Friday, October 22, 2010

Homemade Meatballs - serves 4 and then some

My son put me up to a challenge the other day betting me that I couldn't cook meat.  I told him he had a bet only if I could challenge him not to roll his eyes or "huff and puff" the next time I asked him to do his chores.  Although I'm not a huge meat eater, I will occasionally cook meat just to keep the men sane in our household.  I guarantee there is more "huffing and puffing" going on in this house that there is meat cooked.  So, "game on" I said, and of course I received the roll of the eyes and a "yea, right mom."

Not to be beaten, I whipped up a batch of homemade meatballs to prove I was a player.  The kids and husband left to go rock climbing and I marveled in the fact that a) I was going to show them that I could withstand a challenge and b) they would return home to the wonderful aromas of baked meatballs and stewed tomato sauce as a teaser.  Sure enough, just as I was retrieving the last meatball onto a plate, they come barreling in the front door yelling "mom, what's for dinner, smells great!"  With the best game face I could muster I looked at my son's chalky face and dirty hands and into my son's eyes and said, "want to play hard ball?  Have a meatball."  Score: Mom 7, Son 0.

Ingredients - you can use a premade tomato/spaghetti sauce or check out previous blogs for my tomato sauce

2 1/4 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
3 lg eggs, lightly beaten
2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
1 pd ground pork
6 oz thinly sliced proscuitto, chopped fine
3 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tbs minced fresh parsley leaves
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Place wire racks in 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets.  Adjust the oven racks to lower middle and upper middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine the bread crumbs, yogurt and mile in a large bowl and let sit, mashing occasionally with a fork, until a smooth paste forms, about 10 minutes.

Add eggs, beef, pork, proscuitto, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper to bread crumb mixture.  Using hands, gently mix until thoroughly combined.  Lightly form about 1/2 cup mixture into 2 inch round meatballs, repeat with remaining mixture to form approximately 40 meatballs.  (Freeze what you don't use for future dinners.)

Spray the wire racks with nonstick cooking spray and place meatballs, evenly spaced, on racks and roast until browned, about 30 minutes, rotating trays from front to back and top to bottom halfway through. 

Add meatballs to your simmering sauce, covered, for about 30 minutes or until firm.  Serve with your favorite pasta.

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