December 8, 2013

Homemade meatballs

It's clear that I like to cook, but I love it when cooking a meal transports me back to another time in my life.  Living in Belgium in 2005 & 2006, I became good friends with a handful of Italians that were also in the quaint town of Leuven, Belgium for a year-long Economics Masters program.  My friend and neighbor, Tonia, taught me how to make homemade meatballs.  I know people sometimes cook these in an oven.  But, we were students - we didn't have an oven.

I lost touch with Tonia after the school year ended, but just a few days after cooking the recipe she taught me, I reconnected with her on facebook through another Italian friend from school.  Talk about following your passion... I learned that she opened her own restaurant in Brussels!  I'll take that over Econometrics any day!

What's in the fridge:
- About 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 4 TBSP pesto (my addition)
- Vegetable oil - enough so that it's 1/2 inch deep in your skillet

- Mix together with your hands all the ingredients with the exception of oil

Ingredients ready to be mixed
- Form meat into about 1 1/2 inch in diameter balls
- In the meantime, heat oil in skillet on med-high.
- Place the meat in the heated skillet once hot enough.  Test the heat by dipping your fingers in water then sprinkling the water (a very little bit!!!!) in the oil.  If it splatters, you're good.

- Cook for 7 minutes on each side, trying to get them to balance on four sides.  About 25-30 minutes total.

- Remove and set aside on a paper towel.
- Attention!  You now had a skillet full of hot oil - be safe.  

- Plate and serve with your favorite side-dish!  
Here, I topped the meatballs with labneh cheese (like creme fraiche) and chives.  The side was left-over squash gratin from Thanksgiving from the Food Network Magazine.

Buon Appetito!

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