From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Arrangements for the yearly gathering of the clan have finally been ironed out. The family usually stays with us, but as the older grandsons have grown, space has become tight. We aren't yet tripping over one another, but quiet spots and privacy are getting harder to come by, so, this year we are trying something new. We've rented a house on a New Hampshire lake where we vacationed when our children were quite young. Hopefully, this will give everyone breathing room and there will be activities to keep the children, young and old, occupied and happy. Each year, around this time, I go back to the drawing board and try to put together menus for large family dinners that the older boys, who like to cook, can help prepare. These meatballs are the first new dish I've tested for the gathering this year and I think it will work well. I've never come across a child who does not like meatballs and this recipe is so simple that even inexperienced and young cooks can follow it without frustration. Unfortunately, my guys have seen Emeril toss food in a skillet, so, I'll have to be on standby and curb their enthusiasm while they brown the meatballs. Once that's done, however, they'll be on their own. This recipe is straight forward and the only tip I have to share with you is the need to keep hands wet when forming the meatballs. I suspect that some of the ingredients we use to make our meals will not be available in a small vacation community, so I plan to create a "care" package that I'll mail to myself about 10 days before our arrival. That way I don't have to worry about things like coconut milk being available when I need them. I found this recipe in Family Circle magazine and I think those of you who try it will be really pleased. The recipe can be doubled if you have a gang to feed and the meatballs, which are of the soft variety, reheat nicely. Here's the recipe.
Asian-Style Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Family Circle magazine
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced sweet red pepper
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons grated ginger, divided use
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup light coconut milk
1/3 cup reduced-fat chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
3 cups cooked basmati rice
1) Combine chicken, bread crumbs, onion, red pepper, cilantro, egg, salt, cayenne and 1 teaspoon of ginger in a large bowl. Mix well and form into 20 meatballs.
2) Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to a large, lidded saute pan over medium heat. Add half of meatballs and brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes total; remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining meatballs; set aside.
3) In same pan, combine coconut milk, peanut butter, chicken broth, soy sauce and remaining 1/2 teaspoon ginger. Stir constantly over medium heat to melt peanut butter. Bring to a simmer and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add meatballs to sauce, cover pan and cook 5 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
4) Serve meatballs and peanut sauce over rice. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Yield: 20 meatballs.
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