Meatball Sunday

Today just didn’t go as planned – ever had one of those days?  I backed out of my garage and hit the garage door opener – nothing.  It took me awhile to realise the power had gone off (in a matter of seconds I would have known nothing about it).  For most people, this wouldn’t be a deal breaker.  But I don’t know how to operate my garage door without power and it was a tad early to be calling on the neighbours.  I saw how you could get it off track, but I wasn’t sure getting it back on was as easy and I didn’t want to spend days, weeks, months not being able to enter the garage automatically.  I guess a tutorial is needed.

I was on my way to meet Caroline for our 13 mile walk in preparation for the Nike ½ Marathon next weekend.  Well, that wasn’t to be; then I discovered this was a planned  8 hour!  outage.  Only so many household chores you can do without power (thankfully) and I didn’t want to spend the entire day knitting and reading so I went into the freezer and found ground meat.  I am so aware of every morsel I eat these days and haven’t really been eating much meat for months after reading Michael Pollen’s books.  Yet this was the perfect opportunity to turn this ground meat (organic, grass fed, free range…) into meatballs and I would have lots of variety for instant meals with as much protein as I wanted.  And, I had just made some fabulous tomato sauce from homegrown tomatoes!

The following are recipes from my mother and I thought you might enjoy them.  You can make the meatballs any size that suits you; I like making them small.  The beef meatballs I do fry before freezing and use them in a tomato based sauce with penne shaped pasta or as an open faced sandwich with lightly toasted bread.  I use ground chicken, but ground turkey would work just as well.  I make them with feta cheese, but any kind of cheese can be substituted or left out entirely if you choose.  These I don’t cook before freezing as I like to use them in soups more than with pasta.  The lamb meatballs I also do not cook first since I want them freshly baked  and served piping hot with pita bread, tzatziki sauce and chutney.  If you need a quick appetiser any of these work very well and all can be cooked in advance and just defrosted.

Enjoy!  Please let me know your favourite meatball recipes and how you serve them.

 BEEF MEATBALLS

1 lb. very lean ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 onion grated onto meat (or finely chopped)
1 egg
3 slices bread (if you wish remove crust) soaked in milk (or substitute 3T Italian style bread crumbs)
2-3 cloves garlic put through press
2T finely chopped parsley
2T grated parmesan
cayenne pepper to taste

Remove excess milk from bread and thoroughly mix all ingredients adding milk if necessary for consistency.  Form into balls and fry in batches in olive oil until brown.

CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Use recipe above substituting ground chicken (I use half white and half dark meat) or turkey for  the beef and feta cheese for the parmesan cheese.

LAMB MEATBALLS

3 shallots (1/2C), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup day old bread, small diced and soaked in milk
1 pound ground lamb
1 egg
2 T+ finely chopped mint
1T ground coriander
1T ground cumin
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
1 lemon, zested
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Remove excess milk from diced bread and thoroughly mix all ingredients adding milk if more moisture is needed.  Form into little meatballs.

Place in a baking pan or on a jelly roll pan lined with tin foil and sprayed with olive oil. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes until browned and cooked through.

To serve:
Put the meatballs in warm pita bread with tzatziki sauce: Greek yogurt, cucumbers, dried dill, minced garlic and lemon to taste or serve with tzatziki sauce and chutney with warm pita bread cut in triangles.

 

 

 

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