The weather here is very strange at the moment. From Monday to Thursday last week, I walked on average 20,000 steps per day as I wandered around the city with a friend visiting from London. Jumpers had to be tied round our waists, and we were in t-shirts, wearing sunglasses, and, indeed, on Thursday afternoon we sat outside, having a glass of wine and enjoying the sun. All changed on Friday with heavy rain; Saturday, more rain and a distinct drop in temperature; yesterday (Sunday), the temperature was 3 deg as we went to bed and Dad even put the heating on for a while. The temperature is currently 4 deg, the sun is shining and I see that we will be back up to 18 deg tomorrow. It’s November and so I am not complaining, I am just trying to show you how confused my brain has been with regard to what to cook. We have a guest coming for dinner tonight, and since it was so cold yesterday I made a pot of Spicy Tomato Soup (https://chinupdeepbreaths.com/2013/11/27/grow-old-along-with-me-the-best-is-yet-to-come/). I’m not sure it will be necessary today to warm our toes, but it tastes great even though I say it myself, and it is the most glorious deep red. I used Belazu Rose Harissa Paste and I think it has added an extra something. We have a friend arriving tomorrow who will be with us for a few days and, as I shopped yesterday, I was almost cross-eyed trying to work out what would be suitable in these unstable temperatures. I came to a decision and as I was walking home I was able to appreciate this sign.
I sometimes think that I am a strange cook – on the one hand, I am avidly interested in trying new recipes; on the other, I have favourite recipes to which I am ridiculously loyal. One of my absolute favourites foods (as mentioned here – https://chinupdeepbreaths.com/2013/04/18/one-recipe-two-outcomes/) is the meatball, and the recipe on that page is my absolute go to. Yesterday though, I decided to do something different, and jolly pleased I am too with the outcome. I haven’t thought of a snappy name so here is the recipe for Different Meatballs
- 2 cloved garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 450 g/1 lb minced veal
- 450 g/1 b minced beef – I used 5% fat
- 8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
- 50 g/2 oz breadcrumbs – I used Panko ready bought
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley – I used flat leaf
- Ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Olive oil
- Soften the garlic and the onion in a small amount of olive oil – don’t burn.
- Finely chop the bacon. If I’d been in London, I’d have used the meat mincer, but US bacon is very fatty and I think it was better to chop it. Mix together the three meats.
- Add the breadcrumbs, parsley, onion, garlic and eggs – season. I am not very good at seasoning meatballs and so I tend to make a little one and cook it to check that I haven’t under salted. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).
- Cover mixture and put in the fridge. My mixture was left overnight. It is much easier to shape the mixture when it’s cold. If you have to shape when it’s warmer, wet your hands.
- I made the meatballs about the size of a golf ball – I got 32 (excluding the extra couple I made to check for seasoning). Fry in olive oil – browning on all sides. The danger with meatballs is that the outside is brown and the inside still raw. Put the meatballs into oil over a medium-high heat Don’t overload the frying pan. When browned on all sides, turn down the heat so that the inside can cook.
- I am planning to serve these with tzatziki and salad, but you could put them in an oven-proof dish, cover with the contents of a tin of chopped tomatoes and bake in the oven. Bacon fat will flavour the tomato sauce so I don’t think I’d add anything else.
* The title came from Lemony Snicket, The Carnivorous Carnival – “Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear.”