KITCHEN SINK SOUP

Funny name I know. However, I call it that because it seems like everything but the kitchen sink gets thrown in. Ever wonder what to do with your leftover veggies n pasta or rice? Americans waste a lot of food in comparison to other countries around the world. I was brought up being told I must finish everything on my plate, regardless if I were full or not, because kids were starving in places around the world. Now, people know that’s not a good idea and can lead to childhood obesity. With that said, it’s ok to have leftovers and you don’t have to discard them . Just toss them together and make a soup. I’ll tell you what usually winds up in mine but know that you can use any veggie cut into bite sized pieces. Any small macaroni or rice.

YOU WILL NEED:

Four quarts of chicken broth

Diced boneless chicken

Green beans cut in half or thirds

1 cup of rice or macaroni

One large carrot diced

Half of small onion minced

1 can of beans ( chickpeas, kidney, cannellini, navy or whatever kind you like)

1 ccelery stalk sliced small

Pepper and salt to taste

VARIATIONS: substitute beef broth for chicken broth and use tiny, already fried meatballs or steak sliced in place of chicken. Add diced potatoes and above vegetables.

For a vegetable type soup use water instead of broth but decrease water to two quarts and add 1-16 oz bottle of V-8 tomato juice and a cup of diced seeded tomatoes. You can add corn or any other vegetables you like.

DIRECTIONS: Throw everything in a large pot and bring to a boil and simmer twenty min or till macaroni is done. FAST and EASY.

HOMEMADE ITALIAN SAUCE

Once you see how easy  it is to make your own spaghetti sauce, you will never buy it in a jar again. The taste is excellent. And, you know what’s in it. No surprise, harmful ingredients. Just good, healthy food! Enjoy.

YOU WILL NEED:

2-  35 oz cans of of Cento tomatoes ( these are non-GMO)

Olive oil

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Salt

Dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon of Dried basil or 2 teaspoons of fresh basil cut chiffonade style

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1/2 of a medium sweet onion finely chopped

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 medium- sized onion diced

Heavy bottomed sauce pan

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Put olive oil in bottom of your pot, just enough to coat the center.

2. Place both cans of peeled tomatoes ( one at a time) in blender with 1/2 of the garlic and oregano, parsley and basil and puree . Then set aside.

3.  Take diced  onions and begin to brown on medium high heat. When they are just beginning to turn translucent, add the rest of the garlic, and salt , stirring constantly , taking care not to let the garlic burn.

4. Stir for three to five minutes then add your puréed tomato mixture to the pan.

5 . Cook  on medium high heat until it starts to bubble. Then stir and turn  the heat to  low , 3 on an electric stove , and cover with the lid slightly ajar. IF YOU HAVE PREPARED MY STEAMED MEATBALLS, this would be the time to add them and spoon sauce over the tops. After about five minutes you would turn the meatballs over and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 1-1/2 to two hours.

6. After thirty minutes or so, stir in the sugar. The sugar will cut the acid in the sauce. For those of you with acid reflux disorders, this is great! Just don’t be too vigorous with the stirring if you have meatballs inside, as they will be soft and can easily fall apart. If you want just a meat sauce, you can break the meatballs apart.

Note: Each time you stir, before stirring , you can take a large spoon and carefully remove the oil at the top of the sauce.  I, personally, don’t  like too much oil. When you take  the ajar lid off to stir, if sauce is too watery, then just leave lid off and remain simmering .  If you think it is getting too thick, just put the lid on again, leaving slightly ajar.

STEAMED MEATBALLS

Steamed Meatballs
Click photo to enlarge

YOU WILL NEED:

1  to 1 and a half pounds of ground beef ( do not use extra lean type)

1/2 cup of Progresso Italian flavored bread crumbs

I tablespoon of Minced garlic or 1 level teaspoon of dried garlic powder ( not garlic salt)

1 large egg

1 tablespoon of dried basil

I teaspoon of dried oregano 2 heaping tablespoons of dried parsley

Water

A heavy bottomed or nonstick pot

I heaping teaspoon of Sugar ( this cuts the acidity of the sauce)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Mix all ingredients except water in a large mixing bowl

2. After thoroughly mixed add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of water and stir into the mixture. (This is the secret to a softer meatball. It moistens the bread crumbs sufficiently)

3. Form your meatballs

4. Place meatballs into your spaghetti  sauce being sure meatballs are covered and heat is medium low. Setting number 4 on electric stove.

5. Cover with a slight opening to the lid. This can be achieved by placing a wooden spoon between pot and lid.

6. When sauce is boiling, uncover and turn meatballs, again being sure they are covered with sauce , add and stir in sugar and lower heat to 3 on electric stove.

7. Leaving pot lid off, simmer for about thirty minutes turning occasionally. If you notice sauce reducing too quickly you can again place the lid on pot with a wooden spoon, keeping it ajar slightly for five to ten minutes.

Please see my recipe for my Homemade sauce

Once you see how easy, flavorful and  economical is is to make,  I can almost guarantee you’ll never buy a jarred sauce again.

