If I learned anything from the 12+ romantic comedies I watched during my last bout of the flu, it’s that one can never have too much romance. Especially between two professionals with full-time jobs. Romance up your life as much as possible, because life is short and love is in shortage (as evidenced by the sheer quantity of rom-coms). If you and your love are in the same physical space over the dinner hour, officially you have a date night. Don’t run for the solitude of your separate computers. Work can wait. Share the sink. Crowd the stove. Make sweet meatball yakitori.
Chicken Meatball Yakitori
Adapted from Food and Wine
1/4 cup sake (I used vodka, because I think sake is worse than foul)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mirin
1 pound coarsely ground chicken
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 medium shallot, minced
Finely grated zest of 1 yuzu or lemon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
In a saucepan, combine the sake, soy sauce, sugar and 1/4 cup of the mirin; boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, 3 minutes. Let cool.
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, combine the chicken, salt, shallot, zest and the remaining 2 tablespoons of mirin. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Form the chicken mixture into 24 meatballs.
Brush the meatballs with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and arrange them on the baking sheet. Bake for about 6 minutes, until the meatballs are barely cooked through.
Light a grill. Thread the meatballs onto 8 bamboo skewers and grill over moderately high heat, turning, until lightly charred, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and brush the meatballs with the sauce. Grill, turning and brushing, until glazed, 30 seconds longer. Serve with the remaining sauce.