Sweet And Sour Turkey Or Ground Beef Meatballs

My son Danny asked me to make sweet and sour meatballs, so I looked at a few different recipes, and then came up with this.  Both my boys really loved the meatballs, but I still like the texture more of meatballs made with beef.  I’m planning to make them this year for the Jewish Holidays, but I think I’ll use organic chopped meat instead of the turkey.  The sauce was delicious! I served them with baked stuffed potatoes, but they’d go well with mashed potatoes too.

Ingredients:

for the meatballs:

  • two pounds ground beef, or ground turkey (I used Empire Kosher ground turkey)- (I’ll use 3 pounds of organic beef the next time I made them)
  • 2 large or extra large eggs (3 eggs for 3 lbs. of beef or turkey)
  • 1/3 cup ketchup (1/2 cup for 3 pounds of beef or turkey)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (1 1/2 teaspoons for 3 lbs.)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (1 1/2 teaspoons for 3 lbs.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (opt.) (I didn’t use when I used 3 lbs. of beef or turkey)
  • about 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs (or matzoh meal for Passover) (one cup for 3 lbs. of beef or turkey)
  • 4 oz. unsweetened apple sauce (I used this to give the turkey some moistness) (I used this same amount when I used 3 lbs. of beef)
  • 1/2  onion, grated (didn’t use for beef)

Mix all ingredients together gently.  Dampen your hands and make into meatballs about 1 1/2  in. in diameter.   Set aside while you make the sauce.

for the sauce:

  • one (14 oz.) can jellied cranberry sauce (2 cans for 3 pounds of beef or turkey)
  • one (12 oz.) jar chili sauce (2 jars for 3 pounds of beef or turkey)
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar about 2/3 cup for 3 pounds of beef or turkey)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons lemon juice (2 T. for 3 pounds of beef or turkey)
  • 1/2 small 3 oz. can tomato paste (the tomato paste cuts the sweetness and makes the sauce rich) (1 small can for 3 lbs. of beef or turkey)

In largish pot, put all above ingredients.  Stir over low flame until everything is dissolved.  Place meatballs in carefully.  Place over lowest flame, cover, and simmer for about 30-40 minutes without touching the meatballs.  When the meatballs are firm enough, stir very gently.  Cover and cook for about another hour, mixing gently every so often. 

You can serve immediately, refrigerate and heat up later, or freeze in freezer containers when it is cool enough. 

Read on

  1. Pour the whole jar of chili sauce into a 4 quart saucepan. Fill the chili sauce jar with water and add the water to the pan.
  2. Add the can of cranberry sauce and cook over medium-low heat until the cranberry sauce melts.

Directions for Making the Meatballs:

  1. While the sauce is cooking, mix the meat, egg, and onion together.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (bread crumbs through black pepper) to the meat mixture and combine well.
  3. After the cranberry sauce has melted, roll the meat mixture into walnut sized balls and gently drop into the sauce.
  4. Cover the pan and cook the meatballs on medium low for one hour.

This recipe makes around twenty-four meatballs. Serve them with plenty of challah to soak up the delicious sauce.

Sources

Read more at Suite101: Sweet and Sour Cranberry Meatballs http://recipes.suite101.com/article.cfm/sweet-and-sour-cranberry-meatballs#ixzz0wvMfRISf

Easy Glazed Teriyake Salmon

I recently made salmon that was so delicious and so easy to make. From beginning to end, this dish will take you less than 1/2 hour to make.  Remember to look for wild salmon as it is much healthier than farmed, as has less mercury in it.

For two people:

  • 2 5-6 oz. portions of salmon or one 10-12 oz. piece of salmon (wild is healthier than farmed)
  • honey- about 1 tablespoon
  • about 1/2-3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki teriyake sauce (has incredible stuff in it like pineapple juice, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, etc.)

Preheat oven to broiler setting-low.  Then, cover a baking sheet with foil.  Place salmon on sheet (if skin is still on, make sure you put the salmon on the sheet skin side down.)  In a small bowl, put about 6 oz of the teriyaki sauce and about 1 tablespoon of honey, mix till blended.  Spoon some sauce on both sides of salmon, but spoon some extra on the top.  Glaze is thin, so try to make sure some of it pools on top of the salmon.  Place under broiler.  You want the glaze to start bubbling and browning, because that’s what will make it tasty.  If it is getting too brown or burning, change oven setting to bake at 350 degrees.  But you can cook it the entire time on broil if it isn’t burning.  It will take about 10 or so minutes.  But check it after 10 minutes by cutting into a piece.  I don’t like my salmon rare, I like it cooked through, so depending on how you like your salmon cooked, it will either be done or need a few more minutes.  And that’s it.  Oh, I did get my salmon at BJ’s in a bag- it was frozen, individually vacuum sealed packets.  You can defrost them in a bowl of cold water or in the refrigerator.

