Spicy Chicken Meatball Stir-Fry

My fixation on tiny chicken meatballs continues. These ones are made of ground chicken thigh meat; far juicier than breast meat. I buy this freshly made at Valley Farm Markets. Great meats, poultry and produce. Plus decent prices.

Actually; these meatballs are sort of medium-small sized. They are simple to mix up in a mixing bowl, glop out with a big dinner spoon and bake on a big rimmed pan lined in parchment paper. Baking is so simple and time saving compared to frying while turning them constantly. Easy clean up if you do the parchment paper.

Meanwhile, I make a somewhat spicy sauce and then cut up veggies and saute for a mini stir fry. Blend it all together… Delish! You can alter it to make it spicier or even milder; add more or less hot sauce.

meatball stir fry 2

meatball stirfry 1

Chicken Meatball Stir fry

Ingredients
1 lb ground chicken; preferably thigh meat
1 egg; beaten a bit
1-2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion or shallot
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. sea salt
1/3-2/3 cup gf breadcrumbs

Mix all in big bowl. Line rimed sheet with parchment paper. Glop on the meatballs with a dinner spoon; mine are about 1 1/3 inch in diameter. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let cool.
What they bake make a sauce
Mix in a heavy bottomed saucepan
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp. mild olive oil
1 Tbsp brown sugar; packed
1 big garlic clove minced
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes; scant for me; 8 year old doesn’t like spicy
1/4 to 1 tsp. hot sauce; I used 1/4 tsp., decent heat level for a delicate tummy
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
½-3/4 tsp. fresh ground ginger root (I keep mine in the freezer)

Cook 2-4 minutes on medium

Heat pot of water; make half a box of gf spaghetti.

Veggie Stir-fry

Ingredients
3 stalks celery sliced in ¼-1/3 slices
½ small red onion cut in inch long thin strips
1 large garlic clove minced
½ can of bamboo shoots
2-3 stalks kale torn off ribs
2 large or 4 smaller radishes, 6 if tiny; sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 Tbsp olive oil

Melt oil in mini wok or fry pan. Add celery; cook a minute, add onion, cook another 1-2 minutes, add garlic, stir and cook a minute, add kale and radish slices, cook 1-2 minutes, stirring add bamboo shoots and then stir. You want a bit of crunch still in the radishes and celery. Add the sauce, stir well, add half- 2/3 of the meatballs, stir around well. Add cooked spaghetti and stir. Serve hot. Enjoy. Now that’s a spicy meataball!

PS: I used the rest of the meatballs to make Italian Wedding Soup; Manga!

Stuffed Peppers..2.0 Version

Stuffed peppers are a great homey fall supper. I made them a few weeks ago and my recipe is just about the same as my mom used to make, comfort food for sure.  My garden produced more bell peppers….not sure I wanted the same flavor so I went looking for a different take. I found this vegetarian recipe by Robert Irvine on Food Network.  I changed it by adding ground chicken and removing some veggies to make room for that chicken. The result was just a great combination of flavors and very satisfying. I will put my version here.  If you want it vegetarian look for his recipe on the website. It got five stars and they are well deserved. I guess you could use any ground meat for this recipe.  I got my dark meat ground chicken at Valley Farm Markets in Bethlehem.

I don’t cook with tarragon that often but it really makes the flavor of this dish so delightful and different. Just try it.

Notes: I used cooked brown rice, the original choice was wild rice. You can use whatever rice floats your boat or is in your pantry; just cook it and cool somewhat before mixing with the other filling ingredients.  This is a naturally gluten free meal and I never got tired of it – ate all the servings up in a week and know I will be making it again for sure.

 

Angie’s Italian Stuffed Peppers   makes six

 

6 green, red or yellow bell peppers; nice sized

3-4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb ground chicken; dark meat if you can find it

1 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves minced

1-2 cups diced summer squash

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

½ cup diced red pepper

2 tbsp. tomato paste

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp. fresh tarragon chopped

½ cup Asiago cheese freshly grated (Parmesan would also work)

Directions:

Cut the lids off the peppers, discard seeds, I cut about ½ inch down the pepper so the center and stem stays part of the lid.  Heat a cup of water in a big pot with a steamer in it. Add the peppers and their lids, cook about 8 minutes, remove lid and let cool.

In a large skillet pour half the olive oil, heat, add the chicken and cook until no longer pink.  After it is cooking a couple minutes add the onions and garlic.  Cook a minute or two and add the diced squash and red pepper.  Do not overcook the squash. I used a firm variety of squash(tromboni) so it stayed together and didn’t get mushy.  Add the tomato paste and tomato; don’t add all the juice in the can of tomatoes; reserve about half for adding to the baking pan later on. Stir and cook until onions are soft.  Total cooking time; no more than ten or twelve minutes.  Heat the oven: 375 degrees.

Dump the cooled rice in a big bowl, add the skillet’s contents. Season with salt and pepper to taste and fresh tarragon.  Mix up gently. Stuff the cooled and drained peppers, do not pack in filling. Put a bit of filling in the bottom of a large oval baking dish that will hold your six peppers and stand the stuffed peppers upright in there.  Sprinkle them with the grated cheese, put the pepper lids on the peppers, I would add that reserved tomato juice from the can to the stuffing loose in the pan to keep it moist.  Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy  stuffed pepper

 

Japanese Eggplants with Ground Chicken or Pork: Delightful!

