Thursday, July 23, 2009

On top of Spaghetti

If Thatboy had his druthers, the television would be permanently tuned to Fuel TV which features sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing. In fact, most times when I come home to him watching tv, that's what he's tuned in to. As for me, I don't especially swoon over getting to watch these activities live, let alone in the comfort of my own home. We've arranged a happy truce where whoever is on the couch can watch what they want, meaning while I'm in the kitchen Thatboy picks the show, while he's working on his pictures, I pick.

But when we're both on the couch, we try to find a show both of us will watch. Usually this means no Food Network with the exception of three shows - whatever pastry/sugar/cake challenge we can find, Next Food Network Star, or Throwdown with Bobby Flay. There is nothing Thatboy and I like better than rooting against Bobby Flay. Not that we have anything against him personally, and we're both fond of his restaurants, and Sweetcakes and I SWOONED when we got the chance to see him on our trip to NYC in December. But there's just something so arrogant about challenging people that you can do something better than them. I mean, most of the people he challenges aren't jetsetting from one of their restaurants to another across the country, they're hard working, dedicated, working class people who have really struggled to perfect a recipe and gain a loyal following. And you Mr. Flay, waltz right in like god's gift to the spatula?

On a recent episode we watched Bobby challenge Mike Maroni, the godfather of meatballs. Flay began with a meat mixture of pork, sirloin, and veal (what is this meatloaf?) while Maroni stuck with a nice fatty ground chuck for his meatballs. Flay quickly realized that his sirloin caused the meatballs to be too dry. Thatboy and I cheered when Maroni's meatballs took the prize over Flay's. THAT'S how it should be - the credit, awards, accolades should be lauded on these hometown heroes. After all, don't we root, root, root for the home team?

If there's one thing I learned from the episode - it's that you GOTTA have fat in your meatballs to keep them nice and moist. So I decided to add a little fat to my turkey meatballs. Now, I LOVE ground turkey in place of ground beef, but I know a lot of people have issues with how dry the finished product is. So I added some ground beef into my turkey meatball recipe and ended up with rave reviews. I served them over whole wheat spaghetti, which I know opens a whole 'nother can of worms, but we can discuss that later.

Mixed Meat-Balls
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes

  1. Combine ground turkey, ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, 1/2 minced onion, 1 1/2 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper and form into golf balls.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large nonstick skillet and cook meatballs over medium heat until well browned.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in saucepan and cook 1/2 minced onion, 1 1/2 cloves minced garlic over medium heat until translucent.
  4. Add tomatoes to onion and garlic and bring to a simmer. Add meatballs into the sauce and cook 15-20 minutes.


  1. I just realized how fabulous your pictures have been recently (a little slow on the uptake, here)--is that because of summer or have you changed something? Anyway this pic looked esp great.

    My elder daughter (age 4) and I love to watch Throwdown also. Whom I root for usually depends on the episode honestly, but I do enjoy it when Flay screws up just because it is funny. I think Alex roots for Flay though because she remembers him from every episode, if that makes any kind of 4 YO sense.

  2. Ditto on the great photos! I love them.
    I feel exactly the same way you do about Throwdown with Bobby Flay. UGH.

  3. To make other people look "bad" so that I can look good, is really pathetic!! Your meatballs on the other hand is looking too delicious!!! Fat=flavor!!!!

  4. This no-cable-barely-got-some-network-tv-but-not-FOX-YES!-no-Fox-here girl has never heard of this Bobby Flay tv show :X

  5. It's so weird you used the word druthers. My FIL just used this word last week and neither H nor I knew what it meant. Hah. Anyway, I am with you on rooting against Flay (for the same reason), and these meatballs look awesome.

  6. We always root against Bobby too! It's so unfair how he'll use fancy ingredients to compete against non-fancy mom 'n pop places. Though now that they've added authenticity to the judging criteria, he loses every time because of it.

  7. I am so with you on Throwdown. I think it is so obnoxious how he marches in there like he can't be beat, and I love it when he loses!

  8. you all completely miss the point of Throwdown. It is to showcase the other person's specialty and give them exposure win or lose it's great for them. Bobby hates winning on Throwdown...why don't people get it? It's a good thing he's doing. Anyway, meatballs look good..

  9. mmmm, meatballs.

    i like to serve whole wheat pasta too. makes me feel less guilty about all the carbs.