Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meatballs Frying in Olive Oil and Meatball Sandwich

My friend Linda got inspired to make some meatballs and made this delicious looking meatball Sandwich on a french roll with peppers and melted mozzerella. Doesn't that look delicious? Thanks for sharing that photo Linda!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Meatballs 101

Basic Meatball Recipe

1 lb. Turkey Meat (or substitute lean meat)
1 egg
2/3 cup of bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
2-4 cloves of garlic chopped fine
¼ cup to 1/3 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley (Italian Parsley)
Salt and pepper to taste (2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper approx)
1/3 to ½ cup of grated Romano cheese

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix but don’t overwork the mixture as it can make the meatballs less tender. I like to put a small amount of the mixture in the microwave for 1 minute or fry in olive oil to taste for seasonings at this point. Adjust if necessary.
cooks note: If it seems a bit dry, you can add a little milk to moisten the mixture.. but not too much. An alternative to the bread crumbs is just some sliced bread soaked in milk and then squeezed to get the excess milk out. Crumble into mixture in place of dried bread crumbs.

I like to scoop out with an ice cream scoop to keep them of equal size and then round them out in my hands. Makes about 15 or so.

You can either fry in a skillet with olive oil till browned or cook on a parchment lined cookie sheet for approx 30 minutes at 375 degrees till browned. Then drop them into the sauce so they absorb the wonderful tomato flavor. Don’t stir too much as the meatballs could break apart. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or so until they are done.

NOTE: This is a basic recipe. You can add lots of different things to this like hot pepper seeds, different meat combination, etc.

It's easy to double or triple this recipe for a crowd. You can keep the meatballs in cooked form (before adding them into the sauce) in the freezer if you want to prepare extra and have for another time.

Try them and you will never eat store bought meatballs again. They are just so much better made with love at home.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Arancini" Rice Balls

Arancini translates to "little oranges" but these wonderful treats have nothing to do with oranges. They are made out of rice. One of our cousins grandmother used to make them for the holidays. She always said they were very hard to make and showed us how to do them once. I never tried to make them till I saw David Rocco on the Cooking Channel do them. He uses his favorite Risotto recipe, and then chills it overnight. That was way easier than the way I was taught.

To make the rice balls, or Arancini...
Scoop out a nice ball of the chilled rice and form roll into a nice round shape about the size of a small Valencia orange.
Do this with all your rice and put on a plate covered with wax paper. Rice should be cold. You can prepare to this point and refrigerate if you want to serve them hot!

Then mix a couple of eggs with a spoon of water and beat it with a fork. Keep this in a bowl.

Get some plain bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Have them in a shallow bowl. Now dip the balls one by one into the egg wash and then roll in bread crumbs. Have them all ready to fry.

Heat up your olive oil till frying temperature. Gently fry the rice balls and turn them until they are browned all around. Let them rest on paper towels and sprinkle with salt just as them come out of the frying pan.

You are in for a treat! If you don't have a favorite risotto recipe. Just look for one. I used tomatoes and ground sausage in these, with some tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese as well as romano cheese. Risotto can be made from just about anything you have in the fridge, so get creative. Josaphine La Barbera, our cousins grandma always put a meat surprise in the middle of her rice ball. Her rice was more plain and then you would get this spicy meat filling in the middle. It was quite delicious. David Rocco put some mozzarella in the middle of his, so when you ate it warm, the cheese would ooze out of it. Here are some photos of mine in the process.
I love making risotto and can't wait to try some different versions of these!
Cooks note: These are traditionally deep fried to keep their wonderful round shape but since I don't fry that often, I just did them in a frying pan to save on oil.