"If meats are essential for your party, you will be very popular with this dish. I like to hand chop the meat because great texture is essential for this dish. You can roll them into small, bite sizes to serve alongside crunchy bread or baguettes."
Wine pairing suggestion: Leitz 2010 Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Spätlese (Rheingau, Germany)
The lush texture of this wine -- fall golden apples, wet stone and citrus blossom -- cuts right through the richness of the pork and the density of the spice, finishing with Johannes Leitz's signature acidity.
Cocktail suggestion: Carter Beats the Devil (Reposado tequila, mezcal, lime, agave, bird's eye chili tincture)
This drink is named after Carter the Great, a notable 1920s era, Oakland-based illusionist. His greatest trick was Carter Beats the Devil. This drink is bright, smoky and spicy. The smoke and spice compliment the rich, fatty texture of the meatballs and the acidity keeps the palate primed for more food.
Hoi An Wontons with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Serves 8 to 10 as a snack or appetizer
For the tomato sauce
2 Tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 tsp minced garlic
4 Thai hot chiles stemmed and minced
2 Tbsp rice wine
2 pounds ripe tomatoes (such as Roma or Early Girl), cored and diced
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp fish sauce
50 square wonton wrappers (1-pound package)
For the wontons
Pork-and-shrimp wonton filling
Cornstarch, for dusting
Canola oil, for deep-frying
To make the tomato sauce, in a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until light golden brown. Add garlic and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, 45 seconds more, until aromatic. Stir in the rice wine, tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat so the mixture is at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes, to blend the flavors.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the fish sauce. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and process until smooth. Keep warm. (The sauce can be made a day ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated; reheat before using.)
To form the wontons, place a wonton wrapper on a work surface. Lightly brush the edges of the wrapper with water and place 1 teaspoon of the ground pork in the center. Top with a second wonton wrapper, pressing to enclose the filling and form a square, like a ravioli. Force out as much air as possible as you seal the edges to prevent the wontons from puffing up when you fry them. Transfer the finished wontons to a baking sheet or large tray lightly dusted with cornstarch. Repeat until you have used up all of the filling.
Pour the oil to a depth of 2 inches into a wok or high-sided pot and heat over high heat to 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and place near the stove. Place a second rimmed baking sheet alongside. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
When the oil is ready, add one-third of the wontons to the oil and fry for 3 minutes, until deep golden brown and crisp. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain briefly, then transfer to the second sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining wontons in two batches, always allowing the oil to return to temperature between batches.
Arrange the wontons on a platter and serve immediately, accompanied by the tomato sauce. Dip the wontons in the sauce and eat.
Pork and Shrimp Spring Rolls
Makes 10 rolls, enough to serve 10 people as an appetizer