3 February 2012

Game Changing Scallion Meatballs With Soy-Ginger Glaze on Jasmine Rice

Scallion Meatballs with Soy Ginger Sauce

Several years ago two women—Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer (yes she is a she) issued the first volume of Canal House Cooking, a series of seasonal cookbooks “by home cooks for home cooks” that they self-publish three times a year. These cookbooks have received acclaim not only from the national food media, but also from powerhouses such as Oprah and retailer Williams-Sonoma. When I first heard of these woman on the list I immediately thought they had taken over the Canal House an iconic restaurant in Seattle. I had plenty to learn!! 

This "Lennon and McCartney" team decided in 2007 to establish their own studio along the canal in Lambertville to publish and produce their own cookbooks. They had all the skills between them to publish their own cookbooks since between them the pair had more than 30 years experience working with magazines such as Metropolitan Home, Food and Wine, Cook’s Illustrated, and Martha Stewart Living and on cookbooks by Julia Child, Alice Waters, Mario Batali, Jacques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich, and other notables. They met and worked together at Saveur magazine.

These full-color, soft-cover volumes contain about 60 recipes accessible to both novice and experienced home cooks, with stunning photographs by Christopher, charming drawings by Melissa, and engaging anecdotes by both. Most chapter headings vary by season (“Too Many Tomatoes,” “Hog Heaven,” “Holiday Baking”), but some are standard, such as “Eat Your Vegetables” and, perhaps the most popular of all, “It’s Always Five O’Clock Somewhere,” which features the authors’ takes on classic cocktails.

Melissa is the daughter of Jim Hamilton of Hamilton’s Grill Room in Lambertville, where she served as executive chef  when it opened more than twenty years ago. She is a chef, food stylist, and recipe developer. She is the sister of Gabrielle Hamilton, the highly regarded chef/owner of Prune in Manhattan. Nowadays you will find her living in Stockton with her architect husband and two daughters. 

Christopher served as food and design editor for Metropolitan Home magazine and was one of the founders of Saveur magazine, where she was executive editor. She is a writer and a photographer. She lives in Pennsylvania, with her husband an antiques dealer. The couple have two grown daughters. She grew up in my favourite city San Francisco attending college in the ’60s and ’70s, where she threw herself into the local food scene. “It was a very exciting time to be in that area. A place like Chez Panisse was very accessible. You could eat there for something like $3! You could say I ended up in the food world by default,” she says.

One of our simple pleasures in life is navigating the blogging community and participating where we can. Our group has now passed the halfway point on the list of Gourmet Live's 50 Women Game Changers. The past seven months have flown by as we experimented with dishes from each of the 50 influential women on "the list." Whether you agree or disagree with the authors chosen fifty and their order it has been an enjoyable and creative outlet to cook from the masters and those we admire. There have even a few successful bloggers on the list. We have checked out books from the library, borrowed cookbooks from friends, surfed the Internet and browsed our own cookbook collections seeking that one recipe that will highlight that weeks outstanding woman. This group is spearheaded by my favourite well-travelled blogger Mary of One Perfect Bite who back in June 2011 invited bloggers to travel along on a culinary journey throughout the year. It is still not too late to join in in 2012.

What have we been up to......

Mary of One Perfect Bite - Roasted Tomatoes Studded with Garlic
Val of More Than Burnt Toast - Scallion Meatballs with Soy Ginger Glaze
Susan of The Spice Garden 
Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed - French Cheese Puffs
Heather of Girlichef - Jam Tart
Jeanette at Jeanette's Healthy Living - Pumpkin Soup with Pimenton and Preserved Lemons.
Kathleen Van Bruinisse at Bake Away with Me - Tomato Tart
Sue of View from The Great Island - Lemon and Sea Salt Foccacia
Linda of There and Back Again - Pimiento Cheese
Barbara of Moveable Feasts - Fricassee of Chanterelles
Nancy of Picadillo- Pork Loin in Milk
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits - Halibut with Lentils and Fennel
Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen -  Restorative Beef Broth
Claudia of Journey of an Italian Cook - Roasted Red Pepper Salad
Alyce of More Time at The Table - Meatballs with Mint and Parsley
Amrita of Beetle's Kitchen Escapades

It is amazing that with only a few ingredients you can create such a delicious dish. The recipe encourages you to serve these as an appetizer with a little sauce poured over each individual meatball. Perfect for the Super Bowl!!!! But they were equally delicious served over a steaming bowl of jasmine rice and served with a side of sugar snap peas. 

