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Friday, June 5, 2009
Well, the truck has delivered all our stuff and the boxes are stacked to the ceiling. I have spent two days trying to move into the kitchen... it can be hard sometimes trying to fit into a new space in an organized fashion. Last night, though, I was ready to cook, so I cleared off one small part of the counter and the stove top. I wasn't sure what to make; after much deliberation, I decided that meatballs sounded like a good plan. One bowl, one pan. I also tried a new type of rice but it only came out so-so. I'll need to work on that one before I post it.
But the meatballs, now they turned out pretty good. I have made meatballs plenty of times before. I often make a large batch and freeze them to use later for a quick weeknight spaghetti. I've made Swedish meatballs for parties. But I've never made meatballs just as a main course. I'm not sure why it never occurred to me before... they make a fairly quick, simple, and tasty meal!
Yield: 12-15 golf ball sized meatballs
1/2 of a medium onion, minced
1 stalk of celery, with leaves, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb ground meat, such as hamburger
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 TBS tomato paste
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (unseasoned)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp savory
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2-3 TBS vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1 tsp beef base or bouillon granules
2 tsp cornstarch
salt & pepper to taste
In a medium sized bowl, combine the first group of ingredients. Stir gently, but mix thoroughly. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. You want enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan but not so much that the meatballs will be swimming. Make sure the oil is nicely heated before beginning to place meatballs in the pan.
Form loose meatballs the size of golf balls and place in the pan. Cook, turning to brown all sides, until the meatballs have a nice crust. This took me about 10-15 minutes. With tongs, gently remove meatballs to a holding plate or bowl and pour off the excess grease. Try not to lose too much of the browned bits in the bottom of the pan as you want those to flavor the sauce.
Return the pan to the heat (turn down the heat if necessary to keep things from scorching). Mix the water, beef base, and cornstarch together. Pour into the pan and whisk until the sauce is well mixed and beginning to thicken. Return meatballs to the pan, turning to coat them with the sauce. Place a lid on the pan and cook over medium-low heat another 5 minutes or so, until the meatballs are cooked through.
I served my meatballs with rice and peas, but I think they would go with just about anything! Potatoes, yup! Pasta, yup! You gotta love a versatile main course.