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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Emeril's Big Boy Meatballs and Mascarpone, Honey, Pistachio and Orange Tart

Let's start with the two new recipes from the party.  Emeril's Big Boy Meatballs and Spaghetti is up first.  My new favorite meatballs.  I doubled the recipe hoping that there would be leftovers.  There were.  They are in the freezer for some evening that I can't escape the office at a reasonable hour.  I just love it when I find THE recipe for something.  Not only were the meatballs fabulous, so was the red sauce.  As with almost any red sauce, this was better after allowing it to sit in the fridge overnight. 

Next up is an amazing tart.  I'm already looking for another excuse to make this awesome recipe.  There's a get-together or two brewing for the crew from Chef Joseph's so it'll make an appearance at one of them.  My original intent was to make an olive oil shortcake with an orange mascarpone filling.  Then, I made the kiwi, mango, coconut tart for Weekend in a French Kitchen.  The crust recipe had one egg in it and made two crusts.  I needed to use up that second crust on company so that we didn't eat the whole whatever.  On to Epicurious I went.  There I found a Bon Appetit recipe that was exactly what I was looking for - using mascarpone and oranges.  The crust kind of looked like one of those ransom notes created by cutting out letters and pasting the mishmash together.  But, since nobody was going to see it, not a problem.  Once the tart was done, it looked amazing.  Then, we ate it.  Oh, la, la.  And, that's from someone who doesn't have a big sweet tooth. 

Emeril's Big Boy Meatballs and Spaghetti


4 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces (I used Pepperidge Farms)
3/4 c buttermilk
1 1/2 lbs 85% lean ground beef
3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage removed from its casings
2 oz  Parmagiano Reggiano cheese finely grated (about 1/2 c)
2 T minced fresh parsley
1/4 c minced garlic (about 12 cloves) (this is supposed to be split between the sauce and meatballs, I missed that and think maybe that's why these meatballs were so incredible!)
3/4 t salt
3/4 t freshly ground black pepper
3 T olive oil
2 c chopped yellow onion
1 t crushed red pepper
3/4 c dry red wine
28 oz can tomato puree
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 bay laves
1 1/2 c water
1/3 c chopped fresh basil leaves
1 t chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 T evaporated milk
1 pound dried spaghetti, cooked til al dente


Put the white bread and buttermilk in a bowl and allow it to soak for 10 minutes.  Mash them together to form a paste (panade.)  Mix the panade, beef, sausage, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. 

Mix them well but don't over mix. Form into 1/2 c meatballs.  Put them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to allow the meatballs to firm up. 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Brown the meatballs in two batches so they're not crowded.  Remove them to a paper towel lined plate.  Add the onions and crushed red pepper to the oil and sauté until the onions are softened.  If you're splitting the garlic or adding more, add it for a few minutes here to allow the flavors to bloom.  Add the wine and allow it to reduce by half before you add anything else.  Add the tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, water, basil and oregano. Add the meatballs back in and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until the meatballs are floating in the sauce.  If you feel the sauce is too acidic, you can add the evaporated milk. 

Mascarpone Tart with Honey, Oranges and Pistachios


1 pie crust or pate sable
2 large navel oranges (or 4 mandarin oranges, like I used)
1 8 to 8.8 oz container chilled mascarpone cheese
1/2 c chilled heavy whipping cream
1/4 c sugar
2 T honey, divided
1/4 t (generous) ground cardamom
2 T chopped pistachios


The actual recipe calls for using a tart pan with a removable bottom.  I did not do so and had no problems removing the pieces.  Preheat your oven to 400F.  Press the dough into the tart pan.  Prick it all over with a fork.  Bake it for about 20 minutes or until it's golden brown. 

While the crust is baking, you can prep the oranges.  Start by zesting them to get at least 1 1/4 t of zest.  The navel oranges can be peeled and cut into circles.

Remove the tart crust from the oven and set it aside to cool.  Once it's cool, you can start prepping the filling.  If you mix the filling for too long, it will curdle.  You're aiming for smooth here.  Using an electric mixer, mix the mascarpone, whipping cream, 1 T of the honey, the orange zest and the cardamom.  Evenly spread the filling into the cooled crust.  Top the filling with either concentric circles of orange or as I did, with orange pieces...  Then, drizzle with the other 1 T of honey.  Sprinkle the pistachios over the top.  Serve that day. 

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