We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Party foods #13 'Italian' Meatballs in Parmesan Sauce

    Right off the bat, I think that I should make it clear that this is not a "true" 'Italian' recipe for meatballs. I have a feeling that if my Uncle Ernie, who is a 'true' Italian (he married into the family), were to read this recipe, he might shake his head and chuckle over it being called such. But he'd still love me. ;->.
   Why then did I dub it such? I took a recipe for "Cocktail Meatballs" that I got off of the wife of one of Brian's co-workers, many jobs ago. Combined it with a recipe I'd clipped out of some magazine, at some point in time. Added in my imagination. And wrote down what I did as I went along. All the while "hoping" they would turn out!
    See, I have had very few successes when attempting to make meatballs over the years. But I have been ever so determined to conquer doing so!! Why? Because I can barely stand the 'store bought' variety, and most everybody likes meatballs.
    Why don't I like the 'store bought' ones? The fact of how many we both served and ate over our years of working for caterers, probably does have something to do with it. But the biggest reason really, is that I just don't like the taste of the meatballs themselves. Yes, you can put different types of sauces on them. (Trust me, I've had them with LOTS of different ones on them!) But the sauce never penetrates the whole meatball. So you still end up, in the middle of them, tasting only the meatball itself.
    But back to why I dubbed them 'Italian' Meatballs. I had to name them something. And as I read down the list of what I had added, the majority of the items were ingredients that we use in America's renditions of 'Italian' cooking. Make sense?  It did to me.

   This week I have been doing the postings about the snackie foods we made for Christmas, due to how how this weekend is New Years and lots of people either attend parties which they are suppose to take "snackie foods" to, or, they make that type of foods to eat while watching the football game on New Years Day. The foods we made were: Fresh Vegetable Pizza, Bacon Cheese Ball, Spinach dip with Pumpernickel, Shrimp Dip, "Italian" Meatballs in Parmesan Sauce and Sausage Dip.
    Today I am posting the recipe for the Meatballs. At the bottom of this posting, you will find links to the other "party type foods" I have previously posted about. You'll have to come back and visit us again, to find the recipe for the other item. ;->

    I used three of our tubes of Bison meat, as well as one tube of Meijer (R) brand sausage.
     Blended them together, using a pastry blender.
    Add 2 cups fine bread crumbs.
     2/3rds cup of (not fresh) parsley (only because I didn't have fresh ;-p)
     1/3 cup garlic powder, 1/4 cup Italian Seasoning and 1 teaspoon black pepper
     top with 1 cup of fresh grated Parmesan Cheese (store bought - NOT in a green jar)
     Add four (4) large sized eggs. (remember to take a picture of them if you plan on doing your own posting. 8-/) Why eggs?  They help bind / hold everything together. Why did I use four? One for each tube of meat. ;-p  ( <--- BONUS TIPS there)

   Blend everything together, at first using the pastry blender, then switching and using your sprayed hands.
    Spray your cookie scooper, so that you really do make all of your meatballs the same size. Then roll it into better balls (you don't want them flat on one side).
      This recipe made six (6) dozen (= 72) meatballs.
     Bake in sprayed pans at 350o for 40 minutes.
     Place pans up on wire cooling racks and let cool for 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, start making your sauce.
    Place 1 cup butter in a large sprayed sauce pan (or small dutch oven).
      When enough of the butter is melted to fully cover the bottom of your pan, dump in 2 cups chopped onion.
     ( as you can see from the picture, we used a mixture of Spanish Onion and the white ends of Green Onions.)

      Simmer on low until the onions turn clear, stirring occasionally.
     Add 2 cups of the fresh grated real Parmesan cheese, and blend everything together.
     Dump in 3 cups regular flour.
       Blend it all of the way into the butter mixture, until it's a lumpy, blurry (sorry!) mess.
       Add 1/3 of a gallon (in other words, I forgot to measure) of whole milk.
      Stir constantly over medium high heat, until it bubbles and thickens.
      Turn burner off!  (No, I didn't forget. Just don't want you to either.)

