Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Meatballs and a Pinterest project

For the past year or so, I've been making these meatballs roughly every two months from the same recipe, and I haven't told you about it, which is a crime, because they are the best meatballs I've ever had.

I think I first had them at a potluck of sorts, and then asked a co-worker for the recipe, which turned out to be gluten-free. There's a tomato sauce recipe that goes with them, but I haven't made it that far. The meatballs had me at hello, I guess.

Anyway, the gluten-free part is nice, but it's the mix of herbs and spices that steals the show. These blend beautifully with tomato sauce, but can stand on their own without any problem. A meatball worthy of the name.

I've tweaked the recipe and also screwed it up enough times now that I have a few dos and don'ts for this one. One, do use a mixture of ground beef and ground sausage. Two, try the almond meal instead of breadcrumbs. Three, don't leave out the cinnamon. Four, make plenty!

Meatballs, adapted from The Chestnut Inn cookbook
Makes about 32 1 1/4 in. meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. mild spice ground sausage
1 cup almond meal (for gluten-free meatballs) or breadcrumbs
1 T. cilantro
1 T. oregano
1 T. kosher salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. coriander
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. cracked black pepper
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine everything in a bowl and mix well, adding more meal or breadcrumbs if needed. I use a 2 T. scoop to make the meatballs.

Coat a large shallow baking pan with oil, and place meatballs at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

You can freeze these and then reheat in the crockpot or microwave, or in spaghetti sauce. I've also used these with a barbecue sauce and grape jelly mixture for appetizers.

Recently, I used the meatballs to make meatball sandwiches for dinner. After the meatballs were done, I turned the oven down to 300 degrees. Then I toasted the buns on my flat cast-iron skillet. I added four meatballs to each openface bun, topped it with Hunt's tomato sauce and shredded colby and Monterey jack cheeses. I baked the sandwiches for about 5-10 minutes, and then served with additional sauce. Good stuff!

P.S. A Pinterest update:

In the name of trying new things, recently I made homemade soap from a recipe posted by Bonnie Projects. The recipe worked well, it smells great, and I filled a ton of jars for less than $3.

However, I have to tell you, now I think I know what they used for the ectoplasm in Ghostbusters. The resemblance, while nicely fragranced, was disturbing. That said... if you're in the market for a way to convert bars of soap into liquid soap, Bonnie Projects can help you out. (One down, 1,000 Pinterest projects to go!)

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