Archive for the ‘Main Dish’ Category

Excellent Meatloaf Recipe

Simple Ranch House Meatloaf

I love meatloaf sandwiches.  Usually the reason I make the meatloaf is just to have that meatloaf sandwich the next day.  This is an EXCELLENT meatloaf recipe, and makes great sandwiches for the next day. I did not use the sauce recipes listed below, just a can of Campbell’s tomato soup poured over the top the last 15 minutes or so of baking.

 slightly adapted from: Derf at Recipezazz

Prep Time

15 Minutes

Cook Time

105 Minutes


6 -8


1 1/2 pounds ground beef 

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 cup onions, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 cup bread or cracker crumbs, or 1 cup Cornflakes, finely crushed (This is what I used)

2 eggs

7 1/2 ounces beef broth

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon pepper



3 tablespoons brown sugar

4 tablespoons ketchup

1 teaspoon dry mustard


Alternate Topping:

4 tablespoons chilli sauce.

3 tablespoons sugar (or Splenda)

4 tablespoons spreadable soft cream cheese

1  teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon hot horseradish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F


  Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together,  pack into a 5″x9″ loaf pan or baking dish and bake for 1 hour.

Topping: Mix together which ever topping ingredients you choose to use; brush it over the meatloaf; return the meatloaf to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes.


NOTE: The finished cooled meatloaf can be frozen. Alternately, the meatloaf ingredients can be split into 2 smaller loaf pans, cooked, topped, cooled and frozen. The meatloaf is excellent eaten hot or cold.

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The sloppy Joe is an American dish of ground beef, onions, sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings served on a hamburger bun.  The original Sloppy Joe Sandwich was invented at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West. (Seems there’s other origin stories else where too, but, this is the story from Wikipedia).  The original is still available and consists of ground beef in a sweet rich tomato sauce with onions, peppers and seasonings. Hence the sandwich was named after the establishment, not the consistency.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

adapted from Recipezaar

2 1/4 tsp. Yeast

3 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour (You can use Bread Flour, but they do rise with no problem with all-purpose)

1 tsp. Salt

2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder (Told you I love Garlic!)

1 tsp. Onion Powder

1/4 Cup Sugar

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil (Or Olive Oil)

1 1/4 Cups Milk, slightly warmed

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients until mixed well. Add the vegetable oil and the slightly warmed milk. Stir until mixture forms a dough.  On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until you have a nice pliable soft dough, about 5-10 minutes. Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to cover all sides with the oil. Place a towel over the dough and let rest for about 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down and divide dough into 8-9 pieces of dough, trying to make uniform sizes. Roll into a ball, and gently push down flattening the dough between your palms. Don’t squish them down too much, just enough to make the size bun you want. Place on a greased (or Sprayed) cookie sheet. Cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake on a center rack in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until buns are slightly brown. Yield: 8-9 Buns.

Super Sloppy Joes

2 lbs. Ground Beef

1/2 Cup Chopped Onions

2 Stalks Celery, chopped

1/4 cup Ketchup

2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp. Steak Sauce

1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt

1/4 tsp. Ground Mustard

1/4 tsp. Paprika

8-10 Hamburger Buns, split

In a large skillet brown hamburger, breaking it up as you go, until thoroughly cooked and no pink remains. Add onions, and green pepper and cook until onion is soft and transparent. Add remaining ingredients, stirring occasionally til heated through. Turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve at once.

Yield: 8-10 servings.


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I found this on the website,  half hour meals.  This one was rated a five, and my husband certainly agreed with the rating.

This dish was really good. Easy to prepare, fast to cook and get to the table.

