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Posts Tagged noodles

4 Years of … Blogging?

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

It’s anniversary day folks. And when I look back on the past year I have tons of fond memories; we’ve been busy, we’ve done tons, we have clearly cooked and eaten in that time and … I’ve posted once. Trust me, I wasn’t ignoring the blog on purpose. I thought about it nearly every time I entered the kitchen or became inspired by something food-related that I read. But I’m not going to make excuses. The past year has been amazing for me and my family in spite of the lack of blogging. Hopefully I can sometimes still make room for a post every once in a while.

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

If I did have to give one reason for the slow down in recipe sharing, I would say it’s that food has become simplified in the house. There’s not much time for leisurely cooking, we can’t wait to eat until 8 or 9 like we used to when I was testing new recipes. There’s a tiny person that demands food. And she demands food that tastes good … so there’s also not a lot of room for error. So honestly, I’ve stuck to cooking staple recipes the past year. Ones we can get on the table fast and that will be slurped down without any complaints. We still try new recipes, but they are typically ones other people have written and shared.

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

However, I got one of those fancy looking spiralizers from my mother-in-law for my birthday last year. And now we can’t get enough of zucchini noodles. I just thought it was a weird fad that was sweeping Pinterest, so I ignored these long green zoodles for a while. But when I got my gift I tried it out right away. And holy crap guys: zucchini noodles are amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade good pasta for anything. But we aren’t eating zucchini noodles as a substitute, we’re eating them because they taste great. Once I paired them with these moist, flavourful meatballs; now we rarely eat zucchini noodles with anything else.

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs

Don’t have a spiralizer? Just serve the meatballs with your favourite long pasta. Shred some zucchini into the sauce if it makes you feel better. 

Meatballs

8 oz lean ground beef

8 oz ground turkey

2/3 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated

1 egg

1 Tbsp sundried tomatoes in oil, drained & chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/8 tsp pepper

4 cups of your favourite marinara sauce

 

Zucchini Noodles

3-4 zucchini (I would use 1/person; not kidding)

olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Prepare a sheet pan by spraying with olive oil (or you can cover with tin foil). Place all of the meatball ingredients into a large bowl. Mix gently to combine. Don’t overmix, or you’ll end up with tough meatballs. Form into approximately 32 meatballs, placing them on the sheet pan as you go. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, spiralize that zucchini.

Heat the 4 cups of marina in a large sauce pan. Once the meatballs are cooked, gently dump them into the marina sauce. Simmer the meatballs and sauce together for an additional 10-15 minutes or until your ready to eat.

While your meatballs enjoy their tomato bath, heat a large, non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a scant Tbsp of olive oil to the pan, followed by the garlic. Let the garlic simmer for about 30 seconds, then add he zucchini noodles. Season generously with the salt (start with at least a tsp. You can add more if needed). Cook the noodles to your desired degree of doneness. I’m not going to tell you how to eat your noodles. Maybe you just want them warm with nearly all their crunch. Maybe you want those things so cooked you could slurp them down without chewing. I’m not here to judge. Important step learned after eating wet noodles: drain those zucchini noodles when they are cooked to your liking. Add them back to the pan or plate them.

Top bowl-fulls of zucchini noodles with meatballs and marinara. Sprinkle with more pecorino if you like. Or just devour.

Serves 4.

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Fiery Noodle Salad

Before Christmas I got hooked on Jamie Oliver’s new show – Jamie’s Meals in Minutes. I’m sure by now it’s no secret that I have a wee crush on Jamie Oliver. I think Kyle’s okay with this since it transforms into awesome meals that he gets to enjoy. I’ve never been disappointed by any dish I’ve made based on Jamie Oliver’s recipes, but I was even more excited about the premise of the show: a full course dinner (main and sides), plus usually a dessert, all on the table in about 30 minutes; from start to finish. And no “pre-made” crap goes into this, it’s all real good food. He explains that with  some organization and planning ahead of time, you can bang out home-cooked meals every night.

So, after watching nearly every episode by mid-November, I was pining over the cookbook. I tried a number of the meals that were on the show from memory, but I knew there were going to be lots of other delicious meals in the book. Luckily I got it as a gift from Kyle’s dad, step-mom & sister (thanks guys!), and ever since we’ve been cooking up fantastic meals fairly quickly. (Jamie reminds people in the introduction that the first time cooking a meal may take a bit longer than 30 minutes while you get the hang of it and are reading the recipe, but after cooking something once or twice the meals should be on the table in no time)

This book is so good, that I stopped “tagging” the recipes I wanted to try (as I usually do as I read through cookbooks) because I was tagging every single page. Which means I’ve resolved to just make everything in the book – I’m not complaining. This Fiery Noodle Salad is a quick dish that I made for a couple friends and Kyle back in the fall – it’s simple enough that I didn’t need a recipe to remind myself what’s in it. I also served it with the Chicken Satay skewers that he made along with it on his show (also very tasty and easy). This salad is great for leftovers since you can pack some away for lunch – maybe add some more leftover or rotisserie chicken or black beans for some protein.

Fiery Noodle Salad

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes by Jamie Oliver

227 grams (8oz) steamed Chinese egg noodles (found in refrigerated section of grocery store)
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1/2 small red onion, small diced
2 fresh chiles, mince 1 and slice the remaining chile
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 scallions, sliced
juice from 1-2 limes
1 Tbsp light soy sauce (like Kikkoman)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp honey

Boil the noodles as per directions (about 2-3 minutes), drain and rinse under cold water; place noodles into a large serving bowl. Add the red onion, the minced chiles, cilantro and scallions to the noodles. Lightly toss to combine.

Drizzle the soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, fish sauce and honey over the noodles. Toss everything together making sure all the noodles are coated with the “dressing” – I find this is much easier to do with your hands. (Alternately you can mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl first, then pour the mixed dressing over the noodles…but this just creates more mess, so I skip this step)

Meanwhile, toast the cashews over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until you can start to smell them and they start to get some colour; shaking the pan a few times while they toast. If you like, you can either roughly chop the cashews or leave them whole.

Top the salad with the cashews and chile slices. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Serve 4-6.

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