I have already established to you all that Spaghetti is my all time favorite, or one of my favorite meals to make and eat. Sometimes, though, you have to change it up so it's not always the same thing. Sometimes I like to change how I cook the onions and the green peppers, caramelizing the one and roasting the other in order to elevate the flavor. Sometimes I like to add fennel seeds or use the sauce for a different pasta with different meals in mind. Once you have the sauce down, you have many possibilities for what you can do with it. One thing that I do upon occasion is make meatballs.
Making meatballs is an artform. If you know how to make meatballs, you pretty much know how to make a good meatloaf as they are similar in how you prepare them. The key to a great meatball is to make sure they aren't rubbery or crumbly, and that is all in how you work the mixture. It's like a good biscuit, you don't want to overwork it!
Either way you look at it, this is a good recipe to have under your belt (or any good meatball recipe) just for the sake of opening up new doors in your list of things you can do with dishes.
I wish I had some awesome story from my past I can tell you about these, but I just like Meatballs. That's all.
As I said, I wish I had some cool story to tell you about how I learned to make meatballs, but I don't, I just... like them. Although, I did dislike them as a kid. I guess tastebuds change? Anyways, I hope you enjoy this short blog post.
Oh, Canada... I thought you guys were nuts when I first saw Poutine becoming a trendy food, but then again? We have our weird things too... I mean, we do have sausage gravy and biscuits in America... It took me a long time to decide whether I wanted to make this dish or not, and obviously, my curiosity won out because, well, you see the picture above, don't ya?
I consulted one of my friends, Jake, who lives in Canada, just to make sure I got as close to traditional as I could. I had decided to make this when I saw cheese curds at Wally World. I was all excited, I planned this out for two months, and then I got to Wally World and the curds were gone. So I had to make due. I ended up using shredded cheese.
This was a fun dish to make, and pretty easy even if it takes time to do it. Of course, I made mine mostly from scratch. I will tell you this, you will not want to make a big batch for yourself, you'll want to start small because this dish is so filling, but so worth every bite of it.
I had so much fun eating this... It's super yummy! I suggest you try it the home made way before you go out and try them elsewhere or making them the short way with frozen fries and such. It is so fun! Enjoy this one, Foodies, and give a salute to Canada!
Today is one of those days... I have a list of grievances that happened this morning that are all mostly just little things, and my patience is not what I would want it to be. Yes, even now as I sit here and drink my morning cup of Joe, I feel like going back to bed and sleeping some more and hopefully waking up on the right side. One of the thing that happened this morning after I woke up was me finding the words I had started last night for this very blog post were all gone... Granted, there weren't that many written, but the only thing left was a single picture and a blank canvas.
I wasn't going to talk about my horrible morning made up of small things that upset me, but after eating something and giving myself a chance to just breathe, I can make a comparison from my day to this food. Today is about salvaging, just as making chilli with leftovers is. See, many people throw away leftovers because they hate eating them, but me? I use them for something else because that is one more meal, you know?
Tacos are something I make a lot; I make them at least biweekly or sometimes even weekly because they are inexpensive and nutritious in a lot of ways depending on the fillings and toppings. That and they are delicious and it's hard to get tired of them. It isn't often that I have leftovers... Sometimes I make just enough, sometimes not enough, and too much happens once in a great while. Here are things I tend to put into my tacos...
I had maybe two cups or so of leftover meat and refried beans, which I mix together, rather than make separate, as my husband prefers it that way. This last time, I had used about four cups each of cooked pintos and black beans, which I pureed with my immersion blender with beef fat and the same seasoning that went in the meat. My husband usually takes care of the leftovers if we have any, but they ended up being left alone for the most part and were in the fridge for several days. I did not want to be wasteful.
So what I did was fry up some breakfast sausage, fresh bell peppers, I used about eight roma tomatoes and gave those a quick toss in the pan with those things along with some leftover onion... Once the onions and peppers were soft, I dropped in some tomato paste to activate and then put all that in the crock pot with the leftover meat/bean combo, a half gal. of tomato juice, and four or five more cans of beans (both black and pinto) and let it cook for six hours on high. That's it!
So here is a recap of the fresh and other leftover ingredients I added so you at least know the amount. This is not a set recipe, but a general idea...
About 1 cup of diced onion (leftover)
About 1 cup of diced green pepper (leftover)
About 8 large garden roma tomatoes that were going to go bad if I didn't use them, diced
1 lb of pork breakfast sausage
2-3 cups of taco leftovers (both meat and beans)
1 small can of tomato paste - I probably could have used two
1/2 gal tomato juice, I use bottled but canned works too
Things I topped my chili with -
Leftover shredded cheese
More diced tomato
I also scalded a few tortillas for some of the chili the next day, then sliced them like noodles and this tasted fabulous in my leftover chili.
I hope you've enjoyed this first post about leftover reboots and could see how easy it was to take one thing and make something new from it using both leftover and new ingredients. This chili was pretty tasty. So you know, the refried beans did not affect the outcome of the chili, not the texture or the flavor. If anything, it may have helped to thicken the gravy a little, but other than that, it just dissolved into the dish after a long time in the slow cooker!
Until next time, my foodie friends.
P.S. Don't let a bad day get you down.
