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Archive for Meat & Poultry

TIP OF THE DAY: One-Pan Main & Side

Our pots and pans don’t go into the dishwasher: They need to be hand-washed.

While hot sudsy water and a Scrub Daddy do the job, we wouldn’t overlook the opportunity to save our manicure.

So we were all ears when Good Eggs sent us this recipe to cook the main and the side in one dish. Home cooks have been doing this for years—but not the cooks in our family.

With great enthusiasm we made this recipe, and then ordered a couple of books on one-pan cooking to see how we could make kitchen life easier (recommendations below).

RECIPE: LAMB & ZUCCHINI WITH GREEK ACCENTS

We love lamb and Greek cuisine with its accents of lemon and mint, so we didn’t wait to try it. In 30 minutes, we were ready to dig in.

Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 2 lamb chops (we used two per person)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, ground to a paste
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 handful mint, roughly chopped (substitute basil)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Flaky salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SALT and pepper both sides of each lamb chop and set aside. Add about ½ cup olive oil to a cast iron pan and heat over high. When the oil is hot (almost to the point of smoking), carefully add the zucchini in one layer and cook on high heat until browned, flipping so both sides are crispy and deeply golden-brown.

    2. USE a slotted spoon to remove the zucchini from the pan; place on a plate and set aside.

    3. COMBINE the yogurt, garlic, lemon and a tablespoon of the mint in a clean bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

    4. POUR off some of the oil from the zucchini pan, leaving a thin layer on the bottom. Turn the burner to high. When the oil is hot, add the chops and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Check for doneness—you want it still a bit pink in the middle.

    If the chops sear before the meat cooks through, pop the pan into a 400°F oven until they are cooked to your liking. For medium-rare, the temperature should be 145°F on a meat thermometer.

    5. FINISH the zucchini: Sprinkle with the red wine vinegar, add the rest of the mint, and a few pinches of flaky salt to taste. Arrange the chops and the zucchini on a platter and serve with the yogurt sauce.

     

    One Pan Cooking

    One Pan & Done Cookbook

    One Pan Wonders Cookbook

    [1] Lamb chops and zucchini, a one-pan dinner (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [2] One Pan & Done, an oven-to-table cookbook. [3] One-Pan Wonders for casserole, Dutch oven, pan, skillet and slow cooker.

    ONE-PAN COOKBOOKS

  • One Pan & Done: Hassle-Free Meals from the Oven to Your Table
  • One Pan, Two Plates: More Than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two
  • One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, Skillet, Roasting Pan, Casserole, and Slow Cooker
  • Sheet Pan Suppers: 120 Recipes for Simple, Surprising, Hands-Off Meals Straight from the Oven
  •   

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Jeff’s Famous Jerky

    We’ve had Top Pick jerkys before, but they are few and far between. Even small-batch artisan brands can be too tough for us, and/or leave remnants of gristle.

    Not so with Jeff’s Famous Jerky. Each variety we tried was melt-in-your-mouth tender, with exquisite flavor. When you can say jerky has exquisite flavor, you know you’ve hit the motherlode.

    Jeff’s Famous Jerkey, of Mission Viejo, California deserves to be famous, especially for its eye-opening bacon jerky. Bacon or beef, the meats are marinated in deep, layered marinades.

    Jeff’s produces more than a dozen flavors (below).

    The beef jerky has lower sodium than most brands, with no added MSG or nitrates. The bacon jerky has less sodium than pan-fried bacon.

    The only caveat with jerky in general is that it’s high in sodium (don’t buy it for anyone on a salt-restricted diet).

    But it’s almost fat free, and it’s solid protein: One ounce has about 23% of one’s daily value of protein. Before we continue, check out:

    TRENDS IN JERKY

    And America wants more of this high protein, low-fat, grab-and-go snack that’s naturally gluten-free*.

    America’s consumption of meat snacks has increased by 18% over the past five years, according to recent data from The NPD Group, a market research company.

    House-made jerky can be found more and more on the menus of fine casual restaurants.

