Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Meatballs & Rice, January 12, 2015

Spaghetti and meatballs is such a classic combo that it rarely occurs to me to do anything else with meatballs (those funny little cocktail meatballs don't count), especially when they're in a tomato-based sauce. Swedish meatballs seem like another thing entirely, so it makes sense to put them with egg noodles. Last night, though, following Nigella Lawson's advice for feeding children, I made meatballs and rice for our supper. Paired with a butter lettuce salad and a honeydew melon with a scattering of blackberries, this is a very simple, very yummy meal. Jeannene rated it 9 out of 10, saying it would have been 10 if I hadn't called it "toddler food." For the record, I said that Nigella said that it's "nursery food." I was not calling my wife a toddler. Hee hee! Here's the recipe, with my tinkerings (way more garlic, for one, than called for---perhaps that bumps it up to "Grown Person Food" status?

Rice and Meatballs
1 lb. ground beef (I used 94% lean beef)
1 egg
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
3 tbsp. roasted garlic breadcrumbs
1 tsp. salt
A good grinding of pepper
1 onion, quartered
5 small cloves garlic
1 tbsp. butter (this could be reduced or eliminated, I think)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 c. milk (I used 1% to good effect)

Mix ground beef, egg, parmesan, 3 cloves garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, salt, & pepper together, lightly but thoroughly. Overworking will cause the meatballs to be heavy and tougher. Shape into very small balls (mine were about 1"). Chill. Add the onion and remaining garlic to a food processor and process to a paste. Heat oil and butter in a deep saucepan. Add the onion/garlic mixture and cook about 10 minutes on low. Add the tomatoes (do not drain) and half a tomato can of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook another 10 minutes, this time on medium-low. Add milk and bring to a boil. Add meatballs, one at a time. Cook another 20-30 minutes, partially covered. Serve on cooked rice. Nigella says this feeds 8-10 children. I'd say it would feed 4-6 adults. Unless the deliciousness makes people greedy. 

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