Thursday, January 5, 2012

Greeting 2012 With Hope, Disappointment, and Asian Meatballs

2011 was an interesting year. The Arab Spring brought changes to the Middle East that hopefully will result in more democratic regimes. The Occupy Wall Street Movement galvanized people throughout America to stand up for the 99%. Maybe that will lead to changes in our own country that will be better for most Americans.

On a positive note, at the end of 2011, I was privileged to say prayers of thanks giving with others from my synagogue that American military involvement in Iraq had finally ended. While it is disappointing that as soon as the American military left, fighting resumed among the various Iraqi factions, at least America will no longer be responsible for any more deaths there. The war that should never have begun in the first place nine years ago is finally over. This isn’t said in celebration. Rather, it feels like a monumental sigh of relief.

At any rate, it felt appropriate to say good-bye to 2011 and usher in 2012 in hopes that it will be a better year for America and the rest of the world. We ushered it in with a large group of friends on New Year’s Day. When serving for a group, we’re always looking for easy recipes. This one for Asian meatballs that I took from the 100 Favourite 20 Minute Dishes by Simon and Alison Holst proved to be a hit. Some people asked me for the recipe. Because these New Zealanders use the metric system and a few ingredients that are hard to find here, I made some adaptations to the recipe. It was delicious anyway and preparation time is about 20 minutes. It makes 48 small meatballs.

                                                              Asian Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2-3 spring onions, sliced (optional)
¼ cup chopped coriander leaves (if available – I used the ready made spice because it wasn’t)
¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 Tbsp cornflour
1 Tbsp each soy sauce and sesame oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
2 Tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce ( I used sweet chili sauce although it wasn’t Thai. I couldn’t find it.)

1. Put all the ingredients except for the chili sauce in a large mixing bowl and mix it up. Then roll the ingredients into small balls.

2.To bake, put them in a shallow baking dish on 350º F. for about 12 minutes. After 8 minutes, drizzle with chili sauce.
    3.To sauté, cook in a preheated, non-stick pan and keep jiggling to get the meatballs brown. Drizzle with chili sauce. Cover pan and cook for 2-3 minutes longer. (This was how I did it, but I bet the other ways are just as good.)
4. To microwave, brush with chili sauce and a tsp of dark soy sauce. Microwave uncovered at full power for 3 to 4 minutes. If not cooked through, do it for another minute and test again.


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