Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Comfort Food - Asian Meatballs and Oven Fried Chicken

"What I love about cooking is that after a hard day, there is something comforting about the fact that if you melt butter and add flour and then hot stock, it will get thick! It's a sure thing! It's a sure thing in a world where nothing is sure; it has a mathematical certainty in a world where those of us who long for some kind of certainty are forced to settle for crossword puzzles."
Nora Ephron

Save the haute cuisine for the weekend, after working all day what you and your family crave is comfort food. Simple, nourishing and delicious comfort foods are like a warm hug after a long day.

500 Best Comfort Food Recipes gives you an exhaustive selection of family favourites, to put comfort on the table any time of day.

Chapters include:
Breakfast and Brunch
Sandwiches and Light Suppers
Stews, Pot Roasts and One-Pot Simmers
Main Dishes
A Pound of Ground
Rice, Beans and Grains
Breads and Muffins
Cookies, Bars and Squares

500 Best Comfort Food Recipes
Johanna Burkhard
Softcover, 576 pages
*there are alternative book jacket photos for this book

Johanna Burkhard is a food writer, cookbook author, and public relations consultant. She was a columnist for the Montreal Gazette and is a frequent contributor to LCBO Food and Drink, Canadian Living and Homemaker's magazines.

Cornmeal-Crumbed Chicken Drumsticks
500 Best Comfort Food Recipes, Johanna Burkhard
Makes 6 servings

This popular chicken dish does double duty served warm as a family-pleasing supper or served cold, tucked into a picnic hamper or bagged lunch. 

Make extras of the seasoned crumb mixture and keep in the freezer to coat boneless strips of chicken breasts or fish fillets for a quick supper.
  • Rimmed baking sheet, with greased rack
½ cup sour cream  125 mL
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice  15 mL
1 large clove garlic, minced
½ tsp salt  2 mL
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper  1mL
12 chicken drumsticks, skin removed

Crumb Coating
1/3 cup cornmeal  75 mL
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs  75 mL
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese  75 mL
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley  30 mL
1 tsp dried basil leaves  2 mL
½ tsp dried thyme leaves  2mL
½ tsp paprika  2 mL
3 tbsp butter, melted  45 mL

1. In a bowl, combine sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Add drumsticks; stir to caot well. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

2. Crumb Coating: In a large heavy plastic bag, combine cornmeal, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, thyme, and paprika. Add drumsticks, in batches and shake to coat well in crumb mixture. Discard any excess marinade and crumbs. place on prepared baking sheet. Brush drumsticks lightly with melted butter.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake drumsticks for 40-45 minutes of until golden and no longer pink when cut into at the bone. If serving cold, let cool, place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Meatballs in Spicy Black Bean Sauce
500 Best Comfort Food Recipes, Johanna Burkhard
Makes 6 servings

It takes only a few minutes to assemble the spicy-sweet sauce for these winning meatballs.

To freeze meatballs: Place meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen, then transfer to a covered container or freezer bag. To quickly reheat, place the frozen meatballs in a casserole dish, cover and microwave on Medium (50%) until defrosted.

½ cup orange juice  125 mL
½ cup water  125 mL
¼ cup packed brown sugar  60 mL
¼ cup rice vinegar  60 mL
2 tbsp black bean sauce  30 mL
2 tbsp soy sauce  30 mL
1 tbsp cornstarch  15 mL
2 tsp minced ginger root  10 mL
½ tsp Asian chili sauce or hot pepper sauce  2mL
48 Basic Meatballs (see recipe, below)
2 tbsp chopped green onion tops

1. In a large saucepan, combine orange juice, water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, black bean sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger and chili sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for 3 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens.

2. Add meatballs and stir to coat; cook for 2 minutes or until hot. Transfer to serving bowl; sprinkle with green onion tops.

Basic Meatballs
500 Best Comfort Food Recipes, Johanna Burkhard
Makes 48 meatballs

Meatballs are delicious in a variety of sauces, such as Sweet-and-Sour and Spicy Black Bean

For Spaghetti with Meatballs, see recipe, page 336.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
  • Rimmed baking sheets
1 egg
2 tbsp water  30 mL
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs  75 mL
1/3 cup minced green onions  75 mL
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¾ tsp salt  3 mL
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper  2 mL
1½ lbs lean ground beef, chicken or turkey  750 g

1. In a large bowl, beat egg with water; stir in bread crumbs, green onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix in beef.

2. From by tablespoons (15 mL) into balls; arrange on baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned and no longer pink inside. Drain on paper towels.