Breaded Parmesan Chicken Breasts

from: Half hour meals

4-6  Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breasts

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

1 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Pepper

2 Extra Large Eggs

1 Tbsp. Water

1 1/4 Cups Seasoned Dry Bread Crumbs

1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Tbsp. Freshly chopped Parsley

2 Tbsp. Butter

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Pound chicken flat between 2 sheets of wax paper, to 1/4 inch thickness.  Take out three plates or wide bowls. On one plate, combine flour, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork. On the second plate or bowl, beat the eggs with the water.  On the last plate or bowl combine bread crumbs, half of  the parsley and the Parmesan.  Take the Chicken breasts, and coat each side with flour. Now move to the egg mixture covering both sides and than put in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure it coated evenly all over.  Use your fingers and make sure they are coated well. Pat lightly to knock off excess crumbs.

In a 12 inch skillet on medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil in a pan. Once hot, add the chicken breasts, and allow to cook on medium heat about 3 minutes on each side. You do not want to turn them over more than once, or the breading will come off. Once fully cooked, remove them from heat and let sit for a few minutes.   Allowing them to cool a little bit, retains the juices. Garnish with the rest of the parsley and more Parmesan cheese if desired.

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Spaghetti & Meatballs

It’s not really that often that I make Spaghetti with Meatballs.  Usually, it’s the ground hamburger fried up and mixed in with the sauce.  However, recently I decided to go all out and make meatballs to go with the Spaghetti Sauce.  Sure it takes a little longer, but the effort was worth it.  They really are melt in your mouth, delicious meatballs.  The kids loved it!  I used my favorite sauce here, and dropped the meatballs into the sauce to cook. Yum!  Below is the recipe for the meatballs.

Kittencal’s Famous Parmesan Meatballs

By Kittencal at: Recipezazz.com

1 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs (don’t have any dry breadcrumbs? soak 3 slices sandwich bread in the milk until soft)

4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (garlic lovers can use more)

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon dried oregano or dry Italian seasoning (optional but good to add in for flavor

3 tablespoons dried parsley

1 1/2  teaspoons seasoned salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (can use more or less)

1.)  In a bowl mix all ingredients, adding in a little more bread crumbs if needed to hold together; cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or 24 hours.

2.)  Shape into about 1-inch balls or slightly larger.

3.)  Add to simmering sauce or bake at 350 degrees F  for about 25 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on the size of the meatballs — if you are dropping into simmering sauce do not stir for at least 20 minutes or you       may run the risk of the meatballs falling apart.

4.)  Note; for spicy meatballs add in some crushed chili flakes.

Note:  I have tried her recipe both ways, baking the meatballs as pictured here, and dropping them in the sauce and cooking them (which is the method I prefer) as pictured above.  These really are GOOD meatballs, and I encourage you to give them a try.  Don’t forget to visit her website for more of her fantastic recipes.

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I recently picked up the cookbook “The Everything Restaurant Recipes Cookbook”.   The first thing I tried out of it, was the Olive Garden Chicken Scampi.  I love the Olive Garden’s Chicken Scampi.  Usually I order that and swap the chicken for shrimp. I didn’t follow the recipe fully, I adapted it to our taste, adding some broccoli and mushrooms.  This turned out fantastic.  Highly recommend you give this a try.

Olive Garden Chicken Scampi

Adapted From: “The Everything Restaurant Recipes Cookbook”

By: Becky Bopp

Scampi refers to meat or seafood that is grilled or sautéed in oil or butter and garlic.

White Sauce:

1 Tbsp. Butter

2 Tbsp. Flour

1/4 Cup Milk

Scampi Sauce:

3 Tbsp. Butter

2 Tbsp. Crushed garlic

1/2 Crushed Red Pepper

2 tsp. Italian Seasoning (I omitted this, personal Preference)

Black Pepper, to taste

1/3 cup White Wine (Original recipe calls for 3/4 cup. I found that to be too much and had to add more chicken broth, to get the taste I wanted. Start with 1/3 cup and work your way up.)

1 cup Chicken Broth


2 Sliced Chicken breasts, cut in thin strips

Olive Oil

1 Green Pepper, thinly sliced

1 Red Onion, thinly sliced (I used white onion, that’s all I had)

1 1/2 Cups frozen Broccoli, thawed, Or fresh Broccoli, cooked until crisp, tender.

