Sweet and Sour.

Monday, 10 September 2012

For a long time I've been afraid of chinese cooking. I've never felt I can justify buying fish sauce, seasame oil and Shaoxing rice wine just for me to chuck it about like salt and pepper, not really knowing what I'm doing.
Luckily for me, Lorraine Pascale and her wonderful new series, Lorraine's Fast, Fresh and Easy Food has made one of my favourite Chinese foods accessible. In the second episode, 'Feel Good Food' the delightful Lorraine shared Sweet and Sour meatballs with the world. It instantly caught my attention and I thought this was the time to dive into Chinese food. Fork first.


I've adapted Lorraine's recipe, but only slightly.

For Sweet and Sour meatballs you will need:

4x sausages
75g breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tbsp chilli powder
3 handfuls long grain rice
1 red pepper
1 clove of garlic
1 lime
75g tomato ketchup
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Drizzle of honey
1 tin pineapple chunks
3 spring onions
Salt and pepper

Begin by removing the skin from your sausages. I went for sausages that were seasoned with some fiery chilli to vamp up the heat factor.


Add in your breadcrumbs. I don't usually use breadcrumbs in meatballs but they made all the difference today. There was no falling apart once they hit the heat. I'll be using them again.


Crack in your egg.


Add salt, pepper and some chilli powder.


Mash together against the side of your bowl with a spoon until the ingredients are all combined.


Roll into about 20 balls.


Incredibly little mess when breadcrumbs are involved - I'm a convert!


Heat a pan of oil and when it's hot, put in your meatballs. Keep turning to brown evenly.


Now to prepare your veg. Deseed and slice the pepper and finely chop the garlic. Once the meatballs have browned, chuck them into the mix.


Squeeze in the juice of one lime. If too tough to squeeze, Lorraine advises 10 seconds in the microwave to soften it up.


Add in your ketchup. If you don't want to measure it out it grams, just give it a few generous squeezes. Pour in the balsamic for the lovely sour tang.


And drizzle the honey in for the sweetness.


Pour in all of the pineapple juice from the tin and half the chunks. If you're looking for something to make with the leftovers, check out my Emergency No Yeast Pizza here.


Stir together and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Make sure to taste before you serve. If it's a little too sour then add a pinch of sugar to take off the edge.


If you're completely taken by Lorraine and her wonderful recipes (as I am) then serve with her suggested spring onion and peanut rice. Simply cook your rice as usual, drain and stir in a handful of roughly chopped roasted peanuts and 2-3 spring onions.


Serve together with more spring onions chopped over the sweet and sour. 


Tastes, smells and looks wonderful. From one L to another, thank you Lorraine!
Enjoy readers and remember to tune on Monday, 8.30pm BBC2.
L. xxxx


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