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.
Kirk Spencer had a terrific suggestion in an email this morning. We were talking about bamboo skewers (and how you MUST soak them before grilling to avoid flaming kabobs) and he said he’d used rosemary stems as skewers. I thought this sounded just wonderful. Maybe a lemon marinated chicken skewered on rosemary. It wouldn’t need much other seasoning, that’s for sure, and of course you’d really need to like rosemary. Lamb would probably hold up well with that type of seasoning. Yum. Can’t wait to try on something.
Now for some news on the Thursday Recipe Exchange. This week it will be postponed to Friday because the wonderful Wiley Cash will be live blogging over at Balloon-Juice about his book A Land More Kind Than Home tonight. And since I post the recipe exchange specifically to be cross-posted over there, a changed seemed prudent.
Friday night is where it’s going to stay for the time being, because of some special events planned at B-J on Thursdays. I’m good with that, hope you are, too.
Back to Mr. Cash, first of all, has there ever been a better novelist’s name? I read his book when it first came out and gave it as gifts over the summer. It’s worth a read, sets a beautiful North Carolina mountain scene as the backdrop to a dark mystery. It’s a quick and compelling story, told from the perspective of several characters in the first person.
I think that covers everything. Hopefully Kirk and I will have a big cooking announcement in the coming weeks.
Yeah, I know, you’re all sooooo disappointed. I have reason, I just can’t share that reason with you yet. But safe to say, in the coming month(s) there will be some exciting What’s 4 Dinner Solutions’ news. That’s right there is something cookin’. I’ll share as soon as I’m able.
No food, but how about some pretty scenery? Click on any photo to start the slide show.