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David Ross

eG Cook-Off 75: Meatballs

102 posts in this topic

22 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

... then, I promise, I'll quit.  ...

 

That's not a promise; that's a threat.  Please keep going!  I'm especially entranced with the curry meatballs above, and have put them on my must-try list.  The purpose of this topic is to provide folks with new ideas, and you're doing an outstanding job. 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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 love seeing all these different meatballs!  I'll play by adding a version I posted the other day over in another thread.  Apologies for the repetition if you've already seen them.  

I was following a recipe that included grilled lamb kebabs but I couldn't find any small packages of suitable lamb, and I don't have a grill anyway so I bought a pound of ground lamb and made meatballs instead.  I adapted this recipe, which appears in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, to include the marinade seasonings (coriander, fresh oregano, rosemary, lemon zest) from the kebab recipe.  

I baked little meatballs to skewer, making them somewhat uneven to get some crispy kebab-like edges:

IMG_4530.thumb.jpg.2c1085b4d2ced94b6b0f3aaaf8a31a5a.jpg

 

And froze the rest as slightly bigger slider-sized balls:

IMG_4543.thumb.jpg.bb1b3afd7c386b7b365febea86287d39.jpg

They cook up nicely, direct from the freezer, in only a couple of minutes longer than the originals.

 

From seeing all the posts in this thread, I should really make more meatballs!

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19 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

I love seeing all these different meatballs!  I'll play by adding a version I posted the other day over in another thread.  Apologies for the repetition if you've already seen them.  

I was following a recipe that included grilled lamb kebabs but I couldn't find any small packages of suitable lamb, and I don't have a grill anyway so I bought a pound of ground lamb and made meatballs instead.  I adapted this recipe, which appears in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, to include the marinade seasonings (coriander, fresh oregano, rosemary, lemon zest) from the kebab recipe.  

I baked little meatballs to skewer, making them somewhat uneven to get some crispy kebab-like edges:

IMG_4530.thumb.jpg.2c1085b4d2ced94b6b0f3aaaf8a31a5a.jpg

 

And froze the rest as slightly bigger slider-sized balls:

IMG_4543.thumb.jpg.bb1b3afd7c386b7b365febea86287d39.jpg

They cook up nicely, direct from the freezer, in only a couple of minutes longer than the originals.

 

From seeing all the posts in this thread, I should really make more meatballs!

Wow that looks delicious. What is the bright red-purple condiment?  I'm putting together my shopping list for my lamb merguez meatballs.  I've made them for years as a filling for tacos, sort of a North African-Mexican dish I suppose.  I'm turning the recipe into meatballs and will probably stuff them inside some type of bread.  I like pita bread, but I prefer naan bread so I might see if I can grill the naan and then cut a slit into it for stuffing in the meatballs.   I think I'll probably make cucumber raita as a condiment. And by the way your greek salad also looks delicious. 

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Thank you!  The almost fluorescent :shock: condiment is beet tzatziki.  It tasted fine - roasted, chopped beets mixed with yogurt, parsley, mint, dill, garlic, lemon zest and juice but the color is rather over the top, isn't it? 

I love the idea of lamb merguez meatballs as a taco filling.  As much of a cultural bend as me getting that tzatziki recipe from a cookbook (Deep Run Roots) by a chef known for showcasing the cuisine of Eastern North Carolina :D

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4 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

I love the idea of lamb merguez meatballs as a taco filling.  As much of a cultural bend as me getting that tzatziki recipe from a cookbook (Deep Run Roots) by a chef known for showcasing the cuisine of Eastern North Carolina :D

Onetime eGulleter Farid Zadi is doing North African/Mexican fusion in and around LA, and earning much attention and praise thereby. 

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Fat=flavor

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I've been enjoying the cookbook Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & The Caucasusir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=190948742, and my copy is bristling with bookmarks for recipes to try.  This topic has spurred me to stop bookmarking and start cooking!  There are several recipes for meatballs in it. I chose to begin with "Spicy Meatballs with Adjika and Yogurt". (Those of you still in winter's grip take note: this recipe is in the chapter titled "Warming Food for Long Winters".)

 

Adjika is supposed to be a "spicy and fragrant pepper paste from Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia".  Mine came out more like a sauce than a paste, probably because of substitutions due to a shortage of ingredients: this dish calls for 4 red chilis, which I'd forgotten to buy. Instead I used a combination of half a jalapeño, some red pepper flakes and Aleppo pepper.  The heat was right for us, but the texture may not have been chunky enough.  Even if it isn't quite as the authors intended we liked this condiment very much. I expect to make it more often.  The other ingredients are tomatoes, garlic, celery, cilantro, basil, dill, mixed with a small amount of oil and vinegar, then balanced with sugar and salt.  Here it is, after I'd finished processing it:

20170308_161619.jpg

 

The meatballs have an interesting mix of meats and seasonings: ground pork and beef, onion, garlic, barberries, sumac, ground coriander, ground pepper - where they used cayenne I used Aleppo - and salt, bound with a paste made from bread and milk. (I loved finding a recipe that uses barberries!) Shape them, let them rest, then fry.20170311_073025.jpg

 

Serve with the adjika and, if desired, yogurt. 

