Saturday, July 27, 2013

Who Needs Takeout

My husband adores Chinese food.  His favorite themed dinner is "Chinese Food Night."  And I've said before that our traditional New Year's Day meal is Chinese food.  When I decide to do Chinese food for dinner, he does his little "I love Chinese food happy dance."  That's not a joke either.  Our kids love it too. Sometimes, when they aren't being mysterious, sulking, brooding, melancholy teenagers, they will join in on the happy dance.

One of my favorite flavors in Chinese food is Hoisin sauce.  Hoisin is the Chinese version of barbecue sauce, although it doesn't taste like any barbecue sauce I've eaten.  But I get the concept.  Sweet, salty, vinegary, spicy.  Goody.  Now, these meatballs can have a tendency to become dry, so I wouldn't use ground beef any leaner than 80/20.  Served with Fried Brown Rice, which is a healthier version of fried rice, and you'll have one tasty meal!

What's your favorite themed dinner night?

1 lb ground beef
2 green onions, chopped
One 8-ounce can water chestnuts, chopped
2-3 T soy sauce, to taste
A few drops of sesame oil
1-2 T chili paste (depends on how spicy you want it)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg

One 7-ounce jar Hoisin sauce
1/2-3/4 C sugar (depends on how sweet you want it)
1/4 C rice wine vinegar
A few drops of fish sauce (optional)
A few drops of oyster saue (optional)
1-2 T chili paste (depends on how spicy you want it)
2 T cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the meatball ingredients together and shape into 1-inch meatballs.  Place them in a casserole pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until done all the way through and browned.

In a saucepot, mix the sauce ingredients together.  Fill the Hoisin jar with water twice and pour into the sauce mixture.  Whisk and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Remove the meatballs from the casserole pan using a slotted spoon.  Pour the sauce over the meatballs, mixing to coat, and serve.

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