chicken balls, pesto pasta, and a csa inspired salad

Posted on August 3, 2012


I coerced my little sisters into stopping by for dinner, they needed to come pick up a whole bunch of conditioners and notebooks, mechanical pencils, ecc that I had picked up while shopping, also everybody was in town and neither of them had to work because it was the older one’s birthday. Seemed perfect to me.

I got out of work, and everything went horribly wrong from there….I got stuck in traffic, trying to beat the clock to the hospital to pick up a ‘script, got stuck in more traffic, almost ran out of gas, the skies opened up and torrents of rain hit me while I was pumping gas, then STILL in torrential downpours I picked up my CSA share, and then dropped half off to my friend who I split it with. Traffic was slow moving, but then about a million ambulances passed me which slowed things down even more…. Finally after having to sit and wait to cross a bridge… I was home! And about 90 seconds later, my sisters rang the doorbell.

They told me as they sat down that they couldn’t stay long, oh, are you cooking…? I told them to sit tight, watch some olympics, and we’d eat shortly after the water was done boiling for the pasta. They seemed to think this was ok. They tested out the 3D glasses that go with our TV, and then something went haywire with the 3D bit… which was only a bit nauseating to me cause I wasn’t wearing the glasses. They opted for “fat pasta, not thin” and I tossed it with a little container of Bertolli pesto (since I’d run out of homemade in the freezer!) which turned out to be pretty good, for store bought pesto. We were all fairly impressed by it.

(this is a recipe I use most of the time)

boil large pot of well salted water, with a few teaspoons of evoo added
using a lg food processor
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour*
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4-7 tablespoons of water, adding until the dough balls up and comes off the sides of the processor

on a lightly floured surface, knead a bit more, then pull into sections, using kitchenaid pasta attachment cut pasta to desired shape, size, ecc

cook for about 7 minutes, at a rolling boil, drain, eat.

*you can use only all purpose flour if you don’t have any other kinds

These are chicken balls. I made them as an appetizer, because while sitting in the never ending traffic this evening, I wondered to myself why I bought a 1 lb package of ground chicken with no specific design on using it. I then thought to myself, once we’d inched forwards a little in traffic, that I could make a little appetizer, or something with it. In dead stop traffic, I thought I should make some sort of sauce for it…. something with chili in it, perhaps, or bbq based?

Chicken Balls
(serves 4 hungry people, leaving one ball left over)
preheat to 375F
1 lb ground chicken (this goes on sale fairly often, people, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have…)
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
salt/pepper (fresh ground)
1/2 +/- c plain breadcrumbs (I started with a 1 cup measure filled and added until I got the consistency I wanted…)

Get a cooking sheet, cover in parchment paper, roll these into smaller than swedish meatball sized balls, cook for about 20 minutes (I just cut into the largest one to check if they were done, I didn’t watch the clock all that closely… to be honest…) I put the oven on broil (high) for a few minutes at the end just to brown them a bit.

I stuck some toothpicks in them, and mixed up a little bbq sauce, with ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and pepper to dip into. The sauce wasn’t used all that much. Mostly my sisters and I just ate them straight up.
The baby ripped a few up and ate them with her salad. I ripped a few up and ate them with my pasta. Either way, they were good. I got a “big ups, killin’ um with those chicken balls, jules!” Which was fairly surprising, cause I was almost sure that they wouldn’t taste very good. But as a wise woman once said:

“Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed. Eh bien, tant pis. Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile, and learn from her mistakes.”
― Julia Child

I also chopped up a bunch of fresh vegetables that I got from the CSA today. And just kept chopping and adding until the bowl was mostly full.

Wednesday’s Salad

1 cucumber, seeded, diced
8-10 cherry tomatoes
2 cooked potatoes (leftover from my experimenting with potato rolls) diced, skins left on
1 green pepper, seeded, diced
1 corn, kernels chopped off, and added

I put a few things together to dress it, which didn’t taste half bad. Though, I almost made my sister make the dressing for me, but she was ever so hungover from her birthday, and I suggested she drink water – which she had yet to do ALLLL day. Eeek. I let her sit.

Salad Dressing

1 tbspn chives, diced
2 tbspsn honey
5 tbspn evoo
3 tbspn balsamic vinegar
1/8 tspn (whatever was left, really) whole grain mustard
mix vigorously, then toss with salad.

Neither of my sisters had eaten homemade pasta in quite some time, it’s become a fairly regular thing over here, and I was glad to have them enjoy a meal, even if they couldn’t stay for long. All in all this meal took me about 35 minutes to get from walking in the door, to having on the table. Not bad, for a midweek meal.