Meatless meatballs with pasta sauce

Both recipes adapted and modified to my taste preferences. Meatball recipe is from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/232908/chef-johns-meatless-meatballs/ Pasta sauce recipe is from http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12763-north-african-meatballs

Vegetarian Meatballs

  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 TBSPN’s parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 tspn salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tspn oregano
  • 1 tspn crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tspn cumin
  • 1 tspn paprika
  • 1 tspn chili powder

Method:

Cut up mushrooms into slices. Melt a tbspn of butter on a skillet and add a splash of olive oil. Add mushrooms and fry with salt and pepper until water is removed, and mushrooms appear to be turning a golden color. Add diced onion and fry until translucent. Add garlic and fry for a minute until fragrant. Add pepper, oregano, pepper flakes, cumin, paprika and chili powder and tamper until aromatic, but not burnt. Remove from heat. Reserve pan for pasta sauce.

Set up a food processor and add the fried mushrooms, as well as remainder of listed ingredients, process into fine doughy consistency. Shape into meatballs and put in the fridge for at least an hour, if not overnight.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, and bake meatballs for approx 15 minutes until golden brown.

IMG_20151207_134706

Pasta Sauce:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 TBSPN’s tomato paste
  • 1 TBSPN harissa paste
  • 1 small onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 kamato tomatoes
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tspn white sugar
  • 3 cups broth or water
  • cilantro/scallions for garnish (optional)

Add some olive oil to the same pan used above to make meatballs. This will allow the left over spices from the meatballs to infuse into the pasta sauce. Warm and add onion and cinnamon stick, fry until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the harissa paste and saffron and stir until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and corn and stir for about a minute to incorporate. Add the kamato tomatoes. Add the water and sugar. Heat on low until flavors are combined. Near the end of cooking time zest 1 lime into the pasta sauce, cut the lime into quarters and squeeze the juice into the sauce (I add the entire lime quarter into the sauce as well after squeezing out the juice). Add the meatballs and allow to warm.

Serve with couscous, quinoa or any other grain. I served mine with Israeli couscous cooked in butter with cilantro garnish, topped with pine nuts and parmesan cheese.

IMG_20151207_135703.jpg

Advertisements

Palak Paneer

This is what happens when you date a Sri Lankan, you start to research curry recipes with the intent of getting the compliment, “this is almost as good as my mothers.”

That’s right, all I had to do was add more salt, to get as close as I could get to mom’s curry recipe.

That sounds pretty good to me.

I use Arvinda’s spices and they are the best. She also has great recipes online for curries,

http://www.arvindas.com/recipes/

Also this blogger knows her curries,

http://www.indiansimmer.com/2010/07/palak-paneer-for-my-birthday.html

I used their recipes as my base, and changed them enough to make them work for me.

  • Bag of fresh spinach
  • Package of paneer cheese – cubed
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 lrg tomato -diced
  • 1/2 can tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 inch ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • hot chili pepper – 1 for mild heat, 2-3 for hotter curries
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder (I used Arvinda’s curry masala)
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • Coconut milk

DSC00998

DSC01001

DSC01002

DSC01003

Coconut milk – palak infusion!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the chili peppers in a bit of oil and roast until soft. Sautee the diced onions in a frying pan until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and fry until aromatic. Add the fennel seeds, coriander and curry powder and “tamper” until aromatic, but not burned. Dice the roasted chili’s into small pieces and add them to the hot frying pan with the spices and stir. Add the diced tomatoes and a little bit of water and stir until soft and broken down. I cover the frying pan with a lid to let them cook fully, but if you are doing this be sure you add enough water for the curry not to burn. Add the tomato paste and stir well until incorporated. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts and bit more water if the curry is dry, and let cook a bit on low heat to allow flavors to blend. Salt and pepper to taste.

Take off heat and cool.

Once the curry is cool enough transfer to blender and puree. Mix with water or vegetable broth to attain desired consistency.

Return curry back to frying pan and gently fold in the diced paneer cubes and coconut milk. Allow to cook on low heat for about 10 minutes for flavors to blend and develop.

DSC01004

Classic Potato Curry

Adapted from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/potato_and_pea_curry_19537

-7-8 lrg potato’s
-1 tspn turmeric

DSC00975

DSC00979

Stir frying potatoes with turmeric

Cook potato’s for 8-ish minutes in boiling water until soft but not mushy. Fry in oil with 1 tspn turmeric until crispy, or mushy crispy, either form will be tasty.

