Some days, all you need is some comfort food. And man, do these meatballs ever count. Cheese stuffed anything is a good route to go, especially in winter. These were originally a slow cooker recipe, but I used the alternative baked method as I just didn’t have the time to throw these all in and leave them yesterday. Still turned out pretty good.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Makes appx 10 to 18 meatballs, depending on the size you make them

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 c panko
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 T Italian seasoning
  • 1 t sea salt
  • .5 t black pepper
  • 1 small ball fresh mozzarella, cubed

Cube your mozzarella, and freeze for a half hour minimum on a small plate.  Preheat your oven to 400.  While the mozzarella chills, combine all other ingredients in a bowl with your hands until you have a single mass of meat. Remove the mozzarella from the freezer, and taking chunks of meat, place the cheese in the middle of the meat chunk and roll the meat around it (see pic 2 for an example of what putting the cheese in looks like, and what the final meatball looks like. 

Bake for 20 minutes. There will likely be cheese oozing out of the meatballs at the end of the bake time; this is normal, and a sign you did it right. 😛 

And then, dip in some marinara, and enjoy!

This recipe is a bit involved for all the stuff that needs to be done to make it, but honestly, the resulting porridge is pretty fantastic. I’ve heard a lot about congee and how awesome it is, but didn’t really feel the urge to go out of my way to make it until I found this recipe.

And honestly? This might go into my regular breakfasts rotation. Garlic plus beef plus soy plus rice = very very good combination, in my book. And this makes enough that this should keep me in breakfasts for most of the week. 

Congee with Beef, Garlic Chips, and Shiitake
Lasts 4 breakfasts

Ingredients

Garlic Chips

  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and sliced
  • .5 c olive oil
  • pinch sea salt

Beef

  • .5 lb ground beef
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • 3 t vegetable oil
  • dash sugar
  • pinch sea salt

Congee

  • 1 c rice
  • 5 c water
  • shiitake mushrooms, sliced (amount variable; original recipe suggests 6, I did an entire package)
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • pinch pepper and salt

To make your garlic chips, take your garlic slices, put them in a small pan with the olive oil, and cook over medium high heat until they are golden brown. Drain the chips with a mesh strainer, and reserve the garlic oil that results. Sprinkle the chips with salt. 

Combine the beef, soy, sugar,vegetable oil, and salt in a small bowl while the chips fry, and chill in the fridge. 

For the congee, combine your rice in water in a medium sized pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot, and cook for 30 minutes, checking at least twice (I ended up checking every ten minutes or so) to stir and ensure that rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot. Picture 6 is what the rice will look like after the 15 minute mark. After the half hour, add the shiitakes in, and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

After 20 minutes, take your ground beef and add in in teaspoon sized chunks, stirring it into the congee. Cover the pot again and cook another 5 to 10 minutes, until the beef has cooked through. Add in the soy, salt, and pepper to taste.

When ready to serve, scoop into bowls, sprinkle with garlic chips, and pour a small amount of the garlic oil over the congee. Serve hot, and enjoy!

I tried to make this a few years ago, either just before or right around the advent of this blog. It didn’t turn out so well, because I a) didn’t have a clue what I was doing with the pumpkin, b) was still figuring out my way around the kitchen, and c) this was an earlier recipe from Brokeass Gourmet, which wasn’t always fantastic on the directions in the early days.

Now, though? I know how to peel and dice a pumpkin properly, which is honestly the big part of the effort in this recipe. The pumpkin I got originally gave me about 10 cups worth of diced pumpkin (from about five pounds of pumpkin), which is definitely more than enough for this and another recipe I’ll be using it in soon.  And the rest came together with ingredients from a beef brussel sprouts stir fry from the Plated trial I mentioned in the last post, and with stuff I already had in my pantry. Honestly, the only thing you should need to buy for this should be the pumpkin, the ginger, the beef, the coconut milk, and maybe the peppers.

The result is an amazing fall curry that I can’t wait to make again. Plus, it’s cheap!

