Meatballs with Creole Sauce

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• 1 large onion
• 1 1/3 lb (600g) ground beef
• 1 large egg
• 3 tbsp (45 ml) plain flour
• 1/4 tsp (1 ml) cayenne pepper
• 1/4 tsp (1 ml) hot paprika
• Salt and black pepper
• 2 tbsp (25 ml) olive oil

• 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
• 1 medium green pepper
• 1 medium red pepper
• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 sticks celery
• 1 can (19oz / 540ml)
• chopped tomatoes
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 tsp (5 ml) cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp (5 ml) hot paprika
• 1 tsp (5 ml) molasses

1. For meatballs, peel and chop onion. Put half into large bowl with beef, egg, flour, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

2. For Creole sauce, heat oil in large pot over moderate heat, fry remaining onion until softened, then rinse, deseed and chop peppers and stir into onion.

3. Peel garlic and crush into pot. Rinse and chop celery and stir into pot. Cook 2 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes and their juice, bay leaf, cayenne, paprika, molasses and 1/2 cup (125 mL) of water and bring mixture to boil. Then simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until sauce is thick but vegetables still retain crunch.

5. While sauce is simmering, cook meatballs: Heat oil slowly in very large frying pan. With wet hands, shape meat mixture into 16 balls, about size of golf balls, and put carefully into hot oil. Fry over high heat 10 minutes, until browned all over and just cooked on inside.

6. Season Creole sauce to taste with salt and pepper and serve with meatballs.

Serves 4

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