cheese galore

Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

Posted by on Sep 8, 2021 in beef, Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, main dish | 0 comments

Everyone probably has their own take on classic Italian Meatballs. This is mine!

What I love about the recipe is that it, 1) tastes good, and 2) is convenient. I can mix the meatballs up ahead of time and stash them in the fridge or even the freezer. They can be cooked straight from the freezer, too! Just cook them a little longer.

Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

I always go with 93% lean ground beef, but use whatever kind you want–even do a meat of beef and pork or ground sausage. Consider this recipe a template. Mix it up, switch out or increase seasonings, whatever.

Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

These are great with all kinds of dishes, too. Use them with the standard spaghetti or other Italian pasts, or on zoodles, or with sauce on some submarine sandwich bread. They are even good heated up, eaten by themselves!

Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

These gigantic meatballs are easy to make. If you want, form them early in the day and stash them in the fridge. Meatballs can also be frozen, cooked or cooked, and heated up later–and they can be taken straight from the freezer, too; just add a few more minutes to the cook time. This is also a great recipe to double to feed a crowd.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: beef, cheese
Servings: 8 meatballs
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • food scale
  • 9×13 dish or large rimmed baking pan

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for pan and hands
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups panko
  • 1/2 cup milk or water
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ounce Parmesan or Grana Padano, freshly grated, roughly 1/2 cup
  • 1 pound ground beef

Instructions

  • Move rack to top third of oven and start to preheat at 425-degrees. Rub or brush a 9×13 casserole pan or rimmed baking sheet with oil.
  • In a large bowl, use a big spoon to mash together the 2 Tablespoons oil, eggs, panko, liquid, salt, pepper, seasoning, garlic powder, and cheese. The goal is to create a smooth paste. Add a handful of meat. Mix in, and gradually drop in the rest of the meat to thoroughly combine.
  • Use a food scale to weigh the meat, then divide that total by 8 (or any other desired increment). With oiled hands, press together meatballs, weighing each to create ones of equal size.
  • Bake meatballs for 20 minutes. Use a metal spatula to carefully flip over each for the browned-bottom is on top. Bake for another 6 to 10 minutes, until meatballs are fully browned. An instant read thermometer plunged into one should read over 160-degrees.
  • Serve as desired. Leftovers are great to refrigerate or freeze.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    Posted by on Jul 14, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, cheese galore, nutty | 0 comments

    This Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake is more cake than cheesecake, and is all sweet, fruity goodness.

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    If you need a showstopper cake for a brunch or dessert, this one is perfect. It’s great to make ahead of time, too–slices can even be frozen for later, no prob!

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    I used Murray’s Spiced Cherry Preserves; that little kick of spice was fantastic in the cake. Other bold preserves would be great in this cake, too–raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, even tropical flavors.

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    This is a thick, rich cake. It tastes best when you get a bit of all the layers in a single bite: the sliced almonds, crumb topping, fruit, cream cheese, sponge.

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    My husband liked the cake cold but he liked it even more when warmed a bit–and not in the microwave, either, but gently brought to room temperature by letting a slice sit out for 30 to 45 minutes.

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    Don’t forget a slice on the counter, though. This does contain cream cheese and shouldn’t be left out for hours!

    Modified from Taste of Home Magazine December 2015.

    Bready or Not: Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

    This is more cake than cheesecake, but it includes cream cheese, too, plus luscious layers of fruit and crumb topping. Feel free to experiment with different quality preserves--this would be delicious in a multitude of variations.
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Keyword: almond, cake, cheese, cherries, cream cheese, springform pan
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 9-inch springform pan
    • parchment paper

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup white sugar divided
    • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter cubed
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup vanilla yogurt or sour cream, 8 ounces
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 8 ounces cream cheese 1 box, softened
    • 1 cup cherry preserves
    • 1/2 cup slices almonds

