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eG Cook-Off 75: Meatballs


David Ross
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It's quite appropriate that the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show introduces the 75th Cook-Off in our series, eG Cook-Off 75: Meatballs.

 

From the cafes of Stockholm, to the street stalls of Hong Kong and dinner tables across America, we love meatballs.  Cooked in a thick, tangy sour cream sauce with lots of fresh dill, stewed in a spicy red sauce and served over spaghetti or my favorite, North African lamb merguez meatballs served with a cool cucumber raita sauce, meatballs span the global culinary map.

 

Now while we often associate meatballs with large farm animals like cattle, swine and sheep--poultry, wild game and even seafood can be crafted into delicious meatballs.  Elk meatballs served with huckleberry compote are a specialty of hunters throughout the wilds of Eastern Washington where I live.  We might go trendy today and make French meatballs from minced duck and squab meatballs studded with pistachios and doused with cognac.  So you see, meatballs open up our creativity and a hearty discussion in celebration of 75 delicious cook-offs.

 

See our complete Cook-Off Index here:

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143994-egullet-recipe-cook-off-index/

 

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The last couple of days I've been thinking of making something with ground meat.  Except for a batch of chili con carne, I haven't made anything wth ground meat for ages.  Hmm.  Time to put my thinking cap on.  Great topic!

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Thanks, David. Looking forward to this!  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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5 hours ago, David Ross said:

the Swedish Chef from Sesame Street

 

Actually, it was  The Muppet Show, FWIW. :)

 

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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6 hours ago, David Ross said:

Elk meatballs served with huckleberry compote are a specialty of hunters throughout the wilds of Eastern Washington where I live

 

A favorite of mine — Rådjursköttbullar (Swedish venison meatballs.)

I love 'em!!! 7cc7NmS.gif

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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It's interesting up here regarding elk meat.  I prefer wild elk meat, especially the loin.  Very sweet, deep red, lean and really only a hint of gaminess.  My favorite wild game meat.  Typically hunters will mix it with a bit of pork fat to just keep the meatballs moist.  I don't like to add any other type of ground meat to wild elk because it spoils the flavor of the elk. 

 

On the other hand, since the USDA doesn't allow the sale of wild game meat, any elk meat sold in our local butcher shops is farm-raised.  So we're in the land of many hunters harvesting wild elk, but we also have a growing trade in farm-raised elk.  I visited a butcher in North Idaho last week and he told me there are a number of elk farms in the area.  In addition to all types of sausages and smoked elk products, he's got ground elk meat so I'll head over these this week for the fixins for some meatballs.

 

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Our favorite meatball recipe has a very unsophisticated heritage.  Taco Meatballs Recipe by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone on About.com (except that I can't find the recipe online now).  And of course I have changed some of the ingredients, added some and left out others.  And I triple the recipe and make the meatballs very, very small.

 

What I like best about the recipe is that meatballs are not fried, but rather just baked in the oven on cookie sheets.  I loathe standing there for half of forever frying little things and turning them over and over.  That's the territory of the DH.  

The meatballs are frozen separated in the dog food freezer (coldest freezer), dumped into a big bag and into the people freezer for use (not as in the recipe).  

 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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15 hours ago, Beebs said:

Yum - meatballs!

 

I have a craving for my mom's lion's head meatballs.  Must remember to harass her for the recipe this week....

 

Timely topic!

 

You know that means now I will have to harrass you for that recipe too, right? ;)

 

Bring on the goodies, everyone, my tummy is ready!

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So far I'm planning on doing my favorite meatballs ala Italian-American style combining ground beef, veal and pork.  They stay incredibly moist due to soaking white bread in milk and putting that in the mix.  Then probably something with ground lamb and an attempt at fish balls in some sort of fragrant broth.

 

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I have some ground turkey that was destined to become burgers, but in light of this topic I'm leaning toward making meatballs with it instead.  What would be a good seasoning combination? One idea is a bit of olive oil, ginger, citrus (orange peel? lime?), cumin, and...what else?...in the meatballs.  Then serve them over rice, with some sort of sauce.  Ideas welcome!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I make these Thai Turkey Burgers that may or may not interest you.  I used this to make burgers but I see no reason why they can't be meatballs.
 
