Search Results for “meatballs”

October 18, 2011

Meatballs!

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t like meatballs? Especially homemade meatballs?! I admit: it’s time consuming to make a batch, but if you cook 100  (especially if you’re baking them) and freeze them it’s worth your while. Then, when you need some, whether for lunch or dinner, they’re ready to go.

 I’ve experimented with meatballs many times, but I’ve never made them          with elk—until now. In fact, I’ve never cooked elk. But I found some ground  elk at Sprouts a couple weeks ago frozen for $7.99/lb. and bought a  package. Game meat is much leaner than beef, and free of hormones and  other artificial growth stimulants, so I thought it was worth a try. But  because I thought it might be too gamey for the kids, I mixed it with grass-  fed ground beef. Half and half.

Then, I stumbled upon a recipe for mozzarella-stuffed elk meatballs. My    first response? Ewww. It reminded me too much of Pizza Hut’s ads for    cheese-stuffed pizza crusts. You could feel a heart attack coming on just watching the commercial. But then, I conceded that I don’t know much about cooking wild game, unlike the folks at the site dedicated to wild-game recipes. Besides, those little mozzarella pearls are so tasty on their own. I decided to make half the batch plain and the other half with mozzarella.

You know what? They were really, really scrumptious. The cheese was nice and soft in the center, and the meat just fell apart in your mouth.The funny thing is, my husband and I liked the mozzarella ones and the kids didn’t. And S and C weren’t put off by the slight gaminess. In fact, S told me she preferred them over my usual meatballs. You know what? I did, too. I see elk in our future.

As for the recipe, I combined a few different ones I’ve tried in the past. In a nutshell, it includes the ground meat (you can combine beef, pork, turkey, veal, elk, bison, etc.), sautéed onions and garlic with rosemary, thyme and oregano; eggs; breadcrumbs soaked in milk; finely chopped parsley; grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese; and, of course, salt and pepper. If you want to try the mozzarella-stuffed version, simply mold the meat around the pearl.

You know what else is great about meatballs? They are so versatile. The possibilities are endless. For today, S got some meatballs with marinara sauce and a piece of olive bread.

April 23, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup

I’ve always loved a piping-hot bowl of Italian Wedding Soup, but I had never found the right recipe. Until now. I scoured the Web and combined a little bit of this one with a little bit of that one, added a few more vegetables and voila—it was perfection. Everyone had seconds and asked me to make it again.

I started by sauteeing a container of mirepoix from Trader Joe’s, which is basically chopped carrots, onions and celery, in olive oil. Pre-chopped vegetables for a good stock is just what I needed on a rushed day. Then, I added 8 cups of low-sodium chicken broth, plus 1 can of cannellini beans and a the heel of a wedge of Parmesan cheese. I let it simmer for a about 15 minutes and then I added the meatballs.

For the meatballs, I combined:

1 lb. of lean ground beef

1/2 lb. ground mild Italian sausage

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

2  tsp minced garlic

1 egg

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs (leave out if you’re GF)

I shaped them into mini meatballs and dropped them into the simmering broth until they were cooked through. Lastly, I turned off the heat and stirred in a bag of baby spinach. You could substitute endive or Swiss chard, but you’d have to increase your cooking time. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.

February 16, 2012

Five Under 5: Meatball Sliders

Okay, I admit I’m cheating a bit with this post. But you really could make this with less than five ingredients—if you bought pre-made meatballs and sauce. Friends have told me that the turkey meatballs from Trader Joe’s are quite tasty. And there are a number of jarred sauces on supermarket shelves that are winners. I had a few meatballs left over from the batch of 100 I made months ago. I warmed them up in some sauce (confession: I made my own) and put a little slice of fresh mozzarella over the top of the meatball. I lightly toasted some mini hamburger buns and pieced it all together.

1 – Mini hamburger buns

2 – Meatballs

3 – Marinara sauce

4 – Fresh mozzarella

I packed the sliders with some baby carrots, cucumbers and a banana. These sliders would be great for dinner, too.

In doggie news, my sweet German Shepherd is feeling much better after chemotherapy and some prednisone. She’s finally eating and wagging her tail again. Keep your fingers crossed that remission is on its way and that it’ll be a long one.

January 4, 2012

Meatball and Pineapple Skewers

Remember those meatballs I made a few months back? Well, they’re still in my freezer and I decided it was time to repurpose them. Yes, I could make meatball sliders, spaghetti and meatballs, or simply meatballs and sauce. But I wanted a different flavor altogether. And when I opened the freezer, I also saw a bag of frozen pineapple tidbits. Ta da! Then, I saw the light.

Our microwave oven is still busted and I don’t foresee one in our near future, so instead of warming the meatballs in the microwave I set them in a steamer and let them get nice and juicy. Then, I skewered them on a toothpick along with a piece of pineapple. I wanted to heat up some teriyaki sauce and brush it over the meatball and pineapple, but I ran out of time. If you’re not up for making your own meatballs, you can always opt for the cooked ones in the freezer aisle of your grocery store. Usually, you can find them in beef or turkey. Also, pineapple chunks would skewer better, but I’m so neurotic about canned foods, especially acidic ones that can leach BPA into your food, that I always choose fresh, frozen or jarred, if it’s an option. Next time, I’ll cut up a fresh pineapple.

Part of me is waiting for S’s school to call and reprimand me for sending her to school with toothpicks. The horror! The truth is, it’s S, my daughter, and not C, my son, which means no one will get their eyes poked out today. Except for maybe the boy who grabs the toothpick out of S’s lunchbox.

If you want to try making your own meatballs, here’s the link to the post:

Homemade Meatballs!

 

October 10, 2011

Flank Steak and Corn & Tomato Salad

S loves flank steak. As in, she eats three servings of it when I make it. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I craved beef like a lioness when I was pregnant with her. Before my pregnancy, I had gone nearly eight years without eating red meat. But all of a sudden, I had dreams about spaghetti and meatballs, In-N-Out burgers and filet mignons. I gave in to all my urges, which only got worse when I was breastfeeding, and never looked back.

When I opened the fridge this morning, I saw that we had some flank steak left over from last night—but no sides. I needed a side of vegetables, and I needed it quick. There’s a corn and tomato salad that Siena likes as much as flank steak, but I didn’t have any fresh corn. I did, however, have some frozen organic corn. So, I tore into the bag, cut up some cherry tomatoes and strips of basil, and mixed it all together. Note: I used the corn completely frozen. I figured it would thaw and be nice and chilly for lunch. Lastly, I dressed it with a balsamic vinaigrette—one part vinegar to three parts olive oil. S’s eyes lit up when she saw her lunch. That’s my girl.

By the way, Epicurious has the easiest and tastiest recipe for grilled flank steak with rosemary. You can’t mess it up. I usually marinade the flank in the morning and grill it at dinnertime. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, just use tamari instead of soy sauce. Your kids and dinner guests will rave. I promise.

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