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Mar 18, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘meatball’

By the Book: Appetites by Anthony Bourdain

Thursday, November 17th, 2016



Like most food writers in their 20s and 30s, I aspired to have Anthony Bourdain’s career once. Jetting around the world, partaking in phenomenal food and drink while someone else footed the bill? That was the life. Alas, Sauce Magazine doesn’t have the same travel budget as CNN, but I’ve continued to live vicariously through Bourdain’s TV series and memoirs. He finally released a cookbook inspired not by his decades of globetrotting, but rather by dishes he cooks on rare nights at home with his 8-year-old daughter.

Bourdain devotes an entire chapter to sandwiches, and I opted to make his Meatball Parm Hero. Equal parts ground beef, pork and veal (or in my case, lamb) are mashed with sauteed garlic, onion and fresh herbs, then pan-seared and gently braised in white wine and a homemade pomodoro sauce. Three meats seemed excessive, but each provided intense flavor and a different element: heft, tenderness and fat.

To assemble, simply pile three meatballs on a sturdy roll, add more sauce, drape with mozzarella and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and broil until the cheese is gooey and browned. I no longer want to be Bourdain (All that jetsetting seems exhausting.), but if this is how he cooks on nights off, I’ll happily eat like him.

Skill level: Easy-ish. Recipes are longer, but they are straightforward and incredibly helpful.
Other recipes to try: Chicken Satay with Fake-Ass Spicy Peanut Sauce, Cast-Iron Grilled Chicken, Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy
The verdict: Tender meatballs and gooey cheese knocked the lemon cookies off the winner’s pedestal.




Meatball Parm Hero
8 servings

3 Tbsp. plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups)
4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
6 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves only, finely chopped
10 to 12 sprigs fresh Italian parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lb. ground beef chuck
1 lb. ground veal
1 lb. ground pork
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs, lighten beaten
1½ cups dry white wine
1 quart Pomodoro (recipe follows)
4 Italian semolina hero rolls with sesame seeds, cut in half lengthwise and crosswise
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
4 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Special Equipment
Short-sided roasting pan large enough to hold 25 to 30 meatballs (11-by-14-inch or similar)
Instant-read thermometer

• In a large, heavy-bottom saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, and parsley, and stir well to coat with the oil. Season with salt and pepper and let cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and translucent but not browned. Remove from the heat and transfer the onion mixture to a large mixing bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Clean the pan, which you will use to brown the meatballs.
• Add the beef, veal, and pork to the mixing bowl, along with the breadcrumbs and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well by hand. Form the mixture into 25 to 30 2-inch balls, placing each one on a sheet pan as you form it. Cover the meatballs with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for 15 to 60 minutes.
• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the meatballs from the fridge.
• Heat ¼ cup oil in the saute pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the meatballs on all sides in the oil, turning them carefully with the spatula and tongs and adding more oil as necessary to keep them from sticking to the pan. Remove the cooked meatballs to the roasting pan.
• Once all the meatballs are in the roasting pan, add the wine and 1 cup of the pomodoro sauce to the pan so that the liquid reaches about halfway up the sides of each meatball. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked through but still juicy (the interior of a meatball should reach 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
• While the meatballs are cooking, in a small, heavy-bottom saucepot, gently warm the remaining pomodoro sauce, stirring occasionally to keep it from scorching.
• Remove the meatballs from the oven, and set the oven to broil.
• On the clean sheet tray, arrange 3 meatballs in the center of each of 8 hero roll bottoms. Add a few tablespoons of pomodoro sauce to each set of meatballs and drape each with a slice of mozzarella and a good sprinkling of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Place the sandwiches under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until the mozzarella is slightly browned and bubbling. Top each with the remaining bread and serve immediately.


5 cups

10 ripe red plum tomatoes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes and their juices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. (¼ stick) unsalted butter
6 fresh basil leaves, gently torn into a few pieces

Special Equipment
Ice-water bath (large bowl filled with ice and cold water)
Immersion blender

• Fill a large, heavy-bottom pot with water and bring it to a boil. Use paring or serrated knife to cut an X on both ends of each fresh plum tomato. Once the water boils, add the tomatoes to the pot, working in two batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pot or reducing the temperature too drastically. Allow the tomatoes to simmer in the water for about 30 seconds, until the skin begins to loosen and peel away from the flesh. Using tongs, remove the tomatoes to the ice-water bath. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin, squeeze out and discard the seeds, and coarsely chop the flesh.
• In a large, heavy-bottom sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat and add the onion, garlic, and pepper flakes. Let cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to keep the aromatics from browning, then add the chopped plum tomatoes and the canned tomatoes and their juices, squeezing the canned tomatoes by hand to crush them up a bit before they go into the pan. Stir well, season lightly with salt and pepper, and let cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have completely broken down.
• Remove the sauce from the heat and use the immersion blender to puree the sauce. (You may wish to carefully transfer the sauce to a large, deep mixing bowl, which will make it easier to manipulate the blender.) Return the sauce to gentle heat, add the butter, and cook and stir until the butter has been incorporated into the sauce. Stir in the basil leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Reprinted with permission from Ecco Publishing 


By the Book: “Essential Turkish Cuisine” by Engin Akin

Friday, November 13th, 2015



I snatched Essential Turkish Cuisine up the moment it hit Sauce HQ. A few of my good friends are Turkish citizens studying or working here in St. Louis, and I knew they would tell me exactly authentic Engin Akin’s recipes actually were. Akin’s book certainly starts out on the right note with an extensive explanation of the evolution of Turkish cuisine from its ancient roots in the steppes of Mongolia to the heyday of the Ottoman Empire to today’s modern republic.

I chose (or rather, my friends chose) to try a traditional Turkish köfte, or meatball, recipe. Kadınbudu köfte translates to “lady’s thigh kofte,” a dish that dates back to the Ottoman days of lavish palace banquets. A blend of ground lamb and ground beef are mixed with chopped onions, fresh parsley and cooked rice (instead of breadcrumbs), then dipped in flour and egg and fried until golden. Unlike Italian meatballs, these required cooking half the meat first, then combining it with the remaining raw meat and other ingredients before frying. While I don’t know that it changed the overall flavor, the oblong kofte cooked to an even tenderness with the juices sealed in thanks to a thin layer of golden egg.

This simple dish packed a surprisingly amount of flavor and served as a perfect appetizer before a dinner party. It also received the offical seal of approval from my Turkish host, who declared it to be as good as her grandmother’s. It doesn’t get much more authentic than that.

The Rundown
Skill level: Intermediate Though the recipe are simple, the book gives an entire overview of everything from lentil soup to whole roast fish to desserts, so familiarity with a variety of cooking methods is required.
This book is for: A Turk abroad looking for a taste of home or an American looking to travel in their own kitchen.
Other recipes to try: As recommended by my friends – zucchini pancakes (mücver), oven-baked flatbread (pide), Turkish dumpling (mantı) or semolina cake in syrup (revani).
The verdict: By a narrow 2-1 vote, the Engin Akin’s kofte trumps Maureen Abood’s buttery hushweh.




Lady’s Thigh Kofta (Kadınbudu köfte)
6 servings

1/3 cup (35 g.) medium-grain rice
2 onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 lb. (910 g.) lean beef, or a combination of lean beef and lean lamb (the combination will taste better)
¼ cup (5 g.) fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Salt and black pepper
½ tsp. ground coriander
1/3 cup (40 g.) all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
Olive oil for frying

• Cook the rice in ½ cup (120 ml.) water.
• Cook the onions in half of the butter over medium heat until softened.
• In a separate pan, saute half of the meat in the remaining butter, until all the liquid evaporates.
• In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the rice, onion, sauteed and raw meets, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and add the coriander.
• Remove egg-size pieces from the meat mixture and roll them one by one between your palms into elongated balls. Let sit for 30 minutes.
• Then roll the balls in flour and then in the egg. Heat ½ inch (12 mm.) of oil in a frying pan and fry the kofta over medium heat until golden on all sides and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot or warm.

Reprinted with permssion from Stewart, Tabori & Chang

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