Friday, November 27, 2009

Swedish 'Meatballs' and Noodles!

I recently visited the Bo De Duyen outlet store on Spadina, where I picked up a
bag of frozen 'meatballs'. If you never went to the restaurant while it was open,
they specialize in fake meat products like veggie "chicken drumsticks", fish balls
and nuggets. I'm not crazy about fake meats, and
generally avoid them, but I wanted to support the place because I feel that they make some pretty great food. So off I went with 8 frozen 'meatballs' and thoughts of Ikea floating through my head. I browsed a few recipes for Swedish meatballs and noodles, and this is what came out of it. The dish is not difficult, but took a good hour from start to finish. First I browned the meatballs on all sides on the stovetop. Then I transferred them to a baking dish and baked them, covered, at 350 degrees while I did the rest.
The sauce is basically onions, a pinch of sugar, and a few tbsp of balsamic vinegar, simmered gently, until the onions are soft. About 1 3/4 cup of vegetable stock is added, with the last quarter reserved and mixed with a few tbsp of flour. After the sauce begins to boil, the flour mi
x is added and it's simmered until thick.
I boiled some water for the noodles while I whisked the sauce, then cooked 3/4 of a package of egg noodles for about 10 minutes. When the sauce was thick, I removed it from the stove and added 1tbsp of sour cream and a solid squirt of hoisin sauce, then covered it to keep warm.
I tossed the noodles in the sauce, served the 'meatballs' on top and topped it all off with some Ikea Lingonberry sauce. Mmm! A little more subtle than the flavours that I'm used to, but still quite delicious.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Painfully Messy Indonesian Turnip Cake

A.k.a baby throwup, A.k.a. 'the sludge'.

This is what it ended up looking like (partially finished)

It was a delicious dish we ordered on a whim at King's noodle house. It was deep fried, covered in Hoisin sauce, terrifyingly hot and incredibly tasty.

So, I decided to try to make it. I didn't realize that it would take several hours.

It started with some onions, some veggie sausage, and some hot chili flakes, sauteed with some shredded daikon radish. In case you're wondering, there's no turnip anywhere in the cake. I was a little disappointed, having had limited experience with Turnip, and wishing to expand my horizons.

Something for next time, I guess.
So, the process was to create a thick sludge (which you can see in the bowl) made up of water and rice flour, and to introduce it into the hot pan and allow it to thicken with the onions and 'sausage'.

After that, the mixture was poured into a pot and steamed for an hour. To be truthful, it fell into the pot and splattered all over the kitchen--then I salvaged what was left and steamed it for an hour.

After that, it had to set in the fridge for another hour, and after that, it was fried until crisp and coated with hoisin sauce, soy and sugar.

Verdict: the hungry boys and I ate the sludge. It was passably good, but no contest to the dish in the restaurant. For five bucks, I'll just buy it next time. And maybe a bag of turnips for later.