  • At Pakpao Thai in Dallas, the Salty Thai Jerky is one of the top-selling shareable starters, paired with a crisp lager or pilsner. The Massaman Curry jerky pairs well with wheat beers.
  • The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, makes a jerky plate which includes smoked andouille jerky, pork curry jerky, black pepper beef jerky, dehydrated maple syrup and sriracha chips.
  • At Chapter One restaurant in New York City, house-made jerky is used to garnish for duck wings and Bloody Bull cocktails (a Bloody Mary with added beef broth).
  •    

    Jeff's Famous Bacon Jerky

    Jeff's Famous Maple Bacon Jerky

    [1] Oh so delicious: Jeff’s Maple Brown Sugar Jerky. [2] Hot and sweet: Jeff’s Honey & Jalapeño Jerky. (all photos courtesy Jeff’s Famous Jerky).

     
    Jeff’s Famous Jerky is so tender and tasty, you can bring it to the dinner table and pair it with fine foods.

  • We really enjoy it with oysters on the half shell, and with ceviche or pan-fried scallops.
  • You can lie it across or at the side of a protein, crumble it on top as a garnish, or mix it into other dishes like vegetables and pasta.
  • Consider Spaghetti Carbonara (which has bacon in the recipe), Fettuccine Alfredo (bacon is a delicious addition to the cream sauce), or pasta simply tossed with olive oil, bacon jerky and shaved Parmesan cheese.
  • With beer or a hearty red wine, it’s a natural.
  •  

    Jeff's Famous Beef Jerky

    Jeff's Famous Beef Jerky

    Jeff's Famous Jerky Maple Bacon

    [3] Jeff’s beef jerky. [4] and [5] Packages of Jeff’s Jerky.

     

    JEFF’S FAMOUS JERKY VARIETIES

    Jeff’s makes so many flavors of delicious, tender jerky that you won’t know where to start. (We suggest a build-your-own mixed box.)

    The flavors are variously spicy, sweet, hot, and combinations thereof. More importantly, they are clean, clear and natural, beautifully layered to imbue the meat with complex flavors.

    All are hormone-free, without added MSG or preservatives, made from American meats.

    Bacon Jerky Varieties

  • Honey Brown Sugar
  • Honey Jalapeño
  • Maple Brown Sugar
  • Sweet Cinnamon Roll
  •  
    Beef Jerky Varieties

  • Black Pepper Sea Salt
  • Cajun Style
  • Cranberry Jalapeño
  • Habanero Heatwave
  • Jalapeno Carne Asada
  • Korean Barbecue
  • Orange-A-Peel
  • Old Fashioned Original
  • Pacific Red Hot
  • Sriracha Ghost Pepper
  • Sweet & Smokin’ BBQ
  • Sweet Teriyaki
  •  
    GET YOURS NOW!

    Single-flavor packages are $6.99 at JeffsFamousJerky.com. The beef packages contain 3 ounces of jerky; the bacon packages have 2 ounces.

    Build-your-own variety packs offer a 20% savings; and there are gift boxes with personalized notes.

    For Easter treats, tie a ribbon through the punch hole on top of the bag, and maybe add some bunny stickers.

     
    SOME JERKY HISTORY

    The word jerky comes from the Quechua language of the Incas, who called their dried meat “charqui.” But they were hardly the first people to make it.

    Neither were Homo sapiens, we can deduce. Homo erectus emerged 1.5 million years ago, and evidence found five years ago in a South African cave suggests Homo erectus that built campfires.

    The remains of animal bones and plant ash could be dated to a million years ago. [source]

    By the time Homo sapiens emerged, 195,000 years ago, man had been enjoying barbecue, and by extension jerky, for some time.

    Drying food is one of the first three food preservation techniques, along with salting and, in northern climes, packing with snow in ice caves or cellars.

    Meat dried over a smoky fire is protected from egg-laying insects and multiplying bacteria (they need moisture to live). Cutting it into thin strips makes it easier to chew.

    All the fat is trimmed from the meat because fat doesn’t dry. The dried meat could (and can) then be stored for long periods of time without refrigeration.

    While the prehistoric method of drying the meat was used by other ancient peoples, it was not known in Europe.

    The first visitors to the New World found Native Americans making jerky† from the meat of any animal they hunted (that which wasn’t consumed immediately).

    In addition to helping early colonists stave off starvation, later pioneers who headed west quickly learned to make jerky. It was easy to transport, and was an important, high-protein addition to their diet.

    The meat for jerky could be anything from buffalo to whale. Today jerky can be found in proteins as common as turkey, tuna and salmon, to exotics such as alligator and ostrich.

    Today’s jerky eaters have the luxury of enjoying it as a snack rather than a necessity. We also have the pleasure of using tender cuts of meat marinated in a variety of spices, salt and/or sugar—seasonings that were not available to most ancients jerky-makers.

    Modern jerky is dried in low-heat smokers, as opposed to the ancient technique of hanging strips of meat racks to dry in the hot sun. (The campfire could hold only so much.)

    If your only experience with jerky has been dry and tasteless jerky, you deserve some of the good stuff.
    ________________

    *Some brands or flavors within brands may use soy sauce or other glutinous ingredient in the marinade.

    †The pemmican you may have read about in tales of early America was dried meat mixed with dried berries and rendered animal fat. It was invented by Native Americans and used extensively by immigrants in the fur trade. Many years later, it served as a high-calorie food for Arctic and Antarctic explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Smithfield Spiral Sliced Ham For Easter

    Why do we eat ham at Easter? The answer is below.

    But eat we do! Smithfield sent THE NIBBLE its latest flavor, Smokehouse Reserve Baked Apple Spiced Spiral Sliced Ham (the flavor refers to the glaze packets that are included.

    Weighing in at more than five pounds, we served it last night at our monthly editorial dinner.

    The ham was so juicy, so easy to prepare (precooked, it needed only 90 minutes of heating) that two more team members are buying spiral-sliced Smithfield hams for Easter dinner.

    Each pound of spiral sliced ham contains approximately 4 servings, so our group of nine went home with leftovers, planning how to use them today.

    Smokehouse Reserve Baked Apple Spiced Spiral Sliced Ham is a limited edition that joins Smithfield’s lineup of spiral sliced hams:

    • Brown Sugar Spiral Sliced Ham, regular or preglazed
    • Crunchy Glaze Spiral Sliced Ham
    • Crunchy Glaze Quarter Boneless Spiral Sliced Ham
    • Hickory Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham, regular or preglazed
    • Pecan Praline Spiral Slcied Ham
    • Quarter Bone-In Hickory Smoked Spiral Ham
    • Quarter Boneless Hickory Smoked Spiral Ham
    • Salted Caramel Spiral Sliced Smoked Ham

    WHY BUY A SPIRAL SLICED HAM?

    A friend with a ham habit recommends a spiral sliced ham with the bone in. He likes the greater juiciness of a bone-in ham, the ham bone for further culinary use (see the next section), and the convenience of the spiral slices.

    Our mother, a purist, preferred the uneven slices and carved her own ham. So it becomes a question of aesthetics and time (and skill) to carve. If a large group of hungry people wants their ham ASAP, go for the spiral.

    A spiral ham also looks prettier standing up, with the slices fanned.

    Smithfield hams are sold fully cooked and can be heated or eaten cold or room temperature. In fact, we spent so much time last night with the courses leading up to the ham, that we ended up with room temperature ham after our baking ham had cooled. It was just as yummy.

    Spiral ham trivia: The spiral-slicing machine was patented in 1952 by Harry J. Hoenselaar, who went on to founded HoneyBaked Ham a few years later. His creation eliminated the frustration of navigating the ham bone and producing even slices.

    Here’s more on the spiral-slicing machine.

    WAYS TO USE THE HAM BONE

    Except for the those marked boneless, all hams include a bone, which can be used to add smoky ham flavor to other dishes. If you don’t want to use it, ask a friend: Few good cooks will turn down a ham bone!

    You can freeze a ham bone; you can substitute a ham bone for any recipe that calls for a ham hock.

    • Freeze: If you don’t have much time to think about it, wrap the bone tightly in plastic, and plan to use it within three months.
    Smithfield Honey Cured Spiral Ham

    Smithfield Baked Apple Spice Spiral Ham

    Easter Dinner

    [1] and [2] Smithfield spiral sliced ham (photo courtesy Smithfield Foods). [3] On an Easter table (photo courtesy Today I Found Out).

    • Ham Stock: If you have just a little time to think about it, place the bone in a 4 or 5-quart pot with water, carrots, celery, garlic, herbs (bay leaves, parsley, thyme), onions or leeks, and 5 peppercorns (The water should cover the bone by one inch). Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours to extract the most flavor from the bone. Stock is typically left unsalted, for flexibility in recipes. When finished, discard the bone and strain out the vegetables.
    • Beans: A pot of beans or legumes of any kind (the difference), will be even more flavorful when cooked with the bone. Make a big pot of beans and enjoy them all week in different forms: baked beans, bean dip, grain bowls, green salad, sandwich spread, tacos and burritos, for starters.
    • Congee: We love Cream of Rice porridge, and breakfast on it regularly. The Chinese version is called congee, served as a savory dish with scrap bits of meat and vegetables, and sliced scallions. Find a recipe and cook up a pot. Maybe invite friends and neighbors to brunch? If so, see if you can find a Chinese sausage to add to the congee: a wonderful flavor very different from American and European sausages.
    • Greens: The classic is collards with a ham bone. If you’ve never made this delicious dish, head to the store for the collards! You can substitute kale and chard.
    • Soups & Stews: Ham bones are added to hearty, slow-cooked soups: bean soups, chowder, lentil and split pea are the most popular.

    Don’t leave a ham bone where a dog can get at it: Cooked bones can splinter and get stuck in their throats.

    MORE FROM SMITHFIELD

    WHY WE EAT HAM ON EASTER

    The paschal lamb or an easter ham?

    Lamb is a traditional Easter food because Jesus’ last supper was the Passover meal, which includes a ritually sacrificed lamb.

    In Europe, lamb is commonly served at Easter, based on the tradition of the Passover feast, and fitting commemoration of Jesus, the “lamb of God,” who, as a Jew, would not have eaten pork.

    So why is ham so often served at Easter?

    Convenience: Prior to modern times, salted pork would last through the winter and ham would be ready to eat at Easter, before other fresh, quality meat was available [source].

    Before refrigeration, pigs and cows were slaughtered in the fall. Since it took a fair amount of time to butcher these large animals without modern tools, the cold winter temperatures helped to keep the meat from going bad before it could be properly aged to develop their flavor [source].

    By Jewish law, the sacrificial lamb could be up to a year old. Sometimes, based on how the dates fell for Passover and Easter, spring lambs born 6 to 8 weeks earlier could be slaughtered for the holiday.

     

    Green Salad With Ham

    [4] Make this rainbow salad with leftover lamb (photo courtesy Shockingly Delicious | Smithfield).

    RECIPE: RAINBOW SALAD WITH LEFTOVER HAM

    Transform leftover ham into a colorful salad, packed with fruits, vegetables and ham chunks.

    This recipe, featured by Smithfield, is copyright Dorothy Reinhold, Shockingly Delicious.

    Ingredients For 1 Luncheon Salad

    • 1 head of bok choy
    • 1 red or reddish apple, such as Fuji*
    • 1 bunch purple grapes
    • 2 slices ham, cut into chunks or strips
    • 3 mini bell peppers or 1 large, ideally red, orange or yellow
    • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla-infused olive oil†
    • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar (substitute sherry or wine vinegar)
    • Fresh chives
    Preparation1. CHOP the bok choy into bite-sized pieces. Place in large bowl or plate.2, CUT the apple into quarters, removing core, and cut it into chunks to add to salad. Add grapes to salad. Cut 1-2 slices of ham into strips and add to salad. Cut mini peppers in half, removing stem and seeds. Cut into small chunks and add to salad. Add blueberries to salad.

