Itty Bits of Meat, Day One

by Marina Chotzinoff

If you hadn’t noticed, I moved Meatless March to a later summer date when my garden will be plentiful (I dare you hail!) and vegetarian cooking is sparkling with the raw, the ripe and the rainbow colored. It did not hurt that we also took possession of 25 pounds of happy-running, grass fed beef lovingly raised by my husband’s step family and lovingly slaughtered and packaged by his grandfather’s processing company. Irish Grove Farms and Eickman’s Processing Co. are both in Illinois and as my husband’s father and stepmother were stopping through Denver on a road trip, we convinced them to haul us some beef. And not just 25 pounds for us, but 50 more pounds for some friends. So, you can see I was less than eager to put all that meat eatin’ on hold. Though, after what seems like a week of slow cooked, meat-intensive dinners, I have decided to do a week of meals with just a hint of meat.

Tonight did not involve this meat that I just set you up to want to hear more about. No. Following FIFO law I decided to finish the last handful of Aidell’s Teriyaki Pineapple meatballs that I sometimes have on hand for quick meal supplements. There were five left which I thawed and had my daughter crumble. I also had some massive brussels sprouts and a small head of broccoli. I decided to toss the veggies in some oil and salt and roast them. Meanwhile I steamed some rice. I then toasted some sliced almonds in a dry pan, then added a bit of oil to brown 1/4 onion and the meatball. We stirred together a sauce of soy, sweet chili, sesame oil, fish sauce and rice vinegar. When the veggies were done, I tossed them with the meatballs, almonds and a slight drizzle of sauce. And because I had rice krispies on the counter thanks to the latest Food52 contest involving cereal (see my Korean style crispy rice chicken wings) I threw some of them on top with some cilantro.

It was pretty quick, super tasty and even the four year old cleaned her plate. Next I intend to pull out the Irish Grove beef bones for a beef-flavored broth that will most likely have veggie noodles and a poached egg. It’s a good post Meated March compromise I think and I’m looking forward to more.

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