Friday, October 25, 2013

sweet(ish) and sour meatballs

Well, folks, this is from the Ancient Saved Posts archive from when we lived in Seattle.

Meatballs. No measurements.

Just ingredients: ground beef, garlic, ginger, mirin, soy sauce, apple-cider vinegar, cranberry catsup, cornstarch, apple-grape juice.

I remember they were yummy, not too sweet, and just the right hint of sour. I'm sure I just mashed the ground beef, garlic, and ginger with my hands, formed it into meatballs, and baked till done.

Then I made a sauce with the rest of the ingredients, heated it on the stove, poured it over, and sprinkled on some chopped green onions like confetti.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

eggplant fritters

eggplant fritters resting on a soft cuddly bed of greens and with companions of roasted chicken and green onions, covered with a blanket of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (all very cozy)

This recipe (from Martha Stewart) takes a bit of preplanning and some initial steps, but it's easy to space it out a bit during the day when you have a minute or two in between other activities. And my family declares it's entirely worth the few extra minutes of effort.

One of my beans had fallen in love with an eggplant at the market and begged me to buy it. I remember asking my mom for kiwi at Publix and she always obliged, so how can I say no to fresh produce?

Well, it languished a bit in the fridge drawer and I decided to do something about it--Googling eggplant fritters was like mining for gold and hitting a vein!

Of course I changed the glutenized breadcrumbs for something a little more us, and left out the dairy, so here's the finished product (my changes included).

You'll need:
  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine), about 2.5 pounds
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T. chopped parsley
  • 3 large eggs, beaten (you need all three because of the coconut flour)
  • 1/4 C. coconut flour
  • 1/4 t. ground cumin
  • 1/4 t. ground coriander
  • a few shakes of Chinese spicy mustard powder (or British mustard)
  • 3/4 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • greens 
  • balsamic vinegar for topping
Do this:

Preheat your gihugic 1950s oven to 425 F/220 C and wipe your brow. Whack that big eggplant in half (lengthwise), plop it into a glass Pyrex dish, brush with olive oil, and roast till soft (mine took about 45 minutes, but check yours after 35). Let cool and then scoop that lovely soft flesh out of the royal purple skins (compost those skins), and place the flesh into a colander to drain. When it's dry enough, grab a big mixing bowl and stir up the eggplant, eggs, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, mustard powder, salt, and pepper, then sift the coconut flour over and stir that in as well.

Form into patties and fry in the coconut oil till crispy and wonderful. Drain on paper towels. Ms. Martha suggests grabbing some greens and making a dressing of equal parts olive oil and balsamic, dressing those naked greens, and then placing the fritters on top. We like a little extra protein with ours (see above photo), and have had them with fish or chicken.

I just can't make enough of this to keep my three boy-beans happy and I usually at least double the recipe.

I'd love to hear if you make these and how you like them--maybe we could have a contest to see whose disappear first. I'm bettin' on the beans.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

guava bbq sauce

So wonderful. So easy. So versatile. So more-ish!

We've had this guava BBQ sauce on roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, and over homemade meatballs and saffron rice. And all within one week.

Comes by way of AllRecipes and you can find the original recipe here.

OK, here's how I did it...

You'll need:
  • a smidge of water
  • about 1.5 cups rozen guava pulp (no sugar added)
  • squirt of honey
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • a splash of white wine (I didn't have any rum)
  • bit of ketchup (no tomato paste in the house)
  • splosh of bottled lemon juice (ditto for fresh lemons)
  • onion powder
  • ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and pepper
Do this:

Splash it all together and simmer in a pan till it reaches your desired consistency.

That's all, folks.

P.S. As you can see, I deviated quite a bit from the original ingredients listed. Ah well, such is life.

And life is YUMMY. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

chili sauce subsitute

Good morning, Mamatouille readers! Long time no post and I've really missed it, actually. We moved from Seattle to Orlando on February 1, then were in the UK for ten weeks, and the past two weeks have been really hectic and bittersweet for our family. My grandfather has gone on to Heaven and my uncle's had a motorcycle accident--we're praying for him to be completely healed from all his injuries.

I'm making a meal for some friends who had a baby just before we left for our UK adventure, and as I realized I didn't have any chili sauce to make BBQ pulled pork in the slow cooker, I searched for some substitutes.

Here's a good one from AllRecipes:

1 c. tomato sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. vinegar
1/4 t. allspice

Well, I don't have any tomato sauce, either! One source says to use 1 part tomato paste to 1 part water, so I'll try that.

And yep, I don't have any allspice, but found out that it's a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

So three substitutions in one for you today.

Stay tuned for a yummy BBQ sauce recipe that I made to go over meatballs and saffron rice the other day.

Monday, April 8, 2013

better-meat stew

Our friends at Better Meat in Seattle were so good to us! This post is an ode to them, their knowledge of meat, their fun spirits, and their willingness to take crazy photos with us before we moved to Florida two months ago.

Just a few blocks from our house, it was an easy walk or scooter ride there, and a heavy backpacked mama walked home a little slower than she did on the way to the butcher's.

Using their grass-fed stewing beef, I came up with this yummerly dinner one night. It'll warm your wintry Seattle bones.

You'll need:
  • about 8 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 lb. baby carrots
  • 2 15-oz. cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, sliced into wedges
  • 3 cubes beef bouillon (no MSG!)
  • 1 lb. grass-fed stewing beef
  • dried Greek oregano (from the back garden)
  • dried thyme
  • basil paste
  • bay leaf, torn in half
  • 2-3 T. Marmite, stirred into 1 c. warm water
Do this:

Toss it all in your slow cooker and savor the smell as you go in and out of the house all day.
"Mmmmmmm, it has such a rich flavor!" declared Matthew after his first bite.

