Monday, December 19, 2011

Naughty black peppercorn currant sauce

We serve this with our annual Christmas prime rib and the family loves it.
It's from Joelle's friend - Chef Doughty

1 can beef broth (low sodium, if possible)
1 can chicken broth (low sodium, if possible)
1 ½ cups dry white wine
 2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ tablespoons very coarsely ground fresh pepper
¼ cup currants (or chopped raisins)
1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon water

In medium saucepan combine both broths and wine. Simmer over medium heat until the amount of liquid is reduced by half. Add cream and pepper and continue to simmer until mixture begins to thicken slightly. In small cup combine water and cornstarch and whisk into existing sauce. Continue to simmer for a minute or two and then remove from heat and add currants.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Turkey Meatballs

Here is a recipe for one of our family favorites.  All of the kids love these meatballs.  I honestly have not followed the entire recipe.  I make the meatballs as per the recipe but I make my own sauce by sautéing onions and garlic and adding canned tomatoes and italian spices.  Then I puree it in the vitamix and pour it into a crock pot.  I make it stretch by adding 1 or 2 jars of my favorite store bought spaghetti sauce.  One other thing I change is I make the meatballs really big and bake them in the oven first for about 20 minutes then let them finish in the crock pot with the sauce.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • cloves garlic (4 smashed, 1 minced)
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 small piece parmesan rind (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping
  • 1 slice stale whole-wheat bread, crust trimmed, bread chopped
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juice, 2 cups water, 1/4cup basil, the parmesan rind, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes. Discard the parmesan rind, if used.

Chop the remaining 1/4cup basil, then mix with the turkey, parsley, bread, ricotta, parmesan, egg white, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl using your hands. Form into 4 large or 12 small meatballs; add to the sauce and simmer, turning, until cooked through, 6 minutes for small meatballs and 12 minutes for large.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water as the label directs. Drain and return to the pot. Toss with some of the sauce, then divide among bowls. Top the spaghetti with the meatballs, the remaining sauce and more parsley and parmesan.

Per serving: Calories 547; Fat 9 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 46 mg; Sodium 938 mg; Carbohydrate 81 g; Fiber 15 g; Protein 41 g

Here's how Joelle modifies this recipe:

Bake the meatballs in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes until done and slightly browned. While the meatballs are baking, make and cook the sauce on the stovetop, adding one or two extra cans of pre-made spagetti sauce, if desired. When the meatballs are done, combine with sauce in a crockpot and cook on low or high (depending on timing) until time to serve.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

White bean spread

 This is my new favorite snack.
(from Canadian Living's Family Cookbook)

2 Tbs olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
1 can (19 oz) white kidney beans
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbs tahini
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

Mix all ingredients together until smooth in food processor or blender

Stir in and garnish with 3 Tbs chopped fresh coriander.

Now - here's how I made it last night:
  • left out the cumin
  • fresh lemon juice - so much better than bottled
  • didn't have fresh coriander

Yum! I love it with these crackers


La Panzanella - you can get them at Costco