Sweet and Sour Potted Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Potted Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Potted Meatballs

I love these meatballs.  They are not your typical “asian” sweet and sour meatballs.  The meatballs people seem to throw together at parties, loaded with cranberry sauce or barbecue sauce.  Nope.  These are serious meatballs with a true jewish homecooking flavor.  I think my husband was a tad skeptical when I first told him I was making sweet and sour meatballs for supper.  I could imagine he was thinking: “oh dear, this is going to be too sweet, too sticky, too sugary for a real meal”.  I think he was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t serve him a deep burgundy sweet mess but a lovely and tangy with “just enough sweetness” gorgeous meatballs over perfectly roasted spaghetti squash!

scrumptious and such a different take on typical meatballs

scrumptious and such a different take on typical Italian meatballs

Adapted from:  Saveur Magazine

Ingredients:

For the sweet and sour sauce:

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

1 29-ounce can tomato sauce

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the meatballs:

2 lb. ground beef (80% 20% or 85% 15%)

2 eggs

½ cup Italian breadcrumbs

½ cup Panko

1 medium onion, minced

Zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

How to:

For the sauce:

In a large Dutch oven, heat your oil, add your onions and saute over medium heat until tender and golden.  Add your tomato sauce and rinse out the can with ½ cup water to loosen any sauce that remains, adding the liquid to the pot.  Add your lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.  Set aside.

delightful sauce

delightful sauce

For the meatballs:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, panko, onion, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Using your best tools, your hand, combine everything but do not over-mix.  Using a medium sizde scoop form your meatballs and place them on your prepared pans.  Put in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Once your meatballs are ready, bring your sauce back to the stovetop and add your meatballs to your sauce.  Bring to a simmer and let this cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

all aboard!

all aboard!

ready for the oven

ready for the oven

might look like nothing but these meatballs pack some serious flavors!

might look like nothing but these meatballs pack some serious flavors!

all in, time to simmer

all in, time to simmer

so so so gorgeous and delicious!

so so so gorgeous and delicious!

Serve over roasted spaghetti squash or pasta or rice, whatever pleases your crowd!

take a bite, trust me you will fall in love!

take a bite, trust me, you’ll fall in love!

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Peace and Sweet Mess,

Isabelle

Stuffed Mozzarella Meatballs

I can be a real pain in the butt.

Isn’t that a nice way to start a post about meatballs?

But it’s true and I have to be honest.  When I get an idea in my head, it is really difficult for me not get my way….OK I see how this sounds very selfish but believe me when I tell you I am not a selfish person…I am somewhat weird and unyielding but not selfish.  Here’s the deal, by noon today (while at work) I had made up my mind that I needed to workout, have the meatballs ready (and cooking), returned all emails, showered and in my PYJAMAS by 6:15pm, in order be able to eat dinner in my pj’s!

Mission accomplished!

Here’s why: we got back from Florida on Sat. (well really Sunday 1am!) and we haven’t stopped.  The weather has turned in Indiana to cold, so cold that I had to turn on the heat.  I did yell at the weatherman this morning…I did later apologize but it was embarrassing for both our dogs!  I miss my nephews, I miss my sweet Janine who is going through so much and I wish I was closer to help her… OK it’s a pity party…but it’s MY pity party…I will be over it by the morning.

Stuffed Mozzarella Meatballs over Linguine

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

2 lb ground beef

2 eggs

1 garlic clove crushed and finely diced

salt and pepper (to taste)

1 tablespoon dry oregano

1 tablespoon dry basil

3/4 cup breadcrumbs (Italian style if you have)

1/2 to 3/4 lb fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion finely diced

1 garlic clove crushed and finely chopped

1/4 cup red wine (dry if possible)

1 26-28-ounce jar tomato sauce (any favorite will work)

1 14.5-ounce can small diced tomatoes

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 tablespoon dry oregano

1 tablespoon dry basil

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Parmesan Cheese (for serving)

Fresh Basil (for serving)

Cooked Pasta (if making the whole recipe you will need 2 lb)

How to:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper.  Set aside.

For your meatballs, simply put all the ingredients, except the mozzarella cubes, in a large bowl and using the best tools ever: your hands!  Combine everything well.  Using a large scoop (or spoon), scoop the meatball and make an indentation to put your mozzarella.  Carefully close the ball so the cheese doesn’t ooze out while baking.

like a little dimple of delicious cheese

you could also do the assembly line (sounds like a line dancing song!)

Put all your meatballs on your prepared baking sheet.  Put in your preheated oven for 25 minutes.  Remove and keep warm.  Some cheese might have escaped the magical little bundle of joy but that’s OK…it will still taste amazing!

ready for the oven!

mmmm smells delicious!

For the sauce:  in a large saucepan heat your olive oil.  Add your onions and garlic.  Cook on medium low heat for about 5 minutes until soft and fragrant.  Add your wine and reduce until almost gone.  Add your tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (and juices), tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Bring this to a gentle boil and reduce to a simmer.  Let this cook for 20-30 minutes.

oh my goodness, this is so perfect already....yummmmmy

Add your warm meatballs to your sauce.  Don’t over mix with the sauce, you don’t want to break up the meatballs.

now we are getting somewhere!

To serve simply top your pasta with the sauce, some meatballs, more sauce, fresh Parmesan and a chiffonade of basil.

ready, set, eat....scrumptious!

Dive in, relax and ignore the fact that your family might be somewhat tired of the pjs for dinner!

Note: I like to make big meatballs for this recipe, simply because of the delicious fresh cheese hiding inside!

Note #2: this makes a LOT…feel free to cut in half….although you will be missing out on some amazing leftovers! :)

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Peace and Pity Party,

Isabelle

Find recipe also here:

                     

Swedish Meatballs…sort of…

Growing up in Quebec I have always known about IKEA:  THE “mac daddy” super home store.  If you have ever been, then you know.  It is not an easy task to explain how cool the store is.  Honestly, I completely agree with anyone who says: “you just have to go to understand”.  I never thought I would say: “I miss IKEA”.  When I left Montreal and moved to Ottawa, there it was; another IKEA store, easy…then came Florida…no IKEA (then) in Central Florida.  That is until I moved to Indiana, of course that’s when they decided to build an IKEA in Orlando….geez thanks for waiting for me to leave!  Indiana: NO IKEA!  We do however have one in Cincinnati…little problem: I am not one to travel 2 hours just to go to a super store!  Well…not for their Swedish Meatballs anyway…for their home stuff yes, but the food is not the driving force here.

Fine I’ll make due.  I can come up with some sort of Swedish meatballs like the best of them.  No worries!

Truth is; I have made this numerous times….I just wanted to share the recipe with you. :)

Not Ikea's Swedish Meatballs....but Isa.... ;)

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

1 pound ground turkey

1 piece white country bread

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 egg

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper

For the sauce:

1 onion finely diced

1 8-ounce container mushrooms sliced (optional)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 cup beef broth (low sodium if possible)

salt and pepper

For serving:

Fresh parsley

Buttered noodles

How to:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.  Set aside.

In a small bowl tear your bread into 3-4 pieces, pour your milk over the bread and press to insure your bread is soaking.  While your bread is working, in a large bowl put your turkey, Worcestershire sauce, egg, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.  Gently squeeze the milk from your bread, tearing it some more add it to your bowl.  Using the best tools known to man: your hands!  Mix everything together, but do not over do it.  Just until everything is combined.  Using a medium size scoop place your meatballs on your prepared pan.  Put in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.

the exciting life of bread soaking in milk!

You know how I looooove my scoops!

all lined up and ready to bake

When you only have 10 minutes left to your meatballs, start your sauce.  In a large saucepan, melt your butter, add your onions and sliced mushrooms.  Cook on medium low for 3-4 minutes until soft and fragrant.  Add your flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Slowly add your beef broth and bring to a gentle boil.  Add your Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt and pepper.  Let this simmer for 4-5 minutes and then add your meatballs.  Cover and let cook for 5-10 minutes until ready to serve.

lovely meatballs in a delightful sauce= happiness

Serve with buttered noodles and top with parsley.

Note: your meatballs can be made ahead of time and simply warmed a bit longer in your sauce.  Also you could use any type of ground beef you prefer, I just like to use ground turkey whenever possible.

I like to bake my meatballs (please see previous post regarding this subject: lovely meatballs ) It is by choice and if you have a better or personal technique you like to use, by all means go for it!  In my opinion, what makes this dish flavorful is using the same spices and aromas both in the meatballs as well as in the sauce.

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Peace and Sort Of…

Isabelle