Posts Tagged ‘Spicy Side of Meatball’

From Dish Gwen (and her Spicy Side Chris):

My Saucy Fiance, Christopher, makes a killer kale salad. This time of year we have a ton of kale growing in our garden and it can sometimes be tough to eat it all, but this salad has changed everything. Plus it’s really easy to make and requires zero cooking (which is of great benefit on those hot summer days when your kitchen is already 140 degrees).

1 lb kale, chopped into large pieces (about 2-3 inches)
1/2 head of garlic, diced
1 cup ricotta cheese
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil


In a large bowl, blend together all of the ingredients so that the different components are well mixed and the kale leaves are covered with the dressing. With your hands, “massage” the kale, squeezing and scrunching the leaves to tenderize them for about 3 minutes. Once the salad is all mixed and scrunched, it’s ready to serve! Eat as much as you want and store the leftovers in a tupperware in the fridge – this salad will last several days and make a great snack or lunch side.

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Spicy Side of Meatball Andrew is such a saucy lil cook that his work, alongside supperclubs (and friends of SLD) A Razor, A Shiny Knife and Studiofeast, recently appeared in the NY Times! Scroll through the accompanying photos to spot not one, but two SL-Dudes.

(Yeah, that’s a salad in the background. So what? It’s greens, nuts and avocado. Little lemon, yummy oil, salt n’ pepa. Shoop.)

Imagine Christmas.

We all have friends and family members who we love, but are impossible to shop for.

For my father, it’s me.

Fortunately, facing this annual dilemma, you know that your recipient has a hobby, so you start from there. But chances are they already have all of the equipment to participate in that hobby. Painters have brushes. Gun enthusiasts have guns. Cooks have knives.

It comes to you in a stroke of insight! Hobbies have consumable equipment!

Painters can’t have enough hard to find paints!
Gun nuts can’t have enough rare bullets! (I’m talking about those cop killers banned in the 90s. You know what I’m talking about.)
Cooks can’t have enough exotic foods!


A few years ago, I told my father about Exotic Meats USA. I was cooking with the Whisk and Ladle, and we had been using boar bacon, and bear rib eyes, even the occasional alligator and rattlesnake. Exotic Meats sourced all of it.

After presumably letting the idea marinate for the intervening years, my father decided to pull the trigger this Christmas.

Enter The Emu Egg.

It’s pretty stunning.

It weighs about as much as 9-10 chicken eggs.

Step one…Open it. The shell is at least 10 times as thick as a chicken egg. So have some tools ready.

Tools + Thumbs = Victory:

Now, what do you do with it? Well, anything that takes 10 eggs. I went for fresh pasta with a pork sauce.

I make pasta by weight, with a 3:2 flour to egg ratio.

Emu Egg Pasta:
510g Emu Egg, beaten. (~1 egg)
765g All purpose Flour (use your fancy flour if you’ve got it)
15g salt (~2tsp)

Sorry for the weight measures, but it does make the dough come out perfectly.

There are two styles of pasta making:
1) Make a flour well on a work surface. Pour in the egg and salt. Slowly incorporate flour and egg with a fork until it is solid enough to use your hand. Then start to knead.
2) Throw it all in a stand mixture. Mix until incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead.
Option #1 makes you feel like an Italian grandmother, which I like. But if you don’t want to get your hands so dirty, or you like technology a lot, go for #2.
Knead the dough until it feels smooth. It should start to feel like play dough. When you pinch it, it should spring back very slightly. When you poke your finger into the middle, it shouldn’t feel sticky. This takes between 10-20 minutes.

Cover the dough with a bit of olive oil, and wrap with saran wrap, and throw in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. This is important. It lets the flour hydrate and gets the elasticity and “bite” you want in the dough.

Roll pasta in a pasta crank. Or use a rolling pin. Here I opt for technology over tradition. But it’s up to you.

Cut into fettucini-sized strips.

When you’re ready (read, after the sauce is made), get a pot of water to a boil. Add a healthy amount of salt. The pasta will take about 3 minutes to cook, depending on how thin it was rolled.

Pork Sauce:

As precise as the pasta recipe is, the sauce recipe is not.

1-2 lb pork sausage, broken apart. (as meaty as you want it)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Half a large onion.
Half as much carrot as onion
Half as much celery as onion
1 tsp red pepper flakes (skip it if using a hot Italian sausage)
2 sprigs thyme
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 sprig fresh.
1 28oz can diced tomatoes.

First make your mirepoix – diced onion, carrot, celery in a 2:1:1 ratio. If you’re feeling particularly tight, use a scale or measuring cup, but here I eyeball it. (Fun fact: mirepoix doesn’t mean anything in French, it was a royal chef’s name.)

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Brown the sausage, and remove.

Add garlic. Cook until very lightly golden brown.

Add mirepoix. At a minimum, cook until the onions have released some liquid and are fairly translucent. (Pro tip: adding a little salt while sweating onions will keep them from browning.) At a maximum, go del posto-style, brunoise (very finely dice) the mirepoix and let it turn to mush over low heat for 4 hours.
Add pepper flakes, thyme and oregano. Let it warm a bit.
Add tomatoes. Once hot, add the sausage back in.

