`Porcupines' from the oven



Charlene Young of Bend, Ore., was looking for a recipe she used to have for "oven porcupines," which were meatballs made with a combination of ground meats and rice.

Jamie Mansperger of Phoenix sent in a recipe that she has been using for more than 20 years. She said that she used to prepare them for her children and serve them with mashed potatoes and a green salad.

Mansperger's recipe is for baked meatballs that are made using a classic meatloaf mix of beef, pork and veal. It was quick and easy to prepare and unlike other versions I received, you do not have to go to the trouble of browning the meatballs first.

Just gently mix the ingredients together, roll into balls, pour the tomato sauce over them, cover and bake. As the rice cooks, it pushes out of the balls -- thus the nickname "porcupines."

Oven Porcupines

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound of meatloaf mixture (beef, veal, pork) or 1/3 pound each of ground beef, veal and pork, mixed together

1/2 cup uncooked rice

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup minced onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

one 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 cup water

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix meat, rice, 1/2 cup water, onion, salts, garlic powder and pepper. Shape mixture in tablespoon-size balls. Place meatballs in ungreased baking dish.

Stir together tomato sauce, 1 cup water and Worcestershire sauce and pour over meatballs. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more.Per serving (based on 6 servings): 212 calories, 14 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 46 milligrams cholesterol, 705 milligrams sodium


Irma Nosret of Huntley, Ill., is in search of a recipe she has lost for an easy, one-pan dish that used Spanish flavor Rice-a-Roni and a variety of other ingredients such as shrimp, crab meat, peas and black olives.

Janet Zaganas of St. Augustine, Fla., is looking for a recipe from the '80s for a salad dressing that had blue cheese and hard-boiled eggs in it.

If you are looking for a hard-to-find recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail recipefinder@baltsun.com. Names and addresses must accompany recipes to be published.

The nutrition analyses accompanying recipes in today's Taste section were calculated by registered dietitian Jodie Shield, except where noted.

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