THAI-STYLE TURKEY & ZUCCHINI MEATBALLS WITH SPICY GLAZE

We arrive at mid-November and I must tell you that this simple recipe goes into the top 10 of this crazy year. For sure. I used the air-fryer, but it can be made in a regular oven adjusting time and temperature as I mention in the recipe. It was simple to put together, short list of ingredients, great flavor.

THAI-STYLE TURKEY & ZUCCHINI MEATBALLS WITH SPICY GLAZE
(from The Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by several sources)

for the glaze:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3/4 cup water
50g granulated sugar (about 1/4 cup)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce (optional, but advisable)
1 tbsp sambal oelek
2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water

for the meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey (dark meat preferred)
1 cup zucchini, grated and squeezed as dry as possible
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten

Make the glaze. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce to a non-stick pan. Heat while stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for about 3 minutes in medium-low heat. Add the sambal oelek, mix stirring gently until the sauce starts to thicken (about 3 minutes).

Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water, add to the sauce. Simmer, constantly stirring for another couple of minutes. The sauce will thicken quite quickly. Remove from heat, pour into a small bottle or bowl, cool and refrigerate until needed.

Make the meatballs. Combine the zucchini, ginger, cilantro, lime zest, salt, pepper, ground turkey and almond flour and mix them well with your hands. Add the beaten egg and gently finish incorporating it all. Mixture will be a bit loose. Shape as 12 golf-sized balls. Place over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. If they seem too fragile to move around, stick them in the freezer for 10 minutes, it will not affect their roasting, maybe require just a couple of extra minutes.

Heat the air fryer to 390°F, and keep your regular oven at around 300F to keep the meatballs warm as you finish them. If not using an air-fryer, set your oven to 400F to roast the meatballs.

In the air-fryer, they will be ready in about 12 minutes, flip them over mid-way through. In a regular oven they will take 20 to 25 minutes.

As soon as the meatballs are finished cooking, coat them with the spicy glaze. If preparing them in batches, keep the first batch in a 300F oven as you cook the second batch. Serve with your favorite side dish, steamed rice and/or vegetables.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The glaze is the same kind used to dip Spring rolls made with rice paper. You can conceivably buy it ready in the grocery store, but making it from scratch is easy and the pay off is huge. If you like it really hot, add a touch of cayenne. For us, it was the perfect level of heat. Sambal oelek is a wonderful ingredient to keep in the fridge.

As to the zucchini, better avoid using a food processor to shred it. There is something about the size and texture of grating by hand that makes it perfect to combine with the meat. The only variable to keep in mind is the amount of water retained in the zucchini. Squeeze as much as you can, but consider increasing the amount of almond flour to have a consistency that allows you to form the meatballs. Use your intuition.

The meatballs can be formed in small size and served as appetizer with small lettuce leaves to grab them. We enjoyed them as a regular main dish, with white rice and sugar peas made in 5 minutes. Those must go into a future Incredibly Easy post. Stay tuned!

ONE YEAR AGO: Roast Veggies with Black Barley

TWO YEARS AGO: Creamy Chicken Thighs with Sun-dried Tomatoes

THREE YEARS AGO: Chocolate Cranberry Curd Tart

FOUR YEARS AGO: Slow-Cooker Pork Ragu with Fennel

FIVE YEARS AGO: Pimp your Veg, a Guest Post

SIX YEARS AGO: Cooking Light Pan-Charred Veggies 

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Pomegranate Chicken Thighs and Carrot Mash

EIGHT YEARS AGO: The Many Faces of Kale

NINE YEARS AGO:  Short and Sweet 

TEN YEARS AGO:Ciabatta, a Classic Italian Bread

ELEVEN YEARS AGO:
Magical Lamb Stew


HOME BAKERS COLLECTIVE WARM UP FOR THANKSGIVING

If you are like me, and learned how to ski as an adult, you are familiar with that fear as you slide downhill catching speed and see curves coming up, trees on both sides, overwhelmed by that feeling of “this might not have a happy ending.” That is pretty much what 2020 feels like. Eleven months and counting of sliding downhill feeling out of control. But 2020 cannot rob us of Thanksgiving. There are many things to be grateful for, including the fact that we are still hanging on to the ski poles, and braving the elements. To warm us all up for my favorite American holiday, the Home Bakers Collective got together to share a few recipes inspired by the season. Here is my little contribution. Pumpkin Crackers and hummus. To start your meal on a festive note.

PUMPKIN CRACKERS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the white dough:
60g all-purpose flour 1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
about 2 tablespoons water

for the pumpkin dough:
50g all-purpose flour
10g pumpkin flour (or all-purpose)
1 tablespoon pumpkin puree (canned)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
about 1 tablespoon water

Hheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking pan by lining with parchment paper.

Make the white dough: in a small bowl, combine all ingredients and knead by hand to form a dough. Adjust water, you don’t want the dough to be too sticky. Reserve.

Make the pumping dough by mixing all the ingredients, again adjusting with more all-purpose flour in case it is too sticky (the pumpkin puree will add quite a bit of moisture). Reserve.

