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A Little of This and Some of That: Game Day Party Foods!

January 28, 2015 Appetizer, Menu, Salads No Comments

It’s Super Bowl party time! On today’s podcast, we’re discussing new and fun alternatives to traditional game day party foods. We’re tackling everything from wings, pizza and salads (yes, I said salads), to beers that represent both the east and west coast. So pull up your favorite bean bag and listen in, as we kick off our game day party episode. Links to all of the recipes discussed are covered below. Game on!!!

 

 

 

 

Show-related links

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Mini Pizza Pockets

Dorito Salad

Redhook Brewery

Audible Ale

Samuel Adams Brewery

Saranac Brewery

Allagash Brewery

Be sure to contact us at info@domskitchen.com or in the Comments section below to let us know about your game day party food suggestions or ideas, and to let us know what you thought about this episode of A Little of This and Some of That.

 

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Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs

June 29, 2014 Appetizer, Entrees, Menu No Comments

Could it be? A meatball recipe that doesn’t include beef, pork and veal, and isn’t fried? I’ve preferred baking meatballs over frying them for a long time now…but a meatless meatball? Truth is, there are a lot of interesting vegetarian meatball recipes out there. I find that eggplant is a fun vegetable to experiment with, and a little research led me to quite a few eggplant meatball recipes. I picked and chose from a bunch and put together my own version, which also includes white beans. While obviously not the same taste and texture as a true meatball, these are loaded with great flavor, and are very hearty and filling. Crunchy on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside…it was a perfect substitute for the real deal. What’s best is that my youngest daughter Ava, who is a meatball aficionado, powered through a dish of these! Serves well on their own or with a dish of marinara on the side for dipping.

 

 

Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs

Makes approximately 12 meatballs

1 large eggplant, skin removed, cut into 1″ pieces
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbspn olive oil
1/4 cup warm water
salt and pepper
1 tbspn fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tbspn mint, finely chopped (you can use 2 tbspn basil if you do not have mint on hand)
1/2 cup canned canellini or garbanzo beans, rinsed
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375˚. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, cook for one minute. Add eggplant, then add water. Stir so that all of the eggplant pieces are coated. Season with salt and pepper. Place a lid over the pan, lower the heat to medium and let eggplant cook until soft and tender, about 10-12 minutes (stirring occasionally). Remove eggplant from the pan, set aside to let cool.

When cooled, place eggplant in a food processor with remaining ingredients. Pulse until well mixed, but not puréed. You can mix by hand if you do not have a food processor, but the meatballs will have a chunkier consistency. Shape the mixture into small balls as you would with traditional meatballs. Placed the meatballs onto a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Lightly spray the meatballs. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Serve with marinara sauce.

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Sunday Gravy in a Crock Pot: Shortcut or Sacrilege?

October 25, 2013 Entrees, Menu, Pasta 2 Comments

A few weeks back I was faced with one of the toughest cooking challenges I’ve ever had to make since starting this blog. It was a beautiful autumn Sunday afternoon, and my wife and I had plans to take our kids to meet up with friends at a neighborhood Fall Festival. We also had a huge craving for a nice pot of Sunday gravy, which we haven’t made in a while. When a hankering for Sunday gravy comes along, there is no turning back.

Knowing that we would be out of the house for a good few hours, spending the time needed to tend to a pot of gravy wasn’t an option. But I was still determined to somehow enjoy my favorite Sunday meal, so much so that I already bought the cans of tomatoes, the beef, pork and veal for the meatballs, and the loaf of crusty Italian bread. With my back up to the wall, I made the crucial decision….I was going to attempt to make my Sunday gravy in a crock pot.

Still a bit shaken and nervous about my decision, I reached out to my Facebook friends to get their opinions. My friend Lorraine Rannali, the Gravy Wars queen, thought I was crazy. Even my cousin – my own flesh and blood – was shocked. But I was determined to conquer my fears and figure this one out.

We’ve all used a crock pot to serve up meatballs at a family party. But this wasn’t just a quick reheat…this was building from the ground up. If you step off of the meatball merry-go-round and think about it, you’re only using a different heating element to warm up a pot. Already I was feeling less nervous, and it was time to get cooking.

The first step that I take when making my Sunday gravy is to heat up some oil and garlic, and then add my tomatoes. Knowing that the crock pot wouldn’t produce the heat needed to warm up the oil, I used some common sense and came up with the practical solution – just heat up some oil and garlic in a small pan over the stove and add it to the tomatoes, Now we’re rolling!

I started by adding my cans of tomatoes to the pot, seasoned it up as I normally would, and then added the heated garlic and oil. The house is smelling good already! I already had the meatballs baking in the oven, and once they were done, I plopped them into the tomatoes and in true old-school fashion (I worked every old-school trick I could think of), I added some of the meatball oils to the pot for a little extra flavor.

Now it was time to head out and hope for the best. I set the pot to the low setting, and off we went to paint pumpkins and stuff scarecrows. Three hours later, we returned and I slowly but anxiously opened the front door. We were greeted with the most beautiful, fragrant smell that any Italian and Italian-American home would be proud of…the smell of Sunday gravy.

Yes friends, you can indeed make Sunday gravy in a crock pot. By following your own traditional recipe, and heating up your oil and garlic in a separate pan, you should have no problems and will not taste a difference. You will have to scale back on the amount that you’re making, as crock pots are much smaller than a regular sauce pot. If you’re making Sunday gravy for a large crowd, leaving the house is probably the furthest thing from your mind anyway!

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Dana’s Game Day Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Spring is in the air, and the boys of summer are back on the field. But put away those peanuts and crackerjacks, because today I have a special treat for you. I could’t think of a better way to help celebrate the home opener weekend  than by sharing with you a recipe given to me by my friend Dana Gollotto, who is a dietitian and chef for the Philadelphia Phillies. As you may recall, I shared a recipe back in February that I found online for chicken meatballs as part of my post on Superbowl party foods. When Dana offered to share her version of buffalo chicken meatballs, which by the way she says is the Phillies all time favorite recipe, I knew that it would be a home run. No doubt this recipe, which puts a unique spin on the classic appetizer, would make for a great game day dish to share with family and friends!

Dana has also graciously agreed to check in with Cucina Domenico occasionally to share other special recipes that she prepares for the Phillies. You can also check out my interview with Dana by clicking here. Now play ball!

GAME DAY BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS
Courtesy of Dana Gollotto

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup hot sauce
1 pound ground chicken, preferably thigh meat
1 large egg
1/2 celery stalk, minced
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup locatelli cheese

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the vegetable oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.
Combine the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
Combine the hot sauce mixture, ground chicken, egg, cheese, celery, bread crumbs, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Roll the mixture into round, 3/4 -inch balls, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish.
Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.
Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.
Serve with Ranch or blue cheese dressing on the side and celery sticks.
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