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Belly Up to the Bar: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Miriam Zelinsky | 0 Comments

Is there anything more satisfying than digging into a big pile of buffalo chicken wings? Getting all that sticky sauce stuck to your face and fingers is a truly primal experience. If I really get into it I can imagine back to the time of the caveman and tearing apart the meat and sucking on the bones mmmmmmm.

Now that I am out of that food coma, let me cut to the chase. I really don’t want to be stained orange or have sauce smudges all over my face when out on a date or wearing my LJP accessories. And to be honest, I don’t love the fact that I need to spend more time at the gym after eating that pile of wings. Therefore, we have taken all the flavorful goodness of hot wings and created hot balls! Um…perhaps the double entendre is a bit unappetizing? These hot. …buffalo chicken balls have the heat, the sauce, the celery and blue cheese all wrapped up into one neat little package. And for those you can’t do buffalo without a dipping sauce, you can have a double dose of blue cheese, inside and out.

I will warn you though that this sauce is so good, I can’t guarantee that you won’t want to lick the plate. What you do behind closed doors is your own affair, no judgment!

Cool and refreshing is my top priority for beer with my wings. Your typical trashy lite beer will probably do the trick but even a Corona won’t compete with the spicy and sweet sauce.

--M. Perrelli

Buffalo Chicken Balls

Makes 20-25

Notes: I like my vegetables grated or microplaned because I want to make sure I only bite into cheese crumbles not raw veg. If you like a little more texture then feel free to chop more coarsely but you may need less breadcrumbs. Also one of my favorite wing joints does a sauce called Honey Hot, that I have recreated here. It just sweetens up the sauce a little and cuts down on the heat. Use what you like. Feel free to use bottled blue cheese dressing too.

1 lb ground chicken

2 stalks celery, chopped or grated

¼ onion, chopped or grated

salt and pepper

½ cup blue cheese crumbles (I used gorgonzola)

¾ cup more or less of seasoned breadcrumbs (you want to use the least amount possible to bind the meat

4 tbsp butter

1/3 cup hot sauce

2 tbsp honey

½ cup Greek yogurt

2 tsbp light mayo

¼ up blue cheese

pepper

 Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2) In a bowl combine the top section of ingredients and mix until uniformly combined
3) Line a baking sheet with foil and spray or brush with neutral oil. This will help them not stick
4) Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon and your hands, form the meat mixture into golf ball sized spheres
5) Place the balls on the sheet as you go and bake them 20 minutes or until cooked through.
6) While the balls are cooking make the sauce. On the stove melt the butter and add the hot sauce and honey. Stir to combine and set aside. You want this to stay warm so you can toss the hot balls in it when they are done.
7) Make a dipping sauce using the last section of ingredients above. If it is too stiff add a splash of water or milk to the combined mixture. Toss balls in hot sauce and serve with the dipping sauce.

The Best Ramen

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Miriam Zelinsky | 0 Comments

Fall is here! As the temperature starts to drop, I inevitably find myself opting for ramen more and more. Thrillist came out with a great list of the best ramen in NYC. I definitely agree with most of the winners on their list (Ippudo is definitely a favorite – opt for the proscuitto and brie spring rolls with balsamic glaze as a welcome addition to the traditional pork buns). I also love Jin Ramen up in West Harlem (3183 Broadway). It's less fussy and has a spicy tonkatsu that is to die for. Also, if timed right, you can avoid the two hour wait that is synonymous with the other more popular ramen joints in the city. 

Read the list of top ramen in NYC here.

Here's a list of the top ramen in the USA.

Cocktail Recipe du Jour: Honeydew Margarita

Posted on October 03, 2014 by Miriam Zelinsky | 0 Comments

October is here and it's my favorite month of the whole year! Time for apple picking, pumpkins, costumes, and fun themed cocktail parties while the temperature has yet to plummet below freezing!

With that being said, I'm always on the lookout for easy and (relatively) healthy cocktails – especially ones that incorporate tequila! Make this drink for one, or multiply the recipe for a group!

Cheers!

What You'll Need:

Honeydew melon

2 oz of tequila (preferably silver or blanco tequila)

1 oz fresh lime juice

Optional: 1/2 teaspoon agave (I found the recipe didn't need it so this is entirely to taste)

Directions:

1) Cut the melon in half and take out the seeds.

2) Hollow out the melon with a spoon and add the pieces to a blender.

3) Blend until smooth.

4) Add the melon juice, ice, lime (and agave if you're using it) to a shaker.

5) Then, mix salt on a rimmed plate (bonus points if you also include chili powder) and run a wedge of lime around your margarita glass before coating the glass in the mixture.

Best Pizza in the USA

Posted on September 30, 2014 by Miriam Zelinsky | 0 Comments

Pizza is one of the most versatile foods and one we all enjoy eating year round. So, in honor of our favorite cheesy food, we're raising our glass to Thrillist this week for their awesome list of the top 33 pizza joints in the country.

I will definitely be adding many of their suggestions to my list of must-dos. I also humbly add Amici's in San Francisco (can't get enough of their red clam pie when I'm in town) and Porta in Asbury Park, New Jersey. What are you favorite pizza places?

Read the article here

Belly Up to the Bar: Bacon Wrapped Potatoes

Posted on September 25, 2014 by Miriam Zelinsky | 0 Comments

Sports bars are notorious for their snacks. There can be nothing more enjoyable than digging into a plate of “appeteasers” surrounded by good friends and good booze. But lately, the standard fare at your typical bar has become pedestrian and tired. No longer are the days when a plate of potato skins can thrill you. The 80s are over and so are mozz sticks, Miller Lites , and mullets. The least they could do is class up the apps. Therefore, I submit for your approval a new take on some classic flavors; all the charm of the spud without the solidified cheddar cheese in a skin. These bacon wrapped potatoes provide a bit of whimsy while satisfying your cravings for BACON and starch. A creamy dill sauce replaces the heavy sour cream for a flavorful finish.

Simple flavors can stand up to a bold brew. Go for something hearty like a stout or if you really want to go nuts, grab a bottle of something bacon flavored. If it’s hard to find something bacon flavored that doesn’t have that artificial taste, instead try Port City Brewing which does a nice porter if that’s your thing.

--M. Perrelli

Bacon Wrapped Potatoes with Dill Sauce 

What You'll Need:

1 lb or so of new potatoes (halved)

9 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise

¼ cup light mayonnaise

½ cup fat-free Greek yogurt

splash of half and half (more for a thinner sauce)

1 tbsp dill weed

½ tsp seasoning salt (Lawry’s)

1 tsp dried parsley

salt and pepper 

 

Directions:

  1. Steam the potatoes in a steamer basket until tender 15-18 minutes. I love my bamboo steamer and use it for all my steaming but use what you have. If you prefer to use the microwave, that is also acceptable for this step.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Let the potatoes cool enough to handle.
  4. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil (you won’t want to skip this step).
  5. Wrap the bacon halve around each potato and place on the baking sheet with the seam on the bottom. Bake 18-20 minutes or until the bacon is crisp.
  6. While the potatoes cook, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and which to combine. Serve with the potatoes.

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