Monday, August 25, 2008

Asian Style Meatballs

When Alex and I were dating, I went to a restaurant we were thinking about as a caterer, for lunch with his mother in Stillwater. I ordered an asian salad that had a skewer of glazed pork meatballs on top. They were so delicious! The flavor was that of a potsticker, but better because of the glaze.

With a pound of ground chicken in the freezer I decided to try and recreate the flavor of that delicious meal. I mixed asian flavors into the meatballs and added a few plain breadcrumbs as a binder. The end product was really quite good. We had them over white rice with a little steamed broccoli on the side.

While I don't know if I would make them the same again, I am already thinking about how I could make them better!

Asian Style Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
2 scallions minced
1/4 C plain breadcrumbs
1/4 C hoisin sauce
3 T soy sauce
1 T minced ginger
1/2 crushed red pepper
Salt and Pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form into golf ball sized balls and place on broiler pan. Heat broiler to high and place broiler pan on rack, closer to the bottom. Let cook for 10 minutes, turn meatballs and cook for 5-10 minutes more. Remove from oven, brush with glaze.


In a small saucepan combine 3 T hoisin sauce, 2 T soy sauce, 1-2 T cornstarch, 2 T sugar, 1 t ginger, 1/2 C chicken broth, 2 T chile garlic sauce

Heat over low heat and reduce, adding as much cornstarch for a glaze texture. Using a pastry brush, brush meatballs with glaze. Use rest of glaze for pouring over rice.

Black Bean Quesadillas!

These are so delicious! A couple of months ago, I found a similar recipe in a Cooks Illustrated email. There was a demonstration video on making quesadillas, and because mine just never come out quite right, my eyes were glued to the computer screen.

One thing jumped out on me during preparation and that was how to make the tortillas crispy. I always thought you needed to use oil or butter and because of that, quesdadillas really never hit our table except for a quick lunch. What was the trick for crispy tortillas? Letting them sit on a hot skillet, unprepped, until air bubbles form, then flip. The result, so good quesdadillas!

And the best part, the combinations are now endless! We've made chicken, black bean, bacon and cheese...try them, you'll see how great they are!

Black Bean Quesdadillas

1 Can of Black Beans/diced chicken cooked/diced bacon cooked
2 C Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
1/2 red onion, minced
1/4 Bell Pepper, minced
1/4 C frozen corn
Salt and Pepper
1/4-1/2 t adobo chile powder (chile powder will also work or cumin)
4 Fajita size flour tortillas

Minced cilantro/sour cream/guacamole/salsa/etc. for the fixins

1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes
2. Add one tortilla, let sit on skillet until large air bubbles form, flip. When air bubbles form again, remove from skillet and repeat with remaining tortillas.
3. In skillet, spray with cooking spray or add a little oil. Add onions and bell pepper, season addording to your tastes, cook about 5 minutes or until soft and beginning to blacken. Remove from skillet.
4. Add corn to skillet, no oil, let blacken on skillet for about 5 minutes.
5. Add pepper/onion mixture to corn along with black beans, season with chile powder, cook until beans are warm, remove from skillet.
6. Place one tortilla in skillet, cover 1/2 with cheese, spoon bean mixture on cheese, top with more cheese, fold in half and cook for a couple of minutes on each side. Continue with rest.
At this point, you can place cooked quesadillas on a cookie sheet and place under broiler on low, to keep warm.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fried Cheese...Delish!

My husband and I are both from Wisconsin, and though we like cheese, that's not the reason for this connection. He is from Milwaukee and in Milwaukee is a restaurant known for thier BBQ, Saz's. Well, hubby and I love the restaurant for other reasons, for their Mozzarella Sticks. They are just like these, which I found on Our Sweet Life, mozzarella enrobed in wonton wrappers.

Quick, easy and so delicious. I even think you could bake them if you didn't want to fry them, I'd say 400* would work just great. Try them, you know you want to!

Fried Cheese

Wrap a string cheese in an egg roll wrapper

Lay one string cheese on one egg roll wrapper diagonally so the cheese starts at one corner and ends at the opposite. Roll up like a burrito and seal with water or egg.

Fry in a frying pan using oil (vegetable or olive oil heated to about 350) until golden.