TruePlayerFlavor TruePlayerStyle presents recipes and resources to kill it in the kitchen


Basil and Garlic Meatballs with Linguine

For the Marinara Sauce:

1 Large can of crushed tomatoes
1 Cup of yellow onion chopped (roughly half of a smaller onion or 1/4 of a larger one)
1 Tbsp of olive oil or canola oil
1/2 Tbsp of butter
2 Cloves of garlic minced
1 Tsp of Oregano
1/2 Tsp of dried parsley
1 Pinch of red pepper flakes

Melt butter in the bottom of a medium sauce pan under medium heat and add oil. Drop in onion and begin to sweat for 1-2 minutes. Add in minced garlic and stir frequently to ensure onions cook evenly. Now add the seasoning and stir for 15 seconds. This will help the aromatics of the dried seasoning. Add crushed tomatoes and lower to a simmer.

For the Meatballs:

16 Ounces ground sirloin
1/4 Cup panko
1/4 Cup breadcrumbs with Italian seasoning
1/3 Cup of chopped fresh basil
3 Garlic cloves minced
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
1 Large egg, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 Oz of Parmesan cheese

Combine seasonings, garlic and beef in a large bowl and mix using your hands. Add the egg and continue to mix the meat so the seasoning is spread evenly throughout. Shape the mixture into even balls roughly the size of a golf ball. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs, cook 5 minutes browning on all sides. Reduce heat to low and add marinara. If necessary, use some water from the pasta pot to add liquid. Cover and cook for 11 minutes (perfect time for cooking the pasta).

Serve over linguine and enjoy!


Mrs. Scorsese’s Lemon Chicken

We came across this dish when on the "tasting along the wine road" November 6 & 7, 2010. The event features cuisine and wine parings by wineries all across the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County California. This particular dish was featured at Francis Ford Coppola's Winery and was paired with his Director's Cut chardonnay. We just attended the 2011 Wine Road event, so stay tuned for more recipes!

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 3-lb chicken, cut into serving pieces (leg and thigh separated and breast into 3 pieces)
3 Large garlic cloves
1-1/2 Cups lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup of water
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, torn plus 3 additional sprigs.

Preheat the oven to 400

Coat the bottom of a cast iron baking dish with olive oil. Peel and cut the garlic cloves into thirds. Evenly distribute the garlic pieces in the pan.

Rinse the chicken and pat the pieces dry with paper towel. Arrange the chicken in the baking dish, skin side up.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Taste the mixture, and if it's too sour or acidic add water as desired. Pour the lemon juice mixture over the chicken, turning to coat all sides. Add the torn oregano and sprigs to the top (skin side) of the chicken. If you don't have access to fresh oregano, just use your favorite seasonings such as Italian seasoning or Fines Herbes etc.

Put the baking pan into the oven and cook the chicken until the skin is browned, basting occasionally with the pan juices, for approximately 40-45 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and pour pan drippings in a sauce boat to be served separately.

Alternatively you can shred/pull the chicken and pour the pan drippings over the pulled chicken and serve over rice or even on a salad.


Tomato Bruschetta

1 Lb tomatoes
2 Cloves fresh garlic finely chopped
3 Tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
6-8 Fresh basil leaves for garnish
1 Pinch red chile peppers
4 Tbsp oregano
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6-8 Slices of country bread (sliced not too thin)
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp black pepper
1 Tsp vinegar

Cut tomatoes in 2, core and clean by removing seeds and juice. Chop the tomatoes into very small pieces and transfer into a colander and sprinkle with some salt (this will help draw out excess moisture). After 20 minutes or so, transfer to a bowl and add the garlic, basil, oregano, red chili peppers, olive oil and a drop of wine vinegar. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for another 30-60 minutes. Toast the bread just before serving. Arrange the bread on individual plates, top with the tomato and garnish with a whole basil leaf and serve immediately.

Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta


Waffle Cone Cannolis

1/2 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
8 "waffle" ice cream cones
2 Tbsp pistachios, smashed
8 Oz cream cheese, softened
1 Cup ricotta cheese (skim milk)
1 1/2 Cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 Tsp almond extract
2 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips

Line a cookie sheet with waxed/parchment paper. If working with whole pistachios, place them in a small ziploc and smash them using a meat tenderizer.

In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave the 1/2 cup chocolate chips on, in 10 second intervals, stirring, until melted. Dip - or paint with rubber spatula - the top 1 1/2" of the waffle cone into the chocolate and immediately sprinkle with the smashed pistachios. Place on the wax paper lined pan to harden.

Beat the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, icing sugar and almond extract until smooth.

Transfer to a pastry bag or use a ziploc bag and snip the corner.

Pipe the filling into the cones.

Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Linguine Carbonara

6 Chopped bacon slices or 1 Cup of diced pancetta
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Crushed garlic cloves
1/2 Tbsp minced rosemary
1 minced/seeded jalapeno (optional)
2/3 Lb cooked linguine
3 Eggs
3/4 grated Parmesan/Agiago/Pecorino cheese blend
2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
Pinch of pepper

Combine first five ingredients and 1/4 cup of water in a skillet. Cook over medium-high heat so the water evaporates and the bacon/pancetta crisps; about 12 minutes. If using pancetta, you may want to crisp it slightly before adding the water and other ingredients just to give it a head start.

Add cooked linguine to the skillet and toss. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, cheese, parsley and pepper together and whisk in 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water. Toss with pasta until creamy.


Toasted Orzo with Peas and Mint

This recipe is adapted from a recipe courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

We're in the spirit to celebrate Summer in hopes of inspiring the sun to appear in San Francisco and burn off the marine layer! The following recipe for Toasted Orzo with Peas and Mint jumped off the page when we flipped through America's Test Kitchen and now it is a house favorite! Really easy and really good. Give it a shot and see for yourself!

2/3 Cup Orzo
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 Cup onion, diced
1 Garlic clove, minced
2 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 Cup water
1/3 Cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp fresh mint, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tsp grated lemon zest
Pinch of salt and pepper

Toast the orzo in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Be sure to keep a close eye on the orzo as it toasts because it may take a moment to get going, but like anything else, once it starts browning get ready to pull the orzo off the heat before you burn the pasta!

Add the toasted orzo, broth, and water to the skillet; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring every few minutes (but not too frequently or it will turn into mush) until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is tender. All told it should take roughly 15 minutes.

Stir in peas, mint, lemon juice and zest and ensure the peas are heated through (about 1 minute). Season with salt and pepper if desired and serve.


Puff Pastry Tart with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

1 Box of frozen puff pastry
2 Heirloom tomatoes sliced into bite sized sections or 1 basket or grape/cherry tomatoes halved (your choice)
1 Tablespoon of White Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped or Pressed
1/4 Tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Quarter Cup of Fresh Basil, Minced
1 Container of crumbled goat cheese (fresh is fine but we think it can be harder to spread)

Combine ingredients from tomatoes to basil in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Defrost puff pastry as instructed on the box. Lay out pastry and cut into even squares leaving one section to cut into 1/4 inch strips for edges. Lay 1/4 strips along the border on each side of the chart. Brush the raised edges of each puff pastry tart with egg-wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp of water). Bake tarts for 20-22 minutes and remove from oven. Use fork to gently poke holes and deflate the center of the tart.

Layer goat cheese in the center of each tart (roughly 1-2 Tbsp, or to taste). Spoon tomato mixture on top of cheese and place in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove and enjoy!


Domenick’s Chicken Marinara

1 Package of 2 split breasts of chicken (though you can use your preferred type of chicken meat)
2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 Small can tomato paste
1 Tbsp of butter
1/2 Yellow onion
4 Cloves of garlic
1/2 Tbsp of oregano
1/2 Tbsp of basil
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan and Romano cheese
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Pan-brown chicken with garlic and onions for about 5-7 minutes flipping midway through. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil; once boiling lower heat and cover to simmer for one hour. After an hour remove chicken and separate meat from bone and skin. Discard bone and skin and add pulled chicken back to sauce; also add oregano, basil, cheese and red pepper flakes and stir. Simmer the sauce for another 30-45 minutes.

