MEATBALLS, The Versatile Food

     Pictured is a Meatball Sub with Beef Meatballs, Spaghetti Sauce and melted Mozzarella Cheese

     What’s not to like about a Meatball? They’re round. They’re made of meat. With a little imagination, you could go wild in your kitchen! 


       Freezing Meatballs is always handy when you need a fast meal because they thaw quickly.

     Serve them with Red Sauce or Marinara over Pasta, Meatball Subs, Teriyaki, Brown Gravy over Noodles or Mashed Potatoes, Mozzarella stuffed, Meatballs in Marsala Sauce over Noodles or Mashed Potatoes, Lasagna, Pizza, Meatball Stroganoff, or any one of many different ideas. 

     Today I will share a basic recipe and you can take it from there.

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 20-24 Meatballs

1 lb Ground Beef, or Italian Sausage, or a mixture of Ground Chicken and Ground Turkey, Veal, or Pork
3-4 TBSP Milk
¾ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Egg
A few dashes each of Salt and Pepper
1 tsp Parsley
1 Tsp Basil
½ tsp Garlic Powder
¼ cup Sweet Onion, chopped
½ cup Plain or Seasoned Bread Crumbs

PREPARATION:

In a bowl, break up the Meat. Make a well in the center and add Milk, Worcestershire, Egg, Salt, Pepper, Parsley and Garlic Powder. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Lots of people use their hands, but I just can’t.

Add the Onion and Bread Crumbs. Mix again until incorporated. Form into balls (I use a cookie scoop. I don’t have to touch them that way and the size is uniform. They will have one flat side, but who cares and nobody will notice.

Now you have your choice of frying or baking. Either one is just as good. Fry them in a skillet until browned on all sides. Or bake on a foil or parchment lined cookie sheet in a 400° F oven for about 18-22 minutes until browned. If you’re making smaller cocktail size balls, check them after 15 minutes.

NOTES: If using Chicken and/or Turkey, make sure the temperature is 165 in the center.

If making Italian Meatballs, you can use sweet or hot. You can use ground meat or links. (Just remove the skins if you’re using links.)

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

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Skillet Chorizo with Gnocchi

Skillet Chorizo and Gnocchi (or Tortellini)

     Nice and spicy, this simple dish is prepared on the stove top and is on the table in no time.  There are so many variations to try!  Add Mini Meatballs, Italian Sausage, Browned Ground Meat, leftover Cooked Chicken, Bell Peppers or Mini Sweet Peppers. Use Tortellini, Shells, Noodles or Ravioli instead of Gnocchi.  If cooking for a crowd, double up the Butter, Shrooms, Onion, Garlic, Tomatoes, and Seasoning.  When it’s ready, ladle half of it into a different pan.  Add a different Meat to each pan AND a different Pasta.  Ta da!  Two dishes with the work of only one!  Your kitchen will smell like Grandma’s Italian Kitchen!

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 3-4 servings

1 tbsp Butter

8 oz Mushrooms, sliced

1 lb Meat (Ground Meat, Andouille, Chorizo, Meatballs, Italian Sausage or cooked Chicken)

1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped

2-3 TBSP Garlic, chopped or minced

2 cups Fresh tomatoes, diced or 1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes

1 TBSP spicy Seasoning (Creole or Cajun)

Black Pepper to taste

1 tsp each Parsley and Basil

16 oz Tortellini, Gnocchi, Ravioli, or Noodles or Shells, cooked Al Dente

Grated Romano, Asiago, or Parmesan for serving

PREPARATION:

     Cook the pasta in a large pot of water.

     Preheat a 12” skillet, and add Butter.  Cook Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic, (and Peppers if using) until tender. Add your Meat and cook until done.  (Chicken should be precooked.  Leftover chicken is perfect). 

     Add Tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the juice has cooked down a bit.  If it seems to runny, add 1 TBSP Tomato Paste.  Add Seasonings and cooked Pasta.  Simmer 5 more minutes.  Sprinkle Grated Cheese to the pan or on top of each individual bowl when serving.  Serve with crusty Bread and a Salad.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan

Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (7)

Bob loves fried green tomatoes. Unfortunately, I never remember to make them until one of our tomatoes falls off the vine before it ripens. Then, just like that – I have a revelation! Fried Green Tomatoes for Bob!

     Between the garden (which is about 1 step from the back door) and the house, I changed my mind. I thought, “Hmm, I wonder what Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan would taste like?”

