Lesson 62: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Has anyone seen that movie, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"?? I haven't (and have absolutely no desire to), but it made for a good title for today's post, eh? On this cloudy, rainy, dreary day, what better thing to make than meatballs?!

The day's recipes were from the Northeast region of Italy. Our groups divided up the recipes like usual and I immediately got to work on my meatballs ("Polpette Fritte"). These were not your traditional meatballs, which is why I was very intrigued and excited to try them out. It started out with a mix of ground beef, pork, and veal. I soaked some white bread in milk and crumbled the bread into the meat. I also added minced garlic, grated parmesan, eggs, chopped parsley, pine nuts, and raisins. My mom told me that her grandmother used to put raisins and pine nuts into her meatballs, so I loved trying this out. It was actually very good.. I may just have to add these ingredients to meatballs from now on..

I formed the meatballs and coated them in egg and breadcrumbs and pan-fried them in olive oil.

While we were all getting started on our recipes, one person from each group worked on the Antipasto to serve earlier on in class. Henri made our Frico con Patate e Cipolle:

This is essentially onions, potatoes, and lots of cheese! See that brown outer crust? That's pure cheese. (ooey, gooey delicioius cheese that is!) Kim described the dish well saying that it's like a grilled cheese sandwhich when the cheese oozes out and forms a crust on the pan that you pull off and eat (the best part). This was one fabulous (and filling) first course. It definitely gave us energy to finish off the rest of the dishes.

Kim, Henri, and I started working on the Fritto Misto di Mare (fried mixed seafood). I cleaned the squid while Kim filleted the sole and Henri de-veined the prawns. We left the shells and heads on the prawns, since they are meant to be eaten whole. I honestