Whoo boy these meatballs were good–am I allowed to say that?
We started off our Just Married and Cooking private dinners with a bang–Google called and I had to answer with something elegant, and easy. The deal was, I’d get things going but then the guests would step in and be my sous chefs, forming the duck mixture, whisking the polenta and finally sauteeing the duck meatballs and garnishing with pea tendrils. (Later, came the real Top Chef Moment came when everyone  created their own Bruleed Banana Tartlet w. Nutella Cream.) We had a blast. Between sips of wine and shop talk, the group got their hands dirty and asked me their every burning culinary question. Before they knew it, the meatballs were cooked, the polenta was smooth and the Nutella Cream was whipped and ready to be devoured…
Duck Meatballs
serves 4-6
Duck is fun, different and a little fancy but these meatballs can easily be made with ground chicken, turkey, pork or veal.
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
½ cup onion or shallots, minced or grated
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 lb ground duck meat (substitute pork, chicken, turkey or veal)
2 eggs
½ cup breadcrumbs, more as needed to coat meatballs
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 cups chicken broth

Place the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. add the shallots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until very tender but not browned. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
In a bowl, combine the duck meat, eggs, breadcrumbs and eggs. When the shallots have cooled add them to the duck and mix thoroughly. For the mixture into balls, slightly smaller than a golf ball. Roll each formed meatballs in the excess breadcrumbs to coat lightly.

To cook the meatballs, sauté in olive oil over medium high heat Until well browned on all sides. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce to the heat to maintain a low simmer and cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil. Continue cooking, covered for 8 minutes. Remove the lid and check the broth for consistency. If the liquid is still very thin, simmer uncovered until thickened.
To serve, place a large spoonful of the polenta (recipe follows) in the bottom of a bowl. Place the meatballs on top of the polenta and add a spoonful of the thickened stock. Finish with small greens- pea tendrils (pictured) or arugula.

Creamy Polenta
serves 4-6
3 cups water
3 cups milk
2 branches fresh thyme
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup white polenta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon white truffle oil
Combine the water, milk, thyme and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepot. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and whisk in the polenta in a steady stream. When the pot returns to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and continue cooking until tender and thickened. To serve, add the parmesan cheese and remaining butter. Adjust the season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk in the truffle oil immediately before serving.