Monday, January 28, 2008

Asian-spiced meatballs with snow peas and hoisin sauce

I made these two weeks ahead and froze them, cooked.

1 pound ground pork (I have used ground turkey in the past, but pork is a richer flavor)
6 sweet Italian sausages, removed from casings
3 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 can water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons red chili sauce (Sriracha type sauce)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Hoisin Sauce
splash of sesame or olive oil
1 jar prepared hoisin sauce (Most grocery stores will have this in the Asian-food aisle.)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons white wine

Snow Pea garnish
48-50 snow peas of approximate size (I knew I needed 48 since I made the meatballs ahead of time and bought the snow peas a couple days before the party. You can guess how many you will need. The recipe should make about 4 dozen meatballs.)

wooden picks to hold snow peas to meatballs

For meatballs:
Preheat oven to 400.
Combine all the ingredients. I find the best way is to use my hands. It feels a little gross, but then I know all the stuff will be really well-mixed.
Form meatballs into 1-inch balls and place in large roasting pan.
Roast 20-25 minutes, turning every 5-7 minutes so they can brown on all sides.
Once cooled, these can be frozen. Thaw before reheating.
To reheat them, I put them in a skillet with a splash of chicken broth and steamed them for about 5 minutes.

For the sauce:
Heat oil in sauce pan and add garlic and ginger.
Sautee for just a couple minutes over medium heat, but do not let it brown.
Add store-bought hoisin sauce and wine.

That is it for the sauce. I made this three days ahead and stuck it in the fridge.

For the snow peas (Make this part the day of your event):
Bring large pan of salted water to a boil.
Add peas and cook until bright green and flexible. This should be 30-60 seconds.
Rinse with cold water.
Drain and set aside.

To assemble:
Warm hoisin sauce in microwave or on stove.
Pour onto platter in thin, even layer.
Fold each snow pea in half and attach it to a meatball with a wooden pick.
Place the meatballs on top of the sauce.

I think that is it.

This one sounds more complicated than it is. Especially since I did in stages. But that really makes it easier. Then you just have to heat the meatballs and sauce and serve them.

I think these meatballs would be good in some type of brothy soup with bok choy. I may have to experiment.

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