Spaghetti-stuffed meatballs. Here’s the recipe from Thrillist (photo by Drew Swantak).  Lamb and feta meatballs; here’s the recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Vietnamese who with meatballs. Here’s the recipe from Cooking And Beer.  Shanghai Lion’s Head; here’s the recipe from Serious Eats.  Floating meatballs made from turkey, in carrot soup with spinach. Here’s the recipe from Parade.
What’s trending as of March 9th, National Meatball Day?
Flavor & The Menu, a magazine and website for chefs, took a look at what’s happening with meatballs.
Meatballs have been popping up on menus nationwide—beyond Italian restaurants, sub shops and the emerging meatball restaurants.
The ideas below may be new to some of us, but most of the recipes go back for centuries, if not longer.
Meatballs are being made with almost any ground or chopped meat, seafood, poultry, and vegetarian/vegan versions made with beans, grains and veggies.
Not only are meatballs a comfort food; they’re a canvas for endless versatility in formats, sauces, seasonings, sizes and garnishes.
Ten flavor trends were spotted by by Joan Lang, who wrote the article.
How About A Meatball Party??
The tempting variety of meatballs inspired us to plan a DIY Meatball Party, with a buffet of fixings from breads (pita, Italian rolls) to bases (pasta, cellophane noodles, rice or other grains), to condiments (grated or crumbled cheese) and raw vegetables (cucumber, lettuce, onion, tomato) and fresh herbs.
For a variety of choices, you can make meatball recipes as time permits, and freeze them until you have what you want for the party. If your guests typically ask what they can bring (and are good cooks), give them recipes to prepare.
TREND ONE THROUGH TREND FIVE
Today we present the first five meatball trends. The others arrive tomorrow.
Whatever types of meatballs appeal to you, you’ll find score of recipes online.
1. STUFFED MEATBALLS
Stuffed meatballs require only the simple addition of a tasty filling inside a handful of ground meat. Don’t tell anyone, and let them be surprised when they dig in.
Different types of cheeses are the traditional stuffings—everything from mild mozzarella and ricotta to tangy blue and feta.
Inspired by Greek recipes, lamb meatballs—keftedes—will make lamb lovers happy. We purchase ground lamb and mix it with crumbled feta and herbs (photo #2). Or, you could stuff them with feta, for the surprise.
Mixed with mix with bulgur wheat, it becomes Lebanese-style kibbeh. Add a yogurt sauce.
Use plenty of Mediterranean spices—basil, cilantro, dill, rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme. Check out the spices: cinnamon, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and za’atar. You can:
The meatballs of Asia are typically made from pork or seafood, and to a smaller extent chicken. Consider:
These are meatballs in soups and stews that incorporate meatballs as the protein, either braised or cooked right in the liquid. Consider:
Talk about Meatless Mondays! Of course, they should be called meat-alternative or meat-like balls; but convention calls them meatballs.
There are many recipes on line, but we like the ones that use vegetables and grains rather than meat alternatives. Try: