Tursgiving 2014: The Meatballs Recipe

25 Nov

Yesterday I wrote about the amazing feast that is Tursgiving and promised our host’s famous meatballs recipe.

Here ya go!

Tursgiving 2014: The Meatballs Recipe

Ingredients

  • Sauce:
  • 3 cans of Crushed tomatoes ( I like pastene )
  • 1 carrots finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery finely chopped
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 4 bay leafs
  • 2 tbsp each of basil and parsley chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil to start (separated)
  • Meatballs:
  • 1/2 pound each of beef, veal, pork and lamb
  • 1 cup parm cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 green onions finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped basil
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • Few dashes of worchestire sauce (optional)
  • Flour to dust meatballs

Instructions

    Sauce:
  1. In a large sauce pot... large enough for all your meatballs plus the sauce, add 2 tbsp oil over med/high heat and saute your onions, garlic carrot and celery until onions are translucent
  2. Add the rest of your sauce ingredients starting with the tomatoes and let simmer on a med low for 30 minutes
  3. Keep tasting to make sure its not missing anything
  4. Meatballs:
  5. While sauce cooks, add all meatball ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well making sure everything is uniform
  6. Form into inch and a half sized balls (mixture shouldn't be loose... nor too dry... if too loose add a little more breadcrumbs)
  7. Then coat with a light dusting of flour
  8. Meatballs in sauce:
  9. In order to cook the meatballs, add them to the sauce gently until they are all in the pot (no frying!!!)... and cover.
  10. Then after 5 minutes gently mix with a spoon to rearrange the orientation of the meatballs.
  11. After another five minutes rearrange again and remove from heat and keep covered until they are room temperature.
  12. Tips from the chef:
  13. Make the sauce first so its cooking while the balls are being prepared
  14. I suggest preparing them the day before you want to cook them and then reheat... meatballs are always best reheated!!!
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Thanks, again, Mike!

Tursgiving 2014

24 Nov

We have had the pleasure of making some great foodie friends, and one of our favorites was a former coworker of Mike’s who started a Supper Club when they were working together.  We all get along very well, and bond over our fondness for food.  In the past few years, we have done many a dinner at a brand new restaurant opening together and have hosted many a dinner party with Mike’s friend (who also happens to be Mike) as executive chef.  It never disappoints.

Last year around Thanksgiving, our friendship was just forming but Mike invited us to Tursgiving, his annual Friend Thanksgiving dinner where he cooks for about 100 people (though there are only about 20 of us).

This year, we walked in to find hand-made gifts from our host: a wooden appetizer board with a wine glass holder, and a wine glass.

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And each was personalized for us.

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They worked incredibly well to be able to maintain eating and drinking at the same time (two things that should never be separated).

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Here is our host, Mike, showing off his handiwork (both the board and the food).

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Last year we didn’t know what we were in for, but this year we came prepared with empty stomachs.

The first thing out of the oven were these macaroni and cheese bites made by one of the guests.  They were a great way to star the meal.

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We also enjoyed mini wienies in crescent rolls.

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And my favorite part of the meal, short ribs on pita crisps with fontina cheese and pickled red onions.

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These were absolutely gourmet and could be served in one of the finest restaurants in NYC tomorrow. (They were also enjoyed by a fellow food blogger we befriended at Tursgiving, Maggy, who wrote about them with a recipe here)

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And don’t forget about the big platter of shrimp cocktail.

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And the stuffed mushroom caps.

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After all the nibbles, introductions, and friend-making, it was time to sit down to Part 1 of the main event.

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This was the Italian part of the meal, which started with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with a basil vinaigrette.

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And then the homemade lasagna and meat balls.  This was second only to the short rib bites.  These were both awesome and bursting with flavor.  Mike really knows how to make Italian food.

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And as if that wasn’t enough food yet, it was on to the full Thanksgiving feast, including a 26 pound turkey that was herbed and covered in bacon for a full roast.

Here is the bird pre-cook wrapped in bacon.

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And here is the bird ready to be carved.

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Our carver went at the bird and we all looked on.

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Then there was a (really delicious) string bean casserole.

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Stuffing.

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Creamed spinach.

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Mashed potatoes.

