Friday, August 12, 2011

Wintermelon and Meatballs in Tomato Sauce -自制番茄酱焖冬瓜肉丸

Don't be confused. Winter melon is in fact summer produce. But sights of "white ash or wax" on the melon resembles frost and makes it "winter-ish".

Winter melon is "cooling" food and helps moisten the lungs. If you are at where summer is hot and dry, winter melon can be the perfect nourishing food for the body.

Winter melon can be purchased from the Asian grocery stores such as 99 Ranch, in California, USA.

Meatballs with Wintermelon in Homemade Tomato Sauce -自制番茄酱焖冬瓜肉丸
Ingredients: 6-8 cooked meatballs (store-bought* or homemade, as preferred); 3-4 tbsps "marinara" sauce (homemade from tomatoes, garlic, and onions); 10-12 bite-size cubes of winter melon; dash of red chili powder and coriander powder; sea salt and black pepper to taste. *Rocky Jr Petaluma Poultry Chicken Meatballs - from Costco

Directions: In a heated pan, add the homemade tomato sauce and allow it to come to simmer. When simmering, add the winter melon and meatballs, dash of chili powder and coriander powder, mix well,  then allow them to simmer at low-medium heat till the wintermelon is cooked (turns white to translucent). Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

(1) Make your own Tomato Sauce: With the abundance of tomatoes right now, it is the best time to make tomato sauce at home and store them in the fridge (or freeze them if to be kept longer). Homemade tomato sauce comes handy when pasta is in the menu plan or when a dish like the above comes calling. Plan ahead to make your life easier. I usually make a batch (that yields a serving of 4, about 2 meals),store half of it in air-tight glass containers in the fridge, and use this other half within 3 days if possible.

(2) Choice of Meatballs: Though winter melon is often seen as an Asian ingredient, be open to pair them with any kind of Western-style or Chinese-style meatballs. It works! Miraculously delicious!

The winter melon, when cooked, lends natural hint of sweetness to the dish; complements with the savory meatballs, and tangy-sweet tomato-based sauce.

East meets West, simple and delicious for home-cooking.

I am sharing Winter Melon with Weekend Herb Blogging #296 hosted at Cafe Lynnylu.

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