By Anna Dantoni –
Almost every county in the world has a meatball tradition and it seems that today everybody is eager to try meatballs from other lands. Trained cook and baker, Adeline Myers has responded to the meatball craze with a useful cookbook called Global Meatballs. Taking upwards of 100 meatball recipes from all over the world, she’s combined them in an easy-to-use, well illustrated book that even beginners can use because the directions are detailed and nearly all of the ingredients are simple to source. The book is soft cover and opens flat on your counter making it convenient to follow the directions.
Besides the recipes, Myers offers tips about what to serve with the meatballs whether they are an entree or a party snack or meatballs meant to be simmered in soup or in a casserole. And not all the meatballs in this book are made with meat or poultry. Myers includes plenty of fish balls, veggie balls and tofu ones too. Some of the balls are baked while others are fried or poached. Potato balls stuffed with cheese from Ukraine, zucchini balls from India, falafel from the Middle East, poached salmon balls from Scandinavia, rabbit and sage meatballs from France, codfish balls from Brazil, beer-battered fish balls from Australia, or crunchy wild shrimp balls from China are just some of the exotic-sounding balls that can make your world a more delicious place. This is a book you’ll use often.
Lamb Meatballs, Baked Yogurt Sauce
(makes 18 medium-size meatballs that are hand rolled into a torpedo shape). Enjoyed all the time in Greece where lamb is a preferred meat and yogurt is a mainstay of the cuisine, these flavorful balls make a great main dish when served with rice or noodles and salad. Or stuff the torpedo-shaped balls into warm pita for an amazing sandwich.
1 pound ground lamb
1 ½ large red onions, minded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoons salt and pepper
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
1 ½ cups plain cow or goat yogurt
Pinch of salt
Combine the meat, onions, garlic, herbs, salt pepper and ½ tablespoon of the vinegar in a large bowl. Knead and squeeze he meat and onion mixture for a minute in o to combine it well. Cover the meat and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375. Oil a glass or ceramic baking dish. Roll pieces of the lamb mixture into torpedo shapes by rolling and compressing them in between the fingers and palms of your hand. Each should be about the width of your palm Place in the oiled dish. Bake, turning once, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile mix the yogurt with the eggs, 1 tablespoon vinegar and salt and pour over the meatballs. Shake the dish so the yogurt covers the bottom. Continue to bake until the yogurt sets, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot. The yogurt sets into a light custard sauce. It may look a bit curdled in places where the meat juices collect. Don’t be concerned; it is delicious.
Chorizo and White Wine Tapas Meatballs
A great addition to your cocktail party tray of nibbles, these spicy-meaty little balls are popular in Spain.
2 slices bread, crusts removed
1/3 cup white wine
4 ounces chorizo, uncooked sausage
1 pound ground pork
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking tray or line it with parchment paper. Soak the bread in a bowl with the white wine for 10 minutes. When it is very soggy, break it up with your hands into small pieces. Remove the chorizo sausage from it’s casing and add it and the pork to the bowl. Add the egg, garlic, parsley and seasonings to the meat. Mix with your hands, combining everything very well. With wet hands, roll meat into little bass, about 1 ½ inches wide that can be eaten in one bite. Place on the prepared baking tray. They can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for a day. Bake for 25-30 minutes until well browned and cooked through. Serve warm or room temperature. A dish of green olives and a dish of roasted red peppers make nice accompaniments on your serving tray.
Scallion Tofu Balls , Ginger Glaze
(makes 18 veggie balls)
This recipe is a favorite in modern Japan. Serve as snack with hot sauce for dipping. Or make a meal by pairing the tofu balls with cooked rice or noodles and a green salad.
1 package (15 ounces) extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon red chili sauce
½ cup chopped scallions
1 ½ tablespoons miso paste
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
For the glaze:
¼ cup sake1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
½ tablespoon fresh grated ginger
Dry off the tofu. Place in a bowl with all the ingredients except the panko. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the tofu and everything together until the tofu is in small pieces, the size of grains of rice. Stir in the panko crumbs. Set the mixture aside for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or oiled aluminum foil. Using 2 spoons, form the tofu mash into in ½-inch balls. Line them on the baking tray, two inches apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The outside will develop a golden brown and the balls will have some spring, but will be mostly firm to the touch. While they are baking, put the glaze ingredients into a small saucepan. Boil for five minutes. Take off the heat. Serve the tofu balls with the glaze and, if desired, hot sauce.
Fish Hash Balls
(Makes 30 large balls). This recipe is a favorite with home cooks in Cuba. Eat the fish balls as a snack or pair with cooked yellow rice and a green salad for a delicious and substantial meal.
1 cup milk
3 slices bread, crusts removed
2 pounds fish fillets, such as snapper or tilapia
1 small onion, grated
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
About 1 cup oil for frying – canola, peanut or corn oil.
Put the milk and bread into a bowl to soak together. Fill sauce halfway with water. Bring to a simmer with a pinch of salt. Poach the fish in the waster. Drop it in and allow it to cook without boiling for about 5 minutes until it flakes when touched with a spoon. Remove the fish to a bowl. Add the onion, parsley and hard-boiled egg. Mash everything together to mix. Add the milk-soaked bread, salt and pepper. Mash to combine everything very well. Heat ¼ inch of oil in a skillet for frying the fish balls. When it is nice and hot, scoop the fish into balls with two spoons. Cook in the hot oil, 2 to e minutes per side, until golden. Remove and drain on paper. Eat hot, served with lemon wedges, yellow rice and fresh green salad.
(Global Meatballs by Adeline Myers. Quarry Books. $24.99. Also available as an ebook).