How can i make my meatballs light and tender? Love to serve them as a holiday appetizer, but want them to be moist, not dry and dense.
I use extra eggs and lightly roll them so they don't become compacted at the start.
One thing that helps is not overworking the meat as you mix in the ingredients, and not over work the mixture as you're making them into balls.
If you're using all beef meat balls. Dissolve 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatine in 1/2C stock. Use that to moisten the bread crumbs. (use soft bread bread crumb whisked in a food processor or blender). Add egg(s) spices and other additions and as mentioned don't over mix. The gelatine will help hold moisture and replace fat in all beef mixtures.
Here's a citation for the gelatine trick. It's from Cooks Illustrated. they use a bit more than I called for: http://www.utahdairycouncil.com/gourmet-meatballs.html
easier one that I use all the time for big events:
use about a 3 to 1 ratio of meat to real bread crumbs (not packaged) lightly toast them and soak them with heavy cream and mixed eggs plus all your seasonings. let them sit for about an hour or two in the fridge. mix should look like oatmeal. Fold everything into your meat and shape your balls. they should be SUPER wet, like almost too soft to shape. bake them at 450 or if you really wanna do it up deep fry them and finish them in the oven. I promise you these will be the juiciest most succulent meatballs you'll ever have. I would make them with lamb, orange zest, toasted coriander cardamom, star anise, black pepper, and chili, served with tsatsiki and celery leaves. hope you try it out.