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‘Balls’ Category

  1. Olive Cheese Ball Bites

    December 9, 2012 by admin

     

    These are a classic from my childhood. I’m pretty sure it’s some recipe from the 1950s, but I have no proof of that. It just FEELS like a 1950s recipe. These are easy to make, and fun to do with your kids. I used to help my mom. If they can’t handle forming the ball around the olive, they can at least flatten the dough out in their hands and you can wrap the olive.

    Doughy, crispy, with a bit of the salty olive center = SO GOOD! Of course, I’m bias, because I remember making these and watching reruns of Laurence Welk shows. (I was a strange kid. My favorite childhood shows: Perry Mason, Star Trek, Star Search, and Laurence Welk.) So, fair warning.

    Olive Cheese Ball Bites
    Recipe type: Appetizer
    Cuisine: Balls
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 8
     
    Crisp, chewy, slightly salty balls of wonder. And only a few ingredients. (You can also freeze these before cooking.)
    Ingredients
    • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 1 ¼ cup flour
    • ½ cup butter, melted (1 stick)
    • Sprinkle of paprika (optional)
    • Green olives, drained
    Instructions
    1. Mix cheese and flour and paprika. Add butter and mix well.
    2. Take a tablespoon or so of the mixture and work in hand until it forms a dough; shape around an olive. Place 2” apart on greased baking sheet. Chill 1 hour.
    3. Heat oven to 400. Bake 15-20 minutes. Balls will brown slightly on top and at the bottom.

     

    And the process in color photos!:

     

    Just 4 ingredients. 5 if you use Paprika.

     

    Mix flour, cheese, and paprika. Add in warm melted butter. Stir.

     

    It’ll look like this. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make a stiff dough. The heat of your hands and playing with the dough will make it pliable. So, no gloves on this one.

     

     

    Squeeze a tablespoon or so of dough in your hand, flatten, add your olive.

     

    Roll and pinch dough around olive.

     

    Put on a tray and chill for at least an hour. You can also freeze them at this point and bake later.

     

    Bake for 15-20 minutes. I didn’t let them chill long enough, so they flattened a little. Still, you can see the bottom with crisp, and the inside will still be a little soft. Oh, baby!

     

    There you go! Olive Ball BITES! Perfect for that retro party. Serve with martinis and pineapple and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon (I’ll post to blog soon), and a cheese ball, and marinated mozzarella on sticks and…I could on and on.

     

     

     

     


  2. Turkey Croquettes (AKA Demon Balls AKA Amazing Poultry Balls of Wonder)

    December 1, 2012 by admin

    Croquettes (aka Demon Balls)

    I’ll tell you straight up with this recipe: It’s a pain in the ass. And it’s worth it. But it’s a pain. If you’re pretty confident in the kitchen, then I think you can handle it, but you’ll probably want to drink wine while making it if you get annoyed by a lot of steps or are easily panicked. And if you’re drinking lots of wine when making this (like I am sometimes guilty of) then you should probably have someone else do the frying, as long as it’s not your senile grandma.

    These are terrific. It’s an old school recipe from The Joy of Cooking, and it’s sort of like eating deep fried creamy comfort. Or a deep fried pot pie. I make this every Thanksgiving or Christmas with leftover  turkey, but I’ve also made it with rotisserie chicken. Not for the faint of heart, but whoever you feed this to will probably fall a little bit in love with your ability to comfort. Fair warning: they may want to suckle you afterward. Depending on who wants to suckle and just exactly WHAT they want to suckle, will determine if this is a good thing or not.

    And now…The Recipe From HELL. (But a delicious HELL.)