We miss you, Better Meat blokes (and Sarah, too!)...

shiso-cabbage-apple coleslaw

Remember I discovered fresh shiso at my local Asian market a week or so ago? I used it in a made-up-on-the-spot shiso-kimchi shrimp cocktail sauce, and it was luscious: shiso leaves, kimchi, mayo, green onion, and fresh lemon juice.

I also found this lovely apple-shiso coleslaw recipe on Food52.

Only a few wee changes.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 cabbage (I had regular green on hand), chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped shiso leaves (I had red here)
  • 1 large apple, julienned and unpeeled (used organic Gala)
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. mayo (didn't have so used 1 T. cream and 1 T. key lime juice)
Do this:

Mix it all in a big bowl, fridge it, and serve it with mashed sweet taters and baked salmon.

It's a lovely blend of tart, creamy, crunchy, cold, sweet, and herbal.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

shiso-kimchi shrimp cocktail sauce

My husband recently met Taro Arai, owner and chief dreaming officer of Mikuni restaurants, at a conference and came home with a signed copy of his book for moi! Abundance: Finding the American Dream in a Japanese Kitchen is full of inspiring and encouraging stories of Taro's family's emigration to America and their struggles in the first years of the restaurant, plus their faith in God that kept them going.

Not only is it a joyful account of one family's miraculous story, but the food photos make me drool! And one item near the beginning of the book stuck with me: Shiso, a common herb used in Japanese cooking, is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.

I decided to use more of it as soon as possible, and I found some fresh shiso at a local Asian market (I asked, and they do grow the shiso here locally in Florida).

I found a recipe online for cabbage/shiso/apple coleslaw (to come in a later post) that was really fragrant and fresh tasting, and then I also decided to go crazy and make up my own shiso recipe the other evening when I had fresh shrimp to boil.

You'll need:
  • fresh shrimp for boiling (I used 1.5 pounds for 4 people, and we had leftovers)
  • ice, for cooling the shrimp down after boiling and decanting
  • 2 lemons, one sliced in wedges and the other juiced (I used about 1.5-2 tablespoons of the juice)
  • 1/4 cup finely minced kimchi
  • 3 large red shiso (akajiso) leaves, minced finely
  • 2 green onions, green and white parts sliced thinly (save a few of the green bit for garnish)
  • 1/2 c. mayo
Do this:

Boil your shrimp till they make a "C" shape and are pink, decant, rinse, and pile on the ice to chill those puppies down.

In a small bowl, mix the mayo, finely minced kimchi, lemon juice, chopped green onions, and finely minced shiso leaves. Taste and see if you need a bit of salt and pepper.

That's it! Peel and devein your shrimp and then dip to your heart's content. I found that kimchi and shiso go really well together, and the bit of lemon juice for extra tartness plus the mayo for creaminess just tied it all together. (I'm a kimchi nut anyway and I'm always looking for new ways to use it.)

Don't be a wimpy-shrimpy about this--dig in!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

honeyed black-vinegar salmon

No photo. In the middle of packing and cleaning. Moving from Seattle to Orlando tomorrow.

But I had to share: I made the easiest and most delicious baked salmon the other evening.

You'll need:
  • salmon
  • Chinese black vinegar
  • honey
  • rice bran oil
Do this:

Plop the fish in a glass baking dish. Drizzle over the oil, vinegar, and honey, then bake a few minutes till flaky.

That's it. Dig in and hear your Beans rave. Not to mention your own happy tummy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

chinese mustard powder: my secret weapon

Do you have an international market nearby? If so, get thyself there this instant and buy yourself some of this heavenly blast-your-nose spicy mustard powder. (Hubby declares it's similar to British-style mustard.)

I use it in so many instances:
  • salmon burgers
  • chorizo meatballs
  • mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower
  • and my own homemade BBQ sauce for pulled pork with lettuce wraps: ketchup, this amazing mustard powder, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, minced pickled heirloom Beaver Dam peppers, garlic powder

I can imagine it'd also be great in salad dressing...excuse me while I go do some more mustard dreaming...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

wasabi-lime dressing

miso burgers, roasted kabocha, and avocado salad with wasabi-lime dressing

Let me tell you a little story...

Once upon a time, there was a lovely princess with lustrous brown wavy hair, wondrous dark chocolate-colored eyes, and a palate that was die-hard crazy about wasabi.

She and her prince lived in Japan for eight years, where this obsession was cultivated to within an inch of its life.

And then a big move...across the deep salty the West. A shop called Chocolati in the serfdom of Greenwood, Seattle, created an amazing, uber-wow truffle called Ichi. It had wasabi and ginger enrobed in a royal garment of dark chocolate, crowned with wee sesame seeds. The princess once again indulged in her pale-green infatuation.

Fortunately a local international shop sold wasabi paste in a tubular device, which the princess ordered her butler to purchase and her live-in cook to use in an astringent, perky salad dressing. It was dubbed Wasabi-Lime Dressing, and a British serf named Nigella apparently conjured it.

The live-in Seattle cook made a pronouncement and declared that this is what you need:
  • 3 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 c. peanut oil (this cook used rice-bran oil instead)
  • 1 T. wasabi paste
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt or 1/4 t. table salt 
Then she said you must do this:

Shake in a jar or stir briskly with a whiskly.

It was best served on a salad with creamy avocados, and a side of miso burgers and roasted kabocha.

The princess lived happily ever after, her Bean-Offspring and Bean-Prince at her side, and a goblet of the Dressing in the cellar to use whenever her little heart desired.