Mama’s Italian Meatballs!

Hello again, friends! I hope everyone enjoyed their extended holiday weekend, we certainly did! Tikki got a surprise visit from his Nana & Poppa, it completely made his day. He always gets so excited when people visit, especially when Nana & Poppa visit.

Anyway, let’s talk about meatballs, since that’s what we’re making today.  When I make meatballs (and all Italian food really) it floods my mind with memories of my grandmother cooking and her teaching me how to cook. It also brings up memories of her cussing me out in Sicilian for tasting the food too often, I mean can you blame me? That shit was delicious!

She was, and still is, such an inspiration to me.  So, this post is for her. Let’s get rolling….

Ingredients: 

1 lb ground pork

1 lb ground beef

1/2 cup of milk (low carbers, you can use beef stock here instead of milk if you’d like)

1/3 cup of bread crumbs (if you are eating low carb replace these with finely crushed pork rinds)

4 cloves garlic

1 medium onion, diced

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons of salt

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions: 

First preheat your oven to 425°F. Then mix your breadcrumbs (or pork rinds for you low carbers, I got you fam) with the milk and set aside.

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I know it might look a little gross, but this little concoction is going to help keep these meatballs super moist and delicious! 

Let that just hang out and it will eventually turn into a paste like consistency. Time to sauté your diced onion with the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, we don’t really want to get much color on these onions, just a lite sauté. I cooked mine a tad too long, mainly because I got caught up watching ‘Roseanne’, don’t you dare judge me! Once they are done, take them off the heat and let them cool down a bit.

Now let’s get a big mixing bowl and add the pork and beef to the bowl.

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Mix the beef and pork together until it’s just combined, don’t get wild.  Add the onion and breadcrumb mixture to the meat. 20170225_210951

Beat your eggs well and add them, along with everything else, to the party.

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Mix all those delicious ingredients together thoroughly, again, don’t get wild.  We don’t want to overmix these suckers, cuz nobody likes a tough ass meatball.

Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let it hang out in the refrigerator for about an hour.  We want to give the mixture some time to chill and firm up a bit before we handle it anymore.

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Now that our hour of chill time has passed and we’ve all had a glass or three of wine, let’s get our mixture out of the refrigerator. I like to use a small ice cream type scoop to get the initial shape of the meatball, plus it helps keep the size of the meatballs fairly consistent.  Then I roll or shape the meatballs by hand. Pro tip, keep a small bowl of water near by to keep your hands wet, this will help to keep the mixture from sticking to your hands.

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You want your meatballs to be about the size of a golf ball.  

Place them on a lightly oiled sheet pan and keep a little space between them. Then pop them into your preheated 425° oven for about 20 minutes or until they look like this…

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Now we’re in the home stretch!  Just add these to a pot of tomato sauce (like the one I gave you a recipe for).

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All you have to do now is let these simmer on low for about an hour or hour and a half.  This is going to really help the meatballs get tender and super flavorful.  After that….. you’re done! Time to plate up!

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Man, these things are spectacular! You can put these on some pasta, make a meatball sandwich, or just top them with a little parmesan and parsley and eat them as a meal!  These also freeze extremely well, so make a huge batch and save some for later! Many people boast that their meatballs are “the best!”, I for one refuse to make such a claim (Even though my meatballs ARE indeed the best)!

I hope you give these a try for yourself and let me know how they turned out in the comments below!  Check us out on Facebook (@isbutteracarbblog) and give us a ‘like’! Don’t forget to follow the blog and tell your friends!  Until next time my friends, Ciao!

Genurken-flürken Cake! (The Golden Girls)

Happy Mothers Day to all you moms out there!  As some of you may know I’m a huge fan of “The Golden Girls” television show, so I wanted to do a dish from the show.  I may even start doing more foods from shows and movies, who knows!  Anyway, I’m sure this isn’t the true “Genurken-flürken” recipe, but it is an ancient Scandinavian cake recipe….or atleast as close as I could come to making one haha.

I believe Rose mentioned the cake in season 2 while serving it up to the other girls in the kitchen and of course Dorothy had something hilariously snide to say. While this may not be an exact replica of Rose Nylunds Genurken-flürken cake, it is still a fun and delicious cake to make. As they would say in St. Olaf, låt oss göra denna tårta!

Ingredients: 

Cake: 

6 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup almond flour

1 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour

1 cup of butter (16 tablespoons)

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze: 

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions: 

Ok let’s get the oven preheated to 325°F! Then you need to grease and flour a bundt pan. To do that just liberally rub the inside of the pan with Crisco or butter, then put a little flour in there and toss it around to make sure everything is coated. Remove the excess flour from your pan.  It should look something like this.  20170421_235308.jpg

Next in a mixing bowl add your butter and beat it until it’s soft.

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Then add in your sugar, flavorings, baking powder, and salt.  Mix those until well incorporated.

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Add your all-purpose and almond flours and mix it up!  It’s going to look sorta crumbly.

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Now let’s add those eggs in, one at a time though.  After they are in scrape down your bowl and give it another good mix.  It should be sorta fluffy at this point.  Next let’s add the batter to the bundt pan!

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Try to level the top out the best you can with a spatula.  

Pop that sucker in the oven and bake until a wooden skewer comes out clean, about an hour.  The edges should also pull away from the pan a little. When it’s done take it out of the oven and put it on a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.

