Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Timely, Yummy and Easy

i didn't want to get too deep tonight with food. i was running a little behind, wanted something easy and fast and something that would satisfy my one dinner companion tonight -- brandon. he can be kinda picky, not that it stops me, mind you. yeah, i know -- great mothering skills -- but, ya know, i always figure i can finesse something to get him to be happy. and tonight ended up being one of those challenges for me, because the book i chose was THE BEST AMERICAN RECIPES 1999 put together by Fran McCullough and Suzanne Hamlin. now, i know that doesn't sound like it should cause any issues with the all american burger eater, but i needed something fast, remember, and all the recipes i was flipping past weren't fast -- at least not the entrees -- ... until i came to MANLY MEATBALLS. these were under appetizers, but said they could be used as a main course, and i stared at them for a good five minutes before i decided to go for it because...

brandon does not

he likes them on pizzas, in meatball sandwiches with lots of sauce and cheese, but he does not like them i soup, on spaghetti or by themselves AS APPETIZERS. so, yes, i stared at this recipe long and hard, gauging my success rate and then thought "fuck it" and went with it. it was fast.
it was easy.
i could make this work.
oh, please.

2 long, slim loaves crusty bread (baguettes), about 2 1/2 inches in diameter
1 pound ground chuck (not leaner beef)
1/4 cup dark soy sauce, tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
5-6 scallions, white and light green parts only

what to do:
1. preheat the oven to 450ºF and set rack on the middle level or the racks on the top and bottom levels if you plan to use two baking sheets.
2. slice off and discard the heels of the baguettes and cut them into 36 slices about 1/2 inch thick. lay slices side by side on a baking sheet, or two if necessary.
3. mix together the meat, soy sauce, or tamari, brown sugar and scallions in a large bowl with your hands. knead thoroughly until you have a fine paste. make 36 small meatballs about the size of walnuts. put one in the middle of each bread slice, pressing down slightly. bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until the meatballs and bread have become one.

the report card: well, as these were cooking, brandon commented on how good "something" smelled. promising. as they were cooking, i came up with an idea and asked if he would like a boiled egg or poached egg with dinner. "no," he said, "i'd like an egg white scramble, though." yeah, well, i got caught up, scrambled whole eggs, put them on a plate, surrounded them with four slices of the bread with meatball, handed off a banana and gave the plate to him, waiting for the obvious -- "are these meatballs?" with curled lip disgust. yes, that happened. then he took a bite -- after i gave him the "just try them" urging in desperation (although i didn't show it, oh, no) -- and he took a bite of the morsel and walked off to sit down. "how's it taste?" i asked, fingers crossed.

"good," he said quickly, then ate all four without thought.

meatballs. brandon ate meatballs tonight and liked them.
he ate greens last night and liked them as well.
we may make it through puberty after all.

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