Thursday, October 29, 2009
Mac & Cheese With Oriental-Style Chicken Tofu Meatballs - 5 Star Makeover Participation
I happened to catch an episode of The Rachel Ray Show on TV recently where it showed her making the most delicious looking American-style beef meatball mac & cheese EVER! From that episode on, the plain view I had of mac & cheese was redefined to a new paradigm shift and thought to myself that I should try to make some soon!
And then last week, while visiting Natasha of 5 Star Foodie's fantastic blog, I was elated to read that she had chosen mac & cheese as the subject of this month's 5 Star Makeover. I immediately knew I wanted to participate. To participate in Natasha's 5 Star Makeover, one needs to create the chosen food (this month's choice is mac & cheese) with a modern, healthy, fusion, molecular gastronomy, seasonal, or adapting to a particular cuisine style.
After some thinking, I decided to go with 'adapting to a particular cuisine style' by combining American mac & cheese with Oriental-style chicken tofu meatballs. Inspired by a recipe I once stumbled upon which uses tofu with prawn meat, I created my own version of tofu with chicken and added a variety of Oriental-style seasonings - basically, whatever I have in my kitchen. So, here it is - my Oriental chicken tofu meatball recipe and the complete mac & cheese meal which I hope you will enjoy. This recipe serves 3.
Oriental-Style Chicken Tofu Meatballs
- 250 g minced chicken meat
- 150 g white tofu, mashed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5-6 stalks of cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tsp Worchestershire sauce (optional)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp pepper powder
- 1/2 cup oil for frying
Mix everything together really, really thoroughly to ensure that all the seasonings & beaten egg are mixed in well with the minced chicken and mashed tofu. Shape each tablespoon of the mixture into round balls. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the meatballs till golden brown. Note: I prefer to flatten the meatballs a little so that lesser oil is required for frying.
Mac & Cheese
- 1.5 cups mini shell pasta/macaroni
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 pips garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (add more if you like)
- 8-10 mini/cherry tomatoes, halves
- 1.5 tbsp butter
- Some crushed black peppercorn & grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling
Boil the pasta till al dente. Strain and leave aside. Heat the butter in a pan, then saute the onion and garlic till slightly golden brown. Add the oregano, and then pour in the cooked pasta, milk, the grated cheese and tomatoes. Add in the fried meatballs and continue to stir for another minute or so till the cheese has melted. Serve with sprinkles of crushed black peppercorns, a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese and a few sprigs of cilantro as garnish.
The aromatic and flavorful chicken tofu meatballs with hints of Oriental seasonings were wonderful addition to the rich and creamy mac & cheese, making it a complete & delicious meal.
Natasha will be doing a round-up of all submissions on Nov 2, so be sure to visit her 5 Star Foodie blog to see all the various mac & cheese creations by participating food bloggers.