Allow both balls of dough to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Divide each dough in two and marble the two colors. Roll each piece very thinly, the best way is using a pasta rolling machine or Kitchen Aid attachment, but you can definitely do it by hand. Cut in pumpkin shapes using a cookie cutter or simply in small pieces.

Bake for about 10 minutes, depending on how thin you rolled them, until they start to get brown and crisp. They will get slightly harder as they cool. Serve with your favorite dip.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Pumpkin flour is a great ingredient when you want to get flavor without adding too much moisture. It works well in cookies also. Since it contains no gluten, it behaves completely different from all-purpose flour. You will have to play a bit with the dough to get a similar texture in both the white and pumpkin components. As usual when you marble two colors, the dark will be dominant, so keep that in mind. You can always use more of the white dough and marble with 1/4 of the amount of dark. The recipe I shared makes a small batch of crackers. Since it is just me and the husband around, I did not want to make a huge amount. The recipe will double easily.

For the pumpkin hummus, visit my old blog post with a click here. And of course, stop by The Home Bakers Collective to see what everyone else decided to share. One blink of the eye and Thanksgiving will be here. Make sure you keep you and your loved ones safe.

(post might take a couple of hours to be published in the Collective, check later if not yet there)

ONE YEAR AGO: Black Sesame Japanese Milk Bread

TWO YEARS AGO: Swirls and Whirls

THREE YEARS AGO: The Tabatiere

FOUR YEARS AGO: Curry Turmeric Sourdough

FIVE YEARS AGO: Brigadeiros de Morango

SIX YEARS AGO: Feta-Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Artichoke-Saffron Souffle

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Cinnamon-Wreath

NINE YEARS AGO:
  Yeastspotting 11.11.11

TEN YEARS AGO:
 Oven-baked Risotto

ELEVEN YEARS AGO:
  Potato-Roquefort Cakes with Ripe Pears

PRUE LEITH’S SMOKED SALMON AND BEETROOT BLINIS

This recipe was chosen by Prue as a technical challenge for the Great British Baking Show last year. Of course, small details in the preparation are not shared with the contestants, but the online recipe tells you pretty much all you need to know to make them without stress in the comfort of your kitchen.

SMOKED SALMON AND BEETROOT BLINIS
(slightly adapted from Prue Leith’s recipe)

For the blinis:
170g all purpose-flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 large egg, separated
1 tbsp olive oil
220ml whole milk

For the topping:
100g cooked beetroot
1 tsp hot prepared horseradish
pinch of crushed sea salt
125g cream cheese
smoked salmon, flaked
¼ lemon

Make the blinis. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the egg yolk and the olive oil and whisk, drawing in the flour. Slowly add the milk, whisking to a smooth batter.

In a separate bowl, using a hand-held electric blender, whisk the egg white to stiff peaks, then gently fold them into the batter.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter into the pan and cook for 1–2 minutes, until the edges are set and the mixture is bubbling. Turn the blini over and cook until golden brown on the other side, then place on a wire rack to cool. Cook in batches using the remaining batter until you have 12 blinis. Set aside to cool.

For the topping, place the beetroot, horseradish cream, salt and 50g of the cream cheese in the bowl of mini food processor and blitz until smooth. Spoon the beetroot mixture into a clean bowl and fold in the remaining 75g of cream cheese, until evenly combined, thick and smooth. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium piping tip.

Pipe a swirl of beetroot mixture onto each blini, then top with flakes of the hot smoked salmon. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top, then garnish with fresh dill.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: These were very delicious!  I made them as an appetizer for our Valentine’s dinner but as you know, I can be pretty slow to blog on stuff, so you only got to see them as July is coming to an end. Such is life.

The main issue the contestants had with the recipe was cooking the blinis. Many added oil to the pan, and that’s a mistake. Even if it seems like it cooking them on a dry pan will end in tragedy,  that’s how you get the right searing, proper texture and no excess oil as you bite into them. They are delicate, soft, and I find the addition of beets to the cream a real touch of class. Cannot beat that color. Or…should I say cannot “beet” that color?  (ouch!)

ONE YEAR AGO: Mandioca Frita 101

TWO YEARS AGO: White Chocolate Raspberry Dome Cake

THREE YEARS AGO: Blueberry Crumble Coffee Cake

FOUR YEARS AGO: Pickled Red Onions

FIVE YEARS AGO: Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake

SIX YEARS AGO: Mini-Chocolate Cheesecake Bites

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Grated Tomato Sauce

EIGHT YEARS AGO: A Taste of Yellow to Honor Barbara

NINE YEARS AGO: Gratin of Beefsteak Tomatoes

TEN YEARS AGO: Tour de France Final Stage: PARIS

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Snickerdoodles with a Twist

 

UTTAPAM, WHITE LENTIL AND RICE FLATBREAD


I am back with another recipe using ivory lentils (in case you’ve missed the first one, click here). I had never heard of uttapam, but learned about it in the website of the very company I got the lentils from. They are described as flatbreads, but I suppose little pancakes (or fritters) could work equally well if not better. After all, it is more a batter than a dough, that is poured instead of rolled, and cooked over a griddle, not an oven. In my mind, that gravitates to pancake territory. But flatbread, pancake, fritters… it’s irrelevant. They are delicious. Dangerously so, I should add.

