Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meaty Balls

This week I suddenly had an epiphany...I have NEVER made meatballs!   Well, except for one time in college when I made my mom's Swedish meatballs because I was feeling homesick, but are Swedish meatballs real meatballs?  Maybe the idea to make these came to mind because it was just Thanksgiving and I have been missing my family once again.  I decided to try it this time with whatever I had on hand in my cupboard.  My mom always uses ground sirloin - but I only had ground turkey breast.  And as an ode to her Swedish meatballs, I kept the ketchup, but had to nix the jelly in order to produce a more Italian/Thanksgiving fusion-style version.  They turned out juicy and incredibly flavorful!  We ate them over pasta and will eat the leftovers tomorrow in sandwich form - looking forward to it already.

Turkey Meatballs:
Package of lean ground turkey breast
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons ketchup
salt and pepper

1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon brown sugar
salt and pepper

Mix all of the meatball ingredients with your hands.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray liberally with cooking spray.  Roll the meatballs into golfball sized portions and add to pan.  Saute about 3 minutes per side then add the sauce ingredients.  Simmer for about 10-15 more minutes over low heat.  Add more water or stock as needed and be sure to taste and adjust.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sweet n' Spicy Pecans

This is an easy snack that comes together in under ten minutes. Should be a perfect little munchie for tomorrow's pre-Thanksgiving festivities!

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayanne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups pecans

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the salt, sugar, and spices to the butter and mix with a whisk for 2 minutes until the air smells delicious.  Add in the pecans and stir for about 4 minutes until the mixture just starts to caramelize and the pecans soak up the mixture.  Pour into a glass dish and let cool.  These can be stored in a sealed container on your counter for a few days, or in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  But I assure you, they won't last that long.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Seafood Stew

I love seafood stews.  Every time I go to a restaurant that has one on the menu, I have to order it.  From the Italian cioppino to the French bouillabaisse to the Asian seafood noodle soups - I can never resist.  But this habit was beginning to make a dent in my wallet and I knew I could replicate the flavors at home.  This recipe is so simple and utterly delicious, you will feel like the fanciest cook around.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 onion
Mixed seafood (I used a mix I saw at the fish counter of my grocery store that included mussels, calamari, whitefish, shrimp, imitation crab meat and baby octopus.
1 can of Italian style diced tomatoes (with basil and oregano)
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet or pot.  Add garlic and onions and saute until translucent.  Add in seafood and cook for a bout five minutes.  Add in the remainder of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for about 15 minutes until slightly reduced.  Serve with crusty bread (my poor ass used hot dog buns in the photo above, but if you can afford a loaf of French bread, I recommend opting for that).