Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rice Pilaf Meatballs

A few weeks ago I was under the weather and my doctor put me on the B.R.A.T. diet.

B= Bananas
R= Rice
A= Applesauce
T= Toast

Boring I know, but I happen to like everything on the menu. The Elvis Bread took care of the excess bananas. But I still found myself with a cupboard full of Near East Pilaf.

I usually make my own pilaf but Near East does a pretty good job in a box- 20 minutes, with no chopping of vegetables or measuring anything but water. So today I decided to make a pot of Wedding Soup and incorporate some of the pilaf into the meatball mixture and avoid any hard work. The result- delish. The pilaf has an abundance of herbs and spices and they work well in this recipe. All I did was add an extra pinch of salt and pepper and a quick grate of a garlic clove into the melange. Here's the mix:

Rice Pilaf Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
3/4 cup cooked rice pilaf cooled
1 egg slightly beaten
1 clove garlic grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Romano cheese grated

Combine cooked rice with garlic, salt, pepper, egg and cheese:

Add ground meat/chicken and combine gently with your fingers. Now you're ready to make the meatballs.

If you want to jazz the meatballs up, add some chopped parsley to the mixture. Or even some crushed red pepper flakes which will give some heat. I would love to have shown you the meatballs ready for their swim in the soup, but my hands were so messy I couldn't get a grip on my camera. But you know what meatballs look like, and I bet yours will be as good if not better than mine. The pilaf meatballs were great in the soup and I guarantee they'll work in other dishes.

Try them in tomato sauce over a bed of linguini. Here's what you do: After you roll out the meatballs, put the little darlings on a greased cookie sheet and bake 25 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees . Add them to your tomato sauce, simmer a bit and enjoy the tasty, tender delight you've just created.

I'm so excited about using this tender, flavored rice in my meatballs I'm going to try this again with an Asian flair. I'm thinking ginger, garlic, and Sambal as additions. If it works, you'll hear more about pilaf meatballs again real soon.

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