Saturday, January 30, 2010

one last recipe

one last recipe while im on this blogging streak. we're going to a bridal shower at the Ryttings later tonight and Shrimp Tacos are on the menu. ive been meaning to post the recipe because these seriously are one of our favorite things to have for dinner. they are really quick, as in 20 minutes quick, and we usually eat every last bite. another amazing recipe thanks to mama Rytting :)

Shrimp Tacos
2/3 c. mexican crema - this is in the refridgerated section at the store, its like a mexican sour cream kindof
1/2 c. chopped red onion
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
2 tsp minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, these are super spicy so we actually just use the sauce
1 lb raw shrimp, we do a pound and maybe two extra handfuls, we get the frozen raw shrimp at costco and use a little more than half the bag
2 T. taco seasoning
2 T. vegetable oil
corn tortillas
shredded cabbage
lime wedges

stire together crema, red onion, cilantro and adobo sauce. toss shrimp in taco seasoning. heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. add shrimp and saute until just barely cooked through, about 3 minutes. reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the crema mixture. cook just until heated through, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. heat tortillas. top tacos with shredded cabbage and squeeze lime on top.
** we added cotija cheese to our version, which we think makes them even tastier.

if anyone tries this recipe let us know, we hope you love them as much as we do!

The Feast

Im realizing now that I didnt take pictures of our Sunday Dinner/Birthday feast. bummer. So we decided to have friends over for dinner on Sunday, kind of our last birthday hoorah to Mckay. I wanted to make something fun and for some reason I decided to make Spaghetti and Meatballs. I dont really love spaghetti. or meatballs. but i loved this spaghetti. and the meatballs. Whats more is I chose to make a spaghetti sauce that took 3 days to make. 3. days. crazy, dont ask me why. but I saw a recipe on Noble Pig and for some reason I had to make it. and Im glad we did because it was tasty. So I'm writing the recipes here, because my life is slightly disorganized, so if they're here i know where to find them.

Dessert first:

Upside Down Apple Pie
The Cutting Edge of Ordinary via Noble Pig

6 Tablespoons butter, melted & divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 refrigerated pie crusts
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice ( i didnt have this so i added a little bit of nutmeg)

5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & cut into 1/2" slices

Coat a deep-dish pie plate with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper. Coat the paper with cooking spray also. Now, I used a deep-dish pie plate, the Emile Henry brand from Williams-Sonoma and it is a little deep for refrigerated dough (there is not a lot of hangover for sealing the two crusts together). I think a regular pie plate would be fine.

In a small bowl combine 4 Tablespoons of melted butter, brown sugar and pecans. Mix well and spread evenly over the bottom of the pie plate, on top of the parchment. Place one of the crusts in the pie plate, pressing it firmly against the nut mixture and up the sides of the plate. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon and the remaining 2 Tablespoons of melted butter. Mix well. Add the apples in and toss gently to coat. Spoon into the pie crust.

Place the second crust over the apple mixture. Trim and fold the edges together to seal and cut some slits in the top of the crust for venting. Because my pie dish is so deep I sealed the edges the best I could. I really couldn't fold and seal but it didn't matter at all.

Bake 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until crust is golden brown in a 375 degree oven. (Mine took 1-1/4 hours in the bottom third of my oven.) Make sure to place a cookie sheet on the bottom oven rack to catch any drips from the pie.

Let the pie cool for 5 minutes and then place a plate that is larger than the pie on top of it and flip it over. Use oven gloves as it will still be hot. Remove the pie plate and gently lift the paper. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*** This was so tasty, and the idea of making a pie has always scared me just a little, but this really was pretty easy.

Meatballs adapted from Noble Pig

2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
1-1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 cup whole milk
3 cups beef broth, divided
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
6 eggs, beaten
4 Tablespoons dried oregano leaves
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
4 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 lb. ground chuck

*** i didnt have enough basil so i just used 2 tsp italian seasoning, I also didnt have enough Oregano, so i used 2 T oregano and 2 T italian seasoning.

**** Note: add the cheese last and sprinkle it all over the top before mixing, I added mine at the first so it was at the bottom of the bowl and when it mixed with the eggs it got lumpy.

***** You can also half this recipe, or make it all and freeze half, which is what we did. we now have a huge block of seasoned meat in our freezer to use later :) Just wrap it tightly in saran wrap before freezing it.

so the half we used to make meatballs ended up making around 20 which was still alot for 4 people, but they make great leftovers.

In a large mixing bowl stir together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, milk, 1 cup of beef broth, parsley, eggs, oregano, garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, basil, red pepper flakes and nutmeg. Add ground chuck and mix thoroughly with a fork. Using a fork prevents overmixing and compacting which can toughen meatballs.

The best way to shape meatballs is with a portioning scoop that has a retractable blade that releases the meat. Make each meatball about 2" in diameter or 1.5 ounces each. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the meatballs on a pan so they are not touching. (I can get 35 meatballs on a tray and this recipe makes two trays so 70 meatballs.)

Cover the bottom of the pan with 1 cup of beef broth and bake for 25 minutes at 450 degrees.

