I can’t remember how old I was when I tried lettuce wraps for the first time. Maybe I was 8 or 9. It was some time when my big sister still lived at home. (Tangent: I never call my older siblings by their first name, they’re all big sister, big sister #2, and big brother to me. It comes with being the baby of the family.) I do, however, remember thinking this as I scooped spoonfuls of minced meat into my torn iceberg lettuce leaf: “My big sister is awesome! How did she even think of cooking something as unique as this?” As it turns out, she wasn’t quite the culinary genius I had pictured. She borrowed the idea from Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook fame. (That used to be my favorite cooking show and it always aired after Jacque Pepin.)
Well, I’m going to borrow that lettuce wrap idea and take it with me to a party. A virtual baby shower for Michelle of Healthy Recipe Ecstasy! What better way to celebrate that with some healthy noms?
I’ve been following Michelle’s blog for a while now, and I immediately connected with her when I realized that she’s an attorney in D.C. Yay for lawyers who blog, and how the heck do you balance everything, Michelle?!
Do you remember that Strawberry Avocado Toast with Chocolate Drizzle that so many of you swooned over a few months ago? That’s all Michelle!
Yea, let’s get the baby party started and give away a KitchenAid blender!
My contribution is this Asian Jerk Meatball Wraps. I initially dreamed up a jerk meatball recipe and got super ambitious about making my own jerk sauce. There was one teensy little problem: I can’t find the right peppers! Recipe after recipe called for fresh scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, which haven’t quite made their appearance yet. Time to make it work. I swapped out the scotch bonnets for some Thai chilis. Then, I tossed in a handful of green onions, and a dash of fish sauce in the seasoning. Before I knew it, these meatballs became Asianized, and there was no turning back. I’m okay with it though. I hope Michelle feels the same way, too.
But enough about my balls…I mean, meatballs. (I had to.) Let’s see what everyone else is bringing to the party!
- Manchego Cheese Fritters with Honey Mustard Ranch, by Cooking and Beer
- Asparagus Tomato Crostini with Fresh Mint and Chives, by Simply Fresh Dinners
- Strawberry Bruschetta with Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar, by The NY Melrose Family
- Kimchi Salmon and Rainbow Pickles, by BAM’s Kitchen
- Curried Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Carrot Slaw, by Omnivore’s Cookbook
- Chipotle Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos, by Natural Chow
- Spicy Asian Chicken Puff Pastry Bites with Hoisin Peanut Sauce, by Climbing Grier Mountain
- Mahi Mahi with Dragon Fruit-Pineapple Salsa, by No Gojis No Glory
- Warm Corn Salad, by The Complete Savorist
- Asian Jerk Meatball Wraps, by Healthy Nibbles and Bits
- Roasted Cauliflower and Pearl Barley Bowls with Creamy Tahini-Dill Dressing, by An Edible Mosaic
- Grilled Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Salad with Coconut Curry Almond Butter Vinaigrette, by Food Faith Fitness
- Asparagus with Grated Egg and Capers, by Pinch and Swirl
- Strawberry Spinach Salad, by Bitz & Giggles
- Almond and Caramel Date Tart with Chocolate Ganache (Vegan and Gluten-Free), by The Crafting Foodie
- Coconut Sorbet, by House of Yumm
- Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with a Cookie Dough Crust, by Vitamin Sunshine
Pssst, did I also mention that there is a giveaway? YES! What’s a party without prizes, right? We’re giving away a KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender. Use it to make green smoothies. Use it to make my white bean sauce. Use it for anything! (Sorry, open to U.S. entrants only. Giveaway open until May 13th.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Asian Jerk Meatball Wraps
Makes about 10 to 12 wraps.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Category: gluten-free, appetizer, sides
Asian Jerk Seasoning
- 6 to 7 Thai chilis
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 stalks of green onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 2 TBS rice vinegar
- 1 TBS water
- 2 TBS dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground all-spice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 pounds ground chicken (I used thigh meat)
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 2 stalks of green onion, finely chopped
- 2 TBS fish sauce (or season with salt)
- 3 TBS olive oil
White Bean Sauce
- 1 15-oz can of cannellini beans
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS water
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 head of butter lettuce, rinsed
- 2 manila mangoes, peeled and chopped
- shredded vegetables
- PREPARE MEATBALLS: In a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients for the Asian jerk seasoning. In a large bowl, mix the ingredients for the meatballs and jerk seasoning together until well combined. Shape a heaping tablespoon of the ground chicken and form into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the meat. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Pour half the olive oil (1 1/2 tablespoons) in the pan. When the pan is hot, fill it with about half the meatballs. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, making sure that all sides are browned. Dish up the first batch, toss the remaining oil in the pan, and brown the rest of the meatballs.
- PREPARE WHITE BEAN SAUCE: Blend the ingredients for the white bean sauce in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- PREPARE WRAPS: Take a piece of lettuce and fill it with a few meatballs, mango, and vegetables. Top with some of the white bean sauce. Best served immediately.
1. Asian jerk seasoning adapted from CHOW.com. [br][br]2. SUBSTITUTIONS: Don’t want to bother making your own jerk seasoning? No problem! Just stir about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ or jerk sauce to the ground chicken. Don’t care for the beans sauce? An aioli works just as well.