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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Giant Meatballs in White Wine Broth




Aren't meatballs the best?  As you can tell by my Italian style, Asian style, & Swedish style meatballs on the blog, we just can't get enough of them!  That is why I am so excited to share this recipe with you.  These are unlike any other meatballs you have ever tried.  

Credit for this recipe is entirely due to Mandy over at Lady & Pups, which is perhaps the most innovative and beautiful food blog out there.  Gahhhh, I just get lost in her site!  Most of her recipes are not for the faint of heart, as she embraces highly skilled cooking techniques to deliver recipes I would never dream of on my own.  Go over to her site and I dare you not to spend at least an hour perusing her posts.  

These meatballs have 4 types of meat in them! Beef, pork, chicken & prosciutto.  If you are a vegetarian, you should probably click that tiny little X at the top right of your screen now!  After you mix all the goodness together for the balls, you then braise the baseball size meatballs in a deeply flavored broth.  Holy cannoli these were so good!


Giant Meatballs in White Wine Broth
Recipe adapted almost exactly from Lady & Pups

For the balls
1 pound ground beef (high fat content)
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped prosciutto or pancetta 
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
1/4 c + 1 tablespoon milk

For the braise
1 tablspoon butter
1 onion,  roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
4 sprigs thyme
4 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
1 bottle dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 Parmigiano cheese rind

For the finish
2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
salt & pepper to taste
Crispy onions (these are my favorite)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together by hand and form into large meatballs, about the size of baseballs.  This should make 8 meatballs, or 10 smaller sized ones.   Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until browned. 

In a large pot or dutch oven, melt butter and add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and saute over medium high heat until softened.  Add thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, white wine, stock, and cheese rind. Add meatballs and any juices from the pan.  

Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and cover pot.  Place in oven and cook for about 2 hours.  Remove the meatballs from the both and place on a plate while you strain the vegetables out of the stock.  Return meatballs to strained stock.  

To finish, braise some leeks in some butter with salt & pepper until soft.  To serve, place a meatball in a bowl, ladle some broth over the top and garnish with leeks, crispy onions and a crusty baguette! 



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Zucchini Fritters



Howdy ho!  Here's what's been going on with me: 

1.)  It was my birthday this past weekend!  My sweet hubby bought me a new (old) record player.  I've been collecting records for a a few years , but only had one of those cheapo Crosely record players.  DO NOT ever use those.  They are shit and ruin your records + the sound is awful. 

We went to Bananas Music here in St. Pete.  Did you know that they have one of the largest record collections in the WORLD with over 3 million records?!?!  They also have a warehouse with a ton of equipment.  I was able to pick out a perfectly functional vintage turntable, amp, & speakers and they are glorious!  Music never sounded so good. 

2.)  I joined a spinning studio and love it.  Central Cycling is my new place. For me, I have to pay for my exercise because I feel much more accountable if I do so.  This place it great.  Totally dark, except for some rad black lights and motivational sayings in neon paint on the walls.  When I look up, all that I see is phrases like "SWEAT IS FAT DYING" or "DO IT FOR THE HOLY SHIT, YOU GOT HOT" or "YOU DON'T GET THE ASS YOU WANT BY SITTING ON IT", and it motivates the shit outta me! 

3.) We got our flights to Merida, Mexico for November!  My baby brother is getting married to the most lovely lady from Merida.  They have been together for a while and I've heard so many great things about this city.  So excited to finally visit. On the invite, it says the reception goes from 7:00pm until 6:00am! I guess they even serve breakfast at Mexican weddings.  My 9:30pm bedtime ass better figure out how to make it through the night :) 




 Now onto this recipe.  Can you believe that I made these about 5 months ago and am now just getting around to writing it?  Sheesh, it is a shame because they are so good.  My timing is probably better because summer gardens are in full swing and your garden should be runneth over with some zucchini soon.      

