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David Ross

eG Cook-Off 75: Meatballs

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9 minutes ago, Darienne said:

OMG, my Father used to sing that song to me when I was a little girl.  :x

Well that cleared that up. I did not know it was a song. I just guessed that Jo had been dancing with the green fairy again. :D:D

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

My dad also entertained us with the one meatball song every time we had spaghetti and one of us requested one meatball - which we always did, just to hear the song xD!

Great!   I am working hard on my contribution to this cook off. I am using dried fenugreek leaves and I swear they are just catnip for two legged folk.  If ever a smell was intoxicating this is it!   No green Fairy for me -- I'm high on kasoori methi. 

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image.jpeg.37d1f229a07fba41b0ef51052cc04498.jpeg

 

 So here we are – – stage one, the meatballs.  These are methi ke kofte from @Monica Bhide's book, The Everything Indian Cookbook.  I know the recipe works because I tested almost every recipe in the book! However, I changed it ever so slightly by adding a bit of a panade (panko soaked in water) to keep them tender.  I baked them at 400° F rather than 500 to buy some time if I got distracted (this NEVER happens). Next up the sauce  which may or may not happen today.  Although the meatballs are in danger of disappearing like candy unless I store them while I decide. :D:D

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18 hours ago, heidih said:

I have a fondness for very springy chewy fish balls. Hoping someone will contribute as I have only ever purchased them

I'm doing my traditional meatballs today, but I'm working on my next recipe.  I'm planning on doing prawn balls, and I'm thinking lemongrass, ginger and garlic for the mixture.  Maybe some fish sauce and a bit of soy.  Any other Asian herbs or spices I might want to include?

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David - white pepper  I usually flavor the broth or dipping sauce with the aromatics cuz store-bought are more about texture

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

image.jpeg.37d1f229a07fba41b0ef51052cc04498.jpeg

 

 So here we are – – stage one, the meatballs.  These are methi ke kofte from @Monica Bhide's book, The Everything Indian Cookbook.  I know the recipe works because I tested almost every recipe in the book! However, I changed it ever so slightly by adding a bit of a panade (panko soaked in water) to keep them tender.  I baked them at 400° F rather than 500 to buy some time if I got distracted (this NEVER happens). Next up the sauce  which may or may not happen today.  Although the meatballs are in danger of disappearing like candy unless I store them while I decide. :D:D

image.jpeg.e88e7f4b82dd42b5542a80ccf28ee5b2.jpeg

 

 And the finished dish, Kofta curry. So good.  Thank you @David Ross.   Without this cook off I might never have made these again. Now I hope they will remain in my rotation. I am going to freeze some in their sauce for fast meals on those days when fast food is the answer.  The sauce is a fairly simple gravy of onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, yoghurt and spices.  

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That looks really good, @Anna N.  Now I have to go rummage around for the recipe I got from a friend for lotus root kofta with Kashmiri masala.  Mmmmmm - most delicious vegetarian meatballs ever!

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2 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

That looks really good, @Anna N.  Now I have to go rummage around for the recipe I got from a friend for lotus root kofta with Kashmiri masala.  Mmmmmm - most delicious vegetarian meatballs ever!

If you find it I do hope you will share. :)

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Here is my contribution, courtesy of Serious Eats, Slow Cooker Sticky Thai Meatballs.  I made a paste of lemongrass, shallots, garlic, jalapeños, fresh ginger and fish sauce.  Half of this was sauted for a few minutes and then I added Thai Chili Sauce (not the super sweet stuff), brown sugar, soy sauce and rice vinegar.  That got cooked for a minute then added some water.  This was left to simmer until it reduced by half.  This sauce was moved to the slow cooker and cooked for a further 8 hours.  At that point, chicken meatballs were added and cooked in the sauce for about a half hour.  The chicken meatballs were made by combining ground chicken, the other half of the paste, panko, an egg and some sliced green onion.

 

The meatballs were served on top of plain white rice and topped with a mixture of chopped cilantro, chopped unsalted peanuts, sliced green onions and fresh lime juice.  Very good.

image.jpeg

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4 hours ago, ElsieD said:

Here is my contribution, courtesy of Serious Eats, Slow Cooker Sticky Thai Meatballs.  I made a paste of lemongrass, shallots, garlic, jalapeños, fresh ginger and fish sauce.  Half of this was sauted for a few minutes and then I added Thai Chili Sauce (not the super sweet stuff), brown sugar, soy sauce and rice vinegar.  That got cooked for a minute then added some water.  This was left to simmer until it reduced by half.  This sauce was moved to the slow cooker and cooked for a further 8 hours.  At that point, chicken meatballs were added and cooked in the sauce for about a half hour.  The chicken meatballs were made by combining ground chicken, the other half of the paste, panko, an egg and some sliced green onion.

