Still one more orange recipe, because I have just a little orange juice left, plus one of the oranges from the previous featured post photo. This is not about brining or marinating, although the finished dish includes the leftover marinated grilled pheasant breasts mentioned in the last post. Leftover meat like pheasant or chicken breast that can become dry with reheating, even after you marinated or brined it for the first cooking, works best in a sauce that is cooked separately, then used to lightly reheat the cooked meat.
The resulting sauce has a noticeable orange flavor and is a nice addition to a typical curry sauce.
Orange Coconut Curry Sauce
1 medium onion, sliced in thin strips
1 bell pepper, any color, cut in thin strips
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1.5 teaspoons curry powder
olive oil for sauteing
zest from 1 orange
1/2 cup orange juice
1 can full-fat coconut milk
slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water or orange juice
- Heat olive oil, maybe 2 tablespoons, in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion and pepper until softened and the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the ginger, garlic, and curry powder. Cook for a few more minutes, then add the orange zest, orange juice, and coconut milk.
- Bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the cornstarch slurry, stirring and simmering until the sauce is lightly thickened and the cornstarch has had time to cook through, probably no more than 3 minutes.
For my dish, I added the sliced cooked pheasant breasts (4 breasts or about 2 cups) before I thickened the sauce, letting the meat simmer in the sauce until heated through.
This is a pretty quick and easy curry, unless you count all the work Missy did to find us the pheasants.
Aside from grinding the meat myself, which is really pretty quick, I cut corners by using prepared curry powder, ginger, and garlic. I already had roasted peppers and crushed tomatoes in the freezer, so it couldn’t have come together any easier. A little bag of shelled peas thrown in to simmer at the end finished it off.
You can use a smaller amount of tomato if you like more emphasis on the coconut milk and a less-pink sauce.
Creamy coconut milk
Ready to simmer
Pheasant Meatball Curry
about 1 1/2 pounds ground pheasant breast
1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated ginger or ginger paste
1 tablespoon grated garlic or garlic paste
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon (or more) curry powder
1 tablespoon grated ginger or ginger paste
1 tablespoon grated garlic or garlic paste
1/2-1 cup canned crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded, chopped
1 can coconut milk
1 cup fresh shelled peas, if available, or frozen peas
- Mix all the meatball ingredients lightly. I like to use a large meat fork with just two tines to mix lightly. There is no egg or breadcrumb filler in these meatballs, so it’s not hard to lightly mix. I like the shaggy look of the parsley sticking out all over these meatballs.
- Form into about 21 meatballs, slightly smaller than golf balls, setting aside until the curry is ready.
- In a large skillet with straight sides, sometimes called a chicken fryer, cook the diced onion in about 1 tablespoon cooking oil, such as canola or coconut, over medium heat until soft and translucent, but not browned.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger, and curry powder to release those flavors.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes and peppers.
- Stir in the coconut milk.
- Place the meatballs in one layer in the sauce. Don’t worry that they are not covered and don’t stir yet or you will break them up.
- Cover the pan and bring the sauce to a low boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes, stirring to turn the meatballs over after 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the peas, fresh or frozen, over the meatballs and sauce, and continue to simmer, covered, for about 5 more minutes. The meatballs should reach an internal temperature of about 140°.
Serve the meatballs and sauce over rice.
There are disputes about whether the singular of patties is patty or pattie. I’m making a stand for the -ie version, for no good reason.
I baked a boneless half ham in the grill Monday in my cast iron Dutch oven, and that leaves at least two days of what to do with leftovers. Tuesday, some of it became the ham patties shown here, and Wednesday, the last bit goes into a ham and rice casserole.
To make the patties, I halved the spice amounts from my ham loaf recipe and used egg and seasoned bread crumbs to hold it all together. Still, these ham patties are not as dense as a ham loaf, mostly because of the absence of the ground pork that holds the cooked ham together. Trying to keep cooked meat together into any shape is never easy. Shaping, coating, and turning the patties in a pan are delicate processes, sort of like those fish cakes I made a few weeks ago. But it can be done, and it’s a nice change of pace for leftover ham. They can be eaten with or without a bun, but I think the bun invites dressing it up with slaw or grilled vegetables or ranch dressing. My husband is choosing not to eat them with buns, while I’m going to use a soft ciabatta roll and grilled portobello caps marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make mine more of a burger.
