Tag Archives: rice

Retro Meatballs

Well, we finally relocated to the Gulf Side of Florida in the sweet little town of Dunedin. We are nestled on a lovely little lake – Lake Sperry – and are just 5 short blocks to the Gulf of Mexico as well as less than a mile to beautiful downtown Dunedin.  Life is good.

Most of the unpacking is done although the garage looks like Erika made a stop.  Nevertheless today I am finally having my first “dinner party.”  Now it’s not too exciting. The local kids and the youngest granddaughter will be here this afternoon for an early supper.  After reflecting on all the moves and changes over the years, it got me thinking about all the old recipes I used to fix years ago when my three girls were young.

When I asked the youngest, who will be here for dinner today, if she’d like the old Porcupine Meatballs from years past, a smile blew across her face, and I knew it was the right thing to make to wrap our arms around the past while embracing this new beginning.

So Porcupine meatballs it is today, along with mashed potatoes and green beans.  What could be more comforting as we settle into our new home?  So here is that lovely blast from the past that I share with all my readers as well as with my family today.

Betty Crocker Cookbook

My tattered Dinner for Two Cookbook Photo credit: Words Etc.

This recipe is adapted from the very first cookbook I owned as a young married back in the early 70s – Dinner for Two – a Betty Crocker favorite.  I’ve tweaked it slightly by using instant rice rather than long-cooking as it produces a more “porcupine like” look.  I also switch the celery salt with celery seed to cut down the sodium and add an egg. The added salt is optional too if you are concerned with sodium as the Worcestershire adds 65mg of sodium per teaspoon. Although white rice is rarely our rice of choice these days, I’m sticking with the old standard, but will experiment with brown next time.

Porcupine Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1 cup instant white rice (I use Uncle Ben’s)
1 egg blended with ½ cup water
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ – 1 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp garlic salt
½ tsp Worcestershire
Dash of pepper
1 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

For Sauce:
16 oz tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 – ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce


Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs Photo credit: Words Etc.

Mix beef, rice, milk, onion, egg mixture and seasonings. Form into 10 – 12 meatballs. Fry in EVOO, turning frequently, until light brown, but not crusty, on all sides. Mix sauce ingredients together. Pour over meatballs in same pan and cover, Simmer 45 minutes over low heat. Add a small amount of additional water if liquid cooks down too much. 4 servings.

Great with mashed potatoes and green beans, or skip the extra starch and substitute a salad.


Out on a limb with food – brown rice and mango meet their match

Communicating with food

Cooking, eating, or sharing a meal are all great ways to communicate with nature, our inner creativity and our friends or family.  So I can’t resist the urge to share with you something I put together a few days ago for dinner.  It’s based on a dish I enjoyed at a St. Augustine Beach spot – Mango Mango’s.  This great spot offer a touch of the islands to every dish they serve.

Here’s my version of brown rice, peppers and mango.  In addition to the whole grain benefits of the rice, it also peps up your metabolism with hot peppers.

Photo by Words Etc.

Christine’s Spicy Brown Rice Pilaf with Mango and Peppers

February 16, 2012

  • One cup organic brown rice (I like Gourmet House brand that I get in the Publix organic food section)
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt (optional)
  • ¼ tsp. Mrs. Dash Chipotle Seasoning (or to your taste)
  • ¼ cup each green and sweet red or orange pepper
  • ½ jalapeno pepper chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ medium-sized mango, chopped
  • Grape seed oil

Cook rice in rice cooker or on stove top with water, salt, Mrs. Dash, and a dash or two of olive oil. Cook ahead of time if desired so rice dries out a bit.

When ready to prepare, coat medium sized skillet with grape seed oil. I use grape seed oil because it has a higher cooking temp tolerance than olive oil. Add peppers and sauté until peppers are soft. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two more.

Add cooked rice, adding a little more oil if necessary. Stir gently. Add mango and stir again. Serve with a wedge of lime. Delicious!!

We also serve with my homemade sweet plum sauce. (I’m not sharing that just yet, but stay tuned!) You can make this dish as mild or hot as you like. Just adjust the Mrs. Dash or jalapeno use. Just remember the heat of the peppers is good for your metabolism and helps you burn more calories!

A side of fresh strawberries and mango is a perfect accompaniment.  Now my vegetarian friends (it qualifies as vegan) will enjoy this as a main dish, but it’s also a great side.

Enjoy!  And here’s a little Calypso music to entertain you while you fix this dish……


We had it with Chicken medallions that were sprinkled with Chipotle Mrs. Dash.  I have an Armatale pan that works great on the grill and is perfect for sauteing just about anything on the grill.  Any grill-safe pan will work, but be sure to check out the link if you’ve never heard of these pans.  They are extremely versatile and well worth the investment.

Start by warming some grape seed oil in a pan on the grill, then add the medallions and saute, turning once to keep a nice brown.  At the very end I add just a touch of dry white wine (optional) and continue sauteing for just a few minutes.

As always, thanks for reading, and I welcome your comments!