Sunday, October 30, 2016

Whiskey-Ginger Cocktail Meatballs


1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp peeled and finely diced ginger
2 shallots, finely diced
1 lb (500 g) grass-fed ground beef
½ lb (250 g) ground pork
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup (250 mL) rice cakes or crackers, processed to crumbs
1 egg
1 tbsp orange zest (for meatballs)
¼ cup (60 mL) bourbon or other aged whiskey
½ cup (125 mL) fresh-squeezed orange juice
¼ cup (60 mL) salted butter
¼ cup (60 mL) honey
½ tsp cornstarch
1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
For Garnish
2 scallions, chopped
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp orange zest

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a large skillet on high heat, heat the olive and sesame oils. Add garlic, ginger and shallots and sauté for 3 minutes until softened. Transfer to a medium bowl and set skillet aside.

Using your hands, incorporate the ground beef, pork, salt, soy sauce, black and red pepper, cracker crumbs, egg and orange zest into the garlic, shallot and onion mixture until all ingredients are well-combined.

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, measure 2 tbsp of meatball mixture into mounds spaced 1 in (2.5 cm) apart. Using your hands, roll each mound into a ball.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, return the skillet to high heat. Add the whiskey and orange juice and, on medium-high heat, reduce the liquid by half. Bring to a boil, add the butter and honey and reduce the heat to low. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tsp of water and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and stir until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the lemon juice and meatballs to the skillet and toss until well-coated. Garnish with chopped scallions, sesame seeds and orange zest and serve with cocktail toothpicks.

Makes about 24 generous size meatballs


TIP: We highly recommend you sample the whiskey before you make this recipe. And then get right to work, using your shot glass, the ideal size vessel, to measure the meat.

SOURCE:   Chowgirls Killer Party Food: Righteous Bites & Cocktails For Every Occasion

NOTES:
  • This is an excellent method for making meatballs.  I've always pan-cooked them in the past, but baking is definitely better!
  • Their shotglass tip is better in theory than practice.  It didn't want to come out easily and a was much easier with a scoop and kitchen scale.
  • These are definitely bigger than a bite, so if you do want to serve them with a cocktail toothpick, I'd make them half this size or maybe a little bigger.
  • The texture is great.

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