Opening global doors

When I thought of doing recipes every day during Advent, I thought initially of my past. I also thought of how to bridge that to the present. Over the last year, I became friends with someone of Creole background. Many in Edmonton know her as the chef/owner of Creole Envie. I have been fortunate enough to be considered a friend of Chef Daniella Majeau. She has shared her passion for Creole food with me.

Sometimes, I look at cuisine through a global filter, even though I’ve grown to use as many local ingredients as I can. The more I learned about Creole cuisine from Chef Daniella (and its differences from Cajun cuisine), the more I started to see common traits with my own Hungarian background.

I was reading about some Louisiana recipes a little while ago and came upon the idea of the boudin ball. Boudin, in general, involves a rice sausage with traditionally pork or seafood blended in. Forming various boudin into balls, breading them and frying them immediately reminded me of a Hungarian snack that I had growing up: Fassirozott, a crispy garlic-pork meatball. So I thought I’d pair the idea together into a twist on the surf n turf idea.

Fassirozott (Hungarian Crispy Garlic-Pork Meatballs)

500g/1lb Sunshine Organic Farms ground pork

10 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika

1 Sunshine Organic Farms large egg

1-1/3 cups dry rye bread crumbs (In Edmonton, I like rye bread from Artistic Bakery, Bon Ton Bakery, or Bliss Bakery)

2 tsp salt

3/4 cup Gold Forest Grains soft white flour

1 Sunshine Organic Farms large egg + 1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1-1/2 cups Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground pork, garlic, paprika, egg, 1/3 cup breadcrumbs and salt. Form into 15-18 meatballs.

In three separate small bowls, add the flour to one bowl, egg + water to the next bowl, and breadcrumbs with garlic powder in the final bowl. Dredge each meatball in flour, then egg wash, then seasoned breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs firmly on to each meatball. Set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet. Allow breading to set for 15-20 minutes.

In a medium pot, heat the oil to 180C/350F.

Drop three or four breaded meatballs at a time in the hot oil. Fry for 4-5 minutes or until lightly golden. Repeat with remaining breaded meatballs, draining on a clean towel. Can be served hot or room temperature as an appetizer or snack.

Salmon and King Crab Boudin Balls

500g/1lb salmon (spring or coho varieties of salmon are best so it doesn’t overpower the crab flavour)

1 cup cooked white rice

2 medium onions, chopped

1 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil

2 tsp salt

500g/1lb Alaskan king crab, removed from shell and torn into small 1cm(1/2″) pieces

2 eggs

3/4 cup Gold Forest Grains soft white flour

1 egg + 1/4 cup water

1-1/4 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (I prefer the whole wheat bread and buns from Bon Ton Bakery in Edmonton)

1/4 cup medium cornmeal

1-1/2 cups Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil

In a medium pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and salt and sauté until softened. As it starts to brown, reduce the heat to medium, stirring periodically. If the bottom of the pan starts to brown, add a few tablespoons of water to loosen the brown bits and stir to aid the caramelization of the onions. Set aside and cool.

In a large bowl, combine the salmon, cubed into rough 2cm/1″ chunks, cooked rice, eggs and cooled caramelized onions. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to allow the mixture to tighten. Pulse the mixture with a hand blender or in batches in a food processor until chunky, yet smooth in places. Fold in the crab meat and 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. Form into 15-18 meatballs and set on a parchment lined baking sheet. In three small bowls, repeat the breading station you did with the above pork meatballs, except, instead of the dry rye breadcrumb-garlic powder mixture, use a fresh breadcrumb and cornmeal mixture. Dredge the boudin balls in flour, then egg wash, then breadcrumb-cornmeal. Allow the breading the set for 15 minutes.

Preheat oil in a medium pot to 180C/350C.

Fry three or four breaded boudin balls at a time until lightly golden (about 4-5 minutes). Repeat with the remaining breaded boudin balls. Serve as an appetizer or snack. Best served hot.

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