Category Archives: Meat

Pork Lentil Soup/Stew

My first recipe from my New York kitchen! I am still figuring out the lighting for photographs and how to fit everything in a tiny studio kitchen. I saw this pork and lentil soup recipe in May and meant to try it before it became hot out. Fail. I wanted it to be more of a stew consistency so I used a lit bit more of lentils and pork. I was being lazy about the whole shredding the pork thing so I just bought regular boneless pork chops and just cubed them. This recipe is absolutely fantastic. I was hesitant about using the lime at the end (I am weird about lemons and limes squeezed over hot food. I hate lemon juice over seafood especially) but it made such a difference in how fresh this typically heavy dish tasted. Next time I would even use some cilantro on top before serving.

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 yellow chopped onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger,1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed basil leaves (I did not use any at all), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 medium carrot, chopped, 1 pound bone-in pork chops (I used boneless pork chops which I cubed), 3 cups chicken broth, 8 ounces brown lentils, rinsed and drained, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 teaspoon red chili flakes

Begin by heating olive oil in a pot on medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger.

Season with salt, pepper and cumin and saute for a few minutes until the onion softens. Add the carrot and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the pork and brown on all sides. Add broth.

Add tomato paste and lentils

Stir together. Cover and simmer for 50 (mine took only 40) minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add lime and red flakes.

Serve in bowls


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Filed under Meat, Soup


I know this looks a little bit like poop but I promise this is delicious. I again had a craving for something middle eastern so I decided to make kebabs which are no harder to make than regular meatballs or burgers. The trick is to use a lot of spices and fresh herbs. My grocery store does not carry ground lamb (which is what traditional kebabs are made of) so I had to use ground beef. Both are good but in my opinion lamb is more juicier and tender for grilling. You can use any other meat if you prefer it to beef or lamb and serve the kebabs on skewers or wrapped in pitas.

Ingredients: 1 onion roughly chopped,3 pressed garlic cloves, fresh bunches of mint, french bunches of parsley, 1 lb ground lamb or beef, 1/2 tablespoon cumin, 1/2 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper

Begin by adding the chopped onion and pressed garlic to a food processor or, in my case, blender

Add mint to the blender

Add fresh parsley. Blend until combined together. Add olive oil if needed.

Add ground meat to a bowl. Add cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.

Top with the mint/parsley mixture. Mix together

Form into rounded kebabs and lay on a baking sheet (if baking like me) or place a skewer through (if grilling).

Bake or grill until cooked. Served with rice or any other side or in a pita with hummus. Enjoy hot.

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Filed under International Food, Main Course, Meat

How my obsession with smitten kitchen began

The first recipe that I ever saw from smitten kitchen blog was this one for Baked Rigatoni with Tiny Meatballs. Ever since then I have not only wanted to try this recipe but I have also discovered smitten kitchen to become my absolute favorite savory cooking blog. I love the recipes and the beautiful photos that the author takes. I can’t believe this recipe took me 9 months to try!


Meatballs:1/4 cup milk, 1 slice good white bread trimmed of its crust, 1 pound ground pork, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1 egg, 1 cup flour spread on a plate, salt and pepper to season, vegetable oil for frying

For the bèchamel:4 1/2 cups milk, 6 tablespoons butter, 5 tablespoons flour, 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

To finish:1 pound rigatoni, 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup milk

Begin by making the meatballs. Heat the milk and drop pieces of bread into it. Allow to soak for 5 minutes before squeezing the excess milk and adding the bread to the meat.

Add garlic, parsley, grated cheese, egg, salt, and pepper to the meat and bread.

Mix together and form mini meatballs

Roll the meatballs (15 to 20 at a time) in the plate with flour

Get rid of excess flour by placing the floured meatballs in a strainer. Heat the oil in the skillet and fry the meatballs making sure to brown on all sides.  Once the batch is done, transfer to a paper towel and allow the meatballs to drain. Set aside when all are done.

Heat the milk over low heat until tiny bubbles appear. Do not let the milk come to a boil.In a different saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, add the flour and whisk constantly  until combined. Add 2 tablespoons of milk at a time to the flour and butter mixture, stirring thoroughly. Repeat 8 more times.

At this point, add the milk in 1/2 cup additions, stirring constantly to keep it smooth. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir the sauce until it thickens. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 and cook the rigatoni according to the instructions on the box. Drain the cooked pasta and add to a bowl. Add meatballs, two-thirds of the bechamel sauce and half the grated cheese. Mix together.

