Sunday, August 29, 2010

Meatball "uglies" with creamed corn

Two dilemmas presented themselves to me yesterday. First, my dear friend and fellow blogger (and a favorite to many of you), Jenn, “Tagged me” with a challenge to answer 8 questions of her invention. I did so and, according to the “Tag” rules, made up my own 8 questions. However, I’ve been torn about publicly challenging my followers to answer them and continue the chain. I’m pretty sure Jenn will not be miffed by the fact that I am going to present the challenge in a different. If you choose to, upon reading this posting, I will be amused if you pick 1, 2 or all of the questions and answer them via a comment. Then it’s up to you whether or not you want to write up questions and “Tag” others. Fortunately there were no dire predictions for breaking the chain such as “Your hair will fall out!”; or “You’ll become impotent!” So, be my guest and follow your muse. The “Tag” game follows my recipes.

The second dilemma had to do with what to make for dinner. We discussed making burgers out of some pretty good-looking chuck steak I got on special. But as I kept thinking about that I began drifting toward a “conceptual” meal that was part nostalgia and part “nouvelle” nonsense. That’s what I went with. The creamed corn is pretty traditional, except perhaps for the inclusion of sour cream (just because there was a bit left over in the fridge). The beef part harks back to spaghetti and meatballs, but not quite. The sauce became merely incidental to the final product, more a decoration than a prominent theme. Also, it wasn’t to be served with pasta. And the leftovers become sort of sloppy Joe’s tomorrow. Here goes:

Ugly meatballs and creamed corn
The Meatballs:
1 lb. beef chuck
1 ½ tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
½ medium onion, sliced into half moons
salt and pepper to taste
oregano to taste
4 oz. tomato sauce
2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
8 oz. chicken broth

The Creamed Corn:
4 ears fresh sweet corn, steamed and kernels stripped from the cobs
2 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 heaping tbsp sour cream
½ cup heavy cream, more or less
½ tsp smoked paprika

Meatball “uglies”:
Use ground meat if that’s what you have. I had whole steaks which I ground with my handy-dandy attachment for my stand mixer. I double ground it, fat and all (although I would have trimmed out and gristly bits had there been any).

Scoop up about 2 golf balls worth of meat in your hand and squeeze it into a sausage-like shape, the more irregular the better. Set these aside.

Using a large sauté pan, heat the oil until shimmering. Sprinkle a bit of salt, pepper and oregano onto the surface of the oil. Add the meat “uglies”, scatter the onions around them, and leave alone for 2 minutes. During this time, sprinkle another pinch each of salt, pepper and oregano on top. Turn the meat and leave alone for 2 more minutes. Turn one more time to get browning on most of the surfaces. Don’t worry about being to anal with this, it’s going to cook for a while. Stir in and around the onions a bit too.

Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until the liquid has reduced and thickened to whatever consistency you are happy with. This will take about 30-40 minutes (I didn’t watch the clock too closely).

In the meantime, Creamed Corn:
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the corn. Saute, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. You’re done.

Now for the fun: Jenn’s questions, my answers, my questions, and (hopefully) some of your answers.

1. If you could be someone/anyone for 1 day, who would it be and why?
President Obama. I’d stay up for 24 hours straight and do stuff like issue an executive order ceasing “don’t ask, don’t tell” in it’s tracks.
2. Who or what inspires you the most?
Total strangers I see in the news who have done something so generous and/or selfless as to bring me to tears.
3. If you had only one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
Taurus (‘nuff said).
4. What is your favorite dessert?
The Gobi … or maybe the Sahara. Oh, not “desert,” dessert. “Never mind”, (in the voice of Emily Litella of SNL). Actually it would be a plate of exotic cheeses.
5. What is the first thing you notice about people when you meet them?
Their eyes.
6. What is your favorite season and why?
Oct. through Dec. because of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then New Year’s Eve when Peter and I have lobster for dinner.
7. If you knew today was your last day on Earth, how would you spend it?
8. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?
According to Scooper (my dog) it’s 212. I’ve never lick ‘em, I gnaw on ‘em.

Have some fun with this:
1. What is the bravest (or stupidest) thing you have ever done?

2. What is the funniest joke you ever heard?

3. What is one thing about yourself that you wish everyone in the world would accept and embrace?

4. What is the most exotic location you’ve ever visited?

5. What is something you ate for the first time, thinking you would hate, but actually loved?

6. Who are your most favorite and least favorite TV chefs?

7. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage? (Don’t drink? Then a soft beverage.)

8. If there are no dogs in heaven, would you still want to go there?


Mary said...

I love your recipes and the response to the questions posed to you. As to the dogs and heaven thing you posed .... consider the alternative :-). I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

Jenn said...

You rebel!! That's probably why you and I get along so well... rules are meant to be broken!! lol :)
I love the meatball uglies...they look wonderful...and then using leftovers as a sort of sloppy joe.. GENIUS!!
Love the questions too! I can answer #5...Eel!! First time I had it at a sushi place I was very hesitant, now it's my favorite thing on the menu!

Eugenia said...

I love when you can use leftovers for a different meal the next day! Great recipe!

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