Stuffed Steak a la Italiana

Hello and welcome once again to a round of foraging in my kitchen to produce a meal worthy of my family. In this episode we will discover so many little treasures, and combine them to make a delicious main course!

Tucked away in my freezer was a package of thin cut beef steaks and a small parcel of pre-cooked, shredded chicken breast. A step down into the refrigerator produced fresh mozarella, sliced Provalone, shredded parmesan, some leftover tomato based pasta sauce, and couple of ounces of pepperoni.

What to do with such a combination? Stuffed Steak a la Italiana, of course!

Stuffed Steak a la Italiana
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes at 350F
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1-1/2# steak, thinly sliced
6 oz chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry parsley
1 tsp olive oil
Olive oil spray
6 oz Provolone, sliced thin
6 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced thick
2 oz Parmesan, shredded or sliced
2 oz pepperoni
8 oz pasta or pizza sauce

Spray a baking dish with olive oil and set aside.

Spray a saute pan with olive oil, heat, and sear steak on both sides. Add salt and pepper if desired. As steaks come out of the skillet, curl them like taco shells and place into the sprayed baking dish.dsc_0032

Lightly deglaze pan with water, then toss in chicken and spices, stirring over heat until everything is hot and thoroughly combined.dsc_0034

Lay strips of Provolone into the bottom of each curled steak. Using tongs, divide chicken mixture evenly into the curled steaks. Place another layer of Provolone to cover the chicken. Fold slices of pepperoni and tuck two into each steak. If you have extra, go ahead and add it.

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Spoon a teaspoonful of sauce into each steak, spreading to distribute fairly evenly.

Layer sliced mozzarella across top of entire dish, covering as much of the surface as possible. Spoon a teaspoonful of the sauce into each corner, then dole out the rest and spread it across the top of the mozzarella evenly. Any leftover Provolone may be sliced or diced and added to the top of the dish, as decoratively as you prefer. Sprinkle shredded (not powdered!) Parmesan evenly over the top.

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Bake for 45 minutes at 350F to ensure even heating of meats and melting of cheeses.dsc_0043

Serve on a bed of pasta, with a side of garlic bread, or any other preferred accompaniments.dsc_0044

 

Yes, I know things like this are normally rolled and tied, but I was lacking cooking string at the time and feeling a tad lazy besides.

If you have such things available, feel free to add fresh spinach, extra garlic, sauteed onion, mushrooms, olives, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Enjoy!

–Ann Cathey

Eggplant Lasagne

Don’t curl your lip until you hear me out. Seriously.

A friend recently mentioned that eggplant could be used in a lasagne instead of the traditional flat pasta. For me, being diabetic, this concept would be a huge bonus in my enjoyment of Italian cuisine, so I decided to give it a go.

As with any lasagne, this is not an inexpensive project, running between $35-40 before any sides like garlic bread or salad. On the flip side, it will feed a goodly number of people.

I used my crock pot to test this dish, though you are welcome to use a conventional oven, baking at 350F for between 1-2 hours depending on the depth of the baking dish you choose.

Eggplant Lasagne
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours on High
Servings: 8-12

Ingredients:
2 med eggplant, sliced
salt
1 lb hamburger
12 oz tomato paste
20 oz crushed tomatoes, partially drained
24 oz tomato based spaghetti sauce of choice
2 tsp garlic powder (NOT garlic salt!)
2 tsp onion powder (NOT onion salt!)
2 tsp parsley, dry or fresh
1 tbsp wheat germ (for added fiber)
1/2 oz basil leaves, coarsely chopped
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
15 oz seedless black olives, drained, sliced or crushed
1 lb mozzarella, shredded
1 lb ricotta
8 oz Provolone, sliced or shredded
6 oz Parmesan, shredded or shaved

Prep 01

Eggplant in zipper seal bag layered with salt to pull out moisture.

Clean and slice the eggplant to about 1/8″ thickness, either in rounds or long flat pieces. Place in a zippy bag in layers, sprinkling salt between each layer. Seal and refrigerate overnight. This treatment will not only pull moisture out of the eggplants slices, it will also reduce any potential bitterness.

 

Prep 02 Salted Eggplant and drainage

Excess moisture collecting in bag.

Prep 03 Rinse

Rinsed eggplant.

When you are ready to assemble the dish, rinse the sliced eggplant and pat dry to further reduce additional moisture.

