Skip to main content

A Meatball Party

 I think the secret to a good meatball is moistening the binding agent (breadcrumbs) with a flavourful  liquid, which results in a light, tender meatball.

I made a big batch of meatballs the other night. It made enough for a couple of nights worth of dinners as well as a few days worth of  lunches. I would  highly recommend doubling this recipe, and freezing the remainder. Throw the meatballs into your favorite pasta sauce, soup, sub or pita for a quick and delicious  lunch or dinner.

Basic Meatball Recipe
(makes 45-50 small meatballs)

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. lean ground pork
1 onion, grated  or pureed in food processor
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs ( I used  rice crackers)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
about 1 1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, mix together beef, pork, onion, garlic..In a small bowl beat egg. Add bread crumbs, Worcestershire, parsley, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Let mixture stand for a few minutes, until bread crumbs absorb liquid. Add to meat mixture. Mix gently, just until incorporated.( Don't over mix or you will have little hockey pucks for meatballs.) At this point you want to test the mixture for seasoning. Take a small amount and pan- fry for a few minutes.( I microwave a small ball for 20 seconds.)  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. Scoop out mixture with a small ice cream scoop. Roll into balls and put on sheet pan in even rows. Bake until just cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Day # One:

Italian Wedding Soup
(serves 4)

Vegetable oil
2 carrots, small dice
1 onion, small dice
2 ribs celery, small dice
pinch dried thyme
7 cups chicken stock
1/2 batch meatballs
2 cups cooked, small pasta (I used small shells)
a few large handfuls of fresh baby spinach, chopped
freshly grated Parmesan for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat veg. oil. Add carrots, onion and celery. Cook over low heat until tender. Add thyme, chicken stock, meatballs to pot. Let simmer 20 minutes. To serve:  Add spinach to pot. Put 1/4 cup or so cooked pasta in each serving bowl. Add hot soup. Top each bowl with freshly  grated Parmesan.   

Day# 2: Spaghetti and Meatballs

OK. This one isn't really a recipe. In a large saucepan, heat your favorite pasta sauce. Add meatballs and let simmer for a 10 to 15 minutes. Toss with hot, cooked pasta. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan.

I think this would also make a great appetizer for  a cocktail party. Toss meatballs with Teriyaki or BBQ sauce. Heat in oven until meatballs are warmed through and sauce has thickened and made a glaze on meatballs. Serve with toothpicks.

To Freeze:
Put cooked meatballs on a sheet pan. Freeze until solid. Put in plastic food storage bags or containers. Keep in freezer until ready to use.

Tags: Meatball, Beef, Pork, Italian Wedding Soup

Popular posts from this blog

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Button Bones

Button bones are very similar to spareribs, but have a flat, circular bone. A quick Wikipedia check tells me that they are  taken from the bottom 5 or 6 bones located underneath the rib cage. I think button bones sound like something in a children's nursery rhyme - "Have you seen the button bones.. the button bones...the button bones... La La Laaaaa

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Button Bones
servings: 4
recipe source: Beer. Butter. Bacon

2 tsp. Sambal Olek
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. Sriracha
1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper
1 lb. pork button bones
sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds for garnishing
Pour all ingredients in a large plastic zip lock bag. Marinade in fridge 6-8 hours. Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet 40-50 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Turn often during cooking.

Tags: Asian, Button Bones, Pork

Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic

Traditionally, Fettuccine Alfredo is a simple dish made with heavy cream, lots of butter, lots of Parmigiano Cheese and pasta.  Delicious? Yes!   Figure friendly? No!   A couple of months ago, I would have had no problem inhaling a big bowl of this buttery, cheesy goodness, but times have changed and I am now really trying to be aware of every bite of food that I eat. Whenever I am contemplating eating higher calorie foods, I ask myself - " Is it worth the calories?" The answer is almost always no. I have discovered that I can make a healthier, lower calorie version of almost any dish that I am craving, that tastes just as good- if not better- than the original.

Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic
serves: 3 to 4

1 tsp. olive oil
2 whole heads of garlic, roasted and peeled
4 oz. light cream cheese, cut into cubes ( let cream cheese come to room temp.)
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano, plus extra …

Pasta alla Carbonara with Mushrooms

Pasta alla Carbonara - literally translated is"Coal Miner's Spaghetti" in Italian. Carbonara is a classic Italian dish  that is quick, relatively simple and requires only a few key ingredients; pasta, cured pork, eggs and cheese.
Timing is everything when it comes to making the perfect carbonara. Toss the hot pasta with the raw eggs and cheese, add a bit of the starchy cooking liquid and stir vigorously until a creamy sauce is achieved. This is the tricky part -  the pasta has to be as hot as possible, but removed from the heat or it will scramble the eggs. If the pasta isn't hot enough, the eggs won't be cooked and you will be left with a soupy mess. Salmonella is never a popular guest at a dinner party.

Have a hot date coming up? Pull this one out of your bag of tricks and you are going to look like a culinary rock star. Move over Mario Batali!

Pasta alla Carbonara with Mushrooms
(serves 2 -3)

3 strips center cut bacon, chopped
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1/2 small…