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Cut a parchment round to fit the bottom of the springform pan. Apply nonstick spray or butter on bottom of sides of pan, add the parchment, then grease it as well.
    • In a big bowl, mix flour with 3/4 cup of sugar. Cut in butter until it is crumbly. Measure out 1/2 cup crumb mixture for topping; set aside.
    • To the bulk of the flour mix, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in yogurt, 1 egg, and almond extract, until blended. Spread batter onto bottom of the springform pan.
    • In a small bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and egg, to make it as smooth as possible. It's okay if it still has some clumps. Pour it onto the pan and smooth out. Spoon the preserves all across the top. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb topping and the sliced almonds.
    • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The middle should no longer be jiggly, the top a nice golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes then unlatch and life away the pan's ring to let the cake cool for another hour. Then place cake in fridge to complete set and cool for a few hours.
    • Cake can be eaten cold or after slices are brought to room temperature after about 30 to 45 minutes. Do remember to store cake in the fridge, as it does contain cream cheese! Slices can also be individually wrapped and frozen, and will thaw in the fridge with no issue.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

      Posted by on Apr 28, 2021 in alcohol, bacon, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, cheese galore, gluten-free, main dish, pork, side dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

      This Pancetta Risotto is a fantastic meal for two people, or a delicious side for a group. It’s time-consuming but very straightforward to make.

      Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

      I confess, I spent years being intimidated by the very idea of a risotto. I would see it done on cooking shows. So much stirring! When I finally got up the gumption to give it a try, I found risotto wasn’t hard at all. It really is about lots of stirring.

      Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

      This recipe here is my fancy occasion recipe, especially when I have some good pancetta on hand, such as the kind carried by Smoking Goose Meatery out of Indianapolis.

      Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

      As for the wine, I’ve tried this with fancier Sauvignon Blanc from Total Wine (Cloudy Bay from New Zealand) as well as a $6 Trader Joe’s Coastal Sauvignon Blanc. Both versions turned out great! You don’t need to go all-out, but get something that is (hopefully) drinkable with the finished meal.

      Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

      Bready or Not Original: Pancetta Risotto

      Homemade risotto requires time standing at the stove, but makes for delicious results. This recipe takes about 45 minutes to an hour to completion, depending on your stove. Note that a small amount of bacon can be substituted for the pancetta, but it is much stronger in flavor and colors the risotto brown.
      Course: Main Course, pork
      Cuisine: Italian
      Keyword: alcohol, cheese, pork, rice
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • large stock pot
      • medium saucepan

      Ingredients

      • 8 oz pancetta diced
      • 1 Tablespoon dried shallots or fresh shallot, finely minced
      • 3 cloves garlic minced
      • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
      • 1 cup dry white wine Sauvignon Blanc works well
      • 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock, equal to a 32 oz box or 2 cans
      • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano, plus more to top rice
      • salt and pepper to taste

      Instructions

      • In a large stock pot, cook the pancetta for 10 to 12 minutes, until it starts to turn brown and crispy. At the same time, on another stove burner, use a medium sauce pan to bring the chicken broth to a very low simmer.
      • Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Add dry shallots and garlic to the fat in the big pot. Sauté for two minutes. Add the Arborio rice and a pinch of salt. Sauté another 2 minutes, until the rice looks glossy with translucent edges.
      • Add the white wine and stir until it is absorbed. Add chicken broth in 1/2 cup increments, stirring well after each addition until it is absorbed. After about 12 to 15 minutes, when most of the broth has been added, begin to taste the rice. The goal is a chewy, al dente consistency. Add more broth as needed, and remember to turn off the burner for the broth pot when it is empty.
      • When the rice is creamy and al dente, stir in the pancetta and cheese. Taste the risotto again, adding more salt and pepper as needed. Serve with the remaining white wine.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        Bready or Not: Cheddar Beer Bread Rolls

        Posted by on Apr 14, 2021 in alcohol, Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, yeast bread | 2 comments

        These Cheddar Beer Bread Rolls taste as good as they look. Seriously.