1 Jar/Can Button Mushrooms

10 cloves roasted garlic (I used jarred chopped garlic, didn’t have time to roast garlic)

1/2 package cooked Angel Hair Pasta (I used Spaghetti Noodles)


1.  To create the white sauce, heat butter in a saucepan and add the flour, cook for 2 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly.  Slowly add the milk and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.  Set aside.

2.  To create the scampi sauce, heat butter over low heat.  Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper, and black pepper.  Cook for about 2 minutes on low heat.  Add the wine and chicken broth and stir until combined.

3.  Add 1/4 cup of the white sauce to the scampi sauce and cook for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. (I used all of my white sauce, until I reached the consistency I desired.)

4.  Saute’ the chicken in a large skillet with a little olive oil.  Add the peppers, onions, broccoli and mushrooms. (If using fresh or jarred garlic add this now.) Saute for  8 – 10 minutes,  until the chicken and broccoli is cooked through.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

5.  Meanwhile, cook pasta al dente in salted water.  Drain. Toss lightly with a little bit of butter or olive oil.

6. (I did my scampi a plate at a time.)   In a skillet you cooked the chicken in (no need to wash the pan) add some drained pasta noodles.  Ladle scampi sauce over pasta. Add the cooked chicken mixture, and toss to mix. (Add more sauce if you like it a little more saucier!) Cook over low heat until heated through.  Transfer to a serving plate.  Garnish with parsley if desired and serve at once.   (This allowed me to make our pasta with the desired amount of sauce each person liked.)


Roasting Garlic:

For the roasted garlic, seperate the head of the garlic into individual cloves still in the paper.  Toss in olive oil, wrap tightly in aluminum foil, and bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 45 minutes.  When the garlic has cooled  to the touch, you should be able to squeeze it out of the paper shell of the individual cloves.

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I came across this recipe on Allrecipes.com.  See my notes at the bottom.

Clark’s Quiche

“This recipe is excellent served for breakfast with fruit or at lunch or dinnertime with a salad. This recipe makes two 9 inch pies. The reason for this is because if you only make one you will hate yourself the next day when there are no leftovers. The Quiche microwaves well the next day. In fact most people say that the flavors have blended better on the second day… If in the strange case that you are filled up with one pie, this is a great gift to give a friend or relative, or if you are stingy…it freezes well with tin foil.”

Clark’s Quiche
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 1 Hr
Ready In: 1 Hr 25 Min
Original Recipe Yield 2 (9 inch) pies
1/2 lb thick sliced bacon
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, finely diced
2 cups finely diced smoked ham
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
1 Tbs dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. Cook spinach according to package instructions. Allow to cool, then squeeze dry.

2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until soft and translucent. Stir in mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Stir in ham and cooked bacon. Remove from heat.

3. In a large bowl, combine spinach, sour cream, salt and pepper. Divide, and spread into pie crusts. Layer with bacon mixture. Mix together Monterey Jack, Cheddar and Parmesan, and sprinkle over pies. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, and pour over pies.

4. Place pies on baking sheet, and bake on middle shelf in preheated oven for 40 minutes. The top will be puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Yield: Original Recipe Yield 2 (9 inch) pies

Author: By: Clark Hamblen
Web Page: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/clarks-quiche/detail.aspx


I made my Quiche with breakfast sausage instead of the ham and bacon. Turned out perfect.  This Quiche is delicious!

If you like Quiche, do give this recipe a try.  It got rave reviews from those who tried it, and I will be adding this to my regular rotation of recipes.

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Ranch Chicken Salad

This salad makes for a great meal that even the Grand kids will eat, doesn’t take too long to make, and tastes delicious. What more can you ask for? (Click on picture for a better view.)

