Dinner 072712

Another hybrid dish somewhere between ragu and colache!

Horseradish and mustard encrusted baked chicken served with quinoa. I've taken some notes on tonights dishes for future changes for instance there wasn't near enough mustard on the chicken!  Oh and don't forget to salt the chicken next time.  I'm still getting used to quinoa, it's wonderful but my brain keeps telling my tongue that it's cream of wheat when in fact it is not.  Next time I'll add some fresh herbs to the quinoa at the very end.

Spagetti Sauce

Mrs Guidicessi's Spaghetti Sauce:

2- 12 oz can tomato paste 1 medium onion
2- 15 oz can tomato sauce 1 tsp. sugar
1 - 2 lb good stewing meat salt and garlic salt to taste
(you may combine park neck, 1 jar mushrooms, whole or pieces bones, veal, or chicken)

Wash and dry meat that has been cut into serving size pieces and brown in 2 T oil in large saucepan, at least 4 qt. size.

Add chopped onion, cook until soft, watching constantly so it does not burn. 

Add tomato paste with seasonings, be careful of salt, do not add too much, as you can add more if needed. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, then add tomato sauce, after it has simmered another 10 minutes.

Add two tomato paste cans of water and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours, checking it periodically. If it is too thick add a little water.

You may also add 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper and 1/2 black pepper for a spicier sauce. Better to have too thick as you can add water. Altogether cook the sauce at least 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours. slowly, covered. Add the mushrooms with the tomato paste and sauce.

That is the basic recipe. Instead of sugar I use 1 tsp. anise seed ground in a mortise and pestle. Instead of garlic salt I use 3-4 cloves garlic minced. I also add 2 tsp basil and 2 tsp oregano. I also do not use the stewing meat.

Meat Balls
1 lb ground pork butts, lean
1 tsp black pepper
2C bread crumbs
2 tsp sweet basil
1/2 C grated Romano cheese
salt and garlic salt to taste
2-3 eggs (according to size)

Place meat in a large bowl, season with salt and garlic salt. Pour bread crumbs over,add cheese. sprinkle black pepper and crushed sweet basil. Add eggs and mix as if you were mixing a meat loaf. If the mixture is too stiff, moisten with a little milk until it is the consistency to roll into ball. About an hour and 15 minutes before the sauce is to be served roll into balls about two inches in diameter using milk or water to moisten hands. Drop into sauce and do not stir until balls are nice and firm.

Instead I use 1 lb breakfast sausage from Fareway ( local midwest grocery store) and 1 lb lean ground beef. Four slices regular bread turned into crumbs in the blender. You can also make the balls smaller.

Cranberry Pear Sauce

Cranberry Pear Sauce.

Pears are a luxury for me as they are just priced out of my pay scale ;-) So when one of the neighbors said YES come on over and pick our trees... Cranberry Pear Sauce happens!

I typically make Cranberry Apple Sauce - known to us a saucey or sassy apples. The taste with pears is FAR superior to that of apples so if you have a glut of pears try this one side dish for a treat.

The sauce is still cooking down all told I'll have maybe 12 quarts when it's done cooking.

4 gallons cooking pears cored and stemmed (peel if that's what you like we leave the peels on for the fiber)
5 pounds frozen cranberries
5 cups sugar
1quart water
Put everything into your 5 gallon stainless steel OR enamel stock pot and cook down. NOTE we don't blend the sauce as we like it chunky OTHERWISE using your stick blender blend the sauce until it's smooth.
Process BWB quarts are 25 minutes pints 20 minutes for 1000 feet or less.

Cranberry Applesauce

Or saucy applesauce as we like to call it, unforutnately it didn't come out nearly as chunky as we like it, frustrated with the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan I buckled under and used the stick blender to break the sauce down even further. Well... you know what they say about good intentions right. So it's mostly very creamy sauce, it tastes wonderful and looks beautiful but...

I also fell short on the cranberries, the sauce really needed about four more pounds of cranberries to give it that tart flavor we like and so well. I have one jar that didn't seal for some reason I guess we will have to make the ultimate sacrifice and eat that jar of sauce now!!! As you can see I enjoyed a cinnamon roll with some sauce.

Canning Chili

I forgot to bring my camera to the kitchen so the in progress pics are limited this time. I made up my favorite recipe of chili x 10 and put it into hot jars, it'll be processed for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure in the All American. I under estimated on my recipe hoping for 40+ quarts but will be getting 28 quarts instead. These jars have yet to be processed.

I started with ten pounds of ground beef and 4 pounds of dried beans, 2 pounds kideny beans and 2 pounds small red beans. I used one #10 can of chopped tomatoes, one # 10 can tomato sauce, one # 10 can of pureed tomatoes, and one #10 can of Mrs. Grimes Chili with Beans. To this I added 2 very large minced Onions 2 cups minced garlic - comes in a jar at Sam's Club - spices, honey and mole. I browned my beef with the onion, garlic, and spices added. I browned all 10 pounds at once in my 23 quart BWB pan! I added the tomatoes and chili sauce to the browned ground beef etc., and simmered for about 4 hours. I turned the heat off and let it sit overnight - I was bad I left it on the stove and it was still very hot this morning at 6 am.

The beans were soaked overnight, drained this afternoon and added to the simmering pots. I divided the chili meat sauce between two BWB canners 24 cups per pot, approximately, and added the beans dividing them up equally which ended up being approximately 12 cups per canner

Sunday Activities

My poor poor stove! God bless the person who invented oven cleaner because that's what it'll take to get the pans clean on my stove top!!!

As you can see I have a rather vintage kitchen, ala 1950's remodel style kitchen. John at the rather vintage sink cleaning the stove grates. Tomorrow's lunch is cooking away in my vintage crock pot, they just don't make green appliances like that anymore ;-) I've been color testing in the kitchen, the cabinets will be ladybug red, a good choice if I don't mind saying so myself.
14 quarts on the counter and 7 quarts on the table, with another 7 quarts to join those and right quickly.

John did the canning today, he made 28 quarts of applesauce using the last of our Lodi apples. I sorted the apples and helped with dishes and did laundry but my main task today was to keep the cat from dying, no kidding. I'm hoping my vet will be available tomorrow, seems the little bugger is severely impacted, did you know you need a vet to get laxatives for a cat??? I didn't, anyway... Here are a few pics of Johns hard work, and one very sick kitty.

Apple Butter

That's my kitchen floor that you are seeing, yep it really is, off to the sides of the table! It's been in this condition for something like 13 years now, long before dh and I got married it's just bare maple and in other places bare plywood making it a royal pain to wash. There's no sponge mopping in this room I use a real mop one of those big commercial ones, as it's the only thing that doesn't fall apart when used on this floor. Also if your thinking of going the bare plywood floor route note that vacuuming it works far better than sweeping for getting it really clean!!! Everytime I mention painting the floor dh says GO AHEAD and then immediately has apperplexi~!

Lodi Apples make the BEST apple sauce and apple butter!!! Ok maybe some people don't like their sauce as tart as I do but lucky for me DH does! Dh says the apple butter shown here tastes like his apple sauce, hey what can I say I followed the recipe in the Ball Blue Book!