This week's "Forking" column depicts the romantic potential of meatballs. Want to cook up your own protein spheres of romance? Follow Colin M. Redding's ball recipe.
Meatballs are the perfect opportunity for your date to get dirty with you. I always have everything prepared ahead of time. Each ingredient will be in its own bowl, and the meat will be in a shapely mound in a large dish. You shouldn't have to coerce your date to help; most times they'll offer to do something to help ease the nervousness anyway (I usually self-medicate with a few cocktails, but hey, we all have our methods). Once you're both poised above the meat, all you have to do is get your hands on it. But first you'll need to add the following:
- .5 pounds ground beef (get some fat in there, don't buy the super-lean, 85% will do) - 3 slices golden brown toast - 2 tblsp parsley - 1 clove finely chopped garlic - 1 egg - 2 tblsp grated Italian cheese - 1 tsp salt - .25 tsp black pepper
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While you're both there at the counter, hand your date the ingredients and have her toss the goods onto the mound of beef. I usually make a divot around the size of a golf ball in the middle for the egg, and then crumble the toast on top.
Next, grab some meat and place it right into her wanting little (hopefully) palms. Then just mix the meat together. Get in there and knead that shit.
Once you get the mixture well combined, start forming and playing with different sized balls. This is a great place to snort some off-color comment. Believe it or not, I stick with a nice-sized ball that's just larger than an average egg. Place the meatballs on a sheet pan lined with foil and cook at 350-375 degrees until firm, around 20 minutes.