|Sweet-and-Sour Party Meatballs - Chloe's Kitchen|
I've now made this recipe twice, but for two occasions that were a couple years apart. The first time I made them for a holiday party I was hosting and the second time was this year for a Thanksgiving appetizer. Both times they were a crowd pleaser for vegans and non-vegans. I caught my uncle going in for thirds at Thanksgiving and my friend kept asking for the recipe after my holiday party. We have Chloe Coscarelli to thank for this one. You can find this recipe and others in Chloe's Kitchen (buy your copy here).
The ingredients are so filling that it can be good and bad as an appetizer - good because you may be too full to overindulge on the main course, but bad because you may be too full to fully enjoy the main course! Either way these are made with lots of healthy, hearty goodness. They have a creamy, nutty taste and the sweet and sour sauce goes perfectly with them to give little punch of tangy flavor. The sauce when cool starts to resemble a jelly from the cornstarch thickener and can be difficult to dip into, so it's best to serve both the "meatballs" and sauce warm.
Party Meatballs 1 8 oz. package of tempeh
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15 oz. can lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
Sweet and Sour Sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons cornstarch
To Prepare Meatballs:
Start by steaming the tempeh to remove the bitterness. Break up the tempeh block into about 4 pieces to fit into a steamer basket over a small pot of water. Heat water on low to medium and steam tempeh for about 20 minutes.
Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet and cook onions until softened. Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes, until fragrant.
Using a food processor, add steamed tempeh, lentils, walnuts, flour, basil, salt and pepper and pulse until everything is blended and forms a thick paste. Though difficult to do, I like to leave some texture to the meatballs by not over-processing, but make sure all ingredients are incorporated together.
Using your hands scoop out mixture and form into 1-inch balls and place on a plate.
Heat canola oil on medium heat and fry the meatballs using a wooden spoon to turn them to cook on all sides. It's hard to keep these perfectly round shaped, but moving them around often with the spoon helps. Transfer cooked meatballs to a paper towel covered plate to soak up excess oil.
|Soak up excess oil with paper towels|
To Prepare Sweet and Sour Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, whisk all sauce ingredients together and heat on medium-high heat until mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat down to medium-low and continue cooking until the sauce thickens and big bubbles form, keep stirring throughout.
Stick a toothpick or fancier hors d'oeuvre pick into each ball for easy serving. Serve warm with sauce on the side or poured over meatballs so they are already covered.