Simmer for at least 15 minutes, but at this point it’ll keep warm. If it gets too dry, add some water.

Toss pasta in sauce and serve.

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Saucy Little Dish welcomes Johnny: another culinary Bushwick, Brooklyn resident, painter extraordinaire, and Dish Paige!’s main Meatball!

Hey everyone! John Szlasa here with the latest edition of… “A SPICY SIDE of MEATBALL!” So today I’m going to make SOUPE AUX CHOUX otherwise known as Garbure. I’m using three different recipes. I’m mostly following Julia Child’s recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I was inspired by my father who sent me his own rendition of Jacques Pepin’s from Jacques Pepin’s Table. I also perused the Joy of Cooking‘s version as well. All three of these cookbooks mention the famous version from Bearn, which uses Confit d’ Oie or preserved goose, which is added to the pot at the end of cooking to warm up (we’re not goin’ this crazy here y’all!). So I guess we’ll be making the classic Basque version of this peasant cabbage and bean soup. This is a soup that is ideal for the winter season, but I’ve been waiting to make this for quite some time. Now that I get a chance to be “A SPICY SIDE of MEATBALL,” I see it as a great excuse to finally make it – despite the 90 degree heat movin’ on into our town.


2 Medium Potatoes (cut into 1.5 inch cubes)
1 Boneless pork shoulder trimmed of skin and surrounding fat (Julia Child makes a point of telling us that, “In the Basque country, a good cabbage soup must always have a chunk of lard rance, their slightly rancid and much appreciated salt pork; otherwise, the dish is considered to lack distinction”)
12 cups of water or enough to cover the pork.
1 Leek (cut into 1 inch pieces)
2 Celery Stalks ( cut into 1.5 inch pieces)
3 Carrots (cut into 1.5 inch man pieces)
3 Parsnips (cut into 1.5 inch man pieces)
1 Onion (Chopped into 1.5 inch man pieces)
1 8oz. Savoy Cabbage (sliced and shredded into 1/2 or 1 inch pieces)
1 pinch ground chili Pepper ( or 8 peppercorns)
A few sprigs of Parsley (tied)
1 Bay leaf
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
1/2 tsp Thyme
3 pork Sausages (you can use any kind you like, including a variety, my Father used Kielbasa because he’s all about his Polish heritage)
2 cans of Navy Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 Tablespoon bacon fat
Sea Salt
Coarse ground black pepper
Thick country bread (We used Old Poland Foods Farmer’s Bread Chleb Farmerski.)
Gruyere or Jarlsberg Cheese

Buy all of your ingredients. I went to the Ridgewood Pork Store on Seneca Ave. for my Pork shoulder, and sausages. This place is really special. Our picture doesn’t do it justice because we took it after they closed, but it’s like walking into a time warp. It feels like a butcher store in a small European village that has been in the family for generations. Check it out! The rest of our ingredients are from the Associated super market.

Put the potatoes and pork shoulder (I cut mine into quarters) into the pot and cover it with the water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, periodically skimming the foam off the top.

After 20 minutes drop all ingredients into the pot except for the sausages, beans and bread.

Simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Add the sausage 30 minutes into cooking. Add the canned beans 15 minutes before end of simmering.

Take the pork out, slice it. Put it back in. Add in the bacon fat (we added this to gain distinction). Salt at the end. Add pepper or ground chili to taste. Remove parsley and bay leaf.

To Serve:

So My father served it this way, which is the way I would have liked to have finished things off, but I don’t own an enameled cast-iron pot or casserole dish:

“At serving time, pre-heat the broiler, bring the 2 quarts of soup you’re going to serve to a boil on top of the stove, and pour it into a 2 ½ quart casserole dish or enameled cast-iron pot.

Arrange bread slices on top to cover the soup in one layer and push them gently into the liquid until they are moist.

Sprinkle the cheese on top, place the dish under the hot broiler, about 4 inches from the heat. Broil for about ten minutes, until the cheese on top is bubbly and golden brown. Carry the dish to the table and serve in 4 to 6 bowls or soup plates.”

We toasted the bread slices with the sprinkled the cheese on top and placed them gently into the liquid.

My father also adds that if you’re vegetarians, leave out the meat, start with a vegetable stock, and it should
be great.

We were going to listen to a soundtrack of manly 80s French Oi! but we stuck with Django Reinhardt and Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France instead – seeing as I’m working with a Saucy Little Dish. I figured Django was sufficiently manly:

“Returning from a performance late one night, Reinhardt apparently knocked over a candle on his way to bed. While his family and neighbors were quick to pull him to safety, he received first- and second- degree burns over half his body. His right leg was paralysed and the third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly burned. Doctors believed that he would never play guitar again and intended to amputate one of his legs. Reinhardt refused to have the surgery and left the hospital after a short time; he was able to walk within a year with the aid of a cane.” (Wikipedia)

One tuff mothah!!!!

Now if only I was in the basque region eaten’ this shit…

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