Spicy Lamb and Bacon Meatballs

TGIF.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Personal (read: unbloggable) life keeps rolling on, eating up a lot of my time, but at least I’m not bored.  At any rate, I do have a really tasty recipe for you today.

If you were at all wondering what to do with any leftover ground lamb/liver/bacon from the Lamb Dirty Rice – and there will be – this recipe is it.

Boy, is it…it.

I’ve gotten to the point where, if I want The G Man to eat something he doesn’t like (anything that resembles a vegetable, for example), I hide it in meatloaf or meatballs.  The Young One, too – he absolutely loathes zucchini and summer squash, but he’ll scarf it down if I shred it and stick it in a meatloaf.  This recipe hides nutrient-dense liver – you can’t even tell it’s there, with all the bacon and spices.

These come together really quickly, are ready in less than 20 minutes and simply just delicious.  You can use just about any ground meat/liver from the appropriate animal you like, too (chicken, beef, pork) – the bacon keeps the meatballs moist and you can adjust the spices to suit your personal tastes.

These would be quite good served with the Red Onion Jam I posted earlier this week.

Note:  Make sure your bacon is “clean” and these are Whole30 compliant.  (Oh, look – I still do that.)

Spicy Lamb and Bacon Meatballs. Easy and nutritious, your family will never guess what's hiding in these delicious little meatballs.

Click the image to enlarge

Spicy Lamb and Bacon Meatballs
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces ground lamb
  • 3 ounces lamb liver, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, gently combine all of the ingredients until well mixed. Form into 16 meatballs of equal size, and place on the slotted top of a broiler pan.
  3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. Serve with [url href=”http://www.janssushibar.com/red-onion-jam/” target=”_blank”]Red Onion Jam[/url].
  4. Nutrition (per serving): 428 calories, 35.3g total fat, 195.7mg cholesterol, 902.48mg sodium, 346.5mg potassium, 5.3g carbohydrates, 1.1g fiber, <1g sugar, 21g protein

 

Hot German Potato Salad

Happy Friday, y’all!  Our weekend will be busy – the beginning of apple season is upon us and the apple sauce and apple butter we canned last year was such a great thing to have all year long that we’re going to do it again this year.

The orchard we get our apples from also makes the best apple cider I’ve ever tasted in my life, and since it’s clear (they do something to keep it from being cloudy like a lot of commercial cider) I’m going to make some of it into apple cider jelly to can.  If that turns out well, I’m also going to make hot pepper jelly with it too.

We’ll also be driving out to Kent this evening after work – The Young One has requested to come home for the weekend.  He must be out of clean clothes and dorm snacks.

There are also only 3 or 4 weeks left for our CSA, which makes me a bit sad, but the stuff we’re getting is just wonderful (I love late summer/early autumn).  Over the last few weeks we received yukon gold and baby red potatoes; this week we’re getting fingerlings.  We don’t eat a whole lot of white potatoes these days, and rarely buy them, but when we get them in our CSA share I have absolutely no problem cooking and eating them.

So when I decided to make my very un-authentic Jaeger Schnitzel, I thought that Hot German Potato Salad might go quite nicely with it.  It turned out to be a great idea, and it wasn’t hard to modify it to fit our diet, especially since most recipes call for small amounts of white flour and sugar.  And, like with the Jaeger Scnitzel, we both absolutely loved it.

It’s a little more involved than your garden-variety picnic potato salad but is completely worth it, and it’s got that great sweet-and-sour thing going on.

Hot German Potato Salad. A delightfully different potato salad, served hot with bacon and a tangy vinegar dressing.

Click the image to enlarge

Hot German Potato Salad
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces thick-sliced bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Place the potatoes in 3-quart saucepan with a tablespoon of salt; add enough water just to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are just fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium-low until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tapioca flour, honey, salt, celery seed and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly; remove from heat.
  4. Whisk the water and vinegar into onion mixture. Return to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in potatoes and bacon. Continue cooking, stirring gently to coat potatoes, until they are heated through. Serve warm.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 232 calories, 8.7g total fat, 12.9mg cholesterol, 325.4mg sodium, 900.7mg potassium, 33.4g carbohydrates, 2.8g fiber, 3.8g sugar, 5.6g protein

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf, Revisited

If you’re in the least bit fat-phobic, don’t even read this recipe.

