Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lemon Parsley Turkey Meatballs in Curry Sauce over Coconut Rice

I've become obsessed with meatballs.

Turkey meatballs coconut rice

My friend, Jaida, posted this recipe for Lemon Parsley Turkey Meatballs with Lemon Coconut Curry Sauce and Lemon-Coconut Rice (sorry, Jaida, I had to shorten the name) last month and I couldn't wait to make them. She came up with this one all on her own, which is pretty amazing if you ask me.

We're also obsessed with coconut rice in this house and these delicious, light meatballs in a drinkably good curry sauce were the perfect thing to serve on top. I decided to make a few changes to Jaida's original recipe to suit our tastes and it did not disappoint. I'm already plotting when I can make it again.

Lemon Parsley Turkey Meatballs in Curry Sauce over Coconut Rice
Slightly modified from Sweet Beginnings

Lemon-Parsley Turkey Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey
Zest and juice of 2 medium-large lemons
1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil

Coconut Rice
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup long-grain rice
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water

Curry Sauce
1 can, plus what's left in the can used for the rice, coconut milk
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients, except the olive oil. Gently mix with your hands until well combined. Take about 2 tablespoons of the meat at a time and form into balls. Place each meatball on a plate and repeat with all the meat. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Once hot, add the meatballs so that they are not touching. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until all sides are browned. Reduce the heat to medium.

While the meatballs are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Once the butter is melted, add the rice and stir to coat each grain evenly. Toast the rice for a few minutes, until you start to see brown spots. Add the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit while you finish the meatballs and sauce.

Put all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, while the meatballs cook. Once the meatballs have been browned, carefully pour the sauce over the meatballs. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are cooked all the way through.

Serve the meatballs and sauce over the rice.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Grilled Ciabatta Bread Salad

My friend Mary Ellen made this Grilled Ciabatta Bread Salad for us twice before I finally got off my butt and made it myself. It's one of SP's favorite salads so he's been bugging me to make it.

Grilled bread salad

We have a charcoal grill, which makes it harder to control the heat of the fire. My bread got pretty blackened so I had to cut some sections off (I really dislike overly charred food), but that was no big deal. This made a TON of salad, way more than the three of us could eat, so next time I'll cut the recipe in half or just make it when we have company.

Grilled Ciabatta Bread Salad
As seen on Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup good olive oil, divided
1 loaf ciabatta bread
1 6-oz bag baby spinach
2 tomatoes, chopped
blue cheese or feta crumbles, to taste

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt, pepper and oregano, to taste

Place onions, cilantro and 1/2 cup olive oil in a large bowl and toss together. Let marinate in the fridge while you grill the bread.

Slice the bread into two long halves. Spray or brush with cooking spray/olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill until charred on both sides.

Let the bread rest until it's cool enough to handle, then chop into 1 inch pieces. Add bread cubes to the onion and cilantro mixture, along with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Chill at least 30 minutes.

Before serving, add the tomatoes, spinach and cheese. Toss with the balsamic (start slowly and add to taste), salt, pepper and oregano to taste. Serve immediately
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Monday, July 06, 2015

Fried Rice

One of T's contributions to our Asian dinner was Fried Rice. But in true form, she managed to be busy when it was time to cook the rice so the task fell to me. I pick on her about this all the time, her knack for finding something else to do when I'm in her kitchen so she's off the hook for cooking. I actually don't mind - I love cooking in her kitchen. There's so much room!

Asian night
(all photos by T. Casey)

Anyway, let's talk about this fried rice. T did all the prep the day before (a must when making fried rice - the rice needs to be pre-cooked and cold) so all I had to do was throw it all together in her huge cast-iron skillet.

Asian night

This was outstanding. So fresh and flavorful. T doubled the recipe for our dinner and it was enough to feed 6 adults, 2 kids plus two of T's adult kids who scrounged the kitchen for leftovers after we'd eaten.

Fried Rice
As seen on Gimme Some Oven

3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 eggs, beaten
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
4 cups cooked and chilled short-grain white rice
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add the beaten egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg to a separate plate.

