Of all the things I made for my first blog-iversary party, I think these meatballs were the biggest hit. My friends were asking me if the recipe is up on the blog. Now it is!
I was really excited that my daughter tried them … she said they were good, but a little too spicy for her taste. (My girl does NOT like spicy food at all.) She was wishing her friend who loves Asian food had been able to make it to the party because she thought she would have LOVED them.
These little meatballs really aren’t very spicy, in my opinion, but if you or your party guests are sensitive to “heat”, you could use less of the hot chili sauce and more hoison in the meatball sauce. I was worried the meatballs wouldn’t be salty enough because there is no salt in the balls, but slow-cooking them in the sauce made them just perfect. I have to thank SouthernCookingLight for the awesome recipe. I had intended to make feta-stuffed greek meatballs (which would have been awesome too), but when I saw these beauties with all that yummy ginger in there, I just HAD to make them.
Asian Ginger Party Meatballs
Adapted from SouthernCookingLight
For the meatballs:
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 1 – 8 oz. can of water chestnuts, drained
- 1 lb. lean ground beef or venison (I used venison)
- 1 lb. lean ground pork
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 cup finely shredded carrots
Preheat oven to 400° F. In a handi chopper or food processor, process the garlic, water chestnuts and onion into fine bits. Mix with the remaining ingredients till well blended. Form 1” balls and place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for about 15-20 minutes, until done.
For the sauce:
- 2/3 cup hoisin sauce (you can use bottled hoisin or make your own … recipe below)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tblsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. fresh ground ginger
- 1/3 cup Thai Chili Sauce
Combine ingredients for sauce and pour over the meatballs in a crock pot, then cook at low heat for 6 hours. (Or you could heat up the sauce and meatballs in a saucepan on medium heat till heated, about 20 minutes.)
Recipe from CDKitchen
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut butter or black bean paste
1 tablespoon honey or molasses or brown sugar
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
20 drops chinese hot sauce, habenero or jalepeno
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl till well blended. At first it might not seem like the peanut butter is going to mix with the rest of the liquids, but keep whisking, it will.
That’s it! Store in a covered container in the fridge. It keeps pretty much indefinitely and is a great sauce to have on hand.
Sometimes you make a wish and send it out into the world and just trust that the world will take care of it.
I try to be very careful with my wishes, because I have seen wishes gone awry. I have wished for things in my past that have come true, but not in the way I expected them to. I guess in the end, it all turned out right, so the wishes were good even if the (temporary) implications seemed bad.
This time my wish was simply this: to find someone that would love me for who I am. I never was the person my ex wanted me to be, and I apparently wasn’t the woman that the guys I’ve dated since wanted me to be. But I know I am a good person, I have a big heart, a lot of love, and I think I just need to find the right person who will love me for who I am. I know I am not at all your typical woman … I am very independent, strong, and intelligent, and a lot of men are scared away by that. And I will not ever even consider dating someone if I don’t feel a strong connection between us. There seem to be a lot of those very superficial guys … and very few connections.
Anyway, about a month ago, I sent out my wish, with a lot of love and acceptance for who I am and a sense of trust that it would be okay whether or not I find someone. I am okay just being me.
A few days later, a friend of mine contacted me … things have changed in his life and it made me step back and look at each time we have met in a different light. It’s very strange … this is not what I expected and yet, it seems right. I’m waiting to find out what happens. When one of my wishes is granted, there always seems to be a twist to the wish, something I didn’t expect. But I am just letting go and trusting that things will work out for the best …
Cinnamon Kissed Green Chile Pork Stew
- 3/4 lb. pork cutlet, chopped into small hunks (You can also use ground beef, ground venison, or even chicken or leftover turkey. The pork is really lovely in it, though.)
