Chorizo-Pork Meatballs

Chorizo-Meatballs_s4x3I do love appetizers. In fact to me it’s a great way to enjoy a lazy Sunday, grazing while watching some football. Also works for Saturday too.

Anyway, I make regular meatballs for spaghetti and then there are Swedish ones for a hot dish which is nice, but then there are SPICY ones!

I worked this one up myself, mostly because it wasn’t too hard to figure out–just put in the usual stuff with some hot stuff and voilá it pretty much works.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb chorizo, casing removed
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/3 c finely minced onion
  • 1 large jalapeño finely minced
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal (use breadcrumbs as an alternative and then use about 1/4 c)
  • 1 tsp garlic granulated
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix it all together with your hands until well blended but do not over handle as the meat becomes tough.
  2. Using a melon scoop, place by scoops onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 400° for about 20 minutes.
  3. Please note that the grease in the chorizo will bleed out of the meatballs and will caramelize around so kind of break those bits off when you remove from the pan.

SERVES: About 30 meatballs

NOTES: You can serve this with any number of dips from a ranch, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, or pepper jack. Also BBQ sauce. Fairly infinitely versatile in that respect.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

A New Slant

good foodThis blog has always been about recipes. I am not interested in writing a cookbook, getting a lot of free crap in return for featuring some company’s products, or even getting a lot of feedback.

It’s been just a convenient way to organize my own recipes where I could find them fast and in a manner that took little time to set up. It’s been very successful for that. I no longer have folders of copied and cut out recipes. They don’t go here unless I’ve made it and like it. My Ziplist recipe box works fine for collecting recipes I may try and I can cull it easily.

So this is the first actual post absent a recipe I’ve ever done, and I’m doing it for only one reason–you. I know what I’m doing, but you don’t and over the few years some of you have followed this blog you’ve come to expect a certain recipe type.

This is not to suggest that things are changing wildly for they are not. I am faced with a couple of small challenges and that necessitates some minor changes. First I have a very mild case of Type II Diabetes which resulted in my doctor advising me to eliminate “visible” sugar from my diet. That really impacts the desserts I usually have made. The other is that I also need to lose weight and that too benefits from lower sugar and lower flour consumption. Other than desserts, breads also are affected.

At the same time, I’ve learned that things like Splenda® suffer from being awful to digest, leading to diarrhea, and that they also are implicated now in rising glycemic levels that make them unuseful to me as a substitute. So I’m exploring more natural sugar substitutes and how to cook with them instead. This is not easy for they often have odd properties beyond sweetness such as drying tendencies. So you sometimes have to adjust liquids as well.

You can’t just make whole wheat bread, and frankly most whole wheat is only marginally better than regular white flour. So I’m experimenting with oat, soy, flax seed meal, coconut and so forth to find something acceptable for toast. Like I said, I don’t have to give up all bread, and so sandwiches and certain things will remain the same, just not as often.

The point is, I’m trying to cut down on sugar and white flour and other wheat products. Oddly pasta is not so bad as long as eaten in moderation.

So you will see some recipes featured in the coming weeks and months that look a bit strange. If you aren’t into this sort of cooking, be advised that there will still be plenty of “standard” recipes involving meats and casseroles, appetizers and so forth. And there will still be occasional desserts that are not low in sugar or flour. But recipes that are designated as “diabetic friendly” or “low glycemic” will also be offered when I find a recipe that really measures up in taste. There is no point in making or eating stuff that is awful tasting unless you have no choice. I do, so I won’t eat it if it’s not reasonably satisfying as the thing it’s attempting to replace.

So that’s what you can expect.

I will denote in the title for such recipes with an * to indicate that it is diabetic friendly–meaning it is low on the glycemic scale and low in sugar. There will be an index added where all these will be listed as a group, and also within their categories with the * again so you can find them if you are looking for them specifically. I’ll explain these recipes a little more fully where needed so you can substitute other choices or at least understand why certain things are together.

I continue to believe that eating real food is better than boxed or processed. I’m just taking the processed to another level I guess. Hope you enjoy the coming months as I explore good food that i better for me.

Heavenly Holy Hummus

Easy-and-Smooth-Hummus-Recipe-1Okay, hummus is fairly simple and I’ve a couple of recipes that change it up a bit already posted.

Nothing much new to add, but a new technique I learned makes it even better than normal.

A friend mentioned that she liked hers very creamy and I realized that one of the only things I disliked about my hummus was that it was sort of grainy, not like I get in the restaurant.

So this recipe came along and boy did it work. So don’t pay any more attention to the recipe than you care to, but do pay attention to the technique.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 c water
  • 1/3 c tahini
  • 1/4- 1/3 c lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 2 cloves garlic, microplaned
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp EVOO

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the beans in a small saucepan and add the water. Boil gently for as long as it takes to reduce the water by about half. Don’t be overly concerned here, you can always add more water to the puree at the end to get the consistency right. So err on less rather than too much.
  2. Place the beans and remaining water in a food processor and whirr for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the balance of ingredients through garlic  and whirr another 2 minutes.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drizzle the olive oil while whirring again just until incorporated
  6. Garnish with some paprika and a drizzle of olive oil.

SERVES: 1 1/2 cups

NOTES: you can embellish in any fashion you wish with roasted garlic, roasted chiles, or whatever you might fancy. The key is the boiling of the beans.

SOURCE: Technique from RealHousemoms

The Best Potato Latkes

latkes-01-rpLatkes seem so simple, grate some potatoes mix in some egg, fry. And yet, often they turn out limp, undercooked, and down-right blah.

Here’s a method more than recipe that I found quite good. It came from the TV show America’s Test Kitchen. It’s a bit more effort, but the results are worth it.