Add an additional 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add carrots, onion, peas and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft.

Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted. Immediately add the rice, green onions, soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir until combined. Continue stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Add the sesame oil, stir to combine, and remove from heat.

Serve warm.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Pork and Shrimp Dumplings

The theme for our latest dinner with our friends C & T was Asian food. We usually pick one recipe to make at T's house and this time we chose Steamed Dumplings. I've never made dumplings before and incorrectly assumed they'd be a lot of work. Nope!

Asian night
(all photos by T. Casey)

T always cons me into doing all the work (just kidding, I love cooking in her gorgeous kitchen). After I mixed up the filling we assembled the first batch, placing up a little bit of filling onto each dumpling wrapper, wiping the edges with water, and then folding the dough into a triangle. Then we pinched the two edges together to make little packages.

Asian night

SP and I got a bamboo steamer as a wedding present and had never used it. Oops! We lined the bottom with cabbage leaves, placed the dumplings on top and set it over a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.

Asian night

These dumplings were outstanding. They had great flavor from the filling and the dipping sauce (which mirrored those same flavors) was perfect. We all gobbled them up. We doubled the recipe below so we had 40+ dumplings for 6 adults and 2 kids and it wasn't enough. Thankfully we had extra filling and T had more wrappers in her fridge, so I quickly assembled another 20 dumplings. The kids would run into the room, grab a handful of dumplings off the platter and run off to play, then come back for more. So, so good.

Asian night

I can't wait to make these again. My mom has already put her in request.

Pork and Shrimp Dumplings
From Rasa Malaysia
Makes about 20-24 steamed dumplings

1/2 pound ground pork
8-10 medium-sized shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into small pieces
1 scallion, finely chopped
3 dashes white pepper
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine or sherry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
1 pack potsticker/dumpling wrappers

Combine the ground pork, shrimp, chopped scallions, ginger, and all the seasonings together. Mix well and set aside.

To make dumplings, place a small spoonful of the filling in the center of a wrapper. Dab a little water with your finger and circle around the edge of the skin, and then fold and pleat the dumpling accordingly. Repeat the same for the rest.

Arrange the dumplings in a bamboo steamer (lined with parchment paper or cabbage leaves at the bottom) and steam for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

To pan fry the dumplings: heat a large skillet and swirl some oil around to coat the pan. Add a single layer of pot stickers. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until they begin to turn golden on the underside. Don't move them. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and cover immediately. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the dumplings release from the pan. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

Soy-Vinegar Dipping Sauce
From Martha Stewart

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 scallion, trimmed and sliced
2 tablespoons water

Combine all ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl.
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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Quick Stir-Fried Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas

Baby Girl loves snow peas. Usually she eats them raw but I wanted to try cooking them as a side dish for dinner one night. After a quick Google search I found this recipe for Quick Stir-Fried Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas. The ingredients closely mirrored my main dish (a family favorite - Cheater Korean Beef) so I thought it would be perfect

Snow peas

Sadly, I overcooked the snow peas, but they were still tasty. Baby Girl told me she loved the flavor but wished they were still crispy like when she eats them raw. Next time (and there will definitely be a next time) I won't let them go too far.

Snow peas

Quick Stir-Fried Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas
As seen on Diner's Journal from the NY Times

2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or peanut oil
1 1/2 pounds snow or sugar snap peas, washed and trimmed
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Place 2 tablespoons oil in a large, deep skillet or wok and turn heat to high. When it begins to smoke, toss in peas and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they are glossy, bright green and begin to show a few brown spots, about 5 minutes.

When peas are almost done, stir in ginger and garlic, and cook another minute or so. Turn off heat and remove peas to a platter. Drizzle with dark sesame oil and soy sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.
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Monday, June 08, 2015

Cut-Out Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

::waves hi:: I hope you guys are still with me. I didn't realize I'd taken such a long break. It was completely unintentional, actually. Here's the short explanation before I tell you about these cookies I made for Christmas.

