Happy (allergen-free) Birthday!: Party Food: MeatballsPosted: September 29, 2010
Meatballs are another perfect party food, but once again, typically one that’s necessary to make yourself if you want it allergen-free. Meatballs are usually made with bread crumbs and egg in the mixture, which make them an automatic no-no for most people with multiple food allergies.
Making them allergen-free is very easy, though, which makes them an ideal choice for do-it-yourself party food. Some people replace the bread crumbs and eggs with substitutes like wheat-free crumbs from a variety of sources, such as dried cereal or oats, or one of the many egg substitutes that exist. You don’t really need to do either, though, for a great meatball that is juicy and tasty. I learned a great trick from a friend of mine: just replace the crumbs and egg with corn starch (I’m sure a similar starch like tapioca or potato would work, but I’ve never actually tried it).
I use ground turkey or chicken for my meatballs because my Certain Little Someone is allergic to beef, and they are a great alternative for anyone who wants a different flavor, or anyone who wants to cut down on red meat in their diet.
I prefer to use the boiling method for my meatballs, but they are just as easy to bake. Choose whichever works for you, or try both to see which you prefer! You can also panfry, but that method lends itself to more crumbling than the other two.
I also almost always make them bite-size, perfect to serve with dips at a party like a birthday!
Easy Allergen-Free Meatballs
1 lb ground meat
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp ea. rosemary, oregano, thyme and parsley
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Mix everything together in a large bowl until the dry ingredients are well incorporated into the ground meat. Use a melon baller to form uniformly shaped bite-sized balls. There are two basic cooking methods you can choose:
1. Boil. Bring about 2″ of water to boil in a saucepan. Place meatballs in the water, being sure not to crowd them. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink and they float on the surface of the water. To be sure they’re done, cut one open to make sure they are no longer pink inside.
2. Bake. Lightly grease or line a cookie sheet and place meatballs in a single layer on the pan. Cook for 15 minutes at 400F or until no longer pink inside.
3. Panfry. Fry the meatballs, once again being sure not to crowd the pan, for 5-7 minutes, carefully turning so they are evenly cooked on all sides.
Serve the meatballs with dips: marinara sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, Ranch dressing, etc. Or serve IN marinara sauce over safe noodles or rice.