It’s the time of year to look back on all the things 2018 has brought us. The most popular music, our favorite movies and all the memories we’ve had with friends and family. Each year, Google also releases some of the most searched items of the past 12 months, including the recipes that we’ve Googled the most.
Not surprisingly, all the recipes are pretty classic. From meatloaf to pecan pie, this is some true American food. So here are some of my favorite spins on these classics, so you can skip all that Googling!
2 large carrots, each cut lengthwise into 6 slices
4 cups spinach (3 ounces), thick stems discarded
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 pounds ground pork
2 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 cups freshly grated pecorino cheese (6 ounces)
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
12 thin slices of prosciutto (4 ounces)
1/2 pound caciocavallo or provolone cheese, cut into twelve 1/8-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 sprigs of rosemary
2 cups dry red wine
1 cup water
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the carrots until tender, 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add the spinach to the boiling water and cook just until wilted; drain well and add to the carrots.
In a large bowl, combine the beef with the pork, 2 cups of the bread crumbs, the pecorino, eggs, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper; mix well with your hands.
Line a work surface with a 15-inch-long sheet of plastic wrap. In a bowl, mix the flour with the remaining 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Sprinkle half of the crumb mixture all over the plastic wrap. Transfer half of the meat loaf mixture to the plastic and press it into a 12-by-10-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Lay half of the spinach leaves over the meat, leaving a 1-inch border on the short sides. Arrange half of the carrots over the spinach, and top with half the prosciutto and sliced cheese. Starting from the long end of the plastic wrap closest to you, tightly roll up the meat loaf, tucking in the filling and using the plastic wrap to guide you; discard the plastic. Repeat with another 15-inch sheet of plastic and the remaining bread crumbs, meat mixture, spinach, carrots, prosciutto and cheese. Drizzle each meat loaf with 2 tablespoons of oil.
Put the rosemary sprigs in the bottom of a broiler pan and pour in the red wine. Cover with the broiler pan grate. Set the meat loaves about 2 inches apart on the grate. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes. Turn the broiler pan around and pour the water through the grate. Continue baking for about 35 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of each meat loaf registers 165°.
Transfer the meat loaves to a carving board and cover loosely with foil. Discard any cheese from the bottom of the pan and strain the pan juices into a small saucepan. Boil the pan juices over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour into a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Using a serrated knife, slice the meat loaves 1 inch thick and serve, passing the pan juices at the table.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Eight 3-ounce chicken cutlets
1 1/2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or purchased marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
16 teaspoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Two 32-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 fresh basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Stir the oil and herbs in a small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of the cutlets with the herb oil. Heat a large heavy oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add the cutlets and cook just until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Spoon the marinara sauce over and around the cutlets. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the mozzarella over each cutlet, then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the Parmesan over each. Sprinkle the butter pieces atop the cutlets. Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Simple Tomato Sauce:
In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove the bay leaves and check for seasoning. If the sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors. Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with the remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
1 1/2 – 2 pounds stew meat
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups beef broth
1 cup sliced mushrooms (preferably fresh, not canned)
3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 cup sour cream
6 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes, softened
4 tablespoons corn starch (or flour) + 1/2 cup beef broth
12 ounces short pasta noodles, cooked according to package instructions (egg noodles are traditionally served with stroganoff but penne, macaroni, or spiral all work well)
Lightly grease your slow cooker, then add stew meat and sprinkle Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste over the top. Add mushrooms, beef broth, garlic, Dijon mustard, and worcestershire sauce. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.
About 30 minutes before serving, stir corn starch (or flour) into 1/2 cup beef broth and stir mixture into slow cooker. Add cream cheese and sour cream to slow cooker then cook another 20-30 minutes on high, stirring occasionally until cream cheese and sour cream are incorporated and sauce is thickened.
Taste, add salt and pepper to your personal taste if needed, and stir in noodles. Serve immediately garnished with cracked black pepper and fresh thyme if desired.
1 pre-made pie crust
2 cups (about 7 ounces) pecans
3 large eggs
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
Roll out the dough to a 12-inch round. Fit the dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1/2 inch, fold the edge under itself and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate until firm.
Preheat the oven to 375°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the pecans for about 8 minutes, or until fragrant; coarsely chop. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, melted butter, bourbon and salt until blended. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for about 55 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set. Tent the crust with foil halfway through the baking time if the edge is browning too quickly. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.