     Put one layer of the cooled meatballs into the sprayed liner of your crock-pot.
      Keep adding layers till you've got all of your meatballs in. (You get far more meatballs in by layering them in, then you do by just dumping them in. < --- BONUS TIP there)
       If this took you too long and your sauce got a top layer on top of it, use a whisk to get everything smooth again. ( <-- 'Nother BONUS TIP ;->)
      Pour the sauce in on the meatballs. Use a long handle spoon, run it down the sides all around the crockpot, helping the sauce sink in further. This in turn will help you add more of the sauce to the pot. You might be able to add all of your sauce. You might not.
    Cook on high for about a half hour to help get the meatballs heated through again, then cook on low for a couple of hours.

     Yes, this could easily be made up a couple of days ahead of time and stored in your fridge. Just let the crock itself loose a lot of it's chill, before putting it in it's base and plugging it in. 

    And now for the actual recipe -
       'Italian'  Meatballs in Parmesan Sauce
               recipe by Cheryl B.     

     3 pkgs. Bison Meat
     1 (16 oz) pkg Ground Sausage
     2 cups fine Bread Crumbs
     2/3 cup Parsley Flakes
     1/3 cup Garlic Powder
     1/4 cup Italian Seasoning
     1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
     1 cup shredded fresh Parmesan Cheese
     4 large Eggs

     Blend the meats together. Dump on the rest of the ingredients in order given, and blend everything together thourally. Use a sprayed cookie scoop and then your hands to from the meatballs. Place them in greased baking pans.
     Bake at 350o for 40 minutes.
     Cool in the pans on wire racks.

    1 cup Butter
    2 cups finely chopped Onion
    2 cups shredded fresh Parmesan Cheese
    3 cups Flour
    1/3 gallon whole White Milk

    Put the butter in a large, sprayed, sauce pan. When melted butter covers the bottom of your pan, dump in the chopped onion. Simmer over med. high heat until onions turn clear, stirring occasionally.  Then add the Parmesan Cheese and stir it into the butter mixture.  Dump in the flour and stir till it's all blended in. Pour in the milk, stirring constantly until mixture bubbles and thickens.

    Layer by layer place meatballs into sprayed liner of crockpot. Pour the sauce over the top, helping it in, by running a long handled spoon around the sides. Place cover on top. Heat on high for a half hour, then on low for a few hours.

   This could easily be made up a couple of days ahead of time and stored in your fridge. Just let the crock itself loose a lot of it's chill, before putting it in it's base and plugging it in. 

~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;-> ~ ~ ;->
You might also enjoy these postings:

~ "Party Foods" -
   - #1 - Bean Salsa (also known as "Rugby dip")
   - #2 - 'Polish roses' and Pickle Wraps
   - #3 - Garden Fresh Bruschette
   - #4 - Deviled Eggs
   - #5 - Chocolate Covered Strawberries
   - #6 - Improvised Chili Based Dip Recipe 
   - #7 - Bacon Cheese Ball
   - #8 - My version of Fruit Pizzas
   - #9 - Brownie Cups
   - #10 - My version of Veggie Pizza
   - #11 - My rendition of Spinach Dip
   - #12 - Shrimp Dip

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:

  ~ "Foodie Friday('s)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)     
  ~ "Simply Delish Sunday('s)", are hosted by KB and Whitesnakes, at 'KB and Whitesnakes Home' (http://kbandwhitesnakeshome.blogspot.com)
 ~ "Creative Monday's", are hosted by Clair Justine, at 'Clairejustineoxox' (http://clairejustineoxox.blogspot.com/), and Judy, at 'Judy-H-JS Thoughts' (http://judyh-jsthoughts.blogspot.com/)
  ~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven'  (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)'  (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
  ~  "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes'  (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
 ~ "Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits", hosted by Susan, at 'Permanent Posies / Creative Chaos' (http://permanentposies.com/)
 ~ "Totally Tasty Tuesdays", are hosted by Mandy, at 'Mandy's Recipe Box' (http://www.mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace'  (http://www.blessedwithgrace.net/).
    ~ "Foodie Wednesday('s)", are hosted by Bibi, at 'Daily Organized Chaos' (http://www.dailyorganizedchaos.com/). 
   ~ "These Chicks Cooked Link Party",
hosted by Katie L, at 'This Chick Cooks' (http://thischickcooks.blogspot.com)
 ~ "Full Plate Thursday('s)", are hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/). 

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