Saturday, January 20, 2024

A Saturday In January

Today it was 12 degrees outside. Our kitchen was toasty warm.

What was going on?

Mom's Meat Sauce.

Escarole, Sausage and Bean Soup

Beef and Onion Studel

Italian Bread

Mom's Meat Sauce: A Time-Tested Tradition

The day began with a simmering pot of Mom's Meat Sauce—a cherished recipe.

My Mom’s Meat Sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. sweet sausage
4- 16 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
3 to 4 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. parsley
1 tbsp. basil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add ground meat

Brown and then stir.

Add chopped onions and saute for 5 minutes. 

Add all the meat. 

Cook over medium heat until browned. 

Drain off fat from the pan.

Add tomatoes and simmer covered for 1 to 2 hours. 

Add tomato paste to thicken, adding 1 tbsp. at a time as needed. 

Add herbs, salt, and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Let cool completely. 

Remove any grease from the top of the sauce. 

Freeze extra sauce in containers or zip-lock bags.

Escarole, Sausage, and Bean Soup: A Bowl of Comfort

With the scent of simmering sauce setting the tone, it was time to jump into the Escarole, Sausage, and Bean Soup. The vibrant green of escarole mingled with the robust flavors of sausage and beans, promising a bowl of warmth that would chase away the winter chill.

Escarole, Sausage and Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
2 small onions, cut into wedges
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 19-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 small head escarole, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Cook the sausage, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Add onions to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes.
Add the wine and broth and bring to a boil. Add the beans, escarole, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the escarole wilts, 3 minutes.
Spoon into bowls and top with the Parmesan.

Beef and Onion Strudel: A Flaky Delight for the Senses

A flaky pastry filled with savory beef and caramelized onions. The golden layers will crunch with each bite.

Beef and Onion Studel

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white onions, thinly sliced
6 ounces beef sirloin, sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 package of Phyllo dough
1/4 cup melted butter
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Method -
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. 

Add onions. 

Cook and stir until the onions are a rich, golden-brown color. 

Remove onions with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving dripping in the pan.
Add beef to the skillet. 

Cook and stir until evenly browned; 2-3 minutes. 

Return onions and any juice to the skillet. 

Add flour, brown sugar, cumin, salt, pepper, and beef broth. 

Cook and stir (scraping the bottom of the pan) for 5 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Separate the phyllo dough 2 sheets at a time and apply butter, repeating with 2 more sheets until all sheets have been used. 

Spoon the beef and onion mixture down the center in 1-1/2“ wide strip

Slightly overlap long sides, fold in the short ends and press to seal. 

Place on the baking sheet, seam side down.

Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Italian Bread: Breaking Bread, Sharing Warmth

No winter day in the kitchen would be complete without the heavenly scent of fresh-baked Italian bread.

Italian Bread

2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp soft shortening
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Measure flour into a bowl, add water, then yeast. 

Let yeast dissolve thoroughly. 

Add remaining ingredients and mix well. 

Let set for 10 minutes, then cut through the dough with a wooden spoon. 

Do this 5 times at 10-minute intervals. 

Turn the dough out on a floured board and divide in half. 

Let rest for 10 minutes, then roll each ball into a loaf. 

Make several diagonal slashes across each loaf. 

Let rise double. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

No comments: