Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I have never made my own meatballs before. I've seen lots of wonderful homemade meatballs on other blogs and considered making my own, but until now it has not happened. Over the weekend I flipped through the latest issue of food & family from Kraft Foods. After reading this recipe I knew that meatballs would be on the menu this week. This semi-homemade recipe is a winner! Not only are these so simple to make (only 4 ingredients!) but the recipe makes a big batch. The article recommended to use some now and freeze the rest for later. The magazine also provided two simple recipes for different sauces to serve with these meatballs. Love it! Next week I'll pull the rest of the meatballs from the freezer for a quick and easy Swedish-style meatball dinner. Thank you food & family!
I have to say, dinner was amazing! It is all cold and blustery and rainy outdoors here and we were warm and cozy around our dinner table enjoying this hearty and flavorful tomato basil cream sauce-meatball combination with garlic cheese bread.
The meatballs were a snap. Dump two pounds of ground beef, a box of Stove Top stuffing mix, water, and two eggs into a large bowl. I also added a little salt and pepper to amp up the flavor.
Mix until well combined. The most effective method, in my opinion, is to get in there and squish it all together with your (clean!) hands.
Scoop out the mixture by heaping tablespoonfulls and roll into balls between your hands. Place onto baking sheets lined with foil. I put a baking rack on one of the sheets so that the meatballs would not sit in their grease as they baked. Unfortunately, I only have one such rack. When the non-rack meatballs were finished baking, I drained the grease off of them by transferring em' to the rack.
Bake at 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until done. I went with 17 minutes.
Once the meatballs are cool, freeze half for later. I actually froze more than half. I made my meatballs a little smaller than recommended, so I ended up with about 4 dozen meatballs. I kept out 16 for dinner tonight and froze the rest for later.
The provided Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce recipe was also very simple. Just 3 ingredients: spaghetti sauce, cream cheese, and fresh basil. Of course, I have to go and complicate things. I almost never leave canned spaghetti sauce to stand on it's own when I serve it in my kitchen. So here's what I did...
I minced 4 cloves of garlic and sliced some mushrooms. Saute in a skillet until the mushrooms are tender.
Now dump in the jar of spaghetti sauce. I just used the first one that I grabbed from my pantry. It was a store brand tomato basil sauce. After I stirred it into the mushrooms and garlic, I heated through and gave it a taste. Then I played with it a bit, adding a little salt and sugar until it was "just right".
Stir in 2 oz. of cream cheese (I used Neuchatel) and 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil.
Add in the meatballs.
Serve the sauce and meatballs over pasta, topped with grated Parmesan cheese.
The Best Meatballs from Kraft food & family adapted slightly by me
2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1- 1/4 cups water
salt and pepper
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Mix ingredients until blended; shape into balls. Each meatball= 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture.
2. Place meatballs on each prepared pan. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until done.
3. Freeze half or more of meatballs for later. Combine 16 meatballs with Tomato-Basil Cream sauce.
Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce from Kraft food & family adapted by me
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 jar spaghetti sauce
salt and sugar to taste
2 oz. Neuchatel cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Heat oil in a skillet. Saute garlic and mushrooms until mushrooms are tender. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Heat through. Salt and sugar to taste. Stir in cream cheese and basil until cheese is melted and heated through. Add in meatballs. Cover and cook until heated through. Serve over hot pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
4 servings, 4 meatballs and 1/3 cup sauce each.