For pasta, fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and add a pinch of salt and a 1/2 tsp of olive oil cover and bring to a boil. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add pasta of your choice and lower heat. Stir frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking. Cook time will vary on the type of pasta, so be sure to read the directions on the pasta packaging.


Whole Wheat Pizzas for Two with Chicken Sausage and Artichoke Crowns

This is a recipe we are extremely excited about because we discovered an easy DIY pizza recipe to replace Boboli and costs about $5 less as a result. If you don't want get involved with rolling out dough, we completely relate and would still recommend using Boboli's whole wheat crust.

1 (16 oz) whole wheat pizza dough (uncooked) from Trader Joe's or a similar shop
1/2 Cup of flour
2 Cups of tomato sauce either store bought or home-made
2 Cloves of garlic peeled and minced
1 Cup of sliced artichoke crowns (or artichoke hearts if preferred)
1/4 Cup fresh basil minced
2 Links of Italian style (hot or sweet) chicken sausage - uncooked
1 Cup of part-skim mozzarella shredded
1/2 cup of fresh mini mozzarella balls

Remove dough from the refrigerator and let rest for several minutes (Note: If using a silicon rolling pin, place it in the freezer for a few minutes prior to use). Heat a skillet over medium-low flame and cook chicken sausage for about 8 minutes, rotating frequently. Remove from heat and let the meat rest. When cooled, slice sausages into 1/4 in slices or thinner if preferred.

Prepare a shallow roasting pan or cookie sheet by spraying or brushing a light layer of olive oil over the surface. Another option is to put down a thin layer of cornmeal to prevent sticking. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For this recipe, we cut the dough into two even portions and roll out 2 pizzas. Prepare to roll out the dough by sprinkling a pinch flour over the surface you will be rolling the dough on. Sprinkle flour on the first portion and set aside the second; slowly knead the dough and work into a rectangular shape. Place dough on the counter and use the rolling pin (sprinkled with flour) to roll out the dough into an evenly portioned rectangle. Place the dough on the baking sheet and use your fingers to keep the rectangle stretching so that it doesn't shrink back to a smaller size. Repeat process for second portion of dough.

With dough now on the backing sheet, coat each rectangle with tomato sauce. Be sure to coat the rectangle evenly and leave a 1/4 inch border of plain dough around the sides. Now add minced garlic and basil, sprinkling each evenly on top of the sauce. Next comes the shredded mozzarella, sprinkle evenly around the pizza in a single layer. Add sliced chicken sausage and sliced artichoke crowns in even rows and add as much or as little as you desire.; each rectangular dough should hold the equivalent of roughly one sausage link. Finally, cut the mini mozzarella balls in half and add them to the pizza, roughly 8 halves to each rectangle.

Place baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool; handle with care when transferring to a cutting board to slice as the cheese may slide easily when fresh from the oven.


Slow Cooker Cacciatore

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 chicken cut into serving pieces and skinned
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic minced
3 Tbsp coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (can be dry or oil packed)
1 cup dry wine
2 sprigs of sage
2 sprigs of rosemary
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine flour, salt and poultry seasoning in a resealable bag.  Add the chicken to the bag and shake to coat completely.

Heat a large iron skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat and add the oil.   Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes a side or until browned; remove chicken and place in the slow cooker.

Add the onion to the skillet and saute - stirring frequently - until translucent.  Add the garlic and saute until lightly browned.  Add the wine and sun-dried tomatoes to the skillet and be sure to scrape the remaining bits from the chicken. Pour the mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker and add pinch of crushed red pepper and crushed red pepper.

Tie the sage and the rosemary sprigs with a bit of twine or in some cheese cloth and submerge in the broth in the slow-cooker.

Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 4 hours - 8 Hours (at 6-8 hours the meat will fall off the bone).  Remove sage and rosemary just before serving.

Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Webonews button Delicious button