I haven’t posted any recipes or cooking adventures in quite some time….in fact I have felt distinctly uninspired. Ernie did some great grilling over the summer but I haven’t felt up to par. It FINALLY feels like fall though and since Owen loves red sauce I pulled out my latest Cooking Light magazine to try their marinara recipe. It makes a big batch and they then give multiple recipes for using it——chickpea and chicken stew, mussels marinara, vegetable lasagna, etc., etc. It is a simple recipe that takes just a few minutes and I must say I was delighted with it. We used most of it the first time for pizzas when we had some friends over a few weeks ago. I made another batch yesterday and although we’ll probably make pizzas tonight I figure I’ll use it for some other recipes throughout the week.
In other—but related–news I am the proud owner of a cast iron dutch oven. I’ve been wanting one as I’m jealous of my friend Ann who not only has one, but has one that was her grandmother’s! So on the drive to Atlanta, while going through west Tennessee there were billboards for a Lodge cast iron outlet. On the way home I decided to stop as I thought that might be a good treat to buy myself. I got in there though and the prices seemed suspiciously high for an outlet…..those things aren’t that expensive to begin with….so I got back in my van and trundled home and forgot about it. When I got home that night I could smell something wonderful in the kitchen. I went in and saw a beautiful old cast iron dutch oven—-filled with a marvelous red wine and beef stew. Have I mentioned that I love my husband? He and the boys had hit an antique show in a little town near here and although they didn’t buy anything we could sell, both boys got a toy and Ernie bought the wonderful covered Griswold dutch oven for me. I did mention that I love my husband, right? Anyway—-it was great fun to cook up my batch of marinara in it…..
Basic Marinara Sauce (Cooking Light November 2007)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chopped yellow onion (about 3 medium)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 (28-ounce) cans no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sugar and next 7 ingredients
(through fennel seeds); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in
vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a simmer.
Cook over low heat for 55 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring
About 12 cups
Now I must note that I misread the recipe the first time and used 1 1/2 teaspoons of fennel seed instead of 1/2 teaspoon. However I love the taste of fennel and so stuck with that the second time as well.
It felt wonderful to be cooking and simmering something on the stove….particularly in my new dutch oven…..