 

The meatballs were served on top of plain white rice and topped with a mixture of chopped cilantro, chopped unsalted peanuts, sliced green onions and fresh lime juice.  Very good.

image.jpeg

 

That sounds awesome! I've got to try it.

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My go-to meatball recipe with tomato sauce.  I use a mixture of ground beef, veal and pork.  Although this time I couldn't find ground veal so I used ground lamb and it was delicious.  I like using the mixture of three meats for a different flavor from just beef.  And I use a traditional technique of adding white bread soaked in milk for a binder, which makes the meatballs incredibly soft. 

 

The tomato sauce is my modification of a Batali recipe and is best if you take two days to make it--the tomato sauce on day one to let the flavors develop.  Then day two you fry some garlic in olive oil, add red chile flakes, white wine and then the tomato sauce.

 

I thought that I would try something different than spaghetti this time, so I made some "corn meal mush."  I say that tongue in cheek because today we would say "polenta," but I use yellow cornmeal in a box from Albers Mills and the recipe on the back is for corn meal mush.  They've been in business for decades and it's still my favorite recipe.  It's just cornmeal and water with a little salt, but I substitute chicken stock for the water. I spread the hot polenta in a glass baking dish, chilled it, then cut it in rounds and sautéed in butter to use as the base for the meatballs.  I actually think I like these little fried polenta cakes almost as much as pasta.

 

Tomato Sauce-

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

3 cups canned San Marzano tomatoes

3 tbsp. tomato paste

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup chopped fresh oregano

1 tbsp. sugar

Salt and pepper

Saute the onions in the olive oil, then add the other ingredients and cook over medium-low heat for about one hour.  Then blend the sauce in a food processor, pour into a container, cover and refrigerate overnight.

3 tbsp. olive oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. dried red chile flakes

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 cups of the tomato sauce

Saute the garlic and the chile flakes in olive oil, then add the wine. Let the wine reduce a bit, then add the tomato sauce. At this point I turn the heat to low, partially cover the sauce with a lid and let the sauce cook until I'm ready to put the meatballs in.

 

Meatballs-

2/3 cup milk

3 slices white bread, crust cut off

 

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

 

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. ground veal

1/2 lb. ground pork

1/2 cup ricotta

1/4 cup grated parmesan

2 eggs

2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley

1 tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram

2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

salt and black pepper

 

Olive oil

 

Soak the bread in the milk.  Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil just until the onion is tender, about 2 minutes.  In a large bowl, combine the soaked bread, onions and garlic and all the other ingredients and mix really well.  Form into meatballs and saute in olive oil until the meatballs are browned.  Turn the meatballs into the tomato sauce, and cook until the meatballs are done, about 20 minutes.  I served the meatballs on fried "polenta" and then garnished with some of the tomato sauce and grated parmesan.

 

IMG_1752.JPG

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All ask my question here  :

 

traditional Meat Loaf Mix has  ground Beef , Ground Pork , and Ground Veal in it

 

note the mix above from

 

@David Ross

 

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. ground veal

1/2 lb. ground pork

 

these days, I see very little veal in the supermarket , even the better ones w full butchers

 

that may be a PC issue or not.

 

in the past veal was side by side w beef and pork.

 

there fore there was ground up veal for the meaty bits cut off by that local butcher

 

what ive never understood , and this is my question , PC aside , and needing to sell the meat you have to sell before it spoils

 

a significant factor Id say 

 

the question is   now days being now :

 

adding veal to a mix as above would easily overwhelm the delicate taste of Veal.

 

so is veal in the Meat Loaf Mix  simply a historical Rx ?

 

Id have to go out of my way to find ground veal and it would be pricey and I doubt of top quality.

 

 

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Our local Safeway stores usually have ground veal and another store usually has it frozen but neither store had it this past week.  I actually think I prefer the mix with lamb.  And I also use the meatball recipe to make meat loaf, also delicious.

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On 2/22/2017 at 5:20 PM, ElsieD said:
 
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.  

