Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Asian Meatballs

I just never know exactly what I'm going to make for Tapas most months.   I'll pick up random items at the grocery store, think, hmm, this looks interesting, I wonder what if?  And then I'll promptly forget the what if?.

I did that a couple of weeks ago.  I picked up a pound of ground pork, more or less because it's hard to find plain ground pork and decided I would make some kind of meatballs with it.   Actually I was going to make my fall back Frikadeller.

I mean, I can make those blind folded and in my sleep.

Maybe not in my sleep, I have enough trouble navigating the stove when I'm awake sometimes.


Where am I meandering with this?  

And then I thought I'd do something fun with the ground pork, and decided that maybe Albondigas would be fun to make and a little different.  I knew no reason they couldn't be made with ground pork.

Then it happened.   I was given a bottle of Satay Sauce as prize while playing Trivia at a local restaurant.
I had to make something that would showcase the sauce.  I love Satay sauce, just don't care for the chicken skewers it's usually served with.

I decided to make an Asian style meatball and found a recipe here.   And then promptly changed it up a little

Recipe:   Yield about 36 meatballs

1 1/4 lb. ground pork
1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup water
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 medium carrot, finely grated
1 small onion, finely minced
1 egg

Sorry, had to take the picture of my sprouting garlic. 

Time to plant some outside I guess.   I have uses for those green shoots when they get a little bit bigger.
Once they grow up some, they're called Scapes and are totally delicious. 
In the food blender, add the oats, garlic and cilantro, process until the oats are broken up and almost meal-like.

Add the carrot, onion, breadcrumbs and meat and using the mixer attachment on the food process, process just til combined.  Add the egg and water and pulse together a half dozen times, just until combined. 
Then take a scoop and make little meatballs.

Place them on a parchment covered baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. 

Then forget to take a picture of them on the sheet pan after they're all nicely baked.

Although next time I make these, I will turn them over halfway through the cooking time.  Just cause I like them to be browned all around. 

Serve with some Satay Sauce and stand back while your guests (or you) devour them.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how light and tender these meatballs were.   
500g trim mince – pork, chicken or beef
1/2 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
½ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon curry powder or red curry paste
To garnish:  fresh coriander, chopped - See more at: http://eatlosewin.com/2012/06/thai-meat-balls-with-satay-sauce/#sthash.zRp1OAS2.dpuf
500g trim mince – pork, chicken or beef
1/2 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
½ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon curry powder or red curry paste
To garnish:  fresh coriander, chopped - See more at: http://eatlosewin.com/2012/06/thai-meat-balls-with-satay-sauce/#sthash.zRp1OAS2.dpuf
500g trim mince – pork, chicken or beef
1/2 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
½ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon curry powder or red curry paste
To garnish:  fresh coriander, chopped - See more at: http://eatlosewin.com/2012/06/thai-meat-balls-with-satay-sauce/#sthash.zRp1OAS2.dpuf

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tapas for March

I'm trying to determine if I need breakfast today.    I sampled so many of the dishes last night, I'm still full this morning.  

I tasted them all, OK!

There was so much food last night and as usual, it was all good.

BTW, it  was our monthly Tapas get-together and while there wasn't as much of a crowd as usual, the food was topnotch.

Of course it usually is.   We have some incredible cooks in this area and they are more than generous with their offerings.

A lovely snacking quartet.  Hummus, tuna, various Corn chips and some nice crispy celery and cucumbers.  
 Pasta Salad.   I'm such a sucker for them. 

I don't make Pasta Salad for myself, cause I would eat the whole thing, and not even be sorry.

Until I stepped on the scale the next day....
 Baked Brie in a bread ring.   Doesn't it look lovely?  And it tasted so good.   There were actually two of them, and they were enjoyed. 
 Home made Lox.   Or as we say in Danish, gravlax.    I don't know if I should admit this or not, but I sampled several.   Leon makes some fun dishes.

