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Meatball Parmesan Casserole

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Meatball Parmesan is a recipe that I love to make when I’m feeding a large group or just to meal prep for the week. I promise these meatballs are legit and with the first bite you will know that a good Italian boy wrote this recipe

Ricotta: my secret weapon for Moist Meatballs

Ricotta has been my secret weapon for any meatball or meatloaf recipes for years. It gives the meat a much lighter texture and keeps everything held together so that you really don’t need to use much of a binder to form the meatballs. Ricotta cheese combines with the meat much better than cream cheese or Marscapone. Meatball Parmesan Casserole feeds a lot of people and is great reheated the next day and day after that making this perfect for meal prep.

How long to cook Meatball Parmesan Casserole 

I bake these meatballs at a higher temperature so I can develop a nice crust on top of the meatballs. Because they are larger they can handle the higher heat without overcooking.  Once the meatballs crust has formed I top the meatballs with a generous amount of sauce making sure to completely cover the meatballs with sauce. This will protect the meatballs from the high heat as well as give the sauce time to absorb into the meat really keeping them moist and tender. After adding the cheese and baking until it’s golden and bubbly I recommend you wait at least 10 minutes before serving. This will let the sauce cool down and continue to absorb into the meatballs for maximum flavor.

No Breadcrumbs??? And you call yourself Italian!

I know this will seem Sacrilegious to some but using rolled oats is another secret ingredient that helps these meatballs stick together without turning out mushy or dry. It’s also a great option to keep these meatballs gluten free. If you want you’re more than welcome to substitute the rolled oats for seasoned bread crumbs but I promise this recipe is kid tested and Nona approved. If you are on a keto diet I’ve got you covered as well. I substitute Pork Panko Pork rind breadcrumbs. They’re a great zero carb substitution that I use for breading chicken tenders and all kinds of other LowCarb recipes.

How Big to Make the Meatballs

You can Make you're Meatballs as large or as small as you like. I went with Jumbo 6 oz. Meatballs because it takes less time than rolling lots of smaller meatballs. If you do decide to make smaller 2 oz size meatballs I found this Neat Meatball Scoop that will make the task more manageable. The Casserole dish i use is a 9×13 Enameled Cast Iron Casserole Pan. Its a really great serving dish because it keeps the food warm a lot longer than other casserole dishes.

Homemade Marinara Recipe

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • In a saucepan over medium low heat saute diced onions, garlic and olive oil until onions are lightly caramelized.
  • Add Tomato paste and seasoning, continue to saute for 2 minutes
  • Pour in red wine and canned tomatoes. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove sauce from heat, add butter then pulse with Stick Blender. You can Control how chunky or smooth as you prefer.

More Casserole Ideas


Meatball Parmesan Casserole

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Meatball Parmesan Casserole

Course Main Course
Cuisine Casserole, Comfort food, Italian, Meatballs
Keyword Cuban Casserole, Meatball parmesan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 507kcal

Equipment

  • 9×13 Oven Safe Casserole Pan

Ingredients

Meatball Mix

Additional Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • 24 oz Marinara
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 lbs Penne Pasta Optional (served on side)

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients of Meatball Mixture. Make sure the fully incorporated but don't overwork the meat. Form Meatballs and place in Casserole Pan. Bake for 30 Minutes at 425 degrees F.
  • Carefully drain off any excess liquid then cover meatballs with Marinara, Mozzarella and Grated Parmesan Cheese. Bake For and additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden. Let meatballs rest for 10 Minutes before serving.

Notes

Makes Fifteen 6 oz Meatballs. Portion size One meatball with sauce and cheese. Add pasta separately 

Nutrition

Serving: 6oz | Calories: 507kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 1049mg | Potassium: 572mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 592IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition Facts
Meatball Parmesan Casserole
Amount Per Serving (6 oz)
Calories 507 Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value*
Fat 40g62%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 165mg55%
Sodium 1049mg46%
Potassium 572mg16%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 592IU12%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 227mg23%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Smoked Chicken Thighs w/ Blood Orang Glaze

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These smoked chicken thighs are juicy, tender and loaded with flavor. The blood orange glaze adds a sweet and spicy kick that everyone will love.

Trimming and Preparing Chicken Thighs

Since this is just a backyard recipe we don’t need to do anything crazy when it comes to prepping the chicken thighs. When I compete in KCBS competitions it is a painstaking meticulous process involving a number of steps. Just look for any bone fragments or cartilage that may have been missed by the butcher. I also like to take off any big pieces of fat that are hanging over the thighs. Flatten out the thighs and square them up so they cook as evenly as possible.

