Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 5 Week 2 – Movie. Meatballs. Madness.

I can't believe that I am half way through this challenge. Well at least for the month of January. Am I really going to try to do this for a whole year? That is madness. We will see what happens.

Friday night is movie night in the Summy house. This usually means frozen pizza served on TV trays in the living room. Well that doesn't really jive with my rules so I attempted something that would seem like a fun alternative to pizza...Mexican meatballs. (Amelia is her mother's child and was not happy with the change in routine. So the promise of candied popcorn for dessert to be eaten while watching Toy Story 3 was the only way I could talk her down from the ledge.) The Mexican meatball was another Real Simple recipe and it was very quick and easy. Made with ground pork (which to my surprise was significantly cheaper) instead of ground beef. The meatballs came out very moist and tasty, but I had trouble getting past the mexican-ness of them. I just think meatballs should always be Italian. I don't think of myself as a prejudice person, but I guess when it comes to the nationality of a good meatball, I am. And don't get me wrong, I love salsa, but I don't think it can replace spaghetti sauce. That is also madness. Also, it was so confusing out to serve it. You can't put it over pasta. That is wrong. I tried it in a roll like a meatball sub. That was just weird. I think the best option would have been served over plain white rice.

But Hey, don't let my review sway you. You should try it for yourself. Let your family be the judge. Should a meatball be mexican? I should point out that the male half of our family would say YES! Walt and Steve could not get enough of them. So I won't say this recipe was a complete failure. It all comes down to your personal preference. I give this Real Simple recipe a B-.

Mexican Meatballs
2 TBSP olive oil
1 med yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 16oz jar salsa

Heat oven to 400º. Heat 1 TBSP of the oil in a large, preferably ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened., about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 1 minute more.

Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the pork, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, cumin and onion mixture.
Shape into 12 meatballs.
Wipe out skillet and add the remaining oil, and heat over medium-high heat.
Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 7 minutes total. If not using an ovenproof skillet. Transfer the meatballs to a baking dish. Pour salsa over the top. Bake until cooked through, about 25 minutes.

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