Baked Chicken Meatballs + 5 Must Try Meatball Recipes!

 

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resolution: noun:

the act or process of resolving: the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones: the act of answering: solving, the act of determining

Cross the finish line, even if I have to crawl.  This is my New Year’s resolution.

On April 20, 2015 I will run my first marathon, the Boston Marathon, for a fantastic, local non-profit called YES or Youth Enrichment Services.  I will train all through a long cold winter. I will run until I hit a wall and then somehow keep running.  My muscles will ache and my toenails may fall off.  Beyond all logic I will continue to run.  While I prepare my body for this 26.2 feat, I will fundraise month, after month, until I reach my $10,000 goal.  You read that right.  $10,000.  I will call on friends and family for help; send letters, make phone calls, beg for donations.  I will do what it takes.

Run 26.2 and raise $10,000.  This task feels daunting, yet, somehow, possible.  I am terrified, but excited.  I am pushing and stretching myself further than I have in a long time.  I am ready.

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I should eat more protein smoothies, kale, quinoa and hemp seeds.  Maybe I should even attempt the Bon Appetit’s food lovers’ cleanse.  Or maybe I will listen to my body and eat meatballs and carbs, after all, I am training for a marathon.  It’s January.  I need comfort food.  Food that will stick to my bones.  Food that will keep me running…

Baked Chicken Meatballs

Tender chicken meatballs flavored with oregano, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and a bit of fresh parsley are perfect on their own with a big salad.  Want pasta? Go for it! Put it on a sub roll and add some provolone cheese for an awesome meatball sub.  Freeze and save for later. So many options.  Enjoy!

makes about 24

recipe slightly adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients:

6 slices whole wheat bread, torn into medium chunks ( Italian bread will work here too)

3/4 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 small cloves of garlic, minced

2 pounds ground chicken

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

pinch of fennel seeds

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

3 to 4 cups tomato-based pasta sauce ( I used Rao’s marinara sauce.  When I make marinara sauce from scratch I like this recipe.)

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 375FSet aside 2 9×13 inch pans.

Place bread crumbs in a medium and pour in whole milk.  Soak for 5 minutes or so.

Using a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil a bit.  Add diced onions, a pinch of salt and cook until softened and light brown, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the ground chicken in a large bowl. Squeeze excess milk from the bread.  Add only the bread to the chicken.  Toss the milk!  Add the cooked onions and garlic.  Next, add eggs, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, fennel seeds, parmesan cheese, tomato paste and parsley.  Use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix all of the ingredients together.  I used my hands.  Be sure the ingredients are completely combined.

Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce in each 9×13 pan.  Use your hands to shape the meatballs into a golf ball size.   You should end up with about 24 meatballs. Place 12 meatballs in each pan and top each meatball with a dollop of marinara sauce. (You could also use a steel cookie scoop! I tried this and it was much faster and less messy. I used this scoop.

Bake meatballs for 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through.  Serve with pasta and a simple salad.  We ate them one night with pasta and the next night on slider buns.  The meatballs will last for up to 4 days stored in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator.  You could also freeze any leftovers for an easy weeknight meal.  (Freeze for up to a month in an air-tight container.) Enjoy!

5 Must Make Meatball Recipes!

Looking for a classic Italian meatball recipe? Head to Simply Recipes for Elise’s Italian meatball recipe.  I want to eat 5 of them now!

Need a meatless meatball? Cookin Canuk has a recipe for cannellini bean vegetarian meatballs.  Perfect for meatless Mondays!

If you love chicken parm, check out What’s Gaby Cooking? chicken parmesan meatballs: all the ingredients found in the beloved dish in one delicious meatball!

Serve a spicy and smoky meatball at your Superbowl party this year.  Head to Food 52 for their Korean-style Gochujang meatballs. Yum!

Any meatball in just 5 steps? Yup, it is that easy! Head to Food 52, they’ll walk you through it.

 

Sweet and Savory Corn Fritters + 5 Corn Recipes for August!

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Our fantastic sitter came over last week. I left her with a few instructions and bolted out the house like a swarm of bees were chasing me. I didn’t have an appointment or a plan. I sat in my car for a few minutes, not sure what to do or where to go. Almost lunch time and tired of Sunbutter and jam sandwiches, I took myself out to lunch. Did I eat by myself in a restaurant and read a book? Nope. I drove to Whole Foods. I wandered around the prepared foods section for a while, finally settling on a salad for lunch. I thought about sitting in the café area, but decided against it; way too many people. I headed to my car. So I am sitting in the parking lot, alone, eating their spicy Thai kale salad and listening to Here & Now on NPR. I know there is so much to make fun of in that sentence. It gets better: I am wearing Birkenstocks, now fashionable, but not so when I bought them, and drinking organic green tea. I am a cliché. Did I picture this for myself 10 years ago? No. Am I ok with it? Yup. I can appreciate and laugh at both Whole Foods and kale salads. I like to eat alone because I NEVER eat alone. Birkenstocks are so dam comfortable I could walk across the state of Massachusetts in them without complaining my feet hurt. I like NPR, enough said.

