It was midweek. The fridge was bloated with the remnant ingredients from a weekend of culinary lust. The browning, skeletal leaves of fresh basil. A breast of chicken here. Half a porkchop there. Less than a cup of heavy cream. A few chunks of gorgonzola. They all lingered in the cool limbo of the fridge, waiting to pass. How could I possibly salvage a full meal out of these scattered remains? And then I saw my salvation - half a box of pasta. In need of meatballs. In need of sauce. It was my only hope.
Ingredients (Tomato Cream Sauce):
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1 large tomato, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1/3 cup of water
3 tbs of olive oil
1 tbs of flour
2 tbs of grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
1) On medium-high heat, simmer the olive oil, tomato, garlic and onion for about 5 mins, or until fragrant
2) Add the water, cover and let simmer for about 10 mins, or until the water starts to turn a slight orange color
3) Lower the heat, and add the heavy cream, and let simmer until the cream turns off white. Lower the heat and keep warm
4) When ready to serve, increase the heat to medium, add flour and parmesan, and stir until it disappears into the sauce. Salt & pepper to taste, serve immediately.
Ingredients (Chicken-Pork Meatballs):
1 boneless pork chop
1/3 cup of flour
1/3 cup of breadcrumbs
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbs of pine nuts
1/2 of fresh basil, choped
2 tbs of heavy cream
Gorgonzola (one small piece for each meatball)
1) Cut the chicken and pork into 1" cubes and toss in the freezer for 20-30 mins, or until just slightly frozen
2) While that freezes, run the basil, garlic and pine nuts in the food processor, and set aside. (if you're serving the meatballs on pasta, start the water now)
3) Once the chicken and pork are slightly frozen, remove from freezer and run through the food processor until completely ground. Make sure the pork and the chicken are well mixed - even just a little bit of pork adds significant flavor to the chicken, and you'll notice the difference if the meatballs that are strictly chicken.
4) Put the ground meat in a small mixing bowl. Add the basil/garlic/pine nuts mixture, the bread crumbs, and the heavy cream.
5) This is my favorite part - mix the whole thing together with your hands.
6) OPTIONAL: Let the mixture sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
7) Roll golf-ball sized meatballs with your hands, and place on a non-stick surface.
8) With your finger, poke a hole in the top of each meatball. put a chunk or two of gorgonzola into it, then reform the meatball.
9) Using a sifter or wire strainer, coat the meatballs in flour. Put a bowl under the sifter to catch the remainder.
10) On medium heat, place the meatballs evenly-spaced on a slightly oiled, large skillet. Cook until all sides are browned and the meatball is cooked through.
11) Place them in a bowl with pasta, or on garlic bread. Add sauce immediately, and serve.
My ingredients are saved from certain death, and I didn't have to settle for a sub par, piecemeal dish.
Questions? Additions? Leave a comment below, or CutsEveryday@gmail.com.