Schumacher Dinner Recipes

Meatballs and Mash with Red Wine Gravy

Serves 4

Meatballs are always a family crowd-pleaser. Now serve them on a buttery bed of creamy mashed potatoes and finish with a rich gravy and you've got a winner for family night. Fresh thyme and sweet carrots add a burst of flavor and the rich gravy will have you reaching for some bread to mop every last bit on your plate.


Mashed Potatoes:

  • 5 cups peeled, diced golden potatoes
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

    Meatballs with Red Wine Gravy:

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 lb. ground turkey meat
    • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
    • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
    • 1 cup small diced Vidalia onion
    • ½ cup peeled and small diced carrot
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
    • 1 cup red wine
    • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 ½ cups beef stock
    • Good crusty bread for serving, optional

    Make the Mashed Potatoes

    Add the peeled and diced potatoes to a large stockpot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil. Keep at a low boil until fork tender (this means, when tested, the potato easily mashes when you put a little pressure using a fork).

    As your potatoes are cooking, add your butter and milk to a small saucepan and heat on low until the butter is melted.

    Strain the potatoes and then puree them using a potato ricer. This tool gives a very silky texture and is definitely one of our secrets to the perfect mash. If you prefer to mash potatoes yourself with a potato masher, you certainly can.

    Transfer the riced potatoes back to the stockpot and add in the warmed butter and milk mixture. Mix in with a spatula until blended and season to taste with salt and pepper. You can make your potatoes in advance.

    Make the Meatballs and Red Wine Gravy

    In a medium bowl, mix the ground turkey with panko and season generously with salt and pepper.

    Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large frying pan and begin adding your meatballs. You should roll them to be about the size of a walnut. Fry in two batches to avoid overcrowding. Cook meatballs until golden brown on the first side, then shake your pan to roll them onto the next side. Continue browning on all sides until no pink remains and meatballs are cooked through. You can easily test by cutting one in half. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the second batch.

    After all meatballs have cooked, add your onions and carrot to the remaining oil in the pan and saute until translucent (about 3-4 minutes), stirring as you go. Add in an extra tablespoon of olive oil if the pan is dry. Next add in the garlic and then immediately add in the wine and stir.

    Next add in the thyme, tomato paste and beef stock. Stir to combine and bring to a low boil. Cook 10 minutes at a low boil until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper and return your meatballs to the pan. Coat them all over in sauce.

    To serve, ladle a generous portion of meatballs and gravy over warmed potatoes. You can add a little more fresh thyme leaves to finish and serve with a good crusty bread to mop up all the delicious gravy. Enjoy!

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    Baked Penne with Sausage Sauce

    Jammy, meaty and irresistibly cheesy this baked penne is a sure hit for your Sunday supper. This meal is best served family style so everyone can enjoy the amazing cheese pulls as you ladle out servings. Be sure to add on some fresh basil for a finishing touch.


    • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 1 lb. sausage, casing removed (your choice! Spicy Italian sausage is a great way to go)
    • 1 cup small diced vidalia onion
    • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    • 2 (28 ounce) cans of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional (this does bring out the jamminess of the tomatoes)
    • 1 lb. penne
    • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
    • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
    • Fresh basil leaves for serving, optional

    Make It

    Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large stockpot, add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add in your sausage meat and break apart as you cook on medium-high by using a wooden spatula. Once meat is cooked through, add in your diced onions and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until softened. Add in your garlic and your two cans of tomatoes. Stir in the tomato paste and your remaining tablespoon of olive oil and your sugar (optional) and bring to a low boil. Cook for 20 minutes at a low boil until the mixture has thickened nicely. Season to taste with salt.

    Meanwhile bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook your penne until al dente then strain.

    Mix the pasta into the sausage sauce, stirring until every noodle is coated. Transfer to an oven safe dish and top with grated cheeses and bake until the cheese has melted and turned slightly brown on top (about 20-25 minutes). Allow to cool slightly then top with fresh basil (optional) and serve.

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    Grilled Skirt Steak with Roasted Baby Potatoes and Creamy Chimichurri

    Serves 4:

    Fire up your grills because this recipe cooks hot and fast! A creamy chimichurri, loaded with fresh, bright herbs, provides the base for this dish. Next, you'll add some crispy roasted potatoes and finish with medium-rare salt and pepper skirt steak. If you're into meat and potatoes, boy is this is the dish for you! Perfect to kick off grilling season.

