musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Friday, August 3, 2012

Orange You Ready for Some Meatballs?

Had a hankering (yes. I just used that word. of course you know what it means.) for some spicy-sweet oriental food the other day. . .

but just wasn't in the mood to make anything complicated or that required a trip to the store. . . I dug around in the refrigerator and came up with the perfect meal of 'leftovers' and 'use-it-up' ingredients. But what for the meat??

As hot as its been around here - I didn't want to use the oven, stand over a hot pan, or tend to the gas grill outside. A quick peek into the freezer and. . . Ta-Da! There was one meal's worth left of Manly Meatballs that I had made and frozen a few weeks ago. We always make up a double to quadruple batch, then freeze the extras for times just like now.

Still living the dream of NOT being a prisoner to the hot kitchen, I pulled out the trusty slow cooker to do the work for me. And no, I didn't have to be all Type A organized and mix everything up in the morning. . . nor even at lunchtime. I really only needed a couple hours from dump-it-in to dish-it-out. Talk about taking a dream to reality - Perfect!

So. . . . Get those meatballs ready (don't even need to take time to thaw them. Can it get much easier than that?) and prime up the slow cooker for some. . . .

Oriental Orange Meatballs

1 to 1-1/4 lbs of pre-cooked meatballs
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 bottle of beer - any ol' kind will do (minus one swallow - hehehe)
1/4 cup orange marmalade (can substitute 1 Tbsp orange peel and 2 tsp orange extract)
6-8 green onions - finely sliced (optional; can substitute 1 tsp minced onion or 1/2 tsp onion powder)
1/4 cup celery - finely diced (optional; can substitute 1/4 tsp celery seed)
1/4 cup green pepper - finely diced (optional)
1/2 tsp ginger - grated
1 clove garlic - minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
beef broth - as much as is needed to ensure meatballs are completely covered in cooker

Here's the really complicated part (not!) - dump it all in, stir it all up,

set the cooker on medium-high, cover,

and go away. Seriously. Go get another bottle of beer and just go put your feet up. . . read the paper. Take a nap. Forget about it. Leave the kitchen clean up til later. It'll wait!

I served these saucy meatballs over rice with steamed snap peas (green beans would be delish too. . . or even broccoli) on the side.  If you've got a rice maker with a timer or 'keep warm' function - make the rice when you start the meatballs. It'll all be ready in about two hours. . . Or, if you make rice on the stove, you'll just need to come back to reality to fix the rice in time for your meal.

Have a Dreamy Meatball kind of day -

Robin Z

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