One of my favorite meals is BBQ meatballs and mashed potatoes. I do believe I'm salivating as I type that. Yum. Meatballs can be a real hassle to prepare, so I'm sharing a few tips that I've picked up to make the process totally snappy.
- Try doubling your recipe and freezing half for a later date. Twice as much food, same amount of prep! You can freeze before or after you bake them. Also doubles as a great meatloaf recipe.
- If the recipe calls for day-old bread cubes or crushed saltines, it's much faster to substitute oatmeal or bread crumbs. If you don't have bread crumbs or oatmeal on hand, just throw some bread in a food processor, and pulse it a bit.
- Put bread bags or sandwich bags on your hands while you're mixing up the meat. I despise digging raw meat out from under my fingernails.
- This is applicable across the board with eggs, but crack them in a separate bowl, so you don't have to go fishing for that microscopic shell shard that embedded itself in that lovely raw meat.
- Substitute different spices for varied flavors--Italian seasoning for spaghetti and meatballs, chili powder for BBQ meatballs, a smidge of nutmeg and allspice for Swedish...
- Use a melon baller or mini ice cream scoop to form the balls, OR
- Lay a sheet of long wax paper on the counter, spread out the meat with a greased rolling pin, and use a pizza wheel to cut the meat into similar-sized squares. Then roll them into balls. Much faster than individually eyeballing and rolling.
- Layer your cooking pans with aluminum foil, so your clean-up is a breeze.
- 2 parts ketchup to 1 part brown sugar makes a simple BBQ base that you can jazz up a million different ways.
- Meatballs are excellent bedded on just about any starch, including but not limited to rice (any), buttered egg noodles, mashed potatoes and pasta.
It works for me!