49er CHILI & CHILI DOG CASSEROLE

Like most men, my husband LOVES chili dogs. But, we don’t eat much bread these days. So, when I saw Sandra’s recipe for Chili Dog Casserole it was right up our alley! The only thing I did different was make a batch of 49er Chili! 49er chili is an OLD scrap of a recipe I found on one of our recipe box searches in antique stores. This casserole really is like having your chili dog and fries, all in one spot and gets rave reviews from everyone. It’s perfect for picnics, BBQs, church potlucks or backyard get togethers.

CHILI DOG CASSEROLE
6 hot dogs your favorite brand, sliced into small pieces
15 ounce can chili or 1 1/2 cups homemade
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained WELL (I used spicy seasoned)
1 cup shredded or very thinly sliced, carrots (optional – hubby didn’t care for them)
12 ounces crinkle cut French fries, frozen
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Spray a 9 x 13” baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium sized skillet, saute the sliced hot dogs until nice and fragrant and seriously browned. We like them really charred 😀
  • In a medium bowl, add the hot dogs, chili, tomatoes, and carrots.
  • Stir until evenly combined.
  • Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  • Evenly arrange French fries in a single layer on top of the hot dog mixture.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Evenly sprinkle the cheese on top of the fries, and bake an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Chile is one of the oldest dishes around and dates back to the Aztecs in Mexico. I assume this one received its name after an old gold miner’s recipe. I have revamped it a little as time went by, but we love it.

49er CHILI
2 pounds SMALL lean beef pieces or ground beef
1 clove garlic, FINELY minced
1 medium white or yellow onion, FINELY chopped
2 teaspoons chile powder
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups tomato sauce/puree
3/4 cup room temperature beer
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sugar

  • Combine the beef, onions and garlic in a large dutch oven and brown SLOWLY.
  • Drain off any excess grease.
  • Return meat mixture to pan and add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

1 LARGE can chili beans (optional)

  • Stir in beans if using and and simmer 15 minutes more.

2 tablespoons corn flour
1/4 cup water

  • Whisk corn flour and water together.
  • Stir corn flour mixture into chile.
  • Simmer 20-30 minutes more.

Shredded cheese
Chopped onions
Sour cream

  • Serve HOT with topping of choice.

“ASIAN KETCHUP” MEATBALLS aka HOISIN MEATBALLS

Jess is certainly right about one thing – Meatballs are the “little black dress” of party foods. They are completely adaptable and go with just about everything. Whether you serve them for a wedding reception, BBQ, picnic, church potluck, cocktail hour, graduation party or an open house you always have the perfect crowd pleaser! This recipe is made from scratch, but is easy enough and such a refreshing replacement for the typical pre-cooked frozen meatball that you find at those events.

HOISIN MEATBALLS aka ASIAN KETCHUP MEATBALLS adapted from Cooking is my Sport who adapted it from Food Network Magazine and Cooks Illustrated

MEATBALLS
3 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground sausage
2 tablespoons FINELY minced ginger root
4 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 1/2-2 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 LARGE eggs

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Line two baking sheet pans with aluminum foil and place two wire racks on top of each pan. Lightly spray with non-stick baking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and sausage with the ginger, garlic, sugar, pepper, and scallions.
  • Add the liquid aminos and eggs.
  • Pour in 1 1/2 cups of the panko breadcrumbs and mix together by hand, but don’t knead it too much though, or the meatballs may be tough. If the mixture seems too wet, you can always add the extra 1/2 cup more of the panko breadcrumbs to tighten it up.
  • Shape into meatballs (about 2 heaping tablespoons each).
  • Place 1 1/2 inches apart on a lightly greased (with cooking spray) rack in an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.  
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes on the middle rack, or until browned.

