Aly's Newsletter -- Special Saturday Great (Meat)Balls Edition
All the sauce, none of the schmutz
I hope you are having a restful weekend.
While I do have some new stories I am working on and new published links to share, I'll share all that on Monday.
Rather, I'd like to make this weekend edition continue the tradition of sharing a personal family recipe or cooking hack each week as my gift to all of you for taking the time out of your busy day (and inbox) to read my emails.
Today, I'm visiting my family for dinner and am making a big batch of meatballs. As my shih tsu Lily's FAVORITE food is meatballs, this recipe will include no onions or garlic, though those are traditionally obviously mainstays of this recipe. But why would we all be enjoying Lily's fave food and not make it OK for Lily to eat?!
So here's what we do. (And don't miss my hack for getting rid of a bunch of that fat from the meatballs.)
1. Start out by putting one egg per pound of ground meat you will be using into a bowl, add a capful of Italian seasoning blend (if it's me at home I also add a tbsp of chili flakes at this point, but not doing this today.)
2. Add your meat. This is two pounds of a ground lean beef and white meat chicken blend. The chicken cuts down on the fat a lot but thanks to the blend, it still tastes and looks like all beef.
3. Add 1/3 of cup of breadcrumbs (matzo meal is fine too)
This is the whole meat mixture! Now make your balls. Here's my hack - we're going to take these balls and put them on a tray and put them in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
That helps to draw out some of the fat (for our purposes, schmutz!) from the balls -- instead of having it instead go into the sauce.
See all that goo under the balls? We don’t want that! Get rid of it!
Now, once you take the balls out of the oven, you'll add it to the sauce that has been simmering on the stove.
The sauce is a simple blend of one can of mild diced green chilies (I buy the ones from Trader Joe's - they are so yum and such a great value), a can of crushed tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, fresh basil, and salt and pepper - this has been simmering on the stove since before we made the balls, waiting for the balls to join the party.
Now they can!
The meatballs will simmer in the sauce now on a low light for about an hour (and watch out on my Instagram stories tonight, I'm going to make some garlic bread to go with it and share the recipes there! )
Obviously...the fur balls do NOT get any garlic bread. There'll be some pasta for them tho.)
Hope you like this - and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see I do all sorts of ball variations when I’m only cooking for me and don’t have to please the whole crowd (like I love to make a spicy enchilada-inspired meatball sometimes, so good!).
PS: I’ll obviously have photos on Instagram of Lily and Scarlette eating their dinner as well. I know what we are all here for!