Ranch Chicken Salad

By: Fire up the oven

Romaine Lettuce

Red Onion, cut in thin slices

Cucumber, diced

Tomato, diced

Fresh Corn on the cob, Removed from cob

Bacon, cooked & Crumbled

Freshly Grated Cheese (Your favorite)

Red or Green Pepper, diced

Breaded Chicken Patties, cut in strips (I bought some at Gordon’s Food Service)

Homemade Ranch Dressing (Or store-bought)

In a large bowl, cut up lettuce.  I usually put the remaining ingredients in small bowls, so everyone can put the topping they want on their salad.  Cut the chicken into strips.  Make salads according to your tastes.  This salad is so good.  Especially with a homemade Ranch dressing.  I add croutons to my salad too. Yum!!

Do you have a favorite salad you make, that  your family regularly requests?

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Recently, I was sent Anita Lo’s new cookbook “Cooking without Borders”.

Anita Lo is the owner and chef of the Michelin starred Annisa.  She has been featured on Chopped All Stars, Top Chef Masters, Iron Chef America, the Martha Stewart show and more.  This is her first cookbook.    In Cooking without Borders, she offers more than 100 recipes celebrating the best flavors from around the globe, including chapters on appetizers, soups, salads, main courses, and desserts.   These recipes show home cooks everywhere how easy it is to think globally and prepare creative and delicious food.

What intrigues me and draws me to this cookbook is the combinations of flavorings, tastes and textures.  This book does not reflect the cooking that I have done in the past.  This book was fun, although taking me out of my comfort zone in the fact that so many of the ingredients in this book I have been foreign to and have never tried.  I will continue to use this book to broaden my tastes and experience some of the flavors from around the world.

For my recipe, I have to admit that I did stick to some of the comforts that I know; nevertheless, this dish was intriguing in its ingredients, tastes and textures.  Somethings I subbed.  The recipe calls for sea urchin, and at $55.00 a pound where I live, this ingredient was left out.  I swapped the Chinese Mustard greens for baby broccoli, first because I couldn’t find Chinese Mustard greens, and second, I love baby broccoli.  (Broccoli Rabe was a listed acceptable substitution.) This recipe was used in the Elimination Round in Top Chef.

Pan Roasted Sea Scallops with Uni, Bacon, and Mustard Greens

From: Cooking Without Borders by: Anita Lo

Serves: 4

For our elimination challenge in the first Champions Round of Top Chef Masters, we were each asked to present our fellow competitors with a signature dish – subsequently, one of our opponents would have to reinvent and make the dish his or her own.  As none of my signature dishes could have been done in the two hours allotted, I chose this rich scallop entrée because it’s indicative of my cooking.  The seared golden mollusk sits on a white potato puree, surrounded by a ragout of orange sea urchin, dark mustard greens,  and burgundy-hued bacon.  Although the shellfish is the star, the salty meat is the lynchpin; with the bitter greens, the bacon recalls the Southern collards -and – pork pairing; with the same leaves mustardy notes, it draws on that condiment’s ability to enhance pig parts;  with the briny sea urchin, it calls a chowder to mind; and, with the sweet scallop, it references a staple of New American cuisine.  My Potato puree is based on David Bouley’s . His is composed of fingerlings and butter in equal amounts, plus a bit of heavy cream  I  apply less butter and combine fingerlings with Idaho potatoes, which maintain fluffiness and make for a more foolproof outcome.  When Hubert Keller reinterpreted my dish on that television show, I don’t remember his straying that much from the original, but I believe he substituted  peas for the mustard greens.  Home cooks have a chance to put their own twist on things; for example, caviar could be used in place of sea urchin, or that component could be left out entirely. – Anita Lo

For the potato puree:

1/2 cup peeled & roughly chopped fingerlings potatoes

1 small Idaho potato, peeled & roughly chopped

3 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

A few grinds black pepper

For the scallops:

1 tablespoon neutral flavored vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds extra-large sea scallops, connector muscle removed (3 or 4 scallops per person)

1 teaspoon salt

Black Pepper to taste

For the Sauce:

1 tablespoon Cognac

1/4 cup Lobster stock or clam juice

2 tablespoons bacon lardons,  cooked to render fat

1/4 cup wide stem Chinese mustard greens, cut (on bias) into bite size pieces

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives

Pinch of chopped fresh tarragon

20 pieces sea urchin

1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Make the potato puree:  Put the potatoes in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook until the potatoes are tender.  Drain well and pass through a food mill.  In a small saucepan, heat the cream and the butter over medium high heat until the butter is melted and the cream is steaming, then whisk the mixture into the potatoes until well blended and smooth, do not over whisk, which will make the potatoes gluey.  Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Cover and set aside in a warm place.