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups chicken broth (add enough to make it as soupy as you want it)
- 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 small turnip, peeled and chopped (optional)
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Hatch Green chile, roasted, peeled, and chopped, with juices (I used a 13-oz. frozen container of real Hatch Chile from NM. It’s not an easy thing to obtain where I live … if you don’t have any authentic Hatch Green Chile, you can use canned, and add jalapeno or other hot pepper to give it some heat as desired.)
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Throw everything into a crockpot, set it on low and let it cook all day. Top with grated sharp cheddar cheese at serving, if desired.
This stew is the perfect thing to eat when you are cold or when you have a cold. It will warm you up, clean out your sinuses and make your body feel good all over. There is nothing like some good hot chile to chase the germs away.
Oh, and it is the absolute perfect thing to use over breakfast burritos. Ideally you should make the burritos in a park nearby the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque at 5 a.m. just before the fiesta begins, with coffee and bailey’s and champagne. Then put away all the cooking and drinks and walk over and amongst the beautiful colors of the balloons. Sometime in your life you should do this.
The breakfast burritos will be another post … soon!
I am travelling this week, so I asked my foodie friends if they would help me out, and I was just amazed, within minutes, three of my sweet friends had volunteered to help me out. Jennifer from Kitchen Psycho was the first to send me a post.
I really really love what she says in her “about” section on her facebook page and I think this says a lot about her:
“Food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be.”
– Molly Wizenberg
I think that right there says so much about the kind of person Jennifer is. She pours a lot of herself into her recipes and she has a great sense of humor, which I think you will see in this post … thank you again, Jennifer!
“Aaaack!” Eloise exclaimed in horror. “The party is THIS weekend, and I have no idea what to bring. I don’t want to take the same, old, boring dip!”
[Enter the hero.]
“Never fear! Kitchen Psycho is here! I have something that’s just right for this time of year, and your friends and family will LOVE it!”
[Kitchen Psycho and Eloise embrace]
“Oh, thank you! What would I do without you?” Eloise wonders.
“I’ve been wondering the same thing!” Kitchen Psycho quips.
[They both chuckle.]
[End of scene.]
If only it were as easy as the commercials! In my opinion, there are two types of people in the world: the kind that do things the easy way, and the kind that do it the right way. Sometimes, the two are the same. But when it comes to food, that equality is not common. Often, the easy stuff is full of preservatives, hormones, fake sugars, BLECH! How often do people fix cheese dip out of Velveeta? I rest my case. That stuff isn’t even real cheese! Food should be made with with real ingredients and from scratch! But I digress…
This week, I have dedicated one of my posts as a DOUBLE post, meaning, it can be seen on TWO blogs. Sumptuous Spoonfuls has been so kind as to grant us a small stint on their blog, and we will also post as usual on our blog at www.kitchenpsycho.com!
Over at http://www.KitchenPsycho.com, Karly and Jenny have a Secret Ingredient Cook-Off every week! For 26 whole weeks, we have used one common ingredient to make two Main Dishes, two Sides or Appetizers, and two Desserts. This week is Cinnamon Week over at Kitchen Psycho, and already, we’ve made a Moroccan Chicken Stew and Chai Banana Bread with Coffee Spice Icing. Sounds good, right?
Well, today we have an appetizer for you. It’s a super easy slow-cooker recipe, and it’s great for bringing to a get-together. I found this on http://www.allrecipes.com under the name “Cinnamon Pork”. The only improvement I would make is this: Add a few slices of bacon to the pot. Because everything is better with bacon, right?
The slider idea is purely my creation. You can choose to make a Main Dish out of this by slicing the pork tenderloin into medallions and serving with rice and a veggie, say, steamed broccoli.
(recipe from www.Allrecipes.com)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 (3/4 pound) pork tenderloins, cut in chunks
Add everything to slow cooker and cook on low 4-5 hours.
- small wheat dinner rolls
- slices of cinnamon pork
- goat cheese, softened
- dash of Chinese Five Spice
- slices of tomato and lettuce
Spread goat cheese onto sliced rolls. Sprinkle with Five Spice and layer slices of pork, tomato and lettuce.