    3. DRIZZLE the olive oil on salad, followed by the vinegar. Using a kitchen shears, snip chives in tiny pieces atop salad.

    ________________

    *You can substitute any apple you have. Fuji apples are sweet, juicy and crisp with an undertone of spice. It can be yellow-green with red highlights to mostly red in color. It is a cross between two American varieties, the Red Delicious and the Ralls Jennet, a popular breeding apple that was grown at Monticello by Thomas Jefferson. The Fuji apple was developed in Fujisaki, Japan in 1939 but wasn’t introduced to market until 1962 in Japan, and not until the 1980s in the U.S., where it has become one of the the country’s favorite apples.

    †Most of us haven’t infused a vanilla bean in olive oil. Substitute any flavored oil you have: basil, garlic or rosemary.

     

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Irish Lamb Stew For St. Patrick’s Day

    Irish Lamb Stew

    Pint Of Guinness

    Arthur Guinness

    [1] Irish lamb stew, made with pearled barley. [2] A pint of Guinness, once the world’s top-selling beer†. [3] Arthur Guinness founded the brewery in 1759. It’s the world’s oldest continuing brewery (all photos courtesy Guinness).

     

    If you like lamb, there’s no better excuse to make lamb stew than St. Patrick’s Day. Lamb shoulder, the best stew cut, is also far less pricey than lamb chops or leg of lamb.

    This traditional dish is served on St. Patrick’s Day at the restaurant in Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which provided the recipe below. Is so easy to make, that even a young cook can throw it together.

    The Guinness Storehouse is the original property leased in 1759 by Arthur Guinness for his brewery. It’s a 9,000-year lease, by the way, leading one to wonder if the landlord refused to write a 10,000-year lease.

    The property has been converted into a museum on the history of brewing and the history of Guinness.

    RECIPE: IRISH LAMB STEW

    Note that the recipe cooks the meat and the vegetables for the same time. This creates soft vegetables, the old-fashioned style.

    If you prefer your veggies al dente, add in the vegetables after 45 minutes, but cook the full amount of stock from the beginning.

    Similarly, our mom always browned stew meat before adding it to the pot. Browning helps develop more depth of flavor; some cooks even brown the vegetables and herbs. This step isn’t required in Guinness’ recipe, so we didn’t do it; although next time we will for comparison.

    Serve the stew with a side of the pearled barley, some Irish soda bread and a Guinness (or brand of choice).

    While the stew is cooking, check out the different cuts of lamb.

     
    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 2-1/4 pounds lamb shoulder cubes
  • Bouquet garni* of parsley, thyme and bay leaf
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 3-4 carrots, diced (if carrots are slender, you can cut coins instead)
  • 2 sticks of celery chopped
  • 1 small turnip, diced
  • 1 small leek, diced
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 pints chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons pearl* barley
  • Parsley, finely chopped
  • Garnish: sprig of thyme
  • ________________

    *See the last sections, below.

     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the meat, bouquet garni, barley, onions, carrots, celery and turnip in the pot; cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for one hour.

    2. SKIM off the scum on top of the pot. Add the potatoes and continue cooking for ½ hour. For the last 5 minutes, add the leek.

    3. REMOVE the bouquet garni. Stir in the chopped parsley. Serve in bowls.

    ________________
    †According to The Street, the world’s best-selling beers are now:
    1. Snow (SABMiller/China Resources Enterprises)
    2. Tsingtao (China, Tsingtao Brewery)
    3. Bud Light (Anheuser-Busch InBev)
    4. Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch InBev)
    5. Skol (Carlsberg, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Unibra)
    6. Yanjing (Beijing Yanjing)
    7. Heinecken (Heineken International)
    8. Harbin (Anheuser-Busch InBev, China)
    9. Brahma (Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brazil)
    10.Coors Light (MolsonCoors)

    Times change: We remember back in the 1970s that Guinness was the number one beer in the world.

     

    HOW TO MAKE A BOUQUET GARNI

    A bouquet garni (French for garnished bouquet) is a bundle of herbs tied with a string. It is used in the preparation of soups, stews and stocks.