Make the scallops:  Heat a pan large enough to hold all the scallops in one well spaced layer.  Add the oil, and when it’s smoking, add the scallops and season with the salt and pepper.  Lower the heat to medium high and cook until golden brown.  Turn and cook to desired doneness.  (I like them medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side.)

Meanwhile, make the sauce:  Heat a small saute pan over medium high heat. Add the cognac, bring to a boil, and cook for 30 seconds to cook off some of the alcohol.  Add the stock and lardons and bring to a boil.  Add the mustard greens and butter and stir to emulisfy.  Add the chives and tarragon, then add the sea urchin and a little lemon juice to taste.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding the salt and pepper.

To Serve:  Place the potato puree in the center of each of 4 large serving plates.  Circle the puree with the sauce and try to distribute the lardons and mustard greens evenly.  Top the puree with the scallops and serve.

Serves 4.

Note:  There are endless different kinds of mustard greens and any of them will work in this recipe.  You have, to name a few, the red frilly variety, the green frilly type, and the Chinese type called gai choy that are either small, or as I prefer for this preparation, wide stemmed.  Those stems are often, pickled, or as here, braised.  The cooking process tames the sharpness.  They retain their mustardy bite but won’t overpower the other ingredients.  Although quite strong, broccoli rabe, a cousin of these greens, is a viable alternative, if you use it here, a little bit will be enough. ~ Anita Lo


This is a high quality, beautifully photographed cookbook.  If you’d like to learn some recipes from around the world,  or if you’d like to expand your repertoire, this is the book for you. Now that we have even greater access than ever before to ingredients from all corners of the world, there’s no better time to enjoy these flavors at every meal, presented by one of our country’s most innovative chefs.

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This is one of my favorite Chicken dishes.  Quick and easy, and Oh so tasteful!

I came across this book during a trip to the grocery store.  It was a special deal, by three Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and receive “Spread a Little Joy” Free.  Needless to say, as the cream cheese was on my shopping list anyways, why not!  This is the only recipe I’ve made so far from the book, but it is delicious.  Give it a try. It’s easy and quick enough for a weekday supper, but elegant and tasty enough for company too!

Mediterranean – Style Stuffed Chicken

By: Spread a little Joy

  • 4 ounces Cream cheese, softened
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives (I omitted this for personal preference)
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped slivered almonds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme , divided
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  • Salt & Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Season chicken with salt & freshly ground pepper.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients. Add 1 Tbsp. thyme, mix well. Use a small sharp knife to cut a pocket in the thick long side of each chicken breast, being careful to not cut through to opposite side. Fill pockets with cream cheese mixture. (I fill them all the way up, the cream cheese will not ooze out of this. It is a stuffing.)

3. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add chicken, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until browned on both sides. Transfer to a 13×9 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; cover. Reserve drippings in skillet.

4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is done. (165 degrees.)

5. After the chicken has been in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, add wine and broth to the drippings in the skillet, scraping up the browned bits in the skillet. Cook on medium heat  10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.  Stir in remaining thyme.

6. Slice chicken. Serve with sauce.  (I skip this step and serve them in 1/2 a full breast portions.)

Yield: 4 Servings.

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When you’re a cookbook addict, and buy old as well as new cookbooks, every once in a while you come across a home run, glad I bought this, can’t put this down, can’t wait to make all these recipes, kind of cookbook.  This recipe comes from the book “Piret’s The George and Piret Munger Cookbook” and is one of those books!  I  have so many cookbooks that this little treasure has went unnoticed, collecting dust, for quite sometime until now.  I plan on cooking quite a few recipes out of this book. It’s definitely worthy of a place on my favorites book shelf!

