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Friday, March 4, 2011

Cocktail Meatballs with Saffron Sauce for a Spring Soiree

Cocktail meatballs are such a staple for cocktail parties and happy hour events. They pair so well  with those dry martinis, dry white  wine, or Champagne or Prosecco.  Try this Italian version of these little gems made wtih a saffron sauce.
Cocktail Mini Meatballs with Saffron Sauce (Polpettine allo Salso di Zafferano)
from the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition, copyright  2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice bread without crust
  • 1 thinly sliced garlic clove
  • ½ cup peeled, chopped, and shelled almonds
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 envelope saffron
  • Serves 6.
    • 1 pound ground beef or soy substitute
    • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
    • 1 chopped garlic clove
    • 1 chopped scallion
    • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
    • 1 large egg
    • Pinch of salt
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • ¼ cup flour
    • Juice from 1 lemon
    • In a bowl, mix ground meat or substitute with breadcrumbs. Add in garlic, scallion, pars ley, beaten egg, pinch of salt, and pinch of nutmeg. Mix with hands until ingredients are well-blended. If mixture is not firm enough, add in extra breadcrumbs until firm. Form mix into small meatballs. Each ball should be the size of a walnut. Place meatballs on large dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. For the sauce, place extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan and heat. Add in slice of bread, garlic, and almonds. Heat until bread is brown and garlic is golden, then remove. Place in food processor with parsley, pinch of cloves, wine, vegetable broth, and saffron. Pu ree. Place in sauté pan and heat for five minutes, stirring with wooden spoon. Remove meatballs from refrigerator. Heat olive oil in separate sauté pan. Roll meatballs in flour, then fry in heated olive oil until golden. Place on plate coated with a paper towel. Place meatballs in sauté pan with sauce and cook 15-20 minutes. Add in lemon juice and serve.

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