Justin has been cooking for me a lot these days. For lunch yesterday, he made these meatballs and they were delicious–tasty, but not too spicy.
Because I’m 31 weeks pregnant (and throughout my entire pregnancy), I’ve been trying to eat more protein than I usually do. A baby is made up of a lot of protein, so it makes a lot of sense. My favorite prenatal nutrition book is Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby’s First Foods by Nina Planck, author of Real Food. Her philosophy is a better-communicated version of Sally Fallon’s, of the Weston A. Price Foundation, who advocates a traditional diet of traditionally raised meat (note: not factory farmed), organic fruits, vegetables, and dairy, and whole grains.
You can read about these diets (as in a way of eating, not a weight-loss program) on their various websites, but allow me to pique your interest. Much of what Planck and Fallon argue is completely opposite to many things you’ve probably heard about conventional nutrition. Eat your egg yolks. Drink whole dairy. Avoid soy–especially soy milk and other nontraditional soy products. Check out their websites if you’re interested.
Anyway, back to the meatballs. The original recipe called for veal and pork, but I don’t really think there are many ethical sources for veal in West Michigan (or anywhere, I’m guessing), so Justin left it out and we used beef instead. It worked well.
1/3 C. whole milk
1/3 C. fine dry bread crumbs
6 bacon slices, chopped
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 T. chopped garlic
1 T. finely chopped seeded canned chipotles in adobo
1 t. ground cumin
3/4 t. dried oregano
2 T. water
1 lb. ground beef
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 C. chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional–or use dried)
Garnish: lime wedges, optional
Stir together milk and bread crumbs in a large bowl. (Cooking note: this is a technique to make meatloaf, meatballs, or hamburgers more tender and moist.)
Cook bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but 1 T. fat from skillet, then cook onion, garlic, chipotles, cumin, and oregano in skillet, stirring, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add water and cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until water has evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir into bread crumb mixture, then add ground meats, egg, parsley, bacon, and 1 t. salt and mix well with your hands.
Preheat broiler to low.
Form scant tablespoons of meat mixture into balls and place on oiled broiler pan. Broil 3-4 inches from heat until browned and cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
We ate these with potatoes, green beans, and homemade ketchup.