Sunday, May 25, 2008

Incredibly Good Meatballs

These meatballs have great flavor and texture and we find them very utilitarian. We put them in spaghetti, or serve with a sauce (white, brown or sweet & sour) over rice.

3 cloves of garlic
¼ c oil
1 lb ground beef
¼ c grated Parmesan
9 crushed saltine crackers
½ t salt
¼ t black pepper
¼ t oregano
½ t basil
1 T parsley
¼ c water
1 egg
1 t tomato paste

Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 unpeeled garlic cloves and toast until skins are spotty brown, about five minutes. Remove from heat, peel, mince, and set aside.

In a big bowl combine meat, garlic, Parmesan, crackers, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and parsley. Mix lightly with fingers. In a small bowl, whisk water and egg together with tomato paste. Add egg mixture to meat mixture, mix lightly with fingers.

Divide into 24 balls. Cook in batches in an oiled heavy skillet over medium-high heat until browned.

Alternatively you could place meatballs in a single layer on a cooking sheet and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. Place in a 350° oven for ?? minutes or until meat is cooked through. Baking results in a softer texture, with more uniform browning and better retains the meatball shape.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Berry Dumplings

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 TBS sugar, plus 1 1/2 cups
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice, optional
1 quart fresh or frozen berries of your choice (ex: mixed berries)
2 cups water
Vanilla ice cream or fresh cream, for serving

1. Stir flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Cut butter into dry ingredients, using a pastry cutter or fork.
2. Add milk and vanilla to form dough. Set dumpling dough aside.
3. In a large saucepan, combine berries, 1 1/2 cups sugar, lemon juice and water and bring to a boil. Drop dumplings into hot boiling berries by the tablespoonful (I roll them into balls).
4. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook slowly for 20 to 30 minutes. Do not remove the lid before 20 minutes has passed, and do not stir dumplings.
5. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh cream.

Serves 8

Notes: This recipe makes a lot of sauce. You may want to add a quarter or double more the dumpling recipe depending on how saucy you like it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

1-1/2 cups quinoa
1-1/2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1-1/2 cups cooked corn (fresh, canned or frozen)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced fine
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped fine
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/3 cup olive oil

1. Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve under cold running water until water runs clear.
2. Put quinoa in a pot with 2-1/4 cups water.
3. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
4. Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.
5. While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. 6. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, scallions, garlic, cayenne and coriander to the quinoa. Toss well. 7. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, cumin and add oil in a stream while whisking. Drizzle over salad and toss well with salt and pepper. Salad may be made a day ahead and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Serves: 8

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Crunchy Coconut Chicken Fingers

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3/4 c. crushed cornflakes (about 2 c. uncrushed)
3/4 c. flaked sweetened coconut, chopped
1 t. garlic powder
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. curry powder
1/2 t. red pepper (I used black)

Cut chicken into 20 (1/4-inch strips). Combine chicken and buttermilk in a shallow dish; cover and chill one hour. Drain chicken and discard the liquid. Combine chicken and flour in a medium-sized bowl, tossing to coat.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place baking sheet in oven.

Combine egg and egg white in a small bowl. Combine crushed cornflakes and next 5 ingredients (though pepper) in a shallow dish.

Working with one chicken strip at a time, dip into egg mixture; dredge in cornflake mixture. Repeat process with all strips. Arrange chicken in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake for six minutes, or until done. Yield: four servings.

Notes from e: C and I really really liked these! The coconut flavor was mild enough for C, but "there" enough for me. And it really seemed like it made a lot; I easily got 20 strips. I'm guessing kids would love them. And I forgot to preheat the baking sheet and they turned out fine.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Tres Leches Cake

The next in what is turning out to be a series featuring naturalized ethnic foods - you can ask Google to explain to you the suspicious origins of this recipe - but it is nonetheless popular south of the border and undeniably delicious.

1 ½ c sugar
½ c butter, at room temperature
6 eggs
1 ¾ c all-purpose flour
1 ½ t baking powder
4 t salt
12 ounces evaporated milk
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 c whipping cream, divided

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition (lots of beating here). In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture. Pour into greased and floured (or use a circle of parchment) 9-inch springform pan. Bake until cake is golden and toothpick comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. While the cake is baking, mix evaporated and condensed milks together with half the whipping cream. When cake is done, immediately pierce with skewer, making lots of holes. Pour milk mixture over cake, about a third at a time, letting milks soak in. Cool. Refrigerate, tightly covered with aluminum foil, for two days. Remove from springform, and place on serving plate. Serve with remaining whipped cream and fruit. 12-16 servings.

Sorry I didn't get this posted in time for you to enjoy it for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta maƱana. Maybe you can make the cake tomorrow then eat it on Siete de Mayo instead. That might be just as good.

Chorizo for Americans

This is nonauthentic chorizo, thank you very much. I'm sure this isn't as tasty as the real stuff, perhaps because it excludes some "varietal" ingredients. Google found this recipe for me at recipezaar dot com.

2 lbs ground beef or chicken or pork
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons pure red chili powder
6-20 small hot dried red chili, crushed or 2 teaspoons paprika
4-6 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons dry oregano leaves
2 teaspoons whole cumin seed, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons cider vinegar or wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons water

Mix well and cook through or add to your favorite recipe. This is great mixed up with scrambled eggs!"

This post is for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement of other recipe sites. The Foodees is where it's at.