Sunday, March 16, 2014

On the move! - Part 2


Back again with the second part of recapping the first week in our new house and demonstrating how to make great meals while having half your stuff in boxes. As I look at Part 1, I realize I might have been a bit wordy. Well, it's been two months since we *actually* moved, so maybe I need to get off my arse and finish writing about this! Here goes!

- Saturday: Stuffed Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

On Saturday, there was a craving for Italian goodness borne of a craving for meatballs. But being us, mere meatballs would not suffice; they had to be STUFFED meatballs. That idea led a visit to Parma Ravioli where we acquired a loaf of foccacia and bocconcini balls. Now, having never made meatballs before and still scrambling to unbox the kitchen in full, this might have been a daunting task. Luckily, after a few searches around the Internet, I happily discovered that this stuffed meatball idea isn't too difficult to set in motion, as long as you keep it stripped down (a lot of the recipes I saw were a bit overdone, and coming from me, that's saying something)



- 1 lb. ground beef (medium or lean)
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 12 bocconcini balls, patted dry


- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mix all ingredients but the bocconcini balls together in large bowl.
- Take a portion of the meatball mix, about 4 cm diameter, and form around a bocconcini ball. Make sure you seal the meatball well, otherwise, the cheese will leak all over the place when you cook them.
- Place meatballs in a large ovenproof dish, such as a lasagna pan and bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until cooked through and cheese is melted.


... and balling!

While the Meatballs are cooking, whip together the Tomato Sauce!

Tomato Sauce


- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium-large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried basil or 1 tbsp minced fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- liquid as needed: either chicken stock, veggie stock, red wine or white wine. Try to avoid using water since it usually drains flavour.

- Heat olive oil on medium-high and sauté tomato, onion, celery, carrot and garlic for about 4-5 minutes.
- Add seasoning and liquid, stir thoroughly and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Simmer sauce for about 20 minutes, till it thickens.

To Serve

- Arrange 4-5 meatballs on plate. Top with tomato sauce.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel Parmesan cheese shavings onto meatballs (or use grated Parmesan). Garnish with fresh basil or Italian parsley.
- Serve with green salad and bread. For this instance, we used a lovely foccacia, sliced into long, dipping-sized pieces and served alongside a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Not a bad way to spend the first Saturday in your new home

Verdict? I make pretty kickass meatballs! The key to this one is in its simplicity; the flavours were clean and basic - it tasted like meat, cheese, tomatoes, herbs and garlic. What else can you ask for? Seriously, I think I'm a convert to the mono-meat meatball. All too often, meatballs ask for a mix of pork, beef and veal, but I found that using just beef made for one tasty ball. Having melty cheese inside didn't hurt either...

- Sunday: Pizza

Alright, alright, after this many days of cobbling meals together, it was time to seek out the bountiful goodness of the neighbourhood pizza joint. Luckily for us, there's one right on the corner! Anthony's Pizza at Hinton and Wellington is a spiffy place serving up some very rustic and delicious pizzas and calzones. 

- Monday: Pot Roast

By Monday, we had the kitchen fairly organized, but we still managed to find a recipe for pot roast that uses one dish (a dutch oven) and that's all. Our good Greg (aka Lefty McRighty) put this up on facebook and raved about it. As a result, I had to give it a try, especially after finding a lovely Angus roast on sale at Saslove's. Look it up here, drool and love it! It was AMAZING!

MEAT BUTTER (topped with veggies)!
Well, that's another look back at "Moving n' Cooking". Hopefully, I don't have to do this again for a while. 


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