Farther into the Fire
The cooking fire, that is. I actually cooked the entire dinner tonight. Amazing, the things that can be accomplished when I leave the office at 5:00. It's like there's a whole 'nother day I didn't realize I'd have!
Anyhoo, tonight I made some fresh Radish Salad with Avocado Dressing, and took care of the main dish, too: Spicy Mediterranean Meatballs.
No, that's not me, or the meatballs -- just a picture I found on the internet when I looked for "chef" pictures. Gotta love Dom DeLuise...I bet you didn't know he wrote this great children's book that I used to use with my preschoolers:
But, I digress.
I actually took a picture of Bob's dinner before we both dug in, but once our plates were empty, realized I didn't have a memory card in my camera. Duh. So, had to go to the internet for a photo to go with this entry...
but I digress again.
So, Bob found this recipe in a 'Sunset: Fresh Ways with Pasta' cookbook we have. He's been wanting to try it for a few weeks now, so I decided to surprise him with it when he came home tonight. It went over quite well, and if you want to give it a try, here's the recipe:
SPICY MEDITERRANEAN MEATBALLS
Herbed Meatballs (recipe follows)
3 tablespoons salad oil
2 medium-size onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (I used cilantro, of course)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 large tomatoes (about 12 oz. total), peeled and chopped (I just chopped)
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) regular-strength beef broth
1 beef bouillon cube
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 pound dry spaghetti (I used penne)
1 cup (about 5 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
Prepare Herbed Meatballs and set aside.
Heat oil in a wide frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Stir in garlic, ginger, cumin, paprika, cilantro, vinegar, tomatoes, broth, and bouillon cube. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Add meatballs; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
Lift meatballs carefully from sauce and keep warm. Add tomato paste to sauce; increase heat to high and cook, stirring often, until sauce is thickened (about 10 more minutes).
Meanwhile, in a 6- to 8-quart pan, cook spaghetti in 4 quarts boiling water just until tender to bite (10 to 12 minutes); or cook according to package directions. Drain well, transfer to a warm deep platter, and top with meatballs. Spoon sauce over spaghetti and meatballs. Serve with cheese to add, to taste. Makes 8 servings.
Herbed Meatballs. Crumble 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef into a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs, 3 eggs, and 1 large onion, finely chopped; mix well. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (I used cilantro), 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint (Eeeewww....I don't like mint in food, so left this out -- mint is meant for Girl Scout Cookies and chewing gum, period. Well, and breath mints), 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves; mix lightly until thoroughly combined. Shape into 1-inch balls.
Per Serving; 620 calories, 32 g protein, 56 g carbohydrates, 29 g total fat, 152 mg cholesterol, 1,026 mg sodium.
Spaghetti-O's ain't got nothin' on this!