Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pastor Ryan’s Bolognese Sauce

Another Bolognese, easier looking and looks tasty.

Recipe: Pastor Ryan’s Bolognese Sauce


  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1-1/2 cup Grated Carrots
  • 1 whole Large Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Basil Flakes
  • 1 can (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup (to 2 Cups) Red Wine
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 cans (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Milk
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat. Add grated 
carrots and onions and cook for a few minutes. Make a well in the center 
of the mixture, and then add in the ground beef. Cook for a few minutes 
until brown, gradually stirring it into the carrot mixture.

Throw in oregano and basil. Use fresh if you have it; if you don’t, it’s fine. 
When the meat is browned and combined with other ingredients, make 
another well. Add tomato paste and let it heat. Add garlic and stir to combine.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add red wine. Stir together. 
Add Worcestershire and stir. Add canned tomatoes. Finally, pour in milk, 
stir, and let simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours—however long you need.
Serve with pasta and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Critical items:
  • onions (at least one)
  • mushrooms (portabella or baby bella are best)
  • about 4 Tbsp butter (olive oil would probably work, but I've never tried)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sherry or marsala (other flavored liquids would work, but these have the best flavor here)
  • 2 - 4 cups liquid (ideally vegetable broth)
Extra bonus items:
  • garlic (as much as you like)
  • thyme, dried or fresh
  • paprika
  • fresh parsley
You'll need two pans. First you saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in one. Then make the roux in the second. Then add the first pan to the second pan.

Since this is a gravy, I chop the ingredients finely. Minced onions, minced garlic, thinly sliced mushrooms. I almost never chop things finely, but it's worth it. The liquids cook out faster and the gravy is smoother.
You can throw your ingredients in, fry 'em up without thinking and have something that works, or you can pay attention, and have something great.

1. Fry the onions in a little butter or olive oil on high to medium high heat. We want really nice brown bits to give the gravy that great roasted taste. Obviously avoid burning them. Onions have quite a bit of liquid inside them, so they can take a pretty high heat, but once they start turning brown, pay more attention and stir more often to minimize the chance of burning.

2. Add the garlic when the onions are close to done. Garlic burns easily on high heat, so this is when you want to turn down the heat to medium or medium low.

3. Add the mushrooms. They'll have a decent amount of liquid in them from the washing, so we want to cook them slowly to draw it out nicely for the sauce. This time I ended up adding one box of mushrooms first, then chopping and adding the second. This led to a nice gradation from totally cooked mushroom bits to fairly solid mushroom slices. If I weren't so lazy I might have cooked them longer, for a smoother gravy, but a few slices are nice too.

4. After the mushrooms have cooked down a little, add the thyme and paprika. I tend to sprinkle, mix, smell or taste, and repeat the process until I'm happy.

I'm horrible at estimating times for these steps, and it's more important to get it to the right doneness than check the time. But the onions might take 10 minutes, the garlic may take 1 minute, and the mushrooms another 10 minutes. But while the mushrooms are cooking, you can start the roux... (And if the mushrooms are done before the roux, you can take them off the heat until you're ready for them, or vice versa.)

I don't know much about classic sauces, but I have learned the key to good gravy: mix the fat with the flour first. Then cook it. Then add the liquid.

So, equal parts fat and flour. For this recipe, about 4 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup flour. (Yes, those are equivalent amounts. Silly Imperial system.) Melt the butter in a new pan (everything will end up in this pan at the end, so it should be reasonably big) over medium heat. Mix in the flour. It'll bubble oddly. It looks and smells like Playdoh. Kind of gross, right?

Keep stirring. And stirring. And stirring. You don't want to burn it, but you do want to brown it. So medium heat is good. Lots of stirring. Thick bottomed pans are better here for an even heat.

I can usually tell that my roux is ready from the smell more than the color. It goes from smelling like Playdoh to smelling like baked pie crust. And basically, that's what it is, cooked butter and flour. It just happens to be liquid instead of solid.

Once you've got the roux ready to go, you should deglaze the mushrooms. Deglazing is the point at which you use a liquid to melt those tasty brown bits (fond) off the sides of the pan.

