From the Files of Dr. Von Frankenfood: Cannonballs Away!
by Dan Green, A Saucey Gent
So here in the frozen north, we wouldn’t venture out on to the high seas this time of year, but history tells a very different tale. How many of us smile, even a little bit, when we hear the names Tortuga or Blackbeard? Admit it, at some point in your childhood (extended or otherwise) you wanted to be a pirate. There’s no shame in that of course, in fact, I say embrace it… lord knows I did for years working and attending local renaissance festivals.
There’s just something about them that draws us into their adventures, and I’m sure Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Cap’n Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean has helped stoke our imaginations a bit.
Personally, I love the flavors and food we associate with pirates… jerk seasonings… succulent fruits and smoked meats. The idea of sailing the deep blue gives us a feeling of adventure and discovery; just ask any fan of the genre. Thanks to the PotC films, a whole new generation of fans are crying “Avast ye!” and discovering a love of rum drinks… and that’s fantastic.
It’s the fandom that drives the exploration of the history, and in my case, the exploration of the island tastes. It’s important to note that oft times my experimentation in the lab/kitchen crosses lines that no one expects, and that’s where magic happens.
This week, in honor of my fellow pirates and privateers, the good Doctor is serving up an appetizer of Cannonballs… a teriyaki glazed, bacon-wrapped, and sausage-stuffed matzo ball. This is a delicious mix of flavors and textures that you can say your Doctor prescribed and your friends will be happy to surrender to.
-1 Box of matzo ball mix (found in the kosher section of your supermarket) or you can find a number of recipes online…
-1 package of your favorite spicy sausage/kielbasa/hot dogs (I like Bahama Mamas)
-1 package of thick sliced hickory smoked bacon
–1/4 cup light brown sugar
-1/8 cup soy sauce
-1/2 cup pineapple juice
-In a bowl, prepare matzo ball mix as per package directions and set off to side to set.
-If pre-cooked, slice sausage in to small chunks, otherwise cook sausage and let cool… then chunk.
-On stovetop, combine sugar, soy, and juice into a small saucepan and cook down until glaze like consistency (by 1/3-1/2) and set aside covered.
Putting It Together:
Set your pot of water on to boil, and then take a scoop of your matzo ball mixture with a damp hand, and place a piece of sausage in the center. Roll into a ball, and drop into the water… the balls will
double in size and float when they are done. Once cooked, pull from the water and let cool until you are able to handle them and get ready to wrap them in bacon. On a foil covered greased sheet-pan, wrap each ball in a strip of bacon and place seam-side down (you may wish to secure the bacon with a toothpick). Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees, and once your tray is full place into the oven for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, pull from the oven (bacon will just be growing crisp) and brush/coat thickly with the glaze and replace back into the oven for another 8-10 minutes. Pull from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes, then remove the toothpicks and place on a tray or in a bowl for serving. Warm the glaze and place on the side for those who wish to add a dash more flavor, or put on other items.