 

20170311_073341.jpg

 

My photography and presentation skills leave a lot to be desired here, but believe me when I say this is well worth cooking and eating.  

 

We discovered that the meatballs and adjika also went well atop the salad shown above, and that constituted dinner the next night: 

 

20170311_073933.jpg

 

I think these would also go well as a pita filling with greens, the adjika and yogurt. They might cook well over an open fire instead of being fried.  I intend to try it.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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This is my final meatball.  It is a recipe I got from The Washington Post called Sesame Noodles and Asian Meatballs.  Into a food processor go the sauce ingredients:. Water, green onions, hoisin sauce, lemon juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot sauce (it called for 1 teaspoon, I used a tablespoon of sambal oelek), natural peanut butter and a bit of salt.  Process til smooth.

 

Next up are the meatballs:. Into a bowl goes minced green onions, 1 egg, Napa cabbage, cilantro (or basil, or mint), soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and salt.  Mix this up and add ground pork.  Mix and shape into meatballs.

 

Meatballs are browned, sauce is thinned with 1 cup chicken broth, and tossed with cooked linguini noodles.  Serve up and garnish with cilantro.

 

This was very good.  For the two of us, it made two meals.

 

@David Ross  Thanks for starting this thread.  I have probably made more meatballs in the last few weeks than I have the last ten years.  I've enjoyed it.

 

 

image.jpeg

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More ideas for you.

 

National dish of Turkey.

I9dj2kg.jpg

 

With buckwheat "risotto". Cheeses are Pecorino and Comté .

Yxo10ZZ.jpg

 

Loosely based on Moroccan " Kefta Mkaouar"

QIQuU2z.jpg

 

Vietnamese-esq

PLquOHZ.jpg

 

With homemade kimchi

yLTwZmt.jpg

 

German meatball with a creamy and lemony sauce. Name in German is Königsberger Klopse (meatballs in the style of Königsberg). Königsberg was a German city, now it's part of Poland.

31GZbDG.jpg

 

German-esq meatballs again. Known under several different names throughout Germany. Most often served with potato salad. I like it with Sauerkraut.

KGOB5lf.jpg

 

Most popular ways to eat meatballs in Netherlands: in a roll and with mashed potatoes.

xjBSXqx.jpg

 

Drizzle some gravy on the meat when ready to eat.

kXFbqkk.jpg

 

Gravy made in the same pan with Bovril and a big blob of Indonesian soy sauce. So good.

oTwEI4E.jpg

 

With warm Sauerkraut and grated horseradish.

 

YzNv0iF.jpg

 

That's all for now.

 

Btw, someone mentioned "springy", "bouncy" meatballs. It can be achieved but with some work. The meat must be mashed to a mushy consistency (almost like toothpaste). This is strenuous work. Alkaline water (aka lye water) is added to the mince. Please do some light reading on using alkaline water in food first.

 

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Am I the only one who uses the meatballer?

 

dcarch

 

58c5f557cdfbc_Meatballaspargus2.thumb.JPG.f101dd8df48b86fbd23ca46a4c5d1fe5.JPG58c5f559d2653_meatballaspargus.JPG.9147fd48904ec6ae3ccbde9c3206a1ec.JPG

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4 hours ago, dcarch said:

Am I the only one who uses the meatballer?

 

dcarch

 

58c5f557cdfbc_Meatballaspargus2.thumb.JPG.f101dd8df48b86fbd23ca46a4c5d1fe5.JPG58c5f559d2653_meatballaspargus.JPG.9147fd48904ec6ae3ccbde9c3206a1ec.JPG

 

Got a more detailed description?  My meatballers are my hands.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

Got a more detailed description?  My meatballers are my hands.

This one:

Norpro 155 Stainless Steel Mini Meatballerir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B004W84DT

 

For perfect meatballs, and no raw meat under your fingernails.

dcarch

58c69f4f32aa0_meatballround4.thumb.jpg.6ee4ec3316c90b456468a95442de36a7.jpg


Edited by Smithy Adjusted link to be Amazon-friendly (log)
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Funny you should post about the meatballer.  I was just thinking the other day how my meatballs are more 'rustic' than round.  I don't mind, but I'd love to have a tool like this when the more 'round' meatball shape strikes me.

 

I'm finishing up the harissa sauce this morning to blend into my lamb merguez meatballs.  I'll serve it with lettuce and cucumber raita, still haven't decided on pita bread or naan.

