Asian Garlic Meatballs with Deviant Secret Sauce: Now we’re talkin’!
It is rare that I serve Asian Garlic Meatballs individually with dipping sauce. They are usually in a chaffing dish coated with the sauce. It is easier, and perfect for a crowd, and not so secret! The “secret sauce” is my recipe for Deviant Cumberland Sauce and it is a spectacular combination of flavours that sent the Asian Garlic Meatballs to the nth of deliciousness!
There have not been crowds yet, this season, so this works, when there are only a few guests. No, I didn’t serve the appetizers as displayed above. I am just giving you a peek into my retro freezer appetizer selection: Olive Cheese Puffs, Mushroom Turnovers, Jalapeno Pepper Jelly Turnovers and the Asian Garlic Meatballs with Deviant Cumberland Sauce.
The first elegant cocktail party I attended was hosted by Laura and Bishu Froese for the staff at La Perle Elementary School in the early 1980’s. They had purchased their first home. She had worked for months preparing make ahead cocktail bites for this very special event. I still recall standing in the living room of their vintage home, elegantly decorated with white twinkling lights everywhere. There were about 18 dolled up colleagues attending. The food was plated in a circle around their dining room table and about 12-15 different items and about 24 of each. This was before the internet. Before I was reading Bon Appetite or Gourmet or any such food focused material. Laura’s party was my first experience with food styling and food presented in an aesthetic and elegant fashion within the home setting. The background music enhanced the aromas. Everything was perfect. What she called “Chinese Meatballs” were the mos unusual taste for me at the table at this time in my life.
She very generously shared her recipe and they have been a staple at all of my future parties, with only a few tweaks. Very easy to make. Very intense in flavour. A pairing sauce is essential to tone down these bold little balls.
I watch a lot of good movies during “make ahead freezer appetizer” month. The ingredients are put together quickly and combine well. Rolling to get the size of each similar is important. Above, raw and below, cooked. Can you see the shrinkage?
Above raw and below, cooked. They do need the full amount of time in the oven and they will shrink considerably in size.
Cool, freeze on clean parchment lined cookies sheet and repackage in labeled and dated freezer proof zip lock bags or in casserole dishes with Deviant Cumberland Sauce – however you plan on serving them in the future.
What does 100 cocktail sized meatballs look like? Like the sheet, above: 106, to be exact.
Clearly, these meatballs are no longer hot or warm, and they really are best that way.
The dipping sauce will be used for a variety of savory bites. even fingers, so be sure to watch your guests closely.
I am on a meatball quest. If you have a favourite “to-die-for” tried and true cocktail meatball recipe that you are very proud of or that is a family and friend favourite, please do share it in the comments section below. I already have one from Peggy, a reader who shared in an earlier post, that I will be making later today: Ham and Sauerkraut Balls. I cannot wait!
So, on with 2015. On with cooking great food with our friends and families in our home kitchens and on with sharing your retro recipes with me!
Asian Garlic Meatballs
This is an ACF Original recipe inspired by eating many meatballs dipped in many sauces. It is a favourite of my friends and family. Theaccompanying Deviant Cumberland Sauce is a must. Hope you love it, too!
- 1 ½ kilo lean ground beef
- 1 ½ c soya sauce (scant)
- ¼ c sherry or port (generous)
- 1/8 c freshly grated ginger
- 6 cloves of minced garlic
- ¼ c sugar (scant)
- green onions for garnish (which I only do when served in a chaffing dish)
Combine all ingredients, and using the smallest ice cream scoop, form 100 small balls
Place touching on parchment covered cookie sheet as there will considerable shrinkage
Preheat oven to 400°F bake for 30 minutes; freeze overnight after cooled, individually on a parchment covered cookie sheet
Store in zip lock freezer bags until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350°F; heat frozen meatballs individually, or decorative casserole, from frozen (about 15 minutes)
Slice greens of onions in sleeping cut, very thinly, to garnish meatballs on platter or serving dish
Serve with toothpicks and Deviant Cumberland Sauce
Toasted sesame seeds are another tasty garnish that look and taste great sprinkled over this dish
Cynthia Acheson says
Your recipes always look so delicious! I need a little guidance, and since you have been making this recipe for awhile now, I hope that you can help me. I have a potluck lunch to attend next weekend for about 50 people, and I was hoping to bring a warm dish that can stay warm in a slow cooker. Do you think that these meatballs can hold mixed in the sauce, or is the sauce too strongly flavoured, and should only be a wee dip for each meatball?
Thank you so much!
Valerie Lugonja says
Wonderful to hear from you. My first reaction was “Yikes!” only because you haven’t made these before. I always work to provide specific instructions and photos so anyone could make the recipe turn out the same way it does here – at least I try! 🙂
So, the meatballs will definitely hold up in a slow cooker with an inch of water or so in the bottom to keep them moist…. but I would add the sauce until immediately before serving, and only enough sauce to coat the meatballs lightly.
So, if there is a microwave where you are going, heat a cup or the sauce and pour it over the hot meatballs immediately before serving and gently mix them to coat. Toothpicks on the side.
The sauce is pretty perky, but that will be easy for you to adjust to your palate and for the crowd when you make it… a little more jelly – or orange juice… start with half the garlic and ginger and zest…. ease your way into buidling the flavours in the sauce.
Let me know how it goes? I love potluck parties.
Talking about retro dishes – another I adore, but my husband detests – is Dolmates. SO SO SO easy to make – a sensational crowd pleaser. Easy to make ahead and freeze. I always take my homemade Tzitziki to serve with them. here is the link to my recipe for another potluck in your future:
So there is another idea. Vanja detests grapevine leaves and dill and anything remotely good for him.
Happy 2015, Cynthia!
Cynthia Acheson says
Thank you so much for your help. I was assuming that these may not be your standard meatballs swimming in sauce/gravy, and I appreciate your recommendation of adding sauce judiciously at the end. As my choice of dish is not yet set…could you possibly point me to a great dolmades recipe that you like to use? I didn’t spot one on this site, and wouldn’t like to waste my time in an inferior recipe
Cynthia Acheson says
Nevermind, I found your recipe! I was just spelling it wrong