chicken romano meatballs

These chicken romano meatballs are delicious.   Little balls of chicken, lemon, garlic, herbs, red pepper flakes and cheese (!!).  Good.  Yummy.  Simple.  Tasty.  Those are the adjectives for today.  Serve over rice, spaghetti squash, pasta or simply on a bed of baby spinach.  The hot sauce wilts the spinach and it retains its shape and crunch a bit.  I happen to love that.  When reheating I add some cherry tomatoes too – and what a delightful lunch it makes. 

The recipe come from Skinnytaste.com and you know I’m a fan.  I have most of Gina’s books and I enjoy her blog.  There is nothing tricky about this recipe.  Follow it and you shall see.  I made the meatballs as instructed – but for the sauce, I  put whole garlic cloves in because I find minced garlic is often too strong for me.  Getting older – the garlic – indigestion.   I also added some Glace De Poulet Gold (very reduced chicken stock) for added flavor and also a bit more salt and pepper than the recipe calls for.  So taste and taste again, re-season and serve!  You can find the recipe here.

Enjoy – 

simply delicious ground meat/(optional)egg stir fry

This recipe is soooo easy.  Simple.  And you can change it up so easily picking a different protein each time.  Veggies too.  Egg or no egg.  

Everyone loves this.  Mark loved it, Greg and Sarah asked for the recipe the last time they ate it.  Beth said “thumbs up all around.  Will add to the rotation!”  Sylvie was home this week and asked if I could make a lot so she would have enough for leftovers the following day.  I too am a big fan of this dish.  Oh and Rob and Andy too!  (He makes it frequently at school.)

The recipe calls for coconut aminos which is an alternative to soy sauce for those who can’t tolerate gluten.  I find that I like the coconut aminos more (in this recipe) than soy sauce as it is a littler lest pungent or harsh on the tongue.  It sounds hard to find, but it is right there next to the soy sauces. 

I found this in Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook.  I tweaked it a bit and changed the the order of operations and added egg to mine – as well as all the other veggies.  Have fun with this – play around and enjoy – if you add a lot a lot of veggies you should probably double the sauce.  Additionally – I usually double this recipe for my family – then add a lot of veggies, I then triple the sauce.

Serve with brown rice, light brown rice, white rice or cauliflower rice.  Or something else entirely.  As you can see I plated mine with baby spinach, roasted cauliflower, and string beens and it was good!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter, coconut oil or canola oil.  I like to use butter when Greg isn’t around but really good with ghee and any oil really
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken) 
  • kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos (gluten free), or low sodium soy sauce 
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (plus or minus depending on your taste) 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 
  • 2 eggs (optional) 
  • chopped scallions for garnish (not me as I taste them through the night)
  • a squeeze of lime juice if it needs it
  • pepper
Other veggies to add/try:
  • diced mushrooms
  • string beans cut small
  • shredded carrot or very thinly sliced carrot
  • red peppers
  • frozen peas
  • frozen edamame
  • baby spinach or baby kale
  • broccoli florets (if you use broccoli blanch first) 
Double the sauce if using a lot of veggies!  (I do) Triple the sauce if using more meat and more veg

Directions

  • Sauté the onions in a large pan (12 inch is good for this) using one or two of the fats above.  I like onions to be nice and golden for my dishes because I find I can digest them better and well, I like them better like that.  But you do you as they say.
  • Add the meat and salt it after you put it in the pan.  Let it sit for two minutes and flip the chunk of meat so that it browns on both sides first.  The onions will get even darker underneath.  Then break it up and continue to cook until no more pink remains. 
  • While the meat cooks, make the sauce by combining the aminos, honey, ginger and red pepper and set aside 
  • and then gently beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside
  • Add the garlic to the meat and onion mixture and stir in for a minute
  • Next add mushrooms if you are using – saute for a few minutes.
  • Add the sauce to the pan and cook until the liquid has reduced by one third – about 10 minutes.  
  • Half way through add the other veggies 
  • Cook your eggs in a separate pan and chunk up with a spatula.
  • Add to the pan when it is just about ready.  
  • Carefully mix up the ingredients and taste.  If it tastes too sweet (you overdid it on the honey) I find a squirt of lime juice helps.  I like lime either way as I like the little zing it adds.
  • pepper it if you like and top with cut scallions (if you like)
  • enjoy – 

french onion soup meatballs

I love French onion soup so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it.  So glad I did.  The caramelized onions, rich beef broth and little tasty meatballs are the makings of this perfect dish.  “Delicious” said Rob today at lunch as he ate his leftovers.  “Mmm mmm so good!” I said exuberantly to Rob and Sylvie to which they indulged me with kind smiles. 

