Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm BACK! Spaghetti and Meatballs

Yes, I know, I have taken a long hiatus from posting.  And it is not only that I have taken a break from blogging; I have taken a break from cooking.  Quick meals like PB&J or take out have become a nightly thing for me.  I intend to change that.

A couple nights ago I was chatting on the phone with my little sister, and I was telling her that I just don't have the energy to cook for myself.  She agreed that it is hard to do so with long work hours and only yourself to feed.  We hung up, and I immediately went to my freezer, grabbed a package of ground beef and a package of ground pork and put them in some warm water (my quick defrost method of choice).  This was at about 7.30 or 8pm.  By 10 or so, I was devouring some of the best tasting spaghetti and meatballs I have had in a while.

So, yes, 10pm is a bit late to eat.  But it was so worth it.  And instead of staring bleary eyed at the TV, I was doing something I truly love.  I was cooking.  Not only that, but I made enough to last me a couple days, so last night and tonight I have enjoyed 2 more delicious home cooked meals, saving my self from more nights of take out.

The recipe comes from a couple different places.  When I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs, I first did what I usually do.  I turned to Martha.  So, I started with her basic spaghetti and meatballs recipe.  But, soon after, I was on the phone with my mom telling her I was going to make meatballs, and she told me that she had a recipe for Sriracha spaghetti and meatballs (from the Oregonian), that she was going to put in the mail for me.  She read it to me over the phone.  I took those two recipes and made the below.

- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese + 
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Jar of marinara sauce (I know... I am just being honest here.  I used Trader Joe's marinara)
- 1/4 cup Sriracha

1.  Put beef and pork in a large bowl.

2.  In a smallish bowl, lightly beat the egg and water.  Add the parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, 1/2 the garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. Mix.  Add to the beef and pork.

3.  Mix everything together.

4.  Form into meatballs in the size of your liking.  Normally recipes tell you to make them about 1.5 inches in diameter, but I like my meatballs bigger.  So, do it how you want to do it, but know that the bigger meatballs take longer to cook.

5.  Heat some olive oil in a cast iron (or other) skillet.  Brown the meatballs on all sides.

6.  Take the meatballs out of the skillet.  Drain the skillet if there is a lot of fat in it (I didn't drain it.  There wasn't that much fat.)  Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.  Add the marinara and the Sriracha.  Stir.  

7.  Put the meatballs in the sauce, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or so.  

8.  In the meantime, boil some water and cook the spaghetti to al dente.  Follow the directions on the package.

9.  Put some spaghetti on a plate, put some sauce on top, put a couple meatballs on that, sprinkle on some cheese, and enjoy!

I feel like none of the pics adequately show the size of the meatballs I made.  They're about 3.5 inches in diameter. 

Two notes:

1.  I inadvertently arranged the uncooked meatballs like I was going to play Beirut.  Muscle memory is incredible.

2.  I should give credit for this post happening to Santina and her incredible fashion blog.  She's soon going to post a link to Princeton Eats Portland, and it would be really sad if the latest post was from January.

Bon appetit!