Tag Archives: panko

Inside-Out Stuffed Poblanos. Smoked. With Bacon.

I was trying to think of what to stuff in this mini bacon-wrapped meatloaf, and then my husband brought in a bunch of poblanos from the garden. Usually I stuff the poblanos with meat and cheese, so it was just a matter of turning the whole thing inside-out. Traditionally, you wouldn’t use bacon with stuffed poblanos, but I didn’t expect the stuffed poblano police to stop by, so I didn’t worry about it. Smoking takes time, and ground meat needs a fatty buffer, like bacon, to keep it moist during the longer cooking. It took about 2 hours to smoke to the point that a little cheese started to melt out of one end, and a thermometer registered 165º-170º in the center (of course, the center was pepper and cheese).

I only used 1 lb of ground meat for the two of us, and there were still leftovers. You’ll have to consider how much to make for your group. Usually, for example, I would use 1 lb of ground meat to make four burgers, and we would have one left over. Personally, I prefer less than a quarter pound for my burger, but I’m probably unusual. You could make several of these rolls for a larger group of people. I cut our one roll into six thick slices.

I made a woven mat of bacon to wrap the filled meatloaf in, using my favorite local thick-sliced bacon. It’s very thick and so you can’t stretch it like the typical thin commercial bacon. I made the mat 6 strips wide, but had to add partial pieces into the weaving to make it fully woven. I’m not sure you can see those half pieces in the photo. After wrapping the roll, I sealed the edges with another strip and put that side of the roll down on the grill grate. I didn’t worry about having beautiful ends, but I did pinch the rolled meat together to hold in the cheese for as long as possible. I wrapped it all tightly in plastic and refrigerated it for about an hour to try to convince it to stay in that nice loaf shape. The lesson here is this: Don’t fret about the appearance too much. Just take your time and keep handling it until it all seems to hold together. Believe me, the gorgeous smoked bacon on the outside and the gooey cheese on the inside will overpower any construction flaws.

Inside-Out Stuffed Poblanos. Smoked. With Bacon.

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: time-consuming
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb ground beef, 93% lean
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut in small dice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, mashed or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded
  • 2 long 1/2″ wide sticks of Monterrey Jack cheese, each about the length of your meat roll (it doesn’t matter if you have to use smaller pieces)
  • 1 pkg thick-sliced bacon, at least 12 strips

Preparation

  1. On a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper, make a mat of woven bacon, about 6 strips wide and using as many pieces as you need to weave in the opposite direction. If you make it too big, you can always remove pieces, as needed. Set aside.
  2. Mix the first eleven ingredients together in a large bowl—meat, breadcrumbs, tomatoes, and spices. Form the meat into a log about the length of your bacon mat, then pat it out on a piece of plastic wrap to make a square.  It was easy enough to pat it out with my hands, but I’ve seen videos of people using rolling pins and even large plastic bags. Just make it even and squared off at the corners so you don’t end up with a football shape.
  3. Lay out sections of poblano peppers to fit the meat, but don’t worry about getting them out to the ends, because you want to pinch them together after rolling.
  4. Lay sticks of cheese on top of the peppers lengthwise and far enough apart that you can roll them up in the meat. But this isn’t rocket science—fill the roll as full as you like with as much as you can cram in there.
  5. Roll up the meat, using the plastic wrap to help you. Roll rather tightly and firmly, using pressure from your hands to mold and keep it all together. Pinch the ends together to cover the filling and pat the ends kind of flat so you have a neat cylinder.
  6. Set the meat roll on the mat of bacon and use the plastic wrap to bring the bacon up the sides—if you’re lucky the bacon will meet or come close to meeting and you can weave in a last piece to hold it together. Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about an hour. Bring it out about 30 minutes before  the grill is ready, but leave in the plastic wrap.
  7. Set up the grill for slow, indirect heat with a 2 X 2 charcoal snake and a few handfuls of wood chips scattered over it. When your starter coals are ready and you’ve started the snake, set the roll on the cooking grate above a drip pan and close the grill. Cook and smoke for about 1 1/2-2 hours. The bacon should be browned and glossy with crispy areas, and the center will probably reach at least 165º, but keep in mind that you are measuring melted cheese in the center.
  8. Remove to a cutting board; let rest for a few minutes; then cut in thick slices.

