Friday, March 2, 2012

Healthier Meatballs

     At home, I always make sure that we have a stock of ground pork in the freezer, because just in case we run out of anything else to cook, there's always meatballs to the rescue. You can make a variety of dishes with meatballs - pancit molo, spaghetti with meatballs, siomai, burger steak with gravy, lumpaing shanghai, almondigas soup, etc. And it's a breeze to make, too.

     I do have my own way of making meatballs and it includes using leftover food as a binder, pulsing them in the food processor and cooking them in boiling water.

     Don't cringe at the leftover food part as I didn't mean collecting leftovers off of your plate. I usually use the morning's breakfast leftover (scrambled eggs, corned beef, ham, meatloaf, etc), chop and add them to the ground pork together with diced carrots, onions, garlic and grated cheese. Seasonings includes salt, pepper, hamburger seasoning and oyster sauce. Mix them together with a fork and pulse a few times in the food processor. This would allow them to come together more thoroughly.

     Heat some water in the pan (enough to accommodate the meatballs but not immerse them completely) while forming the meatballs. Drop them in the pan, cover, allow the steam to help in the cooking process. Cooking time would depend on the size of the balls, about 5-7 minutes. Drain. The cooked meatballs would be pale, but if you want them to turn golden brown, brush a baking pan with some oil and pop them in the oven for a few minutes at 350 degrees.

     Don't discard the leftover broth. Today I used them in making chopsuey with meatballs.

     Boiling meatballs is a healthier cooking approach as it skips having to use oil, thus reducing fat content on food. It also results to softer and juicier meatballs.

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