A few days ago I was looking through my “organized recipe catalogue”. For those of you who believe I am a super organized type A…have a look at the “file” containing my favourite recipes!
We were in a bit of a dinnertime rut and I was craving something different from the usual pork chops, chicken, meatloaf, casserole routine.
That’s when I came across this recipe I had for Waikiki Meatballs. I used to make these delicious and different meatballs on a fairly regular basis; but we hadn’t had them in at least five years, if not longer.
I had just been to the grocery store and had picked up some ground beef, so the timing was perfect. Waikiki Meatballs were on tonight’s dinner menu.
I use a plastic ziplock bag and my rolling-pin to easily crush the crackers. No muss, no fuss, no dirty dishes!
OK, I admit to being a little obsessive! I like the meatballs to all be roughly the same size. If you use a little scoop, like the smaller one pictured below, it is simple to make them all the fairly equal in size.
These scoops don’t have sizes marked on them, so I measured them for you.
The larger of the two hold about 4 Tablespoons (scoop is 6cm in diameter) and is the perfect size for portioning muffins and cupcakes. The smaller holds about 1.5 Tablespoons (scoop is 3.5cm in diameter) and is the perfect size for portioning cookies, truffles and meatballs.
Cooking in small batches ensures nice browning. If you overcrowd the pan, the meatballs will steam.
Make sure the meatballs are thoroughly cooked, the time in the oven is not sufficient to cook the meatballs.
Thirty-two beautifully browned meatballs!
If you are wondering what that little yellow glob in the pan is, it is “kind of” thawed pineapple juice. When I use canned pineapple I always freeze the juice in little containers for future use. Like today!
These meatballs are perfect served with a little rice on the side…DELICIOUS!
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef
- ⅔ cup cracker crumbs
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tsp finely grated ginger (or ½ tsp powdered ginger)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 green pepper, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 fresh pineapple cut into bite sized pieces
- ⅔ cup pineapple juice
- ⅓ cup vinegar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, cracker crumbs, egg, salt, ginger and milk.
- Using a small scoop or a tablespoon, shape mixture into balls. (Makes about 32 balls)
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.
- Working in batches* brown and thoroughly cook meatballs.
- Add cooked meatballs to a casserole dish.
- Add pineapple and peppers to the cooked meatballs and stir gently to combine all ingredients.
- Pour any excess fat from skillet. Remove skillet from heat.
- In a small bowl mix together cornstarch and brown sugar. Add to skillet.
- Stir in pineapple juice, say sauce and vinegar. Whisk until smooth with no lumps.
- Return to stovetop and cook sauce over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens and boils. (About 1 minute)
- Pour over peppers and meatballs in casserole dish.
- Heat in 350 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. (Can be made ahead of time, refrigerated and reheated. If reheating from cold, bake for approximately 30 minutes or until hot)
- Serve with rice.
I had almost forgotten how tasty these tender morsels of beef in a sweet and sour sauce were! I can tell you another thing, it definitely will not be five years before I make them again!
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask. I will do my very best to answer.