Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups

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Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups

Postby Dragon Wench » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:55 pm

Once summer actually got going over here on the West Coast, we ended up experiencing a lot of hot days. As a consequence, we ended up eating a huge amount of South-east Asian food.. this recipe is so amazing I had to share. It comes from Epicurus, which is probably my favourite recipe site.

Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups Bon App├ętit | March 2011

by Adrian Gaut
Yield: Makes 4 servings (appetiser sized: note that the recipe will serve two for dinner, and you may need something on the side.. I like crispy tofu with a sweet chilli dipping sauce, but noodles or rice would work too)

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

ingredients
Meatballs:
1 pound ground pork
1 lemongrass stalk, bottom 5 inches only, smashed with rolling pin, then minced
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

Dipping sauce and assembly:
1 lemongrass stalk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons coarsely grated carrot
4 teaspoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced green Thai chile or serrano chile with seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 head of butter lettuce, leaves separated (if you can't find butter lettuce, iceberg works as a substitute, it is somewhat bland in contrast, but the leaves are sturdy and cup the balls well)
1 small Persian cucumber, thinly sliced (long English also works fine)

preparation
For meatballs:

Chill pork in freezer while making lemongrass paste. Combine lemongrass, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining ingredients in processor; pulse until paste forms. Add chilled pork; pulse to blend. Shape into 24 balls (each about 1 tablespoonful). Place on rimmed baking sheet. Cover; chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

For dipping sauce and assembly:

Cut bottom 3 inches from lemongrass. Smash with rolling pin, then mince. Measure 1 tablespoon and place in small bowl (reserve the rest for another use). Add lime juice, fish sauce, cilantro, carrot, sugar, and chile to bowl; whisk until sugar dissolves.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs; brown until cooked through, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer to 1 side of large platter.

Arrange lettuce leaves and cucumber on platter with meatballs. Allow guests to place meatballs in leaves, garnish with cucumber, and drizzle dipping sauce over.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/ ... z24U17DxfA
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Re: Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups

Postby Jac » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:17 pm

I need to make meatballs one of these days. Thanks for the recipe, DW. :goodjob:
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Re: Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups

Postby Dragon Wench » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:23 pm

Making meatballs can be a bit time-consuming (though not overly), but it's also pretty easy... and they taste so good.. so the effort is definitely worth it :D
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I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
All those moments ... will be lost ... in time ... like tears in rain.
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Re: Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups

Postby neildarkstar » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:24 pm

During the heat, I did a lot of barbecue, but I also made meatballs once that went pretty well. My meatballs were Italian sausage (small about 1 inch), served with Jambalaya, sweet corn bread, and a cucumber salad. Red wine from a local vintner topped it off nicely. Hmmm, I'm gonna do that again.... soon!
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Re: Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups

Postby fable2 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:53 am

I'll pass that along to my wife, and see if she agrees with me it's worth trying out. We always do that together, because otherwise it quickly deteriorates into a meal for one. ;)
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Re: Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups

Postby Dragon Wench » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:44 am

@Fable,
funny, my son and I do something like that too :D

We'll take turns compiling a menu for the week, which means dreaming things up and perusing recipe sites so we'll end with about 10 or so different ideas. Then the one will run the resulting document by the other, and that person will select around 6 meals. This works really well, because while I'll eat most things as long as the ingredients are good, my son can be a bit picky (though he's getting better). This way, if he doesn't like something, I can say in either case, well *you* picked it so eat up. :D

Couple of notes I forgot to mention. This is really good with chunks of fresh pineapple. You can either tuck it in with the pork when assembling the lettuce wrap, or you can have it alongside.
Also, smashing the lemongrass with a rolling pin as the recipe suggests, works really well.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe:
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion;
I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
All those moments ... will be lost ... in time ... like tears in rain.
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Re: Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups

Postby Elaura » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:39 pm

Looks yummy. i just wish we didn't have to go 2+ hours to OKC to get lemongrass. :( It should be worth it, though.
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