So this is the 100th recipe that I am adding to my blog and over the past week I had been preparing to do something “special” that would mark this milestone. Knowing that I have a sweet tooth and also that I am not much of baker, my son suggested that I should try to challenge myself and try making something I would normally not even dream of making – and remembering our adventurous month in Nice, France, a few years ago he suggested that I should try baking some French pastry. So we both settled on my taking the plunge and trying my hand at making macarons. I knew that Meringue is hard to work with and that I had no experience with it, so over the past week I researched on the internet, looked up baking guides at Barnes and Noble, borrowed books from the public library and made trips to William Sonoma, Crate and Barrel and Whole Foods to gather all the ingredients. Finally this morning I spent 4 hours making a puny little batch of orange macarons and although they weren’t perfect, they were real close to being perfect (small cracks appeared on top and I consoled myself by saying that they tasted just as good even with the cracks!). So while I was making the cream filling, I set them down on a baking rack to cool down. I must have turned my back for a minute and when I turned around, they were all GONE!!!! My crazy poodle, Dopey, devoured all of them in one large lick! So that was the end of my experiment with the macarons and I don’t know if I will ever have the patience to undertake that experiment ever again! I guess my career as baker was doomed from the very beginning and I just have to reconcile myself with the fact that I am not a terrible cook and I should just take solace in that!
Here is the culprit looking all innocent (and full)!!!!!!
With the cookies gone, I had to resort to putting up the recipe of what we had for dinner today. It was a new invention of mine and it tasted great, so I guess, it will have to do as the milestone 100th recipe – meatballs stuffed with dried plums and a black raspberry glaze.
For the meatballs:
1. 1.25 lbs of ground beef (you can use lamb or any other meat as well)
2. 3 cloves of garlic
3. ½ medium white onion
4. 1 tablespoon of freshly ground coriander seeds
5. 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala (Indian spice mix available at South Asian Grocery Stores)
6. Salt to taste
7. 1 teaspoon of red chili powder
8. A handful of fresh cilantro leaves
9. One large egg
10. ½ cup of plain breadcrumbs
11. 10-12 pitted dried plums
12. One green chili
13. Two tablespoons tomato ketchup
For the Glaze:
1. Two tablespoons of Black Raspberry Jam
2. 1 tablespoon of olive oil
3. ½ inch long fresh ginger root
4. ½ teaspoon of red chili flakes
5. Salt to taste
6. 1 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
7. One tablespoon of Zataar powder
1. Peel and grate the garlic cloves (use a microplane to grate the garlic cloves)
2. Peel and finely dice the onion
3. Finely slice the green chili
4. Chop the cilantro leaves.
5. Mix the following ingredients in a bowl – one egg, ½ cup bread crumbs, coriander powder, garam masala, chopped cilantro leaves, cut green chili, red chili powder, salt, tomato ketchup and ground meat. Do not over mix the ingredients (otherwise the meatballs get too hard) – just ensure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed in the mixture.
6. Cut each of the dried plums/prunes into two pieces.
7. Using your hands form meatballs about 1.5-2 inches in diameter and at the center of each meatball, place a piece of the cut dried plum and roll the meatball gently between your palms.
10. While the oven is getting hot, prepare the glaze by putting two tablespoons of Black Raspbery jam, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, salt, red chili flakes, grated ginger root and two tablespoons of water in a small sauce pan and heating it over a low flame for 2-3 minutes.
11. With a basting brush, glaze all the meatballs with the raspberry glaze.
12. Place the meatballs in the oven for 10 minutes.
13. After 10 minutes, take the meatballs out and gently flip them over and glaze the top side with the glaze.
14. Place them back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes.
15. Serve them with a sprinkling of Zataar powder on top of each meatball.