Asian Chicken Meatballs

ASIAN CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Meatballs are perhaps one of my favorite food items. Throughout the years I have had many different Italian-themed meatballs with a range of different meats paired with spaghetti. While these are fabulous, I definitely welcomed the idea of using chicken instead of pork and beef and having a different spin with a mix of ginger, garlic and scallions, and, of course, dipping them in some spicy hot sauce. This recipe for meatballs – Asian Chicken Meatballs (as labeled in the Food and Wine magazine) or Sesame – Ginger Chicken Meatballs – is a winner, so simple and one that I’ll definitely look to make again.

Step 1: Chop Scallions, Garlic
and Ginger; Add to Bread Crumbs

CHOPPING GINGER FOR ASIAN CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Step 2: Add Other Ingredients and
Mix in Ground Chicken

ASSEMBLING INGREDIENTS FOR ASIAN CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Step 3: Form Mixture into Small
Meatballs; Brush with Canola Oil
and Place onto Sheet to Bake

ASSEMBLING INGREDIENTS FOR ASIAN CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Step 4: Dip in Your Favorite
Hot Sauce and Eat!

ASIAN CHICKEN MEATBALLS
As mentioned above, I absolutely loved the flavors of these meatballs. I don’t buy fresh ginger very often; however, I definitely think it is underutilized and an ingredient that needs to be incorporated into more into meals in the future.

What’s your favorite combination of meatball flavors?

Cheers!

ASIAN CHICKEN MEATBALLS

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Meatloaf

So, I’m  not going to lie, the whole thought of meatloaf is not that appetizing to me. I’m not sure why not – the ingredients that comprise it are pretty much the same ingredients for meatballs. So, in essence, meatloaf is just like an expanded version (a much expanded version) of meatballs. But, I think perhaps it is the thought of the meat looking like a “loaf” that makes me feel oddly about it.

Regardless, my boyfriend suggested making meatloaf the other night. I was a bit skeptical; however, we at least chose a recipe from a very, very legitimate source (Bobby Flay’s cookbook titled Bobby Flay’s Throwdown!). I must say, I was pretty pleased with the results. Although I didn’t include the recipe from his cookbook, I would highly encourage you to buy this book. It has great recipes and I’ve enjoyed choosing a recipe from there every now and then!

Cheers! 

Favorite Recipes of 2011

Bye bye 2011 – the year filled with various fruit-filled desserts, homemade pizzas and plenty of roasted chicken recipes. Throughout this past year, I definitely learned many new tricks including how to make pie pastry dough from scratch (and cut and assemble lattices for pies), how to properly clean and prepare a whole chicken for roasting and how to properly make quinoa, just to name a few!

In order to celebrate 2011, I just wanted to list a few of my favorites:

Strawberry Shortcakes

Cheddar Jalapeno Bread


Homemade Oreos


Roast Chicken With Chickpeas,
Tomatoes, Olives and Thyme


Sour Cherry Pie With Lattice Crust


Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs


Lemon Ricotta Pancakes With
Lemon Curd and Raspberries


Chicken Piccata


Blackberry Peach Crumble


Baked Macaroni & Cheese
With Garlic Bread Crumbs

Pumpkin Cake With
Cream Cheese Frosting

I am already excited for 2012: hoping to experiment more with pomegranates, mustard (yes, Epicurious predicted it to be a Top Food Trend for 2012), avocados and I would like to make homemade Pho. Join me in my adventure!

Cheers!

Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs

For most last minute or large gatherings, spaghetti is often the menu item of choice. Naturally, it depends on which way you decide to make it — but, it is extremely easy (especially if not making the sauce from scratch!). Personally, I love spaghetti. It’s extremely simple, requires few ingredients, and serves as a perfect comfort food. But, lately, I’ve been becoming bored of my usual rotation of spaghetti for evening dinners. I’ve tried adding chicken or other types of vegetables to help alleviate my taste bud boredom. Unfortunately, those additions did not result in any success.

It wasn’t until I was surfing through Netflix that I saw the movie Lady and the Tramp pop up. Whenever I think of that movie, I always revert to the scene where the two dogs eat eat spaghetti and meatballs together. Instantly, this movie provided the perfect inspiration in order to spice up my boring pasta dinners. So, it was decided: Spaghetti and Sicilian Meatballs it is!

Step 1: Chop Garlic, Onions, Basil
Currants, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Step 2: Let Bread Crumbs and
Milk Sit for Five Minutes

[I accidentally threw the onions on top for this step… oops!]

Step 3: Mix Dry Ingredients With
Wet Ingredients; Add Meat Mixture

Step 4: Form Meat Balls
(Key: Make Sure Hands are Wet); Bake

Step 5: Add Meatballs to Sauce
and Spaghetti and Enjoy! 

Prior to this meal, I had never made meatballs from scratch. It was surprisingly simple and easy. Let’s just say I’m glad that I happened to stumble upon Lady and the Tramp or else I would have made another simple pasta dish.

Cheers!

