Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!

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Italian Meatballs

img_4050I have recently made a few new recipes.  Two of them by Bobby Flay – and both of them outstanding! This one is for Spaghetti and Sauce.  We LOVED the meatballs!  I will be making them again in the future – maybe even in bulk to freeze them for the future.  I did  not use veal as it is sometimes hard to find.  I doubled the recipe because we had more than 4 people eating dinner… Now I wish I had made even more!

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

adapted from Bobby Flay

Serves 8

Meatballs Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced and sauteed
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil/canola oil

Homemade Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (28 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid, pureed in a food processor
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small bunches fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • basil leaves for topping, optional


For the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, eggs, grated Parmesan, cooked garlic, dry bread crumbs, minced fresh parsley, salt, and pepper.  Use two large serving forks to break up the meat and mix all the ingredients until it is evenly seasoned.  Do not overwork it as it will become tough.  Form 1 to 1 1/2 inch meatballs with your hands.

Heat a non stick skillet with 1 cup of cooking oil over medium high heat.  Cook the meatballs in batches, turning them over with tongs and continue cooking until golden brown. You do not need to cook them through entirely, as you simmer them in the sauce.  Drain the meatballs on a wire rack for a few minutes while you finish cooking the remaining meatballs.

For the sauce:

In a large stock pot, cook the onions in olive oil over medium heat and cook until softened.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add processed tomatoes, bay leaf, parsley, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring the sauce to a boil and add in the browned meatballs.  Reduce the heat to just a simmer and cook the sauce and the meatballs for 45 minutes or longer.

Serve over cooked pasta and top off with basil and additional grated Parmesan cheese.

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Pork Chops with Lemon Thyme Sauce

IMG_0900I came across this nugget of a recipe through Pinterest.  It is adapted from bakeatmidnight. I increased the quantities of the sauce and I am glad I did.  The sauce of this recipe is out of this world.  I served it over rice as well.  Since then I have made the sauce with chicken as well.  I prefer it with chicken for that matter. I will add it to my regular rotation.  I have added the chicken version below.

Pork Chops with Lemon Thyme Sauce

adapted from

Serves 6


For the Pork:

  • 6 bone in or boneless pork chops (1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter

For the sauce:

  • zest of 1 lemon (1 Tbsp)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter


For the pork: Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.  Dredge the pork chops in the flour mixture on both sides until well coated, shaking  off any excess.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the butter and olive oil to the pan.  Cook the pork chops 5-8 minutes on each side until golden brown.  Set pork chops aside and make the sauce.

For the sauce: In the same skillet you used to cook the pork add the lemon zest, minced garlic, white wine (or broth if you prefer), lemon juice, thyme, and salt.  Stir with a whisk.  Add the pork chops back into the skillet.  Cover with a lid and cook for 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat.  Remove the pork chops to a platter and keep warm.  To the remaining sauce add the heavy cream and butter and stir until the butter has melted.  Serve over pork chops with a side of steamed rice or pasta and veggies.

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Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

Serves 6 – by goodcookbecky sauce adapted from


For the chicken:

  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts spit in half horizontally to make 6 thinner chicken cutlets
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter

For the sauce:

  • zest of 1 lemon (1 Tbsp)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter


For the chicken: In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika with a fork.  Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour mixture on both sides, shaking off any excess.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the butter and olive oil to the skillet and cook the chicken 5 to 8 minutes on each side.  Remove the chicken to a plate and make the sauce.

For the sauce: In the same skillet combine the lemon zest, garlic, lemon juice, white wine (or broth), thyme, and salt over medium heat.  Whisk to combine.  Add the chicken back into the pan and cover over medium low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through.  Remove the chicken to a platter and keeps warm.  To the sauce add the heavy cream and butter and stir until the butter is dissolved and the cream is well stirred into the sauce.

Serve the sauce over the chicken and steamed rice (or pasta) with green beans or broccoli.

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Pulled Pork

IMG_6426There is something about shredded pork that is very comforting, but sometimes finding the right recipe is key.  I have made pulled pork in the past and it ended up greasy and bland.  I discovered this recipe on CHOW.  I was very happy with the results of this one.  We enjoy pulled pork on soft hamburger rolls with a good barbecue sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar).  This one is easy as it cooks in a crock pot.  I don’t know why I have not used the liners you can buy to line your crock pot before, because it makes clean up a snap!  In the original recipe they reduced the sauce and served it with the shredded pork.  I found the pork plenty tender and moist and adding barbecue sauce to it also adds flavor, but my husband did also enjoy it just by itself.