Note:  You may want to baste the salmon halfway through cooking it, but if you don’t make sure to drizzle the glaze that’s on the foil evenly over each piece of fish.  The glaze is soooo good.

Greek Beans with Tomatoes, Celery, And Carrots

After my daughter Randi and her husband came back from their vacation in Greece,  I bacame inspired to find some Greek dishes to make for them.  I came up with this recipe, and Randi and Dan really like it.  It is healthy, tasty, and economical.

  • 1 lb. bag of dried cannelini beans (or fasolia gigantes or similar large dried white beans)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of extra virgin, regular, or light olive oil
  • 2-3 onions, about 11 oz, chopped (rough chop)
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped medium
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped medium
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspooon dried oregano or thyme, or mixture of both (I used fresh thyme leaves, about 1 tablespoon, and dried oregano)
  • 1 28 oz. canned plum tomatoes (do not use juice), rough chop
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste diluted in 8 oz. water
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp, but that made the end result a little hot)

1.  Place the beans in a large bowl, cover with plenty of cold water, then let soak overnight in the refrigerator.  The next day, drain the beans, then rinse them under cold water in a collander, and drain.
2.  Pour the beans into a large saucepan, pour plenty of cold water to cover, then bring to a boil.  Cover the pan, and cook the beans at a simmer until they are almost tender, about 50-60 minute.  Giantes will cook more quickly, so keep testing them after they have been cooking for 30 to 40 minutes.  The beans should be soft, but not disintegrating through overcooking.  If the beans are starting to break in half, they are totally cooked.
3.  While the beans are cooking, heat the olive oil a clean saute pan ( I didn’t use a nonstick pan for this), add the chopped onions, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste,  and saute until light golden.  Add the celery, carrots, garlic, herbs, and stir with a wooden spoon until the garlic becomes aromatic and the vegetables are softish.  Stir in the tomatoes, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.  (covering is not essential)  Pour in the diluted tomato paste with water, then return the cooked drained beans to the vegetable mixture, add the sugar the parsley, and any additional salt and pepper.  Mix gently.  Pour into a large 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake covered for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees and serve.
If you want the dish to have more sauce, bake it covered in the oven.  If you would like the liquid to evaporate more so that the surface of the beans and vegetables become a little candied, then bake it uncovered.  If you are baking the dish uncovered, check the beans once or twice during the 30 minutes, and add more hot water if the beans look dry.
Note:
You can make the vegetable mixture while the beans are soaking, and refigerate until after you cook the beans.
You can probably substitute cooked beans, but you may lose a little of the texture or the authentic taste of the dish.

Easiest Fried Flounder with Homemade Tartar Sauce

I have made this many times, and all my children love it, even though they don’t particularly like fish.  It is so easy to make, and relatively healthy.  The key is buying the freshest fish possible. 

  • 1 pound flounder fillet
  • plain bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 egg mixed with a teaspoon of water
  • oil for frying (I usually use light olive oil)
  • lemon slices for serving
  • tartar sauce (see recipe below)

Place some breadcrumbs on a dinner plate, and sprinkle some salt and pepper in and mix.  Dip fillets in egg and water mixture on both sides, then dredge in breadcrumbs on both sides.  Pat breadcrumbs on so they stick to the fish.  Place breaded fillets on a sheet of aluminum foil to set or refrigerate until you are ready to fry. 

Heat large saute pan under a medium high heat.  Then pour a few tablespoons of oil into pan:  the oil should be about 1/8 inch high.  Oil will heat up quickly, then add fillets.  When they are browned on the bottom, flip and brown on the other side.  Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of fish. 

Serve immediately with tartar sauce, coctail sauce, and lemon wedges.

homemade tartar sauce (you may increase quantities of ingredients if you need more):

  • 1  cup of good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (I use either fresh lemon juice or Minute Maid frozen lemon juice from concentrate- which you keep in the refrigerator).
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated onion
  • a few tablespoons of chopped finely Kosher dill pickles

Mix all ingredients and keep refrigerated till used.