    If you are dead set on grilling and no oven time, steam the potatoes in a foil packet (we thought the oven crispiness was just too good to pass up). The choice is yours.

    Roasted Mini Golden Potatoes:

    • 2 lbs mini golden potatoes, washed, dried and quartered
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

    Creamy Chimichurri:

    • 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, packed
    • ½ cup cilantro leaves, packed
    • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (2 tsp if using dried)
    • 1 small shallot, quartered and outer skin removed
    • 2 large cloves of garlic
    • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons sour cream
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded and de-stemmed
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • Salt, to taste

    Skirt Steak:

    • 2 lbs skirt steak*
    • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper (generous)

    Make the Roasted Baby Potatoes

    Preheat your oven to 450F. Add the potatoes to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 minutes until golden brown, crispy on the outside, and tender inside

    A Note on Potato Sizing:

    Baby potatoes come in an assortment of sizes. If yours are super teeny, you don’t need to cut them, just roast them whole. A little bigger and all you need to do is halve them. Ours were 1-2 inches in length so they needed to be quartered. The key is even sizing so that all your potatoes roast at the same pace.

    Make the Chimichurri

    As your potatoes are roasting, create your creamy chimichurri. You can also make this sauce in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Then season to taste with salt.


    If you plan on freezing some of your sauce, hold off on adding the sour cream This sauce also goes great on eggs, sandwiches, chicken, and roasted vegetables

    Make the Skirt Steak

    Preheat your grill to high heat. You really want to cook hot and fast so ensure your grill is blazing and ready before the meat hits it. As your grill is heating, season your steak generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill steak about 3-4 minutes per side until medium-rare (see note above for a cooking tip). Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. When ready to serve, slice against the grain.

    To plate, start with your sauce. Use a narrow spoon to drizzle some lines of your gorgeous green creamy chimichurri. Plating the sauce first makes you look fancy and professional (be sure to have extra sauce handy for eating as well).

    Next, add your roasted potatoes and grilled skirt steak. You can finish with a little flaked salt or a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like spice.

    *Skirt steak: this cut varies a lot in thickness. A great tip is to slice the cut in half to separate the less thick end from the fuller end. The thicker slice will take slightly more time to cook whereas the thinner slice will grill much faster.

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    Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki

    Serves 4

    When you marinate meats before grilling, you can add so much flavor and also lock in moisture. This simple mediterranean-inspired mix adds the flavors of fresh lemon, garlic, herbs and extra virgin olive oil which makes the grilling much easier down the line. Paired with a 5 minute tzatziki and you've got a summer supper the whole family will enjoy.

    Throw in some fresh, grilled bell peppers to round out the meal. Pita is the perfect compliment so that you can dip into the tzatziki or make a sandwich with the chicken meat. We hope you enjoy it!


    • 2 lbs chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch cubes
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 lemon, zested & juiced
    • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
    • ½ teaspoon dried dill (double the amount for fresh)
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • ¼ teaspoon powdered garlic
    • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

    Tzatziki Ingredients:

    • 1 grated Persian cucumber (lay in a paper towel and squeeze to absorb extra moisture)
    • 2 cups Greek yogurt (full fat, if you only have nonfat you'll need to add a tablespoon of olive oil)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
    • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
    • Pita for serving

    Marinate the Chicken

    In a gallon-size ziplock bag, add diced chicken, olive oil, lemon zest and juice and garlic. Add in dill, oregano, powdered garlic and season generously with salt and pepper. Marinate for at least 10 minutes (you can also refrigerate a day in advance or even freeze in the marinade for later use).

    Make the Tzatziki

    In a medium-sized bowl, mix the ingredients for the tzatziki. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    Grill the Chicken

    Begin by skewering the chicken. I skewered 8 pieces per kabob on my metal skewers. I use metal skewers but if you only have wooden ones be sure to pre-soak them before grilling.

    Preheat your grill (I also preheated the broiler on the grill to finish the skewers). I also rub a bit of oil on a paper towel and quickly oil the grill before I start. Use tongs to rotate your skewers.

