Have you ever had a meatball crisis? Because I have.
Mark and I had not been married for very long when I discovered he did not like meatballs. Cue jaw dropping to the floor. How could he not like meatballs? I mean, seriously. They are balls. of. meat. But, it would appear they take too much thought, at least how I had been serving them. Which was on top of spaghetti (all covered in cheese).
As an aerospace engineer by day, he wanted to think as little as possible at the dinner table at night. Hence preferring meat sauce instead of spaghetti and meatballs – each bite gets equal opportunity meatiness with no extra work. He did not have to decide when to eat the meatball, and when to just have the spaghetti and sauce. Though I make no claim to understanding this, I respect it. Away went my budding romance with meatballs.
It was not until a year later that I began making them again. This time, instead of on top of spaghetti all covered in cheese (waiting for someone to sneeze) I made them as a dish on their own. That way no one had to decide which bite of spaghetti got paired with meatballs and which ones did not.
To me, Italian meatballs belong on top of spaghetti, covered in cheese (waiting for someone to sneeze). So, I would do ranch flavored in creamy sauce, or parsley with mushrooms, sweet and sour, et cetera, et cetera.
These in particular are my latest flavor of choice. The outsides are covered in a sweet and slightly spicy glaze, while the insides are full of classic Asian flavors (ginger, onion, garlic, and Chinese five spice). I hope you enjoy them as much and Mark and I do.
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- For the meatballs:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
- ½ cup gluten free breadcrumbs*
- 1 flax "egg"**
- For the glaze:
- ¼ cup fruit only apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds (leave out if allergic)
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (or more white seeds, if allergic leave out)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup unsalted stock
- 1 big pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoons tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
- For serving
- Rice or quinoa (optional)
- Lime wedge
- *Grind up stale gluten free bread
- **1 tablespoon of ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together all of the sauce ingredients, pour into an oven proof 12" skillet.
- Mix together all of the meatball ingredients, shape into about 20 balls. Place meatballs in skillet among the sauce.
- Bake the meatballs covered for 45 minutes. Uncover, flip the meatballs, and bake an additional 30 minutes.
- Once done let sit out of the oven for a few minutes so the glaze can solidify a bit.
- Top with cilantro and a tiny squeeze of lime juice. Serve with rice or quinoa, by themselves as an appetizer, or simply with a vegetable for a delightful dinner.
Gluten Free Wednesdays @ The Gluten Free Homemaker
Allergy Free Wednesdays @ Whole New Mom