Saturday, October 30, 2010

RECIPE: Spaetzle and Dill Sauce

Not that you asked for it, but here's another way to use that amazing dill sauce...

Here's the OTHER way I use it... Swedish Meatballs ( < ---- oh yum! )

Find some good quality spaetzle ... spaetzle is typically considered a German food. But can also be found in other countries. Check out the link for more info...

I bought this spaetzle at World Market. If your grocery store doesn't carry this in the pasta section then check in a food specialty store in your area. Cook it according to the instructions on the back... and then drain and toss it into the large pan with the sauce. Toss well until all of the spaetzle is covered with sauce.

Dill Sauce
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

½ cup butter
1/8 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
Pinch ground nutmeg
Kosher salt/pepper to taste

Melt half stick of butter in a large pan; stir in flour; gradually stir in broth. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until sauce bubbles & thickens. Stir in sour cream, ground nutmeg and dill. Add kosher salt/pepper to taste.

Drain spaetzle and add to sauce. Toss until spaetzle is covered with sauce. Serve immediately.

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

RECIPE: Swedish Meatballs with Dill Sauce

Oh, I'm speechless. THIS made my entire week... I've been calling on the flavors of my childhood (I can remember Gramma H making her version of this dish quite often) and researching other flavor ideas so I could update it a bit.

Here's where I started...

In a large bowl I combined everything except for the bread crumbs...

... and I mixed it all up with the best tools in the kitchen!

With an ice cream scooper I made 1" balls, rolled them semi-tightly in wet hands (to prevent the meat from sticking to my hands) and then rolled them in panko bread crumbs...

... and started the assembling line process. Oh how I love the assembly line process. (Seriously - it makes so much sense to my brain!)

Several recipes I read said it was a good idea to chill the meatballs before baking them off. But I didn't (I simply didn't have the time)... and I think they turned out ok.

So, as they baked I moved on to the dill sauce...

We don't have fresh dill around here very often. But everytime I buy it I think to myself "Why don't I use this more?! It's so fresh smelling and yummy and kind of inspirational!"

It's easy to work with... you can just pull it right off the stem and there isn't even much chopping to do because it's so fine already. (And the freshness comes out even more once you chop into it!)

While I was thinking I chopped it up and put together all the players of the sauce...

The sauce comes together rather easily... starting with a basic roux.

Then I moved on to the other parts of the sauce... starting with chicken broth, a little at a time.

Once that was all incorporated I threw in the other ingredients... and gave it another whisk.

But then it was a little too thick for my preference, so I added a touch more chicken broth.

In the meantime... the egg noodles had finished cooking and the meatballs were done. So I started plating up...

Just LOOK at those beautifully crunchy and flavorful meatballs!!! And the house smells SOOOO good right about now!

Here you have it... egg noodles, with a little sauce drizzled on top. Add the meatballs and a little more sauce.


(pardon me... I've been looking forward to this all week!)

OR... you can just eat them like this...

The onions in the meatballs and that dill sauce compliment each other so well. And the CR-CR-CRUNCH on the outside of the meatball. WOW!

But don't take my word for it... try it for yourself! You can thank me later...

Swedish Meatballs with Dill Sauce
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

1 pound lean ground beef
½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 egg
½ tablespoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ cup heavy cream
1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs

Dill Sauce
½ cup butter
1/8 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
Pinch ground nutmeg
Kosher salt/pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine beef, onion, egg, allspice, nutmeg, salt/pepper and heavy cream. Mix until well combined. With wet hand, shape mixture into 1" balls. Roll balls in panko bread crumbs & place side by side in a shallow baking pan; cover & chill for at least 2 hours. You should have about 20-25 meatballs.

Bake at 375 for 30-35 min., or until brown - turn the meatballs after 15 min.

Melt half stick of butter in a large pan; stir in flour; gradually stir in broth. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, till sauce bubbles & thickens. Stir in sour cream, ground nutmeg and dill. Add kosher salt/pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Red Velvet was made for HALLOWEEN!

But first off let me show you what the sunrise looked like this morning! Awesome!

Then I got to work to finalize the details on our trick or treat event at work.

I made Red Velvet Cupcakes and brought in some decorations. Some of the decorations were homemade and some were store bought.