 

Thank you, ElsieD! I took the burger recipe above and made it into meatballs, with a couple of adjustments: no lemongrass here, and no Thai bird chilis.  I used Mexican lime for the zest, and added a small amount of juice in an attempt to replace the lemongrass.  I used Aleppo pepper in place of the chilis.  The stuff was very sticky, but I got the meatballs made and set them to chill.

 

20170226_192230.jpg

 

I didn't have most of the ingredients you listed for the salad, and wanted something more along the lines of a stir fry to cook these little devils.  I sliced/chopped eggplant, red bell pepper, green onion, and the stems and leaves of Swiss chard (don't tell my darling) and some fresh tomato, along with the aromatics of garlic and chopped ginger.  I browned the meatballs in vegetable oil, then removed them from the pan while the rest of the items went in: first the eggplant, then the peppers and chard stems, then the onions and chard leaves.  The aromatics went in, the meatballs were returned to the pan, and a stir fry sauce (soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, a touch of sugar, and a touch of cornstarch) went in to simmer and thicken for a few minutes. The sauce was too thick, and there wasn't enough, so water was added as needed. Chopped cashews were added for some crunch.

 

20170226_202716.jpg

 

 Meanwhile, rice was cooking.  (Jasmine would have been nice, but I only had basmati.)  

 

Dinner was served. The cilantro garnish was optional, and we both opted for a lot of it.

 

20170226_203031.jpg

 

We thought this was delicious.  The meatballs were slightly overcooked, I think: they could have done with less time in the final simmer, but I'd make this again.  He'd eat it again.  

 

20170226_232510.jpg

 

 


Edited by Smithy Added the cashews I'd omitted from list. (log)
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IMG_0522.thumb.JPG.e573e15c1c7b1b5880f909cd9871c55e.JPG

 

Lion's Head Meatballs.  

 

Not quite mom's recipe, as she was out of town and the meat had to be balled, so it was as best as I could remember it.  1.5 lbs of medium ground pork made 4 big meatballs, about the size of my 2 fists together.  Added about half block of medium firm tofu, mashed up, for softness; minced water chestnuts, green onion, ginger, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, shaoxing wine, cornstarch; 2 eggs.  This is the light soupy kind (vs the thicker, dark sauce version) - chicken broth, soy, ginger.  Napa cabbage & mung bean vermicelli (glass noodles).

 

While tasty, they didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped.  The meatballs were unwieldy, difficult to brown because they were so big and soft, they didn't hold their shape and started to fall apart a bit around the edges.  The brand of vermicelli I used was rubbish - much too soft, fell apart - and soaked up all the delicious soup besides!. >:(  Will need to try a different brand next time - tossing out the rest of this package.

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Thanks for this.  I'm a rookie when it comes to Lion's Head Meatballs, but it's on my list for this cook-off.  Thanks for the details.

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Well, I've got the dipping sauce finished, and I think I've got the prawn meatball mix about right.  I'll be finishing my next dish tomorrow, Deep-fried prawn balls with a Spicy Thai Green Curry dipping sauce.  Never made prawn or shrimp balls before, only shrimp toast so this was a new experience.  I drew off some of my Chinese cookbooks, and surprisingly, one published in the 70's had the best recipe to start with.  I've been making this Thai Green Curry for about 5 years now, and have used it with grilled or stir-fried prawns.  Although it got way above my personal heat taste index, I think it will be delicious.  Stay tuned for photos tomorrow! 

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When I was a kid, there was a very Middle America dish that involved sweet and sour meatballs made with pineapple, pineapple juice and soy sauce. Usually it was served from a crockpot, with toothpicks, at a buffet.

 

I wanted to start from that premise. I think the meatballs I recalled were beef, but I wanted to try ground turkey. I drained a can of crushed pineapple, reserving the juice, and made a panade of white sandwich bread and milk. About half the can of pineapple, the panade, an egg, some onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and seasoned salt went into the meatballs, which I shaped and then stuck in the freezer briefly to firm up.

 

For the sauce, I started with a diced onion, sauteeing in the Instant Pot. Added garlic confit. Added a pound and a half of quartered button and cremini mushrooms. Once those began to give up their water, I added a cup of white wine. Let that simmer about 10 minutes, then added the pineapple juice, a copious quantity of Worcestershire sauce, a and a pint of chicken broth. I was purposefully staying away from an Asian profile, so no ginger or lemongrass, but I did break down and add a glug of sweet chili sauce.