I posted a recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf a few years ago, and for a long time it was my most popular recipe, especially among my family and friends.  I make it myself fairly often and, as with many recipes, it’s evolved a bit.  These days, I use more bacon and substitute the glaze with some of my fabulous Maple Barbecue Sauce, and have, overall, made the process a little more streamlined.  It’s still a damn fine meatloaf.

Like many meatloaves made with grass-fed beef and minus the added fillers of milk and breadcrumbs or the like, it can be a little on the dry side.  The bacon mitigates that somewhat, but not completely.  When I made it last week, I spied the big hunk of butter from local, grass-fed cows sitting on my counter, and tossed in about 1/4 cup, just to see what would happen.

What happened was a wonderfully moist, intensely flavorful meatloaf of which The Young One devoured half in one sitting.

And that, my friends, is a good meatloaf.

Note:  This will be my last non-Whole30 recipe for awhile, since I will be joining in the annual August “official” drive again this year.  Since I know what to expect this time around, my expectations are a bit different, but I will still have plenty of tasty recipes every week.  In fact, the first couple are quite good. 😉

 Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf. Butter-infused meatloaf is wrapped with bacon strips for a decadent twist on a traditional favorite.

Click on the image to enlarge

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf, Revisited
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 ounces bacon, sliced
  • 1/2 cup [url href=”http://www.janssushibar.com/print/Maple%20Barbecue%20Sauce.pdf” target=”_blank”]Maple Barbecue Sauce[/url]
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Using your hands, mix together the ground beef, butter, egg, salt, pepper, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder in a large bowl. Place the mixture on the vented lid of a broiler pan and shape into an oblong loaf.
  3. Drape the bacon slices over the top of the meatloaf and tuck the ends underneath until the meatloaf is completely encased in bacon. Spread the barbecue sauce over the top of the bacon.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 160 F on an instant read thermometer. Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 434 calories, 35.9g total fat, 124.6mg cholesterol, 878mg sodium, 404.3mg potassium, 7.3g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 5.1g sugar, 20.9g protein

Click on the image to enlarge

BLT Salad

Oh, look – another recipe with bacon.

Can you tell we just picked up this year’s pig for the freezer?

We’ve named him “Hamlet.”

Anyhoo.  This is yet another “we have no leftovers for lunch” recipe, and it couldn’t be simpler.  It also, I’m glad to report, tastes just like a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich without the bread.

Which was pretty much the point.

I did add some diced avocado to the mix, since we were having this and nothing else for lunch – I was worried there wouldn’t be enough fat and/or calories to keep us full until dinner time.  It worked quite well in that regard, and was quite delicious to boot.   We liked it so much, in fact, that we’re having it again today.

Since I grew up eating Miracle Whip on my BLTs, I dressed our salads with Better Than Miracle Whip; if you’d prefer to use mayonnaise, that’s fine.  You can also add just about anything that tickles your fancy to the salad mix, too – we had snow peas and garlic scapes in ours (simply because I have a ton of them in the the fridge).  Thinly sliced red onion would be nice, or carrot curls, or cheese if you eat dairy.  If you’d like a “fancier” dressing for it, Dairy-Free Ranch would be a good choice.

If you make sure your bacon has no added sugar or preservatives and use a good, homemade mayo with no sugar (the Better Than Miracle Whip contains raw honey), this is Whole30 compliant.

BLT Salad. America's favorite sandwich turned into a fresh - and refreshing - salad!