Like meatlof, but with cooked meat
Shaped in patties
Dusted with breadcrumbs
Marinating mushroom caps
Cook vegetables first
Browning patties on grill
On a ciabatta roll
Set up grill for direct heat.
1 pound cooked ham, ground in food processor or meat grinder
1/2 small onion, grated
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (fresh breadcrumbs would add more moisture)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon each curry powder, fresh grated ginger, ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon each paprika, nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
1/4 cup milk or more to achieve moist consistency that holds together
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs for dusting
olive oil for frying
- Mix all ingredients together as you would for meatloaf.
- Divide into fourths, shaping each into a pattie. Refrigeration for at least a half hour can help hold the mixture together, but is not necessary.
- Dust both sides of each pattie carefully as you hold it in your hand. Pat the crumbs on lightly. You just want a little barrier between the patties and the hot skillet.
- Place skillet over direct heat on grill, adding about 2 tablespoons oil before the pan gets too hot. You don’t have the same control on a grill as you have on the stove, and your pan can get very hot quickly. As soon as the oil begins to heat, place the patties in the pan.
- Cook about 4 minutes on each side, until browned. I used two spatulas to turn them, so they wouldn’t break up. My second side browned better than the first, because I was impatient.
If you’re grilling some vegetables, do those first, removing them to indirect heat while you cook the meat.
For my mushroom caps, I used 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt, marinating them in a zippered bag for about 1/2 hour.
The spices really make this meatloaf—don’t skip them.
I have lots of recipes handwritten on slips of paper. Today, I would just be bookmarking them on a device. I remember where some of them came from, but not all. I used to watch the cooking shows on the local PBS station, most memorably, Nathalie Dupree’s New Southern Cooking, Marcia Adams’ Amish Cooking from Quilt Country and Heartland Cooking, and Julia Child’s The French Chef, Cooking with Master Chefs and bits and pieces of most of her other series when available. This was long before the 24/7 availability of cooking channels but most of them were available when there were VCRs. I used to tape the shows as I watched them, so I could go back and write down recipes, stopping the tape to let my writing catch up. I suppose some other recipes could have been copied from the so-called women’s magazines. What can I say? I have a long interest in home cooking. It’s too bad more people have not learned how to cook and are left to rely on pre-packaged food or eating in fast food restaurants all the time. Cooking from scratch can be much more economical.
I’m not sure where this great recipe came from. It sounds like something Marcia Adams would have created, but it’s definitely not her upside down ham loaf that is all over the web. I generally did not elaborate on instructions, which mostly works out, but sometimes it leaves me scratching my head and improvising.
I only made one addition and one change to the recipe. The only ground pork I could find was reduced fat—fat is the whole reason you use pork!—so I added 1 tablespoon of bacon fat that I had waiting in the fridge for just such an occasion. The other change had to do with that oddly inserted line, 2 T lemon. Lemon what? Juice? Zest? Both seem like odd additions, and the line looks like it was squeezed in. Well, I didn’t have any lemons, but I have a jar of dried Valencia orange peel, so I added 1/2 teaspoon of that. I don’t know if it made a difference, but it didn’t hurt.
Shaped for baking
Golden, sticky, splattered pan
Moist and tender ham loaf
Spicy-Sweet Ham Loaf
Preheat oven to 375°
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground cooked ham
- 2 cups bread crumbs (I used soft crumbs from fresh whole wheat bread)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel or fresh citrus zest from one orange or lemon (adjusted from mystery ingredient in original recipe)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Optional: 1 tablespoon bacon fat or lard if your meats are too lean
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (not in original recipe)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper (not in original recipe)
Mix all ingredients and shape into loaf in large baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for about one hour or until center registers about 160°. Baste with sauce (below) for the last half hour. Remove from oven to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Bring all to boil in small saucepan. It is not a thick glaze, but it does glaze the loaf with frequent basting, plus some of it soaks in at the bottom. Pour over enough to cover the loaf after the first half hour of baking, then baste the loaf every 10 minutes thereafter, using up the rest of the mixture. You might go over the baking time with opening the door so often. This sauce makes a splattered mess of your baking dish, but it washes right off in the dishwasher.