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12 hours ago, dcarch said:

Am I the only one who uses the meatballer?

 

 

I had one, but only used it twice. It was almost impossible to extricate the meatballs from the meatballer, which I felt rather defeated the purpose. I literally threw it out the window, and went back to using a disher. It's fast and yields uniform meatballs, albeit with one flat side. 

 

Yours is probably better designed/made, or we wouldn't be having this discussion. :P


Fat=flavor

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A couple of meatball recipes I read specified shaping gently by hand rather than using a mold to avoid overly compressing the meat.  I'm unlikely to perform side-by-side tests so I have no evidence to back that up.

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3 hours ago, David Ross said:

Funny you should post about the meatballer.  I was just thinking the other day how my meatballs are more 'rustic' than round.  I don't mind, but I'd love to have a tool like this when the more 'round' meatball shape strikes me.

 

 

The meatballer can do a few things better, such as the picture above shows inserting cheese in the middle. I have done meatballs that were 1/2 black and 1/2 white. The hole on the meatballer can also allow the insertion of asparagus, fro instance.

 

3 hours ago, chromedome said:

It was almost impossible to extricate the meatballs from the meatballer,

No problem for me. Just brush some vegetable oil inside the meatballer.

 

3 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

A couple of meatball recipes I read specified shaping gently by hand rather than using a mold to avoid overly compressing the meat.

Assuming the meat is solid and has no air bubbles, based on the law of physics, it is impossible to compress solids.

 

dcarch

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The Lamb Merguez Meatballs turned out to be delicious, but this photo doesn't do the dish justice.  My tastes are typically on the mild side, but this batch could have used some more heat from the harissa and a few more chipotle chilies thrown into the mix.  I was impatient at the store and couldn't find pita bread, so went with this flatbread I found.  The lettuce was fine, but I also think thinly sliced cabbage with a quick pickle or vinaigrette might work better.  It's eaten like a wrap, or imagine stuffed into a pita.  So the meatballs are very good, but my presentation this time was meh.  Here's the recipes:

 

Cucumber Raita-

2 cups yogurt, (I used plain yogurt as I haven't acquired a taste for Greek yogurt)

1/2 a bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. cumin seed

Juice of one lemon

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

2 tbsp. each chopped mint and basil

Salt and black pepper

Mix everything together and chill.

 

Harissa-

8-10 dried red chilies, seeds removed (I buy them at the Mexican grocery store and just use whatever I have on hand)

3 cloves garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. caraway seeds

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

Salt and black pepper

Reconstitute the dried chilies in boiling water and let sit for about 30 minutes.  In a blender, combine the drained chilies, garlic, olive oil and spices and blend to make a paste.  (I add some of the chili water to thin the harissa).

 

Lamb Merguez Meatballs-

1 1/4 tsp. fennel seeds

1 pound ground lamb

1/2 pound ground pork

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. harissa

1 chipotle pepper in vinegar sauce

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander

2 tbsp. chopped mint

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

2 tbsp. chopped basil

2 tsp. lemon zest

Salt and black pepper

Olive oil

 

Mix together the lamb, pork and all of the spices and seasonings.  Form into meatballs.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet and brown the meatballs, then into a 375 oven for about 25 minutes to finish.

IMG_1792.JPG

 

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Well, after my depression over the sloppy presentation, (although the flavors were delicious), of the lamb merguez meatballs, I found success with a Japanese-style meatball.  In the past year I got hooked on "Dining with the Chef" produced by NHK of Japan.  It runs on one of our local PBS Stations and there are countless videos on YouTube.  Their website provides lots of recipes with photo instructions.  So the morning after the lamb merguez meatballs, I was sulking and then an episode of Dining with the Chef came on and wouldn't you know, they were preparing fried pork meatballs with vegetable tempura.

 

The meatballs are very soft and delicate and so you have to go softly when rolling them in cornstarch and deep-frying.  But they are very tender to the bit and have subtle flavors.  I served a small dipping bowl of soy sauce, but it's not needed and too salty.  Next time I'll just serve the meatballs with a wedge of fresh lemon like they do in the recipe.  I don't think I've ever made tempura, which I know takes a lot of practice to get right.  But using a boxed tempura flour and following the lead of Dining with the Chef, the tempura came out very good and I liked the sweet flavors of the asparagus and yellow zucchini with the meatballs.  Definitely a meatball to add to your recipe collection.

 

IMG_1807.JPG

 

IMG_1803.JPG

 

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 I bought some ground beef and ground pork yesterday with a view to impressing all of you with something never before seen. This morning reality kicked in. Thank goodness.   Overnight my neurons had drifted back into their usual grooves and I knew that I would be making frikadellar or Danish meatballs.   I have been making these for 30 or more years and I still find them, for my taste, the best.  I originally got the recipe from a small book of Danish recipes that I bought in Denmark. It was one of only two recipe books I could find in English.  I still have both those books.   This recipe is called, Mrs. Nimer's Meatballs. 