I had always wanted to try making Navajo Fry bread because I wanted to pay homage to the Native American tradition. I have a great respect for all tribal traditions as my great grandmother was Native (I was told Sioux, though I think if the location has an influence, she was probably Potawatomi or Miami). I have always been fascinated by what I have learned throughout the years about the practices of the Native American, from how they dressed to how they respected everything around them. For instance, when they made a kill, they would utilize everything from the carcass, from the entrails to the bones. There is a certain degree of spirituality to everything for them, cooking was not to be left out of this equation at all.
Fry Bread was borne out of pain and sorrow, and some people treat it as sacred. When I was cooking it earlier, I tried to keep that in mind and treat this with love and in the same respect. It isn't just a novelty experience for me, it really was a joy to me to do this and it really did affect me as a descendant of the Native American; I truly hope that I have done justice and given the proper respect to this. Here is an article I think would be beneficial for you to read if you are interested in the history of this food, it is far more eloquent than I can convey in my own words.
Right now, I feel like I am on my own spiritual journey... Food is a big part of it for me as I delve into the different parts of my heritage and family history. I have shared with you things that have directly influenced my life as a person. I have said time and time again that food is a universal language, that you can convey messages through the sharing and the fellowship. This is the reason I do these blog posts... I want to share this part of me with you.
As far as the recipe goes, I am not sure this one is the traditional recipe because the link above says there is yeast and sour milk included in the ingredients that were available at the time. I do recall being confused that there wasn't yeast involved in the recipe I did use, but it still turned out to taste really delicious and tender. I am sure the sour milk would have given it a flavor that it didn't have, however... But the recipe on that site is very close to the one I used, though mine had no milk involved at all.
Before I take this post any further with more food for thought, here is the recipe I used for my Fry Bread:
FRY BREAD RECIPE
Combine all of your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl...
You do not need to sift but it won't hurt any if you do.
Add your wet ingredients and mix well...
I used my floured hands because it's part of the experience, but you can use a utensil if you prefer... Mix well, but do not knead, to form a ball.
Cover the top of the bowl with a damp towel, the lid, cling film, or a plate...
and let it rest for two hours.
After it rests, prepare your area to roll the dough by dusting with flour...
dust your rolling pin as well. Pinch off golf ball sized sections and roll thinly.
Preheat your oil, you need enough to cover the top of the bread... I used an inch but recommended is two.
Fry your bread, flipping after about two or three minutes... Then let it drain on a cookie rack. Serve while still warm for the best experience.
You can put taco meat (pork or ground beef), tomatoes, and lettuce in the shell to make Indian Tacos. I can honestly say that this is now my favorite way to eat tacos as of yesterday. I do suggest that you eat the bread on it's own first because there is something really special about doing so.
FRIED BREAD: HOW IS IT DIFFERENT THAN FRY BREAD?
In searching for information about the history of the fried bread as opposed to fry bread, I ended up not finding very many links when I tried to Google. But I do know a few things about it from when I first made it, and I also asked some questions to my good friend, Becka, who helped me out with some of the information.
Fried Bread is a descendant of fry bread, yes, in tradition but not so much in method. While Fry bread is a flat bread that started from rations they were given during a time where they were being pushed from their lands, Fried Bread kind of evolved from this with a shared history but is more of a fried biscuit. Fried bread started, most likely, in the Appalachian mountains when the Natives took refuge with white settlers, so it is also based off of a rough history. We also know that fried bread was a staple during the Great Depression because of how easy it was to get the ingredients and how you can feed a lot of people with it.
The fried bread that I made several months ago was made with my drop biscuit recipe, but the traditional recipe is a lot simpler than that even. Here is a recipe I found today.
Fritters - Another Type of Fried Bread
Becka pointed out to me that I should not forget to talk about fritters, which is.... also a fried bread. Generally, a fritter has the same consistency as a drop biscuit with whatever chunks of leftover foods (corn, apples, zucchini, etc) they would eat and is served both sweet or savory. Corn fritters are made with maize or corn meal, while other fritters tend to be made with white or wheat flour, and they are either deep fried OR pan fried.
Corn is used a lot because it is indigenous to the Americas and the Natives had access exclusively to this plant before European explorers took it back to Europe with them. They would grind it up to make the corn meal (maize), and also use pieces of corn in their fritters. It is made with corn meal or flour these days, but the premise is still the same.
While I have not made fritters, I have eaten fritters plenty of times and I am happy to eat them occasionally (I try not to eat any of these foods often because of my blood sugar), and they are quite delicious. This is why we have an abundance of glazed apple fritters in bakeries across the United States.
Fritters are made throughout the world, of course, but I am not exactly sure where they first came from. However, the American Fritter is definitely laced with tradition as much as Fry Bread is and I think it should be respected in the same manner. Here is a recipe I found on Fritters, with some history about them, do check it out.
I had a lot of fun making this food, learning about the history of it and the other foods that stem from these. I hope that I have helped to bring some insight into this traditional food! Please do try making these and share them with your family and friends.
This is an ultimate food of love....
Enjoy, my foodie friends!
The Eccentric Foodie
Cooking bacon in the oven is the easiest way.
These are various recipes that either I created, or I found and adjusted to what I thought would be awesome or even healthier.