Recipe and Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Raper, www.KitchenPsycho.com
It was such a lovely evening outside last night. It’s been SO hot and humid that even a little cool air felt so nice! I opened all the windows to let the summer breeze in, and was foraging around the kitchen looking for something for dinner.
This is what I found:
- Mixed greens & fresh spinach
- Leftover pork from that pork dish I made the other night
- Chopped vidalia onion (I always have onion!)
- Shards of romano
- Spicy east Indian snack mix (I think any spicy salty snack mix would go well, but the Indian spices were really nice with the salad)
- Chick peas
- Toasted almonds & pinons
- Fresh basil leaves
- Green chile ranch dressing
I asked my friend Chef Jeff what he would do with asparagus and this is what he said: “I know that we would take pork tenderloin and onion and aparagus and sautee, add whole grain mustard and hit it with a dark beer, one of my favorites.”
Hmm sounds like an interesting taste combination … but I don’t have much experience with cooking pork. I remember making a pork roast carnitas when I was a teenager that was so tender it would fall apart–it was excellent just like that but also sooo good in tacos and burritos! But since then my attempts at pork have been dry and dismal. I was more hopeful with this one … I can handle this, right? How can you go wrong with a good mustard and dark beer? (And hey, if it fails, at least I get to drink the beer, right?)
It took me a couple days to get to the store to buy some pork tenderloin and in the meantime, I had lots of questions running around in my head … how should I cut the pork? medallions or chunks? should I add garlic? seasonings? herbs? I have a hard time leaving those things out, so I figured it would be a good idea to include a couple large cloves of garlic, some fresh rosemary, thyme and just a bit of basil. And what to serve with it? Rice? Potatoes? Pasta? hmm …
As it turned out, I was starving for a really good lunch today and I don’t like to eat heavy at night, so I decided to whip this recipe up in the middle of my work day. I was really surprised how quickly it came together–I had the whole dish done in 30 minutes and was back to work. I chopped vegies like a mad woman, gathered my herbs and stoked up my frying pan. I needed something quick for a side, so I opted for something really quick and healthy that I had on-hand: whole wheat couscous.
The pork and herbs: I opted to just slice it horizontally.
Chopped asparagus, garlic, and onion–and yes, that’s the mustard I used. It was the closest thing to a spicy brown mustard that I had on hand.
- 3/4 lb. pork tenderloin, sliced
- A splash of extra virgin olive oil
- A good size handful of asparagus, chopped into about 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 onion, chopped (I used a vidalia because I have a bunch of them for my salads …)
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
- About 2 T. of spicy brown mustard (I used The Silver Palate’s Green Peppercorn with Garlic mustard)
- Roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of a 12-oz. good, dark beer. I used a Ranger IPA, but I think something darker like a porter or a stout might be even better.
- Fresh thyme leaves: I think I stripped about 4 – 5 little thyme branches for this dish.
- Fresh rosemary, chopped fine. I used one branch that was about 4 inches long.
- Just a few fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Fresh ground pepper
- Spray the pan with cooking spray, then heat to med-high.
- Once the pan is good and hot, add the olive oil and rotate the pan to spread it around a bit. Add the pork, onion, garlic, and asparagus. Sautee for several minutes until the pork is just cooked through and the asparagus is crisp tender. I lowered the heat to med-low part-way through and covered the pan to seal in the juices while I sliced up some tomato to put in the couscous. Then I turned the heat back up to finish it.
- Add the mustard to the pan and stir well to mix the mustard with the juices in the pan, then pour in the beer and stir till you have a bubbly sauce that is about the consistency that you want.
- Mix in the herbs. Add the pepper.
- Serve with your choice of side dish. I used couscous with tomato, pine nuts, and goat cheese, but I think it would be really lovely over mashed potatoes.