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Old 09-05-2014, 07:50 PM   #31
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If someone every gives you half a deer that hasn't been butchered, you'll be glad of a chest freezer.

I like upright freezers, but I like the chest freezer too. It really helps to have moveable shelves in the upright.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:24 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
Yet I have noticed the beef is as expensive as the grocery store. Chicken is the same way. But pork is half what the grocery stores charge.Especially the ribs.Paper products are reasonable too. Costco does have high quality meats though. Much better than their competition.
Restaurant Depot, in most cases, is a lot cheaper than Costco or the grocery where meat and seafood is concerned, even when things are on sale. It is even cheaper if you buy by the case. Yes, most of the vegis are sold in giant quantities, but I don't buy them there.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:14 AM   #33
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I don't have a go-to recipe for meatballs. I know how to get the texture and flavor I'm trying to achieve and change herbs, spices, chopped veggies, etc. for what I'm trying to achieve. Sometimes I need classic "Italian style meatballs as described by the op. But sometimes the meatballs need to have a Southwestern flavor, or Asian twist. Also, the meats change. I usually use a combination of beef and pork. Chicken meatballs are great with good noodles or rice and a home made sweet and sour sauce.

My favorite to use with tomato sauce includes ground beef, Chudagi Sausage from one particular store in my town, chopped onion, basil, oregano, minced garlic, bread crumbs, a bit of milk, salt, and grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese.

After combining the ingredients, I take a pinch of the meatball mixture and fry it as a flat, quarter sized patty, to test the seasoning and texture, and adjust as required.

I've cooked meatballs by multiple techniques, each giving a little bit different result, all of them good. These include:

1. Place as many meatballs as will fit in a lightly oiled large CI pan, add a half cup of water, cover, and steam until firm. Let the water evaporate, then brown. Add to sauce or recipe.

2. Place meatballs on a large, parchment covered cookie sheet (jelly roll sheet), and pop into a 400' oven until browned. Add to recipe as needed.

3. Pan fry in a couple inches of hot oil until lightly browned and cooked through.

4. Simmer/braise in sauce.

5. Consume someone else's meatballs and forget cooking for a night.

One caveat, I really don't like store-bought meatballs. At almost every pot luck at work, someone purchases a bag of pre-made meatballs, throws barbecue sauce, or store-bought beef gravy, and serves it up in a slow cooker.

There are just some people out there with no creativity whatsoever, or who are too lazy to make something good. It drives me crazy. When bringing something to a pot luck, or cooking for company, I always prepare my food the best way I know how, to honor those who are going to eat it. Sadly, there are many who don't. These are the same people who insist on pronouncing tortilla as tor-till-a, and Queso dip as Kon-kway-so dip, which translated means - "with cheese" dip. But they can give you every restaurant in town that serves very large, sub-standard plates of whatever. They are more interested in cheap, and convenient, and think of Applebee's as gourmet food, cooked by highly trained chefs.

Ok, I'm done.

Back to meatballs, as with everything I make, I like to change up the recipes. I love wondrous variety, and encourage everyone to experiment, and create things unique and delicious.

For instance, try this meatball recipe and serve with a good rice pilaf, or noodles with sweet and sour sauce:

Chief's Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients:
1 large chicken breast
2 large chicken thighs
3 stalks celery
 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. onion powder
1 medium egg, lightly beaten

Skin and remove the chicken from the bones and either mince in food processor, or run through a meat grinder. Mince the garlic and add with the onion powder to the meat. Finely chop the celery and add it to the chicken with the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
The trick to these meatballs is egg. Lacking sufficient fat to hold them together, the protein rich egg white coats each morsel of meat, acting like the fat in a hamburger. It binds them.
Shape into 1 inch meatballs and gently sauté until lightly browned on all sides. Serve with Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce, white rice and butter, and with steamed carrots. Arrange artistically on dark plates and serve with pineapple sweet and sour sauce.
Makes approximately 24 meatballs.

Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce
This syrup based sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. It compliments egg rolls, chicken stir fries, won tons, etc. It can also be used with ham and pastas.
*
Ingredients:
2 cups chicken broth (water can be used if no broth is available)
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 tbs. onion powder or 1/4 onion finely chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
16 oz. can crushed or chunk pineapple (substitute  cup lemon juice if used for seafood)
 cup firmly packed brown sugar (substitute  cup white granulated sugar if lemon juice is used)
1/8 cup balsamic, or apple cider vinegar
1/4 chopped sweet pepper (optional but omit if lemon juice is used)
2 tbs. cornstarch mixed with 4 oz. water


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Old 09-06-2014, 04:56 PM   #34
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Other than Sweeeedish meatballs, I can take them or leave them. However, I have five very nice eggplants and am going to turn them into this tonight:

{Eggplant} Polpette di Melanzane - The Free Range Life

These will need a red gravy and pasta (or maybe not the pasta).

And I scored a friend's "unwanted, got too many darned tomatoes, tomatoes" so will make a tomato sauce to freeze separately.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:05 PM   #35
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All this talk about meatballs and tomato sauce has prompted me to dig out the last meal of Sunday ragu with meatballs and sausage for dinner tonight.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:40 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerplantop View Post
Meatballs:
1 pound lean ground beef
Fresh Thyme I used about a teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 Egg

Mix and form into 1-inch meatballs

Pan Fry the meatballs until they are browned on most of the outside. (I like a little crust on mine) Remove them from the pan, set aside and pour off most of the oil.

To the hot pan add:
1/4 Cup diced onion
Cook for about 1 minute scraping up brown bits
Add 2 cloves of diced Garlic
Add 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
Keep stirring and scrapping up brown bits for another minute or two until the garlic and tomato paste is slightly browned.
Add a 28oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
Add 1 sprig of Rosemary (remove before serving)
1/2 teaspoon fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Stir, add your meatballs and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes (stirring and tuning the meatballs every 5 minutes)

Serve over pasta cooked how you like it.
Grate some fresh cheese on top I used the good stuff but you can use what you have.
Garnish with your choice of fresh herbs (I used Flat Leaf Parsley but Fresh Basil would be best)
Yum!!! That sounds wonderful! Thanks for your recipe!
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:56 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Yum!!! That sounds wonderful! Thanks for your recipe!
Your welcome!
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:26 AM   #38
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I know we have a lot of members in Italy. And they do not put their meatballs in the gravy and serve with the pasta. But like the pizza, Americans have taken the original and made it their own. So now it is Italian-American food. But we all owe our Italian members a big "thank you" for giving us the start of some great traditions of our own.
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Meatballs in Red Sauce Meatballs: 1 pound lean ground beef Fresh Thyme I used about a teaspoon 1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder 1/8 teaspoon Salt 1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs 1 Egg Mix and form into 1-inch meatballs Pan Fry the meatballs until they are browned on most of the outside. (I like a little crust on mine) Remove them from the pan, set aside and pour off most of the oil. To the hot pan add: 1/4 Cup diced onion Cook for about 1 minute scraping up brown bits Add 2 cloves of diced Garlic Add 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste Keep stirring and scrapping up brown bits for another minute or two until the garlic and tomato paste is slightly browned. Add a 28oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add 1 sprig of Rosemary (remove before serving) 1/2 teaspoon fresh Thyme Salt and Pepper to taste. Stir, add your meatballs and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes (stirring and tuning the meatballs every 5 minutes) Serve over pasta cooked how you like it. Grate some fresh cheese on top I used the good stuff but you can use what you have. Garnish with your choice of fresh herbs (I used Flat Leaf Parsley but Fresh Basil would be best) [IMG]http://i1191.photobucket.com/albums/z467/powerplantop/MeatballsFB_zps8f9387dd.jpg[/IMG] 3 stars 1 reviews
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