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Not yo mama's meatballs - a different meatball thread

lynnlato Nov 4, 2012 06:14 AM

I'm not interested in the traditional, Italian-American version. I want to know what CHers do that's off the beaten path.

for instance, I make Sicilian-style meatballs with Italian sausage and they are traditional in many ways (i.e.milk-soaked bread, fresh parsley & garlic) but the addition of currants and pine nuts and Locatelli pecorino romano cheese makes them a little more interesting.

What do you do? Swedish style, lamb meatballs, curried meatballs - hit me with some delicious meatball recipes.

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  1. King of Northern Blvd RE: lynnlato Nov 4, 2012 07:35 AM

    Did you see this thread yet? Lot's of good stuff here..


    2 Replies
    1. re: King of Northern Blvd
      lynnlato RE: King of Northern Blvd Nov 4, 2012 11:20 AM

      I had not, but thanks!! Lidia Bastianich's Sausage & Fennel Meatballs w/ orange zest look ridiculously good. I must make these.

      1. re: King of Northern Blvd
        aching RE: King of Northern Blvd Nov 5, 2012 03:51 PM

        The Meatball Banh Mi recipe that I posted in this thread was awesome and definitely not your mama's meatballs (unless your mama is Vietnamese)!

      2. e
        escondido123 RE: lynnlato Nov 4, 2012 07:45 AM

        My 90 year-old, Italian-American mother-in-law adds pine nuts and Romano to her meatballs so I consider that pretty traditional.

        3 Replies
        1. re: escondido123
          lynnlato RE: escondido123 Nov 4, 2012 11:19 AM

          I don't think most folks do pine nuts & currants ( the Locatelli perhaps). It's old school Sicilian but not generally what you think of as traditional Italian-American meatballs.

          @travelerjjm - Smoked meatballs sounds delicious!

          1. re: lynnlato
            escondido123 RE: lynnlato Nov 4, 2012 11:25 AM

            Guess it all depends on where your Grandma is from.

            1. re: escondido123
              roxlet RE: escondido123 Nov 4, 2012 11:35 AM

              Or your father's parents, in my case!

        2. t
          travelerjjm RE: lynnlato Nov 4, 2012 09:51 AM

          I love to smoke them! I make the recipe for smoked meatballs from Jeff Smith's Three Ancient Cuisines much of the time, but I have smoked more traditional ones, too. I use a stovetop smoker. A wok lined with foil works, too.

          1. p
            paprkutr RE: lynnlato Nov 4, 2012 10:28 AM

            I want to make these meatballs that I got at Costco last Holiday season. Chicken meatballs with cranberries and jalapenos. they are delicious.

            1. p
              plasticanimal RE: lynnlato Nov 4, 2012 11:12 AM

              I sometimes make "surprise" meatballs. Each one is stuffed with something different inside. One will have an olive in the middle, one will have a piece of cheese, one will have broccoli, one will have a chunk of pickled turnip, or a mushroom, or pistachios, and so on. It's fun!

              1. roxlet RE: lynnlato Nov 4, 2012 11:34 AM

                lynnlato, those meatballs you describe are pretty traditional Italian-American--at least they were in my house growing up. Half our meatballs were always made with pignoli and raisins (currants being less available). All were made with pecorino.

                1. ipsedixit RE: lynnlato Nov 4, 2012 11:37 AM

                  Chinese Lion's Head Meatballs.

                  1. The Dairy Queen RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 12:07 PM

                    I was just reminded of my old "hollow" Swedish food thread (long, long story, but I needed something for a theme-potluck) wherein a bunch of us invented Swedish meatballs stuffed with gravy, lingonberry jam, and/or cream cheese. It's one of my all-time favorite threads because it started out with my ridiculous request, yet, people really got into it.

                    Here's the whole thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5910...

                    Chowser was the first to try it: she put frozen gravy and jam in hers... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5910...

                    Link to the actual recipe I tried (MMRuth's Swedish meatball recipe--it's fantastic if you haven't tried it) and how I "stuffed" it:

                    ANd here's MMRuth's attempt: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5910...

                    Someone (chowser?) suggested that cranberry and/or gravy-stuffed turkey meatballs would be awesome. I doubt I can get to it this year (toddler at my knee and all) but if anyone's feeling experimental, I'd love to hear how they come out.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      ludmilasdaughter RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 5, 2012 01:25 PM

                      Oh wow. cranberry stuffed meatballs in a sauce of gravy would make a fabulous fall appetizer.

                      1. re: ludmilasdaughter
                        The Dairy Queen RE: ludmilasdaughter Nov 5, 2012 01:26 PM

                        Does it sound like it would be delicious and super fun?


                    2. hotoynoodle RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 01:44 PM

                      i prefer beef mixed with pork for italian-style meatballs and usually use romano as the cheese, as i prefer it over parm. add fennel seeds and red chili flakes. i like golden raisin in there, but the b/f not so much.

                      LOVE lamb meatballs, with plenty of lemon or orange zest, sesame seeds, sesame oil, garlic, mint and coriander. yogurt sauce.

                      asian style, i use ground pork, lots of coriander, red pepper flakes and a smoodge of tom yam paste.

                      1. v
                        valerie RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 01:49 PM

                        I haven't made these Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze, but I always have them on my to-do list. I think they look good...


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: valerie
                          chefathome RE: valerie Nov 5, 2012 03:01 PM

                          These are good. Worth making in my opinion.

                          1. re: valerie
                            lynnlato RE: valerie Nov 5, 2012 03:33 PM

                            Okay, I've bookmarked these - they look & sound delicious!

