Some of the best recipes come from the best memories1
When my husband and I were first married, he worked at a small marina. The marina employed a bookkeeper who decided one year to host a Christmas party to which we were all to bring a dish. My memory of the event all but fades, but I do know that I count it as a happy memory, and the pineapple dish that our hostess made was unforgettable!
We have prepared this dish many times over the years with a few new incarnations along the way, and every time we have it, it makes for a wonderful “when we were first married” memory.
We call it simply Meatballs With Pineapple. It takes less than 30 minutes prep time including dicing, rolling, measuring and cooking, and is an easy after-work meal. It can be served with rice or salad or for an appetizer. It freezes well too and can be made up well in advance of an event or just to pull out of the freezer for a quick evening meal.
Meatballs with Pineapple
1/3 cup olive oil
1-1/2 lbs ground beef, chicken or turkey (maybe even Tofu if you are adventurous)
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
1-1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar (try 1/2 tsp of Stevia if you aren’t into sugar – remember this is an old recipe!)
1/2 cup pineapple juice (if you use canned pineapple the juice leftover in the can will work)
1/2 cup vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce (light will work)
2 large green peppers cut into 1 inch square pieces
1 large tomato cut into 1 inch square pieces (optional)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional but nice if you like a little kick!)
Heat oil in frying pan on medium- high. Combine beef (or chicken or turkey), garlic, salt, pepper (and crushed red pepper if using). Shape into the size of of meatballs desired. Cook meatballs slowly in frying pan browning on all sides. Remove meatballs as they brown, and discard all but 1 tbsp of oil. Add chicken stock, green pepper and pineapple chunks to the pan. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Return meatballs to the pan and simmer 3 minutes more. Mix cornstarch, sugar, pineapple juice, vinegar, and soy sauce together until smooth. Add to pan stirring constantly until thickened. If using tomato pieces, add just before serving.