ASIAN-STYLE CHICKEN MEATBALLS

I’ve been a user of “Copy-Me-That” for a very long time. It is a breeze to save recipes from any site in the internet. Much to my own amazement, I noticed that over the years I’ve saved 1,700 recipes! They can be retrieved with a search for main ingredients, cuisine, whatever you feel like. Sometimes I log into the site and have fun browsing through, re-visiting favorites from years past. This delicious meatballs were patiently waiting for me and I finally made them, with a few changes to accommodate our taste buds… These will go into regular rotation in our kitchen, the sauce is a dream!

ASIAN-STYLE CHICKEN MEATBALLS
(adapted from Confessions of a Fit Foodie)

Cooking oil spray
1lb ground chicken
1 T soy sauce
1 egg
1 T minced ginger
1 clove of garlic, minced (optional)
½ cup of carrots, finely minced in food processor
¼ cup almond flour
½ tsp salt

for the sauce:
1/4 cup of honey
1/3 cup of soy sayce
1 T tomato paste
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 T finely chopped ginger
1 t Gochujang sauce

In a large bowl, gently mix ingredients for meatballs. Begin forming the meatballs and place on a plate or tray. I made 14 meatballs. Mix the ingredients for sauce and set aside.

Place meatballs on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil lightly coated with oil spray. Bake meatballs at 350 for 30 minutes or until cooked through. While meatballs are cooking, combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan and simmer on the stove until sauce begins to thicken.

Mix meatballs with sauce and serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Carrots have a lot of water, so expect the meatballs to ooze some liquid as they bake. In her site, she gives options for air-fryer and Instant-Pot, but I made too many to fit in our small air-fryer, so I went with regular baking. Don’t worry about the liquid, just flip them over mid-way through roasting and lift them gently to add to the sauce later. I actually allowed them to simmer for a minute with the sauce.

A little white rice, some green beans with almonds, and we ate as Royals of The Bewitching Kitchen!

I love adding veggies to meatballs, meatloaf, and even burgers. They contribute moisture and a more complex flavor. Carrots were perfect with the ground chicken, and don’t skimp on the ginger!

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BUTTERMILK ROAST CHICKEN

This could go into the Incredibly Simple files but because it does take 24 hours marinating, I will treat it as a “regular” recipe. I cannot quite believe how easy it was and how gorgeous the skin looked (and tasted) at the end of roasting. I bet this will work great with chicken pieces also, but it’s hard to beat the wow-factor of bringing a whole bird to the table.

BUTTERMILK ROASTED CHICKEN
(adapted from Cooking Classy)

4 to 4.5 lb whole chicken
2 cups buttermilk
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Remove the neck and any giblets from the cavity of the chicken. Freeze for a later use or discard. Place the chicken in a gallon size resealable freezer bag in a large bowl then place the chicken in the bag with the legs toward the opening of the bag.

Make the buttermilk brine by whisking together buttermilk, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme until well mixed. Pour the mixture over the chicken while also pouring some into the rib cavity of the chicken. Seal bag while pressing out as much excess air as possible. Rub marinade over chicken. Transfer to fridge and let marinate at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Heat the oven to 400F. Remove chicken from marinade and scrape off buttermilk mixture. Transfer to a small roasting pan. Adjust wings, optionally tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Roast chicken for 40 minutes, then rotate the pan and continue to roast until the chicken is cooked through about 30 to 45 minutes longer (internal temp should be 160F for the breasts and 175F for the thighs. If the skin starts browning too much, tent with foil. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, rest 15 minutes then carve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: OMG for the color of that skin! The meat turned out tender and juicy, with very nice flavor from all the herbs. I intend to use the exact same marinade on spatchcocked chicken, and perhaps on chicken thighs. Make sure you use a thermometer to check the temperature, I find very hard to judge by any other method, and there’s nothing worse than undercooked chicken. We will be re-visiting this recipe very soon!

