Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Meat?

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.

We added:
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs (we used a mix of panko and Italian style)
salt
pepper
oregano
Italian seasoning
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!

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