Family-Style Meatball “Fondue”

Is anyone else dragging this AM?  I’m not sure if the time change is to blame or having a 6-week baby…  Either way, I’m ready for bed and it’s not even lunch time.  Despite the sleepy eyes over here, I’m determined to have a great week.

But rewind – how was your weekend?  Ours didn’t go quite as we anticipated but we had a wonderful weekend as a family of three.  We had a low-key evening in on Friday night and then on Saturday we had a family day-date!  Tacos and an adult beverage for the win.  I think BG is starting to change her schedule on me but I’m okay with it if that means more sleep at night.  I’m trying not to stress myself out over a “schedule” but it’s hard because I thrive on schedules.  And on Sunday we had the laziest of days and instead of pizza we switched it up with family-style meatball “fondue.”  I keep wanting to type “fundue” – which is appropriate because it was a FUN way to eat.

The meatballs are made with lean ground beef (the recipe called for turkey but we switched it up), grated zucchini, chopped onion, oregano, salt, pepper and an egg.  There’s no breadcrumbs so it will seem a little “loose” but I promise they firm up in the oven.  The meatballs are baked until cooked through.

While the meatballs are cooking, it’s time to make the sauce.  Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in a little olive oil and then add in marinara (Newman’s Own is my favorite) and a little water.  Simmer about 5 minutes and then add in the meatballs once they are done cooking.  Gently mix to coat the meatballs and then top with mozzarella.

Finally, broil the whole skillet to melt the cheese and serve with toasted baguette on the side.

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Such a delicious dinner.  And while I missed our tradition of pizza (we’re already planning this Sunday’s pizza) I can’t say I didn’t love these saucy meatballs.  And the mushrooms were fantastic on a piece of baguette.

I hope you all have a great week!

 

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Sheet Pan Swedish Meatballs

I absolutely love the “Cook Once, Eat 3 Times” feature in Cooking Light.  The first recipe is typically more labor intensive but it sets you up for a week of dinner.  In a perfect world, I would have made these meatballs on a Sunday along with creamy mashed potatoes and a bottle of Pinot Noir.  Hey, a girl can day dream during her wine hiatus.  The recipe makes a huge batch of meatballs which will be used for two more recipes throughout the week (or you can freeze the extra meatballs and eat later – which makes me want to make this again and freeze for post-baby).

The meatballs are made by forming 1 1/2 inch balls from a mixture of beef, pork (you could totally use all beef but pork adds rich flavor), sautéed onion, and garlic with salt, fennel, red pepper, pepper, and torn bread.  The meatballs cook on broil for 7-12 minutes depending on whether you broil on HIGH or LOW (I went with LOW).

While the meatballs are cooking, make your sauce.  A little leftover raw meatballs mixture is sautéed before adding in allspice.  Cook for 30 seconds then add in beef broth with cornstarch (I used 2 teaspoons instead of the flour).  Bring to a boil and allow to cook until reduced to one cup, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add in the sour cream and butter along with apple cider vinegar and fresh dill.

Serve the meatballs alongside the delicious sauce.

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To keep dinner on the lighter side (we had a late/heavier lunch), I served the meatballs with roasted broccolini.  But like I mentioned before, the meatballs would be delicious over mashed potatoes.  The sauce is screaming for them.

Big Guy and I both went wild over this dinner and were so impressed with the flavor and texture of the meatballs.  The fennel, allspice and dill are all totally necessary and you can taste all three without them competing with one another.

Up next, turning the meatballs into rice bowls…

Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Grits + Sesame Spinach

Grits vs. Polenta

It’s a battle that’s forever happening in my kitchen.

And I bring it on myself.  I know that both are made from stone-ground corn so what’s the difference?!?!

I finally did a google search (why it took so long, I’ll never know) and here’s what I found:

While both grits and polenta are made from stone-ground cornmeal, “Southern grits and Italian polenta are traditionally made from two vastly different types of corn. How many times it’s milled and the fineness of the grind also differ. And then there’s the taste and texture.” – thekitchn.com

I agree, there is a difference but I also think that in most recipes they are interchangeable. (Don’t send hate mail if you disagree.)

I grew up eating grits – grits with cheese and butter.  Oh, yes.  I mean, I used to have cheese grits as an afternoon snack after school.  Seriously.

I’ve always loved grits.  But I also love polenta.

To me, polenta is a little firmer and and smoother while grits are a little more “watery” and grainy.

And all this to say, while the original recipe called for polenta – I had grits.  And it turned out FANTASTIC.

This is one of those recipes that I wish I could make again.  As in today.

I used ground beef (95/5) instead of turkey but kept the remaining ingredients the same.  A little heat, a little sweet, a little sour and a lot of savory.

It’s incredibly delicious.  And for a little green, sesame spinach on the side.

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I promise you’ll love this Asian twist on meatballs.

Regardless of whether you serve them on top of polenta or grits.