What’s For Dinner? Simple & Fresh Flavors

Flavors From Your Past

Italian SandwichGrowing up in Glendale, California there was no shortage of Persian and Armenian markets.  It was convenient for me to get everything I needed to make the Persian dishes I grew up on.  For my boyfriend it’s been a little harder to find that taste of home.  He grew up on the East Coast with an Italian deli always in close proximity.  He went to college in Boston, where he could grab his Italian favorites.  Living in L.A. was an adjustment, but with the opening of Jersey Mike’s and Rita’s Italian Ice he felt a little more at home.

Anyone who cooks dinner multiple nights a week will tell you that it’s easy to run out of ideas.  Coming up with a new menu plan for the week can become challenging after a while.  I look for inspiration every where.  If we go out to dinner, and enjoy a meal I will attempt to recreate it at home.  While attempting to plan this week’s meals I looked for inspiration from my boyfriend’s time in Boston.  Many times he spoke of this amazing sandwich he loved from the East End of Boston.  The sandwich sounded simple, and easy enough to make.  To make this sandwich more than ordinary it would take fresh ingredients.  Fortunately I know of an Italian Deli in Glendale.  Mario’s offers many Italian imports, serving everything from fresh bread to gnocchi and homemade marinara.  I was able to pick up everything I needed, plus some extra pastas for just $20.

Follow the simple instructions below to make a light and easy meal.  This sandwich travels well too, making it the perfect meal for a lunch in the park or office.

031What you’ll need:

Fresh French Bread
Fresh Mozzarella
Organic Basil
Organic Tomato
Prosciutto sliced
Olive Oil
Garlic Salt
Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar

Preparation:032

Make sure to rinse all your produce and pat try with a paper or clean hand towel
Slice tomato into thin slices
Cut bread loaf in half
Slice Mozzarella
Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over your tomato slices, mozzarella slices, basil, and the inside of the bread slices.
Sprinkle pepper over the mozzarella and tomato.
Sprinkle garlic salt over the tomatoes.
Stack your sandwich any way you like, piling up your ingredients.
Slice and serve! It’s that easy.

Enjoy 🙂

For more simple recipes visit the Feed Me portion of the Meeshme.com website.

Happy Dining XOXO

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Pork Chops & Pasta? It Happened

pork chops and pasta

What’s for Dinner?

Sometimes you have to force someone to take a chance, even if it’s just to experiment with food.  We can get so set in our ways when it comes to what we eat.  Visiting the same restaurants, ordering the same dishes, cooking the same meal night after night.  We grow up on certain types of food depending on our cultural backgrounds, then grow up and find other types of foods intimidating.  While the foods you grew up on were amazing, you’ll miss out on some great meals If you never try new things.

My boyfriend’s sister was kind enough to send us a giant package of meat from Omaha steaks for his birthday.  Among the amazing steaks were a few pork chops.  I knew my boyfriend would love them, despite his hate of pork. My mission would be to cook the pork chops in a way where he couldn’t deny their amazing flavor.

I chose to apply my fail-safe marinade to the pork chops, and fix a side of pasta to go with them.  The recipe for these bomb.com pork chops is below.

Ingredients:

Pork Chops (Amount depends on who you’re cooking for. My boyfriend was able to eat 3 in one meal)

Pasta (I used regular spaghetti noodles, you can use any type of noodle you prefer)

Marinade:

Balsamic Vinegar

2 tablespoon Oregano

1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

1 tablespoon Pepper

1 tablespoon Garlic Salt

Olive Oil

Pre-Cooking Instructions:

The night before I coated the pork chops in olive oil.  Take a tablespoon of olive oil and rub it into the meat.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: garlic salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, and pepper.

Sprinkle the mixture over the pork chops and pat down compacting the dry ingredients.

put the pork chops into a plastic Ziplock bag, and add the balsamic vinegar.

Put into the refrigerator, and let sit over night.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat your oven to 200 F

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a sauce pan, and add your pork chops

Place the pork chops into the oven without a lid.

Let cook for 10 minutes then flip the pork chops, and let them cook for another 10 minutes

Take the pan out of the oven and put it on the stove top over high heat.

Cook the pork chops on either side for 1 to five minutes depending how brown you want the outside.

Take a piece of aluminum foil and loosely tent the pan letting the pork sit for 10 minutes

This will save the pork juices, preventing drying.

pork chops in pan

Pasta:

Boil Water

Add salt and teaspoon of olive oil

Add pasta when water comes to a boil

Cook aldente and drain

Remove pork chops from the cooking pan

Do not clean the pan.

Place pan over medium heat, and add pasta.

Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and tablespoon of olive oil

Mix the pasta with the drippings from the pork chops

Cook for five minutes or until mixed.

Plate with pork chops and serve!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe.  Come visit us here at Meeshme.com again soon!

Stuffed Me~shells

stuffed shells

Stuffed me~shells

Stuffed shells is a popular Italian dish.  The traditional stuffed shell is pretty simple, and easy to make.  Traditionally restaurants are home cooks, stuff cooked pasta shells with a ricotta (cheese) mixture, top them with marinara sauce, and serve.  Stuffed Me~shells are different.  I recently had the opportunity to serve a true Italian my version of the classic, my boy friend’s father in New Jersey.  He questioned my methods at first, but after tasting them quickly became a fan.  I have had the opportunity to serve these shells to a variety of guests, all who preferred them over the original recipe.  Here is how my recipe differs:

Ingredients:

1 package large pasta shells

1 package lean ground meat

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 bunch fresh spinach

1 small carton ricotta cheese

1 package shredded mozzarella

Parmesan Cheese

1 onion

salt, pepper, garlic salt

1 jar marinara sauce or make your own

Directions:

I always start by boiling the water.  Add salt to the water to add flavor to the pasta.  When the water comes to a boil, throw in the package of shells.  Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pasta is aldente.  You will be backing the pasta later, so it’s better that the pasta be a little on the firm side.

While the pasta is cooking, empty the package of ground meat to a sauce pan.  You can add a small amount of oil to the ban, so that the meat doesn’t stick.  Season the meat with salt, pepper, and garlic salt or powder.  Chop one white onion, and the bell peppers.  Add the onions and bell peppers to the meat mixture.  Brown. When the meat is thoroughly cooked, add the marinara sauce.  Mix.

Take the bunch of spinach, and remove the leaves from the stems.  Rinse. In a separate pan, throw in the spinach with a bit of salt.  Let cook until the leaves wilt.  Take the spinach and drain.  Mix the spinach with the carton of ricotta cheese, a few handfuls of mozzarella cheese, pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Take a deep baking pan, and layer the bottom with the marinara sauce.  Take a pasta shell and fill it partially with the meet mixture.  Then add half a spoon full of the spinach and cheese mixture. Place the shell into the pan, and repeat.  Once you have finished stuffing all of your shells, top the shells with marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.  Set the oven to 325, and let the shells bake.  If you don’t want the top of the shells to get crunchy, put a piece of foil over the top of the pan while baking.

When the cheese has melted on the top your me~shells are ready.  Serve them with garlic bread, caesar salad, and wine.  Enjoy!