Friday, August 26, 2011

She can cook!!!!

I can be very outgoing, sometimes to a fault. When people tell me they don't know how to cook or they just don't cook, I don't hold back, I ask, why? What do you eat? I am literally confused how adults either choose not to cook or have never been taught to cook. 
Now this is not a finger pointing blame game, I just really don't understand sometimes. 

As kids my brother and I practically lived in the kitchen no matter what family member's house you were at. Even if we didn't know what something was we ate it and liked it, we didn't waste anything. We knew someone worked hard to earn the money for this food and someone else but their time and love into preparing it for us. Food was not something to take lightly. If you were invited to someone's house in my family you were fed, period. Parties are another story, we cook for the whole neighborhood we can't imagine people coming to celebrate something and not be nourished by food. Cooking is truly a labor of love. Everyone speaks the same language in food, it's basic really, but to make and share something to nourish a soul is powerful.

So to show people how to love cooking and enjoy the fruits of their labor I will pretty much try to teach anyone to cook or at least share a recipe to get them excited about the time they take to make something. So I had the pleasure of my friend Jamie come over and we shared a great night of cooking, and eating. I chose to start her off with a basic marinara sauce and meatballs, beacause really if you can do that it coordinates with many other cooking techniques.

 That's A-Lot-A Meatballs
Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray
1 pound ground beef( we used grass feed ground chuck)
1 1/2 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1-1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs ( use last 1/2 cup only if meat doesn't hold together)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 small onion, grated
3 tablespoons minced garlic

In a large bowl, mix together beef, cheese, 1 cup breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, herbs, onion, and garlic; season with salt. Hands work the best for mixing this and don't over-mix, once the ingredients are all combined leave it be. Roll meat mixture into 2 1/2-ounce balls; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake at 350 until beef is cooked through and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Nothin' Fancy Spaghetti Sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and onions look see through and garlic is light brown. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer; let simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and put into a blender to puree. I also like to prepare ahead of time and pour into a jar for later use.

I used spaghetti noodles, but don't limit yourself to that. The whole package of spaghetti can be used. Add 2 tablespoons or so of salt to the water. When the pot is at a rolling boil add dry pasta. Cook only for about 8-10 mins. The best test to know if it is ready to take out is to eat one. If it is a little soft around but still has a firm center when you bite in that is perfect. Al Dente in Italian means to the tooth, I always remembered that and it helps to know how to test your pastas. Strain the pasta in the sink and rinse with water. place pasta back into a large pot. Now you're ready to add sauce, yes add sauce into the pasta. Add one tablespoon of butter to give your pasta a nice glisten. Top with meatballs and you have a masterpiece. 

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did and invite someone new over, they might appreciate a lesson in something you enjoy too! Thanks Jamie for being so sweet, and Mark for having an empty stomach!

God Speed

1 comment:

  1. it was amazing! the grass-fed beef was such a treat! thanks again for making us dinner, we can't wait to sit in on another of your cooking classes! haha