Meatball sandwich

So last week I met with my cousin (in-law) Susan at a coffee place in town. It was a late coffee so I decided to eat dinner. While I was looking through their menu I saw “Meatball sandwich.” I was so excited! It had been ages since I had one.

When they brought it to the table I was so disappointed! I couldn’t even tell if there were any meatballs involved in the making of that sandwich. And it was on two slices of whole wheat bread. Whole wheat is great! But meatballs — which there weren’t any — work much better in a baguette. Plus, I didn’t taste any marinara sauce (-_-)

Well, at least there was cheese (^_^)

So now I had this desire for a meatball sandwich that I just couldn’t shake. I just had to make it.

First: The Marinara Sauce. 
I started with some research. I looked at marinara sauce recipes here, here, and here. Picked up a few ingredient ideas and added some of my own as follows:

garlic cloves for marinara sauce and meatballs, peeled

7 garlic cloves grated
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 onions sliced
1 carrot grated
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh parsley
Fresh oregano
7 chopped tomatoes
½ a glass of wine

I started by peeling and grating all the garlic cloves I would need for the marinara and the meat balls.

Starting with the bay leaves, cumin seeds and garlic,….

cooking oil, cumin seeds, bay leaves and grated garlic in the pan, turn up the heat!

Stir and let it cook for a little bit, till the garlic is soft. Add water to keep it from burning.

garlic is softened
add sliced onions

Once the onions lose colour, add the grated carrot

add grated carrot (which marinara sauce usually doesn’t have, I just like it in there)

Add a little bit (very little) of water again if it’s dry, then cover. Leave it for a while for the carrots to cook but check it often and stir. Don’t let it burn.

I was determined to use herbs from my little garden for this. Fresh is always better.

the herbs, left to right: oregano, basil, parsley — fresh from the garden

My little basil plant needs a couple of weeks to recover, there’s very few leaves left. But I’m so glad it’s there! This is the first time I’m using oregano from my garden. There’s finally enough of it for me to start harvesting.

Washed them first, then bunched and chopped them all together.

shopped together

Set the herbs aside and chop the tomatoes. By now the carrots should be ready so you can add the tomatoes as you finish cutting them

carrots are ready

Then add the herbs and wine and stir.

add chopped tomatoes and herbs

Turn the fire to medium-low heat, cover and let it simmer till the tomatoes are supper soft and almost dissolved. Check it for water in a little while. If  it’s drying out and the tomatoes are not ready add some. But not too much, you want it to be thick

stir, simmer at medium heat

Next: The Meatballs.
Also looked this up a little, I liked the meatball recipes here, here, and here. And here is what I did:

meat defrosting in water

½ kilo of ground beef
1 large onion chopped
½ cup bread crumbs
7 garlic cloves grated
2 teaspoons dried oregano
ground pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
Mozzarella cheese Feta cheese for topping

the breadcrumbs!

I had some breadcrumbs waiting to get used. When I made the sweet potato soup, we didn’t finish the garlic bread. So I let it dry and crushed it to make bread crumbs for later use. This is later! (^_^)

I was out of Mozzarella cheese from making the lasagna so I asked my husband to bring some on his way home. In the mean time I went on with the mixing!

onions, garlic, pepper, oregano and breadcrumbs

In a large mixing bowl add the oregano, pepper, garlic, breadcrumbs and chopped onions. Mix with a spoon.

add the beaten egg

then add the egg and mix.

Check on the marinara sauce (^_^)

looking good, not too dry, and a bit chunky

Not ready yet but almost there. Can reduce the fire to low.

Back to the meat balls. Add the meat and olive oil. Mix with a fork.

add the ground beef and olive oil
mix, mix, mix!

Then lastly, add the salt.

add salt

I think the marinara sauce is ready. Smells really good! Turn off the heat and set aside.

good time to lick the wooden spoon

Next, make the balls. Wash your hands first (^_^)

Take a small amount in the palm of your hand and roll into a ball. You can make them as small or as large as you want. I made mine large because I didn’t want to look for the meat when I took a bite (^_^)

make the balls
arrange on buttered/oiled pan
space them nicely

When done, preheat the oven to 175°C. When it’s ready, put the balls in the oven for 20 minutes.

in the oven

After 20 minutes they’re pretty much cooked (depending on the size you used) but still soft and supper moist. Pull them out and inspect. Make sure they’re not falling apart. Although if they were I’m not sure what could be done (-_-)

after 20 minutes

Now switch to grill mode (if you have it) and put them back in the oven for 15 minutes. so they can get crispy on the outside.

not crispy enough, back in the oven!

With grill mode they are less likely to dry. They’ll heat up very fast and the outside will harden quickly and lock in the moisture.

nice crispy edges

They look lovely after the 15 minutes back in the oven

the aroma is amazing!

It’s time to make a sandwich!

(^_^)

OK. Cut the baguette to the desired length. Decide how many meatballs you want to fit in one sandwich and cut the length that will fit that many, based on the size of your meatballs.

cut the baguette

Slice the baguette (not all the way through) and put some marinara sauce in it

marinara sauce first

Then arrange the meatballs inside

them as many meat balls as you can fit

Top up with a healthy serving of marinara sauce and grated cheese.

marinara sauce on top

My sweet sweet husband offered to wash the dishes while the meatballs were cooking (^_^) Well, I now need to grate the cheese so I need the grater. It’s somewhere in this puzzle:

hubby puzzle!

I don’t know how he does it. He somehow manages to pile all the dishes at once. I would have just washed half of them first and the other half  later. Nothing to worry about, I’ve become a pro at this. I found the grater without breaking anything (^_^)

grated feta cheese

I was going to use the mozzarella he brought home but it had already gone bad (seriously Nakumatt!). The expiration date listed was 21st of January 2012 but it smelled so fowl! I took it back. More on this later.

I used the feta cheese that I had in the fridge instead.

sprinkle cheese on top

Sprinkle some on top and put the sandwich in the oven (still on grill mode). This time not for cooking, this is just to warm up the baguette. You could actually warm it up alone first if you prefer.

served! Hubby doesn’t like too much cheese, this is his, I put a lot more on mine!

 

Husband Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆
I like the chunky size of the meatballs, very flavourful, not dry, nice and moist. 

 

About aika

Making, eating and sharing good food are a splendid way to start, brake and end a day! I post good eats on www.pendolamama.co.ke. Life is a feast, eat up!

3 thoughts on “Meatball sandwich

  1. This seriously made me hungry. actually wouldn’t have noticed it was lunchtime if it wasn’t for this. (^▽^)

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