    The herbs are tied for easy removal after cooking. In situations where some ingredients can’t be tied (peppercorns or garlic cloves, for example), a small muslin drawstring bag or piece of cheesecloth is used.

    The bouquet is cooked in the pot with the other ingredients, but is removed when cooking is complete.

    There is no generic recipe for bouquet garni, but most French recipes combine bay leaf, parsley and thyme.

  • Depending on the recipe, it may also include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, savory and tarragon.
  • How many pieces of each? That’s up to you, similar to adding “a handful” of something. We use four of everything.
  • Vegetables such as carrot, celery (leaves or leaf stalks), celeriac, leek, onion and parsley root are sometimes included.
  • Don’t hesitate to include flavors you’d like in your recipe. In Provence, dried orange peel can be added.
  •  

    A Tip For Parsley

    Keep the parsley leaves for garnish, but tie the stalks in the bouquet garni. They have lots of flavor.
     
     
    WHAT IS PEARLED BARLEY?

    Pearl barley, or pearled barley, is barley that has been processed to remove the hull and the bran.

    All barley must have its fibrous outer hull removed before it can be eaten; but pearl barley is then polished to remove the bran layer.

     

    Bouquet Garni

    Pearled Barley

    [1] Don’t worry if your bouquet garni doesn’t look this pretty (from Recreational Witchcraft | Tumblr). [2] Pearl or pearled barley (photo courtesy BBC Good Food).

     
    With the bran removed, the barley is no longer a whole grain, but is still nutritious. Hulled barley, the whole grain form, is also known as barley groats.

    Pearl barley is still chewy and nutritious, but less so than hulled barley, which still has its bran layer.

    The polished grains are also softer and take less time to cook, about 40 minutes. That’s why pearl barley is most often used in recipes.

    You can substitute hulled barley in recipes, by adjusting for a longer cooking time.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: 10+ Ways To Flavor Meatballs, Part 2

    Chicken Meatballs

    Foie Gras Stuffed Meatballs

    Tuna Meatballs

    Keftedes Appetizer

    Indian Meatballs

    Albondigas Soup

    [1] Chicken meatballs served with a vegetable patty and artistic salad, at Ikea. [2] Meatballs stuffed with foie gras at Cheu Noodle Bar (photo courtesy Tina Wong | The Wandering Eater). [3] Polpette de tonno, tuna meatballs. Here’s the recipe from Ricette Della Nonna. [4] Keftedes, Greek meatballs. Here’s the recipe from Bowl of Delicious. [5] Indian spices and pappadums make these meatballs special. Here’s the recipe from BBC Good Food. [6] Albondigas, Mexican meatballs served in soup. Here’s the recipe from Fresh By Northwest.

     

    Yesterday we featured the first five of ten meatball trends.

    To sum up, the first five include:

  • Stuffed Meatballs
  • Lamb Meatballs
  • Asian Meatballs
  • Floating Meatballs
  • Vegetarian & Vegan Meatballs
  •  
    Today we finish the list.

    6. POULTRY MEATBALLS

    For health and sustainability, chicken (photo #1) and turkey meatballs have become popular over the last two decades. Duck meatballs have become the darlings of some chefs, who grind their own duck meat.

    If you don’t already serve poultry meatballs, expand your repertoire in traditional ways (with spaghetti, on heros) and new ones.

  • Substitute chicken or turkey meatballs for the chicken breast in stir-fries, sweet-and-sour dishes, General Tso’s Chicken and other Asian-style recipes.
  • Present chicken meatballs Buffalo-style. Roll them in hot sauce and serve with blue cheese dressing and celery and carrot sticks.
  •  
    Restaurant Creations:

  • Turkey meatballs mixed with onions, celery, and carrots; served with cranberry jelly and a traditional gravy at the Meatball Room, Boca Raton, Florida.
  • Chicken meatballs seasoned with herbs and a hint of red pepper, sprinkled with Italian cheeses and served in a zesty marinara sauce at Olive Garden.
  •  
    7. UPSCALE MEATBALLS

    Traditionally, meatballs have been a more economical way to enjoy meat. But you can reverse the situation by adding higher-end ingredients.