Don't tell anyone, K?
 Yummy baked Chicken Drumsticks.   Next to wings, my favourite part of the chicken.  And these were delectably tender. 
 I love seeing what Harriet comes up with.   These were Corn fritters with bean and guacamole topping.  Really good.   And suitable for our vegetarian guests as well.
Kathleen brought a yummy asparagus carrot bake.   She also brought her pineapple which I neglected to get a picture of.   
These were really good.
 And then there was this bowl of guacamole.  
It was tasty as well.
 And some baked Sea Bass.  Which was tasty.
 I love dilly beans...

Lovely, spicy dilly beans. 

Did you know you can coat them in batter, deep fry them and they're even better?

I'm wicked, I know.
 Tempeh in Barbeque Sauce.  I hadn't had any for a long time, not one of the items that is sold in our local store.  Had forgotten how much I like it.

I'm not a food snob, I can go from a healthy tasty dish right to something a little more decadent like Bacon Wrapped Duck.    

That's not a problem for me at all. 

We had some last month as well, and OMG these were just as good.
 I made some Pita Crisps with Za'atar  and served them along with a commercial hummus dip.    I've made these before for NPA, but will also make them for myself for a light lunch from time to time as well. 

I also put together some Asian Style Meatballs and served them with some Satay Sauce.     I will share the recipe for them later on.   Cause they are something I will make again and again.
 I made some of my No-Knead bread cause it's usually a popular item.

Our guests ate it all. 

Good thing I made two loaves and kept one aside for us. 

Otherwise we wouldn't have had a chance to taste it.
Just for fun, I put out some grapes, cheese and crackers. 

You never can tell, some people just want to nosh.

And now for the desserts...

Donna made Cream Puffs, and it didn't take long for them to disappear.  

I managed to snag one.  

I'm told some people had one for an appetizer and then one for a dessert.

But I'm not naming names...
 Chocolate Cream Pie,
 Luscious Chocolate Cake.
 Home Made Chocolate Chip Cookies.  

I noticed they were popular as well.

Wait a minute, with the exception of the Cream Puffs, it was a chocolate kind of night.  

Well, that's it for me, I need to go wash some wine glasses, ponder on the wonderful conversations I had with our guests and then take a long, long, long walk.
I need to walk off some calories...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Boat Club for March

If you read this blog regularly, you may have noticed I didn't post anything about our monthly Boat Club potluck last week.

I had a good excuse, I had family visiting and we didn't attend.   


A good friend did go and was gracious enough to say 'Sure, I'll take pictures of the food for you" and then proceeded to do so. 

So, here they are. 

I was also told that the food was as usual, outstanding and fun.

 Meatballs in Gravy...

 This looked like a Quinoa salad
 Deviled Eggs
 Sauteed veggies
 Corn succotash
 Dip with crackers

 And now for the desserts...

Looks like I missed another great Potluck... 
But Tapas is coming up and I'm almost ready for it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Baked Fried Chicken and Baked Ziti for Senior Lunch.

I've been a little busy this past week.  I've had family visiting, and gee, we've been having a lot of fun, talking, laughing, eating...

We like to eat in my family, and cook as well. 

However, I've still kept up with my cooking stints at the Senior Center.    We had Baked 'fried' Chicken last week along with some Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs, Creole Succotash and dessert.   It was a good meal.  Oh and I also made some Zucchini Corn Bread to go along with it as well.    I found the recipe on Avril's blog, who just so happened to be the blogger I was assigned to last month for my Secret Recipe Club reveal.   I did modify it a little, I had some yellow squash in the freezer along with the zucchini and they went so nicely with the zucchini.

I made some Apple Crostata's for the Senior Lunch and they were well received, but my attention was also caught by her recipe for Zucchini Cornbread.    So I made some. 

Then this week we had Baked Ziti, Salad, Garlic Bread along with sliced Tomatoes and Cukes.   I also made some Bread Pudding for dessert which was served with a Creme Anglais sauce.

And since it's St. Paddy's day this week, we'll be serving a traditional lunch of Corned Beef, Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes.   I'll also be making some Soda Bread along with some kind of dessert, I'm thinking maybe a fruit cobbler might go nicely with it.  

