I find it interesting when my Mom recounts the days of her youth. She tells it in a very matter of fact tone. For the most part it was an unfair childhood, but the way my Mom paints it you can tell she never felt sorry for herself. I’m the one who gets crushed for her when I hear what she lacked. One of the things I remember her telling me was that she never had money to eat in the cafeteria at school when she was a little girl. She says they use to serve a rice dish with meatballs and gravy on top and it always smelled delicious, but not once did she ever try it. When I started cooking I decided it was time for my Mommy to have her meatballs and gravy over rice. Thank the cafeteria chief for making a simple child-proof dish that I jumped all over and vamped into an adult plate. I added Wonderful Pistachios to the meatballs and rice to give it an extra bite of flavor. My Mom use to love this dish before she became a vegetarian, but my man and our son think this is one of the best things I make. Enjoy!
All photos taken by: Nicole Presley and Mando Lopez
Ingredients for meatballs:
1 – pound ground beef
1 – pound ground pork
1 – egg
1/4 – cup chopped green onion
1/3 – cup Wonderful Pistachios (shucked and chopped)
1 – heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
1/4 – cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 – cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 – cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Using your hands, mix all ingredients in a bowl. Then grab a small handful of meat mixture and roll into a ball. Repeat until done. Set to the side.
Ingredients for pistachio rice:
1 – tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 – cup onion
1 1/2 – cup long grain rice
1 -tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/3 – cup Wonderful Pistachios (chopped)
1 -teaspoon salt
1 -teaspoon black pepper
3/4 – cup peas (optional)
3 – cups chicken broth
Over a medium high flame add butter and garlic to a sauce pan with a lid. Melt butter, then add onion and rice. Mix until rice starts to brown. Then add sesame seeds, chopped pistachios, salt & pepper and mix well. Add peas if you like. Wait until rice is very golden brown. Then add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once broth starts to boil, lower flame to low, and put the lid on the rice. Cook the covered rice for 20 minutes. Then remove from flame and set to the side.
While your rice is cooking, let’s start the gravy.
Ingredients for gravy:
4 – tablespoons butter
1/2 – tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 – cup chopped onion
1/2 – cup chopped mushrooms
2 – cups beef broth
1 – tablespoon corn starch
1/8 – cup water
In a small sauce pan over a medium flame add butter and allow to melt. Then add garlic, onion and mushrooms. Saute until onions are soft. Then add beef broth and bring to a boil. Once broth is boiling get a small cup and fill with water then add corn starch and mix until corn starch is completely dissolved. Now add corn starch water to boiling broth onion mixture. Mix well. Broth will thicken and remove from flame.
Lastly… over a medium flame take a large frying pan and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and allow to get hot. Then add your reserved meatballs and cook on each side for 5 to 7 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
That’s it your done. I like to add a piece of pineapple to the plate for the perfect touch of sweetness! You could enjoy this dish either way!
No compensation was received for this post. I was provided with a sample of Wonderful Pistachios to aid this recipe. The recipe and opinions are my own.