We all will agree that good food plays an important role in making a great party! Out of all the food categories, I think that a great appetizer is very important in making a party memorable! Hors d’oeuvres are actually the star of a party. Early arrivals to stragglers all tend to look at the starters with great enthusiasm. So whenever I throw a party, I pay special attention to what I should make for appes!
I generally go with one vegetarian and and one non vegetarian option. And chicken or seafood is a favorite one on the non vegetarian side. Every summer we throw a party around August. You see August is a special month in our house since both my children and my birthdays fall in August! Yeah my husband is the odd guy out 🙂 So anyways, speaking of our annual party, I start getting excited as soon as summer begins and I try pinning recipes on Pinterest – birthday cake recipes, dessert recipes as well as appetizer recipes.! So last weekend we finally had this party and I had been wanting to try this chicken teriyaki meatballs recipe that I had pinned. However the recipe had breadcrumbs and other ingredients that were not paleo. So I decided to create a paleo version of these ‘Chicken teriyaki meatballs’. Came out perfect even without any breadcrumbs and best part is that these are baked so you don’t need to spend any time deep frying or pan frying them!
These meatballs are sweet and spicy with a smoky flavor (baking in the oven gives them a nice flavor). I added a mix of Indian and other Asian spices – also added an unusual ingredient – crushed pineapple for some sweetness. Everyone enjoyed these meatballs at the party with the kiddos absolutely loving them!
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Meatballs (Gluten Free, Paleo)
Author: Indira Shyju
Recipe type: Appetizers
Cuisine: Fusion, Asian
Sweet and spicy chicken meatballs made with ground chicken using asian spices and covered with a hot and sweet teriyaki style sauce
For the meatballs:
About 2lbs (1 kg) ground Chicken (chicken kheema), thawed completely
1 small red onion, chopped fine
5 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
One 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped fine
½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped fine
½ cup of spring onions (scallions), chopped fine
2 green chillies, chopped very fine - seeds removed (optional)
½ cup pineapple pieces, finely chopped(optional)
2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
1½ tsp sea salt (or per taste)
1 tbsp coconut oil
For the sauce:
½ cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce for non Paleo)
½ cup honey (or maple syrup)
1 cup pineapple juice (from can of pineapple) or orange juice or lemon juice
½ tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or red chili flakes)
1 tbsp garlic, chopped fine
1 tbsp ginger, chopped fine
1 tsp tapioca starch mixed with ¼ cup water
Pre-heat oven to 500 deg F. Line a large baking tray with Al foil and brush it with coconut oil or olive oil.
In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients listed under 'For meatballs' and mix well using your hands to form a smooth well-blended mixture. Shape into smooth round balls and place on the tray. (you may need to use two trays or do in batches)
Bake in the oven at 500 deg F (lower rack) for a total of 10-12 mins. Half-way i.e. after about 5 mins or so, flip them so they get browned on both sides. (be very careful while flipping as the oven and the tray will be very hot)
While the meatballs are baking, you can make the sauce. Add all sauce ingredients except the tapioca starch slurry in a medium cooking pot and stir for about 3-4 mins. When it begins to bubble, add the tapioca flour mixed with water and try heat to low. Stir continuously until mixture thickens. Turn heat off.
Just before serving, pour the sauce over the meatballs and mix slowly to coat the meatballs in sauce. Serve warm!
Make sure the chicken is fully thawed before you start mixing with the other ingredients. Also make sure there is no water in the chicken. You can also deep fry or pan fry the meatballs instead of baking in the oven.
Super Bowl was this past weekend and game night is synonymous with lots of food. This year we hosted the party for our neighborhood friends at our home. Folks signed up to bring different kinds of appetizers and dips. We had a good balance of junk food with healthful foods – grilled vegetables and salads made for a less greasy overall meal! And I decided to make Chicken wings. Since I am on a Paleo diet these had to be strictly paleo with only natural ingredients with no artificial anything!
So I decided to bake the chicken wings asian style! I added kashmiri chilli powder for the heat and used honey for the sweetness. Sesame oil and coconut aminos (soy sauce for non paleo) provided the distinct asian flavors and ginger, garlic provided additional flavors that made these chicken wings unforgettable!
My son called these ‘wickedly insane’ ! I think that translates to ‘fantastic’ in high schooler lingo 🙂 These babies are double baked to give them the extra crispiness and the extra sauce on top makes these simply ‘to die for’!
I am not a big sports fan. Game night is exciting to me only for the company of friends and for the food! However last weekend’s game was pretty exciting …at least the last quarter. And I personally thought it had a good message for everyone in all walks of life. And the message is ‘ Do not give up, ever. Keep positive till the very end and you can indeed turn things around magically if you believe enough in yourself!’
Asian Style Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings (Paleo friendly)
Author: Indira Shyju
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 40-42 pieces
Delicious, sticky chicken wings marinated in a chill vinegar lemon marinade and double baked to get perfectly crisp on the outside and smothered in a sticky sauce made with honey, soy sauce, red chilli and ginger-garlic.
