Pork & Shrimp Meatballs To Please The Palate
Whether served as an appetizer, an entree, or in a sandwich, meatballs are a meal few people can resist. Be it spaghetti and meatballs or Swedish meatballs before the main course, meatballs are a versatile food that make for a hearty lunch or a stick-to-your-ribs dinner.
Another favorite thing about meatballs is they’re open for experimentation. Meatballs, as the following recipe for “Pork and Shrimp Meatballs With Lemongrass and Ginger” from Andreas Viestad’s “Where Flavor Was Born” (Chronicle Books) suggests, don’t even need to include beef. Excellent when served with sweet chili sauce, these meatballs give meatball afficionados a taste of Thailand.
Pork and Shrimp Meatballs With Lemongrass and Ginger Serves 4 as a starter, 8 as a canape
8 ounces peeled shrimp
4 ounces freshly ground pork,
preferably pork belly
2 stalks lemongrass, green parts removed, crushed and finely chopped, plus
2 thick stalks lemongrass
2 to 6 small green chiles
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh
2 teaspoons light sesame oil
1 kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped if
fresh, or crumbled if dried
Oil for panfrying, such as canola
1. In a food bowl, combine the shrimp, pork, chopped lemongrass, chiles, ginger, sesame oil, and lime leaf. Run the mixture through a grinder and return to the bowl. (Or, if using a food processor, pulse to mix. It is better with a rather coarse mixture than a mushy one.)
2. Using a sharp knife, quarter the whole lemongrass stalks lengthwise, making sure that each “skewer” holds together at the bottom. Divide the shrimp mixture into 8 portions. Rub each lemongrass skewer between your palms until it gives off a fresh smell, but not so much as to disintegrate. Wrap one portion of the meat mixture around each piece of lemongrass.
3. Heat a little oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the skewers and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, turning several times, until golden brown and cooked through.
Variation: If you want more sesame flavor, roll the patties in sesame seeds before frying. This is not recommended if you are grilling, as the sesame seeds have a tendency to pop when exposed to high heat, but frying over medium heat works fine. They will need a slightly longer cooking time.