I do love a good Corned Beef.    


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Potstickers with Healthy Solutions Spice Blend for Poultry and Pork

I had to do it.

I had to.

I heard about this incredible spice blend that didn't use salt or msg to 'amp' up the flavours.   They were also having a contest to see if some of us home cooks could come up with some ideas.  And since I love to cook, entertain and feed people good food, I decided to enter the contest.

I actually had this spice packet hanging around for awhile.  I kept looking at it, trying to come up with something original, tasty and fun.  

And I did it.

At least, I think I did it.

And judging by how quickly the Potstickers disappeared at Tapas, I think I hit the nail on the head.

It does require just a little prep work, but once you get going this goes together fast. 

BTW, this makes a great filling for egg rolls as well.  

1 pound Ground Pork + 1 tablespoon Olive oil for browning.
4 finely chopped Baby Bok Choy (about 2 cups)
2 finely chopped Carrots
1 finely chopped Leek
8 oz. finely chopped Mushrooms
2 teaspoons Spice for Poultry and Pork
2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp. Sesame Seed Oil.

Using my food processor I chopped each of the vegetables individually and set them aside while the meat cooked. 

Brown the ground up pork in a little Olive Oil for browning purposes.   Then add the two teaspoons of Spice for Poultry and Pork.
Add the chopped vegetables and stir around until they've cooked a little and released some of their moisture. 
  Stir to combine.   Taste.    At this point I also added 2 teaspoons of Soy Sauce and 1/2 a teaspoon of Sesame Seed Oil.       I then set this aside to cool while I got the wonton wrappers ready.
I used full size egg roll wrappers and cut them into fourths for these.   If you can get wonton wrappers, use those, but my local store rarely carries them.

Set out the ingredients and get ready to make Potstickers.   I've found it handy to have a small bowl with water sitting right by me when making any kind of potstickers or wonton bites or anything to do with sticking the wrappers together. 

Take a wonton wrapper, place a scant teaspoonful of filling in the middle.  Wet the edges of the wrapper, fold over the other side of the wrapper, making pleats in it.  You're aiming for a flat bottom and a pretty pleated top. 

Then just keep on going.    Remember, wrapper, filling, moisten, fold and pleat. 

Also, before I forget to say this, if you happen to have a clean dishtowel handy, dampen it at little and use it to drape over the finished potstickers.   
Trust me on this, you don't want them to dry out too much. 
This makes over 60 potstickers, really, 60 or more, and you can freeze them at this point before you cook them because they freeze brilliantly.    Just place them on a flat cookie sheet, place them into the freezer until they are frozen, then dump the frozen potstickers into a ziploc bag.   And when you're ready to cook them, just pull out however many you want, and cook them.

And I guess I need to tell you how to cook them, don't I?

So, the next step, add a couple spritz's of cooking spray to the pan, and then a little olive oil, or coconut oil. Heat up, and then add the potstickers, flat side down.  My picture of them browning away was too blurry to use, so just close your eyes and imagine.    As soon as they're browned a little, add some water, about a 1/4 cup or so, stick a lid on the pan, let it steam away, then take the lid off after a couple of minutes, and pry the potstickers off of the bottom of the pan.
If you did this right, you won't need to pry, just slip a thin spatula under them, and place them on a plate with some gyoza sauce.  

I've used commercial sauce in the past and it's ok, but I like my own sauce the best.  
Just 1/4 cup soy sauce, a little sugar, about 1/2 tsp. or so, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp. sesame seed oil and whisk together.   Add some chopped green onions, about 2 to 3 onions, and serve.   I also like a sprinkle or two of sesame seeds, but that's me.

And since I had a lot of filling left over, I decided to try making some eggrolls with it.    
I have to say, I don't think I've ever had such good egg rolls, ever.    And luckily, there's enough more of the filling in the freezer to make a couple more.   I just served myself these with some Sweet Hot Chile sauce.