Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lift Off

I'm thinking of starting my own small catering/party company.

I have been awarded the privilege of catering an author champagne "dinner" for her new book release.
A 50 person bridge club wine and app event.
A Keg and Diaper party and a 7 year anniversary celebration for a book store.

With my usual Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.

With all these things on the books, I'm beginning to wonder if i should start my own catering/party company. A small one of coarse, not a huge company that can do large parties, but mostly apps and small bites.

I'm getting excited!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Clean Fridge Thai Meatballs

Okay, so it's in between those pesky paydays and the fridge needs a cleaning. SO, what else does one do but start tossing things together. I have a small garden (with an interesting combination of produce) that happens to have lemongrass and mint in it. Now, I LOVE the flavors of lemongrass but have honestly never cooked with it. I have some organic ground beef in my freezer, so i started mixing things together and seeing what happened and came up with some tasty meatballs. I didn't measure anything so I'm guessing at the measurements. Feel free to make this recipe work for you and tweek as needed.

1 lb. Ground beef
1 sprig mint (chopped)
Small Squeeze of ginger paste
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp. ground chili powder
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder

Mix everything together, and make sure not to over mix or you will have dry chewy meatballs.

5 "Sprigs" of lemongrass coarsley chopped.
1/2 C. Milk
2 Tbl. Heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. Curry paste
1 Tbl. ginger paste
1 1/2 tsp. Tahini
1 Clove minced garlic

In a medium saucepan heat the milk, cream and lemongrass together on low until the lemongrass has infused the milk. Strain the lemongrass out of the milk and return to burner. Turn heat up to medium and add remaining ingredients. Cook in medium for 2-3 minutes, until flavors have had the chance to mingle.

Roll your meatballs into desired size and place in pot with sauce. Cook on medium heat, making sure to roll around meatballs so they cook evenly on all sides.

Enjoy over rice, Lettuce or all on it's own.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Egg Rolls

When you make egg rolls for non-cabbage eaters, improvisation is key. I had planned to follow a recipe for this, but after the second ingredient I tossed the recipe and just did what I thought was best.

Egg Roll Wrappers
1Lb. ground beef (or pork, turkey...)
2tsp. ginger paste
2 tps. garlic powder
1 clove minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium carrots, shredded
6 mini multi-colored bell peppers cut in strips
1/4C. chopped onion (your choice)
1 Tbl. minced fresh jalapeno

1Tbl. Flour
1Tbl. Water
Mix together in a small bowl, and use (just a touch) to seal the corners of your egg rolls, so they don't pop open in the pan.

You will also need a shallow frying pan and enough veg (or other high burn point oil)oil so you have about an inch deep in your pan.

Mix beef through salt and pepper. WARNING! Do NOT over mix or your meat or it will be tough. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until just cooked. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl mix carrots through jalapeno together. Add vegetable mix to your meat and toss together.

To assemble you lay a wrapper flat in front of you and spoon a portion of your mix just off center.

Fold the sides over the mix, then the corner closest to you. Roll it up and just when you get to the other corner...rub some "glue" on the corner and secure to the top.

Cook them on both sides until a nice golden brown on each side. when cooked remove to a small mesh rack to drain excess oil. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer Fruit Galette

When it's nearing the end of August, and there's so much wonderful fruit around one simply must make a lovely fruit dessert.
I was forced to add a little more sugar to the fruit than I would have liked (we haven't been getting the best stone fruit around here) but hopefully you have wonderfully juicy peaches and plums and can revel in their glorious juices.

CRUST: (makes 2)
2C. All-purpose flour
1/4 C. granulate sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, diced
6 Tbl. Ice water

Put flour, sugar and salt in food processor with a steal blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter and toss (carefully) with fingers quickly to coat. Pulse about 15 times, or until butter is pea sized. With the motor going, add ice water all at once, pulse to combine..stop just when dough is beginning to come together. Turn dough onto well floured surface, and roll into a ball, cut in half, and form into 2 flat discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (dough can be frozen for future use as well).

FILLING: (for 1)
1Lb. Firm, ripe peaches, peeled
1/2 Lb. Black plums
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1 TBl.all-purpose flour
1 Tbl. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. grated orange zest
2 Tbl. freshly squeezed orange juice

Cut the peaches and plums into wedges, and place in a bowl with the blueberries. Toss them with 1 Tbl. flour and sugar, orange juice and orange zest.

Preheat oven to 450

Roll pastry into 11 inch-thick round on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place mixed fruit on dough round, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold dough edges up and pinch to create border.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. With two large spatulas transfer pastry to cooling rack. CAREFULLY!
Serve's good cold the next morning with a cup of coffee too.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fresh Start

I am determined to be more consistent in my blog postings. At LEAST once a week is my desired goal. I have recently come to a decision (while looking at the the price of bread and jam) about how certain foods arrive in my pantry. After the mild stroke i suffered in the bread isle when seeing a $6 loaf of bread, I decided then and there that I will no longer buy bread products. For the price of one loaf at the store I can make three.
From here on out I will be making my own breads, jams/jellies, dressings and well...pretty much everything. There is no need to purchasing things I know I can make and feel comfortable and confident about where they came from and what they were made with.
Here's to a fresh start to food and commitment.