Friday, January 07, 2011

Skillet Meatballs and Noodles in Creamy Herb Sauce

I love easy meals and Cook's County seems to have plenty of those in their magazine. Not a lot of ingredients, but excellent flavor and easy prep are key for me these days. This meal didn't disappoint.

This is actually the second time I made this dish, but the first time I cooked it and then left it covered on the stove until I'd put Baby Girl to bed. Not a good idea, as the noodles absorbed all the sauce and the dish was rather dry. This time I made it and we ate immediately. And look - it's a one-skillet meal. Score!

Skillet Meatballs and Noodles in Creamy Herb Sauce
Cook's Country

1 pound ground beef (85% or so)
1 package garlic and herb Boursin cheese
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
8 ounces egg noodles
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

Combine beef, 5 tablespoons Boursin cheese, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl and knead gently until combined. Form mixture into 1 inch meatballs. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook meatballs until well browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer meatballs to plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.

Cook onion in reserved fat until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add broth, noodles, and wine and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to med-low, and cook, stirring often, until pasta begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add meatballs and simmer, covered, until meatballs are cooked through and noodles are al dente, about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in remaining Boursin cheese and chives. Season with salt and pepper.
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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

I love artichokes. I've always liked them but I developed a serious craving for them when I was pregnant that still hasn't gone away. When I saw the Pioneer Woman's recipe for Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes I knew I'd love it.

It was easy to make and absolutely delicious. I added 4 large mushrooms, cut into quarters, since SP isn't a big artichoke fan.

Spaghetti with Artichokes Hearts and Tomatoes
Modified from Pioneer Woman

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter

3 cloves Garlic, Minced

1/2 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced

1 can Artichoke Hearts (14.5 Oz. Quartered Or Whole) Drained

1 can Diced Tomatoes With Juice (14.5 Oz.)

1 cup Heavy Cream

1/2 cup Chicken Broth (More As Needed)

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

Salt And Pepper, to taste

1 pound Thin Spaghetti

1 cup Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated

2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives (or Other Herbs) Chopped

Cook spaghetti till al dente. Drain and set aside.

Melt olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not undersalt!) Cook over low heat until heated through, then turn off heat.

Place drained pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan. Pour sauce over the top. Add chives. Toss lightly to combine and coat; add a tiny bit of reserved pasta water if sauce seems too thick.

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Christmas Dinner

This year SP and I hosted Christmas dinner. It's an easy meal, the same one we've had for years at my stepgrandmother's house, but when you're the one cooking it there's immense pressure to make it fantastic.

We started with delicious olives, artichokes, meat, cheese, stuffed peppers and asparagus that my aunt brought:

The main course was roast beef. I followed the Wegmans cooking directions but left out the red wine sauce. I hadn't anticipated how long the beef would need to cook, so I'm glad we had stuff to nosh on while we waited. Here it is resting before I carved into it:

... and a few slices for the table:

Green beans with almonds:

Mashed potatoes (I used my ricer to get them silky smooth):

Yorkshire pudding:

... which is much easier to make then I would have thought. My plate for the first round:

Everything was delicious, if I do say so myself. Next year I think it'll be even better because I know how long everything takes to cook!
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