I have learned much from the DC forums to expand my cullinary knowledge base. A couple nights back, I put together a bit of Goodweed know-how, coupled with some of those invaluable tips gleaned from these threads to make the best meatballs I've ever made, and possibly ever eaten.
First, the thought process. My daughter's Sister In Law loves soft meatballs. I wanted to invite her and my daughter over for a spaghetti dinner as the SIL had said she had been hungry for spaghetti for a while. And me, well, I love to cook for people who appreciate it, and show off a little.
So I thought about how I could make the perfect meatball, full of flavor, and with the perfect texture. I remembered info about using egg, breadcrumbs, milk, and egg to get great texture in meatloaf. Meatloaf and meatballs are very similar animals, with a few differences.
To add flavor, I chose to use 1 lb. bulk Itallian Sausage, plus 1/2 lb. ground beef. The other ingredients were spices, herbs, egg, milk, chopped onion, and bread crumbs. These were chosen to add flavor, and condition the mixture into the perfect texture. Here's the recipe and cooking technique:
1 lb. bulk Itallian Sausage
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 large egg
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried sweet basil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients until thouroughly mixed. Form into 1 inch balls and carefully place into a heavy frying pan. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and place on medium heat. Cover and cook for ten minutes. Turn the meatballs and continue cooking for five more minutes. Remove the cover and cook until the liquid is evaporated from the pan. Remove the meatballs and add to your favorite marinara, or ragu sauce.
Of course you can alter the flavors, and even add things like Parmegano Regiano, or chunks of your favorite cheese to the mixture.
Add chopped green peppers and form into patties for Salisbury Steak. Use your imagination. Oh, and by the way, my Daughter's Sister In Law said they were by far the best meatballs she had ever eaten. And she had been braggin about the meatballs she had eaten at one of our locar Itallian Restaurants just the day before! Yup, you know it. I got a big head.
But I didn't let her know.
And what did I learn on DC that helped me? I learned that milk acts as a meat tenderizer and that it does wonderful things for meatloaf. I just used that knowledge for my meatloaf recipe, making an educated guess that it, couple with the bread and egg, would give me the perfect texture I was trying to achieve. And it did. So thanks everyone, for making me a star one more time.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North