A colleague of mine told me a joke yesterday:
“How many Jets does it take to get to the Super Bowl?”
“How many?” I said.
“Two. One for the Packers and one for the Steelers!” He roared with laughter.
“Funny,” I dryly responded. In appreciation for the joke, I proceeded to fix him a cup of coffee. Who’s smiling now, buddy?
Yes, I’m still bitter from the Pittsburgh loss. Why were the Jets asleep at the wheel during the first half of an AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME? Why did they have to lose to a group of degenerates who notoriously rack up fines and suspensions like Charlie Sheen trashes hotel rooms? Why do I continue to support a franchise which, without fail, leaves me curled up in the fetal position on the morning after each season ending loss with a brutal hangover and an empty Kleenex box, surrounded by a litter of candy bar wrappers and uncapped magic markers?
Well, it’s hope I suppose. Because regardless of how painful your team’s season ending loss was, there is always next year. And even sooner to the rescue, is the Super Bowl: an event so commercialized and familiar that even the most left out of football (or non-football) fans feel welcome to participate in. For many, it grants us one more opportunity to watch some quality football. For everyone, it provides quality entertainment and food. And what better idea for a Super Sunday snack than a mixture of American and Italian greatness? Enter, the meatball slider – the perfect handful of a mouthful which teases your brain into thinking that three of these suckers is considerably less damaging than an entire meatball sub. Well, actually, it is… provided you subscribe to the below mentioned, from-scratch recipe:
What You Need:
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork of veal
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (seasoned)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup ground pine nuts
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped taragon
3/4 teaspoon salt
a couple shakes of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fresh basil (about 12 large leaves)
Mini Parker Rolls (or Brioche rolls)
Tomato Sauce: You can use your own recipe, or the one I describe here.
What To Do:
Place your ground (defrosted if it was frozen) meat In a large mixing bowl and mix to combine well.
Add in your breadcrumbs, ground pine nuts (you can grind them in a food processor) and everything else. Mix very well to combine. You really can’t over-mix.
Make sure the “meat-dough” is holding together. To do this, grab some with your hands (come on, you can do it!) and form it into balls. Pretend you’re making snow balls. With meat. If it’s holding together, continue making balls and setting them aside on a platter. If it’s not holding together, you can add another egg.
Once you have formed all your meatballs, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Place your raw meatballs in the pan and fry ’em up!
You will need to rotate them a bit, so they brown evenly on all sides. Don’t do this with your bare hands. Use some tongs or a spatula at least. I’m begging you. Also the fat from the meat will combine with the oil of the pan and become VERY, VERY HOT. It may just splatter. Yet another use for those safety goggles I like so much.
This whole cooking process should take about 10 minutes. If you made giant meatballs, 15.
Open up your mini rolls like buns and place one meatball inside. Top with 1 large basil leaf. You can hold this whole contraption together with a toothpick if you like. Serve the tomato sauce on the side.
Note: You don’t have to use the pine nuts if you can’t find them or are allergic to nuts. They did give the meatballs a nice, nutty and slightly sweet flavor, which I liked very much.