The Best Meatballs You’ll Ever Have

01-best-Meatballs-recipe-DurandYield:  Approx.  60 Meatballs

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup fine dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef, such as ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chunky kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • About 4 tbsps finely chopped fresh sage, from 2 small herb bunche
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced or grated yellow onion, from about 2 small yellow onions
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Pour the milk over the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Stir them together and set them aside for at least 10 minutes for the crumbs to soften.
  2. Mix the pork, beef and veal together thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the salt and a generous amount of black pepper, then add the cayenne and smoked paprika.
  3. Stir in the chopped parsley, sage, onion, garlic and Parmesan. Mix with your hands until these are very thoroughly distributed through the meat.
  4. Stir in the breadcrumbs and milk, as well as the eggs, and mix thoroughly.
  5. Shape and cook the meatballs immediately, or refrigerate the meat for up to 24 hours. You can also freeze the meat (in one big lump or as shaped meatballs) in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
  6. To cook the meatballs, you can go a few different routes:1. Bake: To bake the meatballs, heat the oven to 350°F and form them into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they are just barely cooked through and no longer pink inside. To keep them tender, do not overbake. At this point you can add them to a pot of tomato sauce and simmer just for a few moments or until they are soaked in sauce — or just eat them as they are.

    2. Broil: The baked meatballs above are very smooth and not crispy. If you like a more rustic meatball with a crisped-up exterior, broil your meatballs for 18 to 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. This will give you a meatball with a crunchier exterior and little dark bits all over.

    3. Simmer: You can also cook meatballs directly in your pasta sauce. (I like Marcella Hazan’s famous 4-ingredient tomato sauce — pictured above and below!) To do this, carefully place raw meatballs into a pot of gently simmering tomato sauce, making sure they are fully covered. Cook over low heat for at least 30 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked through and no longer pink inside. This makes for a very smooth, very tender meatball. If you want a little bit of crispiness to the meatballs in the sauce, you can sear them or broil them briefly and then finish cooking them in the sauce.

*Originally posted by Joanna over at http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/05/best-meatballs-youll-ever-have.html

Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

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Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. To cook pasta sauce, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large iron skillet or heavy saucepan.
  2. Add onion, basil, garlic and salt.
  3. Sauté until onion is tender, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato, parsley and sugar; heat to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring often or until sauce has thickened.
  5. Remove parsley.
  6. Serve over cooked spaghetti or other Italian pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

Originally posted by Laurilie over at http://www.food.com/recipe/fresh-tomato-spaghetti-sauce-10837

Mac “Heart Attack” And Cheese

mac and cheese

Yield:  Approximately 6 Servings

Ingredients: 

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups freshly grated Swiss cheese (I used Jarlsberg)
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 2 quart casserole dish.
  2. Boil a large pot of water and cook macaroni until just al dente, about 5 minutes.  Drain and return to pot.
  3. In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add flour and cook roux, whisking, 2 minutes. Add onions, continue to cook 2 minutes more.  Be sure to keep whisking so the roux doesn’t burn.  Add milk, whisking well to remove any lumps.  Add mustard, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, until very thick, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the Swiss, Cheddar, and half of the Parmesan to the sauce, one handful at a time.  Whisk until the cheese is fully melted into the sauce before adding the next handful.
  5. Pour cheese sauce over cooked macaroni and stir to coat.
  6.  In a small bowl stir together bread crumbs and remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and sprinkle evenly over macaroni.   For extra beautiful browning, dot the top of the crumb coating with little pea-size bits of butter.  (If you want to save a few calories, you can leave it out, but the topping will be drier.)
  7. Bake macaroni in middle of oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

*Originally posted by The Kitchen Wench over at http://www.kitchenwench.com/category/cooking/