June 25, 2009

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Tuesday was a cloudy day, so I decided to make meself some meatballs. There's no "I" in "meatballs," but there's "me"--so I made them for meself, of course.

This was my first experience making meatballs. I purchased a pound of ground beef (80 percent lean) and, upon peering at the 90 percent lean beef, discovered that, yes, it truly is cheaper to be fat. Take that, articles that say that there's no reason people on welfare should be overweight, when it's "obviously" cheaper to buy healthy foods. For me, though, it seemed like a win-win: Won't it only help make the meatballs all the moister?

So I proceeded, feeling pretty good about my $1.99 meat purchase. After the walk home, I was feeling extraordinarily lazy, so I decided not to look up any meatball recipes for reference. I did know some things about meatballs already, however, including that you should add an egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and onions/garlic, if desired. So I made do with what I had: half a chopped onion, a minced garlic clove, one egg, and a good dash of s&p.

Cloudy Day Meatballs
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large egg
s&p as desired

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (yes, hot!). Combine ingredients with a light hand. If you're not sure how much salt and pepper to add, and want it to be perfectly seasoned, Sara Moulton suggests cooking a small bit of the seasoned meatball mixture and tasting it. I was far too lazy to follow this sage advice.

Form the mixture into 1.5-inch balls and spread evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet. Believe me, you'll be glad for the foil when this is all over and you can easily dispose of the fat that's bubbled out of the meatballs in the cooking process. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

So my first time making meatballs wasn't all too bad. It went pretty smoothly, except that I slightly overbaked them. My mom makes Chinese meatballs with ground turkey, silken tofu and fish paste. Those are far more tender than mine tasted. I'll have to take a swing at those sometime in the near future. Meanwhile, this particular batch of American-Italian meatballs was saved by the grace of half a jar of marinara sauce. I took the other half of the onion and another clove of garlic, minced them, browned them with sliced baby bella mushrooms over high heat with oil, and added the marinara sauce and meatballs. I then simmered the mixture until it smelled fantastic, and spooned some over a bowl of steaming hot white rice. Yum. Marinara sauce makes everything right with the world.

1 comment:

stephchows said...

mmmmm your made on the fly recipe sounds good to me :) and your mom's recipe is very intriguing! Can't wait to see it!