From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Now that school is back in session, I thought it would be nice to find some new dishes for weeknight meals. When I began my search, I knew any recipe I selected had to be easy to make. I was also looking for entrees that were new or uncommon variations of dishes my family already enjoyed. My gang loves meatballs and when I saw this Asian riff, I knew I had to give it a try. The meatballs met all my criteria and once the ingredients were assembled, it took about 40 minutes to get them on the table. Clean-up is easy because the meatballs are baked rather than fried and their mildly Asian flavors should appeal to all but the youngest members of your family. I like to serve these with a rice noodle salad, but a plain steamed rice will also work well. I'll post the recipe for the salad tomorrow. I think those of you who try the meatballs will enjoy them. They are easy to make if you keep your hands moist as you shape them. The recipe can be doubled or tripled and that makes it a great candidate for a covered dish supper. Here's how the meatballs are made.
Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Gourmet Magazine
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
3/4 pound ground pork
3/4 pound ground beef or veal
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canned sliced water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro + 1/4 cup sprigs
5 tablespoons soy sauce, divided use
4 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided use
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
Suggested accompaniment: steamed white rice or rice noodle salad
1) Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
2) Pour milk over bread crumbs in a large bowl and stir until liquid is absorbed. Add ground meat, egg, water chestnuts, salt, chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons oil and mix with your hands until combined well. Shape 3 tablespoons meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. Make more meatballs with remaining mixture, arranging meatballs about 1/2 inch apart in baking dish. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, stir together lime juice, water, sugar, remaining 4 tablespoons soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a bowl until sugar is dissolved.
4) Transfer meatballs to a serving dish. Stir sauce, then drizzle meatballs with 1 tablespoon sauce and sprinkle with cilantro sprigs. Serve meatballs with remaining sauce. Yield: 4 servings.
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