Monday, March 10, 2014

My Meatball Recipe

Sophia's Modern Twist on Meatballs

Can make 12 meatballs which is 4 servings, but we often get 18... or 24... depending on how big/small we make them. Bake and then freeze  in air tight container for a quick meal. They age well, as many Italian foods do.

To bake put oven 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray Takes about 15 - 20 minutes to prep and 20 - 25 minutes to bake. Use an oven thermometer if you are not sure about your oven accuracy as mileage may vary.

 1 pound extra lean ground beef ( I use Laura's Beef )
 1/8 teaspoon salt  ( I Originally omitted the salt)
 ¼ cup finely diced onion

 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (Omit if you don't like garlic)

 1 Tablespoon of  Italian seasoning   (yes, I said TBSP)        
 ½  teaspoon  dried oregano
 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to add a small kick
 1  teaspoon Worcestershire sauce  (I've sometimes used 2  teasp adds more flavor)
 1/3 cup skim milk or water* (Sometimes I don't add this depending on size egg I use. It's not necessary to add more moisture..i just go by feel.)
 1 egg, beaten 
 1  cup Unseasoned low sodium bread crumbs ( I use unseasoned Panko, 40 mg sodium 1/2 cup) Never use the seasoned kind as they will ruin the flavor of these.

Most bread and bread crumbs are insanely high in sodium! If you should substitute oatmeal, the texture will be  different. A bit mushier. I like a firm meatball.

The reasons I add so many herbs is that we originally made this without any salt added, and only 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire though similar recipes may call for a Tablespoon of such a sauce.  I use a mortar pestle for my herbs to release more flavor but that is a personal thing. Be careful if grinding hot pepper flakes as to not inhale the dust (!) but it distributes the heat more evenly without over powering.

Put meat in mixing bowl and add all the ingredients in this order:

Dry, then wet and then egg.

Mix together by hand or if you have a stand mixer, use the flat beater on low speed to mix up. I like to let my mixture sit in the fridge for an hour or so to firm up if I have time, but you can certinaly make them right away if you don't like handling super cold things. Then make golf ball -sized meatballs and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  If in doubt to doneness, check center of meatball to make sure it's not still pink.

Heat  meatballs in Marinara sauce for 30 minutes before serving or pop the cooled meatballs in freezer for later use with pasta or in a sandwich.

Next, will be my low sodium marinara sauce.

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