Roasted Halibut Or Haddock With Roasted Tomatoes And Shallots

I made this dish for my daughter Randi and her husband Dan. They loved it. You can turn this into a no-salt recipe by eliminating the salt.

for the fish:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of halibut or haddock fillet
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • about 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves (if you have both fresh thyme and fresh oregano, use a combination of the two)
  • olive oil (I use light)

for the tomatoes and shallots:

  • 6-10 plum tomatoes, cut into chunks (each chunk should be about 1/2 the size of a cherry tomato)
  • 4-6 shallots, small dice
  • 3 – 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • about 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (May substitute about 1/4 teaspoon dry)
  • olive oil (extra virgin or light)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On half sheet pan, drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then place tomato chunks on pan along with chopped shallots. Sprinkle with minced garlic, thyme leaves or dried thyme, kosher salt, and some cracked black pepper. Toss to coat with the olive oil. Cook for about 45 min. to 1 hour or until tomatoes start to shrink and shallots are beginning to caramelize.

When your tomatoes are about 25 minutes into cooking, prepare your fish. Place the fillets on a sheet pan which you have covered with foil and drizzled with olive oil. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cutlets with the minced garlic and the thyme (or the thyme and oregano). Put in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until cooked through. Place fish on serving platter, and spoon roasted tomatoes on top. Serve.

Note: If you buy fresh oregano or fresh thyme, you can store it in a ziploc bag covered with a damp paper towel, and it will keep for a few weeks.

Note: It is important to use a fish that is thick enough to withstand the roasting. If you use a thinner fish, such as flounder, then be careful to roast it for only 5-7 minutes.

Pan Roasted Fish With Carmelized Grape Tomatoes and Onions

My cousin Debbie e-mailed me a recipe for fish that her husband Philip made for her a few days ago that sounded really delicious to me.  I made it last night for my son Danny and me.  It was as good as Debbie said it would be.  When Danny ate it, he said it looked and tasted as good as food from a fancy restaurant in New York City!  The great thing was that because I bought the fish on sale, the whole dish cost less than $10.00, and if we ate this out in a nice restaurant in New York City, it would have cost about $27.00 per person, or $54.00 for the two of us!  I made 1 pound of fish, which really was too much for only two people, but of course we ate it all, because it was just so delicious!

  • 1 pound of fish fillet (I used pollack which is similar to cod, but Philip used mahi mahi, so I recommend any mild fish that is a little thicker than flounder)
  • 1 box of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 medium onion, cut into a small to medium dice
  • about 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped 
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil (I used light olive oil, but you could use extra virgin)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
  • fresh lemon slices for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a cast iron or other oven proof skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium flame.  Put the diced onions in, and sprinkle with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook for a minute or two, and then add all the tomatoes and the garlic.  Continue to cook over a medium flame.  Mix every so often.  Cook for about 10 minutes or so, just until the onions and tomatoes start to get a little carmelized.  When that happens, transfer the vegetable mixture to a bowl and set aside (You may mix in the chopped parsley at this point if you happen to have it). 

In the same skillet,  add about 1 tablespoon of oil, and put the heat on medium.  Sprinkle the fish on one side with kosher salt and about 10 grinds of black pepper.  Put the fish in the skillet seasoned side down.  Then season the tops of the fish with some more grinds of pepper.  Cook no more than 1 minute on each side.  The fish cooks really fast, especially in a cast iron skillet.  Then spoon the tomatoes, onions, and garlic over the fish, and place the skillet in the preheated oven to finish the cooking.  The cooking time at this point will depend on the thickness of the fish.  I kept the fish in the oven for about 5 minutes.  Bring to the table and serve right from the cast iron skillet.

Note:  You could substitute shallots or red onion for the onion, and you could add a few fresh sliced mushrooms too, when you saute the vegetables.  You could also eliminate the salt, and just use the pepper.

My Favorite Spaghetti With Marinara Sauce

This Recipe For Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce Is Light And Healthy!

For years, whenever I made spaghetti, I made my recipe for spaghetti with meat sauce. But when my daughter Randi was in fourth grade, she started to not like eating meat in general. I realized that I needed to master the art of cooking a really good marinara sauce. It did take quite a bit of experimenting before I hit on really good recipe that my kids really liked. I love the fact that this recipe makes about 4 quarts, because then I can freeze 3 quarts and always have some homemade sauce on hand in the freezer. I use this sauce for my baked ziti, my homemade pizza, for eggplant parmesan, and of course for any type of pasta over marinara sauce. You will be happy and your family will be very happy when you make this, I promise!

for the marinara sauce:

This recipe makes about 4-5 quarts of sauce, so if you wish to make less, just halve each ingredient.