Kathy Gunst was on Here & Now discussing how to use the vegetable of the month: corn! I love corn but, my ears didn’t really perk up until she mentioned corn fritters. My grandmother made corn fritters and served them with warm maple syrup. I loved them; so sweet and so deep-fried.

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When I got home I looked up her recipe and found both a sweet and savory version of a corn fritter. Savory sounds interesting. Oh, and instead of a deep-fried treat, she prepared them as you would a pancake. Perfect! I feel less guilty about serving them to my family for dinner. I adapted her recipe by swapping out some of the flour for whole wheat flour, and using 1% milk instead of half and half. I felt like I made a healthy choice. Then I added bacon. Why? Because it was sitting in the fridge and it felt left out. You don’t need to add it, but it tastes dam good with corn and syrup. Just sayin’.

The sweet corn fritter is just as you expect: sweet, comforting and addictive. The savory corn fritter has a surprising burst of herbal and lemon flavor. A healthy drizzling of lemon-herb butter highlights this flavor profile even more! The kids loved the sweet corn fritters. Bubba and I ate the savory fritters. If you don’t feel like making the lemon-herb butter, pour warm maple syrup over the savory fritters. Bubba did and said it was delicious. Take advantage of fresh corn this month and make these fritters. Enjoy!

Sweet and Savory Corn Fritters

recipe adapted from NPR’s Here & Now chef Kathy Gunst

makes about 10 small fritters

Ingredients for Sweet Corn Breakfast Fritters:

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white whole wheat flour

Pinch of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup milk (I used 1%.)

1 tbsp. sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 cups fresh corn kernels, removed from 2 cobs

Maple syrup

Canola oil or vegetable oil for pan

Optional: 1/2 pound of bacon, cooked and chopped

Directions:

(Pre-heat your oven to 200F. As you cook the fritters you can place them on a baking sheet in the oven to keep them warm until you are ready to serve.)

Whisk together the flours, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the milk and sugar and whisk until very smooth. Add a little more milk if the batter looks to dry. Beat in the egg and gently fold in the corn.

Using a large skillet or griddle, heat a few tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, drop 2 tablespoons batter into the hot oil. Gently flatten the batter with the back of your spatula to form a pancake. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. *When lots of bubbles form in the batter it is a good time to flip the pancake.* Serve immediately with lots of maple syrup and some chopped bacon or transfer to pre-heated oven until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Savory Herb Corn Fritters

recipe adapted from NPR’s Here & Now chef Kathy Gunst

makes 10-12 small fritters

Ingredients:

2 cups of fresh corn from about 2 large cobs

1 large egg, whisked

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup whole milk

Pinch of kosher salt

the zest and juice of one lemon

a bit of fresh ground black pepper

1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped

1 tbsp. canola oil, plus more for frying

Optional: 1/2 pound of bacon, cooked and chopped

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together the corn kernels and egg. Add the flour, baking powder, milk, salt, pepper, parsley, basil, chives and 1 tsp. lemon zest and stir until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil and beat well.

Heat your skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and add a bit of oil for frying. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, drop 2 tablespoons batter into the hot oil. Gently flatten the batter with the back of your spatula to form a pancake. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. *When lots of bubbles form in the batter it is a good time to flip the pancake.*

Serve immediately or transfer to pre-heated oven until ready to serve. Eat with a heaping spoonful of lemon-herb butter. Enjoy!

Lemon-Herb Butter

Ingredients:

1/2 stick unsalted butter

pinch of kosher salt

1 tbsp. parsley, chopped

1 tbsp. basil, chopped

1 tbsp. chives, chopped

1 tsp. lemon zest

juice of 1 lemon

fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

Melt the butter with the herbs and simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Add lemon juice, zest and black pepper and simmer for another minute.

Drizzle over cooked fritters when ready to serve. Enjoy!

5 Corn Recipes To Try Before Corn Season Ends!

I like soup in the summertime. It is a nice break from the grill. I especially love corn soup, so Cooking Classy’s summer squash and corn chowder is on my meal list this week. Check it out!

Looking for an easy and light pasta dish that the kids can help you make? Try hello, Wonderful’s recipe for pappardelle with leeks and corn. Yum!

I love fast and healthy meals. I need to throw this quesadilla recipe into our rotation before corn and zucchini season are over!

If your garden is overflowing with cilantro head to Food 52. Their recipe for sweet corn fritters with sriracha-lime Greek yogurt sounds amazing!

I am a big fan of corn bread and the kids love it too. I need to try Spoon Fork Bacon’s recipe for Buttermilk Cornbread with Bacon, Lime and Chili butter. I didn’t know you could do that to butter. Wow!