Friday, March 25, 2016

A Little Comfort Food

Ok y'all so I've been seeing this scrumptious looking biscuit and gravy bake floating around Facebook and decided it was worth trying out. I grew up on Southern comfort food so I knew it had to be good. It has biscuits, gravy, sausage, eggs and cheese all of which are comfort foods.
I made one slight change to the recipe though. I decided to use the grease from the sausage to make the gravy instead of using the butter. I love butter, don't  get me wrong, but the the flavor boost from the sausage grease is incredible.
So here are the simple and easy steps to making this dish.

Gather the following:
1 can of biscuits, I used Grands Buttermilk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
6 eggs
2-1/4 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste 
4 tablespoons reserved grease from the cooked sausage
4 tbls flour
Cut the biscuits and place them evenly in a greased 9x13 baking pan.

Spread the cooked sausage evenly over the biscuits.

Now do the same with your shredded cheese.

Set aside while you mix 6 eggs with 1/4 cup milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the biscuit, sausage and cheese mixture. Now let's use the sausage grease and make some gravy. Whisk the grease with the 4 tbsp flour and stir and let bubble a few minutes to cook the flour. Add the 2 cups milk, salt and pepper to taste and stir and cook until thickened. Pour evenly on top of mixture. 

Cook at 350* for 35-45 minutes. I did mine for 40 minutes and it was perfectly done. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Creamy Lemon and Lamb Meatball Soup

The Improv Cooking Challenge ingredients for March were lamb & rice. I had company from out of town come in and didn't get a chance to post my recipe.  What I had made was a lamb and rice meatball soup. I just love soup and one of my favorite soups is albondigas. (Spanish meatball soup) so it seemed this recipe had my name written all over it.  So...I made a trip to my favorite specialty store to purchase the ground lamb and few other goodies.  

1  large egg, lightly beaten 
1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)  
1  garlic clove, minced 
Zest of 1/2 lemon 
3-4 drops of mint oil or 1 tbls fresh chopped mint 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/2 pound ground lamb 

SOUP Ingredients~
7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 
Wide ribbons of zest from 1/2 lemon, use a veggie peeler to make these
1/2 cup  rice  
vegetable oil 
3  large eggs 
Fresh juice of 1 large lemon 
Chopped fresh mint and parsley if desired for garnish

Let's Make meatballs~
In a large bowl, combine egg, panko, milk, garlic, lemon zest, mint, parsley, salt, and pepper and let sit a few minutes so the panko crumbs can soften a bit. Next add the ground lamb, and mix well with your hands. Form the meat mixture into 3/4-inch size meatballs. Chill them on a baking sheet until they are a little firmer, about 15 minutes  was ok for me.

While the meatballs chill, let's make soup: 
In a large covered pot, (I used my cast iron Dutch oven) bring broth and zest to a boil then add rice and lower the heat. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, until rice is par cooked, about 10 minutes.
While soup simmers, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. I really didn't need to much oil as you can see. Cook the meatballs in batches, turning once, so they brown on 2 sides, about 6 minutes should be enough browning/cooking time. Use a slotted spoon to remove them to the soup. Cook for another 15 minutes till the meatballs are cooked through.

Remove zest from soup and discard. Turn off heat. Whisk eggs to blend and add lemon juice. Whisk in a ladle of hot soup at a time, about 4-5 laddles should be enough, then return this mixture to the pot and stir. You are now ready to enjoy your soup.  Garnish with mint and parsley if desired and serve.