I was watching the Meat Network, sorry, the Food Network last night. One of the shows was Bobby Flay "Taste of Ireland" or something to that effect. Anyway, I guess that Bono & The Edge from U2 own a hotel in Dublin. The Tea Room restaurant at this hotel has some fancy pants chef that makes a version of colcannon (mashed potatoes and cabbage stuff). His has meat in it then he breads it, fries it then serves it with some kind of sauce. I thought to myself; "I could do this. I could do this without meat."
(Why is it that virtually every recipe/show on the Food Network features meat? There is not one show on the Food Network that is vegetarian. Don't bother emailing them about this. They don't write or call, they have completely ignored me. Oh, and if you think to contact their production people to suggest a show, ha! Forget about it! If you don't already have a cooking show they don't even want to hear from you.)
I made my own version of the fancy pants chef's recipe with mashed potatoes, herbs, spices & Morningstar fake chicken strips. Everyone, even the omnivores in this house, loved what we're calling Irish Balls. Hey, the British have Spotted Dick; we can have Irish Balls. (Oh, I forgot JR is Irish and the boys are half. I guess we have all kinds of Irish balls around here).
So here you go:
Irish Balls with Mushroom red wine sauce
3 large baking potatoes (I used left over baked potatoes from the night before)
3 green onions, sliced thin
1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Morningstar chicken strips, chopped
3 Tablespoons milk
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons fresh or dried parsley
2 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, finely ground
2 eggs, beaten
Peel & boil potatoes like you were going to make mashed potatoes. When they are fork tender drain and put back into the hot pan to dry out a little. While they are cooking melt butter on med-low heat. Add onions, garlic, and Morningstar chicken strips. Cook until just soft. Add to potatoes. Mash by hand (you're looking for lumpy here) adding milk a little at a time. These should be very stiff.
Place beaten eggs in one dish and breadcrumbs in another. Roll potato mixture into balls a little bigger than a golf ball. Dredge in egg then coat with breadcrumbs. I did all of them at once then set aside.
In a heavy fry pan heat up about 3/4 inch of vegetable oil on med-high. Brown all the balls in batches. When one batch gets done place on a rack over a cookie sheet (to drain) in a 400 degree oven.
Serve on a bed of cooked greens and topped with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce. My personal favorite for cooked greens is spinach sauteed with onions, garlic and a little olive oil. Yum!
Make approximately 15 balls.
Mushroom Red Wine Sauce
1 pound slice mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup red wine
2 Tablespoons butter
Melt butter in medium sauce pan. Brown mushrooms in butter. Add onions and garlic to mushrooms. Add broth and red wine. Boil to reduce by half.
This turned out to be one my best Sunday night family dinners. It is not as hard to make as it seems. You could make the balls ahead of time then dredged, bread and fry later.
I am so incredibly juvenile. Every time I type the word ball I giggle just a little.
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