SAUCE
3 teaspoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup Hoisin sauce
1 1/2 cups orange or pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 scallions, white and green parts sliced 1/8 inch thick on bias
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Sesame seeds, optional

  • Melt about 3 teaspoons of avocado oil in a medium sized saucepan and heat until shimmering.
  • Add the grated ginger and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant.
  • Add the Hoisin sauce, juice, and broth and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the saucepan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Simmer until liquid reduces and thickens to desired consistency.
  • Stir in the sesame oil and the scallions.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve the sauce over the meatballs and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions if desired.

PINK ALFREDO PRIMAVERA MEATBALLS

PINK ALFREDO PRIMAVERA MEATBALLS
MEATBALLS
1/2 pound ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 SMALL onion, FINELY chopped
2 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • In a large bowl mix together ground meats, seasonings, chopped onion and garlic until well blended.
  • Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Sear meatballs, turning often, until browned.
  • Transfer to paper towels to drain.

PINK ALFREDO SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon minced garlic, jar
1 tablespoon Classico sun-dried tomato paste
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Melt butter in a saucepan.
  • Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
  • Gradually add heavy cream, stirring constantly. Stir in salt, pepper and grated Parmesan cheese and stir constantly until melted.
  • Whisk in egg quickly and heat through.

VEGETABLES
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch matchsticks
1/2 cup frozen petite peas, thawed

  • Melt butter and oil in a large sauce pan.
  • Add carrots, sauteing 3-5 minutes until begin to soften.
  • Add asparagus pieces, sauteing a couple minutes more.
  • Fold in peas.

ASSEMBLY
1 /2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Spread half the sauce on the bottom of your baking dish.
  • Arrange meatballs on sauce.
  • Arrange vegetables around meatballs.
  • Pour remaining sauce over top.
  • Top with cheese.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

ORANGE BEEF LETTUCE WRAPS

ORANGE BEEF LETTUCE WRAPS
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup water chestnut, diced small
2⁄3 cup mushroom, diced small
1 small shallot, diced
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 leaves butter lettuce
1/2-1 cup crispy rice noodles
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
  • Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
  • Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
  • Add shallots and green onions to pan sautéing until soft.
  • Add water chestnuts, garlic, mushrooms and ginger, sautéing a few minutes more.
  • Add stir fry sauce and stir until well blended.
  • When chicken is cool, shred it as small as the mushrooms and water chestnuts pieces are.
  • Add chicken into mixture, toss to blend and coat well.

STIR FRY SAUCE
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

  • Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.

SPECIAL SAUCE
1⁄2 cup water
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons water
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 cloves garlic, minced
1
2 teaspoons Siracha

  • Whisk together the sugar and water in a small bowl until completely dissolved.
  • Add liquid aminos, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, orange marmalade and desired amount of Siracha whisking until well blended.

ASSEMBLY

  • Serve each helping in a lettuce leaf.
  • Top with a handful of crispy rice noodles.
  • Pour Special sauce over the wraps.

GARLICKY SHEPHERD’S PIE

GARLICKY SHEPHERD’S PIE

10 inch prepared pie crust

POTATO TOPPING
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup beef broth
4 tablespoons butter, softened
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Add the potatoes and garlic to a large sauce pan.
  • Cover with cold water.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are fork-tender, 10-15 minutes.
  • Drain.
  • Transfer the potatoes and garlic to a large bowl.
  • Add the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the broth, butter, salt and pepper, and beat on low speed with a hand mixer until the potatoes are light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • If the mixture is too dry, add the remaining 1/4 cup broth. DO NOT OVER MIX!
  • Cover and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°.

