Flashback Sunday’s at Mama’s. Trudes (mama’s trusted helper) and mama in the kitchen cooking up a storm for six daughters and their spouses and numerous grandchildren. Imagine, a house full of women and some men, all chit chatting away, decibels getting louder then…. Time To Eat is yelled out…! Yay!!
Food is served buffet style. At the table once we fill our plates, there must be a few conversations going around and the decibels are back to getting louder. I look back and wish my Sunday’s were like that again…That was fun! (Most especially what came after the meal)..watching the “Price is Right” in Mama’s and Papa’s room while Papa gets ready for his afternoon jaunt with his general friends and we sneak one or two of their private junk food stash, Almond Roca or Planters Cheese Balls and Pringles. Growing up, those were “luxuries” for us. Many years ago in the Philippines, you couldn’t readily get them. So we sneaked around for them.
The oldies and spouses sit with mama and papa around the huge round table and the young ones have their own table to the side. Ma’s prepared chicken curry (with eggs, chutney, bacon condiments), sauteed vegetables, white rice, and Bola-Bola. Each week the menu was different, but one of my favorites is her Bola-Bola (meatballs). They are smaller than the italian/ american meatballs that we make, they are crispier and the taste is a bit different. Perhaps the secret ingredient Ajinomoto (MSG), which we so dislike these days, but as a child, who the heck cared..the food was yuummmmmy!.
I decided one evening to cook up a version of my grandma’s Bola-Bola (no msg). Nostalgia sets in and I wish I had asked her for the recipe but hanging out in the kitchen with her and Trudes, I was able to remember some of the ingredients and of course with a little bit of help from my brother and cousins. Thank you
1 pounds ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
5 chopped and diced garlic cloves
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup 4C seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 TBSP cornstarch
Mix the all the ingredients EXCEPT for the corn starch. Roll them into 1 to 1-1/2 diameter meat balls. When all the meatballs are rolled, place them in the corn starch (almost like you’re breading the meatballs) and roll it in the cornstarch LIGHTLY. Cornstarch makes for a crispier meatball – Bola-Bola. (see illustration).
In a deep pan, add 4 TBSP of olive oil. When hot, add the Bola-Bola. Cook until one side is dark and crispy. Then roll it to the other side. Cook until it is dark and crispy (or your desired consistency). Pat the oil with a paper towel. Serve while hot.
Can be paired with a savory tomato gravy (see Stuffed Cabbage recipe- click the link in blue) or served with a spicy, sweet and sour sauce. May also be enjoyed as an entree or appetizer.
The way I ate my Bola-Bola as a child was just popping it right into my mouth. Yummmy!
This one’s for you Ma! Miss you Loads!
P.S. They freeze well too.