new year, new flavors
When comparing prices of beef at my local food store, I was quite amazed at the price difference in purchasing a half portion of sirloin steak at $10.49/lb. while a twin pack of choice end cut strip steak was $8.99/lb. A bit overindulgent but based on the weight and price of the sirloin, it was a better buy to purchase the strip steak. I also needed beef stock. I would have loved to make my own but did not have the time. I have purchased beef stock concentrate from Williams-Sonoma, but their organic blend was $26.95. Yikes! I found at my local Wegmans their brand of Organic Bone Broth concentrate made with grass fed beef for $5.99. For both types, two teaspoons of concentrate and 1 cup of water, makes a cup of broth.
The sauce consists of with beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, cornstarch, garlic and ginger. The addition of brown sugar, though a bit unusual, is used to offset the saltiness of the soy sauce.
Cooking begins by sautéing the broccoli florets in 1 tablespoon of oil until crisp tender. Next 1/4-inch-thick sliced steak is cooked until mostly browned. The sauce is added to the pan; once thickened, the broccoli is added and coated with the sauce. To serve, place on top of cooked white rice and garnish. I forgot to pick up scallions but did top with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. My husband likes to add additional soy sauce and Chinese mustard.
I must say this stir fry was tasty! The meat was tender, and the sauce had the right balance of flavors. Overall, a great weeknight meal.
Another scrumptious meal my husband and I enjoyed this week was Turkey Pesto Meatballs and Orecchiette from Smitten Kitchen. This takes about an hour to prepare from start to finish. You can prepare and cover the meatballs a day head or earlier in the day and keep refrigerated until ready to cook. For the recipe you will need one pound of ground turkey, panko or plain dry breadcrumbs, 1 cup basil pesto, fresh garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, water, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, an egg, zucchini or summer squash, 1 pound of dried orecchiette and two cups of chicken stock. I used homemade pesto with the basil I had in my garden this summer and homemade chicken stock from the freezer.
You will find the ground turkey makes for very sticky meatballs. The meatball mixture consists of panko or breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup pesto, minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, water, salt, black pepper and an egg. The recipe suggested coating your palms with a bit of olive oil to make them smooth.
The first step is to bake both the meatballs and zucchini that has been tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. While that is baking, prepare the orecchiette. If you choose, you can use 2 cups of the pasta cooking water with the addition of, for example, “Better Than Bouillon,” in place of stock.
The pasta should be slightly undercooked. The suggested cooking time on the box was 9 minutes for al denté, it will finish cooking when added to the brothy pesto. The broth is made of 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, two cups of broth and remaining 1/2 cup of pesto. The turkey meatballs, zucchini and pasta are added to the broth, tossed together, and cooked for 1 to 2 minutes. Use the reserved pasta water if needed. Serve in wide bowls garnishing with an additional drizzle of pesto, grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper if desired.
What a total scrumptious meal. Bland ground turkey got a flavorsome infusion with the basil pesto, Parmesan cheese and garlic. The addition of the roasted zucchini added texture and the sauce brought all the flavors together. Different, delicious and light tasting. A wonderful pasta dish for the winter or summer when the basil is at it’s prime.
Southern Living Magazine September 2022
Active: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
1/2 cup beef broth
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 garlic cloves, grated (1 teaspoon)
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
6 cups small fresh broccoli florets (16 oz.)
1-pound boneless sirloin steak (1-inch thick), thinly sliced (about 1/4-inch thick)
2 cups hot cooked white rice
Garnishes: sesame seeds, crushed red pepper, and sliced scallions
Turkey Pesto Meatballs and Orecchiette
Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen
TIME: 1 hour
“If you use a bouillon base for broth, such as Better Than Bouillon, you could replace the 2 cups of broth with 2 additional cups of pasta cooking water and add the bouillon to it.”
1 pound (455 grams) ground turkey
1/2 cup panko, or another plain, dry breadcrumb
1 cup basil pesto, homemade or store bought, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
2 tablespoons grated parmesan, plus more to serve
1 tablespoon water
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
1 pound (455 grams) zucchini or summer squash, sliced into 1/4″ half-moons
1 pound (455 grams) dried orecchiette
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (see Note)
Heat your oven: To 450°F. Coat a large sheet pan with oil, or line it with nonstick foil for easier cleanup.
Prepared the meatballs: Combine turkey, panko, 1/4 cup of the pesto, half the minced garlic, 2 tablespoons grated parmesan, water, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, many grinds of black pepper, and the egg in a large bowl with a fork, mixing until just combined. Coat your palms lightly with olive oil and use a heaped tablespoon or 1.5-tablespoon scoop to measure the meatballs, rolling them briefly in palms to smooth them, and space them out on the prepared sheet pan.
Prepared the zucchini: Toss zucchini in a big bowl with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and lots of black pepper. Scatter zucchini around the meatballs on the tray.
Roast meatballs and zucchini: Transfer the tray to the oven and roast for 15 to 18 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. For better color on top, transfer meatballs and vegetables to your oven’s broiler for 3 to 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the orecchiette: In a large pot of well-salted water, cook your pasta until 1 minute shy of done, so it still has a little bite left to it. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water [and up to 3 cups, if using the bouillon option, see Note up top].
Make brothy pesto and assemble: Heat empty pasta pot over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 garlic cloves. Cook garlic until just golden at the edges, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups of broth and bring it to a simmer. Add 1/2 cup of remaining pesto, stir just until warmed. Transfer meatballs and zucchini to brothy pesto in the pot and add drained pasta. Cook everything together, tossing to evenly coat, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Distribute meatballs, zucchini, and orecchiette to wide serving bowls, ladling over any pesto broth left in the pot. Finish each bowl with an additional spoonful of remaining pesto, more salt and pepper, and grated parmesan cheese. Eat right away.
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A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.