When I think about an iconic, retro yet modern appetizer – the cocktail meatball comes to mind. Do you remember throwing a jar of grape jelly and a jar of chili sauce in a pan with meatballs? For me, that is one of the retro classics.
Today the cocktail meatball takes a vast array of flavor profiles from: Asian to Mexican to Thai to American BBQ. The possibilities of combinations are endless. It is one of the simplest appetizers that is a crowd pleaser almost 100% of the time and easily made ahead of time. My hubby absolutely loves cocktail meatballs, so I wanted to try something new for Friday Night Bites and surprise him.
My other inspiration for the Thai Cocktail Meatballs was the Sweet Thai Chili Sauce. I typically always pick up a bottle of this tasty condiment versus venturing on my own to make it from scratch. Creating this sauce is a snap and the end result is a mouthwatering dip. I did research on the required ingredients to create my own twist on this tasty dipping sauce.
A perfect wine to pair with the Thai Cocktail Meatballs is a Riesling. Sometimes Riesling can be a wine that is more on the sweet side; however I have discovered quite a few that veer towards the dry side versus sweet. Riesling is a food friendly wine. Why? Rieslings are known for their balance of acid and sugar. The acid gives way for hearty foods and tangy Asian flavors. The relevant fruit components of the wine (apple, pear, citrus and tropical) and the light sweetness of an off-dry Riesling tackles spicy foods.
My Riesling pick for pairing with the Thai Cocktail Meatballs is from Bex Winery. The Bex Riesling comes in a tall skinning bottle with a screw top and a simple modern label. With a typical price tag of under $10.00 – this is truly a hidden jewel. The winery is located in Graton
with the grapes sourced from the Mosel region in Germany.
The freshness of this wine is from the fermentation process done in stainless
The Bex Riesling embodies a light golden color with refreshing fruit notes including melon, grapefruit and apricot. Honeysuckle and honey are present in the flavor profile. This wine creamy, soft yet mouth-filling all at the same time and finishes with a lemon curd note. With the spice in the Sweet Thai Chili Sauce and meatballs, this perfectly balances each bite. Cheers!
Thai Cocktail Meatballs
Makes approximately 30 meatballs
1 Pound Ground
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
2 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
3 Scallions, minced (white and green parts)
2 Jalapenos, minced
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 Tablespoon Chili Garlic Sauce
1 Tablespoon Lemongrass, finely minced
In a large bowl add all of the above ingredients and mix with your hands until incorporated. Form one inch balls and place onto a cookie sheet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the meatballs and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until fully cooked.
Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
1 Cup Rice Vinegar
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Water
2 teaspoon Fresh ginger root, minced
1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
2 teaspoon Hot chili pepper, minced
1 Tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons Cornstarch
½ teaspoon Dried chili flakes
Pour the water and vinegar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the sugar, ginger, garlic, chili peppers & flakes and ketchup; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch. If you feel like it is not getting thick, then add one more teaspoon of cornstarch. Remove saucepan from the stove to cool. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.