  • Create a luxe meatball stuffed with foie gras and minced truffles (photo #2).
  • Make a “surf and turf” meatball stuffed with chopped lobster, shrimp or crab.
  • Blend chopped chuck with pricer cuts, like brisket and short rib.
  •  
    Restaurant Creations:

  • Foie gras-stuffed meatballs with plum sauce at Cheu Noodle Bar in Philadelphia.
  • Grilled beef meatballs with braised beet greens, sofrito and tomatoes, at Bestia in Los Angeles.
  • Duck Meatballs alla Toscana filled with fontina, parmesan and provolone, porcini mushrooms, whipped ricotta, mascarpone and dried cherries, in a port wine and veal reduction, at Fresco by Scotto in New York City.
  •  
    8. SEAFOOD MEATBALLS

    If fish or shellfish can be formed into burgers, patties or cakes, then they can be formed into meatballs.

  • See what other cultures are doing with ground or minced seafood, such as French quenelles, Thai fish cakes, Chinese fish balls and Japanese take yaki (octopus balls).
  • Ground fresh tuna and other meaty fish are especially adaptable to an Italian-style meatball, like Sicilian polpette di tonno (photo #3).
  •  
    Restaurant Creations:

  • Polpette di Pesce Spada: baked swordfish meatballs simmered in a spicy homemade tartar sauce. at Calabria Restaurant & Pizzeria, Livingston, N.J.
  • Oyster Room Meatball Sub: pork-oyster meatballs, napa cabbage slaw, smoked oyster mayonnaise, ciabatta bread, at Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room, Portland, Maine.
  •  
    9. INTERNATIONAL MEATBALLS

    You can find meatballs almost everywhere around the globe: kofte (Middle Eastern); bun cha (Vietnamese); frikadeller (Danish); bakso (Indonesian); klopsiki (Polish); kofta (Indian). Go global with international recipes (photo #5), or just use the country’s signature spices in your own meatballs.

  • Mix ground pork, grated Manchego and pimentón, and serve on a toothpick with a roasted piquillo pepper sauce or saffron aïoli.
  • Turn your favorite global flavors—allspice, cumin, curry, harissa, garam masala, etc.—into meatball seasonings.
  •  
    Restaurant Creations:

  • Mexican albondigas with salsa verde, cotija, pine nut, fried egg and masa (corn) cake at Bar Amá in Los Angeles.
  • Greek keftedes (photos #4 and #5), fried meatballs of ground beef and lamb with garlic, onions and mint, at Alchemy in San Diego.
  •  
    10. SPICY MEATBALLS

    In 1969, Alka-Seltzer famously based a commercial on the line uttered by a man who had eaten a too-spicy meatball: “Mama mia, that’s a spicy meatball!” If you’re old enough to remember, you may still use that line, along with “Where’s the beef” and other classics.

    Things have changed a lot since then. Americans have embraced heat, from chiles and hot sauces, in just about everything. So the Alka-Selter wouldn’t eat today higher spice levels. Instead, consider:

  • Add smoky heat to the ground meat or its sauce via chipotle in adobo sauce.
  • Use an on-trend condiment such as sriracha or Korean gochujang to add heat to meatballs.
  •  
    Restaurant Creations:

  • Spicy ricotta meatballs: beef, veal and ricotta meatballs with red chiles and caramelized onions, at Romano’s Macaroni Grill, 30 locations nationwide.
  • Chorizo meatballs, with roasted tomatoes, celery heart and onion, saffron with pecorino gratinée, at Soya & Pomodoro, Miami.
  •  
    Don’t forget to plan a meatball party to enjoy the whole group.

    Back to Part 1.

     
    MORE MEATBALLS

  • Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs
  • Eyeball Meatball Sandwich (for kids)
  • Giant Meatball
  • Gourmet Meatball Sub
  • Inside-Out Spaghetti & Meatballs
  • Korean Spaghetti & Meatballs
  • Spaghetti & Meatball Sundae
  • Swedish Meatballs
  • Veal Meatballs With Vodka
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