 

In a large bowl, mix dry spices including the parsley, pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, olives, and wheat germ. Slice the black olives, or simply crush them between your fingers for a chunkier texture. Pitted olives have a hole on one end and a cross shaped cut on the other. Putting pressure on the sides of the olive will cause it to split into between 2 and 6 odd shaped chunks.  Cover the bowl and set aside.

 

Prep 04  sauce

Building the sauce.

Prep 05 Meat

Ground beef.

Crumble hamburger and pre-cook until completely cooked through. Drain off any fluid. For a less fatty dish, rinse the meat and allow to drain thoroughly before adding to sauce.

Prep 06 BAsil

Slicing basil.

 

Slice mushrooms. Roll and slice basil leaves.

 

 

Set up the crock pot with a liner and/or olive oil spray, as preferred.

First Layer Composite - Taylor

Photos by M. Taylor

Spread just enough sauce along the bottom of the crock to ensure other things won’t stick. Lay down first layer of eggplant slices. Add a layer of mushrooms, basil, mozzarella, ricotta, and a little parmesan and provolone. Cover with a layer of sauce.

 

Second Layer Composite - Taylor

Photos by M. Taylor

Repeat layering, adding the meat in on the next layer, until all ingredients are used up. Make sure that the very top of the dish is covered in cheeses.

Third Layer composite - Taylor

Photos by M. Taylor

Push any cheese bits that may fall under the lip of the lid away from the edge enough to ensure that the cheese should not touch the lid during cooking. This will help avoid a later mess that can be difficult to clean off the chrome, rubber, and/or glass of the crock pot lid.

Ready to serve

Ready to serve!

Allow to cook on high for 6 hours. A wooden skewer should pass down through the middle of the dish with little to no resistance.

Allow to rest for a few minutes after turning the heat off, about as long as it takes to bake up the garlic bread and toss your salad or other accompaniment. Serve and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Emplate - Asher

Photo by Asher

Please drop us a line if you try this one out, and let us know how your version turned out!

— Ann Cathey

Additional photos by M. Tanner and Asher (Thank you!)

 

 

Italian Style Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

I seem to have a hang-up on spaghetti squash recently! It’s tasty and filling and I’m collecting recipes that my family is enjoying in spite of the squash.

This is a quick and fairly simple recipe that can be baked up in either the oven or a crock pot. As ever, you may alter it to suit your own tastes. There are no hard and fast rules here.

Italian Style Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
DSC_0760Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:
1 small to medium spaghetti squash
1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
1 – 40 oz package of frozen meatballs, or the equivalent home-made
1 – bottle or can spaghetti sauce, your choice of flavor/style
4-8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
12 oz mozzarella, sliced
2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
Garlic, basil, oregano, and other additional spices to taste

DSC_0753In the crock pot, place the spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, mushrooms and additional spices. Stir well and put the crock on medium heat.

 

Render the squash. Fold the stringy meat into the sauce, making sure that the squash is well coated.


Add a dusting of Parmesan on top of the squash mixture.

DSC_0757Place meatballs in crock, distributing evenly across the other ingredients.

Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.

 

DSC_0758Open the crock and arrange the slices of mozzarella across the top of the dish. Re-cover and cook on high for 2 more hours.

Serve with an additional dusting of Parmesan and a side of garlic bread.

 

–Ann Cathey

TexMex Spaghetti Squash

A friend saw a post I’d made on Facebook about playing with spaghetti squash recipes. He got excited and asked another friend to share the following recipe with me. I’ve done my best to recreate the dish from the notes I was given, and write it all up in a recipe format to share with readers.

Raymond’s TexMex Spaghetti Squash Bake

Ingredients:
1 medium spaghetti squash (2-3 lbs), rendered
1 lb ground beef or turkey
12 oz frozen chopped spinach
12 oz frozen cauliflower
1 medium onion, diced
Chili seasonings (chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic, oregano to taste)
15 oz can of black beans, drained
8 oz can of Ro-tel
8 oz Neufchatel or cream cheese
2-4 oz shredded cheddar or cheddar jack

Split the squash into halves. Remove the seeds and seed membranes. Spray the open areas of the squash with a light coating of olive oil. Place face down on a plate and microwave in five minute increments until the whole squash is softened. Scrape the insides of the squash out into a bowl and reserve.

