The second final dish I made for my gathering of friends is actually two dishes – meat and tofu balls. Both are served with a sweet and sour sauce, a recipe I got from my mom. This is a bit of a long post, so I’ve chopped it into three parts – meat balls, tofu balls and the sweet & sour sauce… plus, I don’t have any pictures (sorry, my guests were over, so I was preoccupied with cooking, hosting and getting my guests to do all the fun jobs, like cutting onions and rolling sticky tofu ball goo into balls… I’m so happy they came early.
The meatballs are a recipe from my mom. I’ve made them more than once… I think this was the third time… so I’m basically a pro now, ok?
Taste – On nom nom nom
Preparation Score – 5 freezer bags out of a drawer full
Overall Outcome – They’re made of meat… They’re ball shaped… they taste delicious. I’d say this was a success!
- 500 g Ground beef
- 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 Shakes Worchestershire sauce
- 1 Egg
- Put everything in a bowl and mix with a fork
- Take teaspoon amount, roll in a ball
- (If you’re preparing early, use this step; if you’re preparing for immediate consumption, skip this step) Put in plastic bag for storage; freeze the meatballs.
- Put (frozen) meatballs in a casserole dish with cover, pour sweet and sour sauce (see recipe in Part 3 of this blog series) on top. Cover and bake for 1hour at 350*F
Ground Beef Freaks Me Out
Ground beef freaks me out. First off… it looks kind of like what I think brains look like. Second, it’s squishy. Third… how do I know it’s really ground beef? Hmm?? But I got over my fear after I mixed it with the rest of the ingredients… because then it looked less like brains and more like… brains mixed with ingredients.
It made getting my hands dirty so much more intriguing.
After rolling the balls, I didn’t know if I was supposed to put them in the freezer or bake them up right away. (I rolled the balls the night before the party). FYI, I did call my mom (this was the same night I made the Red Pepper Cream/Dip/Spread, so essentially the same phone conversation).
MOM: So you brown the meatballs and then pour the sauce over them.
ME: But… I was going to put them in the freezer because I don’t need them until tomorrow.
MOM: Oh, well that’s a great idea. How’d you think of that?
ME: It’s written in the recipe you gave me.
MOM: Oh, well aren’t I smart. Did you put them in freezer bags?
ME: No, I don’t have freezer bags, just sandwich bags.
MOM: Oh, are they the ziplock ones? Cuz those are…
ME: No, they’re the fold over ones. I had to use three for all of these balls
(yes, I giggled in my head when I said that)
MOM: Well, you should get freezer bags. A draw full of random freezer bags is essential. You never know when you’re going to need one. They’re great for storing stuff. And for picking up poop….
ME: Ew mom…
MOM: … because you can put your hand in and scoop the poop then flip the bag over and you don’t ever have to touch the poop.
ME: Thanks mom, I’ll keep that in mind when I purchase freezer bags.
MOM: You should really have some freezer bags.
ME: Ok ok, they’re on my list. So I just freeze these meat balls?
MOM: Yep, they’ll be ok until tomorrow. Then you put them in the casserole dish and pour the sauce over them. Bake and they’re done.
The only thing I really took away from that conversation was that freezer bags are good for scooping up poop. The ironic (if that’s even the correct use of the word) part is that I don’t have a pet. At all. Not even a goldfish. Though there are a ton of spiders, so I could name them and deem them my pets. But they haven’t written clever words in their webs yet in an effort to save a pig, so perhaps it’s not worth it.
Plus I’m fairly certain they crawl on me in my sleep. And they don’t have poop. Sooo, back to the food.
The Next Day
The frozen meatballs were no longer balls. They were blocks. My guest, M, and I tried banging them against the counter, smashing them with random cooking tools and even throwing the blocks on the floor (in their tiny sandwich bags)… eventually we got them apart, but that was mostly because we poured the boiling sweet and sour sauce on them.
So we stuck that in the oven, had some drinks, chillaxed and pulled them out an hour later piping hot and ready to be eaten.
Up Next – we take on the Tofu Balls in Part 2!