The flavor train is here to pick you up. One of my favorite food memories is a work trip I took to Maui with Eric. (Can you believe I brought him kicking and screaming?) We had many delicious meals and at one of them, with my boss and her husband, Eric and I shared an appetizer of the best (and smallest) chicken meatballs served skewered on four-inch gold toothpicks. They tasted like a sweet Hawaiian meatball and a sour Asian meatball had babies with a spicy attitude. Delicious.
This is my adaptation of those wonderful little meatballs, mine are standard size and made into a meal with rice and fresh spinach.
"Feel free to cut the red pepper flakes or lessen, if you are serving to children. These are have heat but are so delicious with an ice cold beer."
Notes: Breadcrumbs are plain.
MAUI CHICKEN MEATBALLS
Ingredients: 1 lb. ground chicken, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1 tsp. dried parsley, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 can crushed pineapple- drained, 1/4 cup molasses, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, zest of 1/2 orange (or 1 tbsp. orange juice), 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes.
Serves 3-4, about 22 two-inch meatballs.
1. Make sauce: In a large bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, crushed pineapple, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.
2. Make meatballs: Stir together ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, dried parsley, salt and pepper. Roll into 2-inch balls and place into a slow cooker. Set slow cooker to high.
3. Pour sauce over the meatballs. Cook for 3 hours. Serve over rice.
Tip: You can make the meatballs gluten free by using oats in place of bread crumbs.