 

image.jpeg.d25ffe7a34dde633ac3444b89e244401.jpeg

 First you combine the two meats, the finely chopped onion and salt together in a bowl.   You knead this mixture with your hands until it becomes a bit sticky and quite cohesive. You then cover it and bung it into the refrigerator for at least an hour.

After that you add all the other ingredients and hand the bowl and a wooden spoon to your mate to beat for five minutes. My mate is no longer with me so I resort to the stand mixer:

 

image.jpeg.e4f7b1f685a5cf7b9f9d8b0320493b4b.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.5295b6c5f9c6f4cce93a11c7eca87481.jpeg

 

There is a level of judgement needed regarding the amount of liquid.  They should just barely be able to hold their shape. I always make one test ball at this stage.  If I am satisfied that the consistency and the seasoning are where I want them to be, the bowl is covered and goes back into the refrigerator for another rest of an hour or two.

 

After this I heat some butter in a couple of frying pans until it just turns brown and then quickly form the mixture into ovals. They go into the pans and are left alone until they form a nice crust on one side.  They are then flipped and cooked until done.

 

image.jpeg.f162622094ae4c761a7560d65dd1727d.jpegimage.jpeg.3efb936b85c121ca392de6ce89377fcb.jpegimage.jpeg.050a59160de8a8b244143891d4be483d.jpeg

 

I used to make them much larger and one or two would make a meal  for me and my husband. This time I made them quite small so that I can share them with family members. They are going directly into the freezer.   Because the seasoning is so simple they lend themselves to many applications. My favourite will always be sliced cold on an open faced sandwich with some Danish cucumber salad. 

 

  

image.jpeg

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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

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There's a real learning curve here for me. I found the sweet tamarind first because it was the only one they had in the store. After doing some reading, I realized it was the wrong type of tamarind. But it is very good on its own. You can definitely taste the sourness, but it's also sweet and very pleasant. I found the sour tamarind today, but haven't opened it yet. I have been unable to find the blocks of tamarind already shelled and compressed together. I'm looking forward to making the meatballs, but I'm particularly looking forward to working with the tamarind. 

Sweet Tamarind.jpg

Sour tamarind.jpg

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Excellent.  Have fun with them!  Anything is better than prepared pastes from a far away land!

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This thread got me craving meatballs. Here's my Moroccan style ones in a spicy sauce with chickpeas.

IMG_3354.thumb.JPG.7240a7352cb6a40bff2391cb2683a58e.JPG

 

I loosely followed the recipe below, using fresh tomatoes instead of canned, and adding homemade harissa to the sauce. The texture of the meatballs was smooth, the flavours delicious !

http://www.goodfood.com.au/recipes/moroccan-meatballs-with-chickpeas-20111018-29wyu

 

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 Slowly but surely. The tamarind will soak overnight, and tomorrow I hope to make the tamarind concentrate. This is the bulk of the work. The meatballs are done.  They're just ground beef, pine nuts, and allspice - no eggs, no bread crumbs, etc. Soon it will all be put together. The tamarind is a trip! 

meatballs formed.jpg

meatballs2.jpg

tamarind soaking.jpg

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Well, I finally put the dish together. I always think stew-like photos look gross, this one included, but I figured I'd post it anyway. The recipe itself is quite simple, most of the time and energy goes into making the tamarind paste, which is what you see in the jar. This recipe uses only 1 tablespoon of the paste, and it does add a nice tart element to the dish. But between you and me, I think it would be just as nice with pomegranate molasses. It would have a different flavor profile, but I think it would go well with the cherries. I also added some freshly ground mahleb, because I knew I had some of those kernels somewhere. The only quibble I have with the recipe (and myself, for following along) is that once the sauce is put together it says to add the meatballs (which are already cooked) and cook for about an hour, until the sauce thickens. Even when I read it I thought it sounded wrong, but I did it anyway. The meatballs are overcooked. If I make it again, and I think I will, I'd cook the sauce until it thickens and then add the meatballs until they're warmed through. Also, the recipe does not call for any salt. Surprisingly enough, I didn't feel it was missing. It's nice on rice, but I think it would be really nice on extra-wide egg noodles. That may not follow along thematically, but I think it would be good that way. Thanks for the thread, and for giving me the oomph to do this. I learned a lot.

Syrian meatballs and cherries.jpg

20170326_173827.jpg

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Just plain simple spaghetti and smoked pork meatballs.

dcarch

58d9177750f35_Spaghettiblackgarlicmeatballs2.thumb.jpg.1f3f2e2795791fce5233a6d0f785f5d4.jpg58d9177a37d64_Spaghettiblackgarlicmeatballs.thumb.jpg.d67e30bc29450539aabdc9135be91ff6.jpg

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