 

Once that came to a boil, I fetched the meatballs out of the freezer and put them in the liquid to poach. I let it come back up to a boil, then switched the IP over to slow cook on the "more" setting, and let them cook for two hours. About an hour into the cook, I took some of the broth, stirred in a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch, and added in the remaining crushed pineapple.

 

This was pretty good. I served it over wide egg noodles, but next time, I'll put it over mashed potatoes or grits instead of noodles, and I might add just a touch of paprika.  It's not overtly sweet, and there is no identifiable pineapple taste. The sauce needed to be thicker; I fished out the leftover meatballs and reduced the sauce before I put the leftovers away, and I think that'll improve things. Would be worth trying with ground pork, too.

 

All in all, not a huge success but not bad.

 

meatballs.jpg.31e845d4650af26945d6581ce04c72b3.jpg

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Wouldn't you know that right when I wanted to take the photos last night of the prawn balls hot out of the deep-fryer, the camera battery went dead.  So photos tonight, but the dish turned out well.

 

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I crafted my version of a Thai green curry a few years back and I normally use it in a dish with grilled whole body prawns.  But I wanted to venture beyond my Italian-American meatballs and try Asian style prawn balls.  I used a recipe from one of my older Chinese cookbooks, but added some additional ingredients. I minced the prawn meat in the food processor, but only a few pulses because I didn't want to mush it into a paste.  I like deep-fried foods really crunchy, so I rolled the prawn balls in panko and deep-fried in canola oil at 350.  I don't think my family and friends would like them--the texture, the unfamiliar flavors, the thought of ground prawn meat.  Probably not for them but I think you all would enjoy this dish.

 

Funny, but the Thai green curry recipe started a few years back with just using the recipe on the back of the little jar of Thai green curry paste you can buy in all the supermarkets.  Then I add all sorts of additional things, notably some hot yellow Thai curry paste, pickled Thai bird chiles, and lots of cilantro, Thai basil and mint.  This time it was way too spicy hot for my tastes, but I'm sure many would like it.  The garnishes are red pepper threads that I buy at a local Korean grocery store, chopped peanuts and cilantro and lime wedge.

 

Prawn Balls-

1 1/2 lbs. shelled prawns

1/2 tsp. fish sauce

1/2 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. minced lime zest

2 tsp. minced ginger

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. chopped green onion

1 tsp. Chinese rice wine

1 tsp. minced pickled Thai bird chilies

1 beaten egg white

2 tsp. cornstarch

Dash white pepper and salt

 

Panko breadcrumbs

Canola Oil

 

Pulse the prawns in a food processor, then add the additional ingredients and pulse just to combine.  Refrigerate the prawn ball mixture to chill it, about 4 hours.

 

Heat canola oil in a deep-fryer or deep pot to 350.  Form the prawn mixture into meatball shapes and press in panko breadcrumbs.  Deep-fry the prawn balls for about 4 minutes until golden brown.  I used bamboo skewers for the prawn balls.

 

Thai Green Curry Sauce-

1 tbsp. canola oil

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. minced ginger

1 can coconut milk

3 tbsp. Thai green curry paste

3 tbsp. Thai yellow curry paste

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tsp. minced pickled Thai bird chilies

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 tsp. minced lime zest

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1/3 cup chopped Thai basil

1/3 cup chopped mint

 

Chopped dry roasted peanuts

Red pepper threads

Lime wedges

Cilantro

 

Heat the oil in a large saute pan and add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the coconut milk, green and yellow curry paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, chilies, lime juice and lime zest and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until all the ingredients are combined and sauce is bubbling.  Stir in the cilantro, basil and mint.  The sauce can be refrigerated and used the next day.  I served the sauce cold with the hot, deep-fried prawn balls, garnished with peanuts, red pepper threads, lime and cilantro.

 

I also use this sauce as the base for seafood stews and with grilled prawns.

 

IMG_1764.JPGIMG_1768.JPGIMG_1769.JPGIMG_1773.JPG

 

 

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Those look amazing, David.  I definitely would love them.

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Thanks.  Pretty fiery hot but the flavors and textures are fantastic.  It would surprise a lot of folks up here in Spokane to see something like this on a restaurant menu.  We have a few Thai restaurants, but I don't think they are this adventurous.  Although there are a lot of ingredients, it's a pretty cheap dish and easy to prepare, just takes time.  I did the sauce a day in advance, and made the prawn mixture in the morning and kept it refrigerated until frying.

 

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