Scottie’s Fatty Cheese Lasagna

This is my boyfriends’s lasagna recipe and it is super cheesy and delicious. He changes it up each time but this is the basic recipe. The difference from many lasagna recipes is that you slice, not shred, the cheese. Also, you add Monterey jack into the mix and there is lots of cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 jars of your fav spaghetti sauce or make it homemade
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1 pound Monterey jack cheese, sliced
  • 1 pound part-skim ricotta
  • 1 small can black, pitted, olives, sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 pnd lasagna noodles

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil and sauté onion until tender in large sauté pan. Add ground beef with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook until browned. Dispose of grease and add spaghetti sauce. Meanwhile, boil noodles as directed on package. Mix ricotta cheese with olives and season to taste. Layer the lasagna by starting with sauce, noodles, a layer or ricotta mixture, noodles, sauce, mozzarella cheese slices, noodles, sauce, Monterey jack cheese slices, noodles, sauce…..until lasagna is complete. 

Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for another 25 minutes.

Dawn’s Tri-tip Marinade and Seasoned Red Potatoes

 

 

My best friend, Dawn, was watching my children one day so that I could go to work and I came home to this delicious meal. My response was “when can you move in?” She is a fantastic cook and creates delicious meals without recipes. These are both her creations and as far as measurements, you will have to add to taste.

Beer Braised Beef with Onion Dumplings

I have so many cookbook and not enough time to try every recipe. I bought the cookbook The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook recently. This is the first recipe I tried from it. It was yummy but I felt it was a little too sweet because of the allspice and cloves. I would recommend a slight reduce on these spices if you don’t want it tasting too sweet. I also omitted the dill from the dumplings because I have not found a taste for dill in recipes yet. The dumplings and the braised beef with beer is delicious.

Beer Braised Beef

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds boneless chuck (fatty rather than lean), cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds onions, coarsely chopped
  • ½ pounds carrots, thickly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 bottle (12ozs) dark beer
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt

Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup fine fresh bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 5-7 quart Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan, heat 2 Tbs of the oil over medium-high heat. Dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess. Working in batches (this is so the meat browns, rather than steams), cook the meat until browned all over, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the meat to a bowl.

Add the remaining 2 Tbs oil to the pan along with the onions, carrots, and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the thyme, allspice, cloves, beer, tomato paste, salt, and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the pan. Cover and place in the oven. Bake for 1 ½ hours, or until the meat is tender. Place the pan on the stove top.

Dumplings:

In a small skillet, heat 1 tbs of the melted butter. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the buttermilk, dill, and 2 tbs of the melted butter. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the buttermilk mixture. Stir the dumpling mixture gently until moistened.

In a shallow bowl, stir the remaining 3 tbs melted butter into the bread crumbs. One at a time, drop the dumpling mixture by rounded tablespoon into the crumb mixture and turn to coat. Drop the dumplings onto the simmering stew, spacing them evenly. Cover the pan and simmer the stew until the dumplings are tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

 

Pot Roast by Julia and Jacques

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A good old-fashioned spaghetti and meatball recipe. I have ruined other meatballs for my children and myself with this meatball recipe. The recipe is originally from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen cookbook but I have changed it and made it my own to make it simpler. It is the best meatball recipe I have found and I have become an expert at making them. It really isn’t as difficult as it looks, give it a try.

Picture above from our trip to Venice, Italy in 2018 and my daughter enjoying her spaghetti when she was 5 years old (2008)….both great memories.

Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 35-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp crushed hot red pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese + 2/3 cups for cooked pasta
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Directions:

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium high heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, crushed red pepper and bay leaves, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, crumble the pork and beef into a mixing bowl. Add the bread crumbs, 1/3 cup grated cheese, the parsley, and garlic over the meat. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl until blended. Pour over the meat mixture. Mix the ingredients with clean hands just until evenly blended. Don’t over mix. Shape the meat mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls.

Dredge the meatballs in the flour until lightly but evenly coated. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and the vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Slip as many meatballs into the skillet as will fit without crowding. Fry, turning as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Adjust the heat as the meatballs cook to prevent them from over browning. Remove the meatballs, and repeat if necessary with the remaining meatballs.

Add the browned meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook, stirring gently with a wooden spoon, until no trace of pink remains at the center of the meatballs, about 30 minutes.

Stir the spaghetti into the boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until done, about 8 minutes.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Spoon in about 2 cups of the tomato sauce, tossing well until the pasta is coated with sauce. Remove from the heat and toss in 2/3 cup grated cheese. Check the seasoning, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve the pasta in warm bowls or piled high on a large warm platter. Spoon a little more of the sauce over the pasta, and pass the remaining sauce separately. Pass the meatballs family-style in a bowl, or top the bowls or platter of spaghetti with them.

Enjoy! I know you will love it.