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After the 15 minutes is up, flip it out of the pan and let it completely cool.

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While its cooling let’s make our glaze! It’s extremely easy, just put all your glaze ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly to combined.  I usually just keep dipping my whisk in and drizzling the glaze over the cake. Just make sure the cake has concretely cooled before you glaze it.  Let the glaze set and firm up on the cake for about 5 minutes, then you’re ready to serve!

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One of the best things about this cake it that it will last covered for a week or you can freeze it for up to 3 months!

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I don’t usually blow my own vertügen-flügen, but this cake turned out amazing! This Americanized version of a traditional Scandinavian recipe that Rose Nylund brought into the 80’s is just fabulous to say the least.  The vanilla and almond flavors compliment each other extremely well.  Plus you could easily serve 20 people with this cake.

I hope you give this recipe a try. Don’t forget to look us upon Facebook (@isbutteracarbblog) and be sure to comment and let me know how it turned out!  Send me pictures of your finished cakes!  As always if you have any questions I’d be more than happy to answer them, if I can. Hope to hear from you guys soon and thanks for being a friend! Ciao!

Kosher Salt-Roasted Chicken!

One of the things I love most about food is that you can take a very minimalistic approach to things, with just a few simple ingredients you can make something incredibly impressive.  I think we tend to season food so much that we miss out on the beautiful flavor of the ingredient we are preparing.  That’s what I really love about this chicken, it’s only two ingredients, chicken and salt.  I’m going to give you a thyme butter sauce recipe to go with it, but this simple roast chicken is delicious all by itself.

Let’s get started on this super simple and delicious chicken that tastes like, chicken!

Ingredients: 

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)

Kosher salt (I can’t really give you an amount here)

For The Sauce: 

1 lemon, juiced

2 Tablespoons of cold butter, cut into 8 pieces

1 Tablespoon Thyme leaves

1/3 cup of chicken stock

Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions: 

Get your chicken out of the refrigerator and set it on the counter about an hour before you plan to start cooking. Preheat your oven to 450°. Next, get some paper towels and dry your bird off really well.  Moisture on the outside = no crispy bird for you.

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Also, tuck the wing tips up and under the front of the bird.  I like to do this so they don’t get burnt. I didn’t take a picture of this because I’m trying to save some money on production, or I forgot. 

Ok, now that our bird is dried off and our wing tips are tucked, let’s talk about this chickens butt! I always just snip it off.  A very prestigious university did an authentic and scientific study on chicken butts, the study showed that if you clip that part off, the chicken tastes better.  That could be something I completely made up, but that’s what I’m going with.  Either way just clip that little bugger off.

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After you have clipped that off for no apparent reason, it’s time to salt our chicken. I urge you to use kosher salt here, however regular table salt will work.  Just make sure you salt the chicken liberally and don’t forget the cavity (inside) and bottom of the bird, they need a liberal coating as well. Next, we need to tie the legs together.  Some folks may feel the need to truss the chicken, but I don’t think all that work is necessary, plus I’m pretty lazy.

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Next, we need to place the bird in our roasting vessel! Use a pan that you can also use on top of the stove, so we can make the sauce after the chicken is done.  Salt the breasts of the chicken one last time.  Also, don’t get nervous and start thinking ‘I’m using too much salt’ you’re not, stay calm.  20170411_000049

Take a paper towel (or something) and try to get any salt that has fallen off the bird out of your roasting pan. We’re going to be using that pan to make our sauce and we don’t want the sauce to be WAY too salty, like some people I know.  Place the chicken in the preheated oven for about 55 minutes (or until a thermometer in the thigh reads 160°).  After that 55 minutes is up you should have something that looks like this….

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You should have a nice golden brown and very crispy bird.  Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, let’s start the sauce! Go back to the pan and remove most, not all, but most of the rendered chicken fat from the pan.

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Turn your heat to medium high and add in the Thyme leaves.  Let those cook for about 20 seconds, stirring.

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Next, add in your lemon juice and chicken stock. Stir all that around and simultaneously begin scraping all that beautiful fond (delicious little brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan) off the pan. Let that cook for about 2 minutes, just to let it reduce a little.  Now, turn your heat to low and add in some of your butter.

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It’s really important here that when you add the butter in you really need to stir and sorta keep your pan moving. After that butter is melted and incorporated, add in the juices off the plate where the chicken has been resting.  Add in the rest of your butter and keep stirrin’ and movin’, stirrin’ and movin’ until all the butter is melted and incorporated.  The thickness or consistency of the sauce is completely up to you, if you want it a little thicker reduce it more, a little thinner add a little more stock.  Taste for seasoning, I added a little pepper. Mix that in and once it is thoroughly mixed, turn off the heat and your sauce is done!

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Now just plate up your beautiful roast chicken and decorate the plate/platter a little if you’re feeling fancy.

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All that’s left to do now is enjoy one of the most moist and delicious roast chickens you have ever had! This chicken accompanied with that thyme butter sauce is going to blow you away and seriously impress any and all guests you have over for dinner.

Anyway, I seriously hope you try this recipe out for yourself, it’s so simple and fairly inexpensive.  Let me know how it turns out in the comments!  Don’t forget to follow the blog so you get notified first when something is posted, that makes you a V.I.P. don’t cha know. Also, find me on Facebook @isbutteracarbblog and follow me there as well! Thanks for stopping by! Ciao!