About My Balls


I had no sooner started thinking about what I wanted to make for dinner when I opened the fridge and saw a pound of unused 90/10 ground beef. A minute later I found myself wrist deep in a mixture of beef, egg, breadcrumbs and spices.

Yes, yet again I am going to talk about meatballs.

Another five minutes later the oven had finished pre-heating and a cookie sheet was lined with uniformed sized balls of meat ready to bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Once in the oven I threw a large pan on the stove, added in some olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes and sautéed for a bit before adding in a large can of crushed tomatoes, a very generous dash or two of kosher salt, black pepper, some Italian seasoning, more red pepper flakes, and a pinch of sugar. Once it was all mixed together I turned it down to low and let it simmer for a bit before I put water on to boil for my pasta.

The pasta was added to the boiling water and would finish cooking just a few minutes after my balls were done in the oven. Soon the balls were out and placed in the sauce to stay warm. Then, right on time, the pasta was removed from heat, quickly drained, and added to the spicy, big balled sauce.

While I thought they were both very good, there was nothing all that special about my meatballs or my sauce. The meatballs were good, but they weren’t the fat-tastic, tasty balls of bliss that can be found in the pages of The Meatball Shop’s cookbook, or a recipe that you might get from an Italian-American TV chef who over pronounces any word remotely Italian (spa-HET-tee). I really hate watching Giada’s show, but sometimes it fuels a long time fantasy I’ve had that involves her, Laura Calder, Nigella Lawson, a large loaf of fresh-baked bread, several bottles cases of red wine, olive oil, various charcuterie, and a leather clad Ina Garten cracking a whip at us all in a locked 19th century butcher’s basement. Don’t judge, we all have our carnal desires food fantasies.

I digress, back to the balls…

What actually spawned this post that got out of hand very quickly, was me realizing that I had this entire meal done in just over thirty minutes. No, it’s not made with fresh tomatoes, farm fresh eggs, grass-fed beef, bread crumbs from milled from angel farts or anything like that, but it was made by me, not some eighteen year old kid at Itali-Anne-Oh Hut® that just went knuckle deep on his itchy ass before he dipped his hands in the meatball mixture. It was in my kitchen and I know what’s in it (for the most part).

I was also able to cut some fat and calories by using 90/10 ground beef and Egg Beaters, thus keeping it at least a LITTLE healthier, unlike “time saving” pre-package frozen meatballs that can come in at 26 grams of fat per 2.5 oz. serving. That’s like three tiny, crap meatballs. Blah!

I know, I have the benefit/misfortune of being at home and some extra time on my hands, but I used to make the same sort of meals after eight hours of work and two hours on the bike. No, I’m not on any nutritional high horse or anything like that (I can’t ride that horse with this belly and beers in both hands), I’m just saying making a meal at home that you have control over the ingredients, portions, etc. is pretty freaking easy and doesn’t take that much time. Some people probably spend fifteen minutes in a rush time drive-thru line just to avoid making burger at home that takes roughly eight minutes (based on my last burger’s cook time).

I don’t know why I post this crap, maybe I just wanted an excuse to see how that Giada/Calder/Nigella/Ina fantasy looked typed out. My gut says I shouldn’t send that one into Penthouse Forum Bon Appétit any time soon.


Notes of note:

[1] Sorry for the crappy food pic. I was in a hurry and had crap lighting.
[2] None of the ingredients I used today would be my first choice for super tasty meatballs. Not enough fat. Fatty balls are for weekends and special occasions.
[3] Sorry for this post in general, the weather sucked so I had to do an indoor workout. No one wants to read about me on a treadmill or bench press 90 pounds.
[4] Hey, look, I’m using that same graphic that I used in a meatball post almost two years ago. It’s still brilliant crap!


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