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Tonight I was cooking for a vegetarian friend, so we had veggie sandwiches. I grilled red and green bell peppers and onions, and tossed them in balsamic vinegar, grey salt, and cracked black pepper, and roasted plum tomatoes and garlic cloves. I made a spread of sundried tomatoes, fresh choped basil, fresh grated parmesan, and a bit of mayo. I grilled ciabatta, and then put the spread on one side, and stacked the veggies on the other. I topped it with fresh mozzarella, and served them with a salad of leaf lettuce, watercress, cucumber, and oranges with a red wine vinaigrette. For dessert, we had grilled white peaches with a caramel sauce I made from scratch.
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Originally posted by jennj007:
Tonight I was cooking for a vegetarian friend, so we had veggie sandwiches. I grilled red and green bell peppers and onions, and tossed them in balsamic vinegar, grey salt, and cracked black pepper, and roasted plum tomatoes and garlic cloves. I made a spread of sundried tomatoes, fresh choped basil, fresh grated parmesan, and a bit of mayo. I grilled ciabatta, and then put the spread on one side, and stacked the veggies on the other. I topped it with fresh mozzarella, and served them with a salad of leaf lettuce, watercress, cucumber, and oranges with a red wine vinaigrette. For dessert, we had grilled white peaches with a caramel sauce I made from scratch.
You have a very lucky friend
HUGE salad with iceberg, romaine, carrots, celery, red peppers, jersey tomatoes, cucumbers, green olives, crumbled bleu cheese, bacon bits and croutons. We had this w/ homemade guacamole and corn tortilla rounds.

Nick, You're right about the eggplant. I didn't have any of my sauce left, so we just used Barilla... and it wasn't that good. If we have to use a jar sauce, we prefer Classico.
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I didn't have any of my sauce left, so we just used Barilla... and it wasn't that good. If we have to use a jar sauce, we prefer Classico.


Say it ain't so! Big Grin

Tip on a Very good can of crushed tomatoes - next time you make a sauce: Look for "Pastene".
They are not shelved everywhere, but it is the freshest and most naturally sweet tomato base you can use. In a rush, no problem: Olive oil, garlic press (if your in a hurry and don't want to cut them) a few cloves - hell, even garlic powder if your desperate!, pour the can, simmer 20 minutes and it will be better than any jar sauce you can buy.

Obviously this is better with the meat, basil etc. But the tomatoes are so good, it works for a quickie. But I know there are decent prepared tomato sauces out there, but I just find them too sweet and other things.
Yeah, we usually use Rienze Peeled Tomatoes in a thick puree.

I dice each tomato, and throw out the water that comes from the tomato. Next I simmer some garlic in EVOO until fragrant, toss the tomatoes and some of the puree into the pot and bring to a simmer. After about 20 mins, I taste w/ salt and pepper and add fresh, chopped basil. Cook for a few more mins and that's it.

I haven't tried making any "long simmer" meat sauces that take hours to cook. But I suppose I should try sometime soon. Have any good recipes?

I'll look for Pastene and try it next time.
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I haven't tried making any "long simmer" meat sauces that take hours to cook. But I suppose I should try sometime soon.


Well, I dont "long simmer", I long "sit", meaning a good sauce is wonderful cooked for an hour or so early in the day and then turn it completely off and let it sit for 4 or 5 hours.

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Have any good recipes?



Well, there are obviously hundreds of variables that people do. Like I said I normally cook it around noon, for eating around 4 or 5 hours later. Trust me on that part. It really comes together. The family sauce - as I do it goes as follows:

I don't do measurements (as we say in the old country Big Grin), so approx.

Extra virgin olive oil in the main sauce pot. I do not use "grilling or light oil" because I find the sauce or the garlic/onion tends to stick on the bottom and you can burn it, if not real careful with stirring - and I hate to babysit the stove. The EVOO really coats it, and it does taste better of course.

Chopped 1/3 or 1/2 an onion first, then mix in garlic (I use a lot). If you like more onion flavor, then use more and less garlic. I love garlic! and only use a little onion.

Pour good can of crushed tomatoes (not all canned tomatoes taste the same) There is a difference. Pay the extra 50 cents a can for good tomatoes. Like I said, I use Pastene. Usually 2 cans. I do not strain, it all goes in. I add maybe 1/2 can of water.

