Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On top of Spaghetti- Meatballs... or Turkey Meatballs, or Chicken Meatballs-- Your Choice.

Whenever I feel like eating real Italian Homestyle Cooking in the comfort of my own home, I go to these meatballs. I usually make a double batch so I can freeze some, or we just eat them in all sorts of way over a few days.

The trick here is that they taste best when you use a combination of meats-- or you can use just ground turkey/chicken if you want turkey or chicken meatballs. I bought 2lbs (1 kilo) of ground meat-- 1/3 chicken, 1/3 veal, 1/3 pork. You could also use beef instead of chicken, I don't think it makes a big difference in taste either way.

Way to use your meatballs:
  • The obvious-- Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • As a topping on homemade pizza
  • Meatball sandwiches, top with a little red sauce and possibly mozzarella cheese
  • Heat them up and put on top of a salad-- no, I'm serious-- it's really good
Here's how to make delicious Meatballs:

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes

Tip: For the 2lbs (1 kilo) of ground meat required I recommend using 1/3 ground chicken or turkey, 1/3 ground veal, and 1/3 ground pork. More traditional Italian cooking will use 1/3 ground beef, 1/3 ground veal, and 1/3 ground pork. OR they are excellent using only ground chicken or turkey!

  • 2 lbs. ground meat (see tip above for which meats are best together-- chicken, turkey, pork, veal, & beef)
  • 2 eggs (a good rule of thumb in this type of recipe is 1 egg per pound (1/2 kilo) of meat
  • 1/2 cup of milk or less-- to make moist
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup or more finely chopped flat leaf (aka- continental) parsley (preferably) OR about 1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 cup either grated Romano cheese or grated Parmesan cheese-- I've used both and they taste almost identical
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil for frying
How to get on top of spaghetti:
  1. Wash your hands, because you're going to mix with them.
  2. Combine all ingredients except olive oil, and mix with your hands until everything is incorporated together.
  3. Form little meatballs with your hands-- mine are normally a little larger than a ping-pong ball-- you get to choose your own size here.
  4. Pour about a 1/4 inch of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and heat on medium low.
  5. When oil is hot, carefully place meatballs in pan making sure they are not touching each other. Make sure oil is not too hot (splattering).
  6. Let first side brown --probably about 5 minutes. Then using tongs (so they don't break), flip them over and brown the other side.
  7. After about 5 minutes check browness (I like mine well done-- see photo).
  8. Lastly, with tongs-- I like to turn the meatballs on their sides and cook the edges-- so basically I end up with somewhat of a crispy outside, all the way around.
  9. When all sides of the meatballs are browned I place them on top of paper towels on a plate to cool.
  10. See above for numerous ways to devour your meatballs. Yum!

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