March 24, 2012

Goodbye, Winter! Meatballs

I’ve been in a very self-indulgent slump lately, not wanting to cook without my beloved forbidden ingredients.  But today is the first day of spring, and I woke up wanting to make something a little special to say goodbye to the nice wintery ingredients.
            To get in the perfect spring mood I cooked all of this while listening Clueless soundtrack, guaranteed to put you in a dancing mood (rolling with my homies, anyone?) and make you want to find a plaid mini skirt and thigh high socks stat.
            Now that you’re in the right mood, let’s get cooking!  First I threw together my meatball ingredients:  ¾ lb. ground chuck, 2 hot chorizo sausages removed from casing, 2 eggs, several cloves of garlic, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and a couple of handfuls of minced kale.  Mix all of that up with your hands.  Then roll it into whatever size balls you want and bake accordingly.  I opted for 1 to 2 inch in diameter balls and baked them at 350 for about 25 minutes.
            In the meantime, heat about ¼ cup of olive oil and a pint of cherry tomatoes over low heat.  When the cherry tomatoes burst and mix with the oil...there will be major splattering.  Plan accordingly.  Let these cook down and caramelize for about 30 to 45 minutes.  For the last 5 minutes or so, add 2 large, crushed cloves of garlic.  Once your tomatoes are sufficiently cooked, cool them off a bit (so that no explosions occur) and blend until smooth in a food processor with the oil and garlic.  Taste and season it up.  Mine needed salt, a touch more olive oil, and a pinch of sugar to balance the bitterness.  This stuff is dangerous.  I almost drank it straight from the food processor. 
            You can have your meatballs and sauce over pasta, you lucky dogs, but William and I are having ours over roasted red and gold beets and sautéed garlicky kale, all topped with crispy homemade chiffonade kale chips.  I’m definitely out of my food rut now!

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