This past weekend I enjoyed not only a lovely Mother’s Day, but also another birthday. My husband, Ervin, and son, Phillip, made sure I had a fantastic day. In fact while I was typing the column they were cleaning up the kitchen after they cooked me dinner! Classes at the culinary school were outstanding and the day just couldn’t have been better.
As we push towards Memorial weekend I figured many of us would be hosting bbq’s and dinners. In the event you need a couple of new appetizers I’ve got the goodies for you. We’ll feature a spicy corn dip today and my easy peezy recipe for porcupine balls.
Let’s start with the porcupine balls. Though I’ve featured them as an appetizer, these babies could roll right into the main entrée. I would not hesitate to prepare a red sauce or white sauce for the meatballs. Perhaps a bit of rice or noodles could be served under them. Probably the best thing about meatballs is how handy they can be in a moment’s notice. Make these in bulk and flash freeze them overnight. Place in a heavy Ziploc bag and you’ve got many fast meals ahead.
Corn lovers will especially like the spicy corn dip. Not to mention, as always there’s lots of room to play with the dish. In the recipe I have noted a package of dry Ranch Dressing Mix. In parenthesis it says (32 oz. size.) This means a package that will yield 32 ounces of ranch dressing. Let’s ponder over this for a bit. The store bought dry dressing is going to have TONS of salt. Why don’t I give you my homemade ranch dressing mix too! Instead of the commercial mix I would use 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 tablespoons of Debbie’s mix, which would be substantially lower in sodium.
This column suddenly became very very long! I’ve got 3 recipes to attach, oh dear. I’ll just do it. Hopefully the papers can downsize….
Enjoy my recipes and have an outstanding week friends. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3 teaspoons ‘Black Kettle’ Seasoning Spice
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons dry parsley
1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half and half to thin, may use a bit more
Mix all the dry ingredients together and place in a sealed container; the dry mix will yield 5 tablespoons. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of dry spice mix with the mayonnaise, sour cream and half and half. Refrigerate to allow flavors to blend. The dressing recipe when made in this fashion yields about 2 cups of ranch dressing. If you like it thinner simply add more half and half. If you’re using it for a dip I suggest leaving it thicker. This should hold for a week or two in the refrigerator.
If you do not have access to ‘Black kettle’ consider using onion powder, paprika, a small amount of dry dill and other favorite spices to make 3 teaspoons of your favorite seasoning spice.
Black Kettle is great on everything from eggs to steak rubs and fries. We use it in our home on literally every dish. The creator is Mr. Jim Jeffries from Camden Point, Missouri.
I like to make this dry mix and use it as gifts for Mother’s Day, open houses, and practically any special time when folks gather.
1 pound lean chuck
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup minute rice
1/2 teaspoon Black Kettle Seasoning Spice
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 ounces Tomato Sauce
1/3 cup Grape Jelly
1/8 cup brown sugar
Mix all the porcupine ingredients together except for the dry white wine. You should have 20-25 meatballs. Place the meatballs in a covered skillet over medium heat. Pour white wine over meat balls and place the lid down, cook until meatballs turn from red to white tone. Remove the lid and stir until most of the moisture is absorbed. With a straining spoon remove the cooked meatballs from the skillet and place in a covered casserole.
Whisk the grape jelly into the tomato sauce, stirring in the brown sugar. Pour over the meatballs in the casserole dish with the lid in place. Place in a preheated oven at about 300 degrees or in a slow cooker on warm. Heat for about 45 minutes until hot and bubbly.
How much sauce you make for this recipe depends upon the capacity in which you are using them. If they’re an appetizer make the amount of sauce indicated. If they’re for a meatball sandwich of sorts I would make additional sauce. These would also be good served over mashed potatoes, grits or rice. In this scenario I would also recommend making additional sauce.
Remember these meatballs can be made in advance and frozen for later use. Great for tailgate parties, heat them in crockpots!
For additional changes consider adding shredded carrot or zucchini to the recipe. Alter the dry spices to some of your favorites. You could add more rice to make this dish go further if necessary! Those liking more ‘zing’ might want to add a teaspoon of mustard to the sauce. For a spicy sauce, well that’s a no brainer; reach for the hot sauce, chili powder, red peppers even the jalapenos!
Spicy Corn Dip
1 (8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
1 package dry Ranch Dressing Mix
(Makes a 32 oz. recipe)
1 (11 oz.) can Mexicorn, drained
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes, undrained
4 ounces sour cream
4-6 small green onions, finely chopped
Soften cream cheese and stir in the dry dressing mix, blending until smooth. Add the corn, Rotel, sour cream and green onions. Stirring to blend. Dip is best if made the night before, allowing the flavors to blend under refrigeration. Serve with scoop Fritos or your favorite tortilla chip. Yields approximately 2 cups.
Debbie Dance Uhrig