They are basically crispy, GBD (golden brown delicious) pancakes... with some zucchini in them.  That makes them totally healthy :)  The recipe is super easy, very forgiving and you can whip these up on a whim very quickly.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!   

  








Zucchini Fritters
2 medium zucchini, grated
1/2 onion, grated
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced

flavor-less oil for frying (vegetable, canola, avocado, grape seed, etc.)
Sour cream mixed with lemon zest, salt & pepper for garnish

Grate the zucchini and onion.  Place in a kitchen towel and squeeze until you have extracted most of the water.  In a large bowl, add zucchini, onion, and the remainder of the ingredients.  Mix until a thick batter forms.

In a heavy skillet, fill up with about a 1/2 an inch with oil.  Heat over medium high heat (about 350-375) and drop large spoonfuls into hot oil.  Cook for about 2 minutes until golden brown and then flip.  Remove when the opposite side is brown and cool on a paper towel lined cookie sheet.

Season with salt & pepper, serve with seasoned sour cream and enjoy this indulgent vegetable fritter!





Friday, April 14, 2017

Baked Camembert


Sharing a super quick appetizer recipe with you.  A few reasons why this is the most perfect crowd pleaser: 

- CHEESE!  Ooey, gooey, melty cheese! 
- Bread.  Hello gluten! 
- Garlic, because face it, if they don't love your garlic breath, they can go pound sand.
- Rosemary, so we can be sure to get our daily dose of greens :)   

Seriously though, don't you want to jump into your screen and dig into this?? 




Baked Camembert
1 wheel Camembert cheese
1 baguette
1 bunch rosemary
4 cloves garlic, sliced into thin chips (madolin works best to get paper thin slices)
2 tablespoon good olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Chop up a baguette and toast or grill until charred. If you are feeling really randy, you can use the rosemary to skewer the chunks of bread.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Remove cheese from wrapper and slice the rind off the top.  Place the wheel of cheese back in the wooden container (I obviously did not do this) and cook on a sheet plan in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Preheat olive oil over medium and add garlic chips.  Cook until brown and crispy.  Don't let the garlic burn!  Chop up some rosemary (about a teaspoon).

Remove cheese from oven and drizzle with garlic oil, garlic chips, chopped rosemary, and salt & pepper.  Dip the bread into cheese and experience pure nirvana!



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ham Wrapped Braised Endive + Bechamel & Gruyere





OK.  I know this looks like a big pile of cheese.  Or even a casserole.  Funny story... my husband LOATHES casseroles.  Being from the Ohio, I have had my fair share of creamy, cheesy, crunchy, one (9x11, of course) pan dishes.  He always jokes and says people from the Midwest always cook shit with cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions on top.  He is not completely wrong.  

Well, THIS IS NOT A CASSEROLE!  It's not even remotely close to one.  I actually would not even have come up with this recipe without the help of my other half.  We like to go to Locale Market, AKA heaven on earth, for the good meats.  They have this Tuscan ham that will make you want to curse regular deli meats to hell.  This. Ham. Is. EXCEPTIONAL! 

When he was purchasing the ham, the french butcher/cheese monger, said to him (I'm imagining this exchange in his beautiful French accent): 

"You know what ai do wiv zis 'am? Ai tak zé 'am, wrap eet around braized endive, top wiv bechamel et gruyaire and broil eet. Zo delicious!"  

He got home and told me this= Mind. Blown.  Of course I was going to take our French friend's recommendation and turn that ham into a delightful meal.  

This is super simple and rustically delicious.  You are taking seemingly ordinary ingredients and turning them into pure decadence!      











Ham Wrapped Braised Endive + Bechamel & Gruyere
6 whole endives
1/2 pound good ham (you could also use prosciutto or serrano)
1/2 cup white wine
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt
6 cups water
bechamel (as much as you like)
1 cup grated gruyere cheese

In a deep skillet or small pot, add wine, bay leaves, fennel seeds, peppercorns, salt and water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Add endives and cook in water for about 20 minutes, or until tender enough for a knife to be inserted and pulled out with no resistance.

