Thursday, November 15, 2012

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Italian Hillbilly Wedding Themed Post...Seriously...

I am sure you must be completely shocked about that unfortunate-looking title. However, it was intentional and does carry meaning :)

At our church, different communities of people (friends) come together for worship and spiritual encouragement at each other's houses. We call these gatherings "Life Groups". Each family takes a turn hosting at their house and this week, it was our turn. Our Life Group likes to get creative and make themes for food (and clothing; if you're brave and can withstand advanced sarcasm ;) This week, my parents were throwing around ideas for a theme, and my dad texts my mom, "Italian Hillbilly Wedding Theme"! It was instantly adopted and thus, the title of my post is explained in a lengthy and probably unnecessary paragraph :)

I spent all morning preparing our main dishes. They were a big hit, so I have decided to share with the world! They are Rosemary-Olive-Oil-Sprouted-Spelt-Bread, Italian Wedding Soup (with heavenly meatballs) and Hillbilly Wedding Soup (also known as Chili) The Rosemary Bread, I had made the night before to save on time. Here they are...please enjoy!
Okay...this is really only a third of a loaf, but let's pretend that it's a whole loaf!

Sprouted Spelt Bread
(with Variations on the theme)
Spelt is a gluten-free wheat berry. No one in our family is allergic to gluten, but Spelt provides a lighter bread than whole wheat. The sprouted part means that the grains were soaked in water to "sprout" (they get little tail-like sprouts), then dehydrated. This process breaks down the different parts of the grain and makes it more digestible for our systems. We buy our sprouted grains from an Amish farm. But sprouting your own grains is relatively easy. I will post on that in a few days. 
9 Tbsp. Honey
  4 1/2 Tbsp. Lecithin (you can substitute 2 eggs)  
 3 3/4 c. Warm Water (not hot from the tap)
2 Tbsp. Yeast
9-12 c. Freshly-Milled Sprouted Spelt Flour 
(you can use Whole Wheat or Kamut if you want)
2 1/2 tsp. Salt
4 1/2 Tbsp. Wheat Gluten
4 Tbsp. Dried Rosemary
4 Tbsp. Cold-Pressed EVOO

1.) Preheat Oven 200 degrees Farenheit

2.) In mixer (like Kitchen-Aid or Bosch) combine honey, lecithin (or eggs), water, yeast and HALF the flour. Cover with towel for 15 minutes.
3.) Add the rest of the flour, salt, wheat gluten and, if applicable, rosemary and olive oil. You may need to add extra flour so the dough isn't sticky.
4.) Knead in mixer 5-7 minutes.
5.) On clean, floured surface separate the dough evenly into three or four loaves. Roll out each section into a rectangle, then roll them up into a log and tuck the ends under, slicing across the top. Place into floured pans.
 6.) Place in the 200 degree oven, covered with floured tea towel for 30-60 minutes to rise. 
7.) Remove from oven. Preheat 350 degrees F.
 8.) Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and delicious! Enjoy!
There isn't much left, but we're having it for dinner, so it shall be reimbursed with fresh meatballs and stock!

Apparently, the kids decided that the soup didn't need so may meatballs after all!

    Italian Wedding Soup
(my Variation of a FoodNetwork recipe) 
 My Mama found this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis on FoodNetwork for me to use. I altered it slightly (and doubled it) and it was one of the best soups I've ever had! Don't be alarmed by the fermented garlic. The stuff is so good, I eat it raw! It adds an extra punch of finger-licking flavor (not to mention how good it is for your body as a probiotic miracle). The Chicken Stock I used was also homemade. I suppose I shall also have to post on how to ferment your own garlic and make your own chicken stock, too :)
 1 small Onion, grated
1/3 c. Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
  1 Large Egg
1 tsp. Fermented Garlic, minced 
1 tsp. Salt
1 slice of the AMAZING Rosemary Olive-Oil Bread you just made; crusts removed, crumbled into tiny pieces 
 1/2 c. Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
8 oz. Ground Beef (we get ours grass-fed not grain-fed)
8 oz. Turkey Sausage, un-cased (or substitute pork)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
12 c. Chicken Broth/Stock (homemade, if you can)
1 Pound Fresh or Frozen Spinach, coarsely chopped
  2 Large Eggs
2 Tbsp. Freshly-Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese (plus extra for garnish) 
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheight.
2.) Mix up the first six ingredients with a fork in a metal or glass bowl (don't use plastic)
3.)Add cheese, beef and sausage or pork. Form into 1-inch balls with 1/2 Tbsp. as scoop. Place on baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.  
4.)Bake for 30 minutes. Set aside.
1.) Bring the broth to a boil. Add the meatballs and spinach.  
2.) Whisk eggs and cheese together. While the broth is still boiling, start stirring the soup, then slowly drizzle the egg mixture in, stirring with a fork to create thin strands of egg, about 1 minute. Season with Salt and Pepper. Perfection!
What's left of the chili after last night plus lunch today!
 Hillbilly Wedding Soup
(also known as the Rosen's Famous Chili)
My parents came up with this recipe for one of my Dad's birthday parties about four years ago. It was an instant favorite! We make for a lot of people, so you might need to cut the recipe down a bit :) But remember! All spice amounts are approximate. You may adjust to your taste. This Chili is not spicy; it's sweet!

1 Large Onion, chopped
2 or 3 Cloves of Garlic (regular garlic)   
4 lb. Ground Beef (grass-fed)
2 Large Cans of Tomato Juice
2 Large Cans Diced Tomatoes (not drained)
2 Cans Black Beans, drained (or Chili Hot Beans)
2 Cans Red Beans, drained (or Kidney Beans)
1-2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1-2 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1/3 c. Brown Sugar

1.) Start cooking the onions in a large skillet in a few Tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat. About halfway through, add minced or pressed garlic.
2.) When the onions are translucent, add the meat in, stirring and breaking it up continually.
3.) While the meat is browning, mix together in a large pot the remaining ingredients. Adjust amounts of spices until desirable.
4.) Once the meat is browned thoroughly, add it to the pot. Simmer until nice and hot!

 Please send me pictures of your own concoctions to . I would love to see what you come up with!