    You will need to make this recipe in steps:

    1. Prepare the turkey
    2. Prep the binding sauce
    3. Mix turkey and sauce
    4. Chill
    5. Shape your balls
    6. Fry

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Turkey Croquettes
    Author: 
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 4
     
    First prep the turkey, then fold in the Veloute sauce.
    Ingredients
    • Veloute Sauce (prepared separately)
    • 2½ cups chopped, skinless cooked turkey or chicken
    • ¼ cup chopped parsley
    • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1½ cups panko bread crumbs
    • ½ cup flour
    • 2 eggs
    Instructions
    1. Pulse poultry in a food processor a few times until nice and small. Toss with seasonings in a bowl and set aside.
    2. Prepare Veloute sauce. Recipe to follow. Fold Veloute sauce into turkey mixture.
    3. Cover with plastic wrap, placing top of plastic wrap directly on mixture to prevent a skin from forming.
    4. Chill until cold and firm, at least two hours.
    5. Drop ¼ cup croqutte mixture in flour, roll. Drop into egg. Roll. Drop into panko breadcrumbs. Roll.
    6. Fry croquettes until golden brown.

     

    For the Veloute Sauce (Binding Sauce)

    1 Tablespoon butter

    1 cup minced onions (use food processor)

    2 tablespoons butter

    2 tablespoons flour

    1 1/4 cup chicken stock

     

    1. Slowly cook onions in 1 tablespoon butter until nice and golden. Set aside.

    2. In separate pan, melt butter and stir in flour and cook for 5-6 minutes on low heat, until it starts to get golden and you have this rich smell wafting toward you.

    3. Add in stock, whisking constantly. Cook over medium-low heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. The recipe says this will take about 20 minutes, but I never know how long it takes because I’m too busy being annoyed and waiting for the sauce to thicken. It will thicken though.

    4. Once thick, add in your onions and cook one minute.

    5. Add into your turkey mixture and chill.

     

    So what does this all look like in pictures? It looks like a nightmare, but here are the steps in Technicolor:

     

    A food processor will save you a lot of work. Just put your chicken in…

    …and PULSE until it looks like this. I then rinse it out and do the same things to the onions and set aside.

    Add your seasonings. I ran out of parsley. Boo. 🙁

    Set the turkey mixture aside and work on your roux. First, butter and flour and whisk like you’ve got a terrible itch…

     

    It’ll start to get all bubbly. Keep whisking. That itch doesn’t go away until it all settles down, relaxes, and you start to smell the faint aroma of browned butter. Sadly, this doesn’t happen if you’re scratching an actual itch.

     

    Then add in your broth and keep whisking and stirring until it’s nice and thick. Then add your cooked onions. Then combine it with your turkey mixture. Your sauce will look thick and luscious like this.

     

    Mix it all up, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate and go do something for a couple of hours. (At this point, you could also add a little milk to the mixture, toss with pasta and add some crunchy topping and cook for a tettrazini type thing.)

     

    Now the fun part. Shaping your balls. I wear gloves. I ALWAYS wear gloves when I touch balls because, ew. Balls.

    Roll ball in flour. Use a bigger bowl then I did, or you’ll hate yourself.

    Roll floured ball in egg. It starts to get slimy and just plain weird. Don’t think about it. Just keep going. Hold your breath if you need to. This part will be over soon.

     

    Blanket those puppies in a comforting layer of Panko.

    See! They’re only slightly misshapen. You can start breathing again.

     

    I like to fry two practice mini-balls. Then you can taste them and make sure you won’t kill anyone by serving them this. (And you can fit two in your mouth, but let them cool first.)

    Coquettes are in the Fire Pit Of Hot Oil. Don’t cook too many at a time. You will anger the Gods.

     

    And here they are! Golden brown!! Serve with cranberry sauce or gravy, or just on their own. I didn’t actually eat the spinach. That was just to add color. They really are terrific, and people will be impressed by your kitchen prowess. Or finesse. Or whatever. They’ll be eating warm, creamy delicious balls that are so gold they’re called CROQUETTES.


  3. Nacho Cheeseball (That Looks Like A Pumpkin)

    September 24, 2012 by admin

    I saw this recipe in Food Network Magazine, looked in my fridge, and since we’d just had tacos the other night, I had all the ingredients on hand. It’s really easy and achingly cute. I mean, it’s a PUMPKIN. Made of cheese. Oh, god. Be still my heart. I added the pumpkin face because I just happened to have a purple pepper on hand. I think the pumpkin face is key to achieve a certain high level of cuteness. Plus, this ball is TASTY…and you can put your kid to work in making it.

    Cutest cheese ball ever.

     

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Nacho Cheeseball (That Looks Like A Pumpkin)
    Recipe type: Appetizer, Ball, Easy
    Cuisine: Cheese, Vegetarian
    Prep time: 
    Total time: 
     
    A super cute cheese ball perfect for Halloween or Thanksgiving.
    Ingredients
    • 16 ounces room temperature cream cheese
    • 1½ cups shredded cheddar
    • 3 tablespoons minced onion
    • 2 tablespoons salsa
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño
    • Crushed Doritos
    • 1 bell pepper
    Instructions
    1. With a mixer, blend all ingredients until incorporated.
    2. Form into ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Put in fridge for at least two hours.
    3. Unwrap, roll in crushed Doritos, and decorate with pepper top and eye and mouth shapes.

     

    It’s that easy!

    THE PROCESS

    And here’s the recipe again, in Technicolor.

     

    Gather ye ingredients while ye may…

     

    …Throw it all in a mixing bowl and blend.

     

     

    Cheese ball guts. MMmm.

     

    Form it into a ball. I used plastic gloves because I’m a wuss.

     

     

    Put your kid to work grinding the Doritos down.

     

    (It’s not child labor if you don’t pay them.)

     

     

    Dorito dust. (Do NOT snort it.)

     

    Roll your ball with tender love and then decorate.

     

    Adorable pumpkin ready to be sliced and devoured. Hmm. That’s slightly creepy. That’s what you get for being made of cheese, though.

     

    PS I halved the recipe to make this, and it still worked great. I want to try heating some of the ball up, but I’m a little scared of liquifying the little critter. Ah well. It will be a glorious fate for a cheese ball.

     

     

     


  4. Olive Balls (aka Olive Gougeres)

    September 23, 2012 by admin

    I had a friend coming over and wanted to make an appetizer, looked in my fridge, saw what I had on hand, and then made this. Not from my brain. I had a recipe from some magazine (all I can see on it is “Cooking Pleasures” and I’m pretty sure that’s not the name of the zine.) Anyway. These turned out GREAT. Plus, you can freeze them and then heat them up for 10 minutes in the oven. This recipe was so spontaneous, I couldn’t find my camera to take pictures so I used my iPhone.

    These look huge, but the balls are really about the size of a quarter. The perfect size to, uhm, pop in your mouth. If you want a ball in your mouth.

    Olive Balls (aka Olive Gougeres)
    Recipe type: Appetizer, Balls
     
    Delicious fluffy and slightly salty balls.
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup water
    • 6 tablespoons butter, cut up
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
    • ½ cup chopped pitted high-quality green (or kalamata) olives
    Instructions
    1. Heat oven to 400. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. Bring water, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; boil until butter is melted. Remove from heat; Stir in flour until completely blended. (Mixture will be like play dough--eventually.)
    3. Return to heat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture comes together and pulls away from the pan.
    4. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.
    5. Stir in eggs one at a time. Stir in cheese until melted. Stir in olives. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Prick each puff with the tip of a knife to allow steam to escape. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    6. You can make these ahead, let them cool, freeze them, and then reheat from frozen for ten minutes at 350.

    THE PROCESS

    So the recipe is a little annoying, but if you can be really anal and follow all the directions, then these are actually pretty easy to make. Here is the photo evidence of the process:

    Prep these ingredients before making the dish. The French have a fancy word for this, but who cares. You just prep it.