In a buttered baking dish, spread the pasta mixture and pour the milk over the dish. I did not add the milk but just because my mixture was already kind of wet. Top with the rest of the béchamel sauce and grated cheese.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a golden brown crust forms on top

Serve hot

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Filed under Main Course, Meat, Pasta

Pork Paprikash

I’ve been meaning to making traditional Hungarian chicken paprikash for forever now and never got around to it. When I came upon this pork with paprika, mushrooms and sour cream recipe through tastespotting, I made it right away. Close enough, right? Omg this is so good. The sauce is delicious and the dish is perfect to go over rice or pasta.

Ingredients: 1 lb cubed pork, 2 tablespoons sweet paprika, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 9-12 oz mushrooms, 1 chopped onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (I did not use them), 1 14.5 oz-can petite dice tomatoes, 1/2 cup chicken stock, 2/3 cup sour cream, salt and pepper to season

Begin by seasoning the pork cubes with 1 tablespoon of paprika, salt and pepper

To a a pan (I used my Dutch oven) add 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat the oil and add the pork. Cook until evenly browned on all sides.

Remove the pork from the pot and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the pot.

Cook until the mushrooms have browned and all liquid has evaporated for around 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and add to the pork. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and drop the onion and sauté until just starting to brown for around 3 to 5 minutes.

Add garlic, thyme and caraway seeds (if using). Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken stock.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Add pork and mushrooms back to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes. Mix in the sour cream…

… and serve

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Filed under Main Course, Meat

What to do with leftover hard-boiled eggs

Having thought that more than a dozen of dyed eggs is a great idea for Easter, I now have way more hard-boiled eggs than I would like to eat. So now I am stuffing them in all possible foods including sandwiches and puff pastry. This recipe is somewhat russian (we use the same minced meat filling in savory blinis and in Pirozhki) and it is very close to the Tuna Empanadas I made a few months ago. If anyone else has any ideas about what to do with the leftover eggs or a good recipe for a breakfast pizza, do let me know. I am losing all creativity.

Ingredients: 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry thawed, 4 hard-boiled eggs roughly chopped, 1 lb minced beef, 1 onion cubed, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 egg, salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 425. Begin by adding olive oil to a skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes.

Add the meat and saute until cooked through

Add the meat and onion to a bowl and top with the hard-boiled eggs. Add salt and pepper and mix together

On a butter cookie sheet, lay one sheet of puff pastry. Add the filling to it and top with a second sheet of puff pastry making sure to seal the edges all around. Lightly beat the egg and brush the puff pastry with the egg wash.

Make 3 slits in the puff pastry and cook in the oven until the pastry becomes golden for about 15 to 20 minutes.


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Filed under Meat, Pastry, Russian

My First Meatball Sub

Recently watching something on Food Network, I realized that I had never had a meatball sub. I might seem weird but I never had this desire to order one at a sandwich store. I am more of a cold sandwich kind of girl. This realization prompted me to cook my own version of a meatball sub that I knew I would enjoy. They boyfriend was puzzled by the presence of rice in the meatballs and the cream in the sauce but again I put cream and rice in everything. So feel free to neglect the bread and cheese and just use this as a baked meatballs recipe. It is delicious!

Ingredients: 1lb ground beef and pork (o.5 lb of each), 2 cups cooked rice, 1 onion chopped, 1 egg, 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes, 2 grated carrots, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 2 tablespoons light cream, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper and italian seasonings to taste.

Preheat oven to 400. Begin by adding the meat, 1/2 the onion, rice, egg, salt, italian seasoning and pepper to a bowl

Add sour cream and mix together. Form the meatballs and set aside in a baking dish.

For the sauce, saute the remaining onion and carrots in a skillet with olive oil. Cook until the onions turn golden.

Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes

Add the vegetables, salt and pepper to the blender and top with cream

Puree the mixture until smooth. Spread the sauce over the meatballs

Bake for 30 minutes. Add to toasted bread and cover with cheese.



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Filed under Meat, Sandwich


I don’t let anything go to waste. In my last post I used sausage. Since I had some leftover, I froze it for a day when I didn’t feel like making anything complicated. Not that I ever make anything complicated and not that the day came too much later.  This is a somewhat simplified version of sausage Alfredo pasta.

Ingredients: 1/2 lb penne pasta, 3 spicy sausages casings removed and diced(the sausage not the casings), 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to season

Begin by cooking the pasta to al dente. To a pan, on medium heat with olive oil, add sausage.

Cook until the sausage browns and add garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes before pouring in the cream.

Cook for 5 minutes and add 1/2 cup of cheese (leave the other 1/2 cup aside). Let the sauce thicken for another 5 minutes. Add sauce and butter to the pasta.

Mix together and top with the remaining cheese

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Filed under Meat, Pasta