Saturday, October 30 2021

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Meatball-tini at Patsy’s Italian restaurant in Manhattan

(Courtesy of Patsy)

Our customers love appetizers almost as much as they love martinis, so I combined the two favorites to create the Meatball-tini. These mini meatballs (they are no bigger than a thimble) go down easily and I can eat them like candy. They are used in both Neapolitan meatballs and rice pie and meatball lasagna.
– Sal Scognamillo

Meatballs

– From “Patsy’s Italian Family Cookbook (St. Martin’s Press, $ 29.99) by Sal Scognamillo 6 to 8 aperitif portions

Ingredients

3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
6 Garlic finely chopped cloves
3 pounds ground veal
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 6 ounces)
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, and more for garnish
1 tablespoon finely chopped Fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs or store-bought dried breadcrumbs with Italian flavor, for sprinkling
Olive oil, for frying
3 cups Vodka sauce,heated
Green olives stuffed with chili, pierced on toothpicks, for garnish

instructions

1. To make the mini meatballs: put the breadcrumbs in a small bowl, drizzle with milk and let soak and soften for a few minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

3. Using your hands, combine veal, soaked breadcrumbs and onion mixture in a large bowl. Add the grated cheese, whole eggs, egg yolks, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper and mix again until well blended.

4. Sprinkle the countertop with about 1/2 cup of the seasoned breadcrumbs. On top of the breadcrumbs, shape about 3/4 cup of the meatball mixture into a 1-inch wide strip. Sprinkle the top of the strip with more seasoned breadcrumbs. Cut the strip into 1/2 to 3/4 inch lengths. Transfer the pieces to a large sieve or colander and sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs to prevent sticking. Rotate the sieve in a circulating motion to mix the strips of meat into balls the size of a ball. Transfer the meatballs to a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the meat and breadcrumb mixture.

5. Preheat the oven to 2000F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place near the stove.

6. Pour enough oil into a large skillet to rise 1 inch up the sides. Heat the oil over high heat to 3600F. Working in batches without overcrowding and adding more oil as needed, fry the meatballs until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using a skimmer, transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Keep the cooked meatballs warm in the oven while you fry the rest. (Meatballs can be chilled, wrapped in 1 gallon plastic storage bags and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat in an oven at 3500F for about 10 minutes before using.)

7. For each serving, place some of the meatballs in a martini glass. Garnish with parsley and green olives on spears. Serve ramekins of vodka sauce on the side to dip the meatballs.


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