Thursday, September 30, 2010

Swedish Meatballs Dunkin Style

My husband makes the BEST Swedish Meatballs, and it came to me on Saturday that he had not made them since I started my food blog! I bugged him until he agreed to make them.
I think the fact that he poaches the meatballs instead of cooking them in the oven makes them extra tender and flavorful. He then uses the poaching liquid in the sauce makes it extra special!

Here's how ya do it, as told by him, he is long winded sorry!

Poaching liquid and sauce base:
1 can (~30 oz) vegetable broth
2 cans (~30 oz) chicken broth

We always try to find/use either homemade broths or use unsalted and season at the end. Salted is fine, just do NOT add extra salt until you are finishing your sauce. Put the broth in a large sauce pan and heat to a simmer while you prepare the meatballs.

Pasta: We prefer extra-wide egg noodles. With or without yolks, up to you. Cook ONE POUND of dried pasta until al dente, drain, keep warm. You will want it firm since you're combining back into the sauce later. Wide floppy noodles hold a lot of the sauce and give a good balance of texture to the meat.

Meat: You can use just chicken, chicken and pork, turkey or turkey and pork. This time we used VERY lean turkey and ground pork.

1 lb ground 98% lean turkey
1 lb fine ground pork (we have coarse grind available here which we did not want)
- incorporate the two evenly
2 large eggs

Chopped finely:
1 med red onion
1.5c fresh, well-rinsed parsley (not Italian, regular)*
Dry stuff: (to taste, to smell -- we cook largely by "smell")
1/4 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 - 1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg (if not fresh, double it)
1/4-1/2 tsp allspice
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt (1/2 amount if using regular salt)**
approximately 1/2c unseasoned bread crumbs

Optional Wet Stuff you may need:
1c of cream or 1/2 and 1/2
1/4 - 1/2c sour cream
1-2 tablespoons sweet cream (unsalted) butter

*parsley in meatballs (we use this in Italian style too) adds an earthy greenness with a hint of medicinal like flavor that mellows in the cooking process. Overall it provides a very good flavor balance and nutritional filler (instead of more bread crumbs or starches or MSG).

**HEY!! Watch that salt! You will most likely be using a salted broth which will reduce and created a nasty salty sauce. If you are unsure of your broth, hold the salt seasoning until the very end. It adds nothing to the cooking process or moisture retention since you are poaching.

Combine dry with wet, use your hands. The meatballs will be slightly sticky and will get on your fingers and build up. Don't worry. Roll into balls about 1.5 inches in diameter. If your kitchen is hot/warm, keep them on a chilled plate while you prepare to poach

Poach in batches, don't crowd them and don't vigorously boil them -- just a gentle poach. You will want an instant-read thermometer handy. Whenever you combine meats, cook to the highest recommended "done" temperature of the two. In this case it's the turkey so go for 165 degrees.

Finishing the sauce:

Prepare a roux -- we use a 4tbsp butter to ~6tbsp flour ratio. Melt the butter, add flour. Stir, stir, stir and cook the flour over a medium heat until it starts to take on some color.

Ladle hot broth into the roux, stir to incorporate. Repeat until the roux sauce is fluid enough to pour back to the heated broth (still on medium heat) and easily incorporate without clumping. If clumps form, reduce heat and whisk gently. Be patient, you can work them out.

Once you are getting close to the desired consistency (about like whipping cream) add about 1/4c dry sherry (bumps up the sweetness) and then start testing for salt. Add a bit more fresh ground black pepper and a couple pinches of ground white pepper. Stir, taste. You should have slightly sweet, herby, some detection of salt but not salty. If too thin, you can thicken with a little bit of corn starch or just reduce for a few minutes.

Slightly salty? (been there, done that) Whisk in 1/4c sour cream

Uh Oh! Really Salty? Don't panic, been there done that too. Add about one cup of cream, 1/4c sour cream and a tablespoon or two of butter.

Now, tastes just right, right? Combine the pasta, meatballs back to the sauce and stir.

Serve warm in pasta bowls with sliced green onion for garnish and more fresh cracked pepper more for decoration than taste.

Serve with a green veggie and some good crusty bread.

Bon Apetit

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

I was cruising around Foodgawker the other day and saw these Cheesy Puffs, I asked my husband if he had them when he was in Brazil and he said YES, that they are wonderful and addictive. He asked me make them for him, and I was happy to do so, who doesn't love cheesy bread?

It is a bit difficult to find Tapioca Flour, but my local Asian Market carried it. I found the original recipe here, but have adapted it a bit for my tastes.

The rolls are nicely crispy on the outside and the inside almost feels like it is still raw, but that is exactly what it is supposed to be like! I thought they were a bit bland even though I added garlic powder, so next time I will also add onion powder and maybe Cayenne pepper and perhaps a sharper cheese.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2/3 cup freshly grated Romano Cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 beaten eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Pour milk, butter and salt into a large saucepan, and place over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat immediately, and stir in tapioca flour and garlic until smooth.

Set aside to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir the cheese and egg into the tapioca mixture until well combined, the mixture will be chunky like cottage cheese.

Drop rounded balls of the mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet. I used my 1 inch scooper, so the balls were small.

Bake in preheated oven until the tops are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. (I learned the hard way, they will need closer to 25 minutes till browned and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside)

Remove and brush with melted butter if you like (they will loose a bit of the outside crispness if you do)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Peach and Blueberry Galette

The family went Peach picking last Sunday and I bought too many peaches, 39 to be exact.

