Thursday, October 26, 2006

a visit from "the kid"

when a certain little kid visits, i always have to think ahead. what to feed this finicky eater? what to make, what to make?? well, can't go wrong with sweet 'n sour meatballs, right? this batch was made without any extra "things" in it that would have otherwise made it unpalatable in a child's mind.

here is the recipe based on the one from a "famous" canadian jewish cookbook published in the late 60s, called second helpings, please. my copy is so old and well used, with stains on certain pages and a mangled spine — not to mention notes on page after page from recipes i have tried over the years.

for some reason, this doesn't bother me. it would seriously annoy me with other books that i paid a king's ransom for though. i guess those ones are more coffee table type books you are afraid to dirty, especially in the kitchen. silly since that is where they are meant to be used. while the recipes are not on the level of — or anything near — say, escoffier or julia child, many of them are excellent, like the one for challah or the brownies that everyone always loves.

the following recipe is simple and no fuss. i suggest using canada dry gingerale if you can get your hands on it. all the recipe requires is a regular sized can of soda.

sweet 'n sour meatballs
with or without pineapple

ingredients for meatballs:

1 lb ground beef
1-2 tbsp matza meal [or use breadcrumbs]
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
[optional: garlic & onion powder, paprika]

ingredients for the sauce:

1 can ginger ale
1 c. ketchup

1/4 c brown sugar
1 c pineapple chunks
1/2 c sliced green bell peppers


mix all ingredients together for the meatballs and make small pingpong sized balls [or smaller, as i often do when "the kid" eats them]. set aside on a plate. sorry for the blurred picture!

in a pot, mix together the ingredients for the sauce and bring to a boil. add the meatballs and let simmer on low heat covered for a full 2 hours. the meat will release its juices and the sauce will boil down and thicken by the end of the cooking time. stir every 20 minutes or so and replace the lid.

serve with steamed rice. i use parboiled rice often for this dish.
nothing could be simpler. enjoy!