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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Thai-ish Meatballs

This is an incomplete dish, I ate one of the meatballs plain because I ran out of steam before I could finish the concept.

Em was at a party, that became a sleepover, and there was shuttling of things back and forth and whatnot, but that wasn't the real problem. The real problem is Mo didn't sleep much last night, which meant I didn't sleep much last night. I got her back to sleep around five-ish and proceeded to sleep soundly through two alarms. Em would sleep until noon if undisturbed anyway, and when Mo finally fell asleep, she was really asleep.

So after showing up an hour late for work as a zombie, the commute, tending to the Tomatosaurus Rex (inadequately, there are a lot of brown spots on leaves on one of my favorite varieties, the Kellogg's Breakfast, and I didn't get around to getting out there with the snips to prune off the diseased branches—I'll have to do that tomorrow, I can't lose that one in early August, it's so far my favorite BLT tomato) and so on...

I'd never really thought about tomatoes as role-players before. I've grown tomatoes, bought tomatoes, but I've pretty much treated it as 'a tomato is a tomato.' But the tomato that makes a great sauce/paste tomato (Opalka, for example) is not so whippy for, say, salads and sandwiches. For just a slicing tomato to salt and pepper and eat, I am really digging the 'black' varieties. I had two Cherokee Purples and a Carbon for lunch today, and it did not suck. A coworker asked me, 'That's all you're eating?'

So anyway, I had set this package of hamburger in the fridge to thaw on Sunday and kind of forgot it, and it was still good but I wouldn't have wanted to push it another day. I didn't have any hamburger buns, we just had taco's Sunday night and still have a little leftover taco meat, and there's no way I'm firing up the oven to make a meatloaf when I come in dripping sweat from the garden.

So I made grilled meatballs. I chopped up some Lilac Peppers along with a couple jalapeƱos and a Kung Pao (all grown in my garden), tossed in some garlic and dried fenugreek, some dark soy sauce, oyster sauce and a bunch of Thai Basil. It was a pretty wet mixture, so I worked in a couple big handfuls of cornmeal to stiffen it up, formed it into baseball sized balls and threw them on the grill.

The charcoal had died down quite a bit by the time I got that far, so I threw a half bag of mesquite chips in and let them catch fire to boost the heat. I covered for most of the cooking time to effectively smoke the meatballs, but not until I let a good char form from the flames licking up.

As I say, this was only the beginning of the planned meal, and after we shuttled Em's night meds to her and made a separate trip for a sleeping bag, pillow and PJs nobody thought of on that first trip (she called to ask me to shuttle a teddy bear and clothes for tomorrow and I told her to wear her PJ's home in the morning because it's just not happening), I ate one unadorned meatball and put the other four in the fridge.

The rest of the meal involves a tomato sauce with similar Thai-ish twists, plenty of Thai Basil from my garden (I have three varieties, Thai Magic, Siam Queen and Purple Stem), probably a bit more Kung Pao or Thai pepper, and who knows what else. And brown Basmati rice. Lay down the rice, put a meatball in the middle and cover with the tomato sauce.

I bet that'll be good, whenever I get the crushed tomatoes I got as far as making out of the fridge and finish cooking it.

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