        Bready or Not: Cheddar Beer Bread Rolls

        When the pandemic sent everything topsy-turvy in spring 2020, my husband ended up working from home more often. That meant I needed to feed him more often.

        Bready or Not: Cheddar Beer Bread Rolls

        So, like so many people, I started baking more bread. These rolls were among the first of my experiments, and they were a major hit.

        Bready or Not: Cheddar Beer Bread Rolls

        The original recipe from New York Times Cooking made a huge batch of rolls. I needed enough rolls to feed one guy, with a extras frozen for later.

        Bready or Not: Cheddar Beer Bread Rolls

        I rewrote the recipe to delicious results. I used a Guilt Lifter beer to make these, which lent a refreshing hoppy flavor. A heavier and darker beer will create heavier and darker flavor. Try different beers to suit your tastes and match your meal.

        Bready or Not: Cheddar Beer Bread Rolls

        Make a batch of about a dozen cheesy rolls with this straightforward yeast bread recipe! Beer lends some hoppy flavor to the dough, along with a boost of yeast. These rolls are fantastic fresh, but can also be frozen and heated up later for a delicious side dish. This recipe is halved and otherwise modified from a New York Times Cooking recipe.
        Course: Bread
        Cuisine: American
        Keyword: alcohol, beer, cheese, yeast bread
        Servings: 12 rolls
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • 2 8-or 9-inch cake pans
        • 2.5-inch round cutter
        • plastic wrap
        • basting brush

        Ingredients

        • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter divided
        • 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
        • 1/2 Tablespoons instant yeast
        • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
        • 2 Tablespoons honey
        • 1 cup beer room temperature
        • 1 cup shredded cheese 120 grams

        Instructions

        • Divide the two tablespoons of butter in half, separating them to soften at room temperature.
        • In a stand mixer with a bread hook attachment, stir together the flour, yeast, and salt. Follow up with 1 tablespoon of softened butter, honey, and beer. Mix on low speed for 4 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium for another 2 minutes, pulling the dough from the hook a few times. Add about half the cheese, reserving the rest to go on top later. Mix the cheese until it's distributed through the dough.
        • Lightly grease a large bowl. Transfer the dough there and cover with plastic wrap or a towel to let it rise until it's about doubled in size, about an hour.
        • Grease the two cake pans. Prepare a lightly floured surface and tip the dough onto it. Pat the dough out into a thick, even layer. Use the cutter to slice out rolls. Place them not quite touching in the pans. Reform scraps as much as possible to shape into more rolls. The rolls likely won't quite fill both pans.
        • Cover pans with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise again for 35 to 45 minutes. They may not increase a lot in size, but they should look puffy.
        • Preheat oven at 400-degrees.
        • Pull out remaining pat of butter and cheese. Brush the soft butter over the rolls, and follow up with a sprinkling of cheese. Try to keep the cheese from touching the edge of the pan, where it could burn.
        • Place both pans in the oven and bake until the rolls are browned and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. A digital thermometer in a center roll should read 190-degrees at minimum.
        • Let cool for at least 10 minutes before (carefully) pulling apart and serving.
        • Rolls can keep in a sealed bag at room temperature for up to 2 days. They can also be frozen and thawed for later enjoyment. They taste best hot. For best results, wrap them in foil and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes to warm them through.

        OM NOM NOM!

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          Bready or Not: Honey Oat Pie with a Cinnamon Pie Crust

          Posted by on Mar 17, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, british, cheese galore, quick bread, side dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Honey Oat Pie with a Cinnamon Pie Crust

          This is a pie like none I have made before: like a gigantic chewy oatmeal cookie with a spiced crust, embodied with a refreshing zing of whiskey.