In a large skillet, add a dollop of olive oil and diced onion. Cook until onion begins to clarify. Add the meat to brown and allow to crumble as if for tacos. Drain the meat if needed.

At any time after this point, if the mixture becomes too voluminous, move it into an oven safe pot or dutch oven and continue.

Add the spinach and cauliflower. Sprinkle the spices into the mixture. Fold into the meat and onion mixture and allow to cook until veggies soften.

When the meat and veggies are browned to taste, add the drained beans and can of Ro-tel.

Slice up the cream cheese and fold it into the mixture. Continue to mix until all ingredients are well integrated.

If you are still in the skillet at this point, move the mixture into an oven safe pot or dutch oven.

Fold in the squash gently. Sprinkle a layer of grated cheese over the top of the mixture and place in preheated oven.

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, additional shredded cheese, corn ships and/or tortillas, as desired.

Due to a lack of a conventional oven in my kitchen at the moment, I fell back on my trusty crock-pot to try this recipe out. It turned out to be a good way to go, with excellent results.

Crock-pot Variation

Set up your crock pot with either a liner or olive oil spray.

Diced onion.

Diced onion.

 

 

Add diced onion and Ro-tel. Allow to cook on high for 2 hours or until onion begins to clarify.

Spinach, Ro-tel, and cauliflower added. Isn't this colorful?

Spinach, Ro-tel, and cauliflower added. Isn’t this colorful?

 

 

 

 

Add spinach, cauliflower, and spices. Stir gently. Continue to cook for 2 hours on high.

 

 

All the spices for a good chili.

All the spices for a good chili.

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Add browned and drained ground beef. Drain beans and add. Stir gently.

Allow to cook for 1 hour on high. Taste test and adjust spices as needed.

Add cream cheese.

Add cream cheese.

 

Slice cream cheese and lay in on top of the current mixture to soften. Stir into pot. Add about a third of the grated cheese and stir.

 

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Add spaghetti squash and fold gently into the mixture.

 

Smoothed mixture will look something like this.

Smoothed mixture will look something like this.

 

Smooth out the top of the mixture. Spread remaining shredded cheese evenly over top. Allow this to continue to cook on medium for at least half an hour or until all the cheese is melted.

Cheese!

Cheese!

 

Finished cooking.

Finished cooking.

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¡Sabroso!

–Ann Cathey

Food Porn – Episode 8

Writing about food can work up a great appetite, but looking at food can make your stomach complain that you are not paying it proper attention.

Being a photographer as well as I writer, I am often confronted with photos that I have taken that don’t quite make the grade as stock photography, but are too good to be wasted. They get lonely when they are simply  archived.

Rather than let these photos sit, allow me to share these tasty items with everyone. Enjoy!

DSC_0405 - Stew

Hearty Homemade Stew – looks like dog food, tastes amazing over fresh cornbread.

DSC_0022 - Apple Bacon Honey

Apple Bacon Honey appetizer.

DSC_0829 - Hot Layered Dip

Hot Layered Dip – this was a recipe form ALDI featured earlier on this blog.

DSC_0023 - Savory mince meat

Savory Mince Meat – scratch made mince meat from a Viking period recipe.

DSC_0024 - Salmon

Cured Salmon with Dill

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Half-pound Burgers

Burgers and home-made sausage links on the grill.

Burgers and home-made sausage links on the grill.

Corned Beef Hash Quiche Tarts

My partner is Irish and has a distinct affinity for corned beef and potatoes. I wanted something that I could serve for breakfast that wasn’t just hash on a plate with a biscuit and eggs. The idea for this dish came to me one evening in the grocery, where I wound up hunting down the individual ingredients for availability.

Corned Beef Hash Quiche TartsDSC_0024
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 tarts

Ingredients
1 15oz can corned beef hash
8 eggs
1 can crescent roll dough, large
8 tsp heavy whipping cream
8 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
baking spray or olive oil

Preheat oven to temperature required for the crescent roll dough. If using a toaster oven, increase heat according to your experienced usage. (My toaster oven requires a 50 degree increase.)

Spray insides of cups on a standard 12 cup muffin tin. Adjust size of tray for your oven or for larger individual cups.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs and cream until you have a uniform color and consistency. You should have some froth appearing.


