Thursday, January 15, 2015

Homemade Meatball Sliders

As detailed last fall, we loved Emporio -- A Meatball Joint.  So when my normally non-red-meat-eating wife requested a dinner of Meatball Sliders, I was a little surprised.  When I asked if she wanted turkey meatballs, she said no, just regular ground meat.

So when it comes to meatballs, I turned to the source for my favorite ones -- my mom.  Her meatballs were always light, not dense like those ones you find at church functions, buffets at weddings, or in the frozen food section.

1 lb of ground meat (85-15%)
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/4 cup of parmesean cheese
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of parsley (I used dry parsley)
1 tsp olive oil

I got 14 slightly bigger than a golf ball-sized meatballs out of the recipe.  Since I knew I was going to put them on little slider buns, I flattened them a little on the bottom.  I baked them in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes, flipping them over after 15 minutes.

While they were baking in the oven, I made my standard pesto sauce (spinach, parm, olive oil, one garlic clove) but used some almonds, in lieu of pine nuts -- because I didn't want to spend money on both this week.

When the meatballs came out, I put one on each slider bun, then topped the meatball and bun top with the pesto sauce.  I sprinkled the slider with some fresh parm and served them up.

I asked DB~ how they compared to Emporio.  Of course she blew sunshine all over me and said they were better, but I have to admit that they were very, very good.  I asked her if they reminded her of Emporio and all she said she remembered of Emporio was "poop", thanks to db` having a blowout halfway through our meal.

My whole life, my mom has always made me a Tupperware container of meatballs and red sauce.  This was the first time I've made them on my own.  DB~ doesn't like red sauce, hence we eat pesto most of the time.  I don't even miss red sauce anymore, but it's nice to know that I have an excellent meatball recipe in my back pocket now.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's Eve 2014 Dinner

DB~ and I took our pilgrimage to the Strip for our annual New Year's Eve dinner.  DB~ had her heart set on crab legs again, so we knew a trip to Wholey's was on the docket.  I wanted to eat something that had some feet on the ground, so I thought that Strip District Meats was in my future.  Each are on opposite ends of the Penn Avenue drag, so negotiating with an infant (and a few other stops in between) would be a challenge.

We got two jumbo crab legs for DB~.  After looking at them, DB~ remarked that she wanted to see the whole crab put together that spawned those legs.  My trip to Strip District Meats was a little more frustrating.  First, I had to wait to be served until an older lady was done making the counter girl check nearly every slab of ribs for the perfect ones.  It was excruciating.

Finally, when I was waited on I was told that they were completely out of rabbit tenderloins.  I had to switch to Plan B and chose one of my personal favorites -- quail.  Instantly, I knew that I wanted to do a raspberry-based sauce for the quail, so I picked up some of those.

When it was time to make dinner (meaning, when db` was going to bed), I did a peanut crust on the quail.  First, I seasoned two of them with salt and pepper.  Then I lightly brushed them with egg and pressed chopped peanuts on to the birds.  I put them in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.

At the same time, I put in some yellow squash that were drizzled with homemade pesto.  After 10 minutes, I put some chunks of sheep-goat cheese on top, too.  When the squash came out, I stacked them in little towers for the presentation factor.

When the quail came out, I let them rest on the pan for a few minutes, then drizzled the reduced pureed raspberry, honey, balsamic vinegar sauce on the birds.  Each of us had some basic couscous to eat, as well.

Everything was great, even if we had to whisper to not wake up a sleeping infant.