Click on the image to enlarge

BLT Salad
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 4 ounces bacon, crisply cooked and roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons [url href=”http://www.janssushibar.com/miracle-whip/” target=”_blank”]Better Than Miracle Whip[/url]
Instructions
  1. Divide the salad greens between two plates; top with avocado, bacon, tomato and Better Than Miracle Whip. Serve.
  2. Nutrition (per serving): 531 calories, 47.1g total fat, 81.8mg cholesterol, 1125mg sodium, 751.9mg potassium, 9.5g carbohydrates, 4.6g fiber, 2.8g sugar, 19.1g protein

Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

I love crustless quiches.  They’re just so darn easy – no persnickety pastry that needs to be glazed so it won’t get soggy.  I have to admit, though – I make a great pie crust.  Or I did, back in the day; I’m still working on a good, flaky, tender gluten-free pie crust.  I’ll probably come across the right combination of the right ingredients one of these days, although with the warm weather upon us, my baking will be sharply curtailed.

Not necessarily a bad thing, of course.

Where was I?  Oh, yes – crustless quiche.  Love ’em.  Not only are they easy (well, for the most part), they’re incredibly versatile – you can throw just about anything in them.  Now, having said that, this is a pretty classic combination:  mushrooms and spinach.  And caramelized onions.  And bacon.

Tasty, tasty bacon.

This recipe is a little more involved than your average “throw-it-in-a-pie-plate-and-cover-it-with-beaten-eggs” crustless quiche, but it’s not difficult by any stretch of the imagination.  It is also stupidly delicious; I’m not the world’s biggest mushroom fan – I used them because I had them in the fridge – but in combination with the caramelized Vidalia onion and bacon, they just made this dish.  I can’t even begin to describe how good it is.

I also have to admit that when I ran the ingredients through my recipe software, I was really surprised at the calorie content, considering all the bacon fat, to say nothing of the coconut milk, that the recipe contains: just over 300 calories per serving.  It’s also low carb, too – 9 grams of carbohydrate, with 2 grams of fiber.  Not too shabby at all.

Why, yes – I did weigh myself this morning.  Why do you ask?

You may also note the absence of any dairy in the dish.  I’ve been pretty lax lately about my dairy consumption and my sinus problems are back in full force, so I’m backing off of it for awhile.  I kind of like breathing through my nose without a Breath-Right Strip, and sleeping in a more-or-less prone position.  Just sayin’.   If you don’t have a problem with dairy, this would be dynamite with a nice feta.  Or even a mellow Swiss.  Add about a cup, crumbled or shredded, on top of the spinach if you decide to use it (and let me know how it comes out).

Since my bacon is cured without nitrates or added sugars, this is most definitely Whole30 compliant.  To make it vegetarian-friendly, or if you just don’t eat pork, omit the bacon and cook the onions and mushrooms in a generous amount of olive oil.  Also, while the recipe calls for a Vidalia onion – they were on sale this week and it was a good choice for this dish – any sweet onion will work.

Mushroom and Spinach Quiche. Gluten-free, dairy-free and low carb, this crustless quiche is unbelievably delicious.

Mushroom and Spinach Quiche
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach, washed, hard stems removed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cook the bacon in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the rendered fat in the skillet, and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and toss in the diced onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden and caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the reserved bacon.
  4. Increase the heat to medium high and add half of the mushrooms to the skillet, taking care not to crowd them. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Transfer to the same plate with the onion and bacon and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add the spinach to the skillet; cook just until the greens are wilted. Remove from the heat.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg until well-blended.
  7. Spread the spinach in the bottom of a 10″ deep-dish pie plate. Scatter the bacon, onions and mushrooms evenly over the surface of the spinach, then pour in the egg mixture.
  8. Place the pie plate in a baking dish large enough to hold it; carefully pour very hot water around the quiche, until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the dish.
  9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the quiche is set and beginning to turn golden brown on top. Remove from the water bath and cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  10. Nutrition (per serving): 313 calories, 27.6g total fat, 112.3mg cholesterol, 785.3mg sodium, 620.8mg potassium, 9g carbohydrates, 1.9g fiber, 3.8g sugar, 10.3g protein