FILLING
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, chopped
1 LARGE shallot, diced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound ground beef
2 to 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped, (about 1 cup)
1 cups frozen petite peas, thawed and drained
2 LARGE garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (flavor of choice)
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon FRESH finely minced tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon FRESH finely minced thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup FRESHLY grated Gruyere or Cheddar

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and crisp.
  • Drain on paper toweling and set aside.
  • Add the avocado oil to the drippings in the skillet and increase to medium heat.
  • Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle in the sugar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and peppers, sautéing 2-3 minutes more.
  • Stir in the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat, until the beef begins to brown, about 7 minutes.
  • Fold in the peas, and garlic, stirring a couple minutes more.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring, until well blended, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the beer, bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.
  • Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the cooked bacon, the broth, herbs, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
  • Spoon the meat mixture into the prepared crust.
  • Spread the potato topping evenly over the beef mixture.
  • Bake until the filling is hot, the topping is lightly browned and the edges are bubbly, about 35 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the cheese.
  • Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.
  • Let rest out of the oven for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

SHEET PAN HAMBURGER STEAK with MUSHROOMS & ONIONS

SHEET PAN HAMBURGER STEAK with MUSHROOMS & ONIONS

1 large Vidalia onion – halved and sliced thin
1/2 pound of your favorite mushrooms – sliced
avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 pounds double ground chuck
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Lawry’s garlic salt
3-4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
FRESH ground salt and pepper for each patty
4 tablespoons butter, thinly sliced into eighths

  • Heat oven to 400°.
  • Line a baking pan with tin foil.
  • Place onions and mushrooms on the pan, drizzle with avocado oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and toss to coat.
  • Gently mix together the ground chuck, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, bacon pieces and a generous sprinkling of FRESH ground pepper.
  • Form into 6  steaks.
  • Gently nestle each hamburger steak on top of veggies.
  • Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.
  • Place pan in the oven and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes, until steaks are brown around edges.
  • Remove from oven and top with pat of butter.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes and serve with with your favorite side dish.

F3 FAITH & FOOD FRIDAY #3 ~ TEX MEX a.k.a. MEXICAN MANICOTTI ~ BEEF or CHICKEN

I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER:

Some days are busy- we have lots of things to do, and we might not always take a break just to stop and talk to God. But most of us still find the time to eat even when we’re very busy. Taking time to pray before our meals gives us a great opportunity to connect with God. Next time you have a really busy day, enjoy a few minutes in prayer with God before your meal.

CHICKEN MEXICAN MANICOTTI
1 box Uncooked manicotti shells
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups salsa, divided
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup FRESH chopped parsley
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon Frank’s hot sauce, as desired
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cook manicotti per package directions, al dente.
  • In a medium bowl combine the chicken pieces, 3/4 cup salsa, parsley, most of the green onions, garlic, hot sauce and ricotta cheese.
  • Spread half of the remaining salsa on the bottom of baking dish.
  • Gently fill manicotti shells with chicken mixture and layer on top of salsa in baking dish in a single layer.
  • Spread the remaining salsa on top of manicotti.
  • Cover and bake 40 minutes.
  • Uncover and sprinkle shredded Mexican cheese over top.
  • Bake 10 minutes more.
  • Garnish with remaining green onion and olives.
  • Serve with sour cream.

BEEF MEXICAN MANICOTTI
1 box Uncooked manicotti shells
2 cups browned ground beef
1 1/2 cups salsa, divided
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup FRESH chopped parsley
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon Frank’s hot sauce, as desired
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cook manicotti per package directions, al dente.
  • In a medium bowl combine the chicken pieces, 3/4 cup salsa, parsley, most of the green onions, garlic, hot sauce and ricotta cheese.
  • Spread half of the remaining salsa on the bottom of baking dish.
  • Gently fill manicotti shells with chicken mixture and layer on top of salsa in baking dish in a single layer.
  • Spread the remaining salsa on top of manicotti.
  • Cover and bake 40 minutes.
  • Uncover and sprinkle Mexican cheese over top.
  • Bake 10 minutes more.
  • Garnish with remaining green onion and olives if desired.
  • Serve with sour cream.

BACON CHEESEBURGER SLIDERS

BACON CHEESEBURGER SLIDERS

A slightly sweet and garlicky glaze on these Hawaiian Roll Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders makes the best slider recipe! We’re always looking for easy ground beef recipes and these easy sliders take a burger to the next level.

