Saturday, April 23, 2011

Making Meatballs

We just put about 110 meatballs in the oven. I wish I could say that we cranked 'em out, but it didn't go that fast. We had a glitch with the grinder (aka not following directions for proper assembly) but once that got fixed the grinding went quickly. I then mixed in the seasonings and eggs and had already decided to leave out the breadcrumbs based on past experience with meatballs that tasted too little like meat. Well guess what? No breadcrumbs means gooey wet mixture, so I stopped in the middle to go buy breadcrumbs.

This is where the rabbit trail starts. I don't recall ever buying breadcrumbs, so had no idea where to find them. My first hope was with the natural foods, so they'd be short on ingredients. Nope, none there. Baking aisle? Nope, not there either. Maybe with beans and rice? Unh-uh. Stuffing mix? Wrong again. I finally found them with the instant mashed potatoes. Have you ever read the ingredient list on breadcrumbs?? It was 4 inches long! I didn't even need to read each item to know that if it's that long there's surely at least 1 item in there that I don't want to put in my HOMEMADE MEATBALLS that I'm making to AVOID those ingredients.
Plan B. Wait, I don't have a Plan B. Crackers? Could I smash up crackers and end up with something like breadcrumbs? It'd be worth a try. Even in the natural foods section it was a challenge to find crackers without soy lecithin or corn starch. I did finally though, so I headed home and engaged my cracker smasher (5 yo son). One more round of running my hands thru all the gooey mess and then on to production!

I used the medium scooper from PC to size them and Tony rolled them into better balls. Ours were a bit bigger than the recipe called for, so we cooked them for 20 minutes, then switched to broil for a few minutes to really brown them up. Here's how they look:

They taste pretty good too!  We'll eat a few today, some Monday night for a spaghetti pot luck and freeze the rest for quick lunches, and maybe those nights when I just don't feel like cooking.