Those of you who are Smitten Kitchen fans probably recognize a similar post about two weeks ago. As I was trolling the internet at work the other day, I stumbled upon this delicious recipe for homemade meatball subs and decided to make it on my day off.
Working for nymag.com has been kind of a dream internship-I’m reviewing restaurants, updating their listings database (which means I find soooo many awesome restaurants), writing short posts for Grub Street, and a slew of other lovely responsibilities. Not to mention that the peeps at NYMag are ridiculously cool. I suppose they have to be to do the job they were given: tell people what’s cool in New York.
Anyhoo, it’s been a while. I know I’ve neglected this blog a few too many times. Let’s see if I can keep posting on the regular. Now that I have a flash, I’m not limited to taking pretty pictures in the late afternoon! But back to meatball subs-this recipe, taken from Smitten Kitchen and tweaked ever so slightly, is an amazing lunch for a day off. Rather than be lazy and walk to the deli (or Brad’s for the NYU student) for a meatball sub, this robust homemade version is much more satisfying and makes a ton of servings, plus extra sauce for spaghetti.
Meatball Subs (adapted from Smitten Kitchen) Serves 4
-1 lb. ground pork
-1 lb. ground beef
-1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
-3/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you want them)
-2 small garlic cloves, minced
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-1 tsp. oregano
-1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
-1 large egg
-Batch of tomato sauce
-2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
-Ball of fresh mozzarella
Slice baguette into four even pieces. Slice each section in half and scoop out the fleshy bread in the center, pulsing it a few times in a food processor. Reserve in a small bowl with a tablespoon of water and a drizzle of oil. Toss to coat.
Make sure sauce is simmering. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, reserved bread crumbs, cheese, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, garlic powder, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, and egg. Mix with hands (this is the best way to do it-if you’re squeamish about it, you can use a spatula). With hands, form one-inch meatballs (I prefer smaller meatballs, but if you like yours bigger, by all means).
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. In batches, drop meatballs into the pan, rolling them around by shaking the pan for a few seconds. Make sure at least three sides get a nice caramelized brown, and then drop the cooked meatballs into the sauce. The meatballs should cook in the simmering sauce for about 25-20 minutes.
While the meatballs cook, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over low heat in a large skillet. Drop in onions and season with salt, stirring to coat with oil. They shouldn’t sizzle too loudly-if they do, the heat is too high. Stir every 5 minutes or so. The onions will gradually turn a golden brown. Slow cooking is the key to caramelizing. I didn’t caramelize them too much-they can get to be an incredibly deep brown, and that’s when they’re the sweetest.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
To assemble sandwiches, place bottom half of each section of the baguette on a baking sheet. Top each slice of baguette with three meatballs (more or less depending on the size of your meatballs), caramelized onions, and freshly sliced mozzarella. Place a few basil leaves on each sandwich, put the other half of the baguette on top, and throw it in the oven until the mozzarella has melted, about five minutes.
Enjoy with a pickle, chips, and sparkling water (NOT soda. It’s bad for you).