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Friday, May 9, 2014

Recipe Redux: Spinach Tomato and Chick Pea Stew (with Baked Eggs)

This is a recipe I have posted before, and have made many times since originally creating it last year. I find as I make dishes over and over again, I add and subtract various ingredients, based on what I have on hand. I also find ways to make them more quickly. 

I enjoyed eating this so much for dinner last night, I wanted to re-post it. As I read through my original instructions I thought, "My gosh, I made that way more complicated than it needed to be !" So, I am re-posting it with simpler instructions. It really is a very simple dish. And so filling. I think you could add other vegetables if you wanted to, but why ? I love it just the way it is ! 

Spinach, Tomato and Chick Pea Stew
5 cloves garlic, finely diced 
2 medium sized onions, finely diced 
3 tablespoons olive oil 
6 cups fresh spinach, chopped 
2 cups chick peas, cooked (two cans drained will work here) 
1 quart chopped canned tomatoes 
1 1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 teaspoon pepper 
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
1 teaspoon cumin 
6 eggs 
Preheat oven to 400. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and saute garlic and onions until soft. Add all other ingredients except for the eggs, and cook for 20-30 minutes until spinach is tender and everything is cooked through. Using a spoon, make a well in the stew and gently drop an egg in. Repeat this process until all 6 eggs are in the broth. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until eggs are just barely set. Scoop out into serving bowls and serve with crusty bread. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Caprese Style Stuffed Meatloaf

Looks tasty, doesn't it ?

I purchased this giant log of fresh mozzarella, because we make a lot of grilled pizza, now that warmer weather has arrived. I started thinking about what else I could do with it. We love meatloaf, especially stuffed with cheese. What could be better ? 

This seems like a lot of prep, but it really wasn't bad, especially because I started yesterday making some of the filling. I roasted the garlic yesterday when we were grilling steaks, and sauteed the extra carrots, celery and onions while prepping some for another dish. Piece of cake...or, in this case, meatloaf ! 

Caprese Style Stuffed Meatloaf 
1 tablespoon butter 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1/2 cup diced carrots 
1/2 cup diced celery 
1/2 cup diced onion 
1 tablespoon salt 
1 tablespoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef 
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs 
1/2 cup milk 
1 head roasted garlic
2 eggs 
1 large handful fresh basil leaves 
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thickly
1 pint cherry tomatoes 
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a large saute pan, melt butter and add olive oil. Saute carrots, celery and onion together until soft, then set aside. In a large bowl, combine panko and milk, and let sit until milk is absorbed into bread crumbs. Mix together with ground beef, salt and pepper, vegetable mixture, roasted garlic and eggs. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread half of the meat mixture into a large loaf pan. Lay down half of the basil leaves on top of the meat, then layer the mozzarella on top of the basil. Gently place the remaining basil on top of the cheese. Spread remaining meat on top of the final layer of basil. Place tomatoes in a small baking dish and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Place meatloaf in oven, and bake for an hour or more until completely cooked through. Add the tomatoes to the oven the final 25  minutes, bake until they are bursting. Remove both of the items from the oven. Let the meatloaf rest 10 minutes before serving, and smash the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Slice meatloaf, and spoon tomatoes over the top to serve.