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This past summer close friends of ours from Belgium came to visit. We all used to live in Sierra Leone (a West African country) together and they were an incredible (and I do mean to use the word incredible) support to my family and I when I got very sick with undiagnosed Celiac and had to be evacuated for medical care. These friends have more than once opened their home to us and truly embody the “what’s mine is yours” spirit of deep friendships. As you can imagine, while they were here in the US, I wanted to do everything I could to make them comfortable and show them a good time. One of the daughters said her favorite thing to eat is a Belgian dish served on special occasions, Frikadellen met Krieken. That’s Flemish for Meatballs with Cherries. I spent an afternoon looking up recipes and saw that it was easily adapted to AIP and got to work. We enjoyed the yummy food this past summer and ever since I’ve been thinking what an elegant, but super simple, holiday appetizer it would make. So, here it is for all of you! Enjoy with your closest friends this holiday season and say a little thank you to them… you never know when you may need the sort of friends willing to go above and beyond to help you.
Meatballs with Cherry Sauce
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- While water is coming to boil, add ground meat, thyme, and salt to a large bowl.
- Mix together with hands until well combined. Roll into bite-size balls (approx. 40 meatballs), set aside.
- When water is boiling, add meatballs. They will float to the surface when they are cooked.
- Drain meatballs, set aside.
- Mix cherries, water, sugar, and flour together in a medium saucepan.
- Over high heat bring the mixture to a boil, stirring the whole time.
- Boil for only 1-2 minutes and remove from heat. Mixture will thicken.
- Transfer meatballs to a heavy bottom skillet. On high-heat lightly brown on all sides.
- Serve meatballs with cherry sauce spooned over them.
A tip to make forming meatballs easier is to wet hands with warm water between rolling each batch.