So do give it a try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-2 russet potatoes ( you do want starch), grated
  • 1/3 c of grated onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the first three items in a bowl and toss until mixed.
  2. Remove to a clean cotton towel and twist to squeeze out the liquid.
  3. DO NOT DISCARD–pour the starchy water into a measuring cup or other cup.
  4. Return the potato mixture to the bowl and cover with Saran wrap and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Cool by spreading on a baking sheet or simply gently tossing every few minutes until cool.
  6. Take the starchy water and carefully pour off all the water leaving only the white chalky starch at the bottom.
  7. Add your two eggs and whisk with the starch.
  8. Pour into your potatoes along with the parsley and pepper, and mix.
  9. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls into oil heated to 350° for 3 minutes or so and then turn for another three minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  10. Drain on paper toweling and then place on a cookie sheet in a warm oven to keep hot until ready to serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Traditionally served with sour cream and applesauce. You could use chopped green onion, other herbs if you desire.

SOURCE: America’s Test Kitchen

Real Iowa Tenderloins

IowatenMy husband specializes in what he calls “gruel”–usually concoctions that involved loose meat and cheese, but this is one of his stellar recipes and let me tell you, it’s one you will add to your repertoire once you’ve tried it.

It’s simple, yet sublime.

It’s the best of chicken sandwiches and then some.

It’s pure Iowa along with the Maid-rite sandwich.

So enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2 eggs
  • flour
  • salt and pepper
  • deep frying set up

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Set up your work station. Three bowls: one for dusting with flour, one for egg bath and one for more flour.
  2. Heat oil to about 350-375°.
  3. Slice the tenderloin into about 1 – 1 1/2 inch slices. Pound until quite thin, but not paper thin. (Best to do this between a layer of Saran wrap.
  4. Salt and pepper each slice.
  5. Dredge in flour, then shake excess off. Then drop in the egg until coated, and then in the last flour making sure both sides are covered.
  6. Drop carefully into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
  7. Drain on a cooling rack with paper towel underneath.
  8. Serve with buns, lettuce, tomato, onion slices, pickles and ketchup and mustard as you desire.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Nothing fancy here, just use the condiments you normally would use on a burger. You could be creative using sliced jalapeño, a slice of cheese, cooked mushrooms and so forth.

SOURCE: Parker Peyton

Roasted Tomato Gazpacho

RTGaspzcho (2)Gazpacho.

Oh I just love the sound of the word don’t you?

Nothing says lazy late summer than Gazpacho.

It is the queen of tomato soups, the elegant mistress of gorgeous globes of grand fragrance and taste.

Oh, stop me.

This is different than most, one that I created, and changed up to suit my own tastes.

You will notice a lack of cucumber, since I don’t like the taste of it in my soup for some reason. It always leaves me wishing I’d left it out, so I did.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lbs or so of ripe real tomatoes (the best you can get) halved and seeded.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, topped and in foil drizzled with EVOO.
  • 2 Hatch, Anaheim or Poblano chiles, sliced in half and laid cut side down
  • 1 small red sweet pepper, sliced into chunks
  • 1/2 medium onion sliced in chunks
  • 2 6-oz cans of tomato juice
  • 1 c beef stock
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp  sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 c EVOO
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • juice of one lime
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place all the veggies in a bag and pour some EVOO over and gently rotate until all are coated.
  2. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in a 425° pre-heated oven until all are charred a bit and soft. (you may have to remove some items before others)
  3. Cool the veggies and then place in a food processor or blender and whirr up until pureed. (you can pulse it if you wish to make it chunky or smooth as you choose.
  4. Pour into a bowl. Add the balance of ingredients.
  5. Adjust the tomato juice to get the consistency you desire. Check for salt and add as needed. Add as much pepper as you like. I like a great deal, up to a tablespoon is fine.
  6. Chill well or serve at room temperature

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can of course vary the heat, adding jalapeño or Serrano peppers in addition if you like. If you don’t want the Hatch type peppers, add more sweet peppers.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

  • Bang Bang Chicken Nuggets

    bangbangAs the football season approaches we love easy grazing meals where we can pick up a plate and fill it with finger foods munching on and off throughout the day.

    One of the best is of course some form of chicken nuggets, made from either breast meat or thigh.

    This one fits the bill with a great little sauce for dipping that really works nicely.

    I’ve significantly altered the cooking process, since I am not a big fan of big wet sloppy coatings that tend to fall off in one piece with the first bite.

    INGREDIENTS:

    FOR THE CHICKEN:

    • 1 pound or more of chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1 c flour
    • 1/2 c cornstarch
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 c buttermilk
    • 1-2 tbsp hot sauce (sriracha or your favorite)
    • vegetable oil of your choice for deep frying

    FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:

    • 1/3 c mayo
    • 1/8 c sweet Asian chile sauce
    • 3 tbsp sriacha sauce or other hot sauce

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Dry the chicken pieces.
    2. Whisk the flour and cornstarch together.
    3. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour
    4. Whisk the eggs and then add the buttermilk and hot sauce and stir until mixed.
    5. Dip the floured chicken pieces in the egg mixture and then dredge again in the flour
    6. Drop immediately into hot oil heated to about 350-375° until golden brown and done.
    7. Place on a rack to drain away any excess oil.
    8. Mix the ingredients for the dipping sauce.

    SERVES: 6

    NOTES: The original uses a wet batter that I find utterly messy and that forms a coat that once you bite into the chicken comes off in one mass of boring breaded yuck. I prefer the method above which makes for a lighter but still crunchy coating which sticks to the chicken better. I also heated up the sauce and reduced the excessive sweetness. You can of course alter this as you wish.

    SOURCE: Adapted from Damn Delicious