3.24.2008

Meatball Mania


Meatballs. Meatballs. Meatballs everywhere.

Growing up in a large family, the spaghetti that was served had a meat sauce. The sausage or ground beef was browned first and added to my Dad's homemade sauce. Making meatballs for 8 family members was too time consuming - just get dinner on the table.

With a long holiday weekend ahead of me, I had time to whip up a batch of meatballs. They were sitting in the refrigerator just waiting for consumption. An obvious way to to enjoy them is with a fresh marinara sauce and sandwiched on a soft roll (my lunch on Saturday).

I suggest that you mix up a batch and stash them in the refrigerator or the freezer. Then dinner will be ready in a snap with the addition of a tasty sauce. Try Sesame and Soy Glazed Meatballs. Or have Happy Hour with a couple friends and serve Meatballs with Pinot Noir Sauce or my Dad's famous Charlie's Christmas Meatballs. Pack them for lunch with Mushroom and Sage Gravy and your co-workers will be begging for a bite.


My Meatballs
a food processor makes this recipe a snap

makes about 40 meatballs

2 1/2 pounds meatloaf mix - a combination of 1/3 ground beef, pork and veal
1 cup onion, minced in food processor
1 cup celery, minced in food processor
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced in food processor
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into about 40 meatballs and put on a large baking sheet. Bake for about 30 - 40 minutes or until cooked through.

Cool and package for storage in the refrigerator or freezer.


Option #1

Sesame and Soy Glazed Meatballs

a batch of the meatballs you have already made

Sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons ginger root, grated
3/4 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon corn starch
cooked rice
cooked edamame
2 scallions, sliced thin
sesame seeds

In a saucepan, over medium high heat, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger root, beef broth, and corn starch. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add meatballs and heat through.

Serve glazed meatballs over rice and a side of steamed edamame. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds.

Note - if you like a lot of sauce with your meatballs, double the recipe.


Option #2

Meatballs with Pinot Noir Sauce

a batch of the meatballs you have already made

Pinot Noir Sauce:
1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Pinot Noir wine or other red wine
2 teaspoons hot Chinese mustard or Dijon mustard

In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, add cranberry sauce, brown sugar, Pinot Noir wine, and Chinese mustard; stir to combine. Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add meatballs and heat through. Serve.

Option #3

Charlie's Christmas Meatballs

a batch of the meatballs you have already made

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups ketchup
1 cup bottled chili sauce - like Heinz 57 brand
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Italian spices
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large saucepan, heat oil and cook onions until tender, about 5 - 8 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add meatballs and simmer until heated through.

Option #4


Meatballs with Mushroom and Sage Gravy

a batch of meatballs you have already made

2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, minced
about 2 cups mushrooms, sliced thin
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sherry or white wine
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup half and half or cream
1 teaspoon dried sage or 1 tablespoon fresh sage
salt
pepper
cooked wide, flat egg noodles
chopped fresh parsley

Heat a saucepan to medium high and add butter. When melted, add the shallots and mushrooms and cook for about 3 - 4 minutes until softened. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Whisk in the mustard, sherry or wine, beef broth, and half and half or cream. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer to thicken, about 5 - 6 minutes. Stir in the sage and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve over noodles and sprinkled with parsley.

4 comments:

Patsyk said...

Those sauces sound so good! I'm marking them to try, as we do get tired of just putting marinara sauce on them.

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

Oooh all those options sound so good. I love a good meatball.

LauraP said...

I just wanted to let you know how happy I am to have found your site. I stumbled across it a couple months ago. I recently rediscovered it and I've already printed 6 recipes...more than I've got from any place else! Your chicken recipes look great. I buy chicken breasts in bulk at Sam's, so it's a little daunting to open the freezer and see that much chicken staring back at me! I think my husband will thank me also. Thanks!!

EAT! said...

patsyk - hope some of the sauces work to get youout of the marinara rut!

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess - i hope you enjoy the recipes.

laurap - thanks for reading. I try to make recipes that real people will make and test them on my family. Keep coming back for more suggestions to use up all that chicken.