Salt, Pepper, 1/2 cup of dry red wine. cook on Med.

While that is going, I prepare the meatballs: pound and 1/2 of good chopped meat, chopped garlic, fresh parsley, 2 eggs, bread crumbs, a little salt. You can add to this, but I don't like "Busy meatballs"

Fry the meatballs in wide deep pan. Light coating of EVOO, so the meatballs don't stick. Very light heat (low/low-med). I'm not cooking them - they will be too hard if you cook too long, I just want some browning and to keep the MB's tight.

I drop the MB's in sauce.

I then use 6 or 7 good pork spare ribs. Anything pork and on the bone works! It's just for flavor. I basically sear them and drop them in sauce.

Sauce with the meat will cook low/low-med for an hour or so. I then turn it off completely.

My little trick comes an hour later. I cut up 2 vine or a few plum tomatoes in quarters and drop them in the sauce. I love a slab of fresh tomato with my macs. This creates an amazing puree built into the sauce too. I then cut up some fresh basil. Basil loses a lot if you use it too soon and it cooks out too long, so I drop it in towards the end while it is just sitting.

30 minutes before we are ready to eat - I turn the sauce back on. The "sit time" is the key.

"Season more to taste - if you want"

Whew! - Now I'm hungry. Maybe this should have been a separate topic. Smile

Enjoy!
Last edited by hunter
Big Grin

Sounds good. I"m hungry and I just ate lunch!!! Eek

You mention you use some water. This doesn't make the sauce too thin? Like I said, I use the whole peeled tomatoes in thick puree (but the puree isn't too thick). That's why when I dice the tomatoes, I get rid of their water. So, bascially it is the chopped tomato and some puree. It's a perfect density (not like the extra thick and heavy "Americanized Italian Sauces".

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Fry the meatballs in wide deep pan.

That's the key. Terra's Mom makes the best meatballs I've ever tasted and she does it this way. So many people just "plop" them in the sauce, but frying adds so much flavor!!!

I know what I'm making on Sunday!!! Smile

By the way, what do you do w/ the pork? Eat it, or leave it in the sauce?
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It's a perfect density (not like the extra thick and heavy "Americanized Italian Sauces".

Sounds good.

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You mention you use some water. This doesn't make the sauce too thin?


I only add water to a sauce with meat. I don't use much, maybe 1/3rd of a can now that I think about it (this for 2 cans of sauce). No, it does not thin it, that's what the "sitting" does - it settles it and the fresh tomato I add, acts as a mini puree in itself. The meat soaks up a lot and thickens the sauce too. I don't add water when making a marinara. This is actually pretty thick.

I usually eat a few ribs. If we make this kind of sauce on Sunday, it leaves enough for another meal during the week, with a different pasta. Never pour a well made sauce over leftover pasta - at least I don't.

I never reheat pasta days later - it's rubber to me. Takes 99 cents and 10 minutes to boil a fresh pound a few days later. I only use the amount of sauce needed for THAT nights dinner. I Put the sauce away - dump the old macs and enjoy a fresh dinner (different pasta) a few night later with the maximum amount of sauce you saved. Hopefully you got a couple of extra meatballs saved - and away you go. Two fresh dinners! - and a big belly! Big Grin
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Then what does this mean then?

I usually eat a few ribs. If we make this kind of sauce on Sunday, it leaves enough for another meal during the week, with a different pasta. Never pour a well made sauce over leftover pasta - at least I don't.


I was asked if I ate the ribs or just use them in the sauce. I use them in the sauce (as they are) and then eat a few with the pasta.
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Originally posted by grunhauser:
Really? Confused It works for me. What about others? Anyone else can't see the pic?


FYI, page provides this message:
Unhandled error 0x00000000 in _davGetPhotoAlbumPath, QueryAlbum:

Fortunately, I've seen a fish, a potato, and a kernel of corn in the past, so I can pretty well visualize what the dish must look like. Smile
I made 4 grilled pizzas for friends:

Fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes (which had been marinating in EVOO, balsamic, fresh garlic, salt and pepper)

Southwestern, which had a mix of corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and pepper jack cheese

Greek, with feta, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and oregano

Sausage, peppers, and onions, with fresh grated parmesan

All turned out very well, although the greek was a bit salty for me.

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