We picked up these wide noodles at the Amish store the other day, Mrs J saw them and insisted we bring home a bag. I pulled a bag of pork from the freezer and thawed it in a pot while cooking the carrots, celery, and onions down with chicken broth to get them caught up. Those were stirred into the pork along with frozen corn and peas while the noodles boiled. It all folded together into a tasty mix that seemed right for a bowl. I ate mine with a fork, it being not quite a soup.
I’ve been on a fried bread tear here lately. I wanted to try it with shortening cut into the flour mixture. I made a batch with 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp Crisco. It took 1/3 cup of milk and a little extra water to form a ball. It rested a little, then I divided it in quarters and rolled the pieces flat, like little pizza doughs. They only needed 30 seconds a side to fry to a golden brown. I like this method!
The soup is a basic veggie beef with fresh and frozen veggies. I call it a pantry soup, just use whatever is on hand in the cupboard.
This is hardly different from Tyler Florence’s French onion soup, I used his recipe for a guide, cut in half but with beef added. I browned the beef well in olive oil and then deglazed the pan with red wine and dumped the lot into the onions as called for in Tyler’s recipe. I made do with Monterey jack cheese on a beer bread crouton with a little Parmesan sprinkled on it all. I think those red pepper flakes look good on there, and add a bit of a bite – optional, of course. This is really a very simple soup to make, and makes for a pretty presentation. I toasted the croutons separate from the soup to save the hassle of handling hot bowls.
A few weeks back I made meatball grinders – subs to most people – and was talking to my mom about them, because after all I used her recipe. She told me that one of her favorite things to do is to buy ground beef when it’s on sale and make and freeze a whole bunch of meatballs. Then they are available to make all kinds of good stuff, like meatball soup and various meatball sandwiches.
Until that moment, I hadn’t given meatballs much thought. I mean they’re good, but beyond the occasional grinder, I didn’t really use them. Then I went tripping around my own blog and found that JeffreyW had a whole bunch of meatball ideas. And that’s how we got to tonight’s recipe exchange idea: Meatballs!
I’ll post a basic meatball recipe below and include the grinder/sub recipe. But first, let me point you to both JeffreyW’s basic meatball recipe and how he’s used them:
“Not Your Mama’s Meatballs” (recipe here)
Meatball Soup (recipe here)
Couscous with Meatballs (recipe here)
For all of JefferyW’s meatball recipes, click here.
Your turn. Do you have a favorite meatball recipe? Beyond spaghetti and meatball subs, what do you use meatballs in? And does anyone have a good vegetarian meatball recipe? Hit the comments and share your ideas.
A quick tip, cookie scoops make meatball production easier and quick.
Now for the featured recipes:
This is a DOUBLE recipe that makes 8 to 10 subs, you can easily halve the ingredients or you can freeze extra meatballs and sauce for later.
- 2 lbs lean ground beef*
- ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ½ onion, chopped
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp crushed garlic
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp basil
Mix all ingredients together and mix well. You’re going make 1 ½ inch balls. The easiest way to do this is to use a cookie/muffin scoop (see photo above). Place on the baking sheet and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Don’t overcook, as they will finish in the sauce.
*For spicier meatballs you can substitute 1/4 to 1/2 of the ground beef with spicy Italian sausage.
- 4-15 oz cans tomato sauce
- 2-6 oz cans tomato paste
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp oregano, crushed
- 3 tsp basil, crushed
- 3 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely grated
In large saucepan or dutch oven, add ingredients, bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add meatballs and stir gently. Let simmer for 10 minutes or longer.
- 8 large hoagie/sub rolls
- 2-4 oz parmesan cheese
- 8 oz sliced mozzarella cheese
Slice rolls, but DO NOT slice completely in half. Place 4 to 6 meatballs in each roll, add lots of sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan and top with slices of mozzarella. Place on baking sheet, cheese side up and bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bread is toasty. Keep a good eye on it, they will burn quickly. Serve with lots of napkins.
NOTE: My mom has this trick of slicing out a wedge on the top of the rolls (instead of slicing them in half lengthwise) to make the pocket (see photo at top). Then they actually sit on their natural flat bottoms while baking. This has the added advantage of creating instant breadsticks from what is cut out that you can brush with olive oil and garlic and bake.
Katie is still with us, still unapproachable, still a hungry dog. She is getting very picky in what she will eat though, we have spoiled her so. She picks the cheese and meat nuggets out from among the regular dog kibbles and then leaves those in and about the bowl. My boys happily clean up after her, they will lick her bowl clean.Gyros are a favorite around here. I spotted a package of ground lamb at a store we don’t get to very often and it had been sitting in our freezer for a while. I used Alton Brown’s recipe to good effect. I found that sprig of mint growing out in the front garden, peeking out from between some stones. We’ve sprayed that stuff with Roundup several times but it has proved difficult to eradicate. We have managed to prevent it from taking over. Oh well, a few sprigs as garnishes here and there are nice.Bitsy is a real explorer. Here she is leaving the top shelf of a pantry space in the kitchen. She managed this foray without knocking anything over but that hasn’t always been the case. Finally tonight, here is one of my favorite soups. Beef and barley with onions, or beef and onions with barley. I suppose by volume it’s onions with beef and barley. I spotted some cheese in the local deli that I hadn’t seen there before, horseradish cheddar. It seemed the perfect thing to grate on top of garlic bread. The combo toasted nicely and was most excellent with the soup.