I ended up burning only 1/3 of my charcoal snake, so today, I’m smoking some ribs with the remainder.

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Ricotta-Velveeta® Mac ‘n Cheese

You can never have too many mac and cheese recipes.

Sometimes you might be in the mood for a sharp cheddar or a nutty Gruyere or even a little blue, but you just about always want a creamy texture, not one that separates, leaving an oily trail and little curds of cheese—well, I would eat that, too. The following recipe starts out with this one from Kraft and adds whipped ricotta to the sauce, so that it’s extra creamy. I am not adding any cheddar to the top of the casserole, just a panko topping. I like to get a little crust on my mac and cheese, but sometimes you just want to eat it out of the pan, so skip the crumb topping and baking if you like.

The base recipe starts out with a very thick white sauce, into which cubes of Velveeta® are stirred. I usually make my white sauce with 2 tablespoons of flour per cup of milk, but this one uses 4 tablespoons per cup. Like any other cheese sauce, you need this flour base to keep the cheese from separating. I’ve tried that recipe making the rounds, where you use only evaporated milk and cheese, and it does not hold up—beware fads.

Ricotta-Velveeta® Mac 'n Cheese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 350°; butter a 2-quart casserole dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz. original Velveeta® cheese, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz. whole milk ricotta, whipped in a food processor until smooth and fluffy
  • 8 oz. macaroni or other pasta shape—I used whole wheat fusilli
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation

  1. Boil the pasta according to the package directions while making the sauce. Drain the pasta and place in casserole dish.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until fully combined. Stir in milk and continue stirring until smooth and thickened.
  3. Stir cheese cubes into thickened white sauce until all the cheese is melted. This takes a few minutes.
  4. Stir whipped ricotta into cheese sauce until combined.
  5. Pour sauce over pasta and stir to combine. You could serve it at this point without baking, or go to the next step.
  6. Combine panko crumbs and 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle over macaroni. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.

 

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Miso Ramen Noodle Bowls with Pheasant Meatballs

Maybe this is mostly a meatball recipe, because the stuff you put in your noodle bowls, other than the noodles, doesn’t need to be prescribed—it’s more likely to be directed by what’s available at your grocery on any given day. Like, for example, the enoki mushrooms that my grocery did not have. I had my heart set on them, so skipped mushrooms altogether. So, first, make the meatballs:

Pheasant Meatballs for Japanese Noodle Bowls

  • Servings: makes about 35 meatballs
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 375°; line baking sheet pan with parchment paper.

Ingredients
  • 1–1 1/2 lbs ground pheasant
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 shallots, finely diced (you could substitute green onions)
  • 1-2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • olive oil for baking
Preparation
  1. Combine all ingredients in large bowl with your hands, especially to get the two meats distributed well.
  2. Using a small scoop, form the mixture into meatballs of about 3/4-1″, placing them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the meatballs.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes, then turn and bake for another ten minutes.

Feel free to brown them in a skillet, but I’m not really into that, myself. I would, however, like them simmered in the soup, because I don’t care about the browning, so there’s another option.

Miso Ramen Noodle Bowl

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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This recipe is simple because it doesn’t require making your own stock, but please do so if you have the time or have some homemade stock on hand.

Ingredients
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • [2 teaspoons dashi powder, if you can find it—I could not ,at my grocery]
  • 9-12 oz Japanese ramen noodles, boiled then rinsed in cold water
  • 1 cup snow peas, steamed in microwave for just 2 minutes
  • 1 can sliced bamboo shoots
  • 1 can baby corn
  • meatballs (above)
Preparation
  1. Bring stock (and dashi powder, if you found it) to a boil in large saucepan. Stir in chopped spinach and simmer for about 5 minutes until wilted.
  2. Stir in miso and soy sauce.
  3. Arrange noodles, corn, bamboo shoots, and snow peas in bowls. Add a few meatballs and a ladle of stock.

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