Wrap endives with one slice of ham and place in a sprayed glass dish.  Top with bechamel and gruyere.  Broil under high for for about 5 minutes, and remove when cheese is brown and bubbly.

Bechamel Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
a touch of fresh grated nutmeg (or a pinch of dry)

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk in until smooth.  Continue to cook for another two minutes to cook out the raw flavor of the flour.  Gradually add 1 cup of milk while whisking to eliminate any lumps.  Increase the heat just a touch to bring sauce to a low boil.  Gradually add the rest of the milk while whisking the entire time.

Once the sauce has come up to a boil, this will thicken the sauce.  Now is the time to add the salt, pepper, dry mustard, garlic powder, and nutmeg.  Continue whisking and reduce the heat to low until sauce has thickened.





Sunday, April 2, 2017

Blistered Shishito Peppers + Sesame + Sriracha + Brown Sugar




Hey you guys!  Long time no speak.  Once again, I am here to apologize for my long hiatus. There really is only one reason for it.  I am sick of screens!  I work remotely and am mostly on my computer all day.  By the time quittin' time rolls around, I can barely look at a computer screen for another minute! 

I even did something crazy.  Like REALLY CRAZY.  I deactivated my personal Facebook profile and I want to shout form the mountain tops how liberating it feels!  For a long time, I kept thinking about getting off the Book, but couldn't bring myself to pull the plug.  I had about 700 "friends", but in reality, I only speak to about 20 of them in "real life".  

After being on Facebook since it's inception, I wonder how many hours I spent scrolling, and scrolling, and SCROLLING though my feed absorbing mind numbing information.  So, one day I did it.  I clicked the deactivate button.  Now don't get me wrong, I still have  Instagram and Snapchat, but I prefer those social media platforms infinitely more than Facebook.  Don't worry, my Owl with the Goblet Facebook page is still alive and well and I hope to be more active on that, now that I am cooking up a storm again. 



   Now on to these cutie-pa-tooty shishito peppers.  ERMAHGERD they are sooooo good!  I got the idea from our local ramen place, Buya Ramen.  Yes, Florida has ramen restaurants.  I was just as surprised as you, since May through October, I pretty much sweat even thinking about downing a bowl of soup or hot beverage in Florida.  But Buya is so good, I might just make an exception for them during the summer.  In addition to bomb-ass-ramen, their blistered shishitos with brown sugar are the perfect appetizer. 

After I had their peppers, I was determined to make them at home.  I even put my husband on "shishito pepper watch" at every grocery store he frequented, but sadly, he was not successful in this quest.  Yesterday, I had a leisurely trip to Locale Market, AKA heaven on earth, and they had a whole basket of shishito peppers.  I basically took the entire basket and poured it into a produce bag.  Two pounds of peppers later, I am finally sharing this recipe with you. 

Moral of the story; if you see shishito peppers at your market, buy them all and cook them like this! 
  
PS- It feels good to be back :)




Blistered Shishito Peppers + Sesame + Sriracha + Brown Sugar
1 pound shishito peppers
1 tablespoon oil (best to use an unflavored one like canola or avocado)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Sriracha to taste
Salt to taste

 In a bowl, toss peppers with oil and salt.  Heat up a heavy skillet (cast iron works best) over high heat.  You want it to be barely smoking.  While the pan is heating up, turn your broiler on high.

Once broiler is hot and pan is smoking, add peppers and place in oven under the broiler.  Leave them there for about 5 minutes, or until skin is blistered and peppers have softened.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with brown sugar, drizzle sesame oil, then salt & sriracha to taste.  You can eat the entire pepper.  Except the stem.  Don't eat the stem.

Now... "ALLEZ CUISINE"- in my best Iron Chef voice





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