Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sliding Home

Tonight's dinner was actually the same as last night's. Oh! No! The horror! Well, if that shocks, appalls, or offends you, it is probably time to move on to another blog. I make no secret of that fact that I am lazy...and tired. Or, tired and lazy. Today, I will just go with the excuse of being too tired to deal with a new menu. Leftovers were in the fridge, and after going to bed last night and waking up this morning with a headache, subbing in 2nd grade (with a tornado drill this morning, no less...do you know how loud those alarms are when they echo in a concrete block hallway?), and tutoring after school, I was just exhausted. I slid home and onto the sofa for a nap. Real cooking wasn't going to happen.

Thankfully, the main attraction of last night's dinner, Meatball Sliders, provided more than enough tender meatballs and homemade sauce to allow a repeat performance. (Served last night with Roasted Green Beans and tonight with Creamy Coleslaw.)

The original recipe came from Bon Appetit, and while we loved it, not all of the ingredients are available locally. I have altered it to suit our tastes and needs for a simple, casual sandwich. They may be leftover, but I like coming home to Meatball Sliders sliding On My Plate.

Meatball Sliders

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork (I used Jimmy Dean HOT sausage for extra flavor.)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup water
8 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 14.5-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
Arugula leaves (optional)
18 small soft rolls, split horizontally (I used cocktail buns.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ground beef and pork together with panko, 1/2 cup water, 6 tablespoons cheese, egg, egg yolk, 1/4 cup parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in large bowl.
Form into eighteen 2-inch-meatballs.
Place meatballs on a baking sheet (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium-large skillet over medium heat.
Add onion, garlic, basil, and fennel seeds. Sauté until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add all tomatoes with juices. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Puree sauce in processor until almost smooth. Return to same skillet. Add meatballs. Cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes longer.
To Serve: Place arugula leaves on bottom of each roll, if desired. Top each with 1 meatball. Drizzle meatballs with some of sauce and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and 2 tablespoons. cheese. Cover with tops of rolls. (Serves 6 as meal, or 18 mini burgers as appetizers)

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