It is that time of year! Sports and more sports. We love to invite friends over to watch some of our favorite teams and small bite appetizers are the best foods to have on hand. Folks love them. Here are a few of our big hits.
To make this ahead: cook the meatballs and prepare the sauce separately. Refrigerate separately until serving time. Then reheat the sauce, add the meatballs and cook until the meatballs are hot. Pour into a serving bowl.
For the Meatballs
1 lb organic ground chicken or pork
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup almond flour
For the Sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
6 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
1 tablespoon Gochujang (red chili paste)
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
To make the meatballs:
Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
Using a cookie scoop form into 21-22 one inch balls and saute in peanut oil over medium heat until cooked through and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
To make the sauce:
Combine the sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauces, chili paste, water, sugar and arrowroot in a small saucepan. Reserve the scallions.
Whisk until combined and bring to a boil.
Simmer for five minutes until thickened.
Add the cooked meatballs and scallions to the thickened sauce and stir to coat. Heat for a few minutes. Pour into a shallow serving dish.
Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
This recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and bake before serving.
15 large mushrooms cleaned and stems removed
1 scallion, minced
1 small garlic, grated
1 pkg frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
3 ounces feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon Greek seasoning or dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Hollow out the mushrooms and reserve the mushroom stems for another use.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a glass baking dish and put the dish in the oven while the oven preheats.
Combine all the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stuff the caps with the filling and place in the hot prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.Place on a serving platter.
If the Mushrooms have been in the refrigerator, bring them to room temperature for an hour before cooking.
They may need to be baked a little longer.
Mini Crab Puffs with Remoulade Sauce
The crab puffs can be baked ahead, refrigerated and reheated just before game time.
1/2 pound fresh crab meat
2 tablespoons minced bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced celery
1 scallion, minced
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon crab seasoning (recommended Old Bay)
2 tablespoons almond flour or all purpose flour
Combine all the ingredients except the crab in a mixing bowl. Mix well and then fold in the crab meat.
Cover the bowl and chill the mixture until ready to bake.
Coat a mini muffin pan with cooking spray and, using a cookie scoop, fill 15 openings to the top of the muffin cup with the crab mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 -20 minutes until cooked through and lightly golden brown.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and remove to a serving platter.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a serving dish. Whisk until completely mixed. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
I have been fascinated by the spiralizer vegetable craze. So I bought an inexpensive spiralizer to try my hand at making zucchini noodles to see what all the fuss is about. I read the tips that came with the gadget and watched a video, so I would get it right. This little spiralizer did an excellent job and I had no difficulty operating it.
Some tips I picked up:
Spiralizers work best with straight vegetables, so you may have to trim them or cut them in half.
In order to get long spirals, the vegetable should be at least an inch and a half in diameter.
After washing the produce cut one end off and keep one end uncut to use to grip the vegetable.
Zucchini is a watery vegetable. After you spiralize the zucchini, dry them off with a paper towel. I made the spirals in the morning and let them sit on a double thickness of paper towels until it was time to cook. They were nice and dry and could be cooked al dente.
I gave some thought to what would work well for a topping over zucchini noodles and decided on an Alfredo sauce with shrimp. You could also use chicken. This is a whole new food world to explore.
Shrimp Alfredo Over Zucchini Noodles
For 2-3 servings
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Chopped parsley for a garnish
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
1 pound large shrimp (16-20) peeled, deveined, no tails
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 medium zucchini, about 7 inches long and about 2 inches wide
1 tablespoon butter
Cut the base end off the zucchini and use the other end to hold while the zucchini turns in the gadget. Place the zoodles on a double thick layer of paper towels to dry.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter then add the grated garlic and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.
Add all of the other ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Whisk vigorously until the cream cheese melts and the sauce is smooth.
Add the Parmesan cheese and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until it is melted and just starts to thicken.
Stir often until smooth, then remove from the heat, covered, until the shrimp are cooked.
In a large skillet, heat the butter and then add the zucchini noodles, Toss for 2-3 minutes.
Taste the noodles to determine consistency – should be “al dente”.
Place the zoodles on a platter and pour one small scoop of Alfredo sauce over them and set aside.
In same skillet that the zucchini was cooked in, melt the butter and add the garlic and red pepper flakes.
Sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant.
Salt and pepper the shrimp and then add them to the garlic butter and cook for 2 minutes on each side.
Add a small scoop of sauce to the pan and swirl the shrimp in the sauce. Pour over the zoodles on the platter.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and extra Parmesan. Pour the extra sauce into a small serving dish and serve alongside the platter.
A tomato salad was a nice side for this dish.
Beef roast and vegetables are slow cooked in a delicious broth until the meat just falls apart in this recipe. Definitely comfort food.
Browning the beef in bacon fat adds much flavor to the meat and you can drain the pot of the fat after the beef is browned and before you add other ingredients, if you prefer.
Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs typical of the Provence region of southeast France. This blend often contains savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender leaves. These herbs are a delicious addition to stews and braised meats.
You can also add small potatoes to the pot roast, if you wish. Add them to the pot after the roast has cooked about 1 1/2 hours. Or you can serve this dish with mashed potatoes.
2 1/2 to 3 pound chuck roast
2 tablespoons bacon fat or oil of your choice
Sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence
1 large sweet onion cut in quarters
5 medium (5-6 oz) carrots, peeled and cut in half
5 large stalks celery, cut into thirds
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 1/2 cups unsalted beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F and place the rack to the middle position.
Trim any visible fat on the outside of the roast.
Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat.
Dry the chuck roast with a paper towel and season both sides well with salt and pepper and the Herbes de Provence.
When the pot is very hot, add the bacon fat and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot.
Brown the chuck roast on one side for 4-5 minutes then flip and brown the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Turn the heat to low.
Place the vegetables in the pot around the browned pot roast. In a large measuring cup,combine the broth, wine and tomato paste.
Mix well and pour over the beef and vegetables. The liquid should be almost to the top of the roast.
If not, add a little more broth until it is. Turn the heat up to medium until the liquid begins to simmer.
Cover the pot and place the pot roast into the oven to cook for 3 hours or until the roast is very tender.
It’s done when a fork pierces easily all the way through the meat and/or it shreds easily with a fork.
Check after 3 hours but it may take as long as 4 depending on how thickly cut the chuck roast is.
Remove the roast and vegetables to a large serving plate with a slotted spoon.
Skim the fat and add enough of your favorite thickener for about 4 cups of liquid.
Cook the gravy, stirring constantly until the liquid thickens.
Slice the meat on the platter and serve the meat and vegetables with the gravy on the side.