Thursday, September 15, 2011

Italian Meatballs

School has started, and life just exponentially got busier. I probably will have almost no time to try out crazy recipes during the week, and so we made a huge batch of meatballs and dumplings for the times we just want simple and fast food. Also, pork was on sale. :)

Disclaimer -

1. You may use ground meats as an alternative to processing your own meat, but I prefer processing my own meat because I don't know how many different pigs a pound of ground pork at the store costs. Also, processing your own meat is safer since less meat is exposed to the air and for a shorter period of time. The bottomline is, when you buy pre-ground meat, you don't know what goes in there, which is why we make our own meatballs to begin with. [Yes, we're crazy, but now we don't eat any pre-processed foods at all. No hot dogs, no surimi, no meatballs.]

2. Some people use mayonnaise in their meatballs. I don't, because pre-made mayonnaise is usually very unhealthy and we don't buy it at home. Mayonnaise is made with eggs and oil anyway, so we're using that instead.

3. You can substitute the pork with whatever meat you want. I find chicken and turkey too dry for meatballs. Beef and veal would be good substitutes. Or, you can combine different meats too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pork (a little fat is good)
  • 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Method:

Pulse the pork in a food processor, and slowly work it to a mince. [Skip this step if you bought pre-ground meat].

Add everything to the pork and mix everything together in a large bowl.

meatball mixture

Make little balls of meat and place the balls on a baking sheet. Bake the balls in the oven at 375F for 20mins.

formed meatballs!

We made a crazy ton of balls and froze them, five balls a serving. They freeze very well and defrost very well too. We have used it to make meatball pizza and pasta. Works like store bought ones, except tastes better and is probably much healthier. 

Korean Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)

Its been a while since I've blogged any new food explosions, but trust me, the kitchen is still very explosive. We've got no internet in the house because of the Verizon strike, and it is coming back in a few days [after more than 3 weeks with no internet - how did I live?]

Anyway, today I made Haemul Pajeon for lunch. Yes, mom, this is for you! Pajeon is a Korean green onion pancake, but I've added seafood to it. Anything goes in there actually. Some of my Korean friends made some with pork, kimchi and cucumbers and it was very delicious too. It's fast to cook and good to eat - perfect for those days-on-the-go, especially now, when school is back full swing.

I'm adding dried shrimp to this because I bought a whole box of dried shrimps [best $4 I've spent in a long time] from the Korean supermarket. The Korean supermarket here is huge, but doesn't have any Chinese things, so now I'm in still search of a Chinese supermarket to get my salted eggs, pickled veggies, olive veggies and chinese sausages - eurgh! [Good thing we have a stock supply of oyster sauce and soy sauce *phew*]

Haemul Pajeon [Korean Seafood Pancake]

Ingredients:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 stalks green onions
1/2 cup seafood mix (with some dried shrimp if you wish)

Dip:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon Korean chili powder (normal chili powder would work too)

Method:

For the batter, mix the flour, egg, water and salt together in a bowl, and set aside.

Add some oil in the pan, and add in the dried shrimp to fry until fragrant.

dried shrimp
When the shrimp smells fragrant, add the rest of the seafood (shrimp, mussels and cuttlefish) and fry until the seafood is half cooked.
Seafood mix - mussels, cuttlefish, shrimp
When the seafood is half cooked, add the green onions to the pan.
Green Onions - I cut it in long strips, and halved it again
everything is in the pan
Fry until everything is almost cooked, then add the flour/water mixture. Let it fry for a few minutes until the bottom side is golden brown. Do not flip over before the pancake mixture is done. When the bottom is golden brown, flip over and fry until the other side is golden brown too.

Transfer to a plate. You may cut into slices, but I just ate everything the way it was.

For the dipping sauce, add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chilli powder and sesame oil.

Serve and enjoy!

Haemul Pajeon - done!