Recipe to Riches Season 2-Hors d’oeuvres

It’s that time of the week again, another Recipe to Riches episode that this time around was all about Hors d’oeuvres. This was an episode that I was really looking forward to watching. They were featuring 3 great choices-Benjamin Greenbery of Montreal, QC and his Curry Crab Sticks, Belén Welch of Dieppe, NB and her Quinoa Cumin Bites and finally Jackie Koh of Vancouver, BC and her Smoky Korean Meatballs. Well after that batch up challenge Belén didn’t make it through so it was down to Jackie and Benjamin to battle it out for the $25,000!

The product is called the Triple S Korean Meatballs. For $7.99 you get just over 20 meatballs in a box and they are fully cooked so you just have to reheat them in the oven. With Jackie’s push to use fresh ingredients in the show I was kind of disappointed to read the back of the package and see a ton of different powders used in place of fresh ingredients or even dehydrated, I’d rather eat dried onions rather than powdered.  Described on the box as being a simple blend of beef and pork, but the final creation is a deliciously complex combination of flavors – sweet, spicy and savory, these could be a winner if the flavors are there so let’s say I was eager for them to bake up.

The meatballs looked all right and were sizzling nicely when they came out of the oven but after letting them sit for a minute I noticed orange oil seeping out of the meatballs.  The toasted wheat crumbs used in the meatballs also stood out to me.

After taking my first bite I noticed that the meatball was pretty smooth but those toasted wheat crumbs added an odd crunch.  Flavor wise the were sweet-extremely sweet, the spice was there but the savory wasn’t right-there was no depth of flavor in the meatball, the spice also was the type of heat that hit’s you on the roof of your mouth but wasn’t to bad.

When I think back to last years winner in the same group-which ironically was also really sweet and spicy, I’d think I’d buy last years winner again, the lack of depth of flavor with these killed it but I am going to head to a Korean restaurant and try the homemade version of these because the winning concept is a great recipe.

One response to “Recipe to Riches Season 2-Hors d’oeuvres

  1. Fresh Juice, you wondered what I thought about the fact that the PC version of my “recipe has six different powdered ingredients, one of them being onion powder” when you knew “how adamant”’ i was “about using the real deal.” Well, when Christina, the Loblaw food developer, implied that my recipe went through a big change, that they had to replace all the fresh spice ingredients that take up more than 25% of my original recipe with powder, I almost choked. I couldn’t fathom seeing my name attached to the food that is far from my own. But as I understood the business aspect behind Loblaws’ decision, though, ironically, they picked my meatballs not just for its great taste and melt in you mouth texture, but due to it being “right on trend” and addressing “health” aspect, I respect PC’s decision. They had to hire flavour specialist just for my meatballs so I was grateful. Tasting the PC version for the first time was an experience of its own. It was kick ass tasty. It…hit all flavour notes in my original recipe and I loved the journey my mouth went through from sweet to savory to spicy that kicks you in the end making you want another right away. That said, if I had any part in the decision making, I would have recommended PC to stay true to the original recipe which uses lean, grain fed, organic meats and as much of the fresh ingredients possible to form consistancy of the balls therein to attract affluent customers looking for just that – sophisticated, healthy and luxurious alternative that distinguishes itself from just “another” variety of meatballs at Loblaws shelves. I have no doubt in my mind that my homemade meatballs would be a big seller at stores such as Whole Foods and alike. Thanks very much, btw, for the great article. It made my day.

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