Cook Cook Cook

I have had these pictures forever (well, since the day after Thanksgiving) but I’ve been busy plundering the land of Skyrim. The game was a Christmas gift last year and I didn’t start playing it until just recently and I’m addicted. It’s so amazing.

In addition to exploding Pyrex, we had food! Loads of delicious food. And I’d like to share a recipe here.  I’ll be adding more soon.

I have a few menu items which are old standbys. One of the new things I made this year was pasta with meatballs. This, as I’ve often mentioned, was the only item my brothers and I cared about at family holiday meals. We have pasta with homemade sauce about once a week. Since it’s a normal food for us, I don’t think to make it for holidays. I’ve written about homemade pasta sauce before. It’s so easy; I don’t understand how anyone would use that crap out of a jar. Unilever (corporate owner of Ragu) should stick to soap.

Wait! Ragu was meant to be just as it is. For Ragu is to pasta sauce what Axe body spray is to cologne!

Sorry tangent.

Anyway, to make it special, I decided to try a new meatball recipe. I found one by Michael Symon that uses ricotta cheese. Mmmmmmmmm ricotta cheese. My ambivalence for Michael Symon was tipped by my love of ricotta cheese!

You can find this recipe, with slight tweaks all over. The version I riffed on was printed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

I decided I was going to use chicken. I had some lovely chicken breasts and a meat grinder.

It’s ancient. It was my grandmother’s. She also gave me a manual meat grinder (I was going to say hand grinder but that just doesn’t sound right).

The blades are so old that it takes forever. Every bit of tendon and fat clogs up the stupid things. But I can say that I made this. I ground more meat than I needed for the meatballs. I used the rest to make these little chicken dumplings, but that’s another story.

I, of course, made the bread for the day-old bread used in the meatball recipe. I just made a basic loaf in the bread machine. Then I made another loaf too because I needed day-old bread for stuffing and for bread pudding.

I ended up with a bit too much, not nearly as much extra as one would think however, and had the kids throw the excess to the birds. Unfortunately, my son threw it on the driveway. The birds didn’t go for it and it looked like crap. The neighbors must love us.

Here’s the stale bread soaked with milk:

I used part white and part whole wheat bread. My mom swears that my grandmother made her meatballs with milk-soaked bread. I don’t remember that being in her recipe. I remember her using bread crumbs.

Here’s the mixture before cooking.

SAMSUNGI saw online that the recipe Michael Symon provided for ABC included nutmeg. Yeah, no thanks. Anyway, here are the meatballs pan frying. Because they were chicken and I didn’t use oil, they were a bit misshapen. They tasted awesome though.

Except for my oldest, everyone loved them. My oldest decided recently that she hates chicken. I have decided that I don’t care. She can cook her own food.

I’m keeping this recipe. When I get to it I’ll share an excellent recipe for green bean casserole. It’s so good that people invited to my house for holiday meals ask if I’ll be making it again. So I do.



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