Recipes

National Meatball Day

Saturday, March 09, 2013
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recipes

Saturday, March 9, 2013, marks National Meatball Day. A lot of families have their own versions, but why not try something new?

Anthony Gambino, owner and operator of Burger Boss and Cucina Paradiso, came into our ABC7 studio to show us a few meatball recipes.

Anthony's Meatball Tips:

  • Avoid over-mixing the ingredients. This leads to chewy meatballs.

  • Chill the meat mixture before forming your meatballs. This will make it easier to form.

  • You can use utensils such as ice cream scoops, melon ballers or cookie scoops to help make consistent sized meatballs.

  • For healthier meatballs, start with a lean meat. Opt for meats that are 90% lean like chicken, pork and turkey.

  • Incorporate your favorite herbs and spices into your meatball mixture. This is an easy way to update this old classic.

  • Meatballs can also be baked on a baking sheet lined with foil for easy cleanup.

  • You can make large batches of meatballs at a time to freeze for later use. Place a single layer of meatballs on a cooking sheet and place in the freezer to flash-freeze the meatballs. This will prevent them from sticking together. Remove the frozen meatballs from the cookie sheet and place them into a freezer bag. They will keep for a few months in the freezer.

Anthony's Recipes

Ground Beef Meatballs

Makes 14 - 16 meatballs

Meatballs:

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

Sauce:

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Serving Suggestion:

1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan

Preparation:

Place the ground meat, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl.

Combine very lightly with a fork.

Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. (This recipe makes 14 - 16 meatballs.)

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch.

Heat the oil.

Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil, and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork.

This should take about 10 minutes for each batch.

Don't crowd the meatballs.

Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels.

Discard the oil, but don't clean the pan.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan.

Add the garlic, and cook for 1 more minute.

Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.

For Meatball Sliders, use your favorite mini brioche buns as a base.

Place 1 mini meatball onto the bun, and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Place into the boiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Veal meatballs:

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil
Wedge of Fontina cheese

Sauce:

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Serving Suggestion:

1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan

Preparation:

Cube Fontina cheese into 1/2 x 1/2 inch.

Place the ground meats, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl.

Combine very lightly with a fork.

Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs around the cube of Fontina cheese.

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch.

Heat the oil.

Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork.

This should take about 10 minutes for each batch.

Don't crowd the meatballs.

Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels.

Discard the oil but don't clean the pan.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.

Polenta:

Ingredients:

6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation:

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan.

Add 2 teaspoons of salt.

Gradually whisk in the cornmeal.

Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat.

Add the butter, and stir until melted.

BBQ Sauce:

Ingredients:

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar, preferably cider or wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder, or more
1 tablespoon canola or other mild vegetable oil

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients together and simmer for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

Tip: When covered, this BBQ sauce will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

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