Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I love the postman (and Asian meatballs)!

My new best friend ;-), the lovely and witty Jasmine at Cardamom Addict had a visit from the cookbook fairy and decided to share the loot with her readers. She asked her readers to come up with a punny recipe title and a recipe á la the Podleski Sisters. I love anything punny, (bitchy is fine with me as well, as long as it's not getting personal) and in the right mood I can go on for hours. To make a long story short -oh how I'd loved to go on and on, I never win anything at all ever, I'm tempted to stretch this moment of joy for as long as I can...- I won one of the copies!

I think the cookbook fairy struck a deal with the Canadian mail/post as well as our Dutch post service because my copy of Eat, Shrink and Be Merry arrived in no time!

Some of the cookbooks on my shelves are read-only, some of them definitely have the stain-factor, they get used! (Either that or I'm a messy cook which I'm not, pah). So what's it gonna be? Yesterday afternoon my copy arrived and yesterday night we were having a ES&BM dinner. Haven't even read it from cover to cover yet, which is my usual MO. Sounds pretty encouraging eh? I must say that reading this book from cover to cover can get a little tiresome, it's packed with pun, in writing as well as cartoons (cartoons by Ted Martin, recognized at first glance by the DH!), literally every other sentence is in some way punned. Phew. But funny indeed. Even during dinner my oldest was reading sentences and recipe titles aloud (No mom, reading during dinner is strictly Verboten of course..ahum), explaining the jokes to his brothers and sometimes asking for help. Dilly beloved? In Cod we trust? Dunking GoNuts? We covered US history in all it's versatility.

Recipes are quite simple but at the same time enticing, I'm not sure why I picked the Asian meatballs besides the fact that there was exactly 1.1/2 pound of ground beef in my fridge, and I had all ingredients at hand..

Using regular shelf items is something I like in a cookbook, most of the time I'm cooking to feed my family and not to show off, it's great when the two can be combined but bottom line is food on the plates and not too much whining from the boys. This book seems to have it all. Since yesterday I've been going through the cookbook randomly and it seems ingredients are pretty much staples in my kitchen. Although my husbands whispers that it says more about the state of my pantry than about the cookbook itself ...

I will have to make some local adjustments, the ladies are cooking light ("Shrink" here obviously doesn't concern your mental health) and some of the items mentioned don't have "light" cousins in our Dutch supermarkets but that's easy to do.

Yadda Yadda Yadda what did I make?
Glad Thai Dings -Asian meatballs in a thai saté sauce-
(adapted to my Dutch pantry)

For the meatballs
680 gr ground beef
1/8 - 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (paneermeel)
3 tbs finely minced red onion
1 tbs minced fresh cilantro (koriander)
1 egg
2 tbs coconut milk
1 fat garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp grated gingerroot
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp each salt & pepper

For the sauce
1 cup coconut milk (add more to your liking or to thin the sauce)
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbs soy sauce (japanese style)
2 tbs peanut butter
2 tbs minced fresh basil leaves
1 tbs grated gingerroot
1 tsp grated lemon zest
pinch ground red pepper

Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands or a fork. Make walnut size balls (I had approx. 60) and place in a large non-stick oven dish. Cook in a preheated oven 400F/200C for 20 minutes or until done and nicely browned. When you use extra lean ground beef you might want to lightly oil the dish.

Preparing the sauce is very easy; just mix all ingredients in a deep sauce pan (or non-stick skillet) and heat for a couple of minutes over medium heat while stirring. The sauce thickens as it cooks. At this point I sampled and added some more coconut milk, both to thin and to temper the spices somewhat to accomodate son nr. 2's tender palate...
Add meatballs to sauce or serve separately. I served these with a mix of stir fried green vegetables (blanched and quickly stirred in a little sesame oil with a dash of soy sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds), added some rice. What rice? Jasmine rice of course!!

Verdict: We loved it! All of us! Kids were counting meatballs and dividing them up between themselves, a sure sign of success.

As is the case Janet and Greta Podleski have a website, a television show and even a blog. So you might want to check them out. Another thanks to Jasmine for introducing me to this book! (Did I mention I won it? Oh, you're right. I did. *smirk*)


  1. Congrats on your win!

    Hoisin and Coconut milk are two of my favorite things. I think I'd like this one!

  2. You simply never cease to surprise me in delightful ways! Food on the table with minimal whine is always the aim with so many boys!
    The meat balls look excellent! KJ's right but that's the way a good kitchen is - you should be able to cook from it.

  3. Hehe I have a copy of this book, as well as their two other books. They are very fun to read!

  4. Congratulations on your win! It sounds like a really fun cookbook. I love a good pun, or a really bad one.

  5. The whole concept of meatballs is very cool. I think I need to make up some meatball recipes, incorporating favorite flavors. You could have a contest.

    And please do enter mine:
    You could win another nice cookbook.

  6. Tee hee!

    So glad you got the book and you like it!

    I find it amazing how you received before some of the others...

    Then again, our two countries do have a special bond, don't we? :)



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