**Scallion Meatballs With Soy-Ginger Glaze**
Adapted from Canal House Cooking, vol. 3, by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer


1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce, preferably Japanese or reduced sodium
1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine), or 1/2 cup sake with 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped peeled ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
4 whole black peppercorns


1 pound ground turkey
4 large or 6 small scallions, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil.

1. Make sauce: Bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar melts completely. Reduce heat to medium-low and add soy sauce, mirin, ginger, coriander and peppercorns. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.)

2. Make meatballs: mix turkey, scallions, cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce and several grindings of pepper in a bowl. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls.

3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, generously cover bottom of pan with vegetable oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding, place meatballs in pan and cook, turning, until browned all over and cooked inside, about 8 minutes per batch. Arrange on a heated platter, spoon a little sauce over each meatball, and serve with toothpicks. If desired, keep warm in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve.

Yield: About two dozen.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. A delicious looking meatball dish! I lose those Asian flavors.



  2. Cookbooks "by home cooks for home cooks" are like the original food blogs.

  3. A fascinating "Lennon-McCartney" pair, they are. And a delightful recipe you chose, Val. I love it when few and simple -- but well-chosen -- ingredients yield what sounds like a unique twist on a classic.

  4. These meatballs sound so interesting and delicious! The flavors are so appealing to me. Nice post!

  5. What an interesting post; I haven't made meatballs in a very long time and these look fabulous. You always take such good photos.

  6. I love appetizers like this that can also serve as small meals. Again, another group of ladies I'm not familiar with. This series has been very educational as well as fun Val. Happy weekend.

  7. I could make a good meal of these meatballs. I love the flavors- they sound delicious!

  8. (What a cute teapot in the background, Val!)
    Meatballs seem to be all the rage right now...I haven't made them in ages. Love the flavors in yours and better yet, they'd work for a dinner or, if you make them smaller, an appetizer.
    Great write up on these two women who I was not familiar with.

  9. These meatballs sound amazing - and would be perfect for Super Bowl. Love how simple the recipes are that these two talented women have put together.

  10. These sound out of this world---it's one of those recipes that you just know from the title is going to be incredible!

  11. They look yummy


  12. I love this kind of stories, a couple of women start a food related project and they become successful and, therefore, we all benefit from it. :)

  13. A great dish Val! It has it all in it: the veggies, the rice, the meat and the wonderful sauce. Really healthy!

  14. I think these meatballs are game changers... no matter what their gender ;-) GREG

  15. Great pictures as always Val. I love the meatballs you picked a great recipe to feature. Maybe I will make these for Superbowl.

  16. Very interesting and thoughtful post, Val. Thanks! I love my daily email from these women, and I didn't know any of their background, which I so appreciate you filling me in on. I'm reading Blood, Bones & Butter right now, so I should have but two and two together.

    Also, made your (Nancy Silverton's) bran muffins last weekend. Totally delicious! Thanks!

  17. I also love the Asian flavors. This could be a main dish or enjoyed as an appetizer while watching the giants win!

  18. I think I need to remake my curried zucchini meatballs with a more Asian flair and this glaze! Sounds so tasty!

  19. Love your teapot!!! yes I know I see before but I love it! and the balls look amazing!!

  20. This is a "must try" recipe for me because I love those wonderful Asian flavors. I've learned so much from your series, Val. Thanks for so many excellent posts.

  21. I made these over the holidays not realizing they were from these two women. And it was delicious! Love using the turkey instead of beef. But didn't use rice or vegetables - now I know how to make them a meal. The photos just shine.

  22. Val, your recipe perfectly represents their cooking philosophy. Your photography today is wonderful and adds to the enjoyment of a terrific post. Have a wonderful weekend.Blessings...Mary

  23. That's a beautiful bio you've written of the duo. The meatballs look so yummy and I agree, the list of ingredients is really simple but I'm sure they packed a punch!

  24. The sauce must give the meatballs a nice kick. Have a great week-end!

  25. Delicious recipe. I think the jasmine rice was a nice accompaniment.

  26. The meatballs sound delicious, as does the sauce.
    I'm thoroughly enjoying your series on woman chefs.

  27. I have a pound of ground turkey breast in my freezer and now I know what I'm going to do with it! These sound excellent and so full of flavor.

  28. What a great new take on meatballs, Val! How do you stay so skinny, girl?

  29. Great recipe - and I don't have to adapt it for the hubs since they're already made with turkey! Love the flavors. Another winner with the game changers!

  30. Enjoyed the story~success is wonderful!This would be a meal to enjoy!

  31. I'm so glad you made these meatballs—the filling sounds delicious. It was my second choice.


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