Thursday, February 26, 2015

It snowed 6 inches today and my lips are still burning...

I got a phone call yesterday afternoon telling me if I needed to go to the grocery store, be prepared for bedlam. I think the exact phrase was, "people are acting crazy". So I thought I'd go to The Fresh Market. High end grocery store = less shoppers. I was right. I knew I'd be cooking if it snowed, but I wanted to keep eating healthy. Since becoming grossed out by factory farms' practices, I've made sure that any meat I eat is organic and comes from animals who were raised in fresh air and sunshine. So I picked up an organic chicken and a lb. of grassfed ground beef. After exasperating the meat counter guy with my barrage of questions, I was hormones, no antibiotics, organic, pasture raised... Today I decided to see what I could create with the leftover beef (10 oz left because in a moment of weakness, i rustled up a cheeseburger while I waited for the pending storm). I started thinking about Asian flavors. Then I remembered the '5 pepper shrimp' dish I made up years ago. After searching for 30 minutes, I reconciled myself to the fact that my recipe book is not in this house. I just moved so some things are not here yet. I looked online for something similar. Nope. So I decided to make up something similar, knowing that it wouldn't be the same. I will find that recipe book and 5 pepper shrimp is the first thing I'll make. Here's what I came up with:
Asian style meatballs & ramen Preheat oven to 400 degrees F 10 oz net wt. grassfed ground beef 1/4 t. black pepper, medium grind 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 t. freshly grated ginger 1 1/2 t finely minced garlic 2 t. de-seeded minced jalapeno 1/4 t chipotle powder 4 t. finely minced cilantro, leaves only, (equals approx 3/4 cup loosely measured, before mincing) 3 pencil size stalks scallions, minced, white & green parts
Put all on chopping board except dry ingredients & mince together, dragging the side of the knife blade thru to crush.
Mix with beef, adding dry spices. I used gloved hands. Add a 1 1/2 t. sesame oil. I used Annie's Sesame Shitake dressing because I didn't have any oil & I was snowed in. Roll into 16 equal sized balls. Place on baking tray or in dish & bake until brown. For each serving: While meatballs are browning, boil 2 c. water or low sodium beef broth. Add 2 Tbl low sodium soy sauce & 1 Tbl sriracha & 1 carrot, zested. Stir. Add 1 pkg ramen. Throw away the seasoning packet. It is full of msg, hydrolyzed corn products and just general bad for you junk. Cover pot with lid. After one minute, or when noodles are done, place a generous handful of mixed salad greens in your bowl.
Add the noodles. Ladle in the broth. Gently lay 4 meatballs in. Garnish with thinly sliced jalapeno, bias-sliced white parts of scallions, cilanto sprigs...whatever else you like...maybe some mung bean sprouts. I was tempted to lay a pan-steamed egg on top, but I had already eaten an egg for breakfast. But I bet it would be tasty...reminiscent of bibimbap. glamour shot & perfect bite
sidenote: I've not been real thrilled with the flavor (not there) or texture (mealy/powdery) of grassfed beef. I'm going to try out some different techniques. Maybe I'm cooking it too long. Shrimp meatballs would be good in this, with egg as a binder & steamed instead of baked. This meat mixture would also be a good potsticker filling.

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