    Then boil the water and butter and salt. Add the flour. And then stir like mad. It will look gross at first, but then it starts to come together. You’ll feel relief when this happens, because otherwise, you’ll be serving curds, and no one likes curds…except people in Wisconsin. (Go Badgers!)

      

    Ready for eggs!

    Uh…start to panic because this does NOT look good.

    Oh. Okay. Start to relax. This is looking a lot better.

    Add your cheese.

    Stir and cackle like a witch. (Even though that’s stereotyping and we all know that real witches don’t cackle; they purr.)

    Add your olives. I used both green and kalamata because that’s what I had in my fridge.

     

    Now for the fun part! You get to shape your balls! Sadly, they’re too sticky to roll around in the palm of your hand, so you’ll just have to slap these balls on a baking sheet using a spoon. Don’t tell anyone you’re slapping balls, especially not a guy. They’ll laugh and then be mildly uncomfortable. Actually, you might want to tell them you’re slapping balls, because you’re funny.

    Remember: less ball is more ball. These bastards will puff right up.

     

    Bake them up. They’ll be golden and crisp on the outside, and deliciously puffy, soft, and melt-in-your mouth on the inside. Mmmm. Next time I might even add more cheese.

    And here they are one more time: Olive Balls. Olive Gougeres. Cheesy Crisp Balls Of Goodness and Love.

     


  5. Peanut Butter Balls

    September 1, 2012 by admin

    This is one of my kids’ favorite desserts. It’s an easy no-bake recipe, though you will get a little peanut-buttery if you don’t use gloves. I have a stack of disposable gloves for cooking because I don’t like to get peanut-buttery or meaty or whatever.

     

    And finally…Kealoha installed a recipe widget  so you can now PRINT the recipes right from here.

    Peanut Butter Balls
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Prep time: 
    Total time: 
     
    Good for desserts and holidays.
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
    • ½ cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 cups Rice Krispies
    • Chocolate Candy coating
    • Mini paper cups
    Instructions
    1. In mixer, cream together peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar.
    2. Stir in Rice Krispies.
    3. Form into small balls and place on plastic wrap lined cookie sheet.
    4. Chill balls until slightly firm.
    5. Melt chocolate coating in microwave for thirty seconds and stir until smooth.
    6. Roll balls in chocolate, place in mini paper cups.
    7. Chill for ten or fifteen minutes.
    8. Keep peanut butter balls chilled. You can also freeze them.

     

    And if those directions aren’t easy enough, here are the step-by-step pictures. I made this with my six-year-old daughter, so the little hands you’ll see are hers.

     

    Ingredients. Super easy and pretty cheap.

     

    Cream together sugar, butter and peanut butter.

     

    Mmmm. Creaming.

     

    Add cereal and stir until….

     

    …it looks like this.

     

    Shape into balls. It’s okay if they’re slightly misshapen and not uniform in size. (Most balls are.)

     

    It makes a lot of balls. Chill your balls until slightly firm to the touch. Yes. Touch your balls to check.

     

    Melt chocolate candy coating in microwave for thirty seconds and…

     

    …Stir until smooth and beautiful.

     

    Put your kid to work. We tried covering the ball entirely in chocolate, but that would take all day, so we ended up just putting chocolate on the top.

     

    See? Chocolate just on the top. It’s way faster and easier.

     

    Peanut Butter Balls. Ours may not be pretty, but they sure taste good.

     

    More balls.

     

    These are the ‘perfect’ peanut butter balls from the Rice Krispie website. Keep in mind that they either had a Type A personality making these and/or food photographers. Still, they’re purty.

     

    We give this recipe 5 PRETZELS out of 5. It’s cheap, you don’t have to cook, you can have your kids help, you can freeze them, and they look pretty and festive in little paper cups. The only thing that would make them better would be if they were infused with vodka, and I wouldn’t recommend having your kids help with THAT.

    Like the new direction of this blog? Let me know. And tell a friend.