As you may have guessed, I love me some cheesy titles. I giggle maniacally as I brainstorm the lamest of the lame...and yes, I am that easily amused. I hope they give you a chuckle, too.
So, Boyfriend's birthday was about a week ago and we decided to host a potluck party...mainly because last time we threw a party and cooked everything ourselves, barely anyone ate! So, in lieu of gifts, people were instead asked to bring a yummy dish. It ended up working out really well; there was plenty of food, yet only a limited amount of leftovers. Plus, it just so happens that mostly everyone in our circle of friends is a decent cook. Whoddathunkit?
Since everyone else was expected to cook, I thought it was only right that I also attempt to make something edible. I decided to make my grandma's famous (well, famous to our family, anyway) meatballs.
Not only did they come out edible, but they tasted good!
Of course, I wouldn't be me if I didn't have a story to go along with the recipe, a generalized version of which appears below...can't give out ALL of Grandma's secrets, now can I? :)
As you will see, the recipe calls for a few cloves of garlic. Is it so wrong that I was actually unsure of what constituted a "clove"? I've never cooked with garlic myself, and for some reason, I've always assumed that a clove referred to the whole, unpeeled item that you buy in a grocery store. I had about five "cloves" and I was sitting at my kitchen table, peeling and chopping until my fingertips were aching, all the while thinking to myself, "I never realized Grandma's meatballs had SO MUCH garlic in them...my tastebuds must be warped". Luckily, I got a telephone call from my sister, a person who actually knows what she's doing in the kitchen. After letting suspicion gnaw at my gut, I finally plucked up the courage to risk ridicule and ask her exactly what a "clove" was.
Thank goodness. My sister's cackle of laughter was well worth the avoidance of killing my guests with garlic. Now I know the difference between a clove and a head of garlic, and my sister has fresh material to tease me with. And, Sis, if you're reading this...it's okay, because I'm still the cute one. Ha.
My other brilliant move was to NOT pay attention to labels on breadcrumb packages. I'm sure the meatballs would have had an interesting texture had I left the Panko breadcrumbs in the mixture, but I realized my mistake before I worked them in, therefore saving myself 3lbs of meat and about $15. I just had to sit there for the next 10 minutes and pick out every single morsel. Sigh.
I'm beginning to wonder if my inability to cook is actually due to ditziness and impatience, instead of just lack of talent. Hmm...
Well, after all that, the meatballs still came out pretty darn well. I was so relieved! The recipe below makes about 20 good-sized meatballs and is fairly straightforward. I'm looking forward to making them again soon...hopefully withOUT the mishaps!
Grandma's Famous Meatballs
3lbs of ground beef
1 cup of plain breadcrumbs/crumbled stale Italian bread
1 cup grated cheese (parmesan or romano, whichever you prefer)
2 16oz cans of crushed tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1. In a large pot, empty the cans of crushed tomatoes and set it aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine groud beef, salt, pepper, 2/3 of cheese, eggs, parsley, and garlic.
3. Slowly add breadcrumbs and water to mixture, kneading as you go. Roll mixture into meatball (about 2.5 inches in diameter).
4. Lightly oil a heavy skillet and brown meatballs until they are evenly cooked on all sides.
5. Add the meatballs and the final large spoonful of parmesan cheese to the pot, along wit a teaspoon of salt.
6. Cover the pot an bring to a boil. After sauce and meatballs are brought to a boil, let simmer for two hours.