Thursday, January 15, 2009
Politics, Meatballs & keeping something warm on the stove!
Molly Ivins the late & sharp witted Texas writer was quoted as saying:
"Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented."
As I watched the news about the Obama transition to the White House & see the newscasters gearing up for the upcoming Inauguration activities, I see Ivins was not far from wrong in her statement. However entertaining Texas Politics can be; it's entertaining on a much larger scale in D.C. How can it ever not be entertainment on some level in the high speed digital age of CNN & Fox News? I shudder to think how the transition from one Presidential administration can ever be truly painless or lacking in entertainment. Food likes & dislikes alone from one Presidential administration to the next no doubt can be staggering. Take Ronald Regan's favorite Jelly Beans, Bill Clinton's love of Mango Ice Cream & Big Macs, Jacqueline Kennedy's adoration of the refined French cuisine or LBJ's chili (my own personal favorite). I imagine the White House staff will be most eager to please the two youngest Obama children. The palate of a child can be far easier to please than adults in most cases. Can't wait to hear if the girls will enjoy Mac & Cheese or PB&J while they ease into life in the nation's mansion. I seriously doubt the likes or dislikes will impact my life here in Mexico but it should be interesting in the very least...
In the spirit of Presidential politics, food & favorites here are a couple of faves we've had here South of the Border. A much warmer version of the Kennedy French Onion Soup & a slimmed down Meatball as Meatballs were supposed to be a favorite dish in the Truman White House. My Wilted Spinach recipe is my daughter's favorite & a very healthy dish at that! At one time there was a tradition of the outgoing Presidential family to leave something warm on the stove for the next first family. I do wonder if this tradition still continues?
**A shout out to my niece who will be working on the big day in D.C. with Fox News~stay warm Sweetie & capture it all!
French Onion Soup or Onion Soup with a kick!
1 1/2 lb red onions
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. fresh Thyme & extra for garnish
2 Tbsp. chopped & crushed chili Ancho
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups vegetable stock
Black pepper & salt if needed.
6 slices of toasted french bread or whole wheat bread
10 oz. shredded Oaxaca cheese
Heat oil in large, heavy bottomed stock pot & cook onions over med-low heat till they are beginging to brown. Stir in garlic, sugar, thyme, Ancho chili, reduce heat & continue cooking over low heat for 30 min. or till the onions are slightly golden brown.
Sprinkle in flour, stir in wine. Gradually add stock & bring to boil. Reduce & heat for 30 min. Remove from heat, ladle soup into bowls float a piece of toast in soup & top with cheese. Garnish with sprig of thyme & serve.
Chipolte Chicken Meatballs
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb ground chicken
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup dry chipotle seasoned breadcrumbs*
Sesame seeds to roll the meatballs in (approx 1/3 cup)
Mix all of the ingredients together well incorporating all of the breadcrumbs then form the meatballs into balls the size of golf balls & roll in sesame seeds. Place on baking sheet & bake @ 375* for 20 minutes. Serve hot with yogurt sauce or as is.
*Chipotle Breadcrumbs are easy to find in Latin grocery stores but using regular breadcrumbs & adding 1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper is a good substitution.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pound well washed spinach, stems removed
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
Coarse salt and black pepper
Sesame Seeds for garnish
Add oil and garlic to a large skillet. Cook over low heat, until garlic is cooked through. Remove garlic. Add spinach to pan, turning to wilt. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper, sesame seeds. Serve immediately.