They are ripening quickly, so I decided to make a Galette, they are so easy and soo good. A dollop of whipping cream or ice cream and you are set, plus it is pretty enough for company!

1 refrigerated pie dough
4-5 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup blueberries washed
2 tbl white sugar
2 tbl butter
Turbinado Sugar (or Sugar in the Raw)

Place your dough on a non stick pan or silpat

Pile the fruit in the middle of the dough, leaving a 2 inch border

Sprinkle with the regular sugar

Put dots of butter all over the fruit
Fold the pie dough around the edge they will naturally fold into each other

Brush the edges (that are folded) with water and sprinkle on the Turbinado Sugar

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes, let cool
Serve with Ice Cream or Whipping Cream if desired

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Molasses Cookies

I have never made Molasses cookies before, but my husband hounded me until I broke down and made them. He does not like sweets much, but he loved these cookies, they aren't overly sweet are nice and chewy, and a bit spicy.

I found the recipe on the Joy of Baking Website, they have some great recipes! Check it out!

One other thing I had to share that I am very excited about, I was contacted by the Saturday Evening Post asking permission to use one of our Photo's in their Bi-Monthly Magazine, I am so exited!

On to the recipe! This one is a keeper.

2 cups AP flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter at room temperature
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 tbl Vegetable or Canola Oil
1/3 cup Unsulphured Molasses (spray your measuring cup with pan spray and it will come out cleanly)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla
Granulated sugar for garnish

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices, set aside

In the bowl of your electric mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes)

Add the oil, molasses, egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated, add the flour mixture and continue to beat until well mixed

Cover and chill until firm about 2 hours or even overnight

Place about 1 cup of granulated sugar in a bowl and roll the dough into 1 inch balls (I use a one inch scooper) and roll them around in the sugar (coat well)

Place on your Silpat/baking sheet or baking sheet sprayed with pan spray, you should be able to fit 12 of them on a large size baking sheet (using the flat bottom of a glass flatten each cookie slightly)

Bake for 9 minutes only, they should be a bit underdone, they will firm up as they sit

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spicy Canteloupe Popsicles

I had some ripe canteloupe and no idea what to do with it. I decided to make popsicles, it sounded very refreshing. I love my canteloupe with a sprinkle of Chile Con Limon, so I decided to add it to my popsicles.

It is a refreshing taste with a little spicy zing on the back end, I loved them and will be making them again.

1 very ripe canteloupe skinned and seeds removed, cut into chunks
1/8 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp Chli Con Limon

Place into a blender and blend until thouroughly liquified, pour into molds and freeze

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Vaca Frita - Flank Steak with Orange and Lime Juice

On one of his many trips, my husband had this dish, he loved it so much he wanted to come home and re-create it. I have to say it was yummy!

It is a Cuban dish and is referred to as Fried Beef as it is Boiled, Sauteed, Shredded and put under the broiler. It is a bit of work, but let me tell ya, it is so worth it! We have made it many times.

1.5 lbs. Flank Steak, cubed
3.5 cups of water
1 tbsp. salt
1 bay leaf
2 medium-sized yellow onions, one halved, one chopped
1 tbsp. olive oi
juice of 1 large orange
juice of 1 large lime (or 2 small limes)
salt to taste

Place the steak, water, 2 onion halves, bay leaf and salt in a medium-sized pot and set over medium-high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium.

Simmer the steak for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until tender. (I like to do this in the morning or on the weekend and finish up at dinnertime.)

Remove the steak with a slotted spoon and let cool to room temperature. (Run the remaining liquid through a fine mesh sieve and use as a base for soups, or freeze.)

Use 2 forks or your hands to pull the steak apart until it resembles pulled pork.

Mix the orange and lime juice together in a small bowl or measuring cup.

Preheat your oven’s broiler.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and saute until soft and beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the shredded steak and half of orange/lime juice.

Saute for 2 – 3 minutes, then taste and add more orange/lime juice and salt to taste. I usually end up using all or most of the juice. This depends on the size of your citrus and how juicy it is.

Spread the contents of the skillet onto a cookie sheet and place under the broiler until the beef and onions crisp and brown, about 10 minutes. Remove and serve with white rice and black beans (small and soupy kind)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cole Slaw

I was at Costco last weekend and noticed they had Cole Slaw makings in their refrigerated section, it had a bunch of cabbage, some walnuts and Craisins. It was all pre-packaged and included the dressing, all you had to do was mix it together.

How fun is that? NOT! I thought it would be an interesting slaw, but I was not ABOUT to pay 8 bucks for it.

I stopped by the store and found a bagged mix of two different kinds of cabbage plus carrots. I had Craisins and Walnuts at home. I made it for about a buck!

I used my locally famous Cole Slaw dressing and it rocked my world. It is best eaten the same day, as the nuts become soft after a day or two.

1 package of green cabbage (or cut your own)
1 package of purple cabbage (or cut your own)
1 bag of shredded carrots
1/2 cup of Craisins
1/2 cup of Walnuts

The Dressing:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tbl white vinegar
21/2 tbl lemon juice

Mix the dressing together, incorporating all ingredients

Add the vegetables and Craisins, and let sit several hours to overnight

Add the nuts on top before serving

How to spatchcock a chicken or turkey!

Finishing some of Cheryl's drafts... Keeping spatchcocking simple. Using a VERY sharp cleaver or kitchen shears -- not scissors, carefu...