Pulled Pork

Serves 6-8 adapted from


  • 2 sweet onions, sliced (like Maui, Walla Walla or other)
  • 6 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 (4 1/2- 5 lb) Pork Shoulder (also called Pork Butt)

additional ingredients:

  • 2 cups barbecue sauce or as needed


Place a crock pot liner inside your crock pot.  Place the sliced onions and garlic in the bottom of the crock pot.  This will help season the meat as well as keep the meat from sitting in excessive moisture.  Pour the chicken broth over the onions.

Combine the ingredients for the rub and rub all sides of the pork shoulder (pork butt).  Place the pork roast on the bed of onions.  Cover with the lid and cook on high heat for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove the roast after it is cooked and shred the meat using two forks and pulling in opposite directions, removing any excessive fat from the meat.  I had a lot of seasoning on the fat cap, which had a lot of flavor that I did not want to lose.  I rubbed the seasoned side of the fat into the shredded pork to get as much flavor back into the meat and then discarded the fat cap.  I am glad I did this step. It added the flavor that was needed.

Serve the pulled pork with your favorite barbecue sauce and on soft hamburger buns.  Top the pulled pork with coleslaw if you desire.

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Spicy Turkey Meatballs

IMG_5108When I hear the words “Turkey Meatballs”, I think “Diet!”  These are NOT diet!  These are yummy yummy and yummy!  They contain ground turkey, Italian sausage, and prosciutto ham! Red pepper flakes along with Asiago Cheese, gives it a kick of spice.  The recipe is from one of my favorite cooks: Ina Garten,  also known as the Barefoot Contessa.  You can find the original recipe on food network.  She recommends Rao’s Spaghetti sauce.. I did find it, but I have to say it is pricey.  More pricey than I like to spend on a sauce (10/bottle), so I used a nice Barilla Tomato Sauce with Basil.  This makes a lot.  I froze about half the meatballs to use again on a day when I don’t feel like cooking (yes that does happen!) I will be making them again!

Turkey Meatballs

adapted from Ina Garten (

Serves 10

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cubed quality rustic bread, crusts removed
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 4 oz deli sliced prosciutto ham, finely chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Other ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 jars Spaghetti sauce like Barilla Tomato Basil Sauce, for serving
  • 2 lbs dried spaghetti, cooked according to package directions, for serving
  • grated Asiago (or Parmesan cheese), for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 F and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Process the bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs.  Add them back into your measuring bowl and add the milk and allow the crumbs to absorb the milk for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, use a fork to combine the turkey, Italian sausage, prosciutto, grated Asiago cheese (I processed it in the food processor after the bread), parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Add the breadcrumbs to the mixture and toss gently with a fork to keep the meat light, without pressing  down on the meat mixture.  Add the olive oil and eggs and toss gently to combine.

Using your hands, form 2 inch balls and place them on the parchment paper lined sheet pans.  Brush the meatballs with additional olive oil. Bake at 400 F for 35 minutes or until they are completely cooked through.

Add the meatballs to a large sauce pan and cover with your favorite spaghetti sauce.

Serve over cooked spaghetti and top each serving with additional grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese.

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Champignon Schnitzel

Mushroom Pork Cutlets Champignon Schnitzel

Mushroom Pork Cutlets
Champignon Schnitzel

Okay, the Austrian’s rule in the types of Schnitzel.  These are Pork Schnitzel (Cutlets) in Mushroom Sauce and are very good as well.  I found the recipe in one of my Austrian cookbooks.  I have translated it from German.  Thankfully my scale will give me the metric measurements.  These Schnitzel are pork, pounded thin, salted, dredged in flour on one side, browned in a pan with a little butter on both sides.  Placed in a casserole to be kept warm in the oven and then served with a mushroom sauce and parsley.  My husband was happy to have some German food again as I have not made any for a while.

