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Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Battle of the Meatballs -- My Small but Mighty Meatballs

Originally, I had suggested to a friend, C, that we have a meatball recipe contest for fun. While I had made meatballs before, I wasn't satisfied, I wanted to put my best meatballs forward.

I don't know how to post this recipe, so much changed while I was cooking.

I had perused lots of meatball recipes and choose two as my starting point. But, after I made adaptations, I am not sure they resemble those recipes much.

For example, I didn't have an onion but I some shallots, so I diced the stalks of the shallots and used those. I did not use the shallot bulbs because I thought the onion flavor might be overwhelming.

When I went to add the egg, I cracked the egg into a separate bowl just to make sure it was a good egg. It wasn't.

Lately, I have been having problems with the eggs I get from the local tienda. When I first starting buying them, I was surprised all the eggs were double yolked.

But, in the last few weeks, some the eggs have spoiled. Normally, I keep them on the counter and have not had a problem with bad eggs in over a year. Now, I have had issues with the last two egg purchases. For the last purchase, I had washed the eggs and put them in the refrigerator and still one egg was bad. (See resources for information on egg storage.)

The next egg was fine.

Then, I decided to add some bacon bits because most meatball recipes call for pork and I have a hard time finding ground pork.

I thought I had crushed red peppers but no, then I found my container of little spice packets that come with pizza deliveries and found some red peppers.

Then, my hot plate, while set at #2 which I thought was a simmer, burned my minced garlic. I added a bit of water to try and get a simmer. I also turned the dial to #1.5 and it seemed it stop cooking.

Now, I turned it #3 to get some kind of cooking heat and it's was a high simmer.

Then, while I was trying to cook the meatballs, the hot plate seemed to stop working. In the summer, we have brown outs, I suspected a small brown out.

So, I put the rest of the uncooked meatballs in a covered glass casserole dish with dab of olive oil and microwaved them on high for 2 minutes.

The end result, while both the fried and microwaved meatballs tasted very good, I liked the microwaved version better.

Note: I freeze the meatballs then when I reheat them I add tomato sauce for: pasta with meatballs, meatball sandwiches and other dishes.

Small but Mighty Meatballs
Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/The-Best-Meatballs/ and http://www.cookingnook.com/recipe/meatballs-recipe/

Olive oil as needed
1 garlic clove, diced
1/4 medium onion, diced, or 2 shallot stalks, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 egg
2 tspns dry parsley, crushed
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tspn oregano
1 tspn crushed red peppers
1 tbspn bacon bits
1 cup saltine crackers, crushed, or bread cubes
Ground black pepper to taste
Milk if needed for moisture

Add oil to skillet.
Sauté garlic and onion until soft.
Add cooked garlic and onions to large bowl.
Add ground beef, egg, parsley, parmesan cheese, oregano, red peppers, bacon bits, crackers, and black pepper to bowl.
Stir and mash to mix well.

Use a tablespoon of mixture, roll mixture in palms of hands to create meatballs
Place half the meatballs in a glass covered casserole bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
Remove and cook the other half.

Note: I put the cooked meatballs in a bowl then put the bowl in the frig to cool the meatballs down for a few minutes before I bagged them for the freezer.

Recipe makes about 22 medium to small meatballs.


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