August 30, 2008

Calabrese Sauce

I've always loved Italian food, and have always have loved meatballs. This recipe might be the best meatballs I've ever had. I was lucky enough to get a copy of this recipe after my parents brought this recipe back from some trip they went on where they took a cooking class. It changed how we make tomato sauce for Italian foods and completely blew my mind on meatballs.

I cooked this last night for DnA, Sandra, and Matt - rave reviews from all!

In this first post, I'll just be posting the sauce. The meatballs themselves will follow.


1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped onion (I use more cause I love onion)
125 grams tomato paste (I just used the whole small can - 175 g)
dash red wine
2 - 24 oz cans/jars crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper

The recipe states that it is essential to use the finest tomatoes you can find in order to have the best tasting sauce. Makes sense, right? Last night I was using the Muir Glen organic Fire Roasted crushed tomatoes. I like to have lots of extra sauce, so I used 3 - 28oz cans of tomato, 2 of which were the fire roasted, 1 of the regular pureed tomato.


The order in which you add ingredients is very important.

Saute the onion in the oil so that they are not under or overcooked. The recipe states that this should take about 9 minutes, I chopped my onion rather fine so it was more like 5-6 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and wine. I did this and mixed them a bit to try and incorporate the oil into the paste. I'm not sure this is necessary, but it made sense to me in the moment.

Next, quickly pour in the crushed tomatoes. (Note: add 2 cups of water if the tomatoes are very thick - I added at least 2 cups if not 3) Add the salt and pepper. Let simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours. When this sauce is ready, the olive oil will rise to the top.

If you are also making the Calabrese Meatballs, you add the meatballs to cook in the sauce after the sauce is finished and the oil has risen to the top.

August 29, 2008

Interesting Ingredients:

Pomelo! AKA Jabong or Citrus maxima, is the biggest species of citrus and can weigh up to 22 pounds. Can you imagine??

I can not get enough of these in my diet. Pomelo are my favorite fruit right now! They are sweeter than grapefruit but with a touch of the sour and bitterness. The rind is very thick and spongy. I've been cutting it up and dehydrating it for use in tea, but I just heard at the garden that you can dry the peel and burn it as incense as bug repellant.

August 27, 2008

Liz Guacamole

This is the guacamole I make all the time. It's simple and very easy and always makes people happy. It's genesis was pretty much trial and error which gives me lots of room for variation when its needed. Also, because I'm not big on measuring, all ingredients are added to taste.

With this recipe, I have noted that the guacamole always tastes better off my finger than it does off the chip, so make sure to taste it with a chip after you think you have everything right.


the must haves:
  • ripe avocado (the more you use the more you get!)
  • onion (I prefer red for looks, but it's not necessary)
  • lime
  • salt
  • cumin
  • fresh parsley
  • tomato
  • hot peppers


cut the avocado in half and de-stone (if you're using a heavier knife you can whack it into the seed and twist to remove).

scoop the avocado (this one came from the backyard!) into a bowl big enough to hold all the ingredients and still have space to mix everything up. Next, mince the onion. I have found that I prefer the onion to be in very small pieces so the flavor gets nice and distributed. Add the onion to the bowl and cut the avocado up a bit.

Next, I add salt and fresh lime juice - I will not stand for lime juice out of anything other than a lime I cut open and squeeze - I think that is VERY important. Once these are added, I mic the guac up to the consistency I want - this can be done using a fork or spoon whichever you prefer, but when I'm making a big bowl I really enjoy squishing them up with my hands (after washing of course)!

I also chose this time to add the fresh parsley and a little bit of fresh hot pepper (I have no idea what kind it was because it came out of the garden!) for garnish as well.

Finished product!

and served with 2 tamales from my neighbor downstairs - YUM!!!

Do I?

Here's the new blog! I'm hoping to get a few people whom I know to be good cooks to post some deliciousness here!