Remove meatballs from pan and pour pan juices into a large, glass (2 cup) measuring cup to be used for the sauce. Repeat process for second tray of meatballs. Cool meatballs completely, cover and keep refrigerated until use.

Once you have pan juices from both trays, place measuring cup in the fridge for the fat to settle on the top (about 30 minutes). Remove from the refrigerator and discard settled fat, reserving leftover pan juices. Set aside.

Three Day Marinara adapted from Noble Pig
(we halved this recipe) - the amounts we used to half recipe are in parenthesis
3 cups yellow onion, diced (i just cut up one large onion)
4 teaspoons garlic, minced (2 cloves)
3 cans (28 oz. each) whole plum tomatoes (i used 2 28 oz cans)
Reserved meatball pan drippings
1/2 cup dried parsley ( this seemed like a ton of basil and parsley so we added less than 1/4 c. parsley and maybe a little over an 1/8 c. basil)
1/2 cup dried basil
2 Tablespoons sugar (1 T)
3 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste (1 1/2 cans 6 oz.)
Parmesan cheese, grated

****so after three days of cooking it was still a little tomatoey and tart for me, which is why i dont usually like spaghetti sauce. I added less than 1/4 c. of red cooking wine, and the same amount of balsamic vinegar. This turned it a little sweet and ended up being oh so yummy with the meatballs.

Day One

In a large pot (I use my Dutch oven) sauté onions in oil over medium-high heat until translucent (about 6 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook until you can smell it (about 30 seconds). Add tomatoes, pan drippings from the meatballs, parsley and sugar. Simmer for one hour on low, uncovered. Remove from heat. Let cool completely and place in the fridge overnight.

Day Two

Remove sauce from the refrigerator and puree until smooth in the food processor in small batches. Return sauce to the pot and add tomato paste. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for one hour. Remove from heat. Let cool completely and place in the fridge overnight.

Day Three

Add cooked meatballs (as many as you are going to serve) to the sauce and simmer uncovered until heated through (about 15 minutes). Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Stir in the cooked pasta and toss well to coat. Garnish with lots of grated Parmesan cheese.

I also made a ceasar dressing that I found at Smittenkitchen which was quick and easy and tasted great:

Ceasar Dressing

2 Tablespoons mayonnaise or 1 egg (we used mayo)

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 small garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, plus a drop or two more to taste

1 oil packed anchovy fillet, finely chopped (completely optional, we didnt use one)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

whisk all the indredients together except the olive oil. gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. i made this the day before and it tasted better the second day.

This was such a fun dinner, we had a great time with friends. needless to say i was pooped, and have been taking a little break from the kitchen this week... meaning we've been having pancakes and cereal :)

Birthday Boy

Mckay's birthday was literally a week long event. but we like it that way :). It started off with a trip down to St. George for MLK weekend. We relaxed with Grandma Rytting and JD and took a little excursion down to Las Vegas to see our wonderful Skousons. On Sunday we got to go play here:

Zions was unbelievabley pretty and a perfect opportunity for us to try out our new camera Mckay surprised me with at Christmas. It was such a wonderful day, we cant wait to go back!

Zions was also an opportunity for Mckay to try out his new birthday present....yes these are shoes, and yes people stared, lots of people. and yes I admit they're a little embarassing but I try to be a good wife and Mckay of course loves them so i braved the shocked stares of passersby. :)

We had such a fun and relaxing weekend, finished off with a hand and foot victory, (if any of you want to learn the greatest card game ever created come over and we'll teach you) and the traditional breakfast at the Bear Paw (the stuffed french toast is delish). We were sad to leave our little weekend vacation and head back to the real world but there was more celebrating to do.

Monday we celebrated with Costa Vida and 24. Tuesday- the birthday, we had dinner at Magelby's with the Ryttings , Wednesday- dinner at Macaroni Grill with Tyler and Melissa, are you seeing a pattern, we Ryttings celebrate with food...Saturday me and my mom made a big dinner and cake and celebrated with my family after Mckay had a full day of snowboarding. we also squeezed in a trip to Tucano's sometime, we had to...they sent us a card...;) yes we probably gained 10 pounds with all the eating out but oh well, your birthday comes but once a year right?! and thats not even everything, Sunday we had Tara and Janson over for a birthday dinner at home and Cami and Taylor came over and had desert with us too. but that deserves a post all its own.


its been awhile. I'm realizing that our blogging comes in random spurts. to make up for a month of no blogging I now have to bombard our dear blog with the happenings of the last month. so buckle up cuz this might be a long one.

For Christmas I surprised Mckay with Jazz tickets. I got a killer deal on two tickets to two games and I was so excited to surprise him. He's been obsessed with the NBA this season, as in he's always checking stats on the computer or his phone, so it was a blast to finally go to an actual game! The first game was against the Nuggets, and although the Jazz lost we still had a really freat time! Next ups is Jazz v. Mavericks on Feb. 1, we hope Jazz can keep up the way they have been lately. and we're just h.o.p.i.n.g. like crazy those loud obnoxious Chinese ladies that sat behind us arent there again. They were screaming when anything happened, good or bad, so I'm not really sure they knew too well what was going on.