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

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

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

 

Jalapeno Popper Wontons

JalapenopopperOh these are so good.

Wonderful appetizers.

Think football games and grazing meals.

These can be cooked, then frozen, then reheated easily.

Make a bunch.

Make ‘em often.

Get to it.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, brought to room temperature.
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed (or any other chile you wish)
  • 1 green onion, finely minced.
  • 1/2 c good quality Parmesan cheese
  • 18 or so wonton wrappers

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and whirr up until smooth
  2. Place a teaspoon full into each wrapper and seal edges with water. Make sure the seal is secure.
  3. Drop 4 or so at a time into vegetable oil heated to 350°.
  4. Cook until they rise and are lightly browned.
  5. Lay on a cooling rack lined with paper toweling to absorb excess oil.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You can bake these or alternatively cook in a skillet with just enough oil to keep them from burning on the bottom, turn once if doing either of these. I would bake at 400° for about 20 minutes, or 10 minutes per side. Watch carefully so as not to burn.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Taquitos Supreme

toquitosOh Taquitos. Tired of the usual wings and nachos? Well, this is a great finger food or main dish depending on how you structure it. But it is perfect for grazing during football season.

You can make these so many ways that I’ll just give you the basics. They all work.

So avoid those frozen things and make your own. It takes little time, and the taste will convince you that they should be a staple in your snack or dinner repertoire.

INGREDIENTS:

  • A couple of dozen corn tortillas, 6″ ones are best.
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Hatch or Anaheim or Poblano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or Serrano minced
  • 1 tbsp chile powder (heat up to you)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano (Mexican if you can get it)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 -2 c shredded cheese of your choice, Cotija, Monterey Jack, Cheddar or a mix)
  • oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Saute the ground beef in a saute pan with the onions, roasted and other chiles, and seasonings, until meat is done.
  2. Stack the tortillas and cover with a damp cloth and place in microwave for 30 seconds to warm up and make pliable.
  3. Heat oil (1 cup or more) in a separate skillet to 350°.
  4. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture across the tortilla, a bit off center, add a bit of cheese and roll as tightly as you can, securing with a toothpick.
  5. Place in the heated oil for about 3 minutes a side until crispy.
  6. Drain on rack lined with paper toweling.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can do just about anything with these. Substitute shredded cooked chicken or pork, or shredded beef as the meat, or use shrimp or fish. Make vegetarian ones made with beans.  Use any cheese you prefer. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, or my Chile Tomato sauce (last post before this one) for dipping. Serve as finger food or by a plate with 3-4 taquitos apiece napped with sauce and additional cheese with sides of rice and beans.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Cream Cheese Wontons

wontons-036Oh I love appetizers.

This goes perfectly with a good Asian entrée along with a egg roll.

Makes a perfect complete plate.

And they are easy.

And they freeze perfectly so you can make a batch and have them for future Asian meals.

What more can you ask for?

Oh, yeah, someone to do the prep for ya.

Well, I can’t help with that, but do indulge in these lovely tidbits.

INGREDIENTS:

 

  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 2 whole Green Onions, Light Green And Dark Green Parts, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Or Other Hot Sauce (more To Taste)
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 24 whole Wonton Wrappers
  • Vegetable Oil, For Frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place cream cheese (softened) in food processor or mixer along with onions, and hot sauce and whir until all is well mixed.
  2. Mix the egg and water together until frothy in a bowl.
  3. Take a wonton wrapper and place about 1 tsp of the cheese filling in the lower corner and roll until it is covered. Then wash the outer triangle of wonton with egg wash. Bring the two sides together and press down, then flip up the tip. I make mine to look like little rectangular pillows so the tips don’t get over done. The point is to zip them up tight enough that the filling doesn’t come out during the frying.
  4. Place in oil which has been heated to about 350°. Depending on how large or small your frying vessel is, you can put 4 or so at a time.
  5. Remove when they have risen and are just golden. Place on a rack lined with paper towelling to cool.
  6. Makes at least 2 dozen.
  7. Freeze leftovers in a plastic bag and reheat in a 400° oven for about 15 minutes.
  8. Serve with a soy/honey sauce if desired.

SERVES: 12

NOTES: You can of course add anything else to the cheese mixture that strikes your fancy. Perhaps a tbsp of soy might be good.

SOURCE: Pioneer Woman

 

Serious Buffalo Wings

Spicy-Chicken-WingsI know. Everybody knows how to make buffalo wings.

Except that most people don’t.

And I tried a whole lot of recipes that claimed to be “the recipe” and most of them tasted like. . .well it’s better we don’t spoil your appetite with how they usually came out.

Definitely not the way they are supposed to.

Because they way they are supposed to take time, and it take work. And everybody is looking for a shortcut. Except that sometimes shortcuts just spoil the whole thing.

So screw up your courage, drag out the oil, and you will be rewarded with that succulent, tangy, perfect buffalo wing you dream of on lazy football Sundays, or any day you just have to have some.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 quarts peanut or canola oil
  • 4 pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Celery sticks

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Stovetop method: Place oil and chicken wings in a large wok or Dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it registers 225 to 250°F on an instant-read or deep-fry thermometer (chicken should be gently bubbling). Continue to cook, stirring and flipping chicken occasionally while adjusting heat to maintain a temperature of 225 to 250°F until chicken is cooked through and skin is tender but not crisp or browned, about 20 minutes total. Transfer chicken with a wire mesh spider to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Allow chicken to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or cover and rest in the fridge for up to three nights. Proceed with Step 3.

  2. Oven Method: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 225°F. Place oil and chicken wings in a large oven-safe Dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it registers 200°F on an instant-read or deep-fry thermometer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until chicken wings are tender but not browned, 40 minutes to 1 hour (chicken should be tender but not falling apart). Remove pot from oven. Transfer chicken with a wire mesh spider to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Allow chicken to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or cover and rest in the fridge for up to three nights. Proceed with Step 3.

  3. When ready to serve, combine butter and Frank’s in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is completely melted. Transfer to a large bowl. Heat oil to 400°F. Carefully add one-third of chicken and cook, stirring and flipping chicken occasionally while adjusting heat to maintain a temperature of 375 to 400°F until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to bowl with sauce, toss to coat, and serve with blue cheese and celery. Repeat with remaining batches, serving one batch at a time.

    SERVES: Seriously? You are really asking that? Oh lets say 4-6, depending on how selfish you are.

    NOTES: You can make this easier in one way. First I use the stove top method. I don’t like the idea of that much oil in my oven period. And I used a large 4qt.  pan and probably cut the oil usage down to about 1 quart, rather than using my big old cast iron dutch oven. If you do a smaller batch of wings, like 2 lbs, you can probably get by with one batch. Do keep that temp down on the first fry.  And I did use the same oil for the second fry. I actually did the first fry on one day, and the second the next. I refrigerated between and brought them to room temperature before the second fry.  You can also use any hot sauce you like, but Frank’s is the standard. Down here where I live, we have some livelier and thicker hot sauces and I used one of those. On the second fry, do do in batches. I did three for about 2 lbs of wings.

    SOURCE: Serious Eats