I had not planned on entering another meatball…until thinking about what I would make for dinner tonight. The inspiration for these meatballs is practical in nature (rather than a food daydream); my daughter (age 5) and son (age 2) have widely different palates and coming up with a healthful weeknight dinner that makes them both happy is often a tricky task. While my daughter loves fresh fruit and vegetables of all kinds, she will not try anything too spicy or bold; my son, to my great pleasure, will eat curries and sauces that have a kick but will turn his nose up at most vegetables, cheese, and eggs (the shortlist). Two things they agree on are salmon and kale – with that in mind here are some wild, gingery salmon meatballs that we enjoyed with some angel hair pasta (brown rice-quinoa for my gluten-free hubby), steamed kale and a quick butter-crème fraiche-lemon zest sauce (with two tired, hungry little ones chomping at the bit, I now remember why dreaming up contest recipes at dinnertime is not always the best laid plan). Tender, sweet and gingery they were gobbled up by said tired and hungry little ones (and adults)...I will be making these again. Note: Since my husband is gluten intolerant I did not use any kind of binder other than an egg. Although these meatballs held together nicely, because they are so soft when uncooked, when they hit the hot pan they began to collapse under their own weight and were not quite as round as I had envisioned. Adding some breadcrumbs could help alleviate this, or perhaps cooking in the oven. —gingerroot
Cut salmon into one inch long strips. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well combined, (without turning salmon into paste) occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula. Transfer meat mixture to another bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Make meatballs (because the fish is so soft, I used a Tablespoon measure and it worked nicely) and arrange on a plate. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook meatballs, browning and turning as you go until done, about 3-4 minutes. Serve as desired and enjoy.
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.