My Corner of the World

My Corner of the World -

Beer Balls

So I had all this Garden Cocktail my uncle gave me that was past it’s best before date that I wanted to get used up.  Besides making cream of tomato soup (with soup mix legume/grain mix), I thought I’d try making some kind of beer ball dish.  What I came up with is actually quite good.  My uncle had brought down a pack of medium ground beef so I put my thinking cap on.  You could use lean or extra lean, but you might want to consider adding more eggs to hold it all together.

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • about 1 tbsp. bacon grease (use whatever oil you want, I don’t want to hear about bacon grease being unhealthy, it adds good taste)
  • 500 g. medium ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tube of soda biscuit, finely crushed (by hand is good enough)
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 1/2 small onion, diced

Optional:

  • 1/2 large onion, diced or thinly sliced (optional)

Sauce:

  • about 2 c. Garden Cocktail
  • the better half of a beer (I wanted to get Beck’s non-alcohol beer used up, it worked well)
  • about 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 c. Ketchup
  • 1/3 c. medium garlic sauce (e.g. VH sauce)

Preparation:

Heat the oil (the bacon grease in my case) in a large sauce pan or frying pan.  Mix the meatball ingredients together and form into balls about 1″ to 1.5 ” in diameter (try not to overwork the meat otherwise it will be a little tough, not the end of the world though).  Place each meatball in the hot pan and cook on medium heat.

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

As the meatballs are frying, add the optional loose onion in the pan and cover.  Turn meatballs occasionally and cook meat entirely.  Once the meat is cooked and the optional onion is translucent, add the sauce.  Cover and bring to a boil for about 20 minutes while stirring occasionally, then simmer on low for about a half hour.  Serve with potatoes, rice, or whatever side you like.

Leftover Turkey Chili

chiliWe bought an Instant Pot (IP) during a black Friday sale at Walmart (Canada) for just under $49 (how could I pass up a half off kind of deal??).    I’ve made a few beef stews up (just throwing this and that into it) and love it.  With Christmas just passed, I need to use up my leftover turkey so I’m attempting turkey chili.  Sure it’s not ground turkey, but I think it’ll be ok.  So here’s what I’ve done…

  Ingredients:

  • 2 med. onions, chopped
  • 2 chopped red peppers
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 bag of dried red kidney beans (you can use other kinds like pinto)
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • about 3 c. chopped turkey
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes (796 ml)

Preparation: Sauté onion and red pepper in the IP until softened. Rinse beans well and add to IP along with 4 c. water. Pressure cook for 30 min.  I used the meat/stew setting and decreased it to 30 min. from its 45 min. default. When cycle is done, carefully vent the IP.  Carefully remove lid and add remaining ingredients.  Give it a stir to mix everything up and pressure cook for another 30 min.

Beer-Battered Fish

Yesterday was Good Friday and since my uncle and cousin were coming down for supper, Brad and I tried something a little different than just making fish sticks.

My uncle had brought us frozen fish (raw, 1.2 kg, just under  2 3/4 lbs of both sole and basa) when he came down for lunch earlier in the day.  My original thought was I’d throw it in a little flour, salt and pepper and pan fry it.  This evolved.

Brad was going to make french fries in the deep fryer.  If anything is going to be deep fried, he’s the one who looks after it because I’m too delicate and don’t like getting burnt by little splatters of oil hahaha.  I got the idea to try battered fish in the deep fryer.  Brad had never deep fried fish like that and didn’t know how it would turn out.  I’m glad I stuck with that idea.  The recipe turned out great and that confidence I had in Brad’s deep frying abilities paid off.  He did a great job of it! :-)

I made the recipe below which I got from Canadian Living, however I modified it.  I did not use cayenne pepper.  Instead I used lemon pepper (about a teaspoon).  I was pretty sure I had read once somewhere that lemon chicken was often made with corn starch to get that kinda puffy blown up texture, so guess what I added to the recipe…  ;-)  For something that was a “let’s see what happens with it” idea, this made the world of difference.  Those 3 rounded tsp of cornstarch gave that fish such an airy puffy texture that made it awesome :-)  Next time I think I’ll go a little heavier on the lemon pepper by doubling it and I’ll probably add about a 1/2 or 3/4 tsp of salt.

A word about the batter that is remaining.  You’ll probably have some leftover batter.  I added enough flour to it to make a sticky dough out if and had Brad drop spoonfuls of it in the deep fryer.  It made little balls of dough kinda like dumplings but not as fluffy.  They were still good to swipe through the remaining salad dressing and tartar sauce on plates.  Next time though, I think I will have an apple or firm banana around and cut up 1-2″ chunks of whatever fruit I decide to use and stick into each ball of dough with some brown Splenda and cinnamon to see how that goes.  I think it will go very well!

So without further adieu, here’s the final recipe from yesterday’s fish feast!  If anyone wants, they can modify it as they see fit :-)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, extra flour (about a cup)for dredging
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 3 rounded tsp corn starch
  • 2 bottles (each 341 ml) beer
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying

Preparation:

In large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, corn starch, and lemon pepper; whisk in beer until smooth. Let stand for 15 minutes. 

In deep fryer or deep pot, pour in enough oil to come no more than halfway up side; heat to 375 F (190 C) on deep-fryer thermometer or until 1-inch (2.5 cm) cube of white bread turns golden in 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, cut fillets into serving-size pieces. Dredge fish in remaining flour, shaking off excess; dip into batter to coat. Deep-fry fish, turning once, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain. Serve with lemon wedges, lemon juice, or tartar sauce.

Third Party Links for Recipes

Just a few notes… Some of these recipes are too high in calories; I’m notorious for making substitutions. Some of these I’ve tried, many I have not… yet :-) I keep this list so I can reference when I do want to make some of these things. Of the items I have made, both my husband and I like them, a few though are more for my taste buds than his. Since these links are on third party sites which I have no control over, I’m not responsible for dead links. I’ll try to update them on my own site when possible. And now, on with the list! Sweets

Sides

Snacks and Appetizers

Salads and Slaws

Breads & Biscuits

Slow Cooker

Sauces, Salsas, and Dips

Meat

Drinks

Breakfast

Soups and Stews

 

Ham and Broccoli Casserole with Egg

I had company over for Christmas eve dinner and got good reviews on it.  I got this from Kraft’s site and it’s very good!  The only alterations I did was using the turkey Stove Top instead of Chicken, I used fresh broccoli, Hellman’s mayo instead of Miracle Whip, and I added mushrooms to it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stalk of broccoli (I use stalk and florets – no need for wasting)
  • About 2 cups of cubed, cooked ham
  • 1 box Stove Top stuffing
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. mayo or Miracle Whip
  • About 1.5 – 2 c. shredded cheese
  • 1 227 g. of sliced mushrooms

Preparation:

Spread the broccoli and ham in a large greased (I used cooking spray) baking dish.  Add cheese and stuffing on top.  In a separate bowl, mix milk, mayo,  and eggs well then pour mixture on top of casserole.  Refrigerate for a 1/2 hour, bake at 375 F for about 1 hour.

Easiest Chicken Pot Pie

I got this recipe from the Cook With Campbell’s web site, but made a couple of modifications to it.  It really is super easy and probably the most time consuming part of it is cutting the chicken up. I didn’t have time to make a roux, but this was a very tasty alternative.  I made this for Christmas eve dinner with 7 other people and it got rave reviews.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup cooked cubed or shredded chicken
  • 2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (use reduced-sodium if you can get it)
  • 1/3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 tsp onion powder
  • 1 pie shell
  • 1 thawed roll of butter puff pastry

 

Preparation:

Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Transfer ingredients from bowl to the pie shell.  Unroll the butter puff pastry and place on top of the pie shell.  Remove excess puff pastry from the edges and pinch against the pie shell.  Make a small hole the size of a quarter in the middle to let it vent.  Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven) until the bottom and top pastry is cooked.

Optional:  To get a golden top on the puff pastry, brush an egg wash on it, but it’s really not necessary.  It will still turn a golden brown on the edges a bit and taste as good.

Nanny’s Chicken

The best meat for this is boneless thighs or breast.  You can have the skin on or off, whatever your preference is.  I won’t really put a measurement since it really depends on how many you’re making and how much garlic/onion/salt you like to taste. Use a lot more cracker crumbs than the other dry ingredients.  Judge for yourself.

Ingredients:

  • a bit of savory
  • a bit of onion salt (I’ll use dried onion or onion powder)
  • ground cracker crumbs (put them through a food processor or magic bullet if you have one)
  • salt to taste if you haven’t used onion salt
  • a bit of pepper
  • 1 eggs or more as needed

Preparation:

Mix the egg(s) up in a bowl.  In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients together well.  Heat up a frying pan with oil in it.  Take a piece of chicken, coat it well in the egg mix then lay into the bowl with the dry ingredients and coat well.  Place in the pan and continue until you have a panful done (or less if you don’t have many).  Brown them and remove from the pan. If you don’t want to put them in the oven to finish cooking (below), cook well in the pan and serve hot.

Optional:  This will make them moist and melt in your mouth.  Place in an oven-safe dish and pour a small amount of water in it and heat to 350 degrees F. for 20-30 min. whenever it’s cooked all the way through.  Cover for 10 min. and then remove from oven.  Serve hot.  Another recipe that’s soooooo good!