Fri, Feb. 21

That's Italian! Michelle Jurisin-style

Italian Meatballs

This recipe comes from Michelle's great-grandmother and is served at the Jerome Brewery.

1-1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef

1 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

2 eggs

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients, except milk. Add milk gradually until meatballs will form and not be mushy. (You may have to use more or less milk, depending on constancy.) Place meatballs on cookie sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Add to your favorite spaghetti sauce.

Optional addition: You might want to add chunks of white cheese to the middle of the meatballs before baking. This makes them extra special.

Vegetable Lasagna

Michelle's mother created this recipe to make use of her garden's vegetables that were left over from the night before. It's one of Michelle's favorites and is served at the restaurants as a special. Use any favorite vegetables you have on hand.

2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (amount to taste)

1 large package lasagna noodles

1 container (16-ounce) ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced (or granulated)

1 zucchini squash, julienned (small strips)

1 large portobello or 1 cup regular mushrooms, sliced

1 red onion, julienned

1 red bell pepper, julienned

2 cups fresh spinach leaves (whole or chopped)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Spaghetti sauce (or Alfredo sauce if you want to make white vegetable lasagna)

In a large sauté pan, sauté in the olive oil all the vegetables, except spinach, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add spinach the last 2 minutes to just barely steam.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg and seasonings. Boil lasagna noodles and drain. Layer in 2 lasagna pans (13x9x2-inch) the noodles, vegetables, cheeses and sauce, making 3 layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Chocolate Creme Puffs or Eclairs

\Michelle keeps the pastry case at the Jerome Palace Haunted Hamburger filled with these wonderful Eclairs. She says this is a simple family recipe and the dough is the special part. Her family always made the cream filling from scratch but it's very time consuming.

2 cups water

1 cup butter or shortening

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

8 large eggs

1 package vanilla pudding mix (or prepared pudding from the refrigerated section of the grocery store)

Chocolate frosting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and water to a simmer. Fold in flour and baking powder until a ball forms. Turn heat off and let cool slightly. Add eggs one at a time until completely incorporated. Drop with small ice cream scoop onto sprayed cookie sheet. Or pipe through a pastry bag with a pipe tip for eclairs. Bake until golden brown. Cool thoroughly.

Make pudding using directions for pie filling. Fill each puff with vanilla pudding and top with chocolate frosting and enjoy. Makes 2 dozen miniature or 12 to 14 large.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup each balsamic vinegar (Modena is good) and olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Dried Italian seasoning or fresh basil and oregano, to taste

Whisk all ingredients together and store in refrigerator.

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