I have to remind myself on occasion this blog is all about every day and while there have been times we have enjoyed flights of fancy, I'd like to think we mostly stick to our everyday roots. That being the case, there's really nothing fru-fru about meatballs.
My resident carnivore's been craving meatballs which is a good thing because there's a ton of hamburger in the beef order we just acquired from Oregon Coast Cutters so I took two pounds of extra lean along with a pound of ground pork and with said carnivore's assistance, we whipped up over 4 dozen little bundles of flavor.
I used a pretty basic recipe including whole wheat bread soaked in milk and eggs for moisture, as well as garlic, onion, salt, pepper and cayenne for just a touch of somethin' somethin'. I learned while I had my catering business that frying a huge number of meatballs can take up an incredible amount of the precious time never mind make a huge mess, so we slapped our beautious little balls on a couple of foil lined sheet pans and put 'em in a hot oven for 25 minutes. I mean, who cares if they come out a little flat on one side, or lacking in color. It's all about the sauce anyway, right?
Last night's sauce just happens to be a spicy apple one, and although it could be a simple glaze for some appetizer meatballs, I chose to make more so we could call it a main course along with some nice fluffy long grain white rice. Simply a mix of apple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar, it's spiced up with fresh minced ginger and a smidge of red pepper flakes, thickened with a cornstarch slurry, and brings some great sweet/sour flavor to the party.
Oh and should you be wondering what we're going to do with the rest of the meatballs, bagged and waiting in the freezer for just the right occasion - well, you could always do the old fashioned grape jelly/chile sauce thing or check out some of the other versions we've enjoyed from JBug's Kitchen.
Place meatballs inside dinner rolls with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and make super Meatballs Sliders (left), or add a beefy stroganoff sauce like this one on the right and you'll make your crew very, very happy!
How about some Greek flavors - spice up your meatballs with a cinnamon, oregano tomato sauce (left). Served on a pile of grilled eggplant, your family will be transported to the sunny mediterranean, and speaking of sun, bring on the sunny smiles with the old standby Spaghetti and meatballs (right). They're guaranteed to please.
Spicy Apple Glazed Meatballs from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from myrecipes.com
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
Preheat oven to 425. Line 2 large baking sheets with aluminum foil and set aside. In a large bowl beat eggs until light. Add milk and beat well to combine. Add breadcrumbs and stir to moisten, then add garlic, onion, salt, pepper and cayenne. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, and then mix in ground beef and ground pork. Shape into 1 inch meatballs and place onto sheet pans, without crowding. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Move to a fresh sheet pan and freeze, then place in zip bags for longer storage.
Spicy Apple Sauce:
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Whisk together all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and clear. Lower heat to simmer and add 1/3 one third above meatball recipe and warm through. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.
A year ago - Oven Fried Chicken