Posts Tagged ‘meatballs’

Meatballs. I can’t really think of a better way to wrap up Recipe of the Day (tomorrow I’ll be bringing you the recipe recap!). There’s really nothing better than a cheese-covered ball of meat in a spicy tomato sauce. Allison, of Life’s A Beacham, even made these little guys gluten-free, for all of those who are watching your gluten! Yum. Oh, did I forget to mention…she’s a Chicagogrammer!!

Cheesy Skillet Meatballs in Arrabbiata Sauce

meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (we used a premixed “meatloaf” package from the grocery store”
  • 1/3 cup Ian’s gluten free original panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jar Rao’s arrabbiata sauce (spicy)
  • Parmesan cheese- I used about 1/2 a cup
  • Shredded Italian cheese blend
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley- again probably about 1/2 a cup, but chop more for garnish

For the full recipe with instructions, visit Allison at Life’s a Beacham.

meatballs2

 

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Ok, ok, confession time – every time I say the word “Meatball Hero,” “Jukebox Hero” plays in my mind and I naturally replace jukebox with meatball. It’s great, try it!

Meat. Ball. Hero with stars in my eyes! She took one bite, had stars in her eyes! Yes.

Stars in my eyes (and cartoon hearts popping above my head) pretty much accurately describes the way I felt about my visit to Meatball Hero in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. We were excited to get the chef’s tasting and inside scoop from owner and chef, Atif. I was with my main squeeze, and we pulled up two stools at the counter and watched Chef Atif go to work,  preparing a plethora of menu items for us in his scratch kitchen – aka, a kitchen where everything is made from scratch. That’s right, sorry Subway, this meatball sub is a real hero.

First on the agenda, we had these little dandies:
Mushroom Risotto Balls - Meatball Hero

Those little guys are mushroom risotto balls with homemade marinara, and yes, they are fabulous – particularly for mushroom lovers like myself and the main squeeze. Just the right amount of creamy and fried, and the marinara sauce is the perfect accompaniment.

Mushroom Risotto Balls - Meatball HeroMushroom Risotto Balls - Meatball Hero

Up next were the Polenta Fries. Now, normally I like my fries to be…fries. You know:

Poh Tay Toes

Perhaps I’ve changed my mind, or at least when in Rome. Polenta fries – definitely worth a try. The texture is definitely different than a traditional fried potato, but could also be addicting, especially when dipped in the marinara.

Polenta Fries

Polenta Fries Chicago

At this point in time, Chef Atif started to prepare pasta for us, and I was crossing my fingers that what was heating in the skillet was the starter for alfredo sauce, and as luck would have it, I was totally right. AND THE FETTUCINI ALFREDO IS SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS. Made from scratch pasta – check. Made from scratch sauce – check. 30’s-something girl who is pasta starved and hasn’t had fettucini alfredo (other than of the crappy Lean Cuisine variety) in God knows when – check!

Fettucini Alfredo

Sorry, main squeeze, you’re getting, like, two bites. Eat that other one with the red sauce, this one is MINE.

Meatball Hero - Fettucini Alfredo

Disclaimer, the other one with the red sauce was delicious as well, but FETTUCINI ALFREDO. Oh, and the homemade focaccia is the best side to soak up any leftover pasta sauce.

Just when you think we’d be getting full (and we were), Chef Atif brings out the main event, the meatball heroes! We opted for the Red and Winged Hero, aka, beef and chicken meatballs. At this point, I need to let you all in on a little secret: Main Squeeze has worked in kitchens for a long time, and currently works in a pretty fancy schmancy one downtown. What I’m trying to say is that when I’m eating, I tend to bust out phrases like “OMG, THIS IS DELICIOUS and “Mmm, that’s sooo good” or the ever-popular “Give me more of that right now!!!!”, while Main Squeeze appreciates the finer points in dining, and was impressed with all the fresh herbs and quality of the ingredients. He pointed out the smoked mozzarella made the Red Hero much more interesting than a regular meatball sub (he was right), and that they were using really good quality olive oil in their dressings.

Meatball Hero Chicago

We were both really impressed with the homemade rolls the subs are served in, and Chef Atif let us know that in order to hollow out the bread, they developed their own special tool, after first using a few different kitchen items, including a folded and mangled baking pan. They’ve got it down now, and these hollowed out breads are the perfect vessel for holding in all the meatball deliciousness.

The meatballs themselves were outstanding – both were unique and tasted different than any meatball I’d ever had before.

Meatball Sub Chicago

A few important notes about Meatball Hero:

1. everything is homemade using really fresh, high-quality ingredients, and it makes a delicious difference.

2. It’s BYOB, so bring a bottle of red wine or tall boy, and devour a meatball sub with your love.

3. It’s pretty close to Wrigley, so if you’ve perhaps had a few brews and are stumbling home from a Cub’s game, stop in here on your way home instead of eating McDonalds or Taco Bell. 

4. They deliver.

5. You should try it – I would imagine it’s hard to be disappointed when everything we tried was fantastic.

 

Meatball Hero & Pasta is located at 3037 N. Clark Street in Chicago. 