Open crescent  roll dough and roll out on a glass board. Do not use flour. Separate dough in pairs, making long strips of 2 triangles each. Pinch seams shut. Cut each strip into three relatively equal squares.

Place one square of dough into each individual cup and pat with fingertips to ensure that the bottom of the cup is covered. You may push some of the dough gently up the sides if desired.

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Place one tablespoon of hash into each cup, spreading it out to roughly cover the bottom of the dough.

Place a hefty tablespoon of Swiss cheese into each cup. Make sure to tuck in any stray strand so that they are contained and will not melt onto the pan and make a mess.

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Whisk egg mixture again lightly to reverse any separation. Pour egg mixture in a thin stream into each cup, making sure to cover all the cheese with at least a thin layer of liquid. Do not over fill (as shown in photo). Leave about a quarter of an inch space in the cup above the level of the egg. The egg mixture will rise like a muffin, creating a lovely dome top that may spill over onto the connective tray.

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Place tray into the preheated oven and cook for the time directed on the package of dough.

When ready, remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Use a spatula or other plastic implement to loosen he sides for easy removal.

Serve with a spot of sour cream on top, or a sprinkle of cheese. You might also accompany with these Crock Pot German Style Potatoes, the recipe for which is coming up next week.
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As with most of my recipes, there are plenty of variations that may be used. Add a bit of garlic or salt to the eggs. Dice and toss in some bell pepper for a bit of color. Top with bacon. Be creative and combine flavor that please your taste buds. A sprinkle of parsley flakes on top before baking will help to differentiate any tarts with additional or customized ingredients.

Enjoy!

— Ann Cathey

Quick Casserole Meals

Remember all those casseroles your grandmother used to whip up in her sun-filled kitchen? She was on to something with those one-dish sides and meals. You can be, too.

Most casseroles include a starch (potatoes, pasta, or rice) as a base, veggies, meat, and some cheese. It all depends on what’s on hand or what you prefer.

Here’s a basic casserole that my family enjoys once every couple of weeks. While I have had to put a strong low-carb rule in place, you may not have to.

Ingredients:
2 cups dry rice, cooked
12 oz concentrated cream of something soup (potato, chicken, mushroom, etc.)
1/2 cup fluid (milk, heavy cream, chicken broth, etc.)
1/4 cup hard cheese, fine grated (Asiago, Romano, Parmesan, etc.)
15 oz can of beans or peas, well drained
Other veggies as desired, pre-cooked and diced (potato, carrot, green beans, etc)
8 oz meat, diced or broken
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste
4 oz shredded cheese, any firm type (cheddar, Swiss, Provolone, Gouda, etc)

In a large bowl, place rice, soup, fluid, veggies, spices, and hard cheese. Fold together gently so as not to break up the veggies.

I will also fold in the meat at this time. You may choose to layer it in the baking dish.

Place the contents of the bowl into a baking dish, spreading it evenly. If you are layering the meat in, put it between two layers of the rice mixture so it doesn’t dry out during baking.

Sprinkle a couple of ounces of shredded cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Everything in the dish is precooked, but you want it to heat throughout.

Remove dish from the oven and uncover. sprinkle on remaining grated cheese. Allow to sit for five minutes or so while the cheese melts and the dish comes to a reasonable serving temperature.

When emplating, feel free to toss on strips of fresh basil, more cheese, chopped parsley or whatever topping you desire. A dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream is also tasty.

Leftovers can and do add a lot of variation to this meal. A teaspoon of sour cream left from taco night? Throw it in! Some shredded mozzarella left from pizza night? Stir that into the mix to create a gooier texture. Black olives? Mushrooms? Broccoli crowns? The more the merrier!

Want an Italian flavor? Use Italian spices, Italian sausage and or pepperoni with a mix of mozzarella and provolone shredded on top. A white or navy bean works well for the added texture. Serve with garlic bread or bread sticks.

Tex-mex more to your liking? Add chili powder and onions, black beans and use Monterrey Jack or pepper-jack cheeses. Top with sliced jalapeno or salsa.

Cajun Crazy? Try andouille or boudan, Ementhaler, and Cajun seasonings (We like Tony Cha’s) with diced bell pepper and onion.

The ham and cheese option is also nice. Use cheddar, leftover ham, and black-eyed peas for a southern variation.

