SPICY TURKEY BALLS IN SWEET/SOUR SAUCE

So glad that I took the time to play with my balls (well, the seasoning of my ground turkey). Balls never tasted so good. I desired turkey balls that were firm on the exterior and super-moist and succulent on the interior.

And, I think I achieved same. You see, ground turkey is somewhat bland and normally requires the input of spices, flavors, and other ingredients in order to perk up and gain a mouth-watering dish. Raided my pantry and refrigerator and added the following finely chopped ingredients: a ‘holy trinity’ of sort.

  • celery
  • carrot
  • onion
  • garlic
  • parsley
  • scotch bonnet pepper

Along with:

  • salt/black peppers
  • eggs
  • ketchup
  • paprika
  • vinegar
  • Panko bread crumbs

Folded sauteed assorted veggies in turkey along with other ingredients. Balls were made and sprinkled with olive oil. These were baked in oven for 15 to 18 minutes at 375 degrees fahrenheit.

TURKEY BALLS FOR BAKING
TURKEY BALLS FOR BAKING

Balls were then simmered a sweet and sour sauce made up of :

  • vinegar
  • ketchup
  • sugar/honey
  • pinch of salt
  • corn starch

They absorbed all the mouth-watering flavors. Balls  were then garnished with finely chopped parsley.

 

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SUMMER’S FINEST #GRILLED CORN SALAD FIESTA

I was in good company. It was like a corn fiesta in my kitchen. Once again, Mother Nature has done her duty. She has bestowed some of the finest and wholesome foods for the sizzling days of summer.

And because I know how much these foods are perishable, I did my part by firing up my grill pan with a couple leftover ears of corn. Though the temperatures were sky-rocketing on the outskirts, I made sure to open my doors and windows to emit the smoky air.

Those sweet and crispy corns were not alone; I also grilled zucchini, mini sweet peppers. These are seasonal vegetables as well. More so, the prices were relatively inexpensive.

CORNS ON THE COB AND ZUCCHINI
CORNS ON THE COB AND ZUCCHINI
GRILLED MINI SWEET PEPPERS
GRILLED MINI SWEET PEPPERS

I even roasted some green beans in the oven that seemed to be heading south. After grilling, corn was removed from the cob and slices of other veggies were added to  pan-roasted onions and tomatoes. I made sure to season along with salt and black pepper along with a tangy dressing of red wine vinegar and a dash of sugar.

All the vegetables were in accord and soaked up all the delicious flavors. Topped grilled corn salad with crumbled feta cheese. This added a beautiful creamy contrast to the sweet corn salad.

 

LINGUINE WITH KALE/BROCCOLI PESTO TOPPED WITH HONEY/LEMON SHRIMP

I went a little over the top with nature’s wholesome greens. it  was sort of leap out of the  ‘box’; in that I created a pesto from atypical ingredients. Instead of the classic  basil and/or other herbs, I opted for kale, broccoli and parsley.

Greens were rinsed in tepid water and then added to food processor along with roasted garlic and a splash of water for a quick pulse. This was then seasoned with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of black pepper, a few pieces of walnuts and crumbled feta cheese.

With a quick final pulse of ingredients, pesto was ready for linguine.

KALE, BROCCOLI AND PARSLEY PESTO
KALE, BROCCOLI AND PARSLEY PESTO

Pesto was then folded into hot linguine. Served pasta with  honey and lemon shrimp.

I GREEKED UP MY POTATO SALAD

With spring in the air, we can’t help but to go a bit lighter on our choices of foods. I did that over the week-end. Instead of the typical potato salad containing mayonnaise, I decided to opt for one that contained fresh vegetables and a few items that a Greek salad would have.

SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD
SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD

I made the dish my own by adding one of spring’s foods, green beans along with blanched green bell peppers, roasted red bell peppers, vine-ripe tomatoes, scallion, parsley, Spanish and Kalamata olives.

So instead of the heavy mayonnaise, I used:

  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Mustard
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Garlic (crushed)
  • Salt and Black pepper
  • Dried basil/oregano

and made an emulsifying type of dressing.

This dressing was then added to cooked red-skin potatoes and vegetables so as to soak up all the aromatic flavors and spices. I finished off my potato salad with crumbled feta cheese and chopped parsley I had on hand.

 

 

STILL ‘ROCKING’ THOSE BALLS!!#TURKEY BALLS

I’m so proud of my turkey balls. They have come along way. Made them a few days ago chock full of amazing ingredients like finely chopped vegetables, spices, with a pinch of Chinese Five Spice. Great move! Those wholesome ingredients and aromatic spices gave my balls a  succulent and delicious finish. They were firm on the exterior and a melt in the mouth goodness.

TURKEY BALLS WITH A HINT OF CHINESE FIVE SPICE
TURKEY BALLS WITH A HINT OF CHINESE FIVE SPICE

Had to pull myself away from those balls. However, I developed enough control to place some for later in the freezer. So glad I did; because earlier on, I grabbed a few grape tomatoes, garlic, olives and other ingredients

SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR HOME-MADE MARINARA SAUCE
SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR HOME-MADE MARINARA SAUCE

and made a chunky home-made marinara sauce. I even added a splash of vodka along with a little sprinkle of feta cheese. All those ingredients placed the sauce to another culinary level.