I made the headstones (cute stamp I found at Michael's, eh?!) ... but bought the "Have a Fang-tastic Halloween" food picks.

As usual, we commandeered the closest conference room and made a mess of it. All it needed was a few wicked scary decorations...

... and I'm still buzzing from all the sugar over-load!

I made a few of the cutest-little-pumpkins-you-ever-did-see, and figured I ought to share them as well: paper pop-up pumpkins

What are YOU doing this Halloween?

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spices, spices, spices... a tip from Trader Joe's

I hope Trader Joe's lawyers don't mind if I graciously link their company's INGENIUS newsletter to my food blog. Afterall I'm giving them credit where credit is due... I'm directing you back to their website and I'm talking about how INGENIUS they are! (who could ask for more?!)

After all... I admire their honesty, their willingness to help me get my hands on quality spices for cheaper and for helping me look good in the kitchen.

Below is a very short blurb from Trader Joe's Southern California October 2010 Fearless Flyer ... for the full version of Trader Joe's witty tips and wise thoughts, check out pages 12 and 13 in the link above.)

" Here’s the deal with spices: there are only a handful of truly high quality spice manufacturers in the world, and we happen to do business directly with one of them. By doing this, we are able to get rid of all the “hidden” costs usually spent on advertising, display fixtures, brand-building, promotions and those slotting fees we mentioned. Instead, at Trader Joe’s we put the spices in our own label and we don’t mark up our prices to sky-high proportions just to recover all those
“hidden” costs. "

So don't be scared off... get the right spices. They are affordable... just find the right place to buy them.

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

Monday, October 25, 2010

RECIPE: The BETTER Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Note to self: when you wake up from a nap with a food idea (Hmmm... I wonder what that under-used potato ricer would do for the cauliflower?!)... OH, JUST TRY IT FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

Trust those instincts... or am I the only one that wakes up with food ideas?!

I do believe this version of the 'mashed cauliflower' recipe is better than the previous one... so scratch the other one. OK, you can make the other one if you want... but I like this one better.

So, join me half way through the process here. What you see below is cauliflower that has been boiled. And I'm getting ready to drain it.

And these are the 'tools' you will need... a large bowl, a measuring cup and a potato ricer. (And yes, I'm convinced... the potato ricer is THE most under-used kitchen tool - but OH SO WORTH IT!)

In the picture below you will see the "press" that pushes the food through the "ricer" at the bottom of the cup.

I put about a cup worth of boiled cauliflower into the cup and first pushed out water, gently.

Once cauliflower started to come through the bottom I moved to the large bowl and firmly pressed out the rest of the cauliflower.

Then I loaded up the cup again and repeated the process until all of the cauliflower was riced...

See all of that water that got pushed out of that cooked vegetable? You want to save this... because you might want to add some back to the mash to bring it to the consistency you want. But at least your cauliflower won't be all runny...

Then we move on to the flavor that will be added... sour cream, butter, nutmeg, garlic powder, parmesan cheese and salt/pepper.

Mix everything into the cauliflower...

If you think it needs it, add a little bit of water... just a touch. Mix well. You can always add a little more water if you want to... so a little bit at a time.

And there you have it.... what I now consider my best version of mashed cauliflower.

And shhh... my hero-of-a-hubby still thinks he's eating mashed potatoes!

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

4 cups cauliflower
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons light sour cream
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Kosher salt/pepper to taste

Boil cauliflower until well done, in well-salted water. Drain and add 1 cup of boiled cauliflower to a potato ricer. Over a 2 cup measuring cup, first press the water out of cauliflower. Once the water is out, press the cauliflower through the ricer (into a large bowl). Continue until all of the cauliflower has been pressed through the ricer. Save some of the drained water in case you want to add some at the end. Transfer the riced cauliflower to a hot saucepan. Add butter, sour cream, garlic powder, nutmeg and mix well. Stir in parmesan cheese until it is melted. Add salt/pepper to taste. And now is when you would add some of the drained water if you feel it would improve the consistency of the "mash". Serve hot.

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

Soup's On...

Just trust me on this one... you want to make this soup! And it's so easy, and it's so quick... and it's SOOOO yummy!!!

Check out the original post: Chicken Noodle Soup

It'll take no time at all... and you can thank me later!

enjoy your time in the kitchen...


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