Monday, May 2, 2011

Pork Meatballs with Lemon Drizzle

While I love, love, love eating healthily, admittedly this lifestyle can sometimes feel like i don't get to enjoy some of life's culinary indulgences.  So, I get very excited when I come across recipes for foods that aren't generally considered "healthy" that are either Gundry-friendly or can be tweaked to be.  (See some of my favorites here, here and here.) When I saw a Tasting Table recipe for meatballs, I thought, "Max would really enjoy that".  Truth be told, what he'd really enjoy is meatballs on a huge plate of pasta doused in red sauce, but I figured that even sans the carb load, these savory little treats would go a long way toward satisfying some of his cravings.
Like most meatballs, the recipe included bread - most call for bread crumbs, this one called for bread soaked in milk.  I used a trick that my mom taught me when she modified a recipe that called for a bread crumb topping (see her Brussels sprouts in my Gundry Thanksgiving post) - I threw low-carb tortillas into a food processor and made "tortilla crumbs" - they worked just as well to help bind the meatballs.  These Gundry-friendly treats were no different than the real thing.  Max loved them as did a lovely, new friend that came over for dinner and a Lakers playoff game.

The recipe below is for about 32, 1-inch meatballs.  I made only a half recipe.

1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon (about 6 sprigs) marjoram, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons squeezed)
Dash Stevia
1/2 teaspoon (or more) crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Pinch dried oregano
4 low-carb tortillas (regular, not burrito, size)
1 pound ground pork
1 whole egg plus 2 yolks
1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
1/2 tablespoon chopped fennel seeds
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon salt
Marjoram has a wonderful floral, lavender-like flavor.
Fennel seeds have a light licorice or anise flavor, similar to the frondy vegetable.
Pulse four tortillas, torn into large pieces, in a food processor, until crumbly. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, saute the onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and marjoram and continue cooking until soft, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice and dash of Stevia and reduce over medium heat until the consistency is thickened and syrup-like, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the crushed red pepper, parsley, oregano and the remaining two tablespoons olive oil and set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, egg, egg yolks, Pecorino, fennel seeds, wine, tortilla crumbs and cooled onion mixture.  Season with salt.
Form the mixture into approximately one-inch balls.  Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat and add meat balls.  Pan fry the balls until browned on all sides and cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Place on a serving dish and drizzle with lemon sauce.
Maybe someday soon I will try these meatballs (sans lemon sauce) in a pasta dish that Max would really flip over.  I have not tried it yet, but on page 216 of Dr. Gundry's book, he says that FiberGourmet makes a low-carb pasta which is high enough in fiber to reduce the impact on your blood sugar level.  He recommends only a one cup (cooked) portion.  I've been looking for this pasta in the store with no luck, so I'm going to order some on-line.  I promised Max on our honeymoon that when we returned home we could relax a little from the pre-wedding regimen and enjoy a few treats like low-carb pasta.  

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