Thai Pumpkin Beef Curry
Lasts 5 to 6 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 6 c peeled and cubed fresh pumpkin
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (adjustable to taste)
  • 1 1" piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I used a shallot from the Plated trial)
  • .5 lb beef stew meat (I increased it to 2 lbs because I remember it not being that much, I had an additional flatiron steak from the Plated trial that I cut up and added, and I like beef besides)
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 t Thai red curry paste (I ended up increasing this to 1 T)
  • 1 T soy sauce (was probably closer to 2 T for me)
  • 2 t honey (accidentally used 2 T, whoops)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1" pieces
  • jalapeño, seeded and chopped

Preheat your oven to 375, take your pumpkin pieces and lay them out on a foil lined baking sheet, and roast them for 45 minutes, until the pumpkin is fork tender.

Twenty five minutes into the pumpkin roasting, heat your olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add your garlic, ginger, and onion, and cook for two minutes, stirring once or twice. Then, add your beef and brown lightly on all sides. 

Add in your coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, and honey, and stir well. You should have a red-brownish creamy sauce (mine tended a bit more towards brown). Add in your bell pepper and jalapeño, stir well, and then cover. Cook for the remaining 15 minutes or so that the pumpkin will roast, stirring here and there, as otherwise the honey will stick to the bottom of the pot. 

Once the pumpkin is done roasting, add it directly to the pot. Give the pot another good stir and then cover again, cooking for another fifteen minutes, until the beef is very, very tender.

And then, enjoy your fantastic curry!

Sometimes, after a damn long week, all you need is a good, bloody hunk of meat.  And lucky, one of the local grocery stores was doing roasts for $3.50/lb, so I got a four pound roast for $14, which is pretty damn cheap.

The recipe I’m including also has instructions for a sauce, but honestly, I usually just prefer the bloody meat.  😛  It also has a table for how long to cook your roast to get the desired doneness, at both medium rare, and medium well – I went for mostly rare for my roast.

Perfect Roast Beef
Lasts: Dependent on how big your roast is, and how much you like meat

Ingredients

  • 1 beef roast (my roast was 4 lbs, my instructions will be based on that weight)
  • salt and pepper

Rub your roast with salt and pepper, and preheat your oven to 450 (425).  Put your roast in your baking dish, and put in the oven for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, reduce the heat to 275 (250), and let roast until you reach your desired doneness.  The picture above was obtained by roasting at 250 at my oven’s temp for two hours.  Medium rare is supposed to be closer to two hours fifteen minutes, and medium well two hours forty-five minutes.  

Looking for another quick dinner?  Try Garlic Beef, Asparagus, and Shiitake Stir-Fry!  Don’t have garlic hoisin sauce?  Simple – mince half a head of garlic, and put in sauce to infuse.  Messed up a bit on this recipe, but it seems to have turned out fine.  Also, lack a pan lid? Find a large Tupperware container and put it over it, it works fine.  This is basically me fucking up and improvising (by adding shiitake mushrooms), which appears to be a theme today.

Garlic Beef, Shiitake, and Asparagus Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • ½ c garlic hoisin sauce (alternatively, having the hoisin but not in garlic flavor, take ½ c hoisin and half a head of garlic, minced, and combine)
  • 1 lb beef flank steak (or stir fry meat, or sirloin steak, whatever gives you a good cheap cut of meat), sliced thin and into pieces
  • 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed and sliced into one inch pieces
  • 1 container shiitake mushrooms, destemmed and sliced

In a medium bowl, combine the flank steak and 2 T of the garlic hoisin sauce (whoops, added the whole thing here. derp).  Marinate for 15ish mins at room temp.  Heat the oil in a pan, and stir fry the meat until lightly browned, but not fully cooked, and remove the meat.  If you managed to add all the sauce for the marinade, save as much as possible in the original container, or whatever is left over in the pan.

Add the asparagus and shiitake, and stir fry for appx one minute, and add ½ c to water and cover (either with a lid, or, if you’re me, with your  tupperware container).  Steam for one to two minutes, and then remove the lid.

Add the meat, whatever’s left of the sauce, and stir until the beef is cooked and everything else is well combined.  And then, nom!