I just sprinkle as much sherry as I need, which is probably between 1/2 and 1/4 of a cup. All of the alcohol cooks off, so we're just doing it for the rich flavors. If you don't have sherry on hand, you could use Marsala wine or vermouth, or red or white wine. I think at one point I used a mix of apple cider vinegar and water, but that was a long time ago.

Once the fond is mixed into the liquid, you're ready to add this to the roux.
Pour the mushroom bits into the roux. Stir a lot. It'll foam up, but just keep stirring and pouring. The sauce should be thick and glossy. It'll probably be too thick. This is when you add vegetable broth or water to thin it out. If it's really thick, don't just add veggie broth -- it's too salty. Add water too. If you're frugal like my Depression-raised grandmother, you'll add the potato water from your mashed potatoes. Theoretically it has lots of vitamins, and it's already hot.

See how the sides of the pan are nicely coated with thick gravy? Yum.

This is where you could mix in some minced fresh parsley.

Seven Layer Cookies

7 layer cookies     350o    30 minutes
1 stick (1/2 cup) Margarine, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1 six oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 six oz. pkg. butterscotch chips
1 cup pecans, chopped

Mix cracker crumbs with margarine and spread on bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan.   

Then spread chocolate chips over crumbs.   

Next add layer of each coconut, butterscotch chips and nuts.   

Pour Eagle Brand milk over and brake.

Cool completely before cutting into 1 inch squares.

Pot roast

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 yellow onion, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bunch baby carrots
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced in half
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. 

In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. 

Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside. 

Pour in the tomatoes and the water. 

Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. 

 Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. 

Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the vegetables. 

Serve with the pot juices.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Potato Casserole

Thanksgiving 2011 veggie version

Crockpot potato dish, made with potatoes and Cheddar cheese. Scroll down to see more potato recipes.

    1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
    1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    4 medium baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/4-inch thick
    4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
    1# chopped carrots

Combine soup, paprika and pepper. In generously greased slow cooker, arrange
potatoes in overlapping rows. Sprinkle with the cheese. Spoon soup mixture over cheese.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, until potatoes are tender. Keep warm for serving.
Serves 6.

replace pepper with rosemary and or thyme

Giuseppe's Bolognese Sauce

This recipe makes 10 hearty servings
Steps 1:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon dry thyme
Salt to taste
20 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
In a sauté pan, heat butter & oil, add onion, carrots, celery and salt, and sauté about 5 minutes; add garlic and tomato paste and cook for about 10 minutes (you want to see brown bit showing), stirring often; set aside.
Steps 2:
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat (preferred) or lard
2-1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
1-1/2 pound ground bulk sausage
1 heaping tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon (each) red chili flakes, chipotle and ancho powders
Sautéed vegetables from “steps 1”
1 cup cream sherry
1 cup zinfandel
2 cups chicken stock
1 water (more if needed)
1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
1-1/2 pound boneless and skinless thighs, chopped
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
3 bay leaves
In a large, Dutch-oven heat fat, add ground meats (breaking up the big chunks of meat) and cook until meat is just browning. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine well.
Bring to a boil, cover meat-sauce, now bring to a low-simmer and cook for 2 hours.
Steps 3:
1 pound chicken livers, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
To the meat sauce, add the livers and cream, stir well; bring back to a boil, cover, lower heat to low-simmer and cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Traditionally served over pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, but can be enjoyed over rice or mashed potatoes.


from review of Youtube video of episode:

brown 5# ground turkey and ground pork
brown 1# bacon in pan, render out fat
take out bacon add to meat pot

add olive oil to bacon fat in pan
red onions 2 cups
celery 2 cups
carrots 1 cup
2 cloves chopped garlic

season with pepper
add bottle of cabernet to meat, continue simmer

to veggies
1 can tomato paste

simmer vegies 5-10 min

add veggie mixture to meat pot, add water

(optional) add three chicken drumsticks meat end in pot, simmer for 2 hours
remove meat from bone, chop add back in pot

add chicken livers (1/2 cup)
cook another hour