19 Aug 2012

Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2012

19 Aug 2012

It was gonna be a very quiet Hari Raya this year; Abg Fauzi & Abg. Hadi and their families won’t be in KL to celebrate Raya with us.  Regardless, I was tasked to cook a few dishes, and knowing Mummy, her biggest concern was “tak cukup makanan.”  So with that in mind, I picked out recipes meant for huge crowds.

~ Menu ~

Paul’s “Make the Whole Crew Happy” Sausage Meatballs with Red Gravy

Tuna Tetrazzini

It was my first time making the meatballs, and the results were pretty satisfying.  I wished the meatballs were softer, but overall it turned out quite well.  Both dishes were quite well-received by guests, particularly the Tetrazzini. Always a winner 🙂

Paul’s “Make the Whole Crew Happy” Sausage Meatballs with Red Gravy

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/pauls-make-the-whole-crew-happy-sausage-meatballs-with-red-gravy-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

Red Gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 cups (about 800 grams) chopped yellow onions
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 20 cloves garlic, minced (about 1/3 cup)
    • To save time with the mincing, I just used a blender to grind it all up.  Use the one intended for grinding dry goods
  • 2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds (jintan manis)
  • 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
    • to the uninitiated, this is not the usual sos tomato in bottles ya. Look for these in the canned goods section
    • Sometimes these are unavailable, so substitute with the same amount of tomato puree. See here for more substitutes.
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, pureed with their juice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Essence

Sausage Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 gm) minced beef
    • Fatty meatballs are better, so avoid the “weight watchers” type of minced beef
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 gm) Italian sausage, removed from casings
    • I used Fogal Italian sausages bought from Village Grocer
  • 1 pound Spanis/Chorizo sausage, removed from casings
    • I used Fogal Spanish/Chorizo sausages bought from Village Grocer
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
    • As per the above, grind in a blender to save time
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoons Essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, garnish

Directions

In a large saucepan (I used a very, very large periuk.  This recipe makes a huge batch), heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper, and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, 6 minutes. Add the garlic and fennel, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until paste begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, pureed tomatoes, 2 1/2 cups of water, and Essence, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, sweet sausage, hot sausage, garlic, eggs, Essence, salt, and black pepper, and mix briefly but thoroughly to distribute seasonings. Shape into meatballs.  You can go Italiannies’-style and make around 20 really big meatballs (about 1/3 cup each), but since I was cooking for a crowd of undetermined size I decided to make ’em smaller, similar in size to Ikea meatballs.  This may or may not have affected the juiciness of the meatballs; I’ll have to try it again next time to find out.  Set aside, refrigerated.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and do not stir until the meatballs float to the top of the sauce, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir well, and simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming any fat that rises to the surface. Taste, adjust seasoning as necessary, and serve immediately over hot pasta. Pass the grated Parmesan at the table.

Tuna Tetrazzini

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/tuna-tetrazzini-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions (about 240 gm)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 6 tablespoons (85 gm) plus 1 tablespoon (14 gm) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 200-gm cans button mushrooms, OR 1 pound white button mushrooms, ends trimmed, sliced
    • To make this dish easier on the pocket, I use canned button mushrooms.  Quality definitely varies depending on the brand, and in my experience it is definitely worth paying a couple of Ringgit more for Ayam brand (large and nicely round) instead of opting for those really cheap China mushrooms (small, usually broken pieces, most of the weight comprises of the stems).
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white grape juice
    • Alternatively, take a 1/4-cup measuring cup, fill less than half with white wine vinegar, and fill it to the top with plain water.  If we don’t dilute the vinegar enough, the dish will come out tasting a bit strong and sour
  • 1 chicken stock cube, diluted in 2 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cups whipping cream
  • 12 ounces wide egg pappardelle
    • Found egg pappardelle in Marks & Spencer, costs a little over RM16 a 1-pound bag, if you’re willing to fork it out.
    • In desperate times, I just substitute with fettuccini.
  • 3 (6-ounce/170gm) cans solid white tuna, drained and broken up
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves, OR 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3 (60-gm) bags of original-flavored potato chips, crushed

Directions

Saute the onions and bell peppers in 6 tablespoons butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the mushrooms, Essence, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and have released their liquid, about 6 minutes.

Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the grape juice/ vinegar mixture and chicken stock and cook, stirring, until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Add the whipping cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and very flavorful, 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water  to a boil and cook the egg noodles until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside. Butter a 9 by 13-inch casserole or baking dish with the remaining tablespoon of butter and set aside.

When the sauce has thickened, add the noodles, tuna, parsley, salt, black pepper, and Parmesan to the skillet and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared casserole and top with the potato chips. Bake uncovered until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

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