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Falafels with Tzatziki

Falafel

Sometimes I get a hankering for falafels and although it’s sometimes easier to go to my local Mediterranean restaurant and pick them up, they are honestly so much better homemade.  Unlike a lot of take-out places, these falafels are crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside with a lot of flavor to carry them on their own without being dried out.  The tzatziki adds a creaminess to bring the whole thing together for a fresh and quick dinner.

If you have a food processor or blender these come together in a snap.  The main ingredient is garbanzo beans so they are very inexpensive to make, and I think are good reheated.  It makes for a much more interesting lunch than a peanut butter sandwich.

Servings: 8
Active Time: 45 minutes
Inactive Time: 4 hours

Ingredients for Tzatziki:

  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded (use other half of cucumber as garnish for falafel)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Ingredients for Falafels:

  • 2 (15 oz) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour + more for coating falafel
  • 2 tsp. cumin, fresh ground
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • Oil for frying (peanut, canola, corn)
  • 4 warm pita breads, cut in half
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Hot Sauce
Directions for Tzatziki:
  1. Grate cucumber and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt.  Transfer to a fine sieve set over a bowl to catch liquid.  Allow to drain for 2 hours.
  2. Transfer strained cucumber to a bowl.  Stir in Greek yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt.
  3. Refrigerate for 2 hours before using to allow flavors to meld.  Can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Directions for Falafels:

  1. In a food processor, combine garbanzo beans, 3 Tbsp. flour, cumin, minced garlic cloves, and 1/2 tsp. cayenne in processor until combined. Add 3/4 cup onion, egg, and pulse until ingredients are finely chopped.
  2. Transfer to a bowl.  Roll mixture into 1 inch balls, then roll in a bowl of flour.
  3. Pour oil into a heavy skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Once oil is hot add four falafels at a time making sure to not overcrowd.  Turn after about 2 minutes to brown on all sides.
  4. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Serve falafels in pitas with tzatziki, diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, and hot sauce.

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4 Comments

Posted by on October 12, 2013 in Beans, Entrees, Made from Scratch, Uncategorized

 

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Pancetta Carbonara

Pancetta Carbonara
Yield: 2 Servings     Prep Time: 15 minutes     Active Time: 10 minutes

If you’ve never had a classic Roman carbonara before, be ready for a new obsession.  The pasta used is typically spaghetti or bucatini, but I had some ziti I had to use up so that’s what is pictured above.  The egg yolks in the recipe act as a thickener instead of a flour-based roux making the sauce silky and rich without being heavy.

This is one of those dishes that is quick and easy enough to be a weeknight meal, but it’s also elegant enough to serve for guests.  I love the versatility of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices pancetta, chopped
  • 6 ounces pasta (bucatini, spaghetti, fettuccine)
  • 1 cup half-n-half
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. green onions, chopped

Directions:

  1. Fry pancetta in heavy skillet over medium heat until browned.  Transfer to paper towel.  Set aside.
  2. Whisk together half-n-half, egg yolks, and parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook according to package instructions until al dente.  Strain pasta in colander, reserving 1/4 cup of boiling water.
  4. Immediately toss hot pasta with egg yolk mixture until cheese is melted and mixture coats pasta.  Add bacon to pasta and thin with reserved boiling water if necessary.
  5. Garnish pasta with chopped green onions and freshly ground black pepper.

Pancetta Carbonara (2)

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 31, 2013 in Entrees, Uncategorized

 

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BBQ Frito Pie

BBQ Frito Pie

Today my job consists of creating recipes that include my KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Beans.  I originally created these beans as a side dish so I’ve had to be a bit creative to fit them into a center-plate meal.  The goal is to get these into a circular for Walmart so the recipes need to have simple ingredients, be cost-friendly, and easy for the home cook to prepare on a weeknight.  My first idea is a BBQ version of Frito pie.  I’m very impressed with how well this turned out and will be adding this recipe to our weeknight repertoire.  It took me 30 minutes from start to first bite so that’s always a plus for me on a busy weeknight.  It has a sweet BBQ flavor that is kid-friendly plus, hey, you can even sneak a few beans into the mix.  The Frito topping gives this casserole a really nice salty crunch that rounds out the sweetness.  I hope you enjoy!

Yield: 6 Servings         Prep Time: 15 minutes         Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (16oz) can KC Masterpiece BBQ Beans
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 2 cups Fritos corn chips, crushed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Brown ground beef with onions in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Drain fat and return to skillet.
  3. Stir in KC Masterpiece beans, brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and mustard over low heat until ingredients are combined.
  4. Add beef/bean mixture to a casserole dish.  Top with crushed Frito chips and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.
 