LEMARCHE MEATLOAF SAUCE

LAMARCE MEATLOAF SAUCE

Recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Lidia Bastianich.

YOU WILL NEED

Olive oil

1 cup of finely chopped onions

Salt

1 cup of minced carrots

1/2 cup minced celery

2 bay leaves

Water

2 cans of crushed.tomatoes ( with seeds strained out if you prefer)

Ricotta cheese (optional)

If you use seeds you can add a tablespoon of sugar. This reduces any bitterness that may occur from seeds but also cuts the acid in the tomatoes. I add this to all my tomato sauces.

INSTRUCTIONS:

PUT A LITTLE OLIVE OIL IN THE BOTTOM OF A LARGE FRY PAN, START HEATING

ADD 1 CUP CHOPPED ONIONS THAT ARE CHOPPED SMALL AND STIR UNTIL THEY ARE SEMI SOFT

ADD SALT AND 1 CUP OF MINCED CARROTS

THEN ADD 1/2 CUP MINCED CELERY AND 2 BAY LEAVES

STIR ALL INGREDIENTS AND STIR FREQUENTLY FOR A FEW MINUTES

AFTER A FEW MINUTES OF STIRRING, ADD 1/4 CUP OF WATER  AND LET IT STEAM FOR 5 MINUTES

ADD 2 CANS OF CRUSHED TOMATOES. CAN REMOVE THE SEEDS TO AVOID BITTERNESS

COOK ON LOW HEAT UNCOVERED.

IF REDUCING TOO FAST PLACE LID ON PAN AND LET IT STAY ON FOR A FEW MINUTES AND THEN REMOVE AGAIN AND STIR. LET SIMMER ON LOWEST HEAT. SERVE THIS SAUCE ON THE SIDE. DISH IS MEANT TO SERVE FAMILY STYLE WITH THE SAUCE IN A BIG SEPARATE BOWL WITH A LARGE SCOOP OF RICOTTA PLACED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SAUCE. SERVE THE MEATLOAF FAMILY STYLE AND PEOPLE CAN POUR THE SAUCE THEMSELVES OVER THE MEATLOAF

MINI PIZZAS

Click photo to enlarge
Click photo to enlarge

YOU WILL NEED:

Home made or a jarred sauce of your choosing
French, Italian or Puerto Rican Bread loaf
Mozzarella cheese shredded
Ricotta cheese (optional)
Bacon, pepperoni slices, cooked chopped meat
Small diced onions, mushrooms, green peppers, or whatever you like on your pizza already cooked
package of English muffins
Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Saute your meat, bacon, onions , mushrooms in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil till done.

2. Split English muffins in half and place on lightly oiled baking  sheet.

3. Place spoon full of sauce on tops of English muffins until coated.

4.  Add mozzarella cheese evenly on top of sauce. Add tiny bits of ricotta around the pizzas.

5. Add the remaining cooked  ingredients that you like on top of cheese.

Mini Pizza 2
Click photo to enlarge

 

Bake in oven that has been preheated to  325 degrees Fahrenheit for ten to fifteen minutes and enjoy.!

Have a blessed day!

TOMATO ROSE AND MOZZARELLA PLATE

image(6)

PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes

May do the night before but must store ingredients separately.

 

YOU WILL NEED:

1. FRESH BALLS OF MOZZARELLA  (balls are nice because they are same shape as tomatoes however, not essential. Square mozzarella will look nice too)

2. BASIL LEAVES

3. OLIVE OIL  or ITALIAN SALAD DRESSING (optional)

4. TOMATOES ( ones that will be turned into roses need to be firmer)

5. SHARP KNIFE OR PARING KNIFE

 

PREPARATION:

1.  Cut mozzarella into 1/8 inch slices and store covered in refrigerator.

2. Cut tomato slices 1/8 inch think and store covered in refrigerator.

3. Take some of basil leaves and roll on top of each other into tube shape and slice thinly across to turn into shreds as seen in photograph. RECOMMEND DOING THIS AT LAST MINUTE SO THEY LOOK FRESH.

4. Reserve two leaves of basil for each tomato rose.

5. Cut stem out of top of tomato.

6. Beginning at top of tomato start slicing just beneath the skin of tomato in a spiral pattern all around and down the entire length of tomato. when reaching the end you will need to make the last part of the spiral be a round part that will be the entire bottom of the tomato. This will serve as the base of the rose so that it can stand. NOTE : the sliced spiral will need to be supported as you go to avoid breakage. If it does break, no worries. You can piece together. But try not to let it break.

7.  With the bottom part  of the tomato first, start gently twirling spiral around and on top of it to form rose. Set gently on plate and place one fresh basil leave on each side.

8. If doing individual plates you will need more roses. If doing a platter make three roses and place in center of platter and spread alternating slices of tomato and mozzarella around the roses in a circle. Cut and sprinkle fresh basil across the top and drizzle with olive oil if desired.

 

VARIATION:

May thinly drizzle Italian salad dressing on top  of tomatoes and mozzarella in a single  motion.

Have a blessed day!