People are fickle about their meatballs. Much like chicken wings, there are countless variations of ingredients, cooking methods, and proportions that I can’t keep count. I’ve seen recipes that require three, THREE, different kinds of meat. I’m not saying that those meatballs may not be the best I’ve ever tasted, but they are going to be far more expensive than what I want to pay to make them at home plus more work – two things I am not necessarily a fan of when it comes to my balls.
Personally, I prefer my meatballs to be somewhat more simple. I like knowing that if I feel like making them, there’s a fairly good chance I have all the ingredients ready at home. That being said, I know to keep most of the ingredients on hand because meatballs really are the Switzerland of food. Honestly, everybody likes meatballs, and if you don’t it’s my opinion that you just haven’t had good ones.
Now, Italian I am not. But I make a pretty mean meatball if I do say so myself (J happens to think so too so I promise I’m not tooting my own horn too bad here…). This is also one of the very few recipes that I don’t have the written down. Yup, that’s right. It’s all in my noodle (get it? meatballs…noodle…heehee). I learned this recipe from my dad, who is also as far from Italian as they come, and it actually stuck. I can’t remember the majority of my multiplication tables but I’ll be damned if I can’t whip together a decent meatball in under 25 minutes. Bonus points if you have a sweet hat to do it in…
My recipe uses ground turkey. Silence your judgmental minds – you can use ground beef if you want. I prefer turkey simply because I think it’s a bit healthier then the higher fat ground beef. My dad would scoff if I served him turkey meatballs, yell about how his generation can’t stomach this hippy dippy shit, and proceed to make his own meatballs. I honestly can’t tell the difference either way so use whatever meat you want or have on hand, I promise I won’t be upset.
Now if you are like me, and are only feeding two mouths, a pound worth of meatballs is probably a bit much. So how do you fix this meatball conundrum?? Freeze them of course! Nothing is easier than coming home from work when you don’t feel like cooking and sticking some frozen balls in the microwave. Heat those baby’s up, smother ’em in Prego and gently place upon a bed of pasta. Tada! Instant (and almost home cooked) meal. But how do you freeze them so they don’t stick together? Oh don’t you worry my little ones, I shall teach you all the tricks of the trade. And if you already know, well pin a rose on your nose because J didn’t and he’s my test subject. If J doesn’t know things I assume others don’t as well.
And now, on to balls…
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 lb ground turkey or beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (panko or regular – your choice)
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- In a pan, heat olive oil on medium heat
- Meanwhile, add all remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
- Using your hands, get ready to get down and dirty (ie remove all rings and jewelry that may get soiled…oops) and squish and squash all that good stuff together until combined.
- Begin to form the meat mixture into balls. You can make them and big or as small as you want just keep in mind that cooking times will need to be adjusted accordingly. I usually do about ping-pong ball size.
- Place the meatballs one at a time into the pan moving clockwise around the circumference. I do this so I know which ones have been cooking the longest and can flip them in the correct order.
- Flip the meatballs once to brown both sides.
- Lower the heat to medium low and cover. Continue to fry until cooked through – about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the balls from the heat and place on a paper towel to drain. Allow for them to cool.
- Lining a baking sheet with wax paper, place the meatballs on the sheet – not touching – and put in the freezer for 1/2 an hour.
- Once the balls are frozen, place them in a freezer bag. Freezing the meatballs individually first will keep them frozen separately in the bag. So now you can remove as few or as many as you want. Brilliant!
Nomnomnom. Happy Weekend!