Super Bowl Sunday: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I confess, have no real interest in the Super Bowl. In the past I would watch for the commercials, but a few years ago a Canadian broadcaster picked up the rights to air the game here. So in Canada we see Canadian commercials, no Soup Nazi, no Ferris Bueller, just the same stuff we see every day. Thank goodness for youtube!

Despite not being interested in the game itself I do have a system for picking a team, cutest quarterback will win. Today I believe that to be Tom Brady. Please note these are my personal opinions, if you happen to think Eli Manning is the bees knees I won’t argue with you.

The best part of the Super Bowl has to be the food. This year I decided to make something a little different, but not too different. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, like wings but in ball form. There are advantages to the meatball over the wing. First, there is the messiness factor. Wings are greasy, slippery, and sticky all at the same time. In meatball form the messiness is no longer an issue, you can use a fork or if the meatballs are small enough toothpicks to pick them up like appetizers. Second, wings are strangely expensive. I really have no idea why they cost as much as they do, but ground chicken is a much less expensive option. Either way, you can’t go wrong with butter and hot sauce!

Just one note on the recipe. The original does not say to fry the meatballs, but when I took mine out of the oven they were a very unappetizing colour. I would call it dusty rose. So I fried them after baking. In my instructions below I’ve written to fry before baking, because that’s what every meatball I’ve ever read says. Feel free to fry afterwards.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

(adapted from Bon Appetit)

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sriracha
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  1. Grease a 9 by 13 inch glass baking dish with 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil, set aside. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter with the sriracha. Set aside to cool.
  3. While the butter is cooling, mix the chicken, breadcrumbs, eggs, celery, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder together with your hands. Pour in the cooled butter mixture and continue to mix until well combined. Form into 3/4 inch balls.
  4. Pour the remaining oil into a heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, but do not cook through.
  5. Place the meatballs in the prepared baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with BBQ Dipping Sauce.

BBQ Dipping Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  1. Pour all the ingredients into a small sauce pan. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring to combine. Let cool before serving.

Enjoy!

Guest Post: Strawberry Radish Tartare for Two

At the moment I’m surrounded by boxes, trying to figure out what goes where. Moving can be incredibly overwhelming, but thankfully another kind blogger has offered to help me out. 

Kristel of Kristel’s Kitchen has graciously written a great guest post for me. I actually had the pleasure of meeting her last night in real life at a Montreal Dishcrawl. My first impressions of Kristel are that she’s kind, fun, and passionate about food. I hope you enjoy her guest post and her blog as much as I do!



 

For those of you who don’t know me (or haven’t read my blog), I recently did a raw⁄living food cleanse. Though I am and always will be a true omnivore, there are certain aspects of the rawfoodism that I have decided to keep as part of my lifestyle, in an overall attempt to achieve balance and just feel better overall. In a nutshell, my objective is to be 60% rawfoodist and 40% omnivore. But you know, sometimes foie gras can taste just as good as a hot dog.

I chose this recipe because it is a simple, elegant, fresh and raw appetizer that fits perfectly with warm summer evenings that each day are getting closer and closer. I called it a tartare, because we are in Montreal and that is how we like to call things when they are served raw.

Strawberry Radish Tartare for Two

§    2 tbsp red onion, diced

§  1⁄2 cup strawberries, diced

§  1⁄2 cup radishes, julienned

§  1⁄2 cup cucumber, diced

§  1⁄2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

§  1 tbsp grape seed oil (because it is a bit more neutral in flavour but olive oil is fine)

§  Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Begin by dicing the red onion, strawberries and cucumbers. You want to take the time to cut these ingredients into a small dice. To julienne the radishes, simply slice the radishes and slice again into a small matchstick. You can also dice the radish but I like playing with different types of cut. It adds a sense of whimsy to the dish. Combine the diced strawberries and vegetables in a mixing bowl with the sea salt, the balsamic vinegar, the oil and some freshly ground pepper to taste. You can prep the ingredients ahead of time but wait until no more than 30 minutes prior to serving to combine the salt, pepper, balsamic and oil. If the mixture macerates for too long, the salt and vinegar will extract too much water from the strawberries and the vegetables.

Now, moving on to plating! You do not need any special tools to achieve the shape you see in the picture. Just rummage through your cupboards and look for a ramekin, cookie cutter, small cup, jar or dish that you can use to shape the tartare for serving. You can always just skip this step and using a spoon simply pile-up the tartare in the center of the plate. If using a mould, make sure you firmly pack the mixture and avoid spooning in too many juices. Unmould the tartare onto a plate, garnish with a mint leaves and stare at your creation like the pro that you are!

Pop-open a bottle of rosé wine and get ready to enjoy the long summer evenings ahead!

A toast goes out to Lynn from I’ll have what she’s having for inviting me to share a recipe of my own on her wonderful blog. Thank you!

Bacon Jam


Yesterday was a beautiful day. For the first time this year I was convinced that winter will end soon. It was also the first time in weeks that I didn’t have a visit scheduled for my condo. I was really looking forward to spending the day in my kitchen, cooking and baking up a storm, but the weather had me conflicted. How could I waste such a beautiful day inside? This internal debate raged for most of the morning. And then a compromise was reached. I would walk to the grocery store to pick up everything I need. The walk would satisfy my need for time outside, and then I would get to create something wonderful in my kitchen.

This really was something wonderful. I had never heard of bacon jam until I started reading this months Food and Wine. As soon as I saw it, I knew something had been missing from my life. I had to have some. They recommend a brand available in the U.S only. In general, I  think jam is one of the easiest things to make at home, so I set out trying to find a recipe. I wasn’t going to let where I live keep me from my bacon jam!

I found several recipes, but the one that appealed to me the most was this one from Not Quite Nigella. I liked its simplicity; there are only a few ingredients, but each of them packs a punch. As with most jams, this one is quite easy to make, although a little time consuming (two hours, largely unattended). While you’re making it, your entire home and everything in it will smell like bacon. No need for bacon perfume. For step by step pictures, check out the original post from Not Quite Nigella.

The end result is a sweet yet savory jam, with a hint of smokiness to it. It was definitely worth the time to make it.

Once your bacon jam is done, you’re going to eat some of it with a spoon. That’s ok. Then you’re going to wonder what else to do with it. I suggest putting it in sandwiches or making this Bacon Jam Bruschetta. It’s just cream cheese (or goat cheese), bacon jam, and greens dressed with oil and lemon juice. The tanginess of cheese and the sweet smokiness of the bacon jam compliment each other perfectly.

Bacon Jam

Recipe from Not Quite Nigella

  • 500 g bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pan, fry the bacon in batches. Remove the bacon from the pan, and pour off all but 1 tbps of the bacon fat (bacon fat can be reserved for other purposes, like a pie crust)
  2. Turn the pan heat to medium high. Add the onion to the pan and fry until translucent. Add the minced garlic, frying until fragrant.
  3. Return the bacon to the pan, along with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally, and add 1/4 cup of water every 25 minutes or so.
  4. Once cooked down, puree the jam in a food processor until it reaches your desired consistency (more or less chunky).

(Note: the original recipe called for 3 tbsp brown sugar, I forgot to add it and still found the jam delicious)

Bacon Jam Bruschetta

  • Bacon Jam
  • Baguette, sliced
  • Cream cheese or goat cheese
  • Salad greens
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  1. Spread the cream cheese on the baguette slices. Top with bacon jam.
  2. Dress the greens with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Place a small amount on the bread.

Enjoy!