Meatball Trick

For most of my childhood, my parents made spaghetti & meatballs once a week during football season. That's right - every single week. Nope, we're not Italian...just football people. You see, it was my dad's tradition as a coach to invite the top four players of the week to our house for dinner, and spaghetti was the natural choice. Mom would make the sauce, and Dad would make the meatballs. He taught me how to make them without a recipe - add the egg and breadcrumbs, then the milk; add the spices - and you'd know you'd added enough oregano if the meat smelled right. Next, he'd fry the meatballs in a covered frying pan, which he usually placed on our deck outside to keep the house from smelling like smoke and grease. The finished product was delectable - fragrant, chubby balls of meat with a crispy, crunchy exterior. Add 'em to a bowl of Mom's amazing sauce and voila! A most memorable meal.

It's been a long time since I've had Mom and Dad's famous spaghetti, and I'll admit that I miss it enough to make a big batch once a year. The sauce is no problem - just let it simmer on a stovetop all day. But the meatballs have long been problematic in my kitchen because I don't have one of those covered frying pans. Reluctant to panfry on the stove (eww, too messy), past attempts to bake them have left me with so-so meatballs only because they're missing that crunchy crust. 

Last week, I discovered a solution. Bake the meatballs in a metal pan, and then leave them undisturbed for about 10-15 minutes so a crust can form on one side. Next, turn them and repeat the process. When two sides are darkened, wiggle the pan so that the meatballs spin in all directions. Then leave them in the oven awhile longer so that crust may continue to cook and brown. The end result is something quite similar to Dad's - though only a close second :) Oh, and only the inside of my oven gets spattered in oil (and that's a part of the kitchen no one sees)!  I'm sure many cooks of the world have known about this trick for years, but if you haven't...try immediately, and enjoy! 

No comments:

Post a Comment