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Monday, June 27, 2011

July 4th is Coming! Run!

As a Thank You to the many peep who helped me move, and to get a bunch of my favorite humans together, I'm throwing a party after our hometown parade. I love throwing parties.

A lot of the gang will be arriving after having walked and ridden, organized and worked on this annual town wingding. They will be hungry, thirsty and tired. I will be antsy, anxious and fussbudgety. Then we'll all have some beers and food and laugh a lot. Catch up with each other. Crack some jokes. Do nothing but hang out. This is why we have parties.

It's also great for me to do what I love- feed people. Though the days of hosting 2 huge parties a year (St. Pat's and Halloween) are over, I can manage a nice banquet for a dozen or so and it gives me joy to cook the standard dishes everyone likes. Besides the hot dogs, potato, tuna, and mac salads, cole slaw, deviled eggs, baked beans, cheeses, olives, pickles, etc. there are 2 dishes I really love to make- Swedish Meatballs and Riva's Q-Bossy. Both are ingeniously simple and happily feed a crowd. They were offered among last year's Heat Fund Recipes and made some bucks, so it's okay to give them away now. I'll have to come up with new recipes for this year.

Riva's Q-Bossy
3# commercial kielbasa, cut in 1 1/2" slices
1 c. Heinz ketchup
1/2 c. brown sugar
12 oz. Dr. Pepper
few dashes hot sauce

This is at least one full day's cooking. Heat up a large stockpot on high and brown off all the kielbasa in it. Turn heat down to medium. Mix the other ingredients in, using 1/2 c. of the Dr. Pepper and reserving the rest, stirring almost constantly for a half hour. If this is not done, Nothing will be completely incorporated and if you won't do it, don't make this recipe.
Cover the pot, turn heat to low, or transfer to a "slow cooker". Heat, covered, 7 hours or more on low, adding more Dr. Pepper as it's looking too thick or gooey. Stir carefully- too much stirring now wrecks the sauce. Hand out spears, stand back..

Swedish Meatballs
2 lbs. meatloaf mix- beef, pork, any combo of ground meats
1 1/2 - 2 c. unseasoned breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mace
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp black or cayenne pepper
1 Tblsp. butter
Combine all but butter and mix well until thoroughly smooth. Form meatballs by rolling between palms into 1 1/2 inch balls. In a large fry pan, melt butter on medium high heat and saute meatballs, rolling them around in pan so all sides brown. Remove meatballs from pan with a slotted spoon and set to the side.

Add to fry pan:
1- 12 oz jar apricot or peach preserves
1 1/2 c. weak coffee*
1 beef bouillion cube *
1 1/2 c. water*
*(if you have beef stock, use 1 1/2 c. stock & 1 1/2 c. regular brewed coffee and add salt to taste )
2 splashes worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp gravy master or kitchen bouquet. Bring to a simmer, stirring often.

In a cup, combine
1/2 c. water
2 Tblsp cornstarch
Stir with a whisk until fully dissolved and add to sauce. Turn heat up and bring to a boil, whisking constantly- sauce will thicken.Turn heat to low. If sauce looks too thick, add water to desired thinness. If sauce is too thin, repeat water & cornstarch mix but add by degrees, allowing each addition to cook, until desired thickness. Return meatballs to pan and simmer on low 15- 20 minutes.

Turn off burner & allow to cool. Stir. Cover. Refrigerate overnight. Reheat well and serve over egg noodles or alone as an appetizer.

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