Monday, January 13, 2014

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Nope, I'm not writing a review about the movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." I'm writing about meatballs and lots of them - 4 pounds to be exact! Every weekend in the winter months our family skies at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville, NY. Skiing is one of our favorite winter sports because it's something we can all do together.  Dave always says that my favorite part of skiing is having lunch at the lodge - and he's absolutely right!  I always bring a hot meal to the lodge and I take this task very seriously. Trust me, I'm not the only one who takes it seriously. Meal time at the lodge is a fierce sport in should see what people bring...tableclothes, candelabras, bottles of wine, Longaberger picnic baskets and crockpots filled with comfort food goodness. I'm constantly checking out other people's food spread and I know they are checking out mine, so I always make sure my spread is scrumptious!  If you are a ski family ya know what I'm talking about! So this past weekend I made one of our staple ski lodge crockpot meals "Meatball Parmesan." I love making this recipe because of it's savoriness and simplicity. Everyone thinks it's difficult to make homemade meatballs but it's actually quite easy. I always make a double batch and freeze the rest. They freeze well and can be used in a variety of dishes. So give it a try and impress your family. Heck, give it a try and take it to the ski lodge or wherever and impress everyone! So salute to "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs!"

Meatball Parmesan Subs

For Meatballs:

4 lbs of ground beef (85%)
2 eggs
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 t basil
1 t oregano
1 t parsley
1 tb minced garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt n pepper

2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

sub/hoagie rolls

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, gently mix all ingredients (except sauce and mozzarella) with hands until well blended. Loosely form meatballs into the size of a golf ball, they will decrease in size after baking. Four pounds of ground beef will yield approximately 50 meatballs.  Place meat on a baking pan with foil down for easy cleanup. No need for any cooking spray as fat from meat won't allow it to stick. Bake for 15 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes. 

Place one jar of sauce in a crockpot and add half of the meatballs in sauce.  Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, then add the rest of the meatballs and the other jar of sauce.  Cook on low for 2 hours.  Just before serving top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese until melted.  Serve on sub rolls or just by themselves. 

* This recipe can also be made with using your favorite high quality frozen meatballs. In a pinch I will use Wegmans Romano Meatballs.  

Food Impressions: (there were 10 of us)

Nate: "These meatballs are legendary!" 

Tyler: "This meatball sub is so huge I need a fork and knife to eat it."

Zachary: "Mom, don't forget to add extra cheese on mine." (He's my cheese lover)

Chris and Stephanie (our good friends):  They had eaten lunch earlier so they only wanted to split a sub.  When they finished they were helping themselves to more!  Stephanie's classic comment was "I gotta get myself some of those fatballs!" And the next day she did! 

Andrea (me): This is one of those simple foods that people keep coming back for more.  Almost everyone had seconds - I got the impression they loved em'!

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