Meatballs in Vietnamese-Spiced Coconut Broth

Meatballs in Vietnamese-spiced Coconut Broth

Meatballs in Vietnamese-spiced Coconut Broth

I’ve been on a rampage lately to adapt some of my favorite recipes to be slow carb compliant.  This wonderful Meatballs in Coconut Broth recipe inspired from Gordon Ramsey lent itself easily to adaptation.  Chicharrones (sometimes called bacon puffs) were substituted for breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp heavy cream was in for the milk, and the Vietnamese spice mix was tinkered with a bit to suit my taste. It’s a mouth-watering dish and carries all the yin and yang flavors typical of southeast Asian cuisines.

Vietnamese cuisine typically features a combination of five taste elements: spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet. This dish incorporates three of the major spices found in Vietnamese cuisine – ginger, garlic and hot chili peppers.

The sweetness comes from the cardamom, cinnamon and ginger rather than sugar, the sour comes in with the lime juice, the spicy from the red pepper flakes, and the salty from the chicharrones and the chicken stock.  It is missing the bitter element, so I might work on that in future renditions.  This was so good as it was though, that I’m hesitant to mess with it!

Meatballs in Vietnamese-Spiced Coconut Broth

Ingredients:

Meatballs in Vietnamese Spiced Coconut Broth

Meatballs in Vietnamese Spiced Coconut Broth

Sauce

  • 2 tsp freshly ground coriander
  • 2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 tsp lemon grass paste
  • 2″ root ginger, grated (just shy of  1/2 cup grated)
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 13.5 oz can chicken stock
  • salt (1/2 tsp to 1 tsp)
  • zest and juice from 1 lime

Meatballs

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes, or to taste
  • 2 lb. ground beef (hamburger, but can use ground pork)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 oz bag chicharrones, (aka bacon puffs, pork rinds, pork skins, use panko or breadcrumbs if not slow carb compliant), smashed into crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp oil for cooking
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

To make the meatballs, saute the onions with a tablespoon of oil for about 5 minutes or until translucent and add garlic for last 30 seconds.  Turn off heat and stir in chili flakes.  Remove pan from heat.

Place ground beef in large bowl and lightly salt and pepper it (about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper).  Smash the chicharrones into fine crumbs (smash them while still in the bag with something heavy) and place them in a separate bowl.  Add the cream to the crumbs and mix with your hands.  The crumbs are to bind the meatballs together, so if you are using breadcrumbs and milk, just add enough to get a moist but not wet mixture.

Add the sauteed onion mix and the crumb mix to the ground beef and mix thoroughly with your hands.  Roll the mix into golf ball sized balls and place on a tray or plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so until they are firm.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium to medium-low heat and cook meatballs until browned, turning them carefully with tongs or a spatula. They are tender and fall apart easily so turn carefully.  Do this in batches so you don’t crowd the meatballs.

Remove meatballs to paper towels or plate (they will not be cooked all the way through yet).  If you have a lot of oil left in your skillet, drain some of this off and then add the coriander, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, chili, lemongrass and ginger and stir into the leftover oil and meat bits for a minute or so.  Whisk in the coconut milk and stock (use the empty coconut can to pour in an equal amount of chicken stock to get the 13.5 oz).  When spices and stocks are mixed, return the meatballs to the skillet and simmer everything gently for 10-15 minutes until sauce has thickened and meatballs are cooked.

Cooking time will depend on size of meatballs and how long they were browned.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add the lime zest and juice and serve in a bowl.

**Note:  it makes a big difference to use coriander seeds and cardamom pods and grind them fresh.

 

0

Chimichurri Topped Beef Brisket – SCD

Chimichurri Topped Beef Brisket

Chimichurri Topped Beef Brisket

It was the day before St. Patrick’s Day and my daughter called with an urgent request for a “green slow carb main dish” for a potluck at her work.  Well, I could think of any number of green vegetable dishes, but a green main dish?  Oh, and it had to be easy also, she said.  Fortunately, there was enough time to cook a beef brisket nice and slow the day before and then chop up a fresh Argentine Chimichurri to keep in the fridge until needed.

