Pasta al forno

Wanna know what today’s lesson is? Use a big enough pan, it worked this time, but better safe than sorry.. Anyway, here’s a recipe for pasta al forno which I love love love..

Ingredients:
– 500 grams pasta penne (1 package)
– 200 grams mozzarella (or more, I use a lot cause mozzarella is basically the best)
– 1 1/2 tablespoon shredded parmesan
– 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
– 2-3 zucchinis
– 1 pound ground beef
– 1 yellow onion
– 2 garlic cloves
– 2 carrots
– 500 grams crushed tomatoes
– 1 tablespoon tomato purée
– Salt and black pepper to taste
– Olive oil

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1. Boil water on high, add the pasta and some salt and boil until tender.

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2. Chop the zucchini, carrots and onion into pieces and press the garlic.

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3. Fry the carrots, onions, zucchini and garlic in the olive oil until softened.

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4. Brown the ground beef and add the tacoseasoning (recipe here).

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5. Mix the ground beef, crushed tomatoes, tomato purée and the vegetables and add some pepper to taste. Simmer under a lid for 20 minutes.

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6. Spray a pan lightly with olive oil and then add half of the pasta.

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7. Then layer with half of the ground beef mixture.

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8. Layer with half the mozzarella and half the parmesan. Repeatwith the pasta and ground beef. Top with mozzarella, parmesan and breadcrumbs.

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9. Gratinate in oven for 20 minutes.

10. Enjoy!

Meatballs

Here’s a swedish dish most people associate with Sweden, I’ve kind of just gotten through this recipe by trial and error and you can add whatever you’d like to. It’s really easy to make but fairly time cconsuming. You can add other things to spice them up a little bit, this is just a basic recipe. I used to make the meatballs with finely chopped carmelized onion which is pretty good too but we prefer them this way..

Ingredients:
– 1 pound 93% ground beef
– Approxiomately 50 gram butter (more if needed/wanted)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper
– 1 deciliter (possibly more) breadcrumbs.

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1. Put the ground beef, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix it well.

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2. Pour the breadcrumbs into a rounded plate.

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3. Roll the meatballs into approxiomately 1-1/2 inch balls and then roll them in the breadcrumbs and put them aside.

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4. Add some of the butter to a pan and set it on medium heat. Add as many meatballs as can fit comfortably in the pan and fry until browned and cooked all the way through.

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5. Enjoy with mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam and brown sauce or with spaghetti and ketchup or whatever else sounds good..

Zucchini lasagna

So, this might be my favorite lasagna ever. And it’s pretty healty and it’s from the The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor
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Ingredients:

– 1 pound seasoned (recipe for seasoning here) 93% ground beef
– 1 teaspoon olive oil
– 1 yellow onion
– 3 garlic cloves
– 1 (28 ounces) can petite diced tomatoes
– Freshly ground pepper
– 3 medium zucchinis
– Cooking spray
– 1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
– 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
– 1 egg
– 4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. I usually make a lot of ground beef while making tacos and I always make too much so that I can use it for other meals, such as lasagna. This is the recipe for my taco seasoning.

2. Chop the onion into small pieces.

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3. Add the olive oil to a skillet, carmelize the onion and then add the ground beef, garlic and the diced tomatoes.

4. Put the meat in the skillet, add the diced tomatoes and

5. Turn the oven on at 375° F.

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6. Slice the zucchinis into thin slices. I usually use a cheese slicer but you can also use a mandoline. Set the zucchini on paper towels to drain the slices.

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7. Warm up a grill (if you don’t have one, you can probably do it in a skillet but don’t hold me to that. I use the George Foreman Grill. Grill them for 3-5 minutes on each side

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8. Set the grilled zucchini back on paper towels to drain them further

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9. Combine the ricotta, parmesan and the egg in a bowl and mix well

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10.Spread a layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of a pan.

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11. Layer the zucchini on top of the meat sauce.

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12. Top with the ricotta mixture.

