Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Sweet & The Sour

Another great easy recipe perfect for cool, crisp Fall evenings; Sweet 'n Sour Meatballs.  Another versatile recipe.  Any meat you choose can be used with this recipe.  You can adjust the sweet and the sour according to your preference.  The heat level can be adjusted for less or more heat.  I use white wine to simmer and steam my long grain rice.  Pineapple juice or water can be used to simmer and steam your choice of rice.  That is the other thing that can be changed up; the rice, brown rice, Arborio, jasmine, etc..  It is all delicious!  Here is the recipe and directions:


1 lb. ground beef [ or any other meat, chicken, pork, salmon, etc.]
1 egg
1 small diced onion
1/2 c. dried bread crumbs
salt & pepper to taste

1. Add all ingredients to medium bowl and toss with a utensil or just go in with your hands and mix everything thoroughly.
2.  Roll your meatballs in 1" balls. [ if using another meat or fish, cut in 1" bites sizes]

3. Chop veggies into 1" bites while meatballs are browning.
4. Once meatballs are brown remove from skillet and place on plate to stay warm.
5. Place onion chunks and green pepper chunks in same skillet to fry to lightly soften.
6.  Add pineapple the last minute of frying veggies.

7. Start preparing rice.  I used 1 cup white wine, 1/2 c. water, to 1 cup of rice. A pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down burner to low and simmer until rice has absorbed all moisture.
8. Remove veggies and pineapple and place on a plate to keep warm.
9.  Start rue for sauce with 3 Tbsp. of butter with 3 Tbsp. of flour. Whisk flour and butter together. Cook flour for 2 minutes to prevent raw flour taste.

Sweet 'n Sour Sauce:

1 c. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 c. pineapple juice
1 c. water
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. ground ginger or 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
pinch of red pepper flakes

10.  Add pineapple juice slowly to rue, whisking to combine, and water whisking to combine.
11. Add brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes, whisking to combine on medium high heat.
12.  Reduce temperature to low as sauce starts to thicken.
13. Add meatballs and veggies to the sweet 'n sour sauce.  Cook until internal temp of meatballs is 160 degrees, approximately 5-7 minutes simmering in sauce.
14. Serve with a scoop of cooked rice.

I used fresh pineapple because I bought two pineapples.  First time I used fresh pineapple.  This recipe works with canned pineapple.  Remember to reserve juice when draining the pineapple chunks.  I do like the flavor the fresh pineapple gave to the recipe. Fresh pineapple tastes like a little nutmeg has been added to it.  It is such a distinct taste!  Of course it is the natural flavor of fresh pineapple.  It is good to use fresh to awake our taste buds!
As the green turns to gold on the outside of a pineapple and the bottom of the pineapple smells like pineapple it is ripe enough to carve.  I flash froze and bagged the rest in chunks for more recipes later, including pineapple smoothies [my favorite] and fruit salads and as a topping on pizzas.  Great fun and a great flavor reward!
The wildlife love the fresh tart flavor of fallen apples.  Squirrels, birds, moose, and elk come through and enjoy the apple flavor this time of year in our area. Plenty of apple trees in this area.  Some grow along the sides of our roadways.  Even the deer stop for apple snack breaks.
We step outside in the mornings and smell apples in the air.  Rooney's nose is 100x stronger than mine and yet I have a fabulous sense of smell, and so I can but imagine the intensity with which Rooney can smell the apple smells, and all the other Fall smells in the air.  With local farmers harvesting wheat and barley, we can smell the smells of harvest in the air.  Our noses are delighted with the aromas.  I love how happy Rooney prances during our walks.  It makes me think that Fall may be her favorite season too.  We have quite a partnership!

Enjoy The Sweet 'n The Sour this week!

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