Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More Bites - of Balls

This weekend we had lunch with The Ks. Thatboy ordered a meatball sandwich. I have this fantasy that meatball sandwiches are should be like bites of pure joy. A soft, fragrant meatball covered in sweet tangy tomato sauce and ooey gooey cheesy. All wrapped in nature's favorite carbohydrate - a crusty roll.

This was not that sandwich. The meatballs themselves were nearly completely flavorless and disappointing. Meatballs should never be disappointing. Meatballs should never be boring. As I have oft stated, there is just so much that can be done with those little balls of meat.

And to emphasize my point, everyone go to your fridge and pull out a pound of ground meat. (turkey, chicken, beef, lamb - whatever you have handy) It's okay. I'll wait.

Back? Okay. Now divide that ground meat into two piles. With the first we're going to make your basic Italian meatballs. You know, the kind that go in meatball sandwiches, or on top of spaghetti. This is not the first meatball recipe I've shared, and it definitely won't be the last. I love experimenting and playing around with them. These are a great balance of herbs, garlic, and meat.

Italian Meatballs
1/2 lb ground meat
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp parsley, minced
1 Tbsp basil, chiffonade
1 egg white
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp oil
2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce

  1. Combine the beef, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, basil, egg white, salt and pepper.
  2. Mix thoroughly and shape into balls.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan and brown the meatballs on all sides.
  4. Drain the oil and add the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer 40 minutes.

Alright, still have that other half pound of meat? Of course you do! Where would it go? It hasn't had legs or a heartbeat in at least a day or two! We're going to use the remaining meat to make Swedish Meatballs. These are fabulous as appetizers, but equally fabulous when served over noodle. They do come in their own delicious sauce, after all.

Swedish Meatballs
1/2 lb ground meat
1 slice of bacon
2 slices of bread
1 egg white
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Combine the meat, bacon, and bread in a food processor, pulsing twice.
  2. Add egg, sugar, allspice, nutmeg, salt , and pepper with meat mixture. Shape into 1 inch balls.
  3. Melt butter in ovenproof skillet and brown meatballs.
  4. Add the beef broth, cover, and bake 45 minutes.
  5. Add the cream, cover and cook another 15 minutes.


  1. It has been years since I've made Swedish meatballs. Keep the ball recipes coming:D

  2. It never ceases to amaze me just how many personalities meatballs can take on. They are truly an international food.

  3. This makes me think of America's Next Great Restaurant, where one of the contestants want to start a chain of Saucy Balls...

  4. You got me at the meatballs. I love them. All kinds (almost), all shapes, all sizes... kind of an acute meatloaf in a tight little ball. Love meatloaf, too. But, meatballs are just fun! Love the new meatball lollipop idea for parties. YOu have been cooking up a storm here. I can see I have missed a TON, Kate! I am truly, honestly, so sorry and so sad that I have missed reading your posts over the last two months. I would see them come into my e-mail, and delete them – with a heavy heart. I didn’t at first, but it became apparent I could never catch up. I am thrilled to be participating in the planning of an important local slow food conference in our area which has taken up way more time than I ever imagined it would. Important work, but I really miss the relationships I have developed through blogging and know there will be a hole from what I have missed these past two months. I am eager to cook, entertain, read, and write. Happy Easter and Spring to you and your wonderful man!