Photo: Jennifer May
I'll always have a soft spot for the sweet tomato sauce that my mom's meatballs swam in, but I have to admit that a dash of fresh lime juice and a bit of fish sauce deepen the flavor even further.
Note: As far as I know, you can't buy fresh, soft bread crumbs in a grocery store. After a loaf of bread goes stale, I tear what remains into chunks, process it to large flakes in my food processor, pour the crumbs into a plastic bag and freeze them. Country loaves or ciabatta make the craggiest crumbs, the lightest meatballs and the crispiest toppings.
Makes 45 mini-meatballs
Preheat the oven to 375°.
In a large bowl combine the pork, peanuts, bread crumbs, egg, cilantro, scallions, carrots, 1 Tbsp. of the soy sauce, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Mix quickly with your hands to incorporate. Using about 1 rounded Tbsp. of meat mixture for each, roll 45 small meatballs, lining them up on a baking sheet with a little room between.
Bake the meatballs until the tops turn golden, 15 minutes. Pour the whole tomatoes and their juices into a food processor and process until smooth. In a wide-bottomed nonreactive skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, 3/4 cup water, the brown sugar, chili sauce, the remaining 2 Tbsp. of soy sauce and the fish sauce. Simmer, stirring often, and scraping the sides, until the sauce has reduced by about half, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lime juice and season with salt.
Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook, stirring often, over medium-high heat until the meatballs are glazed with the sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. (At this point you can keep the meatballs warm in a crock pot.) Serve with toothpicks.
From The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes (Clarkson Potter) by Amy Thielen.
More Potluck Favorites
Published on October 07, 2013