After the thighs have been trimmed let them sit in the fridge uncovered for at least a few hours to dry out the skin. This will help the skin crisp up when it cooks. About 30 minutes before I am going to cook I will take the thighs out of the fridge and season them generously on both sides with a bbq dry rub of your choosing. I have been using the Yardbird dry rub from plowboys bbq for my chicken both in competition and at home.

How to Smoke Chicken thighs on a pellet grill.

Pellet grills are my favorite way to smoke meat at home.  You don’t have to tend to a fire or constantly add fuel. I personally have a RT-700 pellet grill from Rectec. It’s not only a great looking grill but it has great temperature control and can be monitored or adjusted from anywhere using the app connected to WiFi.

Chicken thighs absorb smoke quickly and are a much smaller cut than briskets or pork shoulders allowing you to cook at. Higher temperature. This will give you much crispier skin than if you were to smoke at a lower temperature. Another trick to getting crispy skin is to spray the chicken thighs with Avocado oil pan spray every 30 minutes during the cooking process. It's a little more expensive but avocado oil is much cleaner and has a smoke point above 500 degrees F.

Blood Orange Glaze

Blood oranges have been available in my imperfect foods box lately so I’ve been taking advantage of using the beautiful citrus fruit. Traditionally blood oranges are used in mostly Mediterranean cuisine but I find it also lends itself well to Asian recipes.  The flavor of blood oranges has notes of raspberry combined with a sweet & slightly sour finish. The combination of Orange Blossom honey and Blue Agave Sriracha from Yellowbird balances out the tangy bite of the blood orange. It also gives the glaze a glossy Lacquered finish when brushed on the chicken thighs.

What temperature to cook chicken thighs?

Poultry should always be cooked to at least 160 degrees F. to prevent salmonella and other food borne illness. That being said I prefer to cook my dark meat longer to around 185-190 degrees F. Dark meat has a higher fat content and will remain juicy even when cooked to a higher internal temperature. Cooking to 185 degrees F. will also give you that fall off the bone tenderness that I prefer from dark meat. I use the same rules when smoking chicken wings. When preparing chicken breast I only cook to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. otherwise it drys out very quickly. The probes that come with most pellet grills are ok but I always compare with an instant read thermometer. They're also the best way to check for tenderness when probing larger cuts like brisket.

More Chicken Recipes


blood orange glaze on pellet grill smoked chicken thighs

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Smoked Chicken Thighs w/ Blood Orange Glaze

Course Main Course
Cuisine BBQ, Chicken Thighs, Pellet Grill, Rectec
Keyword Blood orange, Chicken recipes, Chicken thighs
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 361kcal

Equipment

  • Pellet Grill (I used the Rectec RT-700)

Ingredients

Additional ingredients

Instructions

  • Trim chicken thighs, cut any extra pieces of fat or bone fragments. if possible let thighs sit uncovered in the fridge for a few hours to dry out the skin. Once its time to season coat chicken thighs on both sides with bbq rub then let come up to room temperature.
  • Pre Heat pellet grill to 375 degrees F. once grill has come to temp smoke the chicken thighs skin up for 1 hour. Spray Chicken thighs with avocado oil spray every 30 minutes.
  • After an about one hour move the chicken thighs to a pan with 3 tbsp of butter and cook until chicken has reached an internal temp of 160 degrees F. and skin is crispy.
  • Brush chicken thighs with glaze every 15 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 185 degrees F.
  • Pour glaze from the bottom of the pan over the chicken thighs before serving. I prefer to rest the chicken for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Serving Size 1 Chicken thigh w/ Sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 342mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 163IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition Facts
Smoked Chicken Thighs w/ Blood Orange Glaze
Amount Per Serving
Calories 361 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 148mg49%
Sodium 342mg15%
Potassium 333mg10%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 163IU3%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The post Smoked Chicken Thighs w/ Blood Orang Glaze appeared first on Grilling 24×7.

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Easy At Home Boiled Lobster w/ Drawn Butter

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Boiled lobster at home is easier than you think. Grab a lobster Bibb because in a few easy steps you'll be dinning on this Crimson Crustacean from the confines of home whether you want to or not.

Boiled Lobster during a pandemic??? WTH!!