In short, this dish can be customized pretty much any way that pleases your palate. It’s also hearty enough to put leftovers into microwavable containers for tomorrow’s lunch, or for a side dish later in the week. Just heat and serve.

Bon Appetite!

— Ann Cathey

Home-made Pot Pies

Whether you prefer to make them single serving size, or make larger family sized pies, pot pies are a wonderful dish to serve warm on a cold evening.

You can use traditional recipes, making your crust from scratch and cooking up a stew-pot of sauce and veggies. You can also use a lot of modern day short cuts as you will see below.

CRUSTY CONCEPTS
For single serving pot pies, grab a can of biscuit dough in your favorite variety. Separate the biscuits on a board and using a rolling pin, roll them out flat while retaining their round shape.

Using a cup cake tin, line each cup with one rolled out biscuit. Add your filling (we’ll discuss that below), and use a second rolled out biscuit to cap the cup. Inch the edges together and slit the top for a steam vent. You might also use a quarter of a biscuit on top as dumpling instead of a cap.

Bake these as directed on the biscuit container. When they come hot out of the over, top with a bit of grated cheese and serve warm.

Another crust short-cut for family sized pies is to use pre-made pie crusts or pizza dough. For pie shells, pre-bake them for ten minutes before filling. This will give you a better, less soggy texture. Pizza crusts are great to slice and weave for a beautiful cap on the pies. You can also skip the lining crust and just use a lattice on top to reduce your carbs a bit.

FILLINGS
Broken meats, or meats purchased specifically for pie fillings are both good to work with. Canned chicken, turkey, beef or ham will bring an extra load of salt and preservatives to the dish, but they are also very handy.

If your meats need to be cooked first, use a fat-free or low-sodium broth to start your filling out.

Fresh vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, or turnips should be diced to 1/2 inch cubes and tossed in with the cooking meat to cook through. Peas and mushrooms, which cook much faster, should be added later in the process. Remember that mushrooms release a lot of water.

Leftover veggies are also great for this dish. They are precooked and ready to be tossed into the sauce. Baked potatoes, savory yams, buttered carrots are all likely candidates. Drain them well, skin them if you prefer, and dice them to a comfortable size before adding them.

Canned veggies, which are of course already fully cooked, should be drained thoroughly before being added to anything. Again, low or no-salt is encouraged.

For the sauce, follow your recipe for the next few steps. If you are taking short cuts, you might consider a condensed cream soup such as a cream of mushroom, asparagus, chicken or potato. Do not add any liquids! You do not want your sauce to be runny.

Turn the soup out into a bowl. Fold in your meats, veggies, and additional spices you may desire. Garlic, onion, rosemary and thyme are a good mix for most meats.

If you find yourself in need of a thickening agent, don’t rely on corn-starch. While it works very well, it also adds a lot of carbs/sugars and calories to your dish. Use finely grated hard cheese, such as Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano, as thickeners. These are a tasty addition as well adding extra protein.

Fill your pastry cups 3/4 of the way with whichever mixture you decide to use. Cap, lattice or dumpling the tops and bake as directed.

SERVING
Unlike most dishes that are called “pies” the inside of a pot pie of this sort will not gelatinize. You will wind up with a very thick stew in a shell. Be prepared to spoon out some extra filling if you serve family sized pies, and to be very careful when popping the individual pies out of the baking cups. Place your serving in a dish, sprinkle with some shredded cheese and a slice of toasted baguette.

If all of this sounds vague and less like a recipe than an idea, that’s because it is. The variations are seemingly endless, and the choice of ingredients is up to your own tastes. Make your pot pies creamy with chicken and mushrooms, or a bit more tart with turkey and turnips. Use Italian spices and tomato paste for a roseate alternative, or wild onion and venison in a brown gravy style sauce. No matter what angle you choose, it’s sure to be delicious!

— Ann Cathey

Lighten Up Your Lunch!

Sandwiches are a staple for a lot of people for lunch. They are quick and convenient, easy to carry, throw together, and consume. The bread used is the main source of both carbs and calories for your average sandwich. Swapping out the bread for broad leaf lettuce to make wraps can add more crunch to your lunch, as well as a vegetable serving in your busy day.

Using a broad leaf lettuce, such as the outer leaves of iceburg, butterleaf, Romaine, or red-leaf lettuces, simply layer your sandwich fixings in the middle, roll it all up in the leaf, and eat.