    Grill the skewers 2-3 minutes per side, rotating on medium-high heat (about 10-14 minutes).

    If you want extra char, use the broiler for the last couple minutes instead of the grill. Being sure to rotate 1-2 minutes on the broiler.

    Allow skewers to cool for about 5 minutes in a dish with sides or a wooden cutting board with a lip (to retain all those delicious juices). Then serve warm along with tzatziki and fresh pita.

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    Fried Chicken Sandwich with Sriracha Aioli and Quick Coleslaw

    Serves 4

    This is an incredible meal where all the components are stand-alone recipes that when combined, create the sandwich of your dreams.

    If you are also feeding kids or folks trying to cut out some carbs, the fried chicken is delicious on its own. The simple coleslaw makes the perfect side. Then the sriracha aioli is a fantastic dressing that can be used for sushi, fish tacos or even as a dip for French fries (that is if you happen to have leftovers).


    • 4 thinly sliced chicken breasts (1.5 lbs)
    • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
    • ¾ cup buttermilk*
    • Oil for frying (canola or safflower)
    • 1 cup of self-rising flour
    • 4 ciabatta rolls
    • Sliced pickles (your choice of bread & butter or kosher dill)

    *Note: if you are someone who loves spice, you can add another tablespoon or two of sriracha to your buttermilk for marinating.

    Quick Coleslaw:

    • 4 cups thinly sliced/grated cabbage (I did a combo of red and white cabbage)
    • 2 cups matchstick/grated carrots
    • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • Freshly cracked pepper

    Sriracha Aioli:

    • ¾ cup mayonnaise
    • Sriracha (1 tablespoon for mild heat, 2 for medium or 3 tablespoons for Hot)
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

    Marinate the Chicken

    Begin by adding your chicken and buttermilk to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, make sure the chicken is coated on all sides and refrigerate for an hour. Cover the container with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

    Make the Coleslaw

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine your cabbage, carrot and scallions. In a small bowl whisk the honey, apple cider vinegar and mayonnaise. Season to taste with cracked pepper and whisk until the dressing is smooth. Dress the cabbage mixture with the dressing and toss until all ingredients are coated. Put the finished coleslaw in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

    Assemble the Sandwich

    In a small bowl, mix the ingredients of the sriracha aioli. Be sure to heat the aioli to your taste.

    Once the chicken has marinated, heat 2-3 inches of oil in a large frying pan with high sides.

    To coat the chicken, remove one piece from the buttermilk mixture and dredge in self-rising flour. Add the floured chicken back to the buttermilk then once more into the flour. Repeat with all your chicken breasts, adding additional buttermilk if necessary to get a double thick coating on each.

    Lay out paper towels on a large baking sheet for the finished fried chicken. Then begin frying your chicken in batches (2 pieces at a time). Fry until golden brown (3-5 minutes) then flip and repeat on the other side (2-3 more minutes). Adjust the heat as you’re cooking to ensure golden brown and that the chicken is getting cooked through. Lay the finished chicken on the paper towel lined baking sheet to cool. Repeat until all the chicken is fried. Season the fried chicken with sea salt.

    Toast the ciabatta buns. Then to assemble the sandwiches, dress each side of the buns with sriracha aioli. Lay a fried chicken on each bun, then top with some quick coleslaw and pickles. Finish with aioli on the top bun. Serve with extra coleslaw on the side and eat while the sandwiches are warm. Enjoy!

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    Lobster BLT with Chive Butter

    Serves 4

    There is nothing like a good lobster roll. Swaddled in butter, sandwiched in a pillowy brioche bun and topped with crunchy bacon this sandwich is simply irresistible.

    Lobsters are actually very easy to cook, so don't be daunted. If you are someone who doesn't love cracking your own meat, you can also purchase pre-cooked and ready to eat lobster.

    Do not go light on the butter for this dish, as it really pops the flavor of lobster and makes each bite utter perfection.