UTTAPAM
(slightly modified from Woodland Foods)

(makes 8 little pancakes)

1 cup Basmati rice
1/2 cup Ivory lentils
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1 Jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
vegetable oil (I used grape seed)

Thoroughly rinse rice and lentils separately. Place each in large bowl of fresh water and soak for 2 hours.

Drain rice and lentils, and place in blender. Add salt, sugar and baking soda and grind mixture into paste. Add about 1/2 cup water, and continue blending to create thick batter. Transfer mixture to bowl, and set aside to ferment at room temperature for at least 4 to 12 hours.

Combine peas, Jalapenos and cilantro in a small bowl. Heat griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush with oil. Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons batter and spread out with back of spoon to create circle 4 inches in diameter. Sprinkle some of pea mixture evenly on top. Cook until small bubbles appear on surface, then flip and cook other side until crisp and golden.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I always feel a bit insecure making ethnic recipes I have zero experience with, but I must say this one turned out excellent, no problems, every step seemed to happen exactly as expected. Plus we both loved the texture and the taste of the little pancakes, that were served with a turkey chili. Sally again takes a ton of liberties with her dinner preparations. Chili made with turkey. Served with little flatbreads from India.  All enjoyed with no remorse whatsoever!

 

Pin me, pin me!

 

ONE YEAR AGO: Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Cookies

TWO YEARS AGO: Fesenjan, Fast-Food Style

THREE YEARS AGO: Lavender Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache

FOUR YEARS AGO: Raspberry Chocolate Truffles

FIVE YEARS AGO: Red Velvet Cupcakes

SIX YEARS AGO: Happy Valentine’s Day!

SEVEN YEARS AGO:  A Few Blogging Issues

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Dan Dan Noodles

NINE YEARS AGO:  Sophie Grigson’s Parmesan Cake

TEN YEARS AGO: Antibiotics and Food

POLENTA BITES WITH SPICY TOMATO SAUCE

I like to think I’m a person who resists temptations. You know, self-control, determination, that sort of thing. It all goes reasonably well until I am confronted with a new, sexy silicone mold. Or a pair of colorful earrings. But that’s about it. Ok, maybe nail polish is hard to say no to at times. I swear, that’s it now. Back to cooking. Silikomart has been my obsession for a very long time. Today I share with you a cute appetizer idea using one of their molds: Sushi. Adorable. Can you make it without the mold? Absolutely!  But… if you also suffer from Silikomart-weakness, maybe you should bring one home…

POLENTA BITES WITH SPICY TOMATO SAUCE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

200 g corn flour (for polenta, quick-cooking or regular)
500 ml water
salt to taste
1 T butter
1 cup tomato sauce (store bought or home made)

for the spicy cilantro sauce (makes more than you’ll need):
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsp Asian fish sauce
1/8 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Sriracha sauce 

Bring salted water to a boil in a saucepan. Pour the corn flour slowly constantly stirring with a spoon. Cook according to the brand of corn flour you are using. I used regular polenta, and it took about 30 minutes to get fully smooth. Once the polenta is cooked, stir in the butter.

Make the spicy cilantro component. Place the cilantro leaves in a food processor and whirl until finely minced. Add the remaining ingredients and process until well combined. Reserve. Leftovers keep a few days in the fridge. 

Pour the polenta into the Sushi Maki silicone moulds and level with a spatula. Let rest until solidified, then unmold them, spoon the tomato sauce in the small cavity, and a touch of spicy cilantro dressing.

Serve warm or cold.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: These polenta bites can stand very well with just the tomato sauce and if you like, a bit of cheese on top, a quick run under the broiler. It turns out I had made a mahi-mahi sous-vide just a couple of days before, and the spicy cilantro sauce was part of that recipe. I decided to add just a little touch to top the tomato sauce and it all worked surprisingly well, so I incorporated in this post. I realize that I went overboard with the sauce and hid the nice little hole on the top of the mold. Oh, well… no major harm done. But I exercised a little more restraint on my second batch…

In this case, I finished them with a brushing of olive oil and a visit to the air-fryer for about 10 minutes at 390 F. Delicious texture, probably even better if serving tem as finger food. If you don’t have an air-fryer, just place them in a 450 F oven until golden brown.  Then top with some warm sauce, and serve.

You can use mini-muffin tins to make the exact same type of preparation, but there’s something about the Sushi mold that I find pretty irresistible. I got mine on ebay last year, but The Place that Sells it All carries it. Obviously.

ONE YEAR AGO: Vague Mousse Cake

TWO YEARS AGO: Cottage Loaf, my very own technical challenge

THREE YEARS AGO: Pork Ribs: Sticky, Spicy and Awesome

FOUR YEARS AGO: Sobering Peach Sorbet

FIVE YEARS AGO: Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

SIX YEARS AGO: Silky Cauliflower Puree with Almond Milk


NINE YEARS AGO:
 Popeye-Pleasing Salad
.
TEN YEARS AGO: Summer’s Finale