Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Winner with a Side of Egg-Free Meatballs

Let's get to it! Marisa...Ohhhhhhh SNAP! YOU ARE THE WINNER, of the Foodie House "Name My Camera" Contest! Yay! I loved the name "Snaps". It's spunky and fun, just like my girl...well, Snaps! Marisa, email me and let me know when you would like to post your guest post. Can't wait to hear what it is! Check Marisa out at her blog, Cook's Book.

Thank you everyone for your ideas. Honestly, it was really hard picking the name. I liked so many of them! I had a lot of fun. I hope you had a good time too. I'll be having another contest soon...and it will have a tangible prize next time.


I love meatballs. I love them with all different types of meat or poultry. I loved them before they were trendy and before they had resturants dedicated to their meaty meatballness. They are a perfect platform, nay, a canvas for the culinary paintbrush! (I'm pretty sure Shakespeare loved meatballs.)

Well, I've mentioned before, my youngest son has an egg allergy, so that has forced me to take some of my favorite recipes and transform them into egg-free delights. So far it's been working out pretty well, thanks to a nifty little idea I found online: flax seed. I talked about this in the Blueberry Pancake post, where it worked out beautifully. It was my first run with it and I had very low expectations. I was happily surprised by the outcome! No one seemed to miss the eggs and my Tiny could eat all he wanted. So why not apply the same idea to meatballs?

Meatballs need egg, or some sort of binder. So I put the flax seed concoction into effect. I made my traditional meatballs and swapped the egg for the gooey flax seed. Let me tell you, they turned out fabulous!

There's cute lil' Bob again.

The Goo

Not only is the flax seed so healthy, it's a great binder. The sticky consistency of it made the meatballs hold together perfectly. If you are looking to find a lower fat/cholesterol meatball recipe, you could use this and substitute the beef and pork for turkey. And if your looking to pay for some singing lessons, these could also come in handy.

If you have a hankerin' for some meatballs and want to see me teach you how, you can watch my "Mama's Meatballs" video (click here) and use your imagination that I am putting in flax seed substitute instead of egg.

Egg-Free Mama's Meatballs

prep time:20 min
cook time:45 min

1 lb. ground pork

1 lb. gr. beef (85/15)

1 c. breadcrumbs

1/2 large onion, finely chopped

1 tbls. fresh basil, minced

1 tbls. fresh parsley, minced

2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced

2 tbls. ground flax seed combined with 1/2 cup hot water

1/4 c. milk

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 tbls. olive oil

3 24 oz. jars of your favorite marinara (I use Bertolli Organic Tomato Basil) and yes, I cheat.

Combine all ingredients using your hands. It's truly the best way to incorporate all the flavors.

Roll out the meatballs into golf ball-sized portions. It makes approx. 28. I freeze half if I am cooking just for my family. I count 3 meatballs as one serving. When I use only half of the meatballs, I use only 2 jars of sauce.

Pour your marinara sauce into a pot and start warming it over medium heat.

Get a heavy saute pan nice and hot over med-high heat. Add your olive oil and start searing your meatballs. Set them in, leave them alone! Don't touch! The goal is to get caramelization on the outside of the meatballs so they are flavorful and juicy. Also, do not over-crowd your pan. This will cause the meatballs to steam and become dry.

Sear on each side then take the meatballs directly from the saute pan to the marinara sauce. They meatballs do not need to be cooked through. We are only searing them then cooking the rest of the way in the marinara. This makes for a very moist meatball.

A totally optional step is to pour the grease from your meatball pan into the sauce. If you are concerned about the fat, by all means, skip this part. I do it for the flavor. It's fantastic!

Put a lid on it, slightly ajar and let them simmer for a good 30 minutes.

And just because it's so good to dip in the sauce, like any good Italian girl would...some garlic bread. Takes 10 minutes, is all fresh and so tasty.

Garlic Bread

6 slices Italian or French bread
2 tbls. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced and smashed into a paste with a pinch of salt
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
salt and pepper

Get your broiler on. Mix up all the ingredients, except for the bread, of course. Brush it onto the bread, toast under the broiler and mangia!

Love ya, Food-sters!
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