So … I’m not supposed to do anything. Anything. At least that’s what it sounded like when my doctor said, “I want you inactive until I see you again next week.” Apparently I will jeopardize my healing if I lick a stamp, or comb my hair, or make a batch of meatballs. But being that we were snowed in today, and the meals that two of my friends (Mary and Ashley) made for us couldn’t quite make it to our house, I thought I might challenge that last one. How hard could it be to just mosey into the kitchen and do a little chopping and mixing? I mean, we have to eat, right?
So here’s tonight’s experiment. And just because the doctor ordered it, I agreed to sit still after dinner and NOT do the dishes. A little obeying is better than none at all. I think.
- 1-1 1/2 lbs hamburger
- 1/2 sweet onion, minced
- 1 cup French’s fried onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 pieces of dry bread (or 3/4 cup dried breadcrumbs)
- fresh herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme (or 1-2 tsp dried herbs)
- salt and pepper (about a tsp each)
- 1 1/2 TBSP Worchestershire sauce
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- fresh marinated mozzarella balls
As usually happens when I’m experimenting, I started looking through the fridge and pantry to see what I need/want to use up. It’s amazing how many happy accidents come about this way. Tonight, I knew I needed to do something with the 1.24 lbs of hamburger waiting for me in the fridge. Looking in the pantry, I saw this container of fried onions:
I accidentally bought two of these in November, back when I was planning for Thanksgiving. Perfect for using up.
So I’ve got meat and french-fried onions. At first I’m thinking meatloaf. But then I notice the two gigantic jars of spaghetti sauce Dave picked up at Costco, and my thoughts shift to spaghetti and meatballs. Yep.
As much as I like fried onions, there’s no substitute for real onions, so I decide to chop up about a half an onion:
Those go in my Cuisinart, along with about this much day-old French bread …
… three cloves of garlic, and some herbs from the TJ’s pot sitting in my window: rosemary, sage and thyme.
I also add three cubs of frozen basil, also from Trader Joe’s.
I adore this stuff! Along with the basil, I keep a supply of Dorot cilantro and garlic on hand at all times. Here’s the flip side:
All of this …
… gets pulsed down to fine crumbs. Oh, I wish you could get a sniff of this incredible-ness.
Then I add 1 cup of french fried onions and pulsed again.
Next, I scoop this mixture into another bowl and add the Worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper, egg …
… milk, and hamburger. When that’s thoroughly mixed, I start looking through the fridge again. I have every intention of grating some Pecorino or Parmesan cheese to add into this mixture, but then I spy this:
… and I have this sudden, “peanut butter smashing into chocolate” epiphany. I’ve been known to hide a surprise or two. This just seems like the perfect addition to my experimental meatballs.
So after scooping up an acceptable mound of hamburger mixture, I make an indent, drop a little marinated mozzarella ball in the middle …
… and then top with a little more meat mixture. Then I form them into a sealed ball and arrange in one of my stoneware pans.
I bake them for about 35 minutes @ 325. And yes, some of the mozzarella oozes out here and there. Do we care? We do not.
Dave likes them. Tera likes them. I escaped from my chair for a blissful half an hour. Not bad for a day of absolute inactivity.