Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Blue cheese and onion meatballs

I recently finished reading The Happiness Project and absolutely loved it and have talked it up to anyone who would listen.  I've described it as Eat, Pray, Love within the context of a normal life and without a lump sum of money to ditch everyday responsibilities and run off to exotic places.

Gretchen's book was engaging and insightful without being preachy or soapbox-y.  And I basically loved the author and her type-A self and want to have dinner with her ASAP.  I found myself laughing out loud while dog-earing pages at the same time.

I eventually flattened out those dog-ears and, instead, made photocopies of those pages I wanted to keep for one reason or another. Some copies were of two page ideas while others were to highlight a simple phrase.  This is possibly my favorite bit of happiness advice from the entire book:

"What do you think about when you're sitting on the toilet?  Because that's what you WANT to think about."

Or, modified slightly, what do you think about when you're in the shower?  Because that's what you WANT to think about. 

As luck would have it, I do my best thinking when I'm in the shower.  (Runner-up for best thinking time is when I'm running outside in the early morning.  Pun not intended.)  Maybe it's because for those 10 or 15 minutes, I can't be distracted with anything else, so it's just the water and suds, and me and my thoughts.

Thoughts about meatballs.  These meatballs.  Meatballs with sweet caramelized onions and tangy blue cheese.  Meatballs that, until that moment, had never occurred to me.  And yet, why not?  Two of my favorite burger toppings are caramelized onions and crumbled blue cheese.  If it can be on a burger, it could surely be in a smaller, rounder burger without a bun.

Say it with me: meatballs!

Juicy savory meatballs that have so much flavor you wouldn't dream of bathing them in sauce.  Maybe just a few caramelized onions for good measure.  And, if you're feeling saucy (see what I did there?), maybe create a meatball sub of sorts on a toasted roll.  With more onions.  And more blue cheese.  Maybe even a slice of Swiss melted over the meatballs for extra pizazz?

Oh em gee.  I can't even!  I'm kicking myself for not making a double batch of these and freezing some.  I could totally go for a meatball sub right now!

Meatballs with pizazz.  Meatballs that will make people happy!  You've gotta try 'em.

Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Meatballs
(an original recipe!)
-makes roughly 22 meatballs (using a #40 scoop)

1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
Pinch granulated sugar
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup panko or plain bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.  In a large skillet over medium high heat, add oil.  Toss onions and sugar in skillet and cook until brown and caramelized, stirring frequently, roughly 7 to 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow onions to cool slightly.  Reserve a few for topping later.  Pour onions onto a cutting board and chop into small pieces.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir until just combined.  Add cooled onions and stir until well incorporated.  Scoop round tablespoon-fuls (anywhere from the size of a walnut to a golf ball, depending on your preference) of the meatball mixture and place one inch apart on lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a meatball cut in half is no longer pink inside.  Serve and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. These are brilliant. I get my best ideas in the shower, too, but I've determined that it is the only time of day that I'm forced to keep my mouth shut! Finally, I will seek out that book based on your recommendation :)