I had been looking forward to #58 for quite a while. It’s not every day you take on a recipe that includes canned fish balls as an ingredient, amiright?
Plus, you can sing “fish balls” to this little ditty (starts at 2:10).
Fish balls, fish balls, roly poly fish balls. Fish balls, fish balls, eat them up, yum!
Let’s get to it!
For the creamy dressing I cut all of the ingredients in half. I didn’t need 2 cups of an untested dressing. Especially because I didn’t have tarragon ( so I used a wee bit of fennel seed), subbed scallions for chives, and I only used 1 tbsp of anchovy paste because it was REALLY anchovy-y. And I like anchovies! I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out.
So it was all mixed and then chilled. And I don’t know if I’ve asked this question before, but what is dairy sour cream? Isn’t all sour cream dairy (well, with the exception of that tofutti vegan shit)?
But I digress.
The recipe card calls for a 14-oz can of Danish or Norwegian Fish Balls. And I tried to find one, but apparently there is not a Danish or Norwegian population in Baltimore. I called specialty food stores and ethnic groceries–no one had fish balls. They don’t carry them at IKEA (or a Swedish facsimile). I tried to order fish balls online but the shipping costs would’ve made the balls over $30. Screw that.
So I took to the internet, found a recipe, and made my own fish balls. I used a recipe from GroupRecipes.com for Norwegian Fiskeboller. How awesome is the word ‘fiskeboller’?
- 1 lb (1/2 kg) of firm white fish such as cod or pollock
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup (1 – 1.5 dl) milk or cream
- flour - enough to bind together
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- fresh basil, washed and chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- fresh parsley, washed and chopped
How to make it:
- Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
- Place in the fridge and leave there for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
- Bring a fish stock to the boil. ( You can use either some you’ve kept in the freezer or use stock cubes.)
- For the dinner party version – add a glass of white wine.
- Use two spoons to make the balls (dip spoons in ice water in between each ball).
- Slide the ball off the spoon and into the boiling stock.
- Boil one at first to see how it turns out.
- If it falls apart, add more flour.
- Boil a few at a time.
- They are done when they are firm.
Flour. Enough to bind together. Could you vague that up for me? Is that a cup? 10 cups?
Well, turns out that enough to bind was a lot. Not 10 cups a lot–but definitely around 2.
I do not own a food processor so I used my handy-dandy immersion blender. It got the job done. Here is the fish ball mix–from mush, to paste, to fully cooked balls in the cream sauce with the shrimp (so scallops because they were too damn pricey):
Before I show you my completed Scandinavian Fish Scallop, let me first talk about the chocolate cake.
The chocolate cake fell to my dinner guest Bob (and by association, his husband, Keith). After hearing so many good things about it, Bob chose a recipe called Black Magic Chocolate Cake. The secret ingredient is canned tomato soup, which you can see in the mixer photo below.
Bob lovingly calls this experiment Le Debacle du Gateau, or The Great Cake Clusterfuck of 2012.
This is a recipe that many folks have had great success with. A lot of success. People rave about this cake! What happened here I will attribute to user error (ahem, using the wrong size pans). Shit, Lord knows I’m not a baker (this is why I do not make cakes from scratch). Bless his heart he tried 3 different times to make it. But it went awry. Maybe someone else who is actually a baker can give this one a shot and report back to me. It’s supposed to be excellent.
But this evening, who came to the rescue? Miss Betty Crocker.
1970s Betty doesn’t look like much fun. She looks like a nun. But one of those progressive nuns that didn’t rock the habit all the time. But really, is there such a thing as a ‘fun nun’?
But Bob did make the icing from scratch. Which was delicious. It’s actually a slice of this cake that I’m eating for breakfast in my legendary (I love superlatives!) I ♥ Bacon photo. The frosting was delicious. And it looked pretty, too.
Here is #58 completed:
The Green Goddess Salad (sadly, not pictured) was fine. The dressing was a little strong for my liking. For the side, I just put together some peas (frozen) and celery (parboiled) in butter. Simple. Good.
Yum. I liked this because of all the different textures–the creamy sauce, the soft dumplings, the crunchy cracker topping. And it wasn’t fishy at all. The fish balls, if anything, reminded me of the dumplings that my mum makes for her beef stew. Very mild–lightly herbed. Sadly they weren’t roly-poly; they were irregularly shaped, but they were good.
I am almost disappointed that this was edible. I really wanted the fish balls to be weird, odd-tasting, and unappealing. So chalk this up as a win for DiS!