Monday, March 22, 2010

Easy Meatballs, Thanks to Colleen

Easy Meatballs

Colleen sent this recipe in quite a while back, but I hadn't had a chance to make it until last night.

If you have made hamburger patties, then you can make these meatballs with success!

Love the way they are finished in the oven in tomato sauce.   Gives you lots of latitude, timewise, for serving.  I made them ahead of time, not know exactly what time Tom would be home from the basketball tournament.  We put the spaghetti in the pot when he came through the door, and had dinner on the table in 15 minutes.  Tom isn't a fan of meatballs, but he really liked these.  The texture was just right, i.e., not sinkers.

Here's what Colleen had to say when she first sent me the recipe:

Hi Barb --

I have to tell you that you have inspired me. Today it was pouring rain, so I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs. Now I didn't have milk and only ground beef, no ground pork. But it was too nasty to head out to the store.

But I thought, "would this stop Barbara?" and I decided it would not. I had cream, so I mixed 1/4 cup cream with 1/4 cup water to make 1/2 cup milk and just went with ground beef. And herb garlic bread crumbs. And it worked!

William loved them. I haven't made meatballs since I was a teenager. For some reason it seemed so complicated then (I think the browning part threw me off). I decided it was an adventure. I could cover them with lots of sauce if all else failed. I made my own sauce too, instead of opening a jar and "doctoring" it with wine, etc.

Now I can't imagine trying to do this and take pictures at the same time.

But it was fun and I thank you for providing the right attitude!

Here is the recipe I sent for meatballs. Basically, Good Housekeeping circa 1960, I think. It was my mother’s cookbook. But they were very tasty. And if people are going to cook with whatever happens to be in the pantry, Good Housekeeping will usually not take you too far afield from the basics.                        


1 pound ground beef
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs (garlic and herb)
½ cup grated parmesan
½ cup milk or cream (split half water)
1 ½ teaspoon salt
garlic crushed
1 Tablespoon parsley chopped

Mix all together until blended.

Form into big balls (golf sized).

Roll in flour and brown in heavy skillet or pot in olive oil.

Heat oven to 300 degrees and put meatballs in oven for 20 minutes to cook through.

Add to sauce and simmer gently 20 minutes before serving.

Notes from Barbara:  I seasoned the bread crumbs with dried oregano and dried basil.  Used granulated garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.  And I substituted dried chervil for parsley.  Didn't have enough grated cheese, so I used added some shredded.  And I didn't pay attention to the directions and put my spaghetti sauce (store bought) in for the entire 40 minutes, instead of only 20 minutes.  It made the sauce very thick, which we liked.  We added fresh basil to the sauce.  As you can see, this recipe is forgiving.  It's a keeper.  I am sure we will make them again soon. 

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