-3 curry leaves
-1/4 tspn asafoetida
-1 medium onion, finely chopped
-6 garlic cloves, crushed
-5 cm ginger, finely grated
-1 tspn chilli powder
-1 tspn cumin
-1 tspn ground coriander
-1/2 tspn turmeric
-1/2 tspn salt
-2-3 TBSPN tomato paste
-3 green chilli’s
-1 cup frozen peas
-tspn graham masala

DSC00973

Ingredients

DSC00977

Portion spices in advance for cooking ease

Add 1/2 TBSPN oil and 1 TBSPN butter/margarine to a frying pan. Allow to heat until  butter melts & oil sizzles, but avoid getting to a point where the butter is burnt & oil is smoking. Add asafoetida and curry leaves, and stir until fragrant. Add onion, and fry until translucent. Add ginger, garlic & and green chilli’s and fry until aromatic. Add tomato paste, and a little bit of water to make a thick paste. Cook until fragrant, and add potato’s and stir fry for several minutes. Continue to add water as needed when the mixture appears dry.  Add green peas, graham masala and a little bit of water, cover the pan with a lid, and stir to incorporate on medium heat. Check frequently to make sure mixture is not burning. Garnish with fresh coriander, scallions or lime wedges, serve hot.

DSC00980

Leftover curry we made grilled sandwiches with. All you need is a sandwich maker. Butter the outside of some wholewheat bread and pop into the sandwich maker with some curry filling… Delicious!

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

Definitely a winner of a template recipe found on,

http://www.food.com/recipe/yellow-curry-paste-135878

I omitted the shrimp paste to get a vegetarian version. The result was still delicious.

 

– 7 dried chilies

– 5 ounces shallots

– 1 TBSPN lemongrass

– 10 garlic cloves

– 1 inch piece of ginger

– 1/2 tspn pepper

– 1 tspn curry powder

– 1/2 tspn ground cumin

– 1 tspn ground coriander

– 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon

– 1/2 tspn ground turmeric

– salt to taste

 

Combine ingredients in a spice blender with a TBSPN oil and enough water to form a thick paste (I used 6-7 TBSPN’s). Use 2-3 TBSPN’s of curry paste per recipe.  Leftover paste can be frozen in pre-partitioned serving sizes.

 

In a large pan stir fry onions. Once translucent add 1/2 tspn mustard seeds. Allow 2-3 minutes to fry, continue stirring.

Add vegetables or meat if using. Cook until reaches desired consistency. Add the yellow curry paste, ~ 3 TBSPNS.

Temper the spices, stir until fragrant.

Add coconut milk, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for color and flavors to blend.

Serve with lime slices and fresh chopped coriander.

 

Coleslaw

– 1/2 head Cabbage

– 2 green apples

– 1/4 cup mayonnaise

– 1/4 cup sour cream

– 1 Tbspn whole grain mustard

– 1 Tbspn white sugar

– 1 Tbspn cider vinegar

– 1 Tbspn lemon juice

– 1 tspn salt

 

Chop apples and cabbage into thin match stick slices. Combine the sauce ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour sauce over cabbage and toss together. Serve chilled.

Oven Baked Ribs

This recipe is Chef Michael Smith`s recipe of the foodnetwork website.

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/oven-baked-ribs/8602/

These ribs were so good, that I ate them right out of the oven, standing over the stove.

And did I take a picture? Nope, no pictures, too busy piggying out over the stove to bother with the camera.

 

– 2 racks of baby back ribs

Marinade:

– 1 can tomato paste

– 1 cup orange juice

– 1 cup brown sugar

– 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

– 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

– 1/4 Worcestershire sauce

– 1/4 cup soy sauce

– 1/4 cup chili powder

– Salt/ pepper

 

I used one tiny rack of baby pork back ribs, and consequently quite a bit of the marinade is left over.

This is a bonus, as I`ll be cooking up some pulled pork with it once I`m chewed through with the ribs.

 

Instructions are simple enough. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl. 

Pour marinade over pork, cover with foil, and cook in oven for 2.5 hours.

I did 350 degrees by accident, and my ribs took only 2 hours to cook. I uncovered the foil, basted the 

ribs with more marinade, and cooked for another 5 minutes at 250 degrees or so.

 

Results were divine!

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto sauce:

Basic basil pesto sauce is pretty simple, you can change it up as needed once you master it’s template.

Today I made basic basil pesto.

 

– 2 cups basil leaves

– 2/3 cup olive oil

– 1/4 cup pine nuts

– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

– 2 cloves garlic

– salt & pepper to taste

 

Blend everything in a blender until well pureed.

Add pasta.

Warm in a saucepan.

Enjoy 🙂

IMG_5722

Basil pesto pasta served with basil & butter pan seared scallops, organic carrots and mango, sweet red onion guacamole.