  • 3, 4, or 5 28 ounce cans of peeled plum tomatoes in thick puree or tomato juice (I prefer the puree because it makes the sauce a little thicker) – or you may substutute can of good crushed tomatoes (Sclafani is best)
  • 1- 8 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 very large or 2 medium onions
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin, pure, or light olive oil (I use the light)
  • kosher salt
  • crushed red pepper
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • scant teaspoon granulated sugar- optional
  • herbes de provence- just a sprinkling or about 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for serving

Peel and quarter the onions. Put them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse the onions until they are almost pureed; they will have the consistency of apple sauce (this adds body and flavor to the sauce without the pieces of onions that many children find objectionable). Then peel the garlic cloves, and crush them using a garlic press. Set the garlic aside. Put about 1/4 cup of olive oil in the bottom of a pretty big and heavy pot over a low to medium flame. Put about 1/2 teaspoon of crushed pepper in the oil. (I’ve been using my Le Creuset dutch oven lately, but for years, I made this sauce in my big Farberware pot, and it came out just as good.) After a minute or so, dump the onions in, and saute them until they are really translucent and soft. Then add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Rinse out the bowl and blade of the food processor, and then put all the whole tomatoes in, reserving all the puree or juice. Pulse the tomatoes, until they are quite, but not totally smooth. You want the tomatoes to still have just a little bit of texture to them, but they should not be in large chunks. Dump the tomatoes into the onion and garlic mixture, and add all of the puree from the cans. Then, add the one can of tomato paste.

Add kosher salt to taste, about 2 teaspoons, and some freshly ground pepper, about 8 grinds, put the top on, and simmer over a low to medium flame for about 30-45 minutes. Then, taste the sauce. At this point, I usually add a little less than a teaspoon of sugar, and about 1/4 teaspoon of herbes de provence. If you can’t find herbes de provence, you can substitute an Italian seasoning blend. You may also need to add more salt, and a little more crushed red pepper – if you like your sauce to have a little more heat. Simmer it (cover on) for another 45 min. or an hour over a low flame so that all the flavors can meld with the tomatoes.

to put the whole thing together:

  • 1 pound of spaghetti or your favorite pasta
  • 3/4 quart, about 28 ounces of marinara sauce
  • freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese

Bring 1 large pot of water to a boil. Place pasta in water. Stir around to separate the noodles. Cook according to package directions to your liking. Drain in collander. Then place the pasta back in the pot you cooked it in. (For 1 pound of pasta, add about 3/4 cup of already heated sauce. For 1 1/2 pounds of pasta, you will need 1 quart of sauce.) Then over a low heat, just stir the sauce gently so it coats the pasta. Serve with freshly grated romano or parmesan cheese on the side.

Note: For pasta, I love the brand DeCeco because the pasta really stays al dente even if you cook it a little longer.

Grandma Bernice’s Famous Passover or Anytime Oven-Fried Fish

Try This Delicious Recipe For Oven-Fried Fish! 

This recipe was my mother in law, Bernice Kahn’s original recipe.  Bernice was an excellent cook, and this recipe for her oven fried fish was one of her specialties and a huge family favorite.  When I came into the family and everyone found out how much I liked to cook and eat really good food, they told me about Bernice’s wonderful oven fried fish.  After I got married, I started to make it and it was as delicious as everyone claimed!  My mother, father, and ex-husband Joe really loved it when I made this dish.  This fish is so easy to make, and it is delicious!

  • 1 1/2 pounds thicker mild fish fillets such as scrod or halibut
  • 1 to 1 1/2  sticks of melted margarine or butter (I use Fleischmann’s margarine)
  • 1 jumbo or 2 small eggs mixed with 1 teaspoon of water and a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • matzoh meal (which you pour onto a plate and then mix with some kosher salt and pepper)
  • fresh lemon slices, tartar sauce, and coctail sauce for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover a half sheet pan with heavy duty aluminum foil.  Melt 1 1/2 sticks of margarine right in the oven on the sheet pan for 5 minutes or so.  Pour the melted margarine into a shallow bowl.   Dip the fish fillets first in seasoned egg mixture on both sides.  Then place on plate with matzoh meal which you have already seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Turn the fish fillets to make sure they are coated with the matzoh meal on both sides.  Then take the coated fish fillets and dip them on both sides into the  melted margarine, making sure that all surface areas of the fish are coated.  Then place on prepared baking pan.  Cook for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Then change the setting on the oven to broil.  Broil fish (not too close to the flame) for another 10 minutes.  Serve with fresh lemon wedges, tartar sauce, or coctail sauce.

