Saturday, June 11, 2011

Never in the kitchen when Balls Tartare arrive

Here's another recipe which is unlikely to appear in a more current tome. It's from a book called Never in the Kitchen when Company Arrives by Theresa A. Morse, published by Doubleday and Company Inc. in 1964.

Mrs. Morse' writing style is a pleasure to read. Here are some of her introductory comments in the Appetizers chapter:
"For some guests, this is the best part of the dinner. Others consider anything heartier than nibbles of vegetables, olives, or tiny crackers a menace designed to spoil appetites for the dinner that follows. Still others behave as though the calories involved in these particular viands are damaging to avoirdupois above all others.

If you know the tastes and preferences of your guests in this area, be guided accordingly. If entertaining calorie counters, don't mow them down with temptation. If starving young men, go overboard. If you are uncertain (usually the case) try to have enough variety to appeal to everyone. In any case, have the appetizers conveniently at hand, urge your guests to help themselves, then leave them alone.

When the cocktail hour first gets under way, I am always among those present. Long ago I discovered that if I'm out in the kitchen, broiling delicious tidbits, while my guests are cozily bending their elbows, I get a Cinderella-type feeling. So, unless a helper is in the kitchen to mind the appetizers, I limit myself to those that are tasty without benefit of oven."
Obviously so, Mrs. Morse, for here is one of your suggestions which requires no baking, saving you from coveting that which your ugly stepsisters get to enjoy.

Balls Tartare

1/2 pound top round or sirloin, ground twice
1/4 pound fresh sauerkraut
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
Chopped chives or parsley

Season the meat and form into 24 flat rounds. Drain the sauerkraut, chop very fine, and add the caraway seeds. Place 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture on each meat round and fold the meat over so that it entirely encloses the sauerkraut. Shape into small balls and roll in finely chopped chives or parsley. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Have small glass filled with toothpicks on the platter.

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