Sound deceptively simple? It is! Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

TURKEY
Butter leaf lettuce
2 slices of turkey
a teaspoon of shredded beets
a teaspoon of fresh goat cheese
a teaspoon of chopped walnuts

Lay the turkey out on your lettuce leaf. Spread the goat cheese lengthwise along the meat so there will be some cheese in every bite. Add the beets and walnuts along the line of the cheese. Starting on one side, roll up the lettuce leaf around the other ingredients. Enjoy.

HAM
Iceburg lettuce
2 ounces ham, sliced or shredded
1 ounce Swiss or Emmenthaler
3 slices of fresh apple
1 teaspoon of chopped pecans

Follow the same procedure above in building and rolling your wrap.

BEEF
Romaine lettuce
2 ounces roast beef, corned beef or pastrami
1 ounce cheese, cheddar or provolone
1 kosher pickle spear
Brown or deli mustard

Beef is a hardy meat. Pile the beef and cheese on a microwave safe plate and heat for 30 seconds. This will soften the cheese but not make the meat hot enough to wilt the lettuce. Lay out the lettuce, add the meat and cheese. Run a line of mustard to taste down the length of the meat and cheese, an add the pickle spear. Wrap as instructed above.

Wraps are a wonderful way to use up leftovers that may be hanging about in the fridge. We always have broken meats, ends of cheese, a little of this or that available and have found this to be a good way to use them up.

You will also find that some restaurants now have lettuce wrap alternatives available for sandwiches on their menu. Five Guys Burgers & Fries now offers any hot dog or hamburger on their menu as a lettuce wrap. It’s a messy way to eat a burger, but it’s tasty and comes with any or all of their toppings.

I tried a double meat, double cheese wrap with pickles, mayo and sauteed mushrooms at Five Guys here in Conroe. It was so delicious that I smiled all the way through the meal, in spite of the slippery mess those mushrooms caused. I was licking my fingers afterward, too. They use two overlapping leaves of iceburg lettuce for that wrap, and the lettuce held up well enough in the beginning. It started getting messy about halfway through as the slippery ingredients started sliding to the relative bottom.

This taught me like nothing else that condiments such as mayo, mustard, and ketchup should be used sparingly in lettuce wraps, and to keep napkins handy!

Give wraps a try. The different combinations of ingredients are nearly endless, and can be tailored to individual diets. Remember not to over stuff your lettuce, go easy on the condiments, and have fun with it.

Bon appetite!

–Ann Cathey

Broken Meats

What, you may ask, is a broken meat? This is what’s left over when you have roasted a turkey and served the bird, or cooked up a ham that you served sliced for game day, or what’s left after you had a dinner party and served a loin of beef. Typically, these leftover meats are “broken” or removed from the bone and wind up in slices, chunks, and shreds.

Broken meats can be used so many ways. They can be diced for salads, sliced or shredded for sandwiches or wraps, used in stews, soups or chili, and so on.

Turkey might wind up in a lettuce wrap with leftover cranberry sauce or a tablespoon of fruit salad. It can also be diced or shredded and used as the meat in a pot pie.

Any meat can be shredded and used in making tamales or chili. These two dishes were originally intended for “trash” meats, using tough cuts or leftover ends. Broken meats will make them incredible.

Toss broken meats into tortillas with a bit of refried beans, cheese and diced tomato for tacos, burritos or quesadillas. They can also be used as pizza toppings and lasagna fillings, and be tossed into salads for an extra jolt of protein.

Stews, soups and chowders all benefit from some extra meat. Beef, pork, and chicken are all good for these applications.

Ham, being very salty in general, and often having a sweet glaze applied, is great for dicing and scrambling in eggs for breakfast. It’s also good sliced or shredded for sandwiches, and even for tossing with diced yams (sweet or savory) for a new baked dish.

Pigs-in-blankets are great. Any leftover meat with a little bit of an appropriate cheese can be wrapped up in pre-made biscuit or croissant dough and baked up into a warm treat.

Leftover steak (like that ever happens!) can be sliced up and tossed into a stir-fry or served as a breakfast side. It can also become a new main dish when sauteed with onions and mushrooms to be served over noodles or rice.

Broken meats just require a little imagination to become interesting and tasty meals rather than just sitting in the fridge being forgotten.

Drop us a line and let us know how you use your broken meats!

–Ann Cathey