Monday, March 6, 2023

RECIPE: Bajorn Ratamba Casserole with Pandoran Puffer Fungus (veal meatballs and mushroom in asparagus cream)

This recipe is the star of our Star Trek parties!  Bajoran food is spicy, so both the meatballs and the sauce have added cayenne.  I created the recipe for the party.  

We invited 14 people so I made 360 meatballs.  Yes, that was waaaay too many!  I figured 1/2 pound of meat per person with a little extra for leftovers.  We had a massive amount of leftovers, so we've been eating them every day, and every day we both RAVE about how good they are!

Bajorn Ratamba Casserole with Pandoran Puffer Fungus 

(veal meatballs and mushroom in asparagus cream sauce)

Serves 6-8?

For the party, I used 8 pounds of veal - 6 pounds of ground and 2 pounds of raw - and it made 360 one-inch meatballs or 45 meatballs per pound.  The dish is rich, so we eat only 6-10 meatballs per serving.  In other words, one pound of meat will serve about 4 people!  Use that to calculate how much to make.  

As you can see, there is no asparagus visible in the photo.  The asparagus is creamed and added to the sauce.  It's the secret ingredient that makes it so delicious!  It will turn the sauce slightly green, which is how Ratamba Casserole is supposed to look.

Ingredients for meatballs:

  • 2 pounds of ground veal, either raw or a combination of raw and canned
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup ground chia seeds
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 4 T. ghee
  • Seasoning mix for meatballs:
    • 1 T. salt
    • 2 t. garlic (or 3 t. fresh)
    • 2 t. paprika
    • 2 t. basil (or 3 t. fresh)
    • 2 t. cayenne

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 2 12-ounce packages frozen asparagus, defrosted*
  • 2 pounds of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 large onions, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 1/4 c. ghee
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Seasoning mix for sauce, identical to meatballs:
    • 2 t. salt
    • 2 t. garlic (or 3 t. fresh)
    • 2 t. paprika
    • 2 t. basil (or 3 t. fresh)
    • 2 t. cayenne (or to taste)

Make the meatballs according to the directions here, but using the ingredients listed above.  When the meatballs come out of the oven, remove them to a bowl and scrape all the liquid that exuded into a large saute pan.  Add 1/4c. ghee and heat on medium-high.

Add the onions and saute until lightly browned.  Push them to the side of the pan.
Add the mushrooms and saute until lightly browned.  Push them to the side of the pan.
Add the seasoning mix and saute lightly. 
Add the cream, mix everything together and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and keep warm.

Remove any yellow ends from the asparagus and discard them.  In a food processor, puree the asparagus until smooth.  Stir the puree into the sauce, and continue stirring until heated through.
Taste and adjust seasoning. 

Add the meatballs, heat and serve.   

We served these with mashed roasted celeriac, and long-cooked green beans, but they were delicious when we reheated them with just roasted broccoli!  

This did NOT FREEZE WELL!  When I reheated it on the cooktop, all the meatballs fell apart!  it might have been OK reheated in the oven, and not stirred at all, but I wouldn't risk it!

*This would be about 2 pounds fresh, cleaned and blanched,but frozen is so much easier for this recipe!

No comments: