March 5, 2012

Meatballs Made Easy

I really don’t like those prepared frozen meatballs. They have the consistency and texture of cork and a dreadful artificial flavor. That being said, they are awfully convenient and inexpensive so they’re tempting to use when you’re pimping on a budget.

I like to make huge batches of meatballs then freeze them in gallon-sized zip-top bags for easy use. It’s not expensive to make meatballs but it can be time consuming. And that’s why I figured out a super easy way to make them. Holla!

I make mine two different ways: Basic (like for appetizers and Swedish Meatballs) and also Italian (for subs, lasagna and spaghetti).



Basic Meatballs
1 small onion, grated
1 egg
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/3 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs

In a medium bowl combine onion, egg, worcestershire sauce, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic powder; mix well.

Crumble ground beef into mixture and mix with your hands until just combined. Don’t “squeeze” the mixture with your hands – overworking the meat is what yields that “corky” texture.

Add bread crumbs and continue to mix the ingredients until everything is just combined.

Now comes the easy part. Turn mixture out onto a cutting board or clean counter and shape into a rectangle. Pat her down good and keep working on it until it’s perfectly shaped.

Using a sharp knife, cut the mixture into 24 squares (or less if you like bigger meatballs). Now your work is halfway done because you don’t have to stand there and eyeball the amount you’re using to make uniformly sized meatballs. Roll each square into a ball. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) and spray with cooking spray.

Place meatballs onto baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Baking makes this process sooooo much easier. The meatballs cook so much more evenly and so long as you cook them in a nice hot oven, the outsides get a nice sear too.

*you might notice that the onions (the actual onions, not THE onions) are diced and not grated in the photos. That's because THE onions were using my box grater to shred crayons for an art project (and I didn't feel like dirtying up my food processor for one onion). Definitely grate your onion, though... dicing them leaves a little too much "bite".

Italian Meatballs
1 small onion, grated
1 egg
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/3 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup Italian dried bread crumbs

In a medium bowl combine onion, egg, worcestershire sauce, parmesan cheese, Italian Seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder; mix well.

Crumble ground beef into mixture and mix with your hands until just combined. Don’t “squeeze” the mixture with your hands – overworking the meat is what yields that “corky” texture.

Add bread crumbs and continue to mix the ingredients until everything is just combined.

Turn mixture out onto a cutting board or clean counter and shape into a rectangle. Pat her down good and keep working on it until it’s perfectly shaped.

Using a sharp knife, cut the mixture into 24 squares (or less if you like bigger meatballs). Roll each square into a ball. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) and spray with cooking spray. Place meatballs onto baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

PRINTABLE RECIPE



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