Friday, 13 June 2008

Thursday is freezer night

Last night we had meatballs, one of my favourite suppers to cook in advance and freeze. It's so nice to come home, stick it in the oven, make some rice and eat a delicious meal without doing any work.

This recipe is one of my own inventions, and I use chicken mince because it is healthier and less fatty. I'm sure this would work with other meats but I think the strong flavours go very well with chicken.

Chicken Meatballs in Hot Pepper Sauce

(serves 4)

1lb chicken mince, as lean as possible
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 red peppers
2 red chillies
2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
1 egg
Cajun spice
Soy Sauce
Cayenne Pepper
A little plain flour
Olive oil for cooking
Salt & pepper

Finely chop one of the onions and crush the garlic. In a large saucepan, fry these until translucent. While this is frying, finely chop the chillies and cut the peppers into pieces about 2cm squared. Add these to the saucepan, and fry for a few more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, paprika, soy sauce, Cajun spice, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper if you like it quite spicy. Keep tasting to get the flavour just as you want it. Half fill each of the empty tomato tins with water (to get any remaining tomato out of each) and add this to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, finely chop the other onion and add to a bowl with the chicken mince and egg. Mix this together and then add some flour to thicken the mixture. You want it to be thick enough so that you can form it into balls but not too dense. Add all the spices, soy sauce and seasoning to this mixture as well.When the sauce is simmering and you are happy with the taste, cover it and turn down the heat. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large frying pan, and start forming meatballs. It is easiest to do this if you wet your hand in cold water first. I also like to divide the mixture up with a spoon in the bowl first, so I have an idea how big I want each to be. Out of 1lb of mince, I like to make 4 portions, and I try to do 24 meatballs in total, so they are quite small. I fry this in 2 batches of 12 but do whatever works for you and your frying pan. Brown the meatballs on all sides and then remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce. When they are all cooked and in the sauce, put the saucepan in the oven on about 150° (or whatever is slightly lower than you would normally roast at in your oven). Leave for at least 30 minutes, and then serve with rice or pasta (or take it out of the oven and freeze in portions).


simonshaer said...

Hey Katie - talking of chicken mince you should ask the blond plumpster about the recipie he translated for me from french. I'll try and dig it out for you....

simonshaer said...

Ok - here is the recipe which is pretty good. Jon translated it from French for me so there is a need for a little improvisation. Oh, and don't add as much chilli powder as they recommend


Prearation: 40 mins. Cooking: 30 mins

500g of chicken
60g butter
1/2 teaspoon of green cardamon powder
1/2 soup spoon of salt

2 litres of turkey stock
12 green cardamons
6 cloves
7g ground cumin
95g ghee (indian clarified butter)
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion
4g chilli powder
1g saffron
10g dry amaranthe flowers [not sure if this something in and of iteself or a french term for somehting else, perhaps rose petals?] pinch of salt+pepper

- Cut the meat into cubes and blend in a mixer until you get a fine pate consistency. Transfer to a pestle and mortar to grind down even finer, and take out any white fibres (?). Add the butter and cerdemon powder and continue to grind until it is as fine as possible. Add the salt.
- form balls of about 75g each in your hands, keeping your hands moist with cold water
- purée the onion
- put the amaranthe flowers into 12cl of water and heat for 1-2 mins and take out, to keep the jus
- mince the garlic and infuse in 6cl of water
- Dissolve the chilli in 20cl water
- place the meatballs in a pan with the stock, cloves, cardemon, cumin, garlic water, ghee, onion, chilli water and season with s+p. Bring to the boil, mix well. Cover and cook until the balls are tender and the sauce is like a consistwnt soup. Add the saffron, amaranthe water and pepper
- Take out the balls and mix in [something to do with plunged garlic]
- Put the balls back in the sauce and serve hot

et voila!

Katie said...

Thanks Shim!