02 April, 2009

Easy Meatballs

For gawd's sake, winter just won't go away.  There was more snow yesterday.  Dreams of rhubarb, strawberries, and asparagus are futile, being months away from the reality.  Might as well hunker down and cook up some more rib sticking meals.

Meatballs are a family favourite here.  Smilosaurus is extending her meat love and will gladly devour at least 4 meatballs at a meal, in favour of the pasta.  And surprisingly, The Monster has never been much of a fan of pasta, but will also pop meatballs into her mouth like they are candy.  We are rather traditional, preferring our meatballs over spaghetti (or tagliatelle when there is no spaghetti) and doused with a thick tomato sauce.  The odd time we will go for that odd standby, Waikiki Meatballs.

Over time I've tried numerous methods and recipes for making meatballs.  Always time consuming and either greasy or burnt I struggled to get the technique right.  Over time I gave up browning them on the stove.  I always ended up with unevenly cooked meatsquares, not meatballs.  Baking them in the oven without browning seemed obvious.  But I hated that they would cook in their own grease.  I highly doubt I am original in my idea, but all my friends seem suitably impressed.  Now I cook them on a cooling rack set atop a cookie sheet.  The grease drips down and I'm left with brown, yet tender meatballs.

Make sure you cover your cookie sheet with foil - it really saves on clean-up.  And spray your cooling rack with cooking spray or brush with a bit of olive oil so the meatballs don't stick. Bake at high heat (400 degrees Celcius).  The final size of your meatball will determine your cooking time.  I usually make mine about an inch diameter and they cook in a little over 10 minutes.

When it comes to recipes, I'm afraid I don't have one of my own to share.  This is the kind of thing that is a little of this and a little of that.  Sometimes I use breadcrumbs, sometimes I use milk soaked bread cubes.  Maybe I'll throw in a splash of balsamic, or some parmesan.  One day I'll use bison, the next turkey.  And when I'm feeling lazy I simply take half beef and half italian sausage.  No other seasonings, but they are moist and tasty.  Use your favourite, or check out some of these.


H.Peter said...

They look really good.
The Pasta! looks even better.

Lindsay said...

Genius! I have been annoyed with the same frustrations lately. I must try this!

edava said...

BRILLIANT!!! Will have to try this when we get a cold spell again. Looking forward to perusing the rest of the site. As a Russian girl, I'll have to check out your borscht version. The hidden duck was hysterical-great sense of humor!