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Brown sugar and butter roasted sweet potatoes (so good!)

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But by this time, my stomach had no more room. So I literally had one single bite of everything.  This was the most pitiful plate, but it was the best I could do.

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We had to leave before dessert, sadly, due to a family obligation, but we did get a homemade panna cotta with berry coulis (which was awesome) and I stole some of my contribution to the party: Grandma’s Meringue Chocolate Chip Kisses. (still one of my all-time favorites)

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I am still blown away that Mike prepares such a huge, extensive, and delicious meal for all of his friends.  We had a great time, with great food, and met some new great friends.  What an awesome day.  Can’t wait for next year!

Mike has graciously offered to share his recipes for his awesome turkey (which is based on his Grandmother’s recipe but with a twist) and the meatballs.  Turkey in this post. Meatballs in the post tomorrow.

Tursgiving 2014: Mike's Turkey

Ingredients

  • 24 lb Turkey
  • salt / pepper
  • 2 sprig rosemary,
  • 2 stems of sage,
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 onions
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 leek stalks
  • 1 large seedless orange
  • 6 tbsp butter separated
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • 1 pack of bacon

Instructions

    Day before...
  1. Take the turkey the night before roasting and with 4 tbsp of butter and the parsley and thyme salt and pepper and stuff in between the skin and flesh of the breast meat
  2. Lather the rest of the mixture on top of the bird and cover it all with the bacon (layer strips, intersecting and woven if possible)
  3. Cover and let sit in fridge over night
  4. Morning of...
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  6. Salt and Pepper the inside of the bird and stuff with some of each of the vegetables and the rosemary and sage... whatever doesn't fit throw into the roasting pan along with your liquids
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and cook bird for an hour
  8. Then uncover and baste then cook for another hour until bacon cooks
  9. Baste every half hour
  10. After an hour (hour 2 of cooking) take the bacon off and leave it in the pan and try and stuff some into the cavity of the bird.
  11. Cook for another 2 hours and keep basting every half hour
  12. When 4 hours is up, take the juices out of the pan with your baster and remove the turkey from the oven
  13. Quickly cover with aluminum foil and place on the counter on top of a towel and cover with heavy towels so the turkey slowly cooks for the rest of the day until you are ready to carve it (do all of this swiftly as to not let too much heat escape)
  14. Tips:
  15. I like to put the bird in the oven at 730 so it's out by 1130 then carve by 5... it gives you the whole day to have the oven on for your sides or lasagna or whatever dessert you may want!
  16. When you uncover to carve take the juices and throw them into your stock pot so you have a flavorful broth to make your gravy
  17. After bird is carved throw some of your gravy onto the bird and serve!
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Happy Thanksgiving Week!

 

 

 

The Penrose

21 Nov

There are certain places that you duck into because they are convenient, expecting them to be good enough.

The Penrose was not good enough. In fact, it was great.

We ducked in for brunch one day when in the area (Upper East Side: On 2nd Ave between 82nd and 83rd to be exact) with the family and proceeded to have such a good brunch, that we went back a few more times since then.

I loved that they advertise directly on their menu that they use locally sourced eggs from the Brey Family Farm in upstate New York that are all natural, farm fresh, anti-biotic and hormone free.  Go eggs!

The shrimp and grits with the spicy sauce:

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The shrimp and grits without the spicy sauce (everything you want shrimp and grits to be!):IMG_6032

Burger with a fried egg:

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A beautiful plate of yogurt with granola and berries:

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Eggs benny with ham:

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And then… the pièce de résistance… the bacon, egg, and oyster sandwich with pickles on a brioche bun.

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This sandwich was so magical that the hard-to-please boys of our group started moaning while eating it. Even though I am allergic to part of it (it had some peppers spice in the breading, I think), I took a bite and then dealt with the itchy mouth and blisters forming on my tongue to have another bite. It was that good.

The best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had, in fact.

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As far as unexpected fantastic meals, this was very high up on the list. I was surprised at how much we all loved it, and it was great that they have some surprising brunch menu items that you don’t find everywhere else.  It has been a hit every time we have visited and with everyone we have taken.

I’d burn my mouth all over again for another bite of that crunchy fried oyster sandwich.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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