Tuesday, January 7, 2014

More Than the Traditional Meatball

I believe that most people when they think of "meatballs", think Italian food.  Those traditional dishes of "Spaghetti & Meatballs" or "Meatball Sub Sandwiches".  But there are many different types of meatballs throughout the world.

Going back to the "Italian" type meatballs.  Everyone makes them differently too.  Chefs, professional cooks and even home cooks will use a variety of different meats to make their Italian meatballs.  They will use just one type of meat or some combination of meats to produce their favorite meatball.

Some of the most common meats used are ground beef, ground pork, ground veal and ground turkey.  But you will find people using ground lamb, ground chicken and even ground buffalo today.  They will also use other exotic meats.

You will find eggs and different kinds of bread (crumbs or pieces) to help bind the meatballs together.  The use of spices help to create all those different flavors and styles of meatballs.  A fun fact is that meatballs are easy to make and hard to screw up.  Just don't burn them.

Besides the meatballs, there is usually (but not always) a sauce that goes with them.  The Italian ones have a tomato based sauce mostly.  But you will find BBQ sauces, Asian sauces and different gravies offered with meatballs too.

Even for meatballs today.  Let's look at what recipes are coming up this week.

Tomorrow's recipe even uses a meat not already mentioned, ground ham.  That's right, tomorrow's recipe is for "Ham Balls" and although that may sound a little strange, they are very tasty.  I'm going to say they're a Midwest thing.  I've really only run across them in Iowa and Missouri.  I'm sure there are other states where they are popular.  Guessing most hog producing states make them in some fashion.  They are truly worth trying.

Then on Thursday, I have "Turkey & Bleu Cheese Meatballs" for you.  They consider these a little more healthy because you are using turkey.  I like them because they are using Bleu cheese.  The ham balls recipe above needs the meats stated in the recipe.  But in this one you could use a different type of meat if you wish.

I'm going to continue next week with some more "meatball" recipes and talk.  That's because there are so many different types.  In the meantime, "Happy Cooking" until next week.

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