          Bready or Not: Honey Oat Pie with a Cinnamon Pie Crust

          This Honey Oat Pie in a Cinnamon Pie Crust will blow your mind in the best of ways. Texture wise, it is moist and chewy without being soggy (be sure to use old-fashioned/rolled oats!).

          Bready or Not: Honey Oat Pie with a Cinnamon Pie Crust

          Flavor-wise, you taste the toasted oats, a wonderful mix of warm spices, and the freshness of the whiskey. There’s only a tablespoon and a half in there but the flavor of the whiskey still comes through.

          Bready or Not: Honey Oat Pie with a Cinnamon Pie Crust

          I used Jameson Irish Whiskey, in keeping with the origins of the original version of the recipe: the July/August issue of Bake from Scratch Magazine, my favorite food magazine these days.

          Bready or Not: Honey Oat Pie with a Cinnamon Pie Crust

          I imagine you can omit the whiskey from the recipe without it being detrimental to the taste or texture, but I haven’t tried that myself.

          This is a great pie to have for breakfast (the alcohol’s effect burns off in baking), or snack, or dessert.

          Bready or Not: Cinnamon Pie Crust

          This basic pie crust comes together quickly and would complement many sweet pie recipes. Mix up, chill the dough for at least an hour (or freeze for much later), and you can form the crust and go from there! This makes enough dough for ONE pie shell. Modified from Bake from Scratch Ireland Issue July/August 2020.
          Course: Breakfast, Dessert
          Cuisine: American
          Keyword: pie
          Author: Beth Cato

          Equipment

          • food processor
          • pie plate
          • plastic wrap

          Ingredients

          • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
          • 1 1/2 Tablespoons white sugar
          • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
          • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
          • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, cold, cut into chunks
          • 3 Tablespoons ice water plus more if needed

          Instructions

          • In a large food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the butter pieces. Pulse until they are almond-sized, then add the ice water. Pulse until mixture can form a ball, adding a touch more water if needed to make it cohesive.
          • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead to shape into a disk. Tightly encase in plastic wrap and let chill in fridge for at least an hour, or up to a few days. Dough can also be frozen for up to two months.

          OM NOM NOM!

            Bready or Not: Honey Oat Pie

            This rich and chewy nut-free pie is like an oversize oatmeal cookie with a pleasant zing of whiskey. That’s right, whiskey. Modified from Bake from Scratch Ireland Issue July/August 2020.
            Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
            Cuisine: American, irish
            Keyword: alcohol, oats, pie
            Author: Beth Cato

            Equipment

            • pie plate
            • parchment paper
            • pie weights

            Ingredients

            • single-layer pie crust
            • 1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats also called rolled oats
            • 2/3 cup brown sugar packed
            • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
            • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
            • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
            • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
            • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
            • 1/3 cup honey
            • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Irish whiskey such as Jameson
            • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
            • 4 large eggs room temperature

            Instructions

            • Preheat oven at 400-degrees

            Prepare pie crust

            • Let pie dough soften at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Lightly flour a surface and roll out dough to a 12-inch circle and transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. Press into plate to shape, crimping edges as desired. Freeze crust until firm, about 15 minutes.
            • Drape a large piece of parchment paper over pie crust. Fill to the top with pie weights.
            • Bake crust until edges are turning golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove weights and parchment paper.
            • Bake crust an additional 10 minutes to set. Cover the edges with foil if it is getting brown too quickly. Set aside on rack to cool while the filling is assembled.

            Prepare filling

            • Reduce oven temperature to 350-degrees.
            • Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Place oats in pan.
            • Bake them until they are lightly toasted, about 10 minutes, giving them a stir or two during. Set them aside to cool.
            • Lower oven temperature again, this time to 325-degrees. Move the oven rack to the lower third of the oven.
            • In a big bowl, mix together the brown sugar, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Add the corn syrup, melted butter, honey, whiskey and vanilla, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition, and end by incorporating the oats until they are coated. Pour everything into the parbaked crust.
            • Bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed, about 40 minutes. Check on the pie about halfway and cover the edges the foil if they are getting too brown. The done pie will register at 200-degrees if checked with an instant thermometer.
            • Let pie cool completely on rack before slicing in. Store covered by foil in the fridge or at room temperature. Keeps for several days.