Note:  Thinner fish fillets such as flounder or sole do not work out well for this dish because of the longer cooking time involved.

Four Ingredient Broiled Flounder (With No Salt)

Delicious, Broiled Flounder In 30 Minutes!

When I was growing up, this was one of my mother’s standard dinners.  It was healthy and delicious, and I loved it.  Even though I have some really good recipes for making flounder, this old standby is still my favorite recipe for flounder.  My kids like it too which is great, because it is really healthy.  This flounder has plenty of good flavor, without using any salt!  You can serve this with a baked potato, spinach, and a salad.  Another great side that goes with this is homemade macaroni and cheese casserole, or in a pinch, some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. 

Four 2 people:

  • 1 pound fresh flounder fillets
  • about 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • paprika
  • juice of 1 lemon or 1-2 tablespoons Minute Maid pure lemon juice from concentrate

For 4 people:   use 2 pounds of flounder fillets, 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine, lemon juice, and paprika.

Preheat your oven to broil, and place oven rack about 4-6 inches from the heating element or the flame.  Cover a half sheet pan with aluminum foil, or use a disposable aluminum pan.  Place flounder fillets on foil.  Sprinkle a little fresh lemon juice over the flounder fillets.  Then sprinkle the flounder with paprika; don’t be skimpy with the paprika!  Dot the flounder fillets with butter or margarine.  Broil for about 7-10 minutes until browned and cooked through.  Cooking time will depend upon the thickness of the flounder.

Serve with additional wedges of fresh lemon, some tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.

Warning:  Anytime you broil, be sure to keep an eye on the food to make sure nothing catches on fire.

paprika

Easiest and Tasty Salmon With No-Salt

Stay Young And Healthy By Eating Salmon!

I wanted to come up with another quick and healthy recipe for salmon. I am always looking for very tasty ways to make salmon, because I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet, but most my recipes are slightly on the high calorie side. I need to throw in an occasional healthy dinner, don’t I? When I think of healthy eating, I think of my Aunt Sally and my Uncle Nat.  They are in their mid 80’s. If you saw them, you would NEVER believe that. I am not kidding, both of them look and act no older than 65 years old. Just to give you one example of their youthfulness, My Aunt Sally still regularly goes skiing with her grandchildren up in Vermont.  My Uncle Nat doesn’t ski anymore, but he does a pretty good job of trying to keep up with my aunt.  He works out on his gym equipment every day, and I think he still plays some tennis.   I have asked my uncle many times about the secret to their good health and youthful appearance.  My uncle has told me flat out, “It’s our diet.”  And they have maintained a really healthy diet for probably the last 40 years.   One of the main components of their diet is salmon. My aunt cooks salmon for dinner probably 3 times a week. So, I have this little voice in the back of my head that is always saying, “You should be eating more like your Aunt Sally and Uncle Nat. You should be eating salmon 3 times a week like they do.” Unfortunately, I usually don’t pay enough attention to that little voice. But, I did make salmon two nights ago for my son Danny and myself. Danny really likes this recipe. What makes this recipe for salmon even healthier is that there is no salt in it at all. Yet, it is still very tasty. It takes less than five minutes to get this dish ready to cook and about 10 minutes to cook it. So between prep time and cooking time, you will be ready to eat in less than 20 minutes. Enjoy!

For 2 people:

  • 1 pound of salmon filet
  • good chile powder, such as McKormick or Master Choice
  • light olive oil

Spread a little oil over the top and bottom surfaces of the salmon fillet using your hands or a spoon.  Then sprinkle both sides of the salmon pretty heavily with good chile powder. Heat up a cast iron skillet or a nonstick pan for about 3-5 minutes.  Then place the salmon in the pan.  Let it sit (medium to high flame) and cook without you touching it.  After about 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon, it should be quite browned on the bottom.  Flip the salmon, and cook it on the other side another 2-3 minutes.  You’re done! 

Alternate method of cooking:

Preheat oven using the broil setting.  Place oven rack about 6 inches from heating element.  Cover an aluminum baking dish with aluminum foil (or use a disposable aluminum baking sheet).  Prepare the salmon the same as described above.   Broil for about 3 minutes till browned on top.  Take out and turn salmon.  Broil for another 3-4 minutes until really browned on top.  Serve.

Note:  Double the ingredients to serve 4-5 people.