 
Thai Turkey Burgers
 
1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
3 green onions, minced
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh coriander, chopped
2 Thai bird chilis, seeded and finely chopped
1 lime, zest only
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 lb lean ground turkey
 
Mix the turkey and the other ingredients together by hand until they are well combined.
 
Portion into approximately 4 oz. "patties" And put them in  the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes for them to firm up a bit.
Take out of the fridge and shape into four equal sized burger patties.
 
Top with the following salad
 
A mixture of julienned vegetables.  I use carrots, jimica, red sweet pepper, cucumber, chopped red onions, chopped pickled ginger.   Mix 3 parts unseasoned rice vinegar to one part sugar until dissolved.  Add to veggies, stir to mix well and let sit while you cook the burgers.  
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We had spicy turkey meatballs for dinner last night.  It is basically the Ina Garten spicy turkey meatball recipe you can find online except that I omit the pork sausage and prosciutto in favor of garlic chicken sausage, and I use really stinky aged provolone instead of the called for asiago. Oh, and I add more red pepper flakes than the recipe calls for.  It's become my go-to meatball recipe when I want meatballs with red sauce.

 

meatballs.thumb.jpg.f445516f1209a0d8fa4ce94d663e03e2.jpg

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On ‎2‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 11:41 AM, Darienne said:

dog food freezer

???

You have a separate freezer for your dogs' food?

 

I buy my dogs' food online from Darwin's and it comes frozen in dry ice.

I get about 11 weeks' worth at a time and store it in the big upright in the garage.

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Lindag, we have four freezers.  Two are fridge freezers...we have a second second-hand fridge from when one of our children returned home for a couple of years many years ago...and two big chest freezers.  Our cellar freezer just wouldn't hold both our food and the dogs', so we bought a second second-hand freezer.  We have 2-100pound beasts and one month of food takes up a lot of room.   Plus the dogs' freezer holds the ice cream and the apple cider from each fall's harvest.   More than anyone wanted to know. :P

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Meatballs are loved all over the world. Every country has at least 1 kind. These are kebab spiced but I don't think it's Turkish at all (because I don't follow recipes).

Let us see what you can come up with.

 

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With Turkish red pepper paste

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With Turkish "isot" pepper (smoked).

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This topic reminds me of the liver dumplings I made which I floated in chicken stock in order to introduce my children to eating liver. They loved them. It was only in later years they found out that these dumplings were a vehicle for delivering liver to their stomachs. I had forgotten all about them. Think I will revive the method (will have to make up a recipe as I can't remember the original one but it was not complicated at all)  and introduce my grandchild to liver the same way.

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"Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi."

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh

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It's an old church potluck special, but turkey meatballs with finely minced pineapple, in a sweet-and-sour sauce with lots of soy sauce and some sesame oil. Over rice.

 

On 2/23/2017 at 9:39 AM, Darienne said:

Lindag, we have four freezers.  Two are fridge freezers...we have a second second-hand fridge from when one of our children returned home for a couple of years many years ago...and two big chest freezers.  Our cellar freezer just wouldn't hold both our food and the dogs', so we bought a second second-hand freezer.  We have 2-100pound beasts and one month of food takes up a lot of room.   Plus the dogs' freezer holds the ice cream and the apple cider from each fall's harvest.   More than anyone wanted to know. :P

 

What kind of dogs?

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I thought I took a picture but it didn't turn out.  A tray of tiny meatballs destined for a Thai style pork meat balls and watercress soup.  1 lb of minced pork mixed with 20 black peppercorns, a clove of garlic and a couple of sprigs of coriander pounded together before mixing.  These are poached in chicken stock flavoured with some fish sauce for two minutes then a bunch of watercress is added for another 3 minutes of simmering.  Served with chopped green onion.  Delicious and simple.

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