The tender fatty meat covered with a fresh herbal condiment is quite a taste treat, and is easy to prepare the day before if you have enough notice.  I’ll repeat that part…if you have enough notice.  The brisket is not something you can rush.  In fact, I cooked this 8-pound brisket for 10 hours at 250 degrees and it was perfect.  The Chimichurri is also very easy and only takes 10 minutes to make.  There is enough fat in the brisket that it didn’t dry out when she quickly microwaved it for her co-workers and the oil in the chimichuri adds moistness to the meat while giving it a fresh spring flavor.  Success for her potluck!

Recipe for Chimichurri Topped Beef Brisket

BRISKET (inspired by Food Network Favorite Recipes):

Ingredients:

  •  1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 8-lb beef brisket, well marbled with good layer of fat (aka point cut)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250° F.   Combine all of the spices in a small bowl, mixing together with your hands or a whisk.
  2. Rub the beef brisket all over with the spice mix and place in an ungreased broiler pan or baking pan with high sides.
  3. Place the brisket in the oven and leave it alone for 10 hours.  No basting, no turning.  Easy.  The fat and some of the spice mix will pool at the bottom of the pan and you can reserve some of this with the bits to use in a sauce if you like.

CHIMICHURRI:

There are many renditions of Chimichurri, all of them slightly different, and all of them good.  This recipe uses a bit more oil than some and it makes quite a bit (2 cups).  I was thinking potluck and wanted to make sure nothing was dry.

St Patrick's Day Potluck Brisket

St Patrick’s Day Potluck Brisket

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups flat leafed parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (can use 1 fresh jalapeno instead)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except the parsley in a food processor until finely chopped.  Add the parsley and pulse until a pesto-like consistency is reached.  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.  Will keep 3-4 days.

THE POTLUCK

Thinly slice the brisket, removing the large pieces of fat.  Layer on a plate and microwave for a minute or so.  Serve with room temperature Chimichuri on the side and let people slather it on top of their brisket or keep it neatly to the side as a dip.

Keep the parsley out of your teeth and you enjoy the companionship of your fellow co-workers!

 

2

Lentil and Chorizo Mulligan – Slow Carb

Lentil & Chorizo Mulligan Stew

Lentil & Chorizo Mulligan Stew

Lentils are constantly being recommended as a good staple for the Slow Carb Diet, but I have very little experience cooking with them.  That’s changing as I am becoming an avid fan of Moroccan cuisine. Besides being a tasty base for all kinds of proteins and vegetables, lentils are cheap, nutritious and easy to work with.

I’m calling this dish a “mulligan” because it’s kind of a stew, kind of a hash and kind of a soup.  It’s really a mash-up of lentils and chorizo and whatever else is in your fridge.  In my case, harissa, peppers and tomatoes.   I will be making this frequently, and I’m sure it will be slightly different each time – hence the beauty of a “mulligan”.

Lentil & Chorizo Mulligan Stew Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb chorizo, sausage
  • 1 Tbsp harissa (can also use Sambal chile paste)
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup red lentils (brown lentils are fine)
  • 1 12-oz jar roasted red peppers
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lentil Stew

Lentil Stew

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for a couple of minutes until soft.  Add chorizo and break it up in the pot.  Cook mixture until chorizo is no longer pink (5-7 minutes).
  2. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.  Stir in harissa, tomatoes, lentils, peppers and stock and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly.
  3. Stir in parsley and serve in bowls.

0

Seared Scallops with Grapefruit Butter

m4s0n501
Seared Scallops with Grapefruit Butter Sauce

Seared Scallops with Grapefruit Butter Sauce

This dish was such a surprising delight!  I love seared scallops and usually make them with a fennel crust but I saw this intriguing recipe in a cookbook called “Balaboosta” and thought I’d give it a try.  Delicious! Easy! Quick!

At first it seemed an odd pairing, grapefruit and butter, but once the surprise of the first bite was over, every bite became more full of wonderful, unique flavor.  My husband and I both agreed that we’re starting to like our own meals better than some of the fine dining we’ve done for a whole lot more money.  And the next best thing to the flavor of this dish?  It took about 10 minutes start to finish.

