Category: Baking

Jul92013

Baked Meatballs

baked meatballs

I know, it’s been a few months. But I’m back! And I’ve got a bunch of new recipes that I’ve tried and loved. This one has been sitting here for a little bit but I’ve had to fight the urge to become a puddle on the floor, which is all I feel like doing in the summer.

Anyway, I know it goes against everything I complain about in the summer, but this recipe for Baked Meatballs is worth turning on the oven. It’s easy and delicious, and the cooked meatballs freeze beautifully. I make a double batch and use half of it for spaghetti, and the other half for meatball sandwiches.

The original recipe came from Alton Brown, but I’ve adapted it to fit what I like to work with — and also because I’m too cheap to buy lamb and ground pork. This works really well with all-beef, or half beef and half ground turkey.

baked meatballsThe first couple of times I made this, I patted the mixture down onto a cutting board and cut the meatballs out with a knife to make sure they were all the right size. I then realized my 1 tablespoon scoop would do a much better and less messy job, and I haven’t looked back.

Don’t skip the bread crumbs on the outside — it adds crunch and a little extra flavor.

Baked Meatballs
adapted from Alton Brown

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 whole egg
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, divided

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, cheese, egg, basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Mix all ingredients until well incorporated.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup of bread crumbs into a small bowl. Scoop meatballs using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop. Roll each ball in the remaining bread crumbs and place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Try not to eat them all before they make it into the spaghetti.

baked meatballs

I dump everything but the meat into a bowl first, it makes for easier mixing and makes sure everything is distributed evenly.

baked meatballs

baked meatballs

Roll each meatball in bread crumbs — it gives it really great texture.

baked meatballs

I still love my pan-lining parchment/foil stuff!

Mar302013

Fish Fingers and Custard for the Doctor

fish fingers and custard

The family and I are celebrating the return of one of our favorite geeky shows tonight with fish fingers and custard! If you’re also a Doctor Who fan you know what’s up, if not you can get a little background here.

This is actually a surprise for the girls — they know I’ve been in the kitchen all morning baking but haven’t been allowed to come in and see what it is yet. And with that I have to admit that it’s not really fish fingers — we’re not that hardcore! These are actually shortbread cookies rolled in graham cracker crumbs, swiped from bakingdom.

fish fingers and custard

We’re fairly new to the Doctor Who obsession — I want to say it’s only been a year or so — but it makes my little sci-fi heart happy, and fills a void left by Battlestar Galactica and Firefly and Star Trek: The Next Generation as a teen (it was not cool to be into sci-fi when I was a teenager so many hundreds of years ago, so it’s fun to get into it with the girls now, as evidenced by the TARDIS cake for the 14-year-old last November).

fish fingers and custard

The custard (actually vanilla pudding) was also homemade because I’d already run out once to pick up forgotten graham crackers, and I couldn’t bring myself to run out again for a box of pudding. I put up with standing at the stove for what seemed like forever, but it was worth it. Homemade pudding is cool.

fish fingers and custard

The fish fingers are delicious too, very light and crunchy. They’re really close to being too salty, though, so when I make them again I’ll go with just 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

If you’re a geek at heart and a fan of the Doctor, you can get the fish finger cookie recipe from bakingdom.com, and the homemade vanilla pudding recipe I used is below:

Homemade Vanilla Pudding
serves 6

3/4 c granulated sugar
3 Tb cornstarch
3 c cold milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tb butter
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add milk and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until bubbly. Lower heat and cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually stir 1 cup of the milk mixture into the beaten eggs.

Add the egg mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture and bring almost to a bubble but do not boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.

Pour pudding into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least six hours before serving.

Jan222013

TWD: French Apple Tart

French Apple Tart

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is French Apple Tart, and is hosted by Gaye, who has the recipe on her blog.

French Apple Tart

As others participating pointed out, this was a really labor-intensive recipe! It easily took half a day to complete, and while it was delicious I’m not quite sure it was worth it. The whole family loves apples and apple desserts, but I kind of wish I’d followed a few of the tips that pointed out you could just use a jar of apple sauce for the filling.

I actually left out the fresh white bread crumbs because I didn’t have any (just wheat, which probably would have been fine), but it worked just as well.

I also wish I’d stuck with my usual pie crust recipe since this one crumbled right up on me and I ended up having to just press it into the pie pan (no tart pan here — yet ;) )

It really was delicious, and while I probably won’t make it again we’re all glad I gave it a shot!