In 1974 Munger and his wife Piret, moved from the midwest to San Diego, California.  Dismayed to find that the area provided no place to buy decent cookware, they, with the help of friends turned a former hair salon  into the “Perfect Pan’. A boutique that fast became a place for up and coming cooks, newly awakened foodies and Chef wannabes.  Munger offered cooking classes at the Perfect Pan and conducted more than 4,000 classes at eventually 3 locations with some 50,000 students enrolled, taught by an array of world-class chefs. (Famous chefs such as Jacques Pepin, Julia Child and James Beard came and taught at the school.) The Perfect Pan was also the first place in the country to sell the Cuisinart food processor.  Used in the cooking classes, students wanted to buy one after they saw how easily it would grind meat, chop vegetables and make a pie crust.   Eventually the establishment had carry out, with a few tables to sample at, but not enough seating to cover the demand and everyone urging them to add more seating, they expanded into the restaurant business.  Ten years after the Perfect Pan opened, the recipes they collected from the cooking school and Restaurant went into Piret’s The George and Piret Munger Cookbook that was published in 1985.  Now out of print, the book once sold 150,000 copies and was once on both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times best sellers list.  If you happen to come across a copy, In my humble opinion, it’s very much worth picking up!

Frank Munger’s Spaghetti & Meatballs

Adapted From: Piret’s The George and Piret Munger Cookbook

This recipe, which is delicious, takes shortcuts with excellent results.  The meatball recipe makes terrific meatloaf as well. Just place the mixture in a bread pan, tamp it down to remove air pockets, cover with strips of raw smoked bacon to keep it moist and flavorful, and bake at 425 degrees for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. -

The sauce reheats beautifully and tastes best if made in advance so the flavors can mingle.Piret Munger

Makes 8 servings

To prepare the sauce:

3 strips smoked bacon, minced

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped fine 9

1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned, cut in quarters and halves

1 cans (6 ounce) tomato paste

1 can (8 ounce) Tomato sauce

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp. Chili powder

1 can (12 ounces) Spaghetti sauce with meat (I used 1 jar Ragu with meat) (Rinse jar out with a little bit of water and stir into sauce.)

1/4 pound freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

To prepare the sauce:

Brown the bacon in a large saute pan. Remove the bacon from the pan. Cook the onions and celery in the bacon fat until translucent.  Add the bacon, mushrooms, tomato paste, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and chili powder, and stir in the spaghetti sauce with meat. Stir the sauce well and bring it to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 1 hour. Add the Parmesan cheese. Continue simmering the sauce for 30 minutes more.

To prepare the Meatballs:

2 pounds ground beef

1/2 pound pork sausage

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 cup saltine crackers, crumbled fine

2 whole eggs

2 cans (8 oz. Each) tomato sauce

1 medium yellow onion, minced


Bacon fat, for frying

Cooked spaghetti

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To Prepare the Meatballs:

Mix the beef, sausage, salt, pepper, oregano, crackers, eggs, one can of tomato sauce, and onions.  Add enough milk to make the mixture slightly moist and pliable.  Form the meat into 1 1/2 inch balls.  Brown the meatballs in bacon fat.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the meatballs in a ovenproof casserole and pour the second can of tomato sauce over them.  Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, uncovered, another 30 minutes.  Serve the sauce and meatballs over spaghetti, cooked al dente.  Pass freshly grated Parmesan cheese separately.

NOTE: I made the sauce and added the meat cooked to the spaghetti sauce without making the meatballs.   The spaghetti sauce was delicious as I made it.  I can’t wait to have the leftovers tomorrow after the flavors have had a chance to mingle. Next time I’ll be making the meatballs too, they sound delicious! If they’re half as good as the sauce, I’ll be in heaven!

Update: This is even better the second time around after the sauce has been refrigerated and the flavors have had a change to mingle. So easy too with or without making the meatballs!

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