Party Food I: Pork Meatballs with Yogurt Dressing

According to photographic evidence, I have eaten exactly four proper meals since Thanksgiving. My kitchen time has been dominated by party food and Christmas baking and the rest of my time has been dominated by Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, party going, novel reading, movie watching. All that has left me eating party mix for dinner most nights, which is nothing to complain about.

In returning to The Food Processor, I think we should start at the beginning, or somewhere close to there. After Thanksgiving, Glenn and I cohosted a party with our neighbor. Some of you were there. Some of you have been begging for recipes.

You can see what a wonderful spread we had, but you can’t see what wonderful meatballs Glenn made. I couldn’t find the camera when I took them out of the oven, which is really too bad because the presentation was almost as incredible as the meatballs themselves. We served the meatballs on my new white platter with the dips in my mini casseroles. Of course, they were gone by the time I located the camera.

The meatballs were rustic and delicate, well spiced and tender. I think the meatballs were so tender for two reasons. One: we used half-a-pound less pork than the recipe called for without reducing any other ingredients. Two: you puree the bread, milk, and onion so that it’s much easier to incorporate with the meat. Good to know for other meatball recipes.

The yogurt dip was cool and smooth, but very earthy. The mint dip was light and tart, but a little oily. If I make these again, I’ll puree the mint dip so that it will stick to the meatballs a little better.

We made the dips and fried the meatballs several hours before the party and then warmed the meatballs in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 before we served them. These meatballs had a much bigger wow factor than the typical crock pot variety and weren’t much more difficult to make.

Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs

No, they are not made out of real porcupines. No one would want to make Ground Beef with Rice in Tomato Sauce.

Porcupine Meatballs was my favorite meal in the Young family rotation (which consisted of taco salad, greenbean casserole, ham and potato casserole, tuna noodle casserole, you get the idea). I requested it every year on my birthday (the only day mom let us have an opinion about what to eat). It originally came from a cooking for two cookbook, but I don’t know the title or the author. When I copied it from mom’s recipe, I had to divide it back down to two from ten.

I use extra tomato sauce and sprinkle extra uncooked rice over the top before I start it simmering. Other than that, stick to the recipe:

  • .5 lb ground beef
  • .25 cup uncooked rice
  • .25 cup milk
  • 2 Tb chopped onion
  • .25 tsp salt
  • .125 tsp celery salt
  • .125 tsp garlic salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 Tb shortening
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • .5 cup water
  • 1.5 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • Mix first 8 ingredients in a bowl. Form into 4 meatballs. Melt shortening in a saucepan (you need a lid) and brown meatballs. Add all other ingredients, cover, and simmer about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.