      In the few seconds it took to wash the tomato and move to the counter, I saw a Zucchini just lying there with no recipe in mind. I thought, “Hmm, I wonder what Fried Zucchini Parmesan would taste like?” And I was off!
     This is how my mind works sometimes when I’m in the kitchen. Things just pop in there. I have no clue if Fried Green Tomato Parmesan – OR – Fried Zucchini Parmesan are real dishes or not. I’ve never heard of them. See the Mimi below? That’s me, and that’s how my mind works. I don’t have ADD, or at least I don’t think I do, but when the creative juices are working, this Mimi describes me perfectly.
     The Vegetables were knock your socks off delicious. I think even fussy little kids would like them because they are lightly crispy on the outside, have the sauce and cheese on top. They’ll think they’re having mini pizza.
INGREDIENTS:
2 Medium Green Tomatoes, washed and sliced ½“thick
1 Small Zucchini, washed and sliced ¾” thick
1 cup AP flour
½ cup yellow corn meal
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp parsley
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBSP milk
PREPARATION:
In small bowl, beat egg and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Place flour and corn meal in a second bowl, add parsley, garlic powder, onion powder. Stir.
Dip sliced tomatoes first in flour, then in egg, then in flour again. Coat both sides. Repeat with the Zucchini.
I cooked everything in the air fryer on one tray (See pics). I used aluminum foil which I lightly sprayed with cooking spray. After breading, I drizzled with Olive Oil and cooked them 10 min in air fryer until they were golden brown. Then I flipped them over, drizzled more olive oil and cooked for 6 -7 minutes or until they were golden brown.
NOTE: These could easily be pan fried, cooked in a convection oven, or a standard oven.
Dab a little Spaghetti Sauce or Marinara on top of each one. Sprinkle Parmesan, Romano, and Mozzarella Cheese on top. Return to air fryer for 2 minutes or until Cheeses are bubbly and golden.
By Tika 8/07/18
By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (2)
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (3)
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (4)
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (5)
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (6)
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (7)

PORK PROVOLONE

MARY ROPER

Chew Wanna Eat?
Pork Provolone

My friend Mary Roper has contributed another wonderful recipe. Pork Provolone! How awesome does this look???? Mary cooked hers in a 3.4 qt 1500-watt air fryer, but you can easily do it in the oven. Here’s how Mary did it:

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 2 SERVINGS

2 small boneless pork chops
1 cup Buttermilk
Italian Seasoning and Garlic Powder
3 oz Pork Rinds
½ cup Plain or Seasoned AP Flour
2 slices Provolone Cheese
1 quart Homemade Marinara or a good quality store-bought (Mary used Rao’s)
Cooked Spaghetti
Garnishes: Parmesan Cheese and Basil

PREPARATION:

Pound the pork chops fairly thin. Marinate in buttermilk, Italian Seasoning and Garlic Powder for several hours. Mary puts everything in a zip lock, then into a bowl in case the bag leaks. Flip it around a few times to make sure it got into all of the sides.
Pulverize pork rinds in a food processor (make sure to break down or get rid of any large pieces as they’re very hard and could break a tooth!)

Set up a breading station with your pork in the milk mixture, a container with seasoned or plain flour, and pork rinds.

Allow any excess milk to drip off one piece of pork, place it in the flour to cover, back in the milk and finally in the pork rinds. Push the pork rinds onto all sides of the meat to coat. Cover and allow to sit on a plate in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour for breading to set.

Place in air fryer basket. Spray lightly to keep crumbs from blowing off and fry at 400 degrees for 9 minutes for the first side, flip, cook another 5, check internal temp to see if it’s at least 140 degrees then add a slice of provolone and cook at a lower temp 1 minute to melt the cheese. *

While pork is cooking make spaghetti and heat up homemade sauce or a jar of good quality marinara (I used Rao’s).

Plate cooked spaghetti in a pasta bowl or on a plate, add some warm sauce, then the pork, a little additional sauce, a sprinkle of Parmesan and fresh basil if you have some and enjoy!

*If you want to bake the pork instead, bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Flip and allow to bake for another 15 minutes until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.

If you have a great original recipe that you’d like to share with our followers, please e-mail photos, ingredients, and preparation instructions to: chewwannaeat@gmail.com

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MARY ROPER

Pork Prov

PorkPro

Pork Provolone

MARY ROPER

ITALIAN-STYLE BAKED TOMATOES

Italian-Style Baked Tomatoes (3)

     Bob loves tomatoes.  He’ll pick one and eat it out of the garden, he likes them on everything cooked, and of course in spaghetti, salsa, and on pizza.  Since we had so many ready from the garden at one time I wanted to try something different.  It was a huge success.  Here’s what I did:

INGREDIENTS:

2 tomatoes

2 TBSP bread crumbs

A drizzle of olive oil

Seasonings:  Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, Parsley

A sprinkling each of Parmesan, Romano, and Mozzarella

 

PREPARATION:

Wash tomatoes, remove stem, and cut in half.  Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle seasonings on top.  Bake for about 18 minutes at 350° F.  Place grated cheeses on top and add a sprinkling of Parsley.  Broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

How simple was that?