Weekend in Seattle

The Space Needle, Pike’s Place Market, the birthplace of “Grunge”, and the destination for corporate giants such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Nordstrom are a few characteristics that describe the city of Seattle. In addition, Seattle is home to many different culinary tastes ranging with everything from classic American food to Seafood to the authentic flavors of the International District. Since I’m a natural “foodie” at heart, I couldn’t help but document a few culinary adventures I had while visiting Seattle this past weekend.

GaudiLately, I’ve been trending towards eating smaller and lighter meals (essentially tapas, as mentioned in a prior post here). We choose to go to Gaudi which is a Spanish inspired restaurant in the Roosevelt neighborhood. We enjoyed a bevy of items from the menu including Papas Bravas (potatoes with spicy sauce), Bavas (Spanish meatballs), Jitanitos (dates wrapped in bacon), Mojama (fresh cured tuna), and a few other items. But, our favorite part about Gaudi was the dessert we shared: a sponge cake filled with apricots and cream and topped with a raspberry glaze. Besides the fact that it just LOOKED pretty, it also tasted wonderful too.

Apricot and Cream Filled Sponge Cake
With Raspberry Glaze


Homegrown
Sandwich shops have a hard task to accomplish: to develop sandwiches that are fresh, flavorful, and cannot be easily replicated by any random Joe. To be perfectly honest, what differentiates the turkey sandwich made at an independent sandwich shop from the sandwich made at home or from a nationally recognized sandwich franchise? The key differentiator resides in ingenuity of ingredients. That being said, after glancing at the menu of Homegrown, I noticed a multitude of unusual and unique components within the sandwiches. After much contemplation, I settled upon the Roast Pork sandwich (Stumptown Coffee and cayenne rubbed pork loin, pickled red onion, apple butter, mixed greens, and sage aioli served over whole grain bread). After first bite, savory (pork and sage aioli), sweet (apple butter) and tangy (pickled red onions) flavors simultaneously combined to create a medley of enticing flavors. So, unlike the standard and ordinary sandwich shop, Homegrown mastered the art of combining diverse ingredients and creativity to make delicious sandwiches.

Roasted Pork Sandwich and Lentil Soup

High 5 Pie — I absolutely love and adore pies. Not only do I love combining fruit into desserts, but I enjoy making non-traditional fruit desserts or putting a different spin on a classic pie. That being said, High 5 Pie in Capitol Hill in Seattle serves pies that definitely match this description. The selection at High 5 Pie consists of “Pie Jar” (pies in a jar), Flipside (hand-held pie turnovers), Cutie Pie (mini pies), 7″ Deep Dish (classic pie), and Pie Pop (literally, a mini pie on a stick). Flaky crusts, pie fillings bursting with flavor, and a hip venue unite to make this a pleasant stop for a weekend afternoon. Plus, where else can you purchase pie on a stick?

Classic Caramel Pecan Pie


Pie Pop — Cherry Almond
& Cutie Pie — Berry

Good times and good eats this past weekend in Seattle. All in all, I definitely enjoyed these places and hope to visit again sometime soon!

Cheers!

December Restaurant Highlights

With December coming to a close, I thought it’d be fun to pay tribute to two new restaurants that I visited this past month in Southeast Portland.

Whiskey Soda Lounge — Owned by the ever famous Pok Pok (winner of Best Restaurant of the Year by The Oregonian, featured in The New York Times, and mentioned many other places as seen here), the Whiskey Soda Lounge takes after its predecessor by serving Thai-inspired “drinking snacks” and cocktails from the current menu of Pok Pok.

After first step into the Whiskey Soda Lounge, I knew I was going to like it. The dim lighting mixed with blue lights outside, neon color interior, and wafting smell of ginger, lime, and peanut marinated chicken caused me to be smitten. Not to mention, after actually TRYING drinks and a few appetizers, I left satisfied and craving to come back!

(taken from The Whiskey Soda Lounge website)

Order: Tamarind Whiskey Sour, Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings, and Coconut Ice Cream Sandwich

Savoy — Originally, a group of friends and I were planning to visit the Whiskey Soda Lounge AGAIN, but the influx of people that particular Monday night prompted us to satisfy our grumbling stomachs elsewhere. Luckily to our delight, Savoy surprised us and was only a few blocks from our previous destination.

Now, their website proclaims they serve “traditional American cooking, with a nod towards the Midwest.” This beckoned my enthusiasm for I’m originally from the Midwest. This also spiked my inner-carnivore sense and I in turn gravitated towards the meatballs on the menu. Thankfully, these were very flavorful and I learned its key ingredients from an article from Willamette Week as seen here (ground pork and beef, thyme, golden raisins, pine nuts, and basil). We further ordered a few side dishes including our favorite comfort food, Macaroni and Cheese. So, Savoy is the place to go for a neighborhood atmosphere and comfort foods!

Savoy -- Inside the Restaurant

Order: Wisconsin Tavern Board,  Delicate Squash with Sage and Brown Butter, Mushrooms of the Moment, and Meatballs

This time, both of these restaurants were in Southeast Portland and only a convenient few blocks separated them from each other. Although distinctly different restaurants, I enjoyed both and will continue to visit them in the future (and I highly encourage you to visit them too!).

Cheers!