It might seem strange to be doing a boiled lobster recipe during a global pandemic. However the price of Coldwater lobster has actually dropped significantly since most restaurants are closed and demand is at an all time low. China is actually the biggest importer of live lobster and since the Coronavirus hit China the demand and ability to ship overseas has almost stopped completely causing the drastic price drop. I recently called up my local seafood market and had them order me two 2 lb. live lobsters. I was blown away by how cheap they were. Now I’m not saying this is a budget friendly meal by any means but if you’ve got a few bucks and wanted to try boiling lobster at home how’s the time to do it.

A brief history of Boiled Lobster

The first mention of Boiling lobster goes all the way back thousands of years to first century Greece. Vikings actually ate lobster during their deep sea voyages. Early settlers in the northern Colonies lived off of lobsters because they were so plentiful, sometimes known as the poor man's protein.

Later lobsters were even served in prison. It was served so often that there were complaints that it was cruel and unusual punishment. It wasn’t until the advent of the railways that lobster went from prison fare to exotic upscale cuisine. Cross country travelers developed a taste for lobster often perceived as a dish of the well to do. In World War II lobster was one of the only foods not rationed by the government. This made lobster affordable and readily available option for Americans. This however would cause a surge in this crustaceans popularity causing the price to surge.

Why do you cook lobsters alive?

First and foremost lobster is best when it’s fresh and live lobster is as fresh as you can get. Secondly lobster meat decays very quickly causing the meat to become mushy and have an unpleasant taste. The most important reason to cook lobsters while they’re still alive is safety. Lobsters are highly susceptible to a bacteria known as vibrio. After a lobster is only dead for a few hours, vibrio can begin to show up on the meat. Even cooking the lobster won’t kill all the bacteria. Vibrio is no fun and can even cause death in rare occasions. Mostly when consumed by people with weakened immune system‘s

Do lobsters scream when you cook them?

No, lobsters don’t have vocal cords and it’s uncertain if their pain receptors even realize they’re being cooked. If you're having a moral dilemma over preparing lobsters you can place them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. This “puts them to sleep and is considered the most humane way to cook lobster. Alton Brown said it best when he brought up the point that lobster's closest relative is the cockroach and  I don’t have any issue killing those. My advice is you do what feels right to you. I drop them in the hot water as soon as it comes to a boil. If you feel that putting them in the freezer puts your conscience at ease then go with that.

How to Extract the meat from Lobster.

There are a lot of different ways to break down a lobster. I’ve linked a Gordon Ramsay video below that is short and to the point. I like to chill my lobster immediately after boiling. It makes them easy to handle and ensures that they don’t get overcooked. Then I reheat them in copious amounts of drawn butter and serve with crusty bread. A few tools that will come in handy are a good sturdy pair of kitchen shears, seafood forks and even a lobster picking set. 

How long to cook a lobster?

  • 1 pound lobster 8-10 minutes 
  • 1.5 pound lobster 11-12 minutes
  • 2 pound lobster 15 minutes
  • 2.5 pound lobster 20 minutes
  • 3 pound lobster 25 minutes

How to make Drawn Butter

The easiest way to make clarified butter is to cut a stick of salted butter into 1 inch chunks and melt in a heavy bottom saucepan over the lowest heat setting. Don’t stir the butter because we want the butter solids to separate from the fat. Once the butter has melted you will see a foamy white layer on top. Using a spoon skim off as much of the foam as possible. Then pour the golden butter into a Pyrex Measuring Cup leaving the white milk solids that sink to the bottom in the pan. You can stop there and be done or you can take it one step further by pouring the clarified butter through a few layers of cheesecloth to get any leftover milk solids.

More Seafood Recipe Ideas


Boiled lobster at home with drawn butter

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Boiled Lobster

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Keyword Boiled Lobster, Drawn Butter
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 533kcal

Equipment

  • 12 Qt Stock Pot
  • Lobster Cracker
  • Seafood Fork

Ingredients

  • 2 Live Lobsters Between 1.5-2lbs. Each
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1/4 cup Real Salt
  • 2 Lemons

Instructions

  • Fill 12 Qt Stock Pot about 3/4 full of water along with Real salt and 1.5 Sqeezed Lemons. Bring to a boil
  • Place lobsters into the pot quickly and be careful as them ma splash. Boil for about 16 minutes until fully cooked. Test by grabing one of the intenas of the lobster. if they pop off with little tension they are done.
  • Remove lobsters from the stock pot and place in an ice bath to chill immediately

Nutrition

Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 281mg | Sodium: 15085mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1412IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition Facts
Boiled Lobster
Amount Per Serving
Calories 533 Calories from Fat 423
% Daily Value*
Fat 47g72%
Saturated Fat 29g181%
Cholesterol 281mg94%
Sodium 15085mg656%
Potassium 401mg11%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 1412IU28%
Vitamin C 57mg69%
Calcium 156mg16%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The post Easy At Home Boiled Lobster w/ Drawn Butter appeared first on Grilling 24×7.