Chicken wings around 4 lbs or about 40-42 pieces
for the Marinade:
Juice of two lemons abt ½ cup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp chinese five spice ( optional)
2½ tsp sea salt( 2 tsp if regular salt)
2 tbsp olive oil
for the Sauce:
¾ cup coconut aminos (substitute soy sauce for non paleo)
½ cup orange juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp garlic crushed or finely chopped
2 tbsp ginger finely chopped
2 tbsp sesame oil
Pat dry the chicken wings using paper towels to remove any excess water.
Mix all ingredients listed under marinade together in a bowl.
Marinate the chicken wings in the marinade for at least 1 hour.
Pre-heat oven to 425 deg F (210 deg C)
Line 2 large trays with Al foil and brush lightly with olive oil.
Place the chicken wings on the tray spread separate from each other.
Bake at 425 deg F for between 20-25 minutes (or until the chicken pieces are cooked). Make sure you don't overcook at this point - the wings should just appear cooked but not turn crispy. remove wings from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 deg F (180 deg C)
In a small cooking pot, add all sauce ingredients and cook for about 10-12 minutes until you get a thick sauce. Turn heat off. Keep sauce aside.
Reserve some sauce for dipping and dip each chicken wing into the remaining sauce to coat it completely and again bake them at 350 deg F (180 deg C) for about 10-12 mins until crispy on the outside. Flip the wings once mid-way i.e. at after about 5-6 minutes. (It would be best to arrange the wings over a grilling mesh at this point with a pan under to catch the drippings - see picture below)
Serve warm drizzling the extra sauce over top.
Step wise pictures:
Marinate wings in the chills lemon vinegar marinade for 30-60 minutes.
Cook honey soy chill sesame sauce
Cook marinated wings at 425 deg F for 20-25 minutes on a baking tray
Dip baked wings in honey sauce and place on mesh/grill and over tray and bake again at 350 Deg F for 10-12 minutes flipping them half-way through.
In my house if a combo worked, then its sure to stay! That’s the case with this combo of Asian style baked Salmon and the Spanish style rice! I guess our motto is why change something that works so well! In this case, that would be something that works so incredibly well together! The sweet/sour/spicy Salmon goes perfectly well with the mildly flavored Spanish style rice! I was first inspired to make this baked Salmon dish by Food Network’s Ina Garten’s recipe. Over the years I have tweaked it up a little bit and also once just happened to pair it with some left over spanish rice. From then on, if I make baked salmon, we have gotta have the Spanish rice too. And if I decide to make Spanish style rice, we have gotta have the Salmon too! 🙂
For the salmon, you could use whole salmon or filets. We generally get whole fish (saves a lot of money plus its fresh!). For the rice, you could use just parboiled white or brown rice or wild rice -I use a combination of white/brown and wild rice. I am bringing this dish over to the Fiesta Friday gang at The Novice Gardener (btw Angie is not at all novice in either gardening or cooking!) where the party begins in the weekend and lasts through the week! What fun! 🙂
Baked Salmon Asian Style
Servings: About 6-8 servings when served with rice
Time: 20 minutes preparation time plus 20 minutes baking time
About 3 lbs salmon(whole salmon or salmon filets cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces)
For the Marinade
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 green chilli chopped(optional)
1 tbsp chopped scallions
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp or less sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp roasted sesame oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
chopped scallions and fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 500 deg F. Take a small mixing bowl and add all the marinade ingredients. Take a large,deep baking dish and pour the marinade mixture into it. Now add the salmon pieces to the dish and coat the marinade well onto the pieces(Use your hands!).
Bake uncovered at 500 for 20 mins. Take out of the oven and immediately cover the dish with Al foil. Serve with rice topping the fish pieces with the extra sauce remaining in the baking dish and garnish with more scallions and some fresh cilantro!
Spanish style rice with vegetables
Servings: About 6-8 servings as a side dish
Time: 10 minutes preparation time plus 10 minutes cooking time
1 1/2 cups rice (brown rice or mix of brown rice and wild rice)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup peas (Frozen or fresh)
1 tbsp chopped carrots
1/4 tsp red chilli powder or paprika (optional)
2 tsp dried oregano powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
pinch of turmeric(optional)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups water or vegetable stock
Take a heavy bottomed medium size cooking pot with a tight fitting lid and heat the olive oil in it. When hot add the onions and saute for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Next add the peas and the carrots and saute for another 2 minutes. Next add the red chili powder,oregano, garlic salt and salt. Stir for a few seconds and then add the rice and saute it for a couple minutes until the rice is well coated with the oil and spices. Now add the water. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low and cover with the lid. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Open the lid and check to see if all water is gone. if not cover and cook for another minute or so. Put the heat off and place the pot away from the stove but keep covered for another 10 minutes or so.