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An appetizing new year

December 26, 2018
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Pork and cabbage is an easy fix in your slow-cooker.

HUNTINGTON — It’s almost time to end another year and set resolutions for a new year — some that are kept and some that are not kept. Could it be quit smoking, drinking more water, eating less fat and sweets, stop biting the fingernails? The list is endless when taken into consideration. But before we get to the 2019, a New Year’s Eve party could be in the making with such recipes as the following ones provided by Country Living:

HONEY GARLIC MEATBALLS

1 pound ground beef or ground sirloin (I used 90 percent lean ground sirloin)

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/3 cup sweet Vidalia onions, diced small (yellow or white onions may be substituted)

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves, minced or finely pressed

3/4 cup ketchup

1/3 cup honey

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Heat oven to 400 degrees, line baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray; set aside.

To large bowl, add beef, egg, milk, bread crumbs, onions, salt, pepper, and stir to combine.

Using 2-tablespoon cookie scoop (or hands) form approximately 18 to 20 meatballs. After scooping out meatballs with cookie scoop, use hands to roll into smooth balls and place on prepared baking sheet, spaced about 1-inch apart. Bake for about 17 to 20 minutes, or until centers of meatballs are no longer pink and are cooked through; set aside.

To large skillet, add butter and heat over medium heat to melt. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute, stirring frequently, or until garlic is tender and fragrant. Add ketchup, honey, soy sauce, and stir to combine.

Add meatballs, toss and stir gently to coat evenly, and simmer over low heat for about 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened some and meatballs well coated; stir intermittently.

Transfer meatballs to serving platter or bowl, insert toothpick into each meatball if desired, and serve.

Meatballs are best fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in freezer up to 3 months.

CHICKEN BACON RANCH PINWHEELS

2 (12-inch) flour tortillas

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 packet ranch dip mix

1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken

1/3 cup cooked bacon pieces

Lay 12-inch piece of Saran Wrap underneath each of two tortillas.

In bowl, mix together cream cheese and ranch dip mix until smooth. Spread evenly onto the tortillas. Top cream cheese with shredded chicken and bacon pieces.

Roll tortillas up tightly, then wrap Saran Wrap tightly around rolled tortillas. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Unwrap wrap and discard. Slice rolls into 1-inch-thick pieces and serve.

HAM AND CHEESE PRETZEL BITES

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 cup warm milk

2 1/2 to 3 cups flour 1 (1/4-ounce) package instant dry yeast

1/2 cup finely chopped ham

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 6 cups water

4 teaspoons baking soda

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1-2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt

In small bowl, stir together brown sugar and warm milk until dissolved.

In large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, milk mixture and yeast. Stir until soft dough forms. Add remaining flour as needed.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and gently knead few times, forming smooth ball.

Brush inside of large clean bowl with olive oil. Transfer dough to bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in warm, draft-free area for about 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size and bubbles appear on the surface.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust hands and rolling pin with flour. Roll one of four sections into 12-by 4-inch rectangle.

With long side facing you, gently press one-fourth of ham and cheese into bottom third of dough, and roll as tightly as possible, starting with end that has the filling. Cut into 12 1-inch pieces and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining 3 portions of dough.

Let rest, uncovered, at room temperature 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees. Bring 6 cups of water to boil. Add baking soda and reduce heat to gentle simmer. Boil pretzels in batches, cooking about 20 seconds each, turning once. They should be slightly puffed.

Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzels back to baking sheets. Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Brush warm pretzel bites with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm.

Then comes New Year’s Day (Jan. 1), when several foods are eaten to bring good luck, good health and prosperity during the upcoming 365 days, such as these from Bush’s Baked Beans:

BUSH’S COUNTRY CORNBREAD HOPPIN’ JOHN

2 (15.8-ounce) cans blackeye peas

5 slices bacon

1 medium onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 (7.5-ounce) package corn bread mix

Salsa

Sour cream

Cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and drain, reserving 2 tablespoons bacon drippings.

Cook onion and peppers in bacon drippings until tender. Add blackeye peas and hot sauce and heat through.

Make cornbread in 9-by 13-inch pan, according to directions. Cut into 2-inch squares. Top with blackeye peas, salsa, sour cream and crumbled bacon.

BUSH’S HAM AND BLACKEYE PEAS

2 (15.8-ounce) cans blackeye peas, drained

2 cups cooked ham, diced

3 cups water

4 cups chicken stock

1 large onion, diced

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

2 ribs celery, diced

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 cups frozen or canned spinach, drained

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup cooked white or brown rice, optional

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients except for the spinach, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and rice. Cover and cook 4-5 hours on low.

Stir in spinach, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Cook an additional 15 minutes. Stir in cooked rice before serving, if desired.

Cabbage is said to be the king of fortune. Put a coin or silver dollar in the green dish and it’s said you will have money all year. This recipe is from Taste of Home:

SLOW-COOKER KALUA PORK AND CABBAGE

7 bacon strips, divided

1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 to 4 pounds), well trimmed

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

1 medium head cabbage, coarsely chopped

Line bottom of 6-quart slow cooker with four bacon strips.

Sprinkle all sides of roast with salt; place in slow cooker. Arrange remaining bacon over top of roast. Cook, covered, on low 8-10 hours or until pork is tender.

Add cabbage, spreading cabbage around roast. Cook, covered, 1 to 1 1/4 hours longer or until cabbage is tender.

Remove pork to serving bowl; shred pork with two forks. Using a slotted spoon, add cabbage to pork and toss to combine.

If desired, skim fat from some of the cooking juices; stir juices into pork mixture or serve on the side.

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