Short Order: Meatballs on my mind

A person who loves good food and knows how to produce it is ready to share a recipe any time of day or night.

I called my friend Alice and said: "That Melting Moussaka recipe you talked me into making did, I grant you, melt hearts and gratify stomachs - but I still want to try those tiny, tasty meatballs of yours." Never mind that it was 10:30 p.m. A person who loves good food and knows how to produce it is ready to share a recipe any time of day or night. PIQUANT MEATBALLS 500 gr. chopped veal 500 gr. chopped turkey (or 1 kg. of any chopped meat) matza meal and/or bread crumbs 11⁄2 tsp. granulated garlic, or 2 cloves garlic, pressed 1 medium onion, finely chopped sweet paprika, to taste salt and pepper to taste For the sauce: 1 medium onion, sliced a little oil 1 healthy Tbsp. plum jam 1⁄2 red pepper, sliced 1⁄4 cup red wine salt and pepper to taste few Tbsp. pineapple juice Mix the meat well with enough matza meal and/or bread crumbs to give it body. Add the garlic, onion and seasonings and make 35-40 balls, each about the size of a ping-pong ball. Take a deep, wide pot and saute the sliced onion in the oil. Add the jam, red pepper and wine, and stir. When all this is simmering, put the meatballs in the pot, as much as possible in one layer. Add salt and pepper and the pineapple juice. Cover and cook gently for 15 minutes, then add 1 cup of boiling water and cook for another 25 minutes. If the sauce is not piquant enough, add a little vinegar. Finally, to thicken the sauce, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in a little water, and simmer for a minute or two longer. (If you want more "bite," add a little chili powder or sauce). Serve with rice or noodles. THERE WAS something about this recipe, from Esra's Meatless Meals, that beckoned on a cold winter's night. CARROT PATTIES 500 gr. carrots, coarsely grated 6 Tbsp. bread crumbs or matza meal 1 tsp. salt 1⁄4 tsp pepper 2 Tbsp. flour 3 eggs, beaten 2 cloves garlic, crushed Sauce: 1 small onion, diced 11⁄2 cups boiling water 1⁄2 tsp. salt 1⁄2 tsp pepper 1 bay leaf 1 100-gr. container tomato puree, mixed with a little water 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. sugar Mix the first lot of ingredients together and form into patties. Spray a frying pan with nonstick cooking spray and fry the patties until golden. In a large saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients, stirring well. Cook the patties in the sauce for 15 minutes. Serves 8-10. WHO DOESN'T like dishes that are short on preparation time and long on taste? Dvora Waysman writes: "I do a lot of entertaining and am always pressed for time. This truly is a 'quickie' dessert that I invented when some unexpected guests turned up." Bananas are plentiful and cheap right now, so why hesitate? DVORA'S BAKED BANANAS banana halves, cut lengthwise some jam some brandy fresh mint, chopped lemon zest a little butter Place each banana half, cut side up, on its own piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle on some jam, a few drops of brandy and some mint; sprinkle with lemon zest and dot with butter. Close the foil "parcels" loosely and bake them in the oven for 10 minutes at 150°. SUE KOLAN considered this column's recent suggestions for cooking salmon, and commented: "If you're talking simple, here's a very simple salmon recipe from Healthy Living On-line." SIMPLY SALMON 340-gr. salmon fillet, cut into 4 freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1⁄4 cup low-sodium soy sauce Preheat the oven to 230°. Rinse the salmon pieces and pat them dry. Season them with fresh ground pepper and the soy sauce. Place the salmon, skin side down, on a non-stick baking pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until done. Serve with wild rice and vegetables. OVERHEARD: (plaintively) "I am in shape. Round is a shape."