Category Archives: HOT SAUCE

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS, FOR GAME DAY AND BEYOND

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Alrighty then my cooking friends and family, here’s a new one for me that I came up with for the upcoming SUPER BOWL 2015.  What’s more Super Bowl Party than Chicken Wings, especially Buffalo style Chicken Wings…the answer is…BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS.  How does that sound?  Sounds pretty damn good to me.  Did I invent this dish?  Am I the first to turn the wing from Buffalo into a meatball?  Not even close since there are already about 1000 versions of this out there on that there interwebs.  With all things food I do quite a bit of research just to see what’s out there and as said there are many existing recipes for this dish but none of them moved me.  So I developed my own that in a little ball form gives you the pleasure of those wings without the bones, skin , dipping sauce mess, etc. Truthfully, I don’t see why you wouldn’t make BOTH!  I love the wings. So no contesting here, just a great recipe for a party or game watching.  When reading some of the existing recipes it occurred to me that they all were missing something. I thought and thought about it because the last thing I wanted to end up with was a meatball that bears no resemblance to the flavors in a Buffalo Chicken Wing.  Ground chicken meat is bland, there..i’ve said it. To bring up the flavor in this ball I added a little fresh grated nutmeg, diced onions and pecorino cheese.  My style and mark is all over this ball so let’s have some fun and get  into the kitchen and cook.

MAKES: about 36 meatballs                             TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes or so

1 1/2 lbs GROUND CHICKEN MEAT

1 SMALL ONION FINELY DICED

1 EGG, BEATEN

1/8 CUP GRATED PECORINO CHEESE

1/8 CUP BLEU CHEESE CRUMBLES

3 TBS FRANK’S HOT SAUCE  (so I feel compelled to say, use whatever hot sauce you like, but I’m not going to say that.  Teresa Bellissimo in the early 60’s created this dish and the sauce is made from FRANK’S HOT SAUCE and butter. so , Frank’s it is)bufchixballs 002

1/8 CUP FINELY DICED CELERY LEAVES

1/8 CUP PLAIN ITALIAN BREADCRUMBS

1/2 TSP FRESHLY GRATED NUTMEG

1  FINELY MINCED CLOVE OF GARLIC

OLIVE OIL, BUTTER

for Sauce:

1 STICK OF UNSALTED BUTTER (why unsalted?  because there’s plenty of saltiness in Frank’s Hot Sauce, no need to add more)

3/4 of BOTTLE OF FRANK’S HOT SAUCE (the 12 oz size)

2 TBS FINELY DICED CELERY STEMS AND LEAVES

1/8 CUP BLEU CHEESE CRUMBLES

In a large bowl combine all the meatball ingredients.bufchixballs 003and blend well so that each bite of that meatball will consistently have the same flavor.  No quick short cutting. When that’s well blended cover and chill in a freezer for 10 minutes.  DON’T FORGET IT!  Form into about 36 no bigger than a golf ball sized meatball.  Ground chicken has a very odd feel to it and it soft (that’s why we chilled it before rolling the balls).  TIP: Keep your hands wet slightly while rolling them, it will make it easier.  In a large non-stick skillet, add 1 1/2 tbs olive oil and 1 tsp of butter.  Let this heat up and begin to fry the meatballs on all sides, till they are lightly browned.bufchixballs 004  This should take about 12 minutes, about 4 minutes on each side, definitely don’t move them for at least 3-4 minutes.  You want that crust to form. Remove all the meatballs to a platter and keep covered.  In the same pan, now that it’s empty, add the 3/4 of the bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce with the flame on medium.. Do not let this boil.  Then add the stick of butter stirring slowly on it melts in.bufchixballs 005  If you let it boil the whole thing will separate and be..not so nice.  Be gentle! When the butter has completely melted and you’ve blended it in nicely, add the meatballs back in and make sure they are well coated all around with the sauce. Let this cook together on low for 10 minutes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Then, turn off the flame and let them rest for another 10 minutes.  At this point you can serve them OR let them cool down and store overnight.  My choice?  Overnight.  The flavors bloom, pop, explode, they wake up overnight.

When serving, Add more Frank’s if necessary and top with the garnishes of the chopped celery and the bleu cheese crumbles.  10509749_408482592653380_812769741123730275_nAren’t you ready for your GAME DAY Party now??  If not, don’t worry, make them for yourself or for Party food.  If you love Buffalo chicken, these balls have it all…

 

GRILLED SAMBAL CHICKEN KEBABS WITH SRIRACHA AND MINT

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Sweet, Salty, Smoky…all flavors I just love in a dish.  It’s what makes the food of Asia so appealing to me.  Last year BON APPETIT had a kebab on it’s cover and i almost ate the page itself.  The picture hits EVERY one of my senses and propelled me to pick up a pack of chicken thighs to make the dish myself.  What’s not to love?? SAMBAL!!  Do you use that sauce?  You don’t?? March right out to the store and get a jar, you’ll thank me for it.  It’s a ground chile sauce that’s popular in many Southeast Asian cuisines, SAMBAL OELEK is a popular version and is found in many Asian or mainstream markets:006  The variations on Sambal are very diverse, all starting with the ground local chiles then some have shrimp paste, or garlic, or lemon grass, or fish sauce, you get it..there are many regional nuances which make it a very special culinary treat and a great addition to your condimenets.  Think Sriracha if it were a paste and not a “sauce”.  There’s some texture here.  It’s wonderful !  When I looked at this recipe I said..WOW..AND it contains SRIRACHA too! Yes, yes,  there are tons of “Best in show” and favorites in the hot sauce world. These are A FOOD OBSESSION’s favorite, no debating it, i stand by my decision!

Let’s discuss the meat used in this recipe.  It’s Chicken THIGHS,  trimmed, boneless, skinless and before you can say..CAN I SUBSTITUTE, let me stop you there.  Of course you can substitute this with Chicken breast BUT it’s different.  Not even a like or dislike reason here, the reason is Chicken Thigh meat holds this marinate and cooking better, it’s just a better meat (poultry) cut to use and it stays juicier than white meat does, no disrespect to the breast meat.

The recipe speaks for itself, from the July 2013 issue of BON APPETIT, a great cooking and food magazine, A FOOD OBSESSION recommends it highly.  While the recipe belongs to Bon Appetit, the picture at top is 100% A FOOD OBSESSION’S and I enjoyed EVERY MINUTE of eating it too…delicious and pretty as a picture!

Here’s the recipe adapted from the magazine, serves 4:

  • 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • mint leaves and lime wedges for garnish
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch–2-inch piece
  • 8 bamboo skewers soaked in water at least 1 hour
    • Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha, and ginger in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Marinade for 2 hours. Thread 4 or 5 chicken pieces onto each skewer.
    • Transfer marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce  simmer until reduced by half , takes about 10 minutes
    • Grill chicken, turning and basting often with reduced marinade, until cooked through, 8–10 minutes.
    • garnish with chopped mint leaves and lime wedges…a squeeze of lime over the chicken right after it’s off the grill really wakes up the flavors.

HOWEVER in true make it your own style..i felt it needed a little sumpin sumpin, so, i garnished the grilled skewers with fresh chopped mint leaves..i highly suggest it.

This recipe was/is a keeper!