ballin’

Posted on January 25, 2011

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My friend dragged me to the gym Monday night. It was probably the best thing I could do with my time, I didn’t even know where my gym bag or my sneakers were – for starters. I got to the gym, got a ticket for the class, and changed for the class. It was so bitterly cold here all day long, and even when I stood there, rubbing my toes before changing into my gym sneakers, they stayed cold! I took my shoes off twice more to rub my toes to try to warm them up. -4 degrees, it doesn’t really agree with me. I won’t lie, I get a little miserable when it’s this cold for too long. You could feel the cold creeping through the windows of the gym. EEK!

On the way out of the gym, I walked across the parking lot to the Shaw’s Supermarket – and used my iphone to find a shopping list/recipe which I needed desperately. I previously saw a HUGE package of ground beef for sale, and it was freakishly inexpensive, and instead of being creeped out – I bought it! I was grabbing a few last items to make tacos with, and had figured out that in order to get rid of all the ground beef I now owned, I should make meatballs. Well, my other friend told me to, cause I was nattering on about making Chili, but not having a good recipe, blahblahblah…

I used a foodnetwork.com recipe as a shopping list – something called Grandma Maronis Meatballs, I didn’t really use the recipe, I just threw a bunch of things in the shopping basket while looking at it, and then mixed a whole bunch of things together once I got home.

What I used when I made a mess all over the counter:

2lbs of ground beef (I am fairly good at eyeballing things, out a 3.25lb package, I’d say it was just over 2lbs that I used…)
1 c bread crumbs (I used plain, but seasoned are cool too… they were just 2/$1.85 for plain style…)
7-8 medium/large eggs (I used 8, cause most of them were on the wee size…)

raw meat, bread crumbs and eggs. looks gross, feels gross, but it's the base for something AMAZING!

1/2 c light cream (cause I bought too much for my chicken pot pies, and I didn’t have whole milk, which tastes better in meatballs, I think..)
1/2 c simply smart fat free milk (this part is WICKED GROSS, if you are mixing by hand, legit with your hands try not to be too grossed out)

mmm, dairy and raw meat... gooey and gross!

1/2 c romano grated cheese
1/2 c parmesan grated cheese
(I wanted to use all romano, but apparently I haven’t bought cheese in a while… I had to mix it up, to get the consistency needed after cheese is added – which is less sloppy, it should dry it out a little bit)
1/4 c grated garlic cloves (cause I was feeling lazy, and wanted these meatballs to be SMOOTH)
1/3 c grated shallots (cause those buggers have been kicking around my pantry for too damn long and I wanted to save my onions for something else…)
1/4 c wicked finely diced fresh italian parsley (a loose 1/4 cup, eyeball it as you mix it in, you can tell when it’s enough)
1/4 c wicked finely diced fresh basil (I cheated, and added a little bit of dried basil, cause I ran out of fresh – I LOVE basil… it’s hard for me to add too much of this isssh!)
sprinkles of salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic powder

In my arsenal of bakeware (which is fairly laughable, save a bunch of Pyrex pans I love to use for making strata and lasagna) I grabbed my roommates cookie sheet (of which he used to have two… god only knows where the other one went…) and some of my fave :

PARCHMENT BAKING PAPER IS THE SHIT. Yeah, it’s the shit. I bought it when I was making pavlovas and didn’t really have any good idea of how not to have to scrub dishes for ages after done baking. Turns out, you can just rip that crap off the cookie sheet after and toss it out (it can be recycled… prob not with tons of food stuffs on it though…) which turns a soaking and scrubbing ordeal into a minute long scrub and rinse job! Woot!

One thing that I find makes rolling out meatballs easier, when you are doing it by hand, like I learned how to make them – not with an ice cream scoop, or whatever other ways people use. Get some evoo and put it on your hands, the meat will not get all stuck in the webs of your hands and be annoying to wash off.

oh, hello, lovely!

I made my meatballs a little bigger than golf-ball-size. I like a hefty meatball! I put as many as I could stuff onto the parchment paper and then I had to resort to pyrex pans – why I covered them with evoo and not with parchment paper… I’m not sure, I think it’s cause I had raw meat and eggs all over my hands and didn’t want to dig around to get it out again… It was a pain in the ass to clean the Pyrex dishes, but whatevs. We all make weird choices.

Note: pyrex dishes aren’t really great to use when cooking meat, when it spatters, then bakes on it rarely comes off, and if it does, your arms will hurt from scrubbing!

I cooked these bad boys for roughly 45 mins. I was busy doing laundry, so I was using the timer on my washer (which is 33 mins for an express wash…) to keep track of the meatballs. Clever, yet, not soooo helpful, as the washer is in the basement. What I always do is take the largest meatball and rip it open like so –

see if that bad boy is cooked all the way through - if it's the biggest of them all, then you are all set!

I defrosted some of my sauce that I keep in the freezer while the meatballs were cooking:

sometimes I'll microwave/defrost things, but I don't like to cause it does funny things to my tupperware containers...

add a little pasta, and you gotta mean dish!

Monday Night Supper!

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Posted in: sauce/dip