Long story short, blogging isn't as much fun for me as it used to be. I've never been a big-name blogger but I started to get annoyed that my photos aren't that good, that I always had to try new recipes instead of remaking old favorites, that I wasn't interested in food trends like spiralizers and zoodles. Frankly, blogging became a chore so I just stopped doing it. I can't remember the last time I photographed a meal with the intention of blogging about it. I started remaking dishes I hadn't made in years and just enjoyed eating with my family every night.

Last night I realized it had been more than a month since I blogged and I figured I should see if I had any recipes in my draft folder that I could write about. And I found these Cut-Out Sour Cream Sugar Cookies that I made for Christmas.

Sour cream sugar cookies

I never even grabbed a shot of these frosted so you'll just have to take my word for it that the frosting was awesome. Baby Girl and I made these together and they were so easy and so delicious. Definitely my go-to cookie recipe for the holidays from now on.

I don't know how often I'll blog in the coming weeks/months, but I'm actually making a new recipe tonight. If it's good, I'll blog about it. If you want to follow me on Instagram you can see all the food photos I do take, although it's not always of things I've cooked.

Cut-Out Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
By Monica

FOR COOKIE DOUGH:
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

FOR FROSTING (makes 1/2 cup of frosting):
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons half and half
food coloring

In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In second large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the sour cream and butter at low speed; add sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined. (It's okay if it's a little lumpy as long as no butter chunks are visible.) Gradually add the flour mixture to the sour cream mixture, mixing until well combined. Dough will be sticky. (You can stir it by hand with a wooden spoon.) Divide dough onto two pieces of plastic wrap; flatten dough, wrap tightly, and refrigerate 1-2 hours. (Make ahead tip: Dough may be made to this point and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Generously flour your counter and rolling pin. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour. Starting at the center, roll the dough out until dough is an even 1/4" thick all over. Dip cookie cutter in flour and cut out dough shapes. Transfer dough shapes to baking sheets.

Bake 2 sheets at a time for 8-10 minutes, rotating and switching pans half way through cooking time. Bake just until they are cooked all the way through but haven't started browning on the bottom. Transfer hot cookies to a baking rack to cool completely.

Combine powdered sugar, softened butter, vanilla, and half of the half and half in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine ingredients on a low speed until you have a thick paste and all of the lumps are gone. Gradually add remaining half and half and continue mixing on medium speed until frosting is a smooth, silky, spreadable consistency. If it's still too thick, add more cream 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Mix in food coloring, if desired. Frost each cookie and decorate with sprinkles while frosting is still wet. Leave out to dry for several hours until dry to touch before storing in an airtight container. If stacking frosted cookies, put waxed or parchment paper between layers.
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Friday, May 01, 2015

Homemade Tater Tots

Sometimes I see a recipe and I have to make it right away. That was the case with these Homemade Tater Tots. I was reading my blog feed on a Friday afternoon and came across this recipe. Baby Girl doesn't like tater tots, (for some reason she isn't a fan of most potato dishes) but she was going to my parent's house for a sleepover that night. Score! I immediately went into my kitchen to see what kind of potatoes I had. Unfortunately I only had red potatoes, but I forged ahead anyway.

Tater tots

Red potatoes have less starch and more sugar, so they're drier and stickier than a russet. I had a heck of a time forming these into tots, but I persevered with a bowl of water to rinse my hands. I can't wait to make these again, but with a russet instead. They're starchy and light, which makes them perfect for frying. Even so, these were really good. SP loved them. Now if only we could get Baby Girl to like them...

Homemade Tater Tots
As seen on Damn Delicious

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup vegetable oil

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until parboiled, about 6-7 minutes; drain well and let cool.

Using a box grater, finely shred potatoes. Using a clean dish towel or cheese cloth, drain potatoes completely, removing as much water as possible.

Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Stir in flour, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and dill; season with salt and pepper, to taste. The mixture should be workable but dry. Form potatoes into tots.

Heat vegetable oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add tots (don't crowd the pan) and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with some more salt and then serve immediately.*

*TO FREEZE: Transfer cooled tater tots to an airtight container. Freeze up to 1 month. To bake, preheat oven to 400 and bake until heated through, about 15-17 minutes.
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