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13. Add mozzarella and then repeat the layers until you’ve used all of it (save 1 cup mozzarella). Let the top layers be zucchini and then meat sauce.

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14. Cover the dish with foil and set in the oven for 30 minutes.

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15. Uncover the dish and add the remaining mozzarella.

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16. Enjoy!

Taco meat (Taco seasoning)

A few months ago I started making my own taco seasoning instead of using the premade one from the store. I usually kind of just test and see what tastes good but this is what I start with, try it and then add some more spices if you want it spicier

Ingredients:

– 3 pounds 93% ground beef (you need about a pound for the tacos but I make three and put it in the refrigerator for future meals.
– 5 tablespoons chili powder
– 3 teaspoons paprika powder
– 4 tablespoons cumin (I love cumin, one of my favorite spices. Is it weird to have a favorite spice? Oh well, I’m weird so that’s okay)
– 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons sugar
– 2 teaspoons oregano
– 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 1 deciliter water

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1. Put the ground beef into a large skillet and try to make the meat into as small pieces as possible.

2. While the meat is being browned, mix the taco seasoning.

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3. Mix the chili powder, paprika powder, cumin, salt, sugar, oregano, cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.

4. Add the spice mixture and the water to the meal, mix well.

5. The meat is done when the water is gone.

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6. Enjoy!

Pot roast

Pot roast feels really american, it’s a favorite in our family and here’s how I usually make it.

Ingredients:

– Salt and pepper
– 3 pound shoulder roast
– 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 yellow onions (the time I took these pictures, I only had one onion so I added russet potatoes and a couple of extra carrots to make up for it)
– 6-8 carrots
– 1 cup red wine
– 3 cups beef broth
– 2 teaspoons rosemary
– 2 teaspoons thyme

1. Turn the oven on 275° F

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2. Salt and pepper the roast generously

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3. Pour olive oil in a cast iron and turn the stove on medium high heat, I love red and use a Cuisinart Cast Iron Casserole. Chop the onions into four pieces (only two pieces (half) if you are using smaller onions). Add them to the cast iron and brown onions on both sides. Take up the onions and place them on a plate. Don’t turn off the stove.

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4. Now chop the carrots (2-3 centimeter pieces, 2 inches) and add them to the cast iron until they get some color. If you’re using potatoes, put them in the cast iron with the carrots. Put aside with the onion

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5. If needed, add some more olive oil. Place the meat in the cast iron and make sure it gets color on all side. About a minute on each side. Add rosemary and thyme.

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6. Don’t turn off the stove, add the beef broth and wine.

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7. Add the onions, carrots and potatoes in the cast oven and put in the middle of the oven for 3 hours.

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8. Enjoy!

Beef à la Lindstrom

So, I’m gonna start with a Swedish(ish) recipe. I think it’s originally russian but Swedes have embraced it and both me and the hubby love it.

Ingredients:

– 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
– 1 tablespoon potato starch
– 1.5 deciliters water
– 2 deciliters chopped, pickled beets (Most people use pickles but I don’t like them but if you do like pickles, you can substitute 1 deciliter for those)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 pinch of blackpepper
– 400 grams of ground beef (I use 93% beef, 7% fat)
– 1 egg
– Butter for frying

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1. Start by pooring breadcrumbs and potato starch and water in a bowl and mix together. Put aside for 10 minutes and let it swell.

2. While the breadcrumbs swell, you can chop up the beets unless you bought them chopped up.

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3. Add the salt, black pepper and ground beef to the mixture and mix well. Finally add the beets (and pickles if you opted for those) and the egg.

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4. Add butter to a pan and let it melt. Then take a spoon and fill it with smome of the mixture, put it in the pan and flatten until it forms a round (about a centimeter thick) beef patty.

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5. Fry them on both sides until they browns and are cooked all the way through.

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6. Serve with mashed potatoes and beets, or whatever you feel like having with it.

7. Enjoy!