I made meatballs tonight. I made them once before and made way too big a deal out of them. They’re frightfully easy to make (shhh, don’t tell anyone), and will impress your spouse, date, friends, boss, or whoever you have to cook for. Here’s my quick and easy recipe that leaves lots and lots of room for substitutions, replacements and deletions. There are only a couple required elements: ground meat of some kind (sausage, ground beef, veal or turkey or some combination thereof), an egg, and some fairly dry shredded cheese (parmesan, dry mozzarella, etc).
- In a mixing bowl, add one egg, garlic to taste (1/4 teaspoon to start), a healthy dash of pepper and two shakes of salt. Whisk until egg is scrambled, but good.
- Now, I have a food processor, and like throwing a little veggie matter in my meatballs. For example, tonight I took some mushroom pieces and half a vidalia onion and threw them in the food processor until they were in itty bitty chunks, and then added them to the bowl. I’ve tried green peppers, but their high water content kinda screwed up the consistency o’ de balls. Play around and see what you see. If you come up with something really good, let me know.
- Now, add about a pound of your ground meat to the bowl, along with a handful of your cheese (tonight it was the four-cheese Italian blend from the grocery store. Last time, I did a nice mix of freshly grated parmesan and pecorino. Fancy, boring, it’s up to you.
- Before you mix everything up (which is coming, don’t worry), throw a large skillet on the stove and turn the fire on somewhere between medium and medium high. Dump a couple tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and let it heat up (this isn’t an exact science… should be enough to put a thin coating on the bottom of the skillet).
- While the pan is heating up wash your hands, then go over to your bowl o’ stuff and dig in. Mix up everything so it’s of pretty even consistency throughout and everything’s mixed in nicely.
- Next, take your bowl of mess over to the stove. It’s time to make meatballs!! My meatballs usually end up about the size of ping-pong balls, but hey, your balls may be larger or smaller. It’s really up to you.
- Fill the skillet with your balls, and let them brown almost completely on the side you put them on. Be sure to flip them over a few times to get each side of your eventually slightly lop-sided pyramids cooked. It usually takes about 15 minutes (five minutes between flippings) to finish the whole pan.
Meatballs freeze really well but we usually make just enough for one meal. After they’re cooked all the way through and we’ve sampled one or two, we dump in our favorite tomato-based sauce (Jen makes a great one), let it simmer while the pasta cooks and then fall into a meatball-induced stupor. For something so easy to make, they’re heavenly. If you’ve got any meatball-related suggestions, I’d love to hear ’em.