• Clever Gourmet

Eye-talian Meatballs

Meatballs and meatloaf; this spells comfort food for many of us and for many more means tradition, going back to our Italian-American Heritage. My roots do not dip into Italy, but stay just to the North of it; Austria. Italian or not, I still love spaghetti and meatballs. And had I been born 41.9028° N instead of 47.5729° N, I could say my ancestral roots, but I can't, just off by a few degrees.

Like everything else, "you get out of it, what you put into it." So use quality meats and cheeses. I can't help you with sauce because I have yet to learn how to make good sauce. This is the moment when a few degrees in latitude become overwhelmingly embarrassing. I watched my mother-in-law, my former wife all with Italian background make sauce. I have copied and tried numerous times to make good sauce and every time the much anticipated taste test is done by kids and family, it's always...."eeeeh, its good."

Translation... "not even close." Fair enough, I bet you can't make Schnitzel like I can. If you don't know what that is...Google it.


I use 80/20 ground beef and ground chicken. You can also use ground pork and it will make the meatballs even juicier because of the added fat, but usually ground chicken is more readily available and a little healthier. Those meatballs will be done in a flash and no long prep time is required. Make sure your onions are minced fine or you will have big chunks sticking out and will be more difficult to roll.


Note: Don't forget to invite me for dinner when you make meatballs. I want to taste your sauce.

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Ingredients

1 pound 80/20 ground beef

1/2 pound ground chicken

1 cup finely diced yellow onions

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan-Reggiano cheese

2 teaspoons salt and pepper mix

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 egg

5 tablespoon milk

1 cup plain Panko crumbs



Directions

Preheat oven to 375F˚

Combine ground beef and chicken and mix with your fingers to break up any lumps.

Add finely chopped onions, Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, salt and pepper mix and garlic powder.

Combine egg and milk in a bowl and whisk, then add to Panko crumbs and mix well. Add this mixture to ground beef mix and begin to incorporate all ingredients until evenly distributed.


Shape mixture into small, round balls. Place on a clean baking sheet and cook in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then add to sauce and slowly simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.


Anther method would be to sear meatballs in a nonstick frying pan. Heat 1 teaspoon oil on medium heat. When hot, gently add meatballs and brown on all sides.

When browned, add to an ovenproof dish, add your sauce, cover and place in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.


Makes about 24 meatballs









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