    • 2 large lobsters (or 2.5 lbs of lobster meat)
    • 8 slices of bacon
    • 6 tablespoons of salted butter
    • .25 oz fresh chives, minced
    • 4 brioche buns
    • 1 heirloom tomato, sliced
    • 4 leaves of butter lettuce

    Cooking & Cleaning Live Lobsters

    If you are boiling your lobsters, fill a large stockpot ¾ full with water and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then add in your lobsters head first, one at a time. Cover the pot and return to a rolling boil. Cook for 11-13 minutes (depending on the size) then remove the lobsters with tongs and allow to cool before cracking.

    To remove the meat from the lobster, begin by twisting off the claws. Then separate the tail from the body. Remove the vein that runs along the tail and discard. Remove the outer shell from the body and discard all innards and fat. Crack the claws, fin, and remove the shell from the tail.

    For the finished meat, dice it into large chunks. You can cook the meat in advance and refrigerate until you’re ready to make these sandwiches.

    Make the Lobster BLTs

    Begin by frying up your bacon until crispy.

    Next, melt the butter in a small stockpot. Add in the minced chives and lobster meat and cook on low until the meat is heated and warmed through.

    Toast your brioche buns and spread each side with butter.

    To assemble your BLTS, add a slice of tomato and piece of lettuce to the bottom bun of all your rolls. Next add 2 pieces of crispy bacon to each sandwich.

    Finish by dividing your lobster meat between your 4 sandwiches. Be sure to spoon over extra chive butter to finish each sandwich before topping with the bun.

    Eat while warm. Enjoy!

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    Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa and Pearl Couscous

    Serves 4

    This salmon is intensely flavorful and surprisingly easy to create. The blackened seasoning makes a delicious crust on the salmon that locks in tenderness. Finished with a lemon butter and topped with a sweet mango and heirloom tomato salsa, this dish really shines.

    What's incredible is that as fancy as it looks on the plate, this is a fast dinner to throw together. The salmon cooks in under 10 minutes! If you don't have a lot of spices in your pantry, you can also purchase a blackened seasoning to make your life even easier.

    If you can't find pearl couscous, then regular couscous or jasmine rice both work as well. Just be sure to cook in stock and finish with butter for ultimate decadence. We really hope you enjoy this one. We certainly did!


    Blackened Seasoning

    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
    • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

    Blackened Salmon

    • Blackened seasoning (above or sub ⅛ cup of store bought blackened seasoning)
    • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 4 (5-6 oz) fillets of salmon, skin on
    • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • Juice from 1 lemon

    Mango Salsa

    • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, diced (you can substitute beefsteak or tomato on the vine)
    • 2 Ataulfo/Champagne mangoes, diced
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
    • 2 scallions, sliced thin
    • Sea salt to taste

    Pearl Couscous

    • 2 cups pearl couscous
    • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 1 ¾ cups of chicken stock (you can also use vegetable stock)
    • 2 tablespoons of salted butter

    Make the Salmon

    Combine blackened seasoning with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a casserole dish or large tupperware container. Mix to combine then add in salmon fillets and coat on all sides with the wet rub.

    Heat the vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat for several minutes until oil is simmering hot (you should hear the salmon when it touches the skillet so you really want the pan to be hot but not smoking). Sear the salmon, skin side down for about 3 minutes.

    Reduce the heat slightly and cook salmon on the second side 2-3 minutes until medium. Salmon cooking temperature is an individual preference. You simply do not want to overcook the salmon because it gets dry. On my stove, 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second was perfect for cooking my fillets.

    Remove salmon to a separate plate and quickly wipe down the cast iron with a paper towel (being careful as the pan is hot, use tongs if easier). Next add in your butter and minced garlic. Saute until the butter is melted and garlic fragrant. Squeeze the lemon juice into the butter mixture (being sure to remove all seeds).

    When ready to serve, pour the finished lemon, garlic butter over the salmon fillets.

    Make the Mango Salsa

    Combine the diced tomatoes and mangoes in a medium-sized bowl. Add in the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and scallion. Season to taste with salt.

    Make the Couscous

    In a medium-sized stockpot, add the couscous and olive oil. Saute the couscous over medium heat until it is slightly browned (stirring constantly for about 2-3 minutes). Meanwhile, warm the stock in another stockpot.

    After couscous has browned, add in simmering stock and butter. Simmer for 12 minutes, covered. Then fluff and serve.

