Monday, December 26, 2011

Meatballs

Christmas is over!  Whew!  Now here comes all the New Year's festivities!  Hosting a party?  Need some great party food that doesn't take a whole lot of time?  Well then this recipe is for you!  This is my Sweet and Sour Meatball Recipe, which I adapted from my mom's Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe.  The original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of chopped onion rather than garlic.  I don't care for onions so I substitute garlic, then I also add a little ginger to balance out the garlic.  I also like to use fresh flat-leaf parsley.  I think it adds some color and elegance to the dish, but you can omit it.  This recipe is always a hit and its great any time of the year.


Sweet and Sour Meatballs:
Ingredients:
Makes 2 dozen meatballs
  • For the meatballs:
    • 1 lb of ground beef (works best if the meat isn't too lean)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
    • 2 cloves of garlic minced
    • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (may omit if desired)
    • 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs (or Panko bread crumbs)
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or ground ginger
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the Sauce:
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 can of pineapple chunks with the juice
    • 1/2 cup vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
    • 1 small green pepper coarsely chopped
Directions:
  • First, preheat your oven to 400 F and place all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl (its nice to let the meat sit out a little bit to warm up)

  • Mix well with your hands till all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.  I love seeing the speckle of parsley throughout!
  • Next, roll the meat into 1.5 inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  If you find the mixture is too sticky and is hard to form into balls, add some more breadcrumbs (1/4 cup at a time).  If you find the mixture is too dry, add a bit more milk (1 tablespoon at a time).  If you don't have parchment paper, spray a little cooking spray on the baking sheet first.
  • Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast for about 18-20 minutes, until thoroughly cooked
  • Now you are ready to make the sauce for the meatballs!  I do this two different ways, either on the stove or in a crock-pot.  If you are having a party, about an hour before the party, place the cooked meatballs and all the sauce ingredients (except for the pepper) in the crock-pot.  Turn the crock-pot on high and cover.  When there are about 20 minutes left, throw in the green pepper and stir.  Once the hour is up, you can turn your crock-pot back down to low and an hour or two after that, to "keep warm."
  • If cooking on the stove, place all the ingredients for the sauce (except for the peppers) and the meatballs in a large skillet.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  

  • Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover the skillet.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  • After the 10 minutes is up, toss in the green pepper, stir, and cover again.  Simmer for another 5 minutes and then remove the cover and turn off the heat.
  • I love to serve this over a bed of steamed white rice!  If you have a rice cooker, place it right next to the crock-pot for your party and allow guests to help themselves!

If you have any left over (which is very unlikely) put them in a Tupperware container and stick in the fridge.  They taste even better heated up the next day.  A perfect recipe for the domestically inept!

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