There is this recipe for chowed eggplant with ground pork that I make often when I can find skinny Japanese eggplants. Chowed means stir fried.  It comes out great every time I make it, slight addiction is my position on this recipe. This latest version uses ground chicken thigh meat instead of ground pork. If you get tired of pork or don’t eat it this is an excellent choice.  I bought it at Valley Farm Markets; their meats can’t be beat for flavor and value! I suppose you can used ground chicken breast too. Anyway, it worked very well.

I added some sticks of fresh zucchini from my garden  and a bit of sliced cabbage.  It was delish for sure. The original recipe is by Jeff Smith, out of his cookbook, The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines; China, Greece and Rome. It is full of great recipes; where I got my potsticker and other dim sum recipes.  No judging here of Chef Smith; just enjoying great food…

Notes; can change out zucchini and or cabbage, for green beans, carrots, pea pods…but you can’t change out the eggplant.  Ground pork is excellent this way as well. Can use yellow onion rather than green if you prefer; cook a bit longer than scallions if you do.  You could also serve this with rice noodles; the wide kind you let soak in boiling hot water for ten minutes; that’s all the cooking it needs.

Angie’s Eggplant with Ground Chicken

1 lb skinny Japanese eggplant

1 tsp salt

½ tsp. light soy sauce, gf

1 ½ tsp. dry sherry or rice wine

½ tsp. grated fresh ginger

½ lob ground chicken, preferably thigh meat

2 tbsp. mild olive oil or peanut oil

2 cloves of garlic minced

3-4 green onions sliced in 1 to 2 inch lengths and cut in half if white part

1 cup zucchini strips; long rectangle shape

2/3-1 cup sliced green cabbage; not too thin

1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

Pinch sugar

Directions:

Cut unpeeled eggplants into ½ inch thick diagonal slices and cut each in half the long way. Sprinkle with salt, let stand ½ hour draining in a colander.  Pat dry with paper towels.

Mix meat with soy sauce sherry and fresh ginger, let stand 20 to 30 minutes.

Slice or chop veggies.

Heat wok and add 1 tbsp. oil. Add ground meat mixture and flatten a bit; cook until browned lightly; flip over and brown other side; no pink showing; chop up with utensil and set aside.  Add rest of oil and then garlic, cook 30 seconds, add eggplant, cook until it appears more than half done; about 5 minutes; then add zucchini and cabbage, stir for 4-5 minutes, add sesame oil and green onions. Stir a minute, add pinch sugar, wok until cabbage is crisp tender.

eggplant stir fry on plate

Serve with brown or white rice.  I made my brown rice in my handy instant pot pressure cooker.  I did a cup of long grain brown rice, 1 ¼ cup water, 1 tsp. oil, ½ tsp. sea salt; Manual high pressure for 20 or so minutes, ten minutes natural release.  Easy peasy.


 

Spring Italian Wedding Soup

My dear friend Cathy’s kids used to call this grass soup when they were little because it is chock full of fresh spinach that melts into this healthy and tasty soup.  I make mine with ground chicken for the tiny meatballs.  You could use ground turkey, veal or beef.  You can make this soup with canned broth; be sure it is gluten free if you have celiac disease like I do, for some odd reason many manufacturers add some (wheat) flour to their broth.  My favorite broth choice is Kitchen Basic, and they also have a low salt broth.  Homemade chicken broth is going to make it more flavorful if you have some around but sometimes we just don’t have time to make fresh broth.  The recipe is my modifications of a soup by Ina Garten, which can be found on foodnetwork.com.

I discovered a new bread crumb by Alieas Love of Artisan Food; gluten free Italian bread crumbs; and it worked perfectly for this recipe. I found them in my local Giant grocery store. They do have dairy and egg in them if you want to know. The store also had panko bread crumbs by this same company; next time I need panko I know what I am getting.

Don’t freak out if you only have one carrot or don’t want as much of any ingredient; relax and make it your way.  Some versions have fresh dill chopped up and added at the end 2-3 tbsp. of it. Next time! stir fry, pan dowdey and crocus 007

Angie’s Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken

1 large egg

About ½-2/3 cup gf bread crumbs

¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp. sea salt

Soup

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium to large yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, unpeeled, sliced into quarter rounds

2 celery stalks diced including the leaves

1 or 2 garlic cloves

½ cup white wine

1 1/2 quarts of gluten free chicken broth

½ cup tiny gf pasta; I found some tiny ring shaped pasta

1 package fresh baby spinach, standard size

½ to 1 tsp. sea salt and some fresh black pepper

Directions: Crack the egg and mix it up well before you dump the rest of your meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl, stir up with your hands and form into 1 1/4 inch diameter meatballs, 1 and ½ inches maximum.  Place them 1-2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, bigger ones will need a few more minutes. If you feel perfectionistic, turn them half way though the baking, not really that necessary though.

While they bake, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan; I used a two quart one.  Add the diced onion, celery and carrots.  Cook them about 6-8 minutes until soft, add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the broth and white wine to the soup, stirring frequently; bring to a boil and add the meatballs, reheat, add the pasta, cook until nearly done, add the spinach, cook 1-2 minutes; taste and adjust the salt. Add fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Pour in a bowl.  I topped mine with some more fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Perfect meal when you want to sooth a still slightly iffy tummy.