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

Italian-Style Baked Tomatoes (3)

Italian-Style Baked Tomatoes (2)

Italian-Style Baked Tomatoes

Italian-Style Baked Tomatoes (3)

CAPRESE PASTA SALAD

Caprese Pasta Salad (4)

     Caprese pasta salad is all the rage right now.  It combines the colors and flavors of old Italy and the taste can’t be beat.  Bob loves me even more on the day that I make Caprese Salad.  Soon I will make it again and add cooked shrimp or chicken.  Here’s how I make mine:

 INGREDIENTS

10-12 ounces Fusili (Tri-color pasta)

2 extra large garden-fresh tomatoes

1 cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup honey

¼ cup olive oil

4 TBSP fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin

3 TBSP red onion, or shallot (chopped)

1 TBSP dried basil or 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1 tsp sugar

1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese

OPTIONAL: 3 whole cloves roasted garlic and 3 slices of cucumber for garnish

 

PREPARATION

Cook whatever kind of pasta you want.  Drain and set aside.  Penne, Fusilli, Campanelle or Farfalle are all perfect.

In a small saucepan bring balsamic vinegar and honey to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 12 minutes or until reduced by about half.  Set aside to cool.

Slice 3 large slices of tomato and set aside for garnish.  The rest should be chopped into bite-sized pieces.  I also garnished with 3 cucumber slices and 3 whole cloves of roasted garlic.

In a small bowl, mix chopped tomato with olive oil, lemon juice, chopped garlic, 1 tsp sugar, salt, pepper, basil.  Set aside.

Place cooked pasta in a large serving bowl.  Add grated cheese and tomato mixture, stirring well.

Garnish with 3 slices of tomato.  I placed a slice of cucumber on top of each, and topped the cucumber with 1 whole clove of roasted garlic.  Pour vinegar/honey mixture on top.  Sprinkle with a bit of parsley.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad (2)

Caprese PASTA Salad (3)

Caprese Pasta Salad (4)

 

SEAFOOD ALFREDO WITH Lobster, Crab & Shrimp

Seafood Alfredo (5)

   I love seafood, specifically shellfish.  It is my absolute favorite thing to eat in the whole world.  I might even love seafood more than I love my sweets.  Consequently, I cook it a lot.  Sometimes I even get treated to a dinner out.  If I have leftovers, I might create something at home and share.  Then again, I usually scarf them down without sharing.  OK, part of the seafood in the following recipe was dinner out and the rest was in the freezer.  Either way, I shared!  That was good, right?

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 6 servings
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 large King Crab Legs, meat removed from shells
4 TBSP butter
2 TBSP olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped (1 ½ TBSP)
1/3 cup Chardonnay or dry Sherry
1 cup chicken broth
3 TBSP flour
3 ½ cups half and half
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp Parsley
¾ cup Italian blend grated cheese
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan
½ cup fresh grated Romano
Extra cheese for garnish
Pasta: Linguine, Fettuccini, Angel hair, Penne

PREPARATION:

Preheat a large pan of salted water and cook your pasta while preparing the seafood.
Place 1 TBSP butter in bottom of a large skillet which has been preheated on low/medium heat. Add cut up lobster and shrimp (or cook them separately). Sautee until lobster is opaque and shrimp is pink. It won’t take any more than 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked seafood. Place in a small bowl. Set aside.

Place olive oil and remaining butter in the bottom of the same skillet. Sauté garlic on low heat for 1 minute. Add Chardonnay, chicken broth, and flour, stirring continuously until flour is well incorporated and sauce begins to thicken a bit. You want the mixture to be at a slow simmer.

Add white pepper, Parsley, and slowly add the half and half. When mixture comes to a very slow simmer begin adding the grated cheeses a little at a time, stirring until cheese is melted. (Do not let it come to a full boil or the cheese may curdle.) Let it continue cooking for a few minutes.

Add crab meat, lobster, and shrimp. Stir well and wait until mixture returns to a simmer. (No need to cook the crab, it is always pre-cooked. You only need to warm it). Plate and sprinkle with a little extra grated cheese for garnish.

NOTE: Top secret tip. We’ve all done this, so beware. Adding the cheese to a very hot mixture will most likely cause it to curdle. Slowly adding the cheese while whisking will prevent this.