Champignon Schnitzel

Austrian Pork Cutlets in Mushroom Sauce

Serves 4

Adapted from an Austrian Cookbook


  • 4 pork cutlets, pounded thin (or 8 if they are small)
  • salt
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 4 cups sliced white button mushrooms, (or Cremini mushrooms)
  • For the sauce:
  • water
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 bundle parsley, finely minced


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Pound the cutlets with the flat side of a meat mallet until it is about 1/8 inch.  Sprinkle the cutlets with salt.  Dredge them in the flour, but only on one side.  Melt about 1 Tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Brown the cutlets on both sides and remove them to a baking dish.  Pour about half a cup of water in the skillet and use a whisk to remove the browned bits.  Pour the pan sauce over the cutlets in the baking dish and put in the oven to keep warm.  Repeat the procedure with remaining cutlets.

Melt about 1 Tbsp of butter in the skillet and cook the mushrooms until they are browned.  Add about 1 cup of water to the mushrooms and bring to a boil.  Make a paste with the remaining flour and butter, mashing them in a small bowl with a fork.  Add to the mushrooms and water.  Simmer until the sauce has reduced by about half and is not as watery.  Add the minced parsley to the sauce and pour the mushroom sauce over the cutlets that are being kept warm in the oven.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until the cutlets are tender.

Serve with a side of pasta, crusty French Bread and a vegetable.  Another great very Austrian side would be Semmelknoedel (Austrian Bread Dumplings).

Source:  Thea: Einfach Kochen Kochbuch Nr 11 Seite 59

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Stuffed Peppers

IMG_3255Pinterest strikes again.  That site is dangerous I tell you.  My husband especially loves stuffed peppers.  I came across a recipe that used ground beef as well as sausage.  It sounded good.  And I made them with a few adaptations. The original recipe can be found here.

Sad story, the first time I started to make them, I discovered that the store had sold me some sausage that had expired last month!   The meat smelled “off” – as I started cooking it – my family appreciates that I quickly changed my menu for that day!!  The store were kind enough to give me my money back on that item, but made not apologies for selling it in the first place, nor did I feel that they cared if I ever bought another thing at their store, so I will not be buying my meat there again (EVER). Why is customer service so hard to find nowadays? I find plenty of customer dis-service.  Thanks for letting me rant!

Stuffed Peppers

Serves 6 adapted from


  • 1 package mild Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil and garlic
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided use
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 6 large bell peppers (I like to use red or orange or yellow ones)
  • olive oil, to drizzle over the peppers before cooking


Heat the oven to 375 F.

In a large skillet, brown the sausage, ground beef, 1 teaspoon of salt, and onion over medium high heat.  Add the garlic the last few minutes of cooking.  Drain off any excess fat. Turn off the heat.

Add the cooked rice, 1/2 cup cheddar, diced tomatoes, parsley, remaining salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine.

Wash the peppers and split them lengthwise.  Remove the stem, seed and white ribs from the peppers.  Place the peppers in a casserole.  Fill the peppers with the meat filling until full.  Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese.  Drizzle the peppers with a little olive oil.  Cover the casserole with foil.  Bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 375 F.  Remove the foil and continue baking for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

This would also be great with heated up Queso if you wish.

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Crockpot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Orange Sauce

IMG_2817I recently watched America’s Test Kitchen’s episode of crock-pot recipes.  Their slow cooked pork tenderloin really caught my eye.  I made it and it is quite delicious.  The classic tastes of pork and cranberry really work together.  It is an easy recipe too, sometimes the recipes that America’s Test Kitchen’s put out are a little fussy- this one is not! I doubled the recipe because I wanted to share some with a friend.

My pork tenderloin looked like it was one large piece, but it was two smaller pieces, I tied them together, but this is optional, I think it would be fine with a few smaller ones.  The meat falls apart in this preparation.  I will be making it again.

Crockpot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Serves 10-12 Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen


  • 2 packages pork tenderloin (unseasoned)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 strips of orange peel (peeled with vegetable peeler avoiding the white pith)
  • 4 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch


Pat the pork tenderloin and season with salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil.  Brown the seasoned pork tenderloin on all sides for about 10-15 minutes total.

In the crock-pot, add the cranberry sauce, dried cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon and orange peel.  Stir to combine.  Add the browned pork to the crock-pot. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 4 hours.  Remove the pork tenderloin to a platter and cover with foil.  Pour the cranberry-orange sauce into a skillet and add a slurry of water and cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

Serve with rice and carrots or other vegetable to round out the meal.

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