                          2. JungMann RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 02:00 PM

                            We didn't grow up with red sauce meatballs. We were much more likely to have sweet and sour meatballs, lamb kofta masala, pork meatballs in gingered chicken soup or pork and beef in saffron sauce.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JungMann
                              lynnlato RE: JungMann Nov 5, 2012 03:32 PM

                              Thank you JungMann, that was sort of my point for this post. What's traditional for some is not to many others. I love lamb kofta and the others you've described sound tasty too.

                            2. c
                              cheesecake17 RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 02:49 PM

                              I've had chicken meatballs in chicken soup instead of matzoh balls. Light and delicious

                              1. melpy RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 02:51 PM

                                Those Sicilian meatballs sound heavenly. Recipe please?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: melpy
                                  lynnlato RE: melpy Nov 5, 2012 03:27 PM

                                  I usually use this recipe, which I found a few years ago at Epicurious/Bon Appetit (my Sicilian mom passed away when I was a kid so I never got her recipe). :( I like that they are baked, rather than fried. I bake them and then put them in my sauce and freeze extras. Enjoy melpy!

                                  Sicilian Meatballs (recipe from Bon Appetit 1999)

                                  2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
                                  3 tablespoons milk
                                  1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
                                  1/4 cup finely chopped onion
                                  3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
                                  1 large egg
                                  1 garlic clove, minced
                                  1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                                  1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
                                  2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
                                  2 tablespoons dried currants

                                  Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil baking sheet. Mix crumbs and milk in medium bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Mix in Parmesan, onion, basil, egg, garlic and pepper. Add sausage, pine nuts and currants; blend well. Using wet hands, form mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place on baking sheet. Bake until meatballs are light brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

                                  Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                2. b
                                  BuildingMyBento RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 02:57 PM

                                  A bit of a horse of a different color, but in Japan I ate eel meatballs (more like köfte) at a department store.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: BuildingMyBento
                                    lynnlato RE: BuildingMyBento Nov 5, 2012 03:28 PM

                                    Get out of town?!! Did you like them? You've piqued my curiosity. Details please!

                                  2. chefathome RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 03:01 PM

                                    Ćevapčići are made in the Balkans and served with ajvar, a roasted red pepper and eggplant condiment that replaces ketchup. They are not a meatball per se but are ground beef/pork formed into chubby logs. We have them whenever in the Balkans and the odd time in Canada.

                                    Shrimp "meat"balls can be excellent, especially served witih a citrus aioli or a chutney.

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: chefathome
                                      lynnlato RE: chefathome Nov 5, 2012 03:29 PM

                                      Do you have a recipe for the shrimp meatballs?

                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                        happybaker RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 03:33 PM

                                        I'd love that recipe too, please!

                                        1. re: lynnlato
                                          chefathome RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 03:38 PM

                                          I'm out of town and the recipe is in one of my cookbooks at home. However, this is another delicious recipe in the meantime:


                                          ETA: Thought of another good one - shrimp and pork meatballs with rujak sauce:


                                          Oh, another another...

                                          I have been making many different kinds of meatballs over the course of the past few years especially. You could call it an obsession...

                                          1. re: chefathome
                                            lynnlato RE: chefathome Nov 5, 2012 03:53 PM

                                            Love it! There are far worse obsessions chefathome. Thanks for the links. I've got reading to do.

                                        2. re: chefathome
                                          melpy RE: chefathome Nov 7, 2012 10:47 AM

                                          Had those log meat balls at the local Bosnian restaurant with bread onions and yogurt but I have had that condiment before as well.

                                          Yum! Now I have a craving!

                                          1. re: melpy
                                            chefathome RE: melpy Nov 7, 2012 10:50 AM

                                            You have a local Bosnian restaurant? Wow. Interesting that they served the meatballs with yogurt. If you cannot find ajvar, it is easy to make and delicious.

                                            1. re: chefathome
                                              King of Northern Blvd RE: chefathome Nov 7, 2012 03:39 PM

                                              I live in a neighborhood with a large Croatian/Bosnian population. Cevapi are plentiful around here and are delicious. They sometimes serve it with their version of cream cheese along with the ajvar.

                                              1. re: King of Northern Blvd
                                                chefathome RE: King of Northern Blvd Nov 7, 2012 03:54 PM

                                                I had never thought to try any dairy with ajvar. Great idea. My husband and I own a house in Croatia so we get there as often as we can! We really enjoy Istrian food.

                                                1. re: chefathome
                                                  King of Northern Blvd RE: chefathome Nov 7, 2012 05:49 PM

                                                  A Croatian friend in the neighborhood turned us on to a Bosnian Butcher/Deli in the area so we have been introduced to a lot of Istrian food we knew nothing about..

                                                  1. re: King of Northern Blvd
                                                    chefathome RE: King of Northern Blvd Nov 7, 2012 05:53 PM

                                                    Don't you love how that works?

                                              2. re: chefathome
                                                melpy RE: chefathome Nov 7, 2012 04:09 PM

                                                This area had a lot of refugees. I am the head of ESL locally and until recently the Bosnian population was our biggest group.

                                                I mispoke earlier it was sour cream and onions. I've stopped buying sour cream at home and just buy yogurt so I must have confused myself.

                                                1. re: melpy
                                                  chefathome RE: melpy Nov 7, 2012 05:54 PM

                                                  Wow. That is very cool! I was wondering about the sour cream and was surprised I had not heard of it in that application. No wonder! ;-)

                                          2. Terrie H. RE: lynnlato Nov 5, 2012 03:48 PM

                                            I was gifted a little cookbook on appetizers quite a few years ago, and it included a meatball recipe with a Thai-influenced lamb meatball with lettuce wraps. When I had an occasion to take an appetizer, that recipe and the fact that ground chicken was on sale inspired me. I took the flavors from a traditional larb gai recipe and made them into meatballs, and served them in a lettuce cup. Very fiddley, but it turned out to be a big winner.

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