These meatballs are unabashedly Catholic. A celebration dish, they’re traditionally served on occasions like Christmas, Easter and the Feast of St. Joseph, that day in the middle of Lent when people are allowed to take a break from their fasting and have a bit of fun. Believe us, the sexiness of this dish would certainly loosen things up.
Cook to Cook: Although candied citron is the traditional choice here, the quality of what we can find this side of the Atlantic leaves a lot to be desired. Unless you have a source for top-tier imported citron, you’re better off using homemade candied lemon peel instead.
Wine: Pair with a young, fresh red with vivid fruit, such as the Puglia wines, Salice Salentino, Primitivo or a Salento Rosso or serve a Tempranillo-based Ribera del Duero from Spain, or a New World Pinot Noir.
2. Check the seasonings by sautéing a little patty of the mixture over medium high heat until it is firm. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. Shape the rest of the meat into 2-inch balls.
3. Cook the meat balls: Film the olive oil over the bottom of a 12-inch, straight-sided sauté pan. Set over medium high heat. Add the meatballs (keep them from touching), turning down the heat to medium. Brown them on all sides, turning gently with a spatula. Be gentle; the meatballs are very fragile.
4. Tip the pan, spoon off most of the fat and pour in the wine. Simmer until thick and syrupy. Blend in the basil, sugar, vinegar, and broth. Cover and simmer very gently for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs’ centers have reached 170ºF. on an instant-reading thermometer.
5. When done, gently lift the meatballs into a shallow bowl. Boil down the pan juices, stirring with wooden spatula, until thick and rich tasting. Nestle the meatballs on a bed of tart salad greens, pour over the warmed pan juices and serve hot or warm.
From The Splendid Table's® How to Eat Weekends: New Recipes, Stories & Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2011). Copyright © 2011 by American Public Media. Photographs copyright © 2011 by Ellen Silverman.
When Marvin Gapultos had a craving for adobo but didn’t know how to make it, he decided to learn his family’s recipes. Since then, he has shared the flavors of Filipino food through his Los Angeles-based food truck The Manila Machine, on his blog Burnt Lumpia, and in The Adobo Road Cookbook.