Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lovely vegetable plate with bonus balls!

Full meal deal

Rye bread n butter with smoked salmon and dill potatoes.

Glorious Spanish Balls
Last weekends dinner was so good, I decided to repeat it - with just a few changes/additions. This week we had our dear friends Steve and Ingrid up for dinner and the night - so I pulled out all the stops - and really it was not that difficult. Especially the appetizer - I had a little leftover potato salad so I freshened it with a bit more dill and lemon juice. This I put on top of some spicy watercress and then laid down some smoked salmon and cornichons. On the side plate I had a deliciously dense rye bread, thinly sliced with some homemade butter. I know, that sounds crazy but it's the easiest thing ever. I wouldn't do it everyday as a replacement, but it's nice to make something just a bit more special with minimum effort (Jamie Oliver told me this trick!) Basically in a mixer put about 1 and 1/2 cups whipping cream - beat it! When it is over beaten it will separate from the milk and clump together on the whisk beaters - you'll hear the change when it's ready - thump, thump instead of swhoosh. Take it out and put in a little bit of parchment paper and sprinkle with some maldon sea salt. Tell people you have been churning butter outside all day for them. With a couple glasses of white wine you are set until dinner. That consisted of my favorite roasted red peppers - I really can't get enough of these right now! A little roasted beet, arugula and chèvre salad and this rich and creamy Cauliflower Gratin with Manchego and Almond Sauce - worth the effort! Instead of boiling the cauliflower and then sautéing it in butter I just cut it into florets tossed with a little olive oil and s&p and roasted at 400 degrees for about 20 min, tossing to brown. Easier and tastier. This created a nice little sauce to dip our meatballs in too! I love this cookbook by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow - The Meatball Shop -these balls are adapted from them.

Spanish Balls makes about 24

splash of olive oil
1 pound ground pork
1/3 pound dry spanish chorizo, diced
1/4 pound manchego cheese diced
2 cups cooked long grain white rice ( I did these with 3 cups, which is their original amount, but it was too much, so I would go with less next time - it did make them seem like paella - but I wanted them more meaty)
2 eggs
1/2 cup panko
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 and 1/2 roasted red pepper chopped - I've been going crazy buying a roasting red peppers - it's a bit of a pain, but well worth it and they freeze well - otherwise use a good jarred piquillo pepper
1 garlic clove chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash red pepper flakes
ground black pepper

In a 9x13 pyrex splash in oil to cover the bottom lightly. In a large mixing bowl place all the rest of the ingredients and mix well with your hands and then using a ice cream scoop make balls about 1 and 1/2 inch big, packing them well with your hands too. Line them up ball to ball in the pan - they should all fit. Roast at 450 degrees for 20 min (you can do the cauliflower at the same time) Let sit about 7 min then serve. If you want them as a cute little appetizer you can use a smaller scoop and serve them as mini balls with toothpicks!

Post Note: The first "veggie" meal was served to Malin - and she said "this is the best meal you have ever cooked" so that inspired me to make this again - and then Ingrid said "this is the best meal you have ever cooked for us" and let me tell you - I've cooked them quite a few. Needless to say - try some or all of this - it's a winner!

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