1 package of 12 pack King’s Hawaiian roll sliders
4-6 slices bacon, diced
1 pound lean ground beef
1/3 cup diced red onion
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons butter melted
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Slice entire package of rolls (do not separate) in half and toast bottoms in broiler for 1-2 minutes.
  • Cook bacon until crisp.
  • Remove bacon pieces to paper toweling to drain.
  • Brown ground beef and onions in bacon drippings and then drain WELL.
  • Return meat mixture to the pan and lower heat to low.
  • Season with salt, pepper and dry mustard if using.
  • Stir in shredded cheese for 1 minute.

  • Sprinkle bacon on top.
  • Add slices of cheddar cheese and replace top half of rolls.
  • Melt butter and stir in brown sugar, onion and garlic powders.
  • Spoon or brush over the tops of the sliders.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.
  • Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until rolls are lightly browned and cheese is melted.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!


TOMATO BEEF & NOODLES ala SLOW COOKER

TOMATO BEEF & NOODLES serves 2-4
3/4 pound chuck steak, cut into bite sized pieces
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons QUALITY tomato paste
1/2 cup beef stock
1 cup uncooked egg noodles
FRESH chopped parsley for garnish

  • Spray slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Heat oil in large skillet.
  • Generously season meat with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place 1/4 cup flour in large ziploc bag.
  • Add beef pieces and shake to coat. Shake off excess flour as you add the pieces to the hot oil.
  • Sear beef QUICKLY, but do not cook through.
  • Transfer beef pieces to slow cooker.
  • Add onions to oil and saute until translucent.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the beef stock, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and paprika.
  • Cook on low 4-5 hours.

 

  • Whisk together the water and flour until smooth.
  • Stir into meat mixture.
  • Re-cover and cook 30 minutes more or until thickened.
  • While mixture is thickening prepare noodles per package instructions.
  • Serve over prepared noodles.

PUB STYLE SHEPHERD’S PIE

There IS nothing better than homey, comforting classics that warm you from the inside out when the weather is COLD, rainy, snowy, gray or ANY of those combos. This recipe for a pub style shepherd’s pies FULL of rib sticking goodness with its rich tomato, beefy, veggie and herb filling that then topped with chunky rustic mashed potatoes and baked to perfection! For me this is a recipe where you MUST use cast iron for the best results.

PUB STYLE SHEPHERD’S PIE

1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
½ cup shredded white cheddar cheese
2 stalks celery, diced
2 LARGE carrots, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup beef stock
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons FRESH stripped and chopped thyme leaves

  • Place potatoes in a medium pot with enough salted water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes.
  • Drain and return potatoes to pot.
  • Mash potatoes with sour cream, 2 tablespoons of butter, a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme until even consistency.
  • Keep covered and set until ready to serve.

  • While potatoes cook, heat a drizzle of oil in a medium, preferably cast-iron, pan.
  • Add carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add celery, onion, and a large drizzle of oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until veggies are just tender, 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and 2 teaspoons chopped thyme; cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  • Add beef to pan with veggies and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up meat into SMALL pieces, until browned and cooked through, 4-6 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and flour; cook, stirring, until thoroughly combined, 1 minute.
  • Gradually pour beef stock into pan with beef mixture, simmering 5 minutes until mixture thickens.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • Sprinkle with half of the cheddar
  • Top beef filling with an even layer of mashed potatoes, leaving a gap around edge of pan.
  • Evenly sprinkle with remaining cheddar.
  • Broil until browned, 3-4 minutes. WATCH CLOSELY TO PREVENT BURNING.
  • Serve directly from pan.

NOTE: This recipe can easily be prepared in advance for a GREAT weeknight meal when you’re in a hurry.  It can easily be prepared as individual dishes also. Thaw if frozen and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes before broiling.

