Hiya! This past week, I traveled down to Atlanta for the Interstate Hotels & Resorts Global Leadership Conference. It was inspiring, to say the least. I happen to think that I work for one of the best companies, not just in the hospitality industry, but in the world!
For the past three days, 1,200 of us were entertained with solid speakers and real-life inspirational stories from associates at some of our 400+ hotels. Over the past four years of attending this conference, I have made some fantastic friends from all around the country... and the world! Our hotel was honored as the Top Guest Service Satisfaction hotel in our division, which was a huge honor.
As much as I enjoyed the sessions and presentations, I can't mention this conference without recognizing the food! You would think that feeding over a thousand hospitality professionals would possibly sacrifice quality, but it was quite the opposite and everything I ate was delicious. One day, our company arranged for the best food trucks in Atlanta to pile into the Hyatt Regency's ballroom to serve us lunch. It. Was. Awesome.
After indulging on great food for the past week, I need to get back on track since we leave for our cruise in less than four weeks! I decided to whip up these chicken meatball lettuce wraps to serve as lighter meals for us this weekend. Let me tell you, even though they are on the lighter side, they surely are not light on flavor! Packed with Asian aromatics and vegetables, these meatballs are filling and delicious.
makes 25 meatballs (size of golf balls)
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups cabbage, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound ground chicken (you could also use turkey or pork)
3 scallions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 inch knob ginger, grated
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Chop up cabbage and mushrooms, add to pan with salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and caramelized. Remove from heat to let it cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add ground chicken, scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame oil, honey, cilantro, egg and cornstarch and cooled cabbage/mushroom mixture. Mix with your hands until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Line a sheet pan with a Silpat or parchment paper. Form meatballs about the size of golf balls and bake in over for 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes.
The meatball mixture will be very wet and they might be a little more difficult to form compared to regular meatballs. Don't worry as they will bake up nice and moist.
Spiced Hoisen Sauce
1/3 cup hoisen sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1/4 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 head of Boston or Bibb Lettuce (wraps)
1/4 cup Slivered Almonds (optional)
For the sauce, mix all ingredients together. Serve baked meatballs with sauce, leafs of lettuce and almonds. Wrap and eat!