2010/02/03

I know momma always said "don't play with your food", BUT...

Oh, come on now.  Surely I can't be the only person in the world whose momma used to scold her for playing with her food.  "Use your fork" or "Stop making animal sculptures out of your liver and onions" or "Beets are not for pets".  It can be a real buzz kill, 'eh???

Well, guess what?  I am a big girl now and I can play with my food if I want to.  HEE HEE HEE.  I can do all sorts of things.  And oh what fun that shall be!  Now that I am big girl, I have all sorts of tools and gadgets that can be used to do what ever I want to my food.  Mutiny in the kitchen, I say!  This girl has plans...  You see when I was at the grocery store, for some reason I thought that buying boneless pork chops would be a great idea.  It must have been on sale or something.  I can't think of any other reason why the insanity over took me (we aren't big pork eaters & #2 absolutely refuses to touch the stuff).

So, there I was with pork in the fridge and a "use by" date fast approaching.  They were lean and pretty and rarin' to go.  So what was a girl to do???  AHA!  Play with her food.  Fortunately, Red was ready and able to come to the rescue with a handy, dandy attachment.  THE MEAT GRINDER (suspenseful music plays in the background).   Oh, by the way, in case any one notices the pukey purple counters, I am so NOT IN LOVE WITH THEM.  They are on my list of things that need to go...  I did finally paint over the pumpkin baby dookie walls this fall (and no, I still haven't gone back and done the finish work and yes, the painters tape is still up... and yes, I know that is bad). 
Here is Red all dressed up and ready to go for a spin.  Isn't she pretty????  I LOVE her grinder attachment.  It's like a power tool for chicks!

I dragged her out of the pantry (I know that is so sad, but I don't have enough counter space to let her stay out all the time) and got ready for my play date.   Now, I am sure that some of you are catching on by now and may be wondering "hmmm, what is she going to do with that pork"?  Ok, I won't keep you in suspense!  I was gonna make me 'sum meat balls!

I had about 1.5 pounds of pork, which I cut into chunks.  I rummaged through the freezer and found my bread scrap bag (I throw bread heels in a bag in the freezer and save them for croutons, bread crumbs, etc.) -- grabbed 3-4 heels & shredded them (~2 cups).  I then chopped up an onion into large chunks and ran the pork, bread & onion using the large plates on the grinder. 


Kind of looks like worms, huh?  Or that Play Doh hair that extruded through the molds.  (EXTRUDE!  I love that word).  This is where the playing with your food starts to get kind of fun...  After all of the ingredients made it through the first grind, I added two eggs to the mixture, 2 tsp. of Italian Seasoning, 2 tsp. sea salt & 1 tsp. pepper and mixed them up really good.  I changed the plates on the grinder to the finer setting and ran the mixture through the grinder a second time.  Pretty cool, huh?  Now it looks a lot like the stuff that you get in those silly styrofoam packages at the supermarket (except, you get to control the cut of meat and the amount of fat going into your meal).

I took the mixture and formed them into 2" balls.  Da, da!  Pork balls!  Since I was trying to keep things lean, I baked them @ 375F for about 20 minutes (until they came through just about done in the center) - turning them over once during baking.  Since I planned on being a trickster and sneaking them into sauce for pasta & meatballs, I left them a little pink in the center so that they could finish off while the sauce was simmering. 

And what do you know?  PORK BALLS!  Here they are sitting in a pot of sauce.  This picture was taken mid-meal, so it's a little less pretty.  But, yum.  The left overs ended up being turned into open faced meatball sandwiches.   Excellent. 

The moral of the story is... it's ok to play with your food (especially when you get to make cool worm creatures in the process).  Sorry, mom - a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!


Recipe for "Pork Balls"
1.5 lbs pork (pre-ground or grind your own)
2 cups bread chunks (if you are not grinding your own, I would substiute ~1.5 cups finely shredded bread slices)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
2 tsp Italian Seasoning (or other blend)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375F.  Mix well.  Form mixture into 2" balls & place onto lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for ~20 minutes or until the interior is done (no longer pink).  Turn over at least once during baking.  Remove from oven & enjoy! 

The combination of lean meat & baking keeps this dish on the "lighter" side. 

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