Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quick and Easy Meatballs

Rick asked this morning, "And what are we having on top of our salad?" Meaning what protein product would keep us from being grouchy all afternoon. Of course, it's the meatballs I baked and froze a couple days ago and I watched a smile spread over his face.

This is a new discovery for Rick. It was with trepidation that I started adding cold meatballs to the salad at all, thinking that he would object because they were new and therefore "uncouth." I underestimated him. They are the nuggets of heaven and can be broken up, sliced or served whole on salads or warmed in the soup. As a matter of fact, a couple meatballs added to the "Vegetarian Pea Soup" last week made the soup very acceptable to the family carnivore.

I made the meatballs at first when I did not have enough meatloaf mix for another mini-meatloaf. I baked them in a 8 x 8 inch dish, not touching each other, for about 25 minutes, then packed them in a ZipLock when they were cool. Six meatballs were enough for two lunches. I have now graduated to making 40 meatballs at a time on two cookie sheets using about 4 pounds of ground round.

Because I bake them and don't fry them, the cook time is hands off and the fat runs off. I don't put them in a sauce, so far we've used them up quickly and no freezer burn. They are discreet portions, too, good for a diet.

As you can see, I'm a big fan of oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs to stretch the beef and help it stay together. I also like the Worcestershire sauce but like to stay away from catchup, so here is my tasty recipe. Any meatloaf recipe will do, though.

Meat-a-balls-ah

Makes 40, 20 lunch servings

1 1/2 c. oatmeal
1 c. water
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
4 eggs
1 tsp. dried basil and oregano total
1 T. dried parsley
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
Ground black pepper
4 lb. ground beef

Mix the oatmeal and water in a bowl and microwave for 1 - 2 minutes. Cool slightly. Place in a 6 quart bowl. Add the tomato sauce and the other ingredients through pepper. Mix well. Add the hamburger and mix until all ingredient are well distributed.

Line a cookie sheet with non-stick foil or spray or grease lightly. Form 2 ounce meatballs and place evenly spaced on the cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until brown.

Cool completely, then freeze in a plastic bag.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Jen,
I made meatballs not that long ago - and did a sour cream/red wine sauce to serve with them. But if you hadn't seen it, here's a great recipe for dressing a salad with meat in it.