Tuesday, June 07, 2011

{Tasty Tuesday: Meatball Surprise}

Tasting your food is just what you do when you're cooking. You have to to make sure
it's seasoned well and that the flavors you're putting together actually work.

But I don't eat meat.

So, when I make something like meatballs that are almost all meat, there's an inherent
challenge built into the process. I'm at the mercy of another person's taste buds to know
if I'm on the right track.

According to David, these meatballs were awesome, and he didn't have one suggestion
for me in the event that I give this recipe another go. So, if you make them and don't
like how they taste, take it up with him. :)

I made a few adjustments to a recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine.
- Added extra onion to the meat mixture.
- Switched the meat from pork sausage to a combo of ground turkey and ground lamb.
It seemed like a leaner choice, and I like that multiple proteins give meatballs dimension.
- Increased the amount of seasonings a touch.
- Added red pepper flakes to the sauce.
- Stuffed half the meat balls with a cube of Fontina Cheese to create a creaminess and an
unexpected element of surprise. (I'll stuff all of them next time.)

1 lb. ground lamb
1 lb. ground turkey
1 1/2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped (divided)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 tsp. hot smoked paprika
5 Tbl. plain dried breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 Tbl. chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbl. EVOO
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes (juice included)
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
rustic bread for serving

What to do with them:
In a large bowl, combine turkey and lamb with about 1/2 c. onion, cumin, 2 tsp. paprika,
bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, and s/p. Gently mix to combine.

Cube the cheese. (I like Fontina because it's soooo creamy). Using your hands, roll 25
meatballs that are each 1 1/2 inches wide. When balling the meat mixture together,
create a pocket to put the cheese and wrap the meat around it. Place each rolled
meatball onto a piece of parchment paper.

In a large nonstick skillet pan, put 1 1/2 Tbl. of EVOO and heat over medium-high. In
two batches, brown the meatballs on all sides, 8 minutes per batch. Pull meatballs out
with tongs -- leaving the drippings in the pan -- and place the browned meatballs in a slow cooker.

Add remaining onions to the saute pan and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer
onion (and the drippings) to slow cooker, along with 1 tsp. paprika, tomatoes, and about
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook on low for about 5 hours so meatballs get nice and tender.

Serve with crusty bread, on a sandwich, over pasta, or over polenta. (Cooked meatballs
can be frozen for up to two weeks; let cool completely, then transfer to airtight containers.
Just gently reheat on the stove, covered, over medium heat.)

David didn't waste an ounce of this. He ate all 25 meatballs throughout the week on
sandwiches or on their own. I think he was happy to have some protein in the house
that wasn't from quinoa, beans or eggs. :)


Lindsay Teague Moreno said...

That looks yummy! :) I like your pictures!

Miss M! said...

Holy moly those sound good. You had me at FONTINA.

I love that even though you're a vegetarian you don't act like meat eaters are evil barbarians and will even post meat recipes on your blog. I really appreciate that about you. :)