Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Basil Meatballs

I am not sure there are many things in the world as good as fresh herbs.  I recommend everyone grow an herb garden!   For beginning cooks,  buy fresh herbs at the supermarket!  Your probably thinking, how do I keep them fresh?  Well, this is a trick I learned from Rachel "let's see how much I can carry in one trip during my 30 minute cooking show" Ray.  Seriously, anyone else notice she doesn't like to take more than one trip to the fridge or pantry?  She will pile ingredients up past her face then try to walk with them.  I guess that's how she solidifies that her meals only take 30 minutes to make.  Lies.  Anyway, I digress...

1. Trim the bottom of your purchased herb bunch.
2. Dampen a papertowl.
3. Wrap the paper towel on the stems of your herb plant making one big bunch, like a bouquet if you will.
4. Place in a sealable plastic bag. 
5. Place in fridge.

Fresh herbs for at least week :) 

Of course, some people swear by jarred herbs.  However, as a home (professional in my mind) cook,  I feel they lack a little something. 

Basil Meatballs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes
Serves: 6

1 lb veal, pork, and ground meat (meatloaf) mix
1/2 can chickpeas, drained
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 bunch or approximatly 1 cup of basil,  ripped into medium size pieces
2 tbsp grated Romano Cheese (spaghetti cheese as it's called in my family)
1 egg
2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tbsp of olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil to aide in cleanup.  Spray with nonstick spray.
2.  Pulse drained chickpeas through a food processor so it is still kind of chunky, and not thin like hummus. Set aside.
3. In a large boil combine onion, garlic, cheese, salt, pepper, and your pureed chick peas.  Mix gently with your hands.
4. Lastly add in the basil and mix VERY GENTLY as to not bruise it too much.  Remember to mix everything gently otherwise your going to have little rock hard meatballs.
5.  Weigh out approximately 4 ounces of meat mixture and form into balls (about 6)
6. Begin placing the basil balls on your baking sheet a couple inches apart so they do not steam each other.
7.  Once all of the balls are on the baking sheet drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil over top.
8.  Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes until crispy brown on the bottom.   
9.  Heat up sauce of choice and serve :)


If you are planing to serve in sauce,  make sure they cool completely before you put them in the sauce or they will fall apart--and you will have meat sauce.  Which, is still a ok in my book.

Seriously, the best balls I ever made.  If you are like my family in your head your saying "that's what she said".