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French Onion Rice & Beans

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Look in your pantry and you probably have everything you need to make this Beefy French Onion Rice & Beans. This is a fantastic way to feed the family on a budget costing less than $2 per portion. Home cookin on the cheap with beefy French onion goodness.

Rice & Beans Pantry RAID!!!

Lately I think we have all been cooking with what we have got on hand a lot more. Looking for inspiration with the ingredients we have on hand. Rice & Beans are two ingredients I have on hand at all times. I’ve always got a few different varieties of rice including white, brown and Aborio (for Risotto). I also keep a variety of beans on hand, some dry and some canned. Dry beans are great to keep on hand because they last forever but if I have my choice I use canned because it’s quick to make and I can control the consistency.

You can take these two simple ingredients and literally turn them into an endless possibility of dishes. I prefer brown rice because it fills me up and keeps me full longer. The down side is brown rice takes a lot longer to cook. If you make this recipe with white rice it will take about 20 minutes less time to prepare. I use the Risotto method to cook the rice by adding the liquid gradually throughout the cooking process instead of just pouring it all in at once. This helps you monitor the rice and make sure it’s not overcooked.

French Onion Rice & Beans: perfect way to feed a crowd 

Since most of us are stuck at home it’s nice to make simple one skillet dishes that are warming as well as satisfying. This is a recipe that I wouldn't make in late March but since it feels like i'm stuck home in a blizzard I’ve definitely been craving comfort food. Dishes like rice and beans are always great for meal prep. I made a batch on Monday and we ate it throughout the week. I garnished the skillet with the crispy fried onions that we all love but if you plan on eating this over the course of a few days just garnish each portion when you eat it so the onions don’t get soggy. 

Canned vs Dry Beans

I Always keep a bag of dry beans on hand in my Apocalypse box along with a few bags of pasta and rice. Truth be told I hate cooking dry beans. You have to soak them overnight and then when you cook them you have to keep a close eye so you don't turn the beans to mush. I prefer using the canned beans for most recipes because of how convent they are. You can use any variety of beans you like or have on hand to make French Onion rice & Beans. It just so happens that I had Black and Kidney Beans on hand and I find them to be some of the most common varieties of Legumes.

Homemade French Onion Soup Mix

Ingredients

Instructions:

  • Pour all ingredients into a small Masson jar, shake to combine. Store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months

More Casserole Recipe Ideas


cast iron skillet french onion rice & beans topped with crispy onions

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French Onion Rice & Beans

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Budget Friendly, Casserole, Cast Iron
Keyword Budget recipe, Casserole, Cast Iron, French onion
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Calories 506kcal

Equipment

  • 12″ Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients

Additional Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Canned Fried Onions
  • 1 cup Shredded Swiss or Provolone
  • 2 tbsp Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Sliced Scallions

Instructions

  • Brown off the ground beef and diced onions in butter until beef is almost fully cooked. Next ad in the brown rice and continure to saute until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.
  • Add Worcestershire, French onion soup mix and 2 cups of water. Simmer over medium low heat for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Pre heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • add Another 2 cups of water and continue to simmer over medium low heat. Once the water has almost fully absorbed stir in both cans of beans. make sure the beans are drained and rinsed before adding. Pour in the final cup of water and stir.
  • Place Skillet into oven to cook for about 15 minutes. Check to make sure the rice is cooked to you liking. Finally top withshredded swiss and grated parmesan. Bake for 10 more minutes until cheese is golden and fully melted.
  • Garnish with sliced scallions and Canned Fried Onions

Nutrition

Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 661mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 162IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition Facts
French Onion Rice & Beans
Amount Per Serving
Calories 506 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 68mg23%
Sodium 463mg20%
Potassium 661mg19%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 162IU3%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 137mg14%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The post French Onion Rice & Beans appeared first on Grilling 24×7.

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