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SPICY THAI MEATBALLS WITH CRISPY NOODLES

Category:    Thai, Meatballs
Yield:4 servings
 
           Vegetable oil                     1/2 c  Chunk-style peanut butter
      1 lb Ground pork                         1 tb Grated lemon peel
      1 lg Egg                               1/4 ts Ground red cayenne pepper
    1/2 c  Dry-roasted peanuts,                1 sm Cucumber,sliced
           Finely chopped                      1 sm Carrot, peeled and thinly
    1/4 c  Chopped fresh cilantro or                Sliced or cut into thin
           Parsley                                  Sticks
    3/4 ts Salt                                     Fresh cilantro or parsley
  3 3/4 oz Pkg. cellophane noodles                  Sprigs, optional
           (see note)                     
 
  Pour oil into 3 qt. saucepan to depth of 1";heat over medium-high heat to
  375 degrees.Meanwhile,in large bowl,combine pork,egg,ground peanuts,chopped
  cilantro and salt.Using hands or wooden spoon,blend well.Shape mixture into
  1" balls.In 12" skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp. oil;add
  meatballs.Cook about 12 minutes,turning frequently until well browned on
  all sides.Add 1 cup water,stirring to loosen brown bits from bottom of
  skillet;bring to boil.Reduce heat to low. Simmer,covered,5 to 10 minutes
  until meatballs are cooked through. Meanwhile,add noodles,a small amount at
  a time,to hot oil in saucepan; cook each batch about 20 seconds until
  puffed and double in size.Using a slotted spoon,remove noodles to paper
  towel to drain.When meatballs are cooked,stir in peanut butter,grated lemon
  peel and ground red pepper;cook about 1 minute longer until heated
  through.Arrange fried noodles on serving platter.Spoon meatballs over
  noodles;arrange cucumbers and carrots decoratively around edge.Garnish with
  cilantro sprigs,if desired.Makes 4 servings.
  
  Note:Cellophane noodles are sometimes called bean thread noodles and can be
  found in the Oriental sections of supermarkets.
 

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