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Friday, June 14, 2013

Meatballs!

Meaty meatballs
On top of spagehhhhhhtiiiii cauliiiiiiiflower. . .
I didn't really go out of a limb with this month's meatball challenge. Many Daring Cooks put in so much more effort than me. (Holy crap Audex, I want to eat all of these! Where can I get kangaroo in Canada?) I just winged it (or "wung" it, as my French-Canadian prof might say) with a vague idea of recreating the meatballs that my mum used to make us when we were kids. The went over pretty well, and J exclaimed, "when you said 'meatballs' I didn't expect THIS!"


Mum used to hide spinach our meatballs when we were little, since just presenting us with cooked spinach sent me into hyperventilating screaming fits that forced her to drag me to my room. I love cooked spinach now, so that trauma must have been worth it. So these meatballs are stuffed with some baby spinach that I wilted quickly, squeezed dry and chopped into pieces. They are also full of parsley because I was reading about the health benefits of eating foods that more closely similar to what foods used to be before we gengineered them all to be ten times sweeter. It ended up giving them a lovely earthy flavour, and so in the future I will always dump in four times as much parsley as I think is reasonable. Green onions are also in that category, so they when into the meatballs too, although honestly I was out of regular onions. I avoided adding any grains and just bound the pound of beef and pound of pork with two eggs. If you wanted to add something to help keep them a bit more tender (especially if you're using lean meat--since I was using grass-fed organic beef here I used medium), I might recommend some rolled oats soaked in milk. So there you go, that's how to make these meatballs. In addition to salt and pepper, I likely added some fennel seed and some thyme, because those are my favourites, though I bet mum would have added oregano and basil.

The "correct" way to form meatballs is apparently to hold a handful of meat mix and then squish the balls between your forefinger and thumb. I don't know why this is the correct way, but my mum showed me once years and year ago, and it certainly does help to keep things uniform. I can't remember how I cooked these. I think on a foiled tray in the oven for 20 minutes at 350F.

We were out of rice pasta and I didn't want to eat wheat pasta, so I put them on cauliflower. I'm not even sure J noticed. I certainly didn't feel pasta-deprived.


Usually I make tomato sauce the delicious lazy way, which is to simmer my tomatoes with half an onion and a ridiculous amount to butter until it thickens and mellows out. However, since I was already trying to recreate things my mum taught me when I was young AND I magically happened to have all the right veg in my fridge (I even found half a yellow onion at that point), I properly chopped up some celery, onion and carrots and softened them in olive oil. At that point I realized that we had no tomatoes and I stomped around angrily for a bit (alarmingly enough for J to offer to run to the grocery store to get some) before I decided to just make use of a can of Huntz tomato sauce that was in the back of our cupboard. I would have preferred just tomatoes, but the canned sauce worked fine.

How's that for off the top of my head? Maybe I CAN cook without a recipe!

Healthy meatballs



5 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, for "just my mum's meatballs" those are amazing! I love all the fresh greens you managed to fit in them, and serving them on cauliflower makes this the least-guilty plate of meatballs I've seen in a long time. Really great job! Thanks so much for cooking with us this month.

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  2. Obviously you don't need a recipe to cook, you wung it like a pro :-) I love the way you stuffed all those healthy veggies in the meatballs. Maybe I should try to up the dose of parsley beyond what I deem reasonable and see hoz that goes. You're encouraging me to give it a try. Oh and if I didn't express myself clearly, those meatballs look great and tasted undoubtedly delicious.

    Ingrid @ Kitchen Tales of Sugar & Spice

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  3. They look great! And by the by, our local Sobey's here in Halifax, NS carries kangaroo meat in the speciality section!

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    1. Really?? I will have to seek this out! Usually I'm stuck with Superstore.

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