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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Beans, Entrees, Uncategorized

 

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Beef Noodle Soup (Freezer-Friendly)

Beef Noodle Soup #1

It’s 1 degree today in MN, but with the windchill it feels like -18F.  Brr!!!!!  When the weather is this frigid, I can’t help but think of my mom.  I remember getting off the bus in grade school on a day like this.  I would run as fast as I could into the house to get out of the cold while being careful enough not to biff it on the icy driveway.  As soon as I got inside I could smell the soup.  It was so warm and inviting just like my mom!  She would snuggle me up in a big blanket and feed me this soup with buttered saltine crackers.  It’s not fancy, but it’s comfort and it reminds me of home.  Stay warm people, eat your soup, and call your mother!

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless beef roast or stew meat, cut in bite-size cubes
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/4 cups homemade chicken stock or store-bought reduced-sodium broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (16oz) package baby carrots
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Season cubed beef with salt and pepper.  Add beef to pot and brown on all sides.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add onions cooking for about 5 minutes until they are softened but not burned.
  3. Add flour to beef/onion mixture and stir to coat for about a minute.
  4. Slowly add chicken stock and water.  Scrape up any browned bits from the pan and stir until slightly thickened and raw flour taste is gone.
  5. Add carrots and potatoes.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool in an uncovered shallow container.  Once cooled, transfer to freezer-proof container.
  7. Remove from freezer the night before cooking.  Place mixture in slow cooker and heat on low for 6-8 hours.  One hour before serving add egg noodles and parsley.

Note: Soup will keep frozen for 2 months.

Beef Noodle Soup Label

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Crockpot, Entrees, Soup

 

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Chicken and Dumplings (Freezer-Friendly)

1

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
Chicken Base:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups homemade chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups chicken, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Dumplings:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


Directions:

Chicken Base:

  1. In a heavy pot, melt 3 Tbsp. butter over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, celery, carrots, and leek.  Cook 3-5 minutes until onions sweat.
  3. Add 1/4 cup flour and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in chicken until cooked thoroughly, ~5 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
* Chicken base can be frozen for 3 months.


Dumplings:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and parsley.
  2. Cut in butter.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Make 6 equal dumplings.

* Dumplings will keep frozen (uncooked) for 3 months.

DSCN2170 1. Wrap dumplings in wax paper.

DSCN21742.  Next wrap in tin foil.

DSCN21763.  Last place wrapped dumplings in a freezer bag.


To Serve:

  1. Heat the chicken broth mixture slowly on low heat until unfrozen, stir frequently.
  2. Increase heat to medium.  Add dumplings, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes until dumplings are puffed and cooked thoroughly.

Chicken and Dumplings Label

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Entrees, Soup, Uncategorized

 

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Crockpot Pot Roast

Crockpot Pot Roast

8 Servings

Crockpot Pot Roast

Ingredients:

  • 3 pound boneless beef chuck roast
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 (16oz) bag baby carrots
  • 10 medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (14.5oz) can beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Dust roast with 1 Tbsp. flour and liberally season with salt and pepper.
  2. Sear roast over medium-high heat until a brown crust forms on all sides.
  3. Place vegetables in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Add bay leaf.
  4. Place roast on top of vegetables.
  5. Pour beef broth and red wine over roast and veggies.
  6. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours.
  7. Transfer meat and veggies from Crockpot to a serving plate.
  8. Melt butter and 2 Tbsp. flour stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
  9. Slowly whisk in 2 cups drippings from Crockpot and simmer until thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

Crockpot Pot Roast Label

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 26, 2013 in Crockpot, Entrees, Uncategorized

 

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Swedish Meatballs (Freezer-Friendly)

Swedish Meatballs

I’m on week 2 of freezer-friendly meals and so far I am loving it!  I grocery shop on Saturday, cook on Sunday, and do next to nothing the rest of the week.  During the week, it’s just a matter of heating and assembling.  How did I not think of this before?

Since I married into a Swedish family, I thought I should polish up on my Swedish meatball-making skills.  Since it’s just the two of us, I made the entire recipe below, but portioned the meatballs and gravy in half so we actually were able to make two meals out of one recipe.  Yet another bonus to making this meal ahead of time!

Makes 30-35 small meatballs (6 Servings)

Ingredients:
Meatballs:

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. evaporated milk
  • 2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley

Gravy:

  • 2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-n-half

Directions:
Meatballs:

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until soft, ~3-5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs and evaporated milk, stir.  Add ground beef, onion, egg, salt black pepper and parsley.  Mix just to combine making sure to not overwork the meat.
  3. Roll meatballs and brown on all sides in skillet over medium-high heat.

* Meatballs will keep frozen for 6 months.

Gravy:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes.  Slowly whisk in beef broth until combined.  Add onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, salt, black pepper, and fresh parsley.
  2. Heat until boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer until thickened.

* Gravy will keep frozen for 2 months.


To Serve:

  1. Simmer meatballs and gravy in a skillet over medium heat until both are heated thoroughly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to low, add 1/2 cup cream and mix to combine.


 Ground Beef & Heavy Cream                                                Ground Turkey & Half-n-Half

Swedish Meatballs Label                                               Swedish Meatballs Label-Turkey Sub

 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 26, 2013 in Entrees, Uncategorized

 

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