Friday, December 30, 2011

Copycat Don Lee Farms Veggie Meatballs

I had planned to make these last year but before I could snag a package to look at the ingredients my Costco stopped stocking them! They finally started carrying them again so I was able to get the ingredients and make my own.

2 cups sweet corn kernels(defrosted if frozen)
1 large carrot(about 3/4 -1 cup chopped)
1/2 small onion(about 1/3 cup chopped)
1 good sized stalk of celery(about 1/4 cup chopped)
1/2 small green bell pepper, de-seeded(about 1/4 cup chopped)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp EACH oregano, basil and parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350

in a food processor place carrots, bell pepper , onion and celery, pulse until well chopped

add in cheese, bread crumbs, sunflower seeds, oil, and spices. Pulse again until well combined.

add in corn and pulse until combined(you want the corn kernels more "whole" so don't over puree)

if it feels too sticky to work with you can add a touch of flour or some more bread crumbs, the original recipe calls for the addition of wheat flour and barley flour. I wanted to keep them gluten free so I omitted those and used GF bread crumbs.

Scoop into meatball sized balls of your preference. Place on greased baking sheet.

Bake 25-30 minutes, turning about 1/2 way through the bake time.

i tried frying them, but that turned into a soggy mess. I may try them in my deep fryer at some point....way to mess up the nutrition of veggies right LOL

Something is wrong with my photo editing software so the other photos I have are not responding to the size cutting. I will post them when I get it figured out.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Simple and Delicious Peppermint Bark

So easy and one of my favorites at Christmas time. It is always a hit at parties too.

8 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate(I use Baker's Baking Chocolate Squares)
6 oz White Chocolate(again, Baker's  for me)
2 tsp vegetable oil(or any non-favored oil)
3 candy canes, crushed

Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with foil, ends extending out 2 inches or so, smoothing it out as much as possible.

In a double boiler over simmering water melt semi sweet chocolate with 1 tsp oil. Stir often until smooth.

Pour melted chocolate into the prepared dish and tip until the bottom is covered and the layer is even.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes(don't go longer than this or you will risk the layers separating)

Melt the white chocolate with remaining tsp of oil using the same method as above, stirring until smooth.

Pour White Chocolate over dark, tipping the dish around to create a smooth layer.

Iimmediately sprinkle on crushed candy canes. Press gently into the melted chocolate(not too rough, just enough to get them to stick well)

Refrigerate another 30 minutes, (this one can go a little longer but not too much)

To remove pull the foil up out of the pan, You can cut it with a sharp knife or you can simply break it by hand but I suggest putting it on a clean cutting board and using a cleaver. It seems to cut smoother that way!

Store in an airtight container(in the fridge is best until serving time IMO)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gluten Free Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars

I found a recipe in my local paper recently for Turtle Bars and it looks so good! I knew I wanted to modify it to gluten free.

1/2 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1 TB potato starch
1 TB tapioca starch
2 TB cornstarch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

6 oz Kraft Caramel Bits(or about 25 unwrapped Kraft Caramels, the original recipe called for Werther's Original Chewy Caramels, but they are not GF)
2 TB butter
2 TB heavy cream
2 TB corn syrup

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Line an 8 x 8 pan with heavy foil with it overhanging by about 2 inches on each side and spray with cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, starches and brown sugar. Cut in butter until it is all crumbly. Stir in chopped pecans.

Press firmly into the bottom of the pan.

Bake 13-15 minutes until nicely browned.

In a small pan over medium low combine caramels, butter, heavy cream and corn syrup.
Cook stirring constantly until everything is melted and smooth.

Pour over the base cookie and spread to the edges.

Place back in the oven for an additional 11-13 minutes until the caramel starts to bubble.

Remove from oven to a wire rack.

Top with chocolate chips and let them sit for 5 minutes.

Spread melted chocolate over the caramel for a swirl effect but make sure to leave some caramel exposed.(as you can see....I over-swirled)

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until fully set is set.

Remove from pan by lifting the ends of the foil, place on cutting board and peel away foil before slicing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Copycat Aidell's Teriyaki and Pineapple Chicken Meatballs

I found these at Costco not too long ago and the sounded very tasty!! I decided to try my hand at re-creating them. They turned out juicy and delicious! Dont worry if you cant find miso powder, it doesnt make or break the recipe.

approx 1 lb ground chicken(I used chicken breast)
1/4 cup crushed pineapple(well drained)
1 tsp white sugar
1 TB soy sauce(I wanted gluten free, so I used Bragg's Amino Acid)
1 tsp white vinegar
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp miso powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt to your preference if desired(I omitted)

Combine all and mix very well.(You can see in this picture, my chicken is ground pretty fine, I started with whole breast , then just put everything in my food processor to mix it up, if you start with pre-ground meat it will not look the same)

In a large pan heat  2 TB olive oil over medium heat.

Scoop meat mixture and for into balls of you size preference. Place into hot oil, I did about 1/2 the batch at once(didnt have to add more oil for the second batch) but of course if all depends on your pan size.(this made about 20 decent sized meatballs)
Allow to cook 3-4 minutes and gently flip.
Cook (gently flipping as needed, but dont over do it) until they reach 165 degrees(if you dont have a meat thermometer GET ONE, your meats will turn out so much better if you dont over cook them so you can "tell" they are done.) Generally about 10 minutes or so depending on the size of your meatball.

Drain on a paper towel.

I put them in a soup, you can put them over pasta with a sauce if you want! They would also make great appetizers too! If you want some ideas of how to serve them Aidell's Website has LOTS of recipe suggestions.

Keep watch for more copycat recipes from this company, I am planning quite a few plus a few meatball recipes from other brands as well.

These freeze well(after cooking) and you can put them in a covered dish and bake them at 350 to reheat them.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

CopyCat Domino's Stuffed Cheesy Bread

I had Domino's stuffed cheese bread the other day and it was very tasty! Very pricey though so I decided to whip up my own!!

3/4 cup warm water
1 TB sugar
1 tsp yeast
2 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2-2 cups flour

In mixing bowl combine sugar, yeast and water. Allow to proof until foamy(about 5 minutes or so)
Add in olive oil  and salt and mix well.
Slowly add flour(about 1/2 cup at a time) until dough is stiff enough to knead. (not too sticky but dont go overboard!)
Knead until smooth and elastic.

Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Punch down dough and roll into a 12 inch circle and place on a sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.

Preheat oven to 350


Plain Cheese:
2 TB butter melted*
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
2 TB Parmesan cheese

Bacon and Jalapenos:
All of the above, plus bacon bits and jalapenos to your preference
I did about 2 slices of bacon, crumbled, and 1 small fresh jalapeno(you can use jarred if you wish)

Spinach and Feta:
Omit cheddar, sub feta and add chopped fresh baby spinach(about 1/4 cup chopped)

Mix melted butter and garlic powder.
Brush generously over the dough. Sprinkle cheeses on 1/2 of the dough add other toppings.

Fold in half and press the edges to seal , score to vent.

1 TB butter*
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 TB shredded sharp cheddar
2 TB shredded mozzarella
1 TB parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried parsley

Mix butter and garlic powder, brush generously over top of crust

Bake 15 minutes.
Combine cheeses and sprinkle over the top.

Bake 5 more minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Sprinkle with parsley , allow to set for 5 minutes or so then serve!

* you can use more butter if you like! The domino's ones are always oozing with drippy buttery yumminess but I decided to cut if down.

Excellent with a marinara dipping sauce but for these we prefer to gobble them plain!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chipotle Pineapple Pork Roast

I had a can of pineapple that needed to be used so I decided I was going to throw it over a pork roast, but then I decided to spice it up a little!

2 lb pork roast

1- 20 oz can pineapple chunks(in juice)
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1 TB chipotle sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all sauce ingredients(including juice) in a bowl and mix well.

Place roast in a slow cooker and pour sauce over the top.

Cook on low 6-8 hours, or high 4-6 until internal temp reaches 165.

Take out of slow cooker and let set for 10 minutes, then slice.

While setting, pour 2 cups of the liquid into a saucepan(including some pineapple chunks)

combine 1/4 cold water with 1 TB cornstarch and pour into the sauce.
Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat . Cook until thickened and serve over sliced pork.