Monday, 28 October 2013

Carol's Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Do you have a favourite food or cooking smell?  You know the hits you as soon as you walk in the kitchen (or house), and you are instantly transported to a time long ago, one that envelopes you in a cocoon of warmth, comfort and safety?

Growing up in a household with a mother who cooked a lot meant that there were a lot of foods that evoked warm fuzzy, happy, feelings for me.  Now, as I prepare and eat these dishes, I am reminded of the happy moments of my childhood...the excitement that kicked in whenever we'd return home after a long day at school (8:30a to 4:30p plus travel time - it was a long day!) and be greeted by one of Mom's treasured cooking smells as we walked through the front door.  

One of these dishes was Mom's Sweet and Sour Meatballs.  They tasted just like the recipe name suggests: sweet...and sour.  What a fantastic combination!

Mom would let them cook, simmering slowly on a low temperature on the stove, so that the meatballs could absorb all the delicious flavours of the sauce.  It was so hard not to steal a spoonful when she stepped out of the kitchen!  

Now I am the mom, and Sara and Becca are the ones to walk into the kitchen sniffing and guessing what's for dinner.  There is no greater satisfaction for me than those moments when my kids think I'm not looking and they sneak a taste of dinner from the pot.  No worries though, there is absolutely no double dipping in our house...which means that I usually find a collection of spoons in the sink (a dead giveaway that dinner will be a hit!).  

These sweet and sour meatballs are best served piping hot, on a bed of fluffy white rice, with a fresh rye bread and...Baba Dora salad, of course!

From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do.  

Until next time, I wish you a wonderful day filled with family, fun, friends and fantastic food.  B'Tayavon and Buon Appetito!

Carol's Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Meatball ingredients:
1 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey, or chicken)
1 small onion, chopped very fine 
¼C breadcrumbs (or more if needed to hold the meatballs together)
2 tbsp ketchup
1 egg
½ tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper (or to taste)

Sauce ingredients:
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 28 oz tin diced tomatoes
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp canola or olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Sauce - Crock pot version: Saute onions in olive oil until they are golden and translucent, not browned. Add to tomatoes, salt and pepper (already in the crock pot). Turn heat to high until sauce reaches a boil, then reduce temperature to low.
- or -
Sauce - Stove top version: In a large stock pot, saute onions in olive oil until they are golden and translucent, not browned. Add to tomatoes, salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium high (7) until sauce reaches a boil, then reduce heat to medium low (3 or 4).

Meatballs -  Once the sauce has reached a boil, and the stove or crock pot temperature has been reduced,combine ingredients for meatballs and roll into small balls, adding them to the sauce as you roll them - remembering to gently stir the sauce every few minutes.  Allow meatballs to simmer for 1½ hours, then add the sugar, and simmer for an additional 1½ hours.  

Serve on a bed of fluffy white rice and enjoy.  Leftovers can be frozen in the sauce.

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