            OM NOM NOM!

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              Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

              Posted by on Feb 24, 2021 in beef, Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, main dish, pork, yeast bread | Comments Off on Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

              Today’s Bready or Not is a 2-for-1 deal: a recipe for fast and easy pizza dough, followed by the process I use for  divvying up that dough to make small but thick cast iron pan pizzas.

              Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

              The basic dough recipe is modified from the great book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. [Affiliate link] Yes, this dough really comes together in 5 minutes. It also keeps for up to 2 weeks AND can be frozen.

              Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

              The method for making mini pizzas in a skillet is one I practiced a few times several years ago, then made a LOT during 2020 as my husband was working from home more often. I perfected it to the point where I had to write it down–and share here.

              Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

              The pan pizza recipe is pretty much an outline to show the timing on the shaping, rise, and crust-cooking, but the ingredients are all up to you!

              Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough and Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

              Bready or Not: 5 Minute Artisan Pizza Dough

              This makes enough pizza dough for a large pizza or 3 10-inch ‘pan’ style pizza. The dough is ready to use after only a few hours, and will keep in the fridge for as long as two weeks. Modified from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois.
              Course: Main Course
              Cuisine: American, Italian
              Keyword: pizza, yeast bread
              Author: Beth Cato

              Ingredients

              • 1 1/3 cups warm water
              • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
              • 1/2 Tablespoon white sugar
              • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
              • 3/4 Tablespoon kosher salt
              • 2 teaspoons pizza seasoning or Italian seasoning, optional
              • 2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast or one packet store-bought active yeast

              Instructions

              • Place the water, olive oil, and sugar in a big mixing bowl, stand mixer, or food processor. Add the flour, salt, and seasoning, if using. Start mixing together, then sprinkle in the yeast. Mix until just combined.
              • Keep in same bowl, if desired, or transfer to another bowl that is greased. Loosely cover top with plastic wrap or towel and let dough rise at room temperature until it flattens out on top, about two hours.
              • Dough can be used now but is much easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a non-airtight container and use within two weeks. Dough can also be frozen in freezer bags, for up to a month, and defrosted later in the fridge.

              OM NOM NOM!

                Bready or Not Original: Cast Iron Pan Pizzas

                About a 2-pound batch of dough, such as the 5 Minute Artisan Dough recipe on Bready or Not, will make three hearty personal pan pizzas in a 10-inch cast iron pan. This process takes about 45 minutes. The remaining dough can keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
                Course: Main Course
                Cuisine: American, Italian
                Keyword: beef, cheese, pizza, pork, yeast bread
                Author: Beth Cato

                Equipment

                • 10-inch cast iron skillet

                Ingredients

                • handful pizza dough
                • olive oil
                • desired toppings and seasonings

                Instructions

                • Preheat oven at 450-degrees. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet and place the pan in the oven to heat up.
                • Grab a good handful of pizza dough, or as much as desired to bake today. Oil a small space of counter or table as well as hands, and gently stretch and press out the dough to a rough circle. If it tears, patch with other pieces of dough as best possible. Let dough rest for about 20 minutes.
                • By this time, the oven should have preheated. Use a potholder to pull out the skillet. Carefully swirl the hot oil in the pan to coat the bottom and set pan down on a safe surface. Carefully, again, place the dough in the pan.
                • Bake crust for 6 to 10 minutes, until it is set. Pull out of oven and add desired toppings.
                • Put pizza in oven for another 6 to 10 minutes, until crust is golden and toppings are cooked to desired level. Let pizza cool for about 10 minutes, then slide onto a plate or other surface to slice and eat.
                • OM NOM NOM!
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