Wednesday, March 08, 2006
A few people have heard my declaration to, at some point in the near future, become a serious vegetarian. This would eliminate all meat protein from my diet except for fish and shellfish. I know I know, I love to cook and eat, and this could prove limiting in both of those regards, but the environmental consequences of a meat eating diet is just too much to ignore. So, I've been trying to make some dishes that I've always wanted to make, but involve large quantities of meat, because I expect to be giving it up for good. Here is the first installment of recipes I'll never make again.
The other night Andy and I were being lazy and ordered food from Angelino's just down the street. I got an Italian hoagie (another thing I won't be able to eat!) and Andy got a meatball parm sandwich. His biggest complaint? The meatballs were all beef, it was like eating a hamburger with marinara sauce. So I set out to make a better meatball. We reviewed some recipes, mainly from AB, and concluded that a mix of beef, pork and veal would provide the best meat base for our dinner.
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs (we used a mix of panko and Italian style)
one package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of all it's juice
As you can see, Andy did the hard/gross jobs, like touching all the raw meat. Something about it really creeps me out, but when faced with a choice like touch the meat or don't have the meatballs, I would have come through.
Each meatball was rolled in breadcrumbs, then lightly pan fried to get a crispy exterior, but not to cook them all the way through. I placed the meatballs in a dish filled with sauce, then covered them with some additional sauce and cheese and baked them till the sauce was bubbly and the cheese was melty, about 25-30 minutes.
They looked fantastic, smelled great and tasted even better! The first night we put them on long rolls with extra sauce and had a salad. Really a very nice, if not messy way to enjoy a meatball. Since the recipe made like, way more than we could eat in three nights, we've been snacking on them ever since, and I think they peak after a few days sitting in the fridge surrounded by the sauce. Yummy!