Since when did I become such a complainer? I mean, I have nothing to complain about. I am married to the kindest most loving man. I have a beautiful baby who I am lucky enough to get to stay at home with. I have a supportive family and wonderful friends. What more could a girl ask for? Answer: A bigger kitchen. I don’t think I am asking for too much. I suppose if I hated cooking then it wouldn’t really matter how big or small it is. But I happen to enjoy cooking and I spend a good portion of my life for better (or worse) in the kitchen. So when we quickly needed to find a place to live last year, I didn’t have a choice. I had to commit to a small space with limited storage and an electric stove. I don’t have a problem with electric stoves in general just ones that don’t cook my food evenly.
Do I exaggerate a bit? Probably. Is it really that bad? Probably not. But I am convinced the stove was the cause of the undercooked Dover sole I prepared last night which put a damper on dinner with my husband. Inevitably it led to a barrage of complaints on my end. To cheer myself up after the whole fiasco, I downed a sugary sugar cookie which I didn’t really need.
Whenever I slip into my place of negativity and grouchiness, I have to remind myself of the many kitchens I found myself in when I lived and traveled to Italy. To this day, I still don’t know how my relatives and friends navigated in kitchens the size of a shoebox and still managed to produce some of the most elaborate meals and wonderful food I’ve ever tasted.
I shouldn’t complain. Life could be much worse. I could have been born into a family that eats to live instead of living to eat. We all know there’s a big difference between the two.
Guess what? I live to eat meatballs. The homemade kind. So here is my family’s recipe for Calabrian Style Meatballs. We fry them in oil until brown as this yields the best flavor, however, you can also bake them if you so prefer.
Calabrian Style Meatballs
- 1/2 lb pork, beef, and veal (you can also substitute the veal for lamb)
- 4 cups day old bread, crusts removed, and pulled apart into medium sized pieces
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp dried orgeano
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil for frying
Soak the bread cubes in a large bowl with just enough water to soften the bread. Remove the bread and squeeze out excess water. Place the bread and parsley in a food processor and pulse until mixed. Place meats in a large bowl and combine with parsley and bread mixture. Add eggs, oregano, cheese, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands until all ingredients are well incorporated. Be careful not to over work the meat. Shape into 2″ diameter meatballs and place on a large baking sheet.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry meatballs in batches turning occasionally to ensure all sides brown evenly. Be sure to shake the pan often so the meatballs do not stick. Remove and drain on paper towels while you finish browning the rest.
Finish cooking the meatballs in your favorite tomato sauce by simmering over low heat for about 20 minutes or until they are completely cooked through. Or cook them in the oven by baking at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.