REFRIED BEAN BOWLS & HOMEMADE TORTILLAS

REFRIED BEAN & RICE BOWLS adapted from MOLLY YEH

1/2 pound ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 ounces canned diced green chiles
14-ounce cans seasoned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white shoepeg corn, drained
2 limes, juiced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 cups cooked white rice
1 cup (4 ounces) grated white Cheddar or Cotija cheese
1/2 bunch green onions, trimmed and sliced
Salsa of choice
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
FRESH cilantro, for garnish

  • Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-low heat, rendering all of the fat until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Drain, reserving fat and set aside.
  • Increase the heat to medium and add the onions to rendered fat. Stir, then cook until soft, translucent and lightly brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the chili powder and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the green chiles and black beans.
  • Stir and continue cooking to heat through, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and mash with a fork, potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Or, for a smooth consistency, puree in a food processor, add 2 to 4 tablespoons water to the puree if it seems too dry.
  • Stir in corn and ground beef.
  • Stir in the juice of 1 lime and season with salt.
    To serve, fill one side of a serving bowl with refried beans. Fill the other side with cooked rice.
  • Garnish with cheese, salsa and scallions.
  • Scatter the jalapeno slices and cilantro on top.

HOMEMADE TORTILLAS adapted from Molly Yeh

2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Add the oil and mix until coarse and mealy.
  • Stir in 3/4 cup water to form a dough.
  • Turn it out onto a surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until a smooth, slightly sticky dough is formed, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a dry skillet over medium heat.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll them out on a lightly-floured surface until they’re really thin, keeping the remaining dough balls covered. I like a 1/16- or 1/8-inch thickness but wouldn’t turn down a 3/16-inch-thick one.
  • Cook them in the skillet on both sides until they’re just starting to show some brown spots, 45 seconds to 1 minute per side.
  • Keep warm in a towel until ready to serve.

BEEFY RICOTTA MEATBALLS with PENNE PASTA, TOMATO PESTO & GREEN BEANS

The meatball mixture can be made ahead of time you can even shape them like I did into squares using my Joie silicone ice cube tray and then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re to ready to use them.

Adapted from Marley Spoon’s Anna Painter

BEEFY RICOTTA MEATBALLS with PENNE PASTA, TOMATO PESTO & GREEN BEANS

4 ounces sun dried tomato pesto
2 ounces (regular) pesto
2 ounces cream cheese
2 cups (dry) penne pasta
1/4 cup panko crumbs
4 ounces ricotta
scant 3/4 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped parsley
½ pound green beans
1 small shallot, FINELY chopped
FRESH ground sea salt & ground pepper
avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter

  • Preheat oven to 450° and arrange rack into the center position.
  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Trim green beans, then cut or snap in half.
  • Finely chop parsley leaves and stems.
  • In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, ricotta, panko crumbs, 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper to taste. Gentle knead to blend.
  • 
Shape beef into 6-8 meatballs of about 2 tablespoons each. Choose your shape round or square – I use square if I’m making them in advance because I use silicone molds to freeze them in.
  • Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil.
  • Bake on center oven rack until browned on the bottom and cooked through, 10–12 minutes.
  • While meatballs bake, add pasta to boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost al dente, about 8 minutes.
  • Add green beans to the pot with the pasta, and continue cooking another 4 minutes until pasta is al dente’ and green beans are tender. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and green beans.
  • Place drained pasta and beans over the butter in a bowl. Toss to coat.
  • Return the pot to the burner and add oil in same pot over medium-high.
  • Add shallots and a pinch each of salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring, until softened.
  • Add cream cheese, pesto, sun dried tomato pesto, and reserved cooking water.
  • Cook, whisking, until cream cheese is incorporated and sauce is smooth, about 1 minute.
  • 

Add pasta, green beans, and half of the parsley to pot with sauce.
  • Cook, stirring, until pasta and green beans are coated well.
  • Add meatballs to pot and gently stir to combine.
  • Garnish with remaining parsley.