life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Food memory....

Funny how certain foods bring back memories.  For  example, I can never eat gefilte fish without thinking about my grandmother, who made hers from scratch.    Spaghetti and meatballs is the meal my mother served my father on his birthday, the night before I was born.  My daughter Jen cannot celebrate her birthday properly unless there is a strawberry shortcake.

Back in the 1980's I found a recipe in a magazine for sweet and sour cocktail meatballs.  The recipe was fairly simple, and I made those meatballs several times, for parties and get-togethers. for some reason I stopped making them .  Then, about ten years ago I shared the recipe with a coworker.  She made them and served them as a main dish, over rice.    Lost touch with her when she left the company a few months later...

So we were planning New Year's Eve, and I got a craving for those meatballs.  I hadn't made them in years, but wanted to try them again.  I made them the day before the party, and we forgot to heat them up and serve them.  But that's OK, Drew and I ate them for lunch.

And two days before New Year's, the former coworker contacted me on Facebook, looking for the recipe!

You can find all sorts of variations of this recipe on the internet, but I like to keep it very basic:

For the meatballs:

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup onion, chopped
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients, form into 1 inch balls.  You can brown the meatballs in a little oil, or you can cook them in the sauce.

For the sauce:

one 12 ounce bottle chili sauce
one 10 ounce jar grape jelly

Melt the jelly in a sauce pan.  Add the chili sauce, stir to combine.  Add the meatballs.  Let them simmer at least 15 minutes if you browned them, at least 30 minutes if you did not.  Serve in a chafing dish.

Variations:  I saw a number of similar recipes on the internet.  One called for using a bag of frozen meatballs.  You can add milk to the meatball mixture, and/or Worchestershire sauce.  You can add brown sugar and lemon juice to the sauce.   You can substitute ketchup for the chili sauce.  You can cook them in a crockpot. You can use cocktail sausages or mini hot dogs or sliced kielbasa instead of the meatballs. 

I haven't tried any of the variations, but I think I'm going to try it with cocktail franks.


Suzanne said...

When I first moved out of state, my coworkers loved doing a monthly potluck. Those meatballs and 'drunken hot dogs' were always on the menu.

The drunken hot dogs are cocktail franks, wrapped in bacon, and then cooked in a crock pot with brown sugar and bourbon. Not sure of the ratios, but those two things were a large contributor to the weight gain that first year I lived away from home!

songbird's crazy world said...

They do sound good! I'm sure Google could find a decent recipe. I'll rem that idea for the next party.

songbird's crazy world said...

So the internet being what it is...the drunken hot dog recipes all call for hot dogs, ketchup, brown sugar and bourbon, but not bacon, simmered on the stove or in the crockpot. Another recipe calls for hot dogs wrapped in bacon, sprinkled with brown sugar and baked. Sounds like your friends combined the two.

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