The first time I made the meatballs with a mixture of ground turkey and chicken and used a beef/chicken/turkey stock.  I used less butter than the recipe called for but left most everything else as is.  The second time I used just chicken meat in the meatballs and beef stock.  This time I cut the cheese in half (inside the meatballs) and also put less on top figuring you can add more cheese if you like on your own.  They were equally delicious.  Really.  Well obviously the more cheese the better (if you like cheese).

Both times I did not have gruyere cheese and substituted parmesan.  But really gruyere would be great.  I just flaked on it.

In terms of stock – and this is for all recipes, purchase the richest stock/broth/bone broth you can find and afford.  Or make homemade.  The freezer section has some great options these days and yes, I know pricey but this will really make a difference.   Bonafide provisions makes good broth and I see it often in stores.  Brodo also has great stock.  If your stock tastes bland – or you only have boxed broth then I have a small trick.   More than gourmet is a product that I really love.  They sell little packets of glace stock (that’s what they call it).  The glace is chicken, veal, or beef stock and reduced so much that it lands in this little packet in the palm of your hand.  You can actually make a broth from this little packet by and adding water.  But I use it to enrich my broths and stocks – I don’t use the whole packet I use just a bit and mix it in and taste, and readjust.  A teaspoon might help, or 2 teaspoons.  In this case I added a little bit of the beef  and although my broth was tasty, this put it over the edge into scrumptious.  

The kids put it over noodles and Rob and I had with a cauliflower/veggie rice.  At lunch he heated up leftover butternut squash and ate it all together and just loved it.  I just ate mine as is – and slurped the remaining liquid right out of the bowl and into my mouth.  That is when I declared my happiness.  

I found this recipe at delish.com – if interested check out the comments at the bottom of their recipe for changes, additions and thoughts.  I’m always interested in how others change a recipe to improve it or just make it their own.  They also have a 1 minute video that shows how to make this all come together so check that out too.  

You can make the meatballs in advance and make the sauce closer to dinner to break up the time.  I listen to an audio book while I cook so it is very enjoyable.  I recommend it.  

I DOUBLED THE RECIPE BELOW

Ingredients

  • MEATBALLS
  • 1 pound ground chicken (or beef or turkey) not the leanest versions or these will be dry  
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese (or less depending on your diet and level of deliciousness that you want)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat panko but anything will work)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley (I didn’t add, didn’t have don’t love)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (if table salt, use a bit less but get some diamond crystal in the house please)
  • ground pepper
        SAUCE:
  • 2 tablespoons butter (recipe calls for 4 and that would be delicious but 2 was enough for us) 
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups beef broth (read the 4th paragraph above for more info if you skipped it)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme – which would be great.  I didn’t have so added some dried.
  • 1/2 cup shredded gruyere
 

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425, line a baking sheet with parchment, or foil (grease the foil with olive oil so meatballs don’t stick)
  • Assemble meatballs, In a large bowl combing all of the ingredients and mix gently to combine.  Don’t overmix
  • Form the mixture into meatballs.  You can decide on the size – the bigger they are the longer they cook.  Mine were prob about 1 1/2 tablespoons but next time I’ll make smaller
  • Place on baking sheet and bake until golden and cooked through – if medium sized this should take about 25 m – but check before and continue to check the meatball temp and cook until 165 reads on a meat thermometer
  • If they haven’t browned much feel free to pop under the broiler for a minute – I find them more appealing with color (and there is less color with less cheese)
  • Make the sauce – in a large skillet melt the butter and add the onions and cook until VERY soft and golden.  This is KEY.  The recipe states 25 minutes but I prob kept those onions slow cooking for 40m and when I read the comments on the original recipe,  people caramelized them even longer.  I start on medium heat but eventually to low and stir them often.  You don’t want to burn the onions.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant 30 secs or so (don’t burn the garlic it’s very bitter) 
  • Add broth and thyme and season with a little salt and pepper
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer and bubble until slightly thickened 10-15 m.  Taste the reduction now and reseason for salt and pepper.  Add the glace (mentioned in f4th paragraph above) if you have it and want to.  
  • Add the cooked meatballs to the skillet and sprinkle with gruyere and cover and cook until meatballs are warmed through and cheese is melty – this can take 5-10 minutes depending on how hot your meatballs are.
  • Sprinkle with thyme and serve. Yum.