Seared Scallops with Grapefruit Butter Sauce

(slightly adapted from “Balaboosta”, a cookbook from Chef Einat Admony)

Ingredients:

  • large sea scallops, I used a whole bag which had about 15-20 scallops
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, she used shallots but yellow onions were fine
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • grapefruit segments, from 1/2 of a large grapefruit
Seared Scallops with Grapefruit Butter Sauce

Seared Scallops with Grapefruit Butter Sauce

Directions:

  1. Thaw scallops if using frozen scallops and keep them refrigerated.  Remove the scallops from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before cooking, drain them and set them on paper towels to start drying.  Keep patting them dry with clean paper towels as you’re making the sauce. They need to be as dry as possible when you place them in the pan.
  2. Make the sauce.  In a small saucepan combine the onion, vinegar and grapefruit juice and quickly bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to simmer and simmer until the mixture is half as much as when you started (i.e., reduce the mixture by half). This takes about 6-7 minutes over low heat.  Remove pan from heat and whisk in the butter cubes.  Keep warm.
  3. Heat a large dry skillet over medium-high heat until it is really, really hot (takes 5-10 minutes).  Keep dabbing the scallops dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side of scallops after they are as dry as you can get them. When skillet is hot, melt one tablespoon of butter in it (butter will brown right away), and then add the scallops, salt side down in the skillet, and sear for 1 minute.  Salt and pepper the top side of scallops while they are searing, turn them over gently with tongs, and sear the other side one minute.  Do not overcook or they will be rubbery.
  4. To serve, spread a spoonful of the butter sauce across the bottom of a plate, place the scallops on top of the sauce and garnish with the grapefruit segments.

Done!  Delish!  You’re a top chef!

 

 

0

Tamale Harissa Pie & Slow Carb Version

Tamale Harissa Pie

Tamale Harissa Pie

It’s true that not everyone in your family will see the Slow Carb Diet as their lifestyle of choice, and if you are the main cook in the family it can sometimes be difficult to please the range of tastebuds.  Many recipes are easy enough to adapt to slow carb cooking, and often making two dinners is only a matter of cooking up the “adapted” recipe in a separate pot.

I’ve been playing around with our new product line of slow carb sauces and the harissa in this tamale pie took a simple casserole to a new level.  To adapt the recipe for slow carb, I simply left out a can of corn in the filling and cooked “my” casserole without a cornmeal crust on top.  Served with a salad, it was great. I had a brief twinge of carb envy watching my mom eat the regular recipe, but it quickly disappeared as I finished off my “topless tamale pie”

Here is the recipe.  I used our new Harissa sauce from HeathGlen, but there are alternatives in various gourmet-type stores.

Tamale Harissa Pie Recipe

Tamale Harissa Casserole

Tamale Harissa Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • about 1/2 tsp salt
  • about 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), diced
  • 1 lb Italian or Andouille sausage
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 15-oz can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, fire roasted if possible
  • 1/4 cup harissa
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, freshly ground if possible
  • 1 tsp ground coriander, freshly ground if possible
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder, or 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 box cornbread mix
  • about 1/2 tsp salt
  • about 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and  spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Add about 2 Tbsp oil to a large skillet or dutch oven and heat over medium-high until hot.
  3. Add the cubed squash to the skillet, along with the salt and pepper.  Saute the squash about 7 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned.
  4. Add onion and bell peppers to skillet and saute until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add sausage to pot or skillet and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up with the spatula to combine with the vegetables.
  5. Add the black beans, corn, tomatoes, harissa, and spices.  Stir everything together thoroughly and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the cheese.
  6. Pour the sausage-vegetable mixture into the casserole.  Prepare the cornbread mix according to the package instructions and then spread it over the casserole mixture, as evenly as possible.  The cornbread mixture will be lumpy and difficult to spread evenly.  Just do your best – it’s rustic!
  7. Cool slightly before cutting into squares for serving.
Harissa Sauce from HeathGlen

Harissa Sauce from HeathGlen

Harissa and Romesco Sauces can be found here.

 

To make this recipe Slow Carb Compliant:

To make this slow carb compliant omit the can of corn, the squash and the cheese from the sausage mixture and leave the mixture to simmer on the stove rather than placing in a casserole. No cornbread topping either!  You basically end up with a sausage vegetable ragu that’s pretty tasty.

 

 

 

2

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

UA-22658354-1