Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mini Porcupine Meatballs

Who else remembers Porcupine Meatballs, the meatballs with "quills" of rice sticking out? I mixed up a quick batch recently for the first time in years, decades probably, and was surprised how delicious they tasted with a just a few contemporary updates. Let's make it a retro revival ...

Mini Porcupine Meatballs
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
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Retro recipes from the 1960s and 1970s may tickle a nostalgic fancy but some times, taste-wise, they no longer measure up. Our palates have become sophisticated, our experiences with food more worldly.

But with a few contemporary touches, these Mini Porcupine Meatballs from my childhood kinda knocked me over with grownup goodness.

What makes these mini meatballs “Porcupine” Meatballs? In the oven, the rice “quills” swell out of the meatballs. The idea of eating a porcupine was amusing to my twelve-year old self, this is one of the very first recipes I ever copied onto a 3x5 card.

ALANNA’s TIPS My changes to my mom’s original recipe are minimal, nothing too crazy. The poblano adds a small measure of heat and color. The spaghetti sauce substitutes for the original sauce, a can of Campbell’s tomato soup stirred with a half cup of water. This would be a great dish to deliver to someone with a new baby, a family who’s lost a loved one.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

QUICK SUPPER:
MINI PORCUPINE MEATBALLS

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
Makes 24 small meatballs, about 6 servings
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced poblano pepper
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce, homemade or from a jar

Preheat oven to 350F.

With your hands, combine ground beef, rice, salt, pepper, onion and poblano, working gently so not to compress the meat. Form meatballs and arrange in a single layer in an oven-safe baking dish. (To bake later, stop here, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake, preferably the same day.)

Cover with spaghetti sauce. Cover with foil and bake for an hour.

Reheats beautifully.

PRESSURE COOKER That old recipe card includes my mom's instructions for a pressure cooker, which are gaining traction again in certain circles. "Cook 10 minutes at 10 pounds," they say. My pressure cooker is buried at the back of a cupboard so honestly, I have little idea if these are good or bad or would even work. Any ideas, pressure cooker owners?

Per Meatball/6meatballs: 40/162 Calories; 1/4g Tot Fat; 0/2g Sat Fat; 11/46mg Cholesterol; 165/663mg Sodium; 3/12g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0/2g Sugar; 4/17g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1/3.5, PointsPlus 1/5.
Adapted from my mom's recipe for Porcupine Meatballs, published in our family cookbook ten years ago.

This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2011

Easy Italian Appetizers Chocolate Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cake Roasted Salmon & Asparagus Confetti Potato Salad How to Make Rhubarb Jam & Rhubarb Jelly In An Hour New-Fashioned Sauerkraut Salad Ten Tips for Better Burgers Easy Easy Grilled Mushroom Appetizer Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs Cucumber Dip with Feta

This Week, Elsewhere

Shrimp Louisiana from Sam's Steakhouse
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
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Bloody Mary Salad Greek Pasta Salad Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2012 Kitchen Parade



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Strawberry Salsa with
Cinnamon-Sweet Baked Tortilla Chips

The story of Strawberry Bill, my great grandfather, an excuse to share a great low-calorie, low-point appetizer, snack or dessert.

Strawberry Salsa with Sweet-Cinnamon Baked Tortilla Chips
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

“Strawberry Bill” he was called, my Great Grandfather Gossard. He kept ten acres of berries in Webster City, where June was the big month for strawberry-picking in early-1900s Iowa. Late in life, my Gramma Kellogg, his daughter, wrote about Iowa strawberries in a memory book called “Stories for My Grandchildren.”

At sunup, she wrote, local women and children pinned on their straw hats to commence picking, Gramma and her sister Miriam too. The pay was 2 cents a quart. “No one got rich picking berries. A dollar a day was fair pay for work at that time.”

As the sun grew warm, the fragrance of the berries was intoxicating. Every now and then, Gramma wrote, a luscious-looking berry was too tempting and she would pop it into her mouth.

By late morning, berries were boxed for delivery to local grocers. Afternoons, Miriam pulled a little red wagon through town, selling just-picked strawberries door-to-door.

Years later, my dad sold berries door-to-door too. He remembers one woman’s hesitation. “The berries are just beautiful,” she said ruefully. “But they’re just too much money.” A quart of sun-ripe, sun-warm berries was a dime.

Strawberry Bill worked at the post office too. His government salary kept the family but the strawberries, story goes, put my gramma and her sister through college. His post office shifts left the berries unattended for a few hours and at the mercy of young boys from town who were, Gramma wrote, “thoroughly familiar with his work habits.” Years later, one remembered Strawberry Bill. “Best strawberries I ever tasted, those I stole at night from Mr. Gossard’s patch.”

On Sunday, I picked up a flat of home-grown berries from a roadside stand in Illinois and it got me to thinking about berry-picking a century ago, when my great grandfather was known as Strawberry Bill. Home, I worked through one quart after another, making two batches of strawberry jam, a bowlful of Strawberry Salsa and freezing some berries for later.

But the real treat was last night, shared with my dad who’s visiting for a few days, a five-generation Iowa tradition: Strawberry Shortcake Iowa-Style, not for dessert, for dinner.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

STRAWBERRY SALSA with
SWEET-CINNAMON
BAKED TORTILLA CHIPS

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 4 cups salsa and 5+ dozen chips
    BAKED TORTILLA CHIPS
  • 8 6-inch flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray, butter-flavored
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    STRAWBERRY SALSA
  • 12 ounces fresh strawberries, stems removed, sliced vertically
  • 2 kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1 apple, skin on, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
  • Zest of a lime
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Fresh mint, to garnish

BAKED TORTILLA CHIPS Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment.

Stack the tortillas. To yield 8 chips per tortilla, slice in quarters, then each quarter in half. Arrange the chips in a single layer (this-way-thatta-way for most efficient use of space) on one or more baking sheets. Spray with cooking spray. Stir together cinnamon and sugar together, then with your fingers, sprinkle over each chip. Bake until brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.

Can be made ahead, just let cool and transfer to a ziplock bag.

STRAWBERRY SALSA Mix all ingredients. If needed, chill for 1 – 2 hours before serving.

TO SERVE Place salsa in bowl with chips alongside.

NUTRITION ESTIMATES
CHIPS ONLY Per 8 chips: 86 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 250mg Sodium; 16g Carb; 1g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1.5, PointsPlus 2
SALSA ONLY Per 1/2 cup: 53 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 1mg Sodium; 14g Carb; 2g Fiber; 11g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points .5, PointsPlus 1
COMBINED Per Serving, assumes 8 servings: 139 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 251mg Sodium; 29g Carb; 3g Fiber; 13g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 2, PointsPlus 4
Adapted from McCormick

ALANNA’s TIPS The bad news: I had high hopes that healthier corn tortillas would make awesome savory-sweet chips. No such luck. The good news: the flour tortillas are very, very good! Depending on your sweet tooth and the sweetness of the berries, you may want to add a little sugar to the salsa. But sugar will macerate the berries, making the salsa more juicy. Chop the berries, kiwi and apple small, otherwise the pieces will be too big for small chips. Home-grown berries will stain the kiwi so if making the salsa ahead of time, add the kiwi just before serving. For a “mini chip” of sweetness, cut each tortilla in 12 small wedges, great for serving alongside a salad or even a fruity dessert but too small for salsa.


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This Week, Elsewhere

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More Recipes for the Season's Best Strawberries

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
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Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2012 Kitchen Parade