    Plate the Dish

    Divide your couscous between four plates. Lay a blackened salmon on each bed of couscous. Drizzle with lemon butter. Then take a slotted spoon and add on the mango salsa to finish the dish. Enjoy!

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    Fresh Tomato, Ricotta and Shaved Parmesan Tart

    Serves 4

    This puff pastry tart is filled with ricotta, fresh tomatoes, thyme and aged Parmesan. What that means is a flaky, creamy, jammy, sweet, herbaceous and cheesy bites that knock your socks off. The flavors combine for a subtle and delicious impact, making this the ideal recipe for brunch or for a starting course to an al fresco dinner.

    If you've never worked with puff pastry before, don't be daunted. Puff pastry is a lot of fun to use. Since you don't have to make it from scratch (you can find puff pastry in the freezer section in most grocery stores), it is very easy to work with. What's great about puff pastry is implied with the name. It puffs up in baking, giving you layer after layer of flaky, buttery crust.

    We added everything bagel seasoning for an awesome finish to the outer crust. The tart also works without it if you're not a huge fan of poppy seeds or sesame seeds. Don't skip the egg wash though because that creates a wonderful golden color on the finished edges.

    You can create Parmesan shavings using a vegetable peeler. It's so much easier and produces a really fine result. Also don't you dare go with low fat ricotta. Go full fat because it really adds to the flavor. It's worth the small indulgence. We hope you enjoy!


    • 1 sheet of puff pastry
    • 4 tablespoons good ricotta (use the full fat version)
    • 9 thin slices of heirloom tomato
    • Sea salt
    • Handful of multi-colored cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1 egg
    • Everything bagel seasoning
    • ¼ cup shaved aged Parmesan

    Make the Tart

    Preheat the oven to 400F. Defrost the puff pastry according to the package instructions (mine was 20 minutes). Roll out the finished pastry using a rolling pin and cut a ½ inch border around the edge of the tart (being sure NOT to cut fully through the puff pastry). Trim off any extra pastry to make nice clean lines.

    Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels and lay out the sliced and halved tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with salt and top with an extra paper towel to remove extra moisture from the tomatoes.

    To assemble the tart, spread the ricotta all around the tart (sparing the ½ inch border). Lay out the large tomato slices, overlapping slightly all around the tart. Fill in any holes or gaps with halved cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and fresh thyme leaves.

    In a small bowl, whisk the egg then spread the egg-wash over the ½ inch tart border. Sprinkle the border with everything bagel seasoning.

    Bake for 25-30 minutes in the center of the oven until golden brown on the edges and bottom. Allow to cool slightly then top with Parmesan and slice and serve. Enjoy!

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    Crock-Pot BBQ Brisket Sliders

    Serves 10

    Juicy, pulled bbq brisket makes these sliders a hit for any game. The benefit of the Crock-Pot (or any brand slow cooker) is that you can set it and forget it as it cooks. You can also transport the finished pulled meat in the Crock-Pot for game day. From the ease to the taste this dish is a definite touchdown!


    • 4 lbs beef brisket, (lean cut if you can find it)
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
    • 1 cup ketchup
    • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
    • ½ cup black coffee
    • ½ cup dark brown sugar
    • ¼ sweet onion
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • ½ cup water
    • 20 slider buns for serving

    Make the Meat

    Add the brisket to the Crock-Pot, fat side down. Rub all over with salt, paprika, garlic powder and freshly cracked pepper. Cover with ketchup, vinegar, coffee and brown sugar. Mix all around and flip the brisket to lay fat side up.

    Puree onion and garlic with water in a small blender or food processor (I use a Magic Bullet) then add back to Crock-Pot. Cook on low for 8 hours.

    Remove brisket and pull off and discard fat, carefully as brisket it’s hot. Shred the remaining meat.

    Make the Sauce

    Remove the fat from the remaining bbq sauce using a fat separator (this is a great tool that’s also handy for Thanksgiving gravy). Alternately you can flash freeze to remove the fat: transfer the bbq sauce to a freezer safe container. Freeze until the fat freezes at the top. Discard the fat then pour the remaining sauce over the pulled brisket.

    Assemble the Sliders

    Warm the finished brisket and BBQ sauce and spoon onto slider buns.

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