meatball! meatball!

taking a little break from cooking day. coconut stuff for the coconut chicken is done and in the fridge. tomato sauce is simmering. fabric for craft fair has been bought, washed, dried & folded. candied orange peel and meatballs have another 15 minutes before i have to run.

but speaking of meatballs, i have to share my particular meatball trick. i have a consistency thing. i crave it, but find it difficult to achieve. so i've developed a technique that works for meatballs, or peanut butter cookies, or anything you need to roll into little balls.

the trick is this: in whatever bowl you're mixing the stuff in, prod your stuff with a spoon until it is even and flat on top. then, take a long knife, and cut it into quarters. lift out one quarter of the dough/meat/whatever, and shape it into a disc. cut that in quarters. each quarter can then be rolled into a log, and cut into however many pieces are required. we're three in our family, so i am making the right number of meatballs for 3 people to have 4 dinners (48 meatballs). this way you avoid the annoying "i have 4 people and 7 cookies" problem. maybe i think about this too much.

what i usually think about when i'm making meatballs is this (skip to 1:13):

meatballs (enough for 12, or for 4 dinners for 3, or 3 dinners for 4)
1 tbs olive oil
2 large onions
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb italian sausage
1 tbs oregano
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 egg
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup dry breadcrumbs

chop onions and saute in oil till soft.

combine with meats, seasonings, and egg.

add cheese and crumbs, work in.

shape into 48 meatballs. bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 375f. serve on top of spaghetti with tomato sauce. and don't sneeze.

tomato sauce (enough for 12, again)
2 tbs olive oil
4 large onions
2 stalks celery
2 medium carrots
4 cloves garlic
1 tbs dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
20 large ripe field tomatoes
salt to taste

chop onions and saute in oil till soft.

chop celery and carrots finely and add to onions. cook till soft and just starting to caramelise.

crush and add garlic along with herbs and vinegar.

chop and add tomatoes. bring to a boil, then simmer till thick and reduced by about half, about 3 hours.

season to taste with salt.

what i like to do is, get 4 empty yogurt containers (the big ones, 750g), put a dozen meatballs in each one, then fill with the sauce, then stick in the freezer until it's time for dinner. defrost/reheat in a covered pot on the stovetop while the spaghetti is cooking. voila!

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