So many things to celebrate in June and July, so many reasons to entertain or BBQ. You really donâ€™t need any special reason to make these divine dishes.
VEAL, PORK AND RICOTTA MEALBALLS
If you donâ€™t already have a favorite meatball recipe, you will after you try this. When making these meatballs, it is important to give them enough time to chill before cooking them. Great when paired with Chianti or a peppery, full-bodied Zinfandel. Every celebration, be it a casual or elegant party, should have delectable treats for guests to nibble on. This book is full of recipes, advice, and pairings, and will make everyone a fabulous host in a snap. From: Wine Bites Simple Morsels that Pair Perfectly with Wine by Barbara Scott-Goodman (Chronicle Books).
- 2 slices white country bread, crusts removed, cut into cubes
- 3/4 pound ground/minced veal
- 3/4 pound ground minced pork
- 3/4 cup whole- milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon fines herbes or herbes de Provence
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- About 1/2 cup olive oil for frying
Place bread cubes in a food processor and pulse to make fine crumbs. Place in a large bowl and add veal and pork. Mix together with your hands.
In another bowl, stir together the cheeses, egg, herbs, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the cheese mixture to the meat mixture and work together with your hands until is well incorporated.
Roll the mixture into balls that are about 1-inch in diameter. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the pan, in batches, and cook until brown on one side before turning. Cook the meatballs, turning occasionally, until they are evenly cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve at once.
EGGPLANT WITH TOMATOES
From Kay Karimâ€™s The Iraqi Family Cookbook [Paperback] (Hippocrene Books). Kay has collected recipes from generations of her family as well as all the regions of Iraq in this lovingly-compiled tribute to her homelandâ€™s cuisine. Modern Iraqi cooking relies on an abundance of fresh, seasonal produce, beans, rice, fish and quality meats. Typical spices include cinnamon, allspice, dried lime, saffron, sumac and turmeric. More than 150 easy to follow recipes, a guide to spices and beautiful color photographs throughout.
- 1 large eggplant sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil to drizzle over the eggplants
- 1 teaspoon salt for the eggplants
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for sautĂ©ing
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 1 green pepper, sliced (optional)
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon Arabian spices (combination of cinnamon, allspice, black pepper)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
Place the sliced eggplants in the colander and sprinkle salt over them. Place in the sink to drain for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to broil. Remove the eggplants from the colander, place in a bowl, and drizzle olive oil on them.
Arrange them on a baking sheet and place them under the broiler for 7 minutes. Broil them on both sides.
Heat oil in a large deep skillet, and sautĂ© the onion in a pan and add the green pepper, and sliced tomatoes. Add water and simmer for 10 minutes. Arrange the eggplant slices over the vegetables. Pour the tomato sauce over the eggplant. Sprinkle salt and spices. Bring to boil; reduce heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Check if it needs more water or salt. Serve with plain white rice.
Makes about 3 dozen hours dâ€™oeuvres.
HOLIDAY ICE CREAM PIE
What better way to celebrate Independence Day then this easy-to-prepare Ice Cream Pie from Susan at the fabulous Moorenkoâ€™s Ice Cream (Less Expensive than Therapy) in Silver Spring, Md.
For best results, use a pie crust that wonâ€™t crumble when adding the ice cream. Be creative! With Salted Caramel ice cream you could use shortbread, or those lovely thin butter cookies. If you are using pastry, bake it first. You can also use brownies or blondies sliced to about 1/4-inch thickness and pressed into a pie pan.
You can use any 9-inch pie crust. If you are using a pastry crust, it needs to be baked prior to filling. If you are making your own crumb crust, it needs to have enough shortening and sweetener (sugar, maple syrup, honey, or corn syrup) to make it slightly sticky. Once the crumb mixture is pressed into the pie plate, freeze it a bit so the ice cream wonâ€™t pull it apart when itâ€™s being scooped into the shell. You can also use brownies or any other yummy thing that will hold its shape once frozen. Really, your imagination is your only limitation. If you want to use vanilla ice cream, consider putting some strawberry preserves in your frosting. Coffee ice cream? How about Irish Whisky in the frosting?
- One 9-inch pie crust
- 1 quart Moorenkoâ€™s Cranberry Walnut ice cream (or any other flavor you want work with. For holiday season we also suggest Peppermint Stick, Pumpkin, Salted Caramel with Pralines)
- 1 pint whipped cream (or whipped topping of choice)
Soften ice cream just a bit (if it gets too soft it will be icy once it refreezes). Use an ice cream spade to layer slices of ice cream into the pie shell. Layer gently so as not to pull up the crust mounding slightly. Work as quickly as you can so the ice cream doesnâ€™t melt too much. Do not dip your spade into hot water.
Once the ice cream is in the crust, put pie in freezer immediately and let it stay there until the ice cream has frozen again. In the meantime, flavor your whipped topping (whipped cream is best, of course). I like to use complementary flavors in my topping â€” not too matchy matchy. For Cranberry Walnut ice cream, add a teaspoon of orange zest. For Pumpkin ice cream, try adding a few tablespoons of sour cream to taste.
Once the ice cream is frozen, top the pie with the whipped topping, garnish and refreeze.
The texture of the ice cream will be determined by how quickly you work with it. The softer it gets out of the freezer, the icier it will be when you refreeze it.
For more recipes or details about Sheilah, visit www.cookingwithsheilah.com.