Monthly Feature
Shelley highlights another creation for the beginner cook!

My cooking adventures continue to continue. It’s been pretty easy to stick with what I feel like I am any good at, which amounts to the two things I’ve already written about: rice and tilapia. Shockingly, it doesn’t take too long to get tired of that, and Rob is not one to keep that to himself, so now I only manage to do that once every couple of weeks. Unless we are making vindaloo, in which case the whole cooking rice thing is suddenly welcomed again with open arms. In looking for something else to try making, I stumbled across what looked like a pretty easy recipe for meatballs. Now, I’ve always thought meatballs were something only a master could master.  They just always seemed in theory to be too labor-intensive for my liking. But finally, I bit the bullet and gave it a try. To my surprise it was way easy. Super easy. Call me a convert because I am ready to make them again. And now I am hungry. Great. Maybe I’ll make them tomorrow…

Just follow these steps:
1. Toss 1 cup prepared bread crumbs with 1/3 cup water. (I think fresh would probably be great using italian white bread, but hey, who has time for that. I have never felt like getting out the food processor and pulsing it out. Maybe next time. Maybe I’ll be as surprised about that as I was about meatballs.)

2. Add 1lb. ground beef, 1 egg slightly beaten, 1-2 teaspoon minced garlic (up to you), 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon oregano; mix just until combined.

3. Gently form mixture into 12 meatballs. (Try to stick to 12, I think I actually ended up doing 16, which turns out was a bit tricky on the room in the ole pot. Speaking of the pot…)

4. In a very heavy pot (maybe that’s what a dutch oven is? gross.), heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high; swirl to coat.

5. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 7 minutes. (Here’s where you will wish you stuck with 12 meatballs.)

6. Add crushed and whole tomatoes with juice (breaking up tomatoes, which you might want to try and do with a spoon before putting in the pot), 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/4 teaspoon oregano, and a literal pinch of sugar. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

7. Bring sauce to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

8. Enjoy!

I served the meatballs in a bowl without pasta in an attempt to avoid some carbs. But then I was afraid it was going to be too much like eating chili, so I brushed some whole grain flat bread with a smidge of olive oil and sprinkled on some grated Parmesan cheese, threw it in the oven for a few minutes to heat it up and lightly toast it. Fewer carbs, I hope, and it did the trick. Throw in some salad on the side, and you’re all done! Seriously, I think I am going to make these again tomorrow, and am wishing I had some leftovers right about now!


SirRon May 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I had a few thoughts after reading… (disclaimer: I’ve only dabbled in adult meatball making a handful of times, so most of my experience is with the kid variety).

* You don’t specify the type of ground beef you used. The type and fat content will change your meatball.

* Most classic meatball recipes involve mixing meat types. I know I’ve read several reasons why that is important, but can’t remember any right now. I usually go 2:1, 85% ground chuck to ground pork. Both are easy to find in the grocery, so I don’t have to do any grinding.

* I’ve heard that tossing a little gelatin in their helps. I’ve never tried, but thought I’d toss it out there.

The Mighty Rib May 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Shelley, you’ll have to let us know more specifics on the ground beef. As for the gelatin, I’m intrigued. Never have used it before, but I’m not opposed to trying it out. Thanks for the suggestion SirRon.

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