FB started out as a way to connect with my friends, especially with those that don’t live close by but it has morphed into a way to connect with people with shared interests.  Earlier in the year I stumbled across Food52’s  (awesome website, check it out) Cookbook Club.  My cynical side thought wow, what a great marketing ploy.  A cookbook club that features a different book each month where members can make any recipe from the book and post pics of it on the site.  Nice try to get me to buy yet another cookbook.  My rational side thought, I should call the hubby immediately..intervention time.  I’m about to buy a cookbook every month forever, stop me.  He could then say in a soft calm voice; have you checked the library?  Or called a friend who might have a copy? …Or a tough love line like “You can’t buy another cookbook unless you get rid of one you already have..and I get to pick which one goes.”

Nooooooo….

I was able to resist for a little while but yummy photos of recipes from this month’s selection, Melissa Clark’s Dinner: Changing the Game kept popping up on my timeline and got the best of me.  I took a look at the table of contents and wouldn’t you know it a chapter called Grind filled with recipes for MEATBALLS caught my eye.  I LOVE meatballs.  I searched for a recipe from the book to try and found Ginger Pork Meatballs with Cilantro and Fish Sauce (on blog site A Modest Feast).  Made with green onions, cilantro, fish sauce, garlic, lime and spiced with ginger and Serrano chilis these meatballs were delicious.  Resistance was futile.

Ugh, what cookbook will I have to give up?

The recipe calls for pork next time (and there will be a next time) I plan on trying a 50-50 mix of pork and ground chicken or turkey.

I used a 1 inch ice cream scoop to mold the meatballs, perfect for appetizer sized portions but a little small for a main dish.  I’d make them bigger next time.

I served the meatballs two ways as a lettuce wrap with a bit of jasmine rice and dipping sauce and on top of a bowl of bean thread noodles garnished with crispy slices of cucumbers, scallions and cilantro.

 

Sunny with a Plate of Meatballs

Ingredients

    For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground pork or 1/2 pound ground pork:1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup finely-chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely-chopped scallions (white and green parts)
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely-chopped peeled fresh ginger or ginger juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced
  • Finely-grated zest of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the dipping sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • For serving:
  • 1 head Boston or bibb lettuce
  • 1/4 English cucumber, thinly-sliced
  • 2-3 scallions, white and light green parts, julienned
  • A large handful of cilantro sprigs
  • Bean thread noodles or rice noodles, soaked until soft. Drain and set aside
  • Jasmine rice, cooked

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, gently combine the pork, cilantro, scallions, chile, ginger, garlic, lime zest and juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, and salt.
  • Roll mixture into 1-inch balls
  • Heat the broiler. Set the rack at least 4 inches from the heat source.
  • Arrange the meatballs in a single layer, not touching, on one or two rimmed sheet pans.
  • Broil the meatballs, turning the pan halfway through, until they are golden all over and just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame oil, and brown sugar.
  • For lettuce wraps: Place a bit of rice or noodles in lettuce leaf. Top with 2 meatballs, cilantro, green onion shreds. fold and dip into sauce. Enjoy!
  • Or serve as a rice or noodle bowl.
  • NOTES
  • For consistency of size and even cooking, use a spring-loaded scoop to portion out the meatballs; I used the middle-sized scoop in this set (#50), which is 1 1/2 tablespoons. To make gluten-free, use tamari instead of soy sauce.
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Thanks for reading, comments welcomed!