Wednesday, August 21, 2013

chicken & waffle balls

"One waffle." If that phrase doesn't bring sorrow to your heart, you may not have a soul. It's a sad thing to have a single lonely leftover waffle. Sure, you could reheat it and eat it, but it just doesn't feel right to eat one waffle, now does it? Fret not... solitary waffles have friends, too... chicken! Chicken and waffles are BFFs, a favorite combo all over the USA. These balls transform that once-desolate waffle into a teammate on a squad of scrumptiousness. 

Chicken & Waffle Balls 
-1 Waffle
-1/4 cup milk
-1 Tablespoon honey or maple syrup, plus more for serving
-1 teaspoon seasoned salt, divided
-1 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
-1 lb. ground chicken
-1 egg
-2 cups panko bread crumbs, divided
-2 Tablespoons butter, melted 
Whisk the milk together with 1 Tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (the syrup will give the balls more of a waffle-reminiscent taste, but I prefer honey), black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoned salt. Tear up the waffle and add to the milk. Let soak for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, egg and 3/4 cups of bread crumbs and mix well. Combine the remaining bread crumbs and seasoned salt on a plate. Roll the chicken mixture into Tablespoon-size balls and roll in the bread crumbs. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 425ºF for 25-30 minutes, brushing with melted butter after 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with honey or maple syrup.

2013: Year of MORE BALLS Posts:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

gluten free gnocchi with corn, tomatoes and bacon recipe

I wanted to title this post "IDEAS IN BALLS." However, I promised a new friend at the Food Media Forum this weekend I would pay more attention to SEO this week, so I refrained. So, yea, Food Media Forum... I will be writing about it for awhile because it was SUPER NEAT, and I am so proud to be a part of it. 

Always Be Creating.

Science! Fun with xanthan gum.
Signed book! Now to question everything...

Our keynote speakers were Alex and Aki from Ideas In Food. If you have not heard of Ideas in Food... get with it!! They have a blog and a book filled to the brim with food science and inspiration. Alex (above) held a small, hands-on workshop prior to the forum which I had the privilege of attending. The workshop focused mostly on hydro colloids... yeah, I had to google it, too. Basically, thickeners. My balls skillz will definitely benefit from this knowledge. 
While researching how to work Ideas in Food into a ball, I discovered they already had a ball of their own right on their blog... Gluten Free Gnocchi. 3 ingredients! SIMPLE! However, they do all of their ingredients in weights. I almost got thrown out of the workshop when I admitted I had yet to invest in a kitchen scale. I'm just more into the creativity and intuition of cooking. I've never enjoyed math. But the workshop brought me back to high school lab science classes, which I did really enjoy. And I do realize the importance of measuring by weight for certain types of recipes, particularly baking, sauces, and foods that are dependent on being a certain texture. 

Gnocchi are one of my favorite things. Texture is important for them, though, and using Ideas In Food's method for this gnocchi was eye-opening. By weighing everything, I was able to halve the recipe easily, and the texture was perfect. It didn't take much more time (probably even less). So, yeah, go getchu a kitchen scale (there are some super-cute ones out there... lookit mine! adorbs!) Get the recipe for these gluten free, vegan gnocchi balls here on Ideas In Food's blog. These are so easy, and the result is so... potato-y. I don't know how else to describe them... it's like they took broke the potato down and built it back into the perfect potato... the texture was almost fluffy like a perfectly-cooked baked potato, with the flavor of not-overly-buttered mashed potatoes. Basically, just do it.

As far as serving them, I put the scale away. I simply cooked up some bacon, corn and tomatoes and added the cooked gnocchi... the sugary sweet summer corn and juicy tomatoes embodied the summer, complimented by the salty bacon and gnocchi. Fresh basil added even more summer charm. This can easily be made vegan, using olive oil and omitting the bacon... yum!!

Gluten Free Gnocchi with Corn, Tomatoes and Bacon 
-1/2 recipe of Ideas In Food Gluten Free Gnocchi, cooked-4 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
-1 shallot, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-2 ears of corn, shucked and cut from ear
-2 medium tomatoes, diced
-handful of basil, chiffinade
-pepper and Parmesan cheese to serve 
Cook the bacon in a skillet, until just crispy. Add the shallots and garlic and gnocchi and cook until the gnocchi starts to brown. Add the corn and tomatoes and cook until just heated through. Turn off the heat and toss in the basil. Serve with fresh pepper and Parmesan cheese.

2013: Year of MORE BALLS Posts:

Friday, August 09, 2013

coconut lime blackberry yogurt truffles

A while ago, I pinned a link to yogurt truffles to my "Balls" board on Pinterest. I was intrigued by them... they seemed so simple, with just white chocolate and Greek yogurt as the ingredients. What mad science was this? I wasn't sure how they would set up... 
I was right to be worried... my initial batter was too soft. That's when I added coconut, which helped. These truffles are still on the soft side, and should be eaten right out of the fridge, but they are REALLY tasty. The yogurt makes them creamy and slightly tangy, similar to cheesecake. They taste decadent! The berries, lime and coconut, combined with the fact that you eat them cold, makes these a great summer treat.

Coconut Lime Yogurt Truffles with Blackberries 
-11 oz. white chocolate chips
-6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
-zest of 1 lime
-1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
-about 20 blackberries
-Raw sugar and unsweetened coconut for rolling 
Heat white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring after each one, until melted. Add the yogurt, lime zest and coconut and stir to combine well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to set up. With wet hands, shape a Tablespoon-size scoops of the mixture into a ball, then flatten it, put a blackberry in the middle and wrap the mixture around the berry and seal into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the mixture and berries. Roll in sugar and/or coconut. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

2013: Year of MORE BALLS Posts:

Thursday, August 01, 2013

talk amoungst yourselves...

I had a new balls post planned for you this week, I really did! But my first attempt at them failed, and between new house, Food Media Forum, social life, family life, work, freelance projects, etc.... I didn't squeeze in time for a second attempt this week. But other people have been putting good stuff on the internet! Here's some of what I've been reading lately. Go check 'em out!

The 8 mistakes you are making with your meatballs

Meatballs: a Global Favorite (exactly!)

A History of Chinese population in St. Louis, and the Chinese Liquor, baijiu

Dubai's First Farmer's Market

St. Louis Manfood

The First Garlic Butter

A History of Heavy Metal and Craft Beer