Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Asian BBQ Meatballs

I love to use Asian inspired ingredients in my dishes so when I thought of how to bring that flavor to something I fix all the time, meatloaf, I decided to do my version of sweet and sour with a little southern BBQ mixed in. These meatballs infuse ingredients such as rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, ginger powder, sesame oil plus a few staples of southern BBQ, mustard powder and honey. Marrying these flavors produced an exciting and delectable dish, Sweet and Spicy Asian Meatballs perfect as an appetizer or main course.

Sweet and Spicy Asian BBQ Meatballs

2 lbs Ground Beef (I mix half ground beef/half ground turkey)
1/2 Package All Natural Chicken Italian Sausage (see my Pita Pizzas recipe for more info)
1/2 Cup Minced Onion or Green Onion
1 TSP Minced Garlic
2 TBSP Seasoning Salt of your Choice
Pinch of fresh Ground Pepper
1 TBSP Garlic Salt
1 TSP Ginger Powder
2 TBSP Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 425. I use half the package of chicken sausage for the Pita Pizza recipe and save the other half to be used within the week for this recipe. Mix all ingredients with your hands in a large mixing bowl and form into bite size meatballs. Use more or less of the spices according to what you like. Place 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minute or until cooked through.

Sweet and Spicy Asian BBQ Sauce

3 TBSP Local Honey
1/4 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 TBSP Sweet Chili Sauce
1/2 TSP Ginger Powder
1/2 TSP Mustard Powder
2 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar
2 TSP Cornstarch, optional
1/4 Cup Pineapple Juice
1 TSP Sesame Oil

While the meatballs are cooking, place all ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly letting the cornstarch thicken the sauce.

Once the meatballs are done place on a plate and spoon the sauce over top. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.

This usually makes two meals. I fix half the meatballs one night with the Asian sweet and sour BBQ sauce and then the rest with spaghetti and tomato sauce or with prepared BBQ sauce as an appetizer. I make these ahead of time and place them in the refrigerator so all I have to do is place them on the cookie sheet and in the oven they go. I usually serve this dish with my Garlic Edamame and Asian Cole Slaw recipe. Both are to die for! This dish will transport your palate!

Happy Cooking,


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Best Side Dishes: Asian Inspiration

As you may know by now from my recipes, I find Asian-inspired food glorious to the senses. Not only are the ingredients exotic, think coconut milk, sweet chili sauce and sesame oil, but these readily available ingredients make them a snap to fix and you will delight your dinner guests! Here are a few of my go-to, easy, simple side dishes. In case you are wondering, I have many pantry staples. The ingredients in these recipes are always stocked and ready to go in my pantry.

Garlic Edamame

This one is easy peasy! Don't let the name fool you, these are just immature soybeans.

1 Package Frozen Edamame, either shelled or not, your choice
2 TBSP Garlic Salt
1 TBSP Sesame Oil, or to your taste
1 TSP Toasted Sesame Seeds

Boil or steam the edamame. This usually takes at least 20 minutes for my family's taste but more or less depending on how done you like your edamame. Drain the edamame if you boiled it. Place in a serving dish. Add the garlic salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Mix to coat. Voila! You have just made your first easy Asian inspired side dish. I also add just a dash of sweet chili sauce when the kids aren't eating them.

Last but certainly not least is my Asian Coleslaw. I adore this stuff. I can eat this stuff straight out of the container. This is not the traditional coleslaw with mayonnaise. This is a vinegar based Asian coleslaw recipe. Be prepared for taste bud explosions!

Asian Coleslaw

I like to say that I am an adventurer by heart so shooting from the hip when it comes to recipes is just my way of being rebellious every day. Many times I never use the same recipe twice. I just mix and match various flavors to go with whatever main dish it is paired with. If, for instance, I am making my Asian BBQ Meatballs, I would add a dash of sweet chili oil or teriyaki marinade to this recipe. As is, this spicy little side dish is an accoutrement to any Asian fusion appetizer or main dish.

2-3 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar, to taste
2-3 TSP Local Honey, I like mine sweet
Salt and Pepper, again to taste
1 TSP Sesame Oil
1 TBSP Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 Package of Prepared Coleslaw Cabbage

I typically pour the package of cabbage in a large mixing bowl. Then I take another bowl and mix the marinade ingredients so I can add things according to my taste. I ALWAYS try the marinade first before adding it to the cabbage. If not, I may add a little too much of one thing and then I have ruined the cabbage. I do this with all marinades. Sometimes I will actually mix the marinade ingredients and let them sit overnight in the fridge. That way I know exactly what it will taste like before I add it to anything whether it be chicken, beef or, in this case, cabbage.

Remember, variety is the true spice of life! Try these recipes, you are sure to love them and add them to your side dish repertoire!

Happy Cooking,