Monday, February 23, 2009

Meatless Monday - Irish Balls

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.


Click here for more meatless Monday recipes.


  1. This all sounds so yummy!!!!
    And you're right girl......the chef's on the Food Network are "cooking snobs". I don't even try to write them anymore, lol.
    Take good care and..........

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  2. Seriously, how does one go about getting an invite during Sunday dinner? I am so willing to give up meat for a day for that recipe!

  3. Reggie Girl: I watch the Food network only to get ideas for things I can make meatless or cheaper or both.

    Jen: The invite for Sunday dinner is always open.

  4. Sounds like a good recipe! I havent made potato balls in a long time. I think I baked them instead.

    Clark has been being creative with the leftover mashed potatoes. I have yet to enjoy one of his creation but the other kids have and give him a thumbs up. I will share this with him and let you know how it turns out!

  5. We didn't get to go to Arizona. Darn. I would have loved to call you and visit in real person. The reason we didn't go is we found out Terry has Celiac's disease. Learning to understand this food problem, buying groceries and cooking became an all time big deal.

    Anyway, I love your recipes, I can figure out how to take what you make and turn them into something Terry can have.


  6. I'd be willing to give up a cheeseburger if you would be my veggie chef for a week. How's July sound? It could be your summer vacation. I live on the Cape.....!!! :)

    I won't even tell you where my mind went when I saw the title.

  7. That sounds REALLY good. I'm available for dinners every Sunday. Just sayin'.

  8. *waits for Irish Gumbo to stop by and make a comment*

  9. Irish balls and spotted dick, ha! I once bought a can of spotted dick for a prize in a poker game, it was a big hit amongst the drunkards.

  10. I may try these out Michele. In spite of the fact that I will be eating balls made from "very stiff" potatoes. Cheers!!

  11. I watch shows like that and it just makes me want to go and make a tuna sandwich

  12. Thank you for joining in on the feast. You're linked up.

    Yes, you can submit a recipe. And thank you for submitting one from before. I think that so many people worry that they have to "cook" up a post in order to participate. My new rules are extremely flexible, so this is definitely allowed.

    My wife got a can of Spotted Dick a while back and I have to get around to scanning in the label. It actually has a warning about spurting in it (just about died laughing when I read it).

  13. Ha! And have you noticed that in all the "Competitions" that if someone tends towards being a vegetarian they encourage them to "branch out"?

    These sound great. I might leave out the faux chicken and make them as a starchy side!