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11 YEARS, TIME FOR GOODBYE

I guess it was bound to happen, sooner or later. Eleven years of blogging and all of a sudden I am forced to witness crowds and crowds of readers abandoning me. It hurts, but I feared that this post could cause it. Tofu. Has she gone nuts? Yes, now that you mentioned, cashews are also partners in this crime. If you are leaving me, I am sorry to see you go, and beg you to re-consider. I swear to you, this was one of the best things I’ve made in the past few months, and even “I” cannot quite believe how much we enjoyed it.  Soooo, will you stay? There shall be macarons soon…

JEN’S CURRIED TOFU WITH PEAS AND CASHEWS
(slightly modified from Jennifer Guerrero’s blog

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

1 pound extra firm tofu
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons honey
¼ cup water
2 cups vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups peas (frozen is fine)
1/2 cup cashews (lightly toasted)

optional:
poached chicken breasts, sliced thin

Slice the tofu in a checkerboard pattern and then right across its equator as you see in my composite picture after the recipe. Wrap in plenty of paper towels and put a heavy pan on it to drain while you do the rest of the preparation of the recipe.

In a medium bowl, whisk the peanut butter with the soy sauce, then add the spices, honey and water. Toss with the drained tofu, coating nicely. Spray a baking sheet generously with cooking spray, tip the tofu on in a single layer,  and bake for 30 minutes, flipping them over at halftime.

Whisk together in a saucepan the vegetable broth and the cornstarch. Turn the heat to medium, and when the stock is simmering, add the tofu along with the peas and cashews. If using chicken, add it now.  Stir until it is all lightly thickened, and serve over rice or riced cauliflower.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I hope you stop by Jen’s blog to read her nice write-up about this recipe.  Interestingly, when I read her post about it, I had just bought some extra-firm tofu without any clear ideas of how to put it to use.  Serendipity. Don’t you love when that happens?

Now, I admit that I chickened out and added chicken (very sorry for this phrase, please don’t leave). I was unsure of how we would feel about the texture and taste of tofu, and decided that in case of a complete disaster, at least we could enjoy some animal protein with the peas and cashews. I used chicken breasts that I had previously cooked sous-vide, but you can poach it or saute with a bit of salt and pepper.

This was one amazing meal! It all works together nicely, the tofu gets a nice soaking with the spices and caramelizes a bit with the honey in that marinade. If you are vegetarian, you absolutely must make this. If you are not, you absolutely must make this, and go for the kill: omit the chicken. I guess that means going for the non-kill?  (very sorry for this phrase too, my apologies).

If you are anti-tofu, I hope this post will make you try it, just make sure you get the extra-firm. I know that tofu aficcionados like to use a special press to compact it before cooking, but I felt that the resulting texture was nice enough the way Jen recommended.

Jen, thank you so much for opening my cooking horizons, I love it…

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WHOLE CHICKEN SOUS-VIDE

No sous-vide? You can still make this recipe using a regular oven, very low and slow for the first part of cooking and then brush with the final glaze and roast under the broiler. But the texture you get from sous-vide is hard to beat. I just rubbed it with dry spices and sealed in the bag. Although on my first time I cooked a whole chicken inside the bag, I found it easier the way I share today. I cut the chicken in four pieces (two breast/wing, and two full legs, placing two pieces in a single bag. Works great and the final presentation is better than keeping it whole or even spatchcocking.

WHOLE SOUS-VIDE CHICKEN
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 whole chicken, cut in four pieces
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
for final roasting:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tsp agave nectar (or honey)
squirt of lemon juice

Pat chicken dry.  Rub the skin with the mixture of spices. Place in bag and seal.

Heat sous-vide to 150 F. Cook chicken for 6 hours.

Whisk all ingredients for the roasting step. Once the chicken is done, remove from the water bath and transfer it onto a plate. Pat with paper towels.  Place on a roasting pan. Brush the skin with the olive oil mixture, run under the broiler until the skin is cooked to your liking.  The meat will be tender and juicy.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: As usual, the timing with sous-vide is very forgiving, which is one of the reasons I love it. If you need to leave it longer than 6 hours, no harm done. You can change the spices to take this recipe in any direction you like. Gochujang will be happening soon in our kitchen.

We enjoyed it with sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Almonds, and a little couscous with roasted butternut squash (full disclosure: the squash was leftover from a previous meal).