Meatball Hero & Pasta | 773-348-3037

 

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Well, you got 23 days of blogging out of me for December, and that’s:

So, the holidaze were just that, and although I avoided the stomach flu this year, I was brought down by some other special plague, a truly horrid cold that left me zombie-like, but I naturally pushed through and burned the candle at both ends, clearly prolonging my misery. Today is the first day I feel like I’ve returned to the land of the living, and I was getting sick on the 23! That’s 8 days of awful. Is it possible that I would rather have the stomach flu?

Well, nothing like a little barf talk to ring in the New Year, and guaranteed not to make you barf (unless you eat nearly a CrockPot full of them…), are these 6 fabulous recipes for balls brought to you by some pretty awesome bloggers! I think we can all agree that meatballs are an easy go-to appetizer, and if you’re running short on time this evening, there’s always a CrockPot full of previously frozen balls in a vat of bbq sauce. You’re welcome.

Also, today I’m skipping the ingredients and sending you right on over to the bloggers for the recipes, so be sure to click the links.

Meatball 1: African Spiced Bison Meatballs with Cilantro Chutney and Tamarind Dip

Wow, Chrissy, that’s a mouthful. Coming to you from The Hungary Buddha Eats the World, is my Blog Wife, Chrissy (our anniversary is on January 20th), with a meatball recipe I’m sure never to recreate, unless it’s in her kitchen and I’ve polished off an entire bottle of wine. But seriously, they look awesome, and I think I tried the cilantro chutney once, although, yeah, I was likely drunk.

African Bison Meatballs

Go see Chrissy at the Hungary Buddha for the recipe for these African Spiced Bison Meatballs with Cilantro Chutney and Tamarind Dip.

Meatball 2: Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly Sauce

Veering toward a much easier path, we’ve got a quintessential stand-by, for those of you who want something just a touch classier than frozen meatballs in bbq sauce, though Meggan of Culinary Hill assures us you can use frozen meatballs for this one.

Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly Sauce

Visit Meggan for her classic Crockpot Meatballs in Grape Jelly Sauce.

Meatball 3: Spicy Asian BBQ Meatballs

Ooo, I love Asian flavors, and I love meatballs, so I’m 100% certain I’d love these super easy Spicy Asian Meatballs from The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen.

Spicy Asian Meatballs

Visit Chandra at The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen for the recipe for the Spicy Asian BBQ Meatballs

Meatball 4: Swedish Meatballs

I have to admit, growing up near Bishop Hill, Illinois, a small Swedish colony turned amazing tourist day trip, I’ve eaten my fair share of Swedish Meatballs…and I LOVE THEM. SO. MUCH. Sue over at A Palatable Pastime whipped up some from-scratch Swedish Meatballs, and they look absolutely amazing. This is one recipe I think I’m going to have to make.

Swedish Meatballs

Visit Sue at A Palatable Pastime for her amazing take on Swedish Meatballs

Meatball 5: Thai Style Pork Meatballs

Well, these meatballs look simply delicious. Combining Thai flavors into pork meatballs is Regina from Leelalicious.

Thai Style Pork Meatballs

Visit Regina for her recipe for Thai Style Pork Meatballs.

Meatball 6: Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Blue Cheese Dressing

Ha, a twist! You thought I was going to bring you just balls of beef and balls of pork, but you were wrong!! I’m sneaking in a chicken meatball, buffalo-style. I love buffalo anything, so these are just super exciting!

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Visit Jo at Jo Cooks for the full recipe for Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.

To pin all of these fabulous meatball recipes for the future, use this image:

Meatballs 6 Ways

 

 

 

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Sausage & Cheese Meatballs

Once upon a time, my family and I were all home for the holidays. My parents had to go to a party for the evening, leaving us kids to fend for ourselves for dinner. Mom felt so bad for us that she made an entire crockpot of meatballs in bbq sauce, because children in their late 20’s are obviously unable to feed themselves. This led to us eating an entire crockpot full of meatballs in bbq sauce. What was such a happy day quickly took a turn for the worse, as I soon felt about as bad as one person with 2 quarts of meatballs in their stomach can feel. I spent the rest of the evening feeling terribly unpleasant and moaning softly from my fetal position on the couch, “Toooo many meeeeeaaatbaaaalllls….” I vowed then and there never to recreate that experience.

…until I found today’s recipe of the day. Ok, seriously, I would singlehandedly devour every cheesy meatball on that plate, smacking the hands of anyone that tried to get too close. They look positively delicious and the secret ingredient is Bisquick. Who knew?

In starting out with my recipe-a-day until the New Year, here is the recipe from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary (this is a great blog, read it!):

Cheese & Garlic Sausage Balls

– recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
1 (7.75 ounces)package Bisquick Complete Cheese-Garlic Biscuit mix
1 pound ground pork sausage (I used sage flavored)
1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg
2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)

Oven to 350.

Let the sausage sit out for a half hour to come to room temperature. This makes it easier to mix. Combine the sausage and biscuit mix. Add in the egg and mix (with your fingers) to combine. Mix in the cheese and chives. Form into walnut size balls and place on a baking sheet lined with no-stick foil. Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.

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