingers will get nice and clumpy at this part) and set aside on another plate. Reserve the extra flour mixture for the gravy. Heat about a quarter- to half-inch of oil in a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, until hot, but not smoking. Very carefully set each steak in the hot oil with a spatula.  It will splatter, so watch out!

Let the steaks sizzle in the oil for about four or five minutes, until you see red juice bubbling out of the top. Carefully slide the spatula under each steak and gently flip them over. Fry for about another five minutes until crispy brown. Remove the steaks from the skillet and drain on paper towels.

Sizzling Steaks

For the cream gravy, pour all but about two tablespoons of oil out of the skillet and make sure the crispy bits stay in the pan. Add about two tablespoons of the reserved flour mixture to the skillet and stir and mash it down to remove lumps until just starting to brown. Slowly add about a cup of milk, stirring constantly, until the gravy starts to thicken. Add lots and lots of more pepper at this point, and salt to taste. Continue stirring until the gravy is the consistency you want, adding more milk or water if it gets too thick.

Put the chicken fried steaks on each plate, pour a generous amount of cream gravy over them, and serve with mashed potatoes and more cream gravy, and a vegetable of choice. I’ve always enjoyed green beans with this meal. Now that’s a taste of Texas, isn’t it?

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Rosemary Red Potatoes and Green Beans

25 May
Lemon Garlic Chicken Ready for Oven

Lemon Garlic Chicken Ready for Oven

This has the potential to be a splendid meal, however I have some tweaking I want to do before posting the recipe. This is one of the dishes I made last week that came out less than stellar, but ended up with some halfway decent photos. I do plan on making this again in the future, but I need to wait until I can get some fresher green beans in this area.

I am off to go camping the next several days over this long Memorial Weekend. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday and has a chance to pay respects to those who have lost their lives serving our country.

Meal cooked and plated

Meal cooked and plated

Buttered New (or Red) Potatoes with Green Beans and Rosemary

7 Feb

Fresh New Potatoes and Green Beans, Before Cooking

This is another one of my comfort foods. I do love to make this when green beans are fresh in season, but I was able to come across some fairly decent looking ones at the store the other day that weren’t too fat or stringy looking. I had bought the potatoes last week to make this but then forgot to look for the beans. Ever since then any of the beans I found were just not right until I spotted some nice ones on Saturday while shopping for avocados.

Now you may look at me funny wanting to find fresh green beans when all I’m going to do is cook the hell out of them in a pressure cooker, but believe me the taste just isn’t the same without them. I have tried. Trust me on this. Even though the green beans do get a bit overcooked (by 3 minutes in the pressure cooker world), the taste is still fantastic.

Cooked Potatoes and Green Beans

Now how this dish comes out all has to do with the end preparation with liberal amounts of butter and enough liquid and some milk to make a creamy broth after mixing it all around. The crushed dried rosemary cooked in with it all just makes this divine! It’s not the prettiest dish when it’s all said and done, but your  taste buds will thank you for trying this. There are rarely leftovers in this household.

Buttered New Potatoes with Green Beans and Rosemary

1-2 pounds of new or red potatoes
1-2 pounds of fresh green beans
1/2 -1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 1/2 cups water
2-4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup or so of  milk
Black pepper to taste

Scrub the potatoes and snap the ends off the green beans. If you have the small new potatoes, cut them in half. If you have the larger red potatoes, quarter them. Put the water in the bottom of a pressure cooker with the rack at the bottom. Add the potatoes and green beans. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the the dried rosemary a bit to break it up and mix it in with the vegetables. Put the pressure cooker on high heat, and once the jiggler on top starts rocking and rolling, set your timer for five minutes. On the mark, immediately cool the pot under cold water until the pressure is relieved. Open the pot and pour out all but about a half of cup of the water and dump the contents (minus the rack) into a bowl.  Add the butter, milk and pepper to taste.  Stir well until some of the mushy parts of the potatoes break apart and mix into the butter and milk to make a creamy broth. Serve with a meat of your choice. Last night I just heated up some leftover turkey from the freezer. So simple and delicious!

Dilly Beans and the Spring that Never Happened

15 Jan

A comment about raising chickens made me yearn for the garden we used to have at our old house. We would typically have an abundant harvest of green and yellow beans in the fall, and I would prepare jars of Dilly Beans to hand out as Christmas gifts later in the year. Last year Spring just never happened. Well neither did Summer either, in my opinion. It didn’t get warm enough to plant a garden until July, and by then it was too late to start one. Now we are living in a rental, and the prospects of being able to tear up the landlord’s property for a garden are slim indeed. I’m thinking of looking into planting a garden in some portable planters and buckets, but that project is many months away as we woke up to snow this morning.

But that won’t stop me from posting my recipe for Dilly Beans! I make them good and spicy but you can temper the heat to suit your taste.  They go great in a Bloody Mary, or just plain as an appetizer to bring to a potluck. In reality, you don’t need to have a garden to make these beans, as you can buy fresh green beans at the store and make them year round.

Spicy Dilly Beans

Green and Yellow Bean Harvest

About 2 pounds fresh green or yellow beans, or a mix of them
2-3 cloves of garlic per, peeled
1-3 dried red chile peppers per jar
1 head of dill per jar, or you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon dill seed per jar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed per jar
5 cups water
5 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup of pickling salt

Sterilize the jars for canning according to here: Sterilization of Empty Jars

Trim the green beans to fit 1/2 inch below the head of the jar. Drop the garlic cloves, peppers, dill and mustard seed in each jar, then pack the beans lengthwise over them. Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil then pour it over the beans, again leaving a 1/2-ich headspace. Process the jars in a boiling hot water bath for at least 10 minutes, and one minute longer for each additional 1,000 feet of altitude. Leave them in a cool, dark space for at least three weeks before eating or giving away.

I might have to make these again soon, as I think we ate the last jar at a friend’s party last year. I’m pretty sure she had stockpiled them.

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