The leftover meat can be pulled from the bone and used in many different preparations, we usually save it for a couple of days and then the husband turns it into chicken fajitas or tacos. It has such perfect texture, all it needs is a brief encounter with a hot skillet, some lemon juice and additional spices, if so desired.

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CHICKEN AND HEART OF PALM SQUARES

Puff pastry turns any delicacy into something special. It is hard to beat the taste and texture of a nicely laminated dough. You can go sweet or savory, you can skip any additions, just form them as sticks, twist them around and enjoy plain or with a humble sprinkle of spices. Today I share a recipe for puff pastry squares using a classic Brazilian filling: chicken and hearts of palm.

CHICKEN AND HEART OF PALM SQUARES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for rough puff pastry:
(makes a little more than you’ll need)
345 g unsalted butter, frozen
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
300g all-purpose flour + 2 Tbsp (to toss with grated butter)
80 g whole milk, cold
80 g water, cold (may not use it all)
1 egg for egg wash

for the filling:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 lemon (to poach chicken)
salt and ground black pepper to poach chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic
salt and ground black pepper
2 large tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
100 g hearts of palm, cut in ¼ inch rounds
100 g frozen peas (no need to defrost)
80 g cream cheese (full-fat)
Sriracha sauce
fresh cilantro to taste
1 lemon
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup whole milk

Mix in a large bowl the 300g flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

Grate the butter using a food processor with a grating disk attachment. Toss it with 2 Tbsp flour and reserve.

Take 155 g of the grated butter and mix with the flour in the large bowl, tossing with your hands to form reasonably small crumbles. Keep the rest of the butter in the freezer. Add to the flour/butter mixture all the cold milk and half of the water. Make a smooth dough, trying to handle it as little as possible. Adjust with water and or more flour.

Roll it out as a rectangle, about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Add roughly 50 g of frozen grated butter to the center of the dough. Fold bottom half up, add 50 g more butter to the folded portion. Fold the top portion down, covering the butter. Turn the dough so that one open side is facing you. Roll it out as before, add the leftover grated butter exactly the same way. Fold and place in fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough as before, fold two more times without adding any more butter. Roll out as a rectangle and keep in fridge until filling is ready and cold.

Roll out about 1/3 of the dough (roughly 300 g) as a square a little bigger than 12 inches. Do the same for another third of the dough.  Cut 12 squares from each piece of dough, punching a star using a cookie cutter in the center of half the squares (they will be the top of the pastry).

Place the squares that will be the bottom over parchment paper. Add enough cool chicken filling, brush the sides with egg wash, place the top pastry and push the edges to close it down. Brush the top with egg wash and bake at 400F for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.

FOR THE FILLING (can be made a couple of days in advance)
Poach the chicken breasts very gently in water seasoned with salt, pepper, soy sauce and lemon juice. I like to bring the water to almost a boil, turn the heat off, and leave the chicken in the pan for 15 minutes. Keep in mind it will cook longer in the pie.  When chicken is poached and cool enough to handle, shred the meat with your fingers or a couple of forks. Reserve.

Sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil with a touch of salt and pepper in a large skillet until fragrant. Add the shredded chicken breast, tomatoes, tomato paste, hearts of palm pieces and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Dissolve the flour in the milk, whisking well to avoid lumps. Pour into the meat mixture and heat until it starts to thicken.  Add the cream cheese, then the frozen peas and mix everything gently. Add the Sriracha sauce, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Add the minced cilantro, lemon juice and allow the mixture to cool completely before assembling the pastries.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The filling for these puff pastry squares is very similar to this one of my recent blogging past. It is a classic component of Brazilian recipes like pasteis, empadinhas and pies. The recipe will provide you with leftovers that you can enjoy over rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, or if you are truly daring, try it as a topping for pizza or flatbreads. Add a bit more cheese on top for good measure.

You will have a little bit of puff pastry leftover. You can cut in small squares, fill mini-muffin pans and play with other fillings like….

Mushroom duxelles!  Or save in the freezer for future important experiments in the kitchen. It does freeze beautifully…

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