Everything can be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve. All you need to do is warm it and plate. Never reheat seafood in the microwave. Use a saucepan or skillet.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

Seafood Alfredo

Seafood Alfredo (2)

Seafood Alfredo (3)

Seafood Alfredo (4)

Seafood Alfredo (5)

CHICKEN PARMESAN, BAKED

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     I think chicken parmesan is one dish that everybody loves.  Breaded tender chicken, lots of homemade sauce and cheese . . . what’s not to like?   It’s one of Bob’s very favorite meals.  Here’s how to make it:

INGREDIENTS:

2 ½ lbs of chicken, boneless and skinless

2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs

1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan

1/3 cup fresh grated Romano

2 eggs, beaten with 1 TBSP water

About 2 cups grated Italian cheese blend

 

PREPARATION:

You can either butterfly, pound your chicken until it’s about ½” thick, or leave it as it is.  Set out two bowls.  One with the beaten eggs, and the other with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and Romano cheeses.  Dip the chicken in the egg, and then dip it in the breadcrumbs.

In a large skillet, drizzle olive oil over the bottom and preheat over low/medium heat.  While it’s browning, I normally sprinkle on a little pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Brown the chicken until golden on both sides, and place in a casserole dish.  The pan will lose its oil as you’re frying, so you’ll have to add a bit here and there.  Pour your spaghetti sauce over the top, cover dish, and bake at 350°  F for about 30 minutes.

Remove the foil, and sprinkle cheese over the top.  I like to use the Italian four or five cheese pre-grated packages because it has everything in it.  You can use plain mozzarella if you’d rather.  Return to oven uncovered and bake for about 15 minutes until cheese is melted nicely and slightly browned.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

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CREAMY WHITE CLAM SAUCE

creamy-white-clam-sauce-5

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 4 servings

One 10 0z can whole baby clams

Two 6 ¾ oz minced or chopped clams

3 TBSP butter

3 TBSP olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4-5 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup chopped mushrooms

1 ½ “ anchovy paste

2 TBSP flour

½ tsp Parsley, ½ tsp Italian Seasoning, ¼ tsp Basil

Pepper to taste

Pinch Crushed red pepper

1/3 cup Chardonnay

¼ cup half and half

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese

¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

½ cup fresh grated Romano cheese

 

PREPARATION:

In a 4 qt sauce pan, melt butter and olive oil together.  Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and anchovy paste.  Sauté 5 minutes on low heat.  Add flour and cook another 3 – 4 minutes.  Add Chardonnay and seasonings.  Let simmer for a few minutes.

Drain clams, reserving liquid.  You should end up with 1 ½ cups.  Add to pan, stirring until slightly thickened.  Slowly begin  adding cheeses, stirring as you go. When cheese is melted and sauce is smooth, add half and half and clams. Cook only long enough to heat them.

Serve over cooked pasta and sprinkle with more grated cheese.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

GIARDINIERA, CARROT AND CAULIFLOWER, SWEET AND HOT

giardiniera-carrot-and-cauliflower-2

     We plowed through the first two quarts so fast. Bob came home from the store with more cauliflower, so I think that might have been a hint. Yep, I’m pretty sure it was a hint.  I made a second batch with only cauliflower, carrots, and one onion. That’s what he prefers. So, here you have it: Know that the preparation instructions are a little different.

     If you love a sweet and spicy Giardiniera mix, this is the recipe for you!  Bob and I used to buy this all the time because we believed it was a healthy snack.  Then we noticed the sky-high sodium and discontinued snacking on it.  Since I’ve been  on a fresh veggie kick recently, I had a craving for Giardiniera.  I came up with what Bob and I believe to be an outstanding and less salty version.  Best of all, if you want it hotter, you can easily add more hot.  If you want it sweeter, add a little more sugar. 

INGREDIENTS:  YIELD – 2 ½ quarts

12 cups carrots and cauliflower

2-4 TBSP garlic, sliced or minced

1 large red or white onion, cut in thick slices

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups water

½ – 2/3 cup sugar

4 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper or 20 peppercorns

2 TBSP + 2 tsp dried dill weed or 7-8 sprigs fresh dill

1 TBSP chili oil (or more for hotter mix)

PREPARATION:

Mix all ingredients (except vegetables) in a large covered pot.  Add 6 cups of the cauliflower and carrots.  Cover, bring to a boil and let cook for about 2 minutes.  Strain the veggies into a large Pyrex container.  Cook the second 6-cup batch.  Remove to container.  Turn off the heat and add the sliced onions to the liquid and let sit for a minute or so.  Remove to container.  When mixture cools a bit, pour over the veggies.  Push veggies down to ensure they are covered with liquid. 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

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