Balls were then placed in mouth-watering sauce in order to absorb all the aromatic flavors. I then served same over a bed of whole-wheat spaghetti with a garnish of finely chopped parsley.

I was over the moon and so satisfied.

NO HAY CARNE HOY!! ##SEARED SALMON WITH CAPERS/OLIVES

So, the carnivorous side of me has been tabled for a bit. Once in a while, I like to tread on the ‘beefy’ side of things. With those chilly temperatures in my neck of the woods, I know that I’ll revisit.

Today, it’s all about a return to the briny deep. That’s where I fetched a lovely catch (skinless salmon). Though I like ‘skin-on’, I settled for what was available. In my mind’s eye, I pretended I was up Maine or the Alaska.

Anyway, brought the omega-fatty acid catch home and decided to pan-sear in a drizzle of olive oil. First, I made sure to season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. I also added a crushed garlic clove which was discarded before pan searing.

After a quick dry on paper towel, fish was seared for approximately four to five minutes per side. This was set aside and chopped onions and olives were added to skillet. After softening of onions, left-over white wine (chardonnay), a squeeze of lemon and a sprig of fresh thyme were added to pan. I made sure to season along.

A pat of butter was added to pan under low heat. Then, salmon was added back to pan in order to soak up all the aromatic flavors. And, because fish love acid, I decided to further add a few capers along with finely chopped parsley for garnish.

Seared salmon was served over whole grain pasta (spaghetti) along with left-over grilled eggplant and feta cheese.

 

EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE

Thunderstorms couldn’t keep me away from my kitchenette. In fact, it was the opposite. You see, rainy weather lures me to my cooking range. And, that’s what it did this evening. Originally, I was planning on Chinese delivery; however, my culinary mind sent me searching for supplies (well, food).

The first thing that caught my eyes were my vine-ripe tomatoes. Those super-red and over-ripened fruits/veggies were begging to be rescued. So, I did. I rinsed same and retrieved for my other ingredients:

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE

Eggplant parmesan was on my mind. However, I didn’t have the cheese of the hour. Moreover, there was no fresh basil. I did not allow that to damper my dish at hand. Decided to improvise and made my style, Eggplant with Feta cheese. Bought the cheese on sale for sometime; maybe a couple of months and stored the reserve in the freezer.

First, I made a home-made tomato sauce with my vine-ripe tomatoes. I softened finely chopped onions in olive oil. Then, chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic, thyme, dried basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, squeeze of honey and a splash of red-wine vinegar were added. I allowed these ingredients to simmer on low heat while I attended to my purple boy.

HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE FOR GRILLED EGGPLANT
HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE FOR GRILLED EGGPLANT

Grabbed my chopping board and went to ‘town’ with my big purple boy (eggplant).

SLICED EGGPLANT FOR GRILLING
SLICED EGGPLANT FOR GRILLING

Slices were seasoned with a pinch of salt and black pepper. I fleetingly thought about placing them in an egg wash, sprinkle bread crumbs and pan-frying. But, decided to employ the use of my grill pan. This move (grilling) saved me quite a few calories from pan-frying.

GRILLED EGGPLANT ALONG WITH HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE AND FETA CHEESE
GRILLED EGGPLANT ALONG WITH HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE AND FETA CHEESE

I was ready for action. Grilled eggplant slices were plated and fresh home-made tomato sauce was spooned on each slice with a sprinkle of the briny feta cheese. Didn’t have fresh basil in-house. I didn’t allow that to rain on my ‘parade’. Instead, I used thinly sliced kale I had on had.

FINISHED EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE DISH
FINISHED EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE DISH

I was super-happy. I served a few slices with a few roasted spicy jerk wings and sweet potatoes.

EGGPLANT/FETA CHEESE ALONG WITH ROASTED JERK WINGS AND SWEET POTATOES
EGGPLANT/FETA CHEESE ALONG WITH ROASTED JERK WINGS AND SWEET POTATOES

 

A SIDE I COULDN’T RESIST #ROASTED PUMPKIN/SWEET POTATOES

For the fall, this dish has become one of my absolute favorites. I’ve traveled this fork of the road before and I liked same. Maybe, it’s the sweet/tart tastes along with the warm spices of ginger and cinnamon and the contrasting salty flavor of the bits of feta cheese.

Guys, I’m harping about my roasted pumpkin and sweet potatoes. I’ve always roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin; however, I’ve never executed both simultaneously. I really don’t know how I’ve not done so before. However, the ‘mad-cap’ in me decided to do so during the fall. And I can’t seem to cease.

So once again, I retrieved my chopping board and knife and went to work with my specimens on hand. Both root vegetables were thoroughly rinsed with cold tap water. With skin-on, I chopped veggies in large wedges and placed on foil-covered baking sheet.

PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATOES READY FOR ROASTING
PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATOES READY FOR ROASTING

Wedges were drizzled with olive oil, sprinkle of salt, powdered ginger and cinnamon. These were roasted in a preheated oven at 420 degrees fahrenheit  for approximately 40 minutes. My abode was permeated  with all the warm and aromatic flavors and spices of fall. I was super-happy.

As warm golden wedges of sweet potatoes and pumpkin hit the plate, bits of crumbled feta cheese were strewn on. Each bite  (skin edible) tasted like a piece of ‘heaven’. Nature is amazing!