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Bento 50: Mini-meatballs, cherries, crackers

July 19, 2010

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Phew! I spent Sunday making mini meatballs, jalapeno mini burgers and some chinese dried meat to replenish my sadly depleted bento freezer stash. After being away for so long and mostly putting together sad-looking bento (and my glaring omission of protein in my recent bentos) it was most definately time to spend time in the kitchen. I am drawing a blank on what other foods can I make-and-freeze as bento friendly food…anyone got any ideas?

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Unfortunately for me, cherries don’t freeze very well – had to pick most of it off the tree on Saturday as the birds were getting to them :(. Going to be making appearances in the bentos for the week!

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Today’s bento consist of three of my mini meatballs (I love the new ‘bone’ pick, makes it look so Flinstones-like !!), rice with some ume furikake, row of peapods, more cherries ( don’t worry, I only have about another week’s worth!) and some mini crackers in a (new!) bear cup and some carrot flowers which ended up looking more like windmills. Oh, added an easy deco of a bear cheese cutout.

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bento50

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Not really liking the nori face punch – probably looks better not on a bear? I was aiming for a speed bento, so did not spend the time cutting out an appropriate nose, which would have made this bento look a whole load better – as it is now it just looks slightly weird :). Note to self; stop being lazy and calling it ‘speed’ !

(PS: The hubs (bacon) just looked over my shoulder and he insisted that the bear just don’t have a mouth, apparently that’s it’s nose. Hmm. Either way it’s not quite right!

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For my meatballs/burgers, I used a base recipe that I got off Jamie Oliver. It’s pretty good IMHO, flavourful and one base meat mixture can be used for both meatballs & burgers, I just added more herbs for the meatballs and jalapenos for the mini burgers. I grow rosemary & oregano in my garden, so just used it fresh, but I think Jamie Oliver uses dried herbs. To make quite alot of these, you would need:

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  • 1lb beef & 1/2lb pork mince (I like a mixture of meat)
  • handful of fresh rosemary ( 3-4 sprigs)
  • handful of fresh oregano (about 2tbp dried?)
  • 3 pinches of salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbs mustard
  • 1tbs paprika
  • 14 cheese crackers (he uses cream crackers, but I had none)
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 6 slices of jalapeno (you can put more)
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    I divide my meat mixture into two, so I can add more herbs in one and chopped jalapeno in another. Obviously, you don’t have to if you’re not making both!
    Finely chop herbs (if using fresh) and pop into meat mixture
    Crumble crackers in a tea towel, or plastic ziplock.
    Mix all the inggredients up well (including the eggs), getting your hands dirty. I add the jalapeno to the mixture I set aside for the burgers.
    Squeeze them into balls/patties
    Panfry them over medium heat – depending on how lean your meat is, you may not need to add any oil. I did, and immediately regretted it as the oil drowned my meatballs! I had to pour the oil away halfway through.

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    They freeze quite well, I laid them in one layer on my ice cube tray, and then pop them in a bag to enable me to pop a few out as and when I need them. Genius, I thought. Let’s just hope I don’t use them all at one go – they are pretty delicious! Suprisingly I can’t really taste the cheese cracker in them, I thought the cheese crackers would overpower the herby flavours, but I was wrong. Maybe its the fresh rosemary.

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    6 Comments leave one →
    1. July 20, 2010 9:02 am

      Mini meatballs are just perfect for bento, aren’t they? Cute cheese bear and bone picks … cherries are awesome.

    2. July 21, 2010 3:20 am

      Me too I love mini meatballs. Those cherries look great!

      • July 25, 2010 4:20 pm

        Thanks Sheri! Cherries has got to be my favourite fruit – the deep red color is just amazing!

    3. July 21, 2010 10:23 am

      It has been a while since I did any meatballs for my bentos.
      Love that big box of cherries!!!!

      • July 25, 2010 4:19 pm

        Thanks so much – meatballs are so versatile, aren’t they?

    4. July 23, 2010 6:50 am

      SOOO cute!!! Those cherries look so fresh! I am envious!

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