How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Casserole Stew

I found this recipe in the New York Times database, by searching for some ingredients we already had on hand. My focus was on the ingredient list, so when I found several more on-hand ingredients, I was sold. The results were delicious, though had I read the instructions -- or even the title -- more closely I would have realized that a bit more time would be required than I had allowed for.

That said, I will definitely make Pierre Franey's Meatball and Sausage Casserole again. I just will not count on doing it in the 40 minutes he allows. Nor will I call it a casserole. It is a stew.

But it was a delicious stew. I followed the recipe almost to the letter; I think it took about twice as long as indicated, though I am not sure why. As always, when a recipe calls for wine, I serve it with that wine -- in this case an ordinary Sauvignon Blanc worked well, even though the dish was red.
I took this in-progress photo because I know most food is not photogenic, and that this would be far less attractive when smothered in tomato sauce.. I was correct.
The recipe begins with making 24 (or in my case, 20) meatballs and browning them, along with some Italian sausage (I chose hot). I found that all of this barely fit in our well-seasoned, indispensable cast-iron skillet, and turning them to brown required trial-and-error with a few different utensils. I eventually found that the heat-resistant silicon spatula worked best.

This dish -- topped with shredded basil -- was nicely accompanied by Pam's famous "Maryland Day" basil-corn muffins.

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