Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Flour free Chocolate Cake

I'm making this to share because we have a few things to celebrate!

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, 4 oz bitter chocolate (or all 12 oz semi-sweet)
8 oz butter
1 cup sugar
6 eggs

Melt chocolate and butter. Let cool for 15 minutes. Add sugar and stir well.  Add eggs, but be sure not to beat the eggs.
Pour batter into 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper on bottom and coated with non-stick spray or butter.
Place cake pan into larger pan.  Fill the larger pan with water 1/2 way up the cake pan.
Cover and bake at 350 F for 1 hour.  Cake will be very puffy when done. Let cool 1 hour and then refrigerate.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lentil Soup

This is my vegetarian dish for the month. I hope it's delicious because you are all my guinea pigs.  


1 1/4 cups brown-green lentils, preferably the small variety  
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil  
1 onion, chopped 

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots  

14 oz can chopped tomatoes  
1 Tbsp tomato paste  
1/2 tsp dried oregano  
4 cups hot water  
salt and ground black pepper


Rinse the lentils and put them in a large pan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil for 3-4 minutes. Strain and set aside.  

In a large pot, heat the olive oil, add the onion and saute until translucent. Add in the garlic and as soon as it becomes aromatic, add the lentils. Stir the lentils well to coat in the oil. Add carrots, tomatoes, tomato paste and oregano. Stir in the hot water.  

Bring to a boil, turn to low, cover the pan and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils feel soft but have not begun to disintegrate. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Spaghetti Casserole

Freezing pasta and making it come back to life is not the easiest thing to pull off. We've had some attempts with the Make Ahead Mamas group I host, and it has been hit or miss. With the addition of a lot of flavor and binder to the pasta in this recipe, though, it works very nicely. I made my casserole with rice linguine, everyone else's with whole wheat spaghetti noodles. I thought it was delicious; unfortunately the husband doesn't like pasta, so we end up cutting it into smaller sizes and freezing it for use at lunch. I started with a recipe from southernfood.about.com and tailored it to my preferences.

Spaghetti Casserole
 (also called spaghetti pie, but this, by no stretch of the imagination, forms a real "crust")

Mix together in a large bowl and then line a casserole dish like a crust with:
1 package spaghetti noodles (12-16 oz), cooked according to package and drained
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Meanwhile, brown:
1 pound ground beef, or half ground beef-half Italian sausage. For the recent Make Ahead Mamas meeting I actually slow cooked beef short ribs in a tomato broth then pulled the meat and excess fat off the bones, shredded it and added the sauce and veggies to it and let it slow cook in the roaster oven overnight. For everyday use, I use ground beef. You ladies just got lucky ;)

Add to your ground beef and saute until softened:
1 small onion, chopped
4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 c greens (I used frozen collards), chopped

1 quart, more or less-use your better judgment-spaghetti sauce to the meat filling, then top your noodles with that.

Top the casserole with more:
Parmesan cheese and shredded cheese to cover. I like using blends, or you can use just Mozzarella. Havarti melts very nicely with a mild flavor, Cheddar has a wonderful flavor. I think I used a blend of all four cheeses mentioned the last time we had it.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the top is nice and browned and bubbly. I baked for the freezer just until the top was thoroughly melted but not browned, then let it cool and covered the pan with foil and put in the freezer. To reheat, let thaw in the fridge then bake at 350 until it browns and is bubbly with melted cheese again.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I made these a couple of months ago. I added cooked, ground ham in addition to the beef. I prefer all beef meatballs.

Sweet and Sour sauce:
1 C sugar (I know that's a lot. You could probably do 3/4 C or maybe even 1/2 C if you add more honey)
2 Tbsp honey
2/3 C vinegar
1 1/3 C water
1/2 C soy sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup (could use tomato paste too)
2 Tbsp cornstarch (I usually add 1 Tbsp because I mix my sauce with rice. If I were making these for cocktail type meatballs, I would add 2 Tbsp)

2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
crackers or breadcrumbs, maybe 2 C or so
1 chopped onion

I was using a pan I had just made bacon in, to both take advantage of the bacon flavor and because I (Abby) was too lazy to wash it first :)
Combine and bake at 400 in the oven for 20 min. Add to sauce and cook on low in crockpot until the smell is so good you have to eat them or about 6 hours.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Indian Hand Pies with Lamb (and beef)

3 lb lamb stew meat
2 lb beef stew meat
3 Tbsp ground cumin
3 tsp turmeric
3 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 chopped onions
6 Tbsp chopped parsley
4 Tbsp chopped cilantro
3 tsp ground ginger
3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 C peas
salt to taste
1 1/2 peeled and chopped granny smith apples

Brown meat and de-glaze the pan. Pour into oven proof pot. Add spices, herbs, onions, garlic and enough water to cover. Bake at 350 for two to three hours or until the meat is tender and the smell makes you  hungry. Add the potatoes and apples and cook on the stove top on low until they are tender. Add the peas. At this point you can do one or two things: make naan and eat as a stew or make dough for the hand pies. It's win-win.

6 C flour
18 Tbsp cold water
2 C lard (I usually use half butter, but there is a dairy allergy in the group)

Roll out a scoopful of dough, spoon on some of the meat mixture and seal the edges with a fork. Bake for 20-25 min or until golden. If you are feeling especially fancy, you can brush on an egg white and water mixture so the tops look glossy. Eat or freeze for later.