Cooking with Lisa #3 – Meat-Stuffed Garlic Bread
Hey all you cool kids and k’naidels! Get it? It’s a Tiger King reference, but also a Yiddish word for dumpling, and since this is a food blog it’s funny. *insert laugh track here* I know, I know, if you have to explain the joke it’s probably not a good one, but these are tough times y’all…
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that it’s been a little while since you last heard from me. Right before Passover I wrote a piece that got published by the most prestigious Jewish newspaper in Rhode Island: Jewish Rhode Island. You can read it HERE. Since then, I’ve become a household name in the blogosphere and I’ve been a bit busy answering fan mail. I’M KIDDING. I just ran out of ingredients and needed to do a grocery run. But seriously, if you like this blog, feel free to share it! I’d love to get our community of foodies together so we can cook our way through corona together.
Back in the day, like, 2 months ago, dinner was always something quick and easy. I tried to find hearty recipes that could be made in advance or that I could whip up in a few minutes after work. With more time to cook, I’ve been experimenting with new ingredients and more-complicated dishes, but I recognize that not everyone has that luxury, even in isolation when we think there’s more time. Many of my friends and family members have been trying to find a balance between working, teaching, and entertaining their kids. I wanted to dedicate this blog to all you hardworking caretakers and hope you become inspired to cook with your kids and find it fun!
What’s simple, easy and tastes delicious? No, this isn’t a riddle, and I promise it’s not another cheesy joke. Seriously, what comes to mind?! For me, it’s pasta and meat sauce. Growing up, my family called this dish “Sloppy Yossels.” My mom I mean, my research partner, explained that Yossel is one of few Hebrew derivatives of the name Joe. Instead of the infamous dish called Sloppy Joe, we kept it more traditionally Jewish and thus the Sloppy Yossel was born! Sometimes we would get a little fancy and make some garlic knots to go along with it, but even then it was still semi-homemade. You just have to brown the ground beef over the stovetop, mix in a can of tomato sauce, and then throw it over a bowl of pasta. For the side dish you take some pizza dough, roll it, knot it, bake it, then cover it with butter and garlic, and…voila! There’s really nothing complicated about it unless you wanted to make the sauce and dough from scratch. I highly recommend trying this dish when you’re in a pinch – after all, it was the inspiration for the recipe below! I was making Sloppy Yossels the other night; when I wanted to zhuzh it up, I turned to Miriam Pascal.
To refresh your memory, Miriam’s criteria for a good recipe are “simple, easy and accessible.” For me, the emphasis is on simple, and recreating familiar dishes in a unique way. Cue Miriam’s recipe for Meat-Stuffed Garlic Bread. I thought this was the perfect combination of my favorite dish, but with an alternative flavor. So, grab yourself some pizza dough, a package of ground beef, pesto sauce (homemade or canned), and the kids for some extra hands!
I started by cooking the ground beef on the stove, mixing in my pesto sauce once the meat was completely browned. I used some canned pesto I found in the back of my refrigerator, but I’m sure fresh herbs would be fabulous! If you don’t have either, tomato sauce would also be great. While that was cooking, I rolled out the pizza dough and cut circles with the top of a drinking glass. You could also use a cookie cutter, or just roll the dough into balls and flatten them between your hands.
I usually find pizza dough in the bakery aisle of the grocery store, but if you prefer homemade dough I say go for it! I would love a good pizza dough recipe, so if you have one, send it my way!
TIP: If you find your pizza dough is hard to work with, let it sit for a few minutes without touching it to let the gluten relax.
Once all of these components are complete, you’re ready to assemble. Place a small amount of meat in the middle of your dough, then pinch the dough together to seal in the meat filling.
Place your dough pinched-side down on a baking sheet, then bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. About halfway through I brushed extra pesto sauce over the top of my dough.
When it’s done, let it cool – the center will be hot! Then, enjoy! Miriam Pascal placed this recipe in the appetizer section of her book, More Real Life Kosher Cooking. But, if you eat four of them, does it count as a main meal? 😉
I think this is a great recipe to try at home with your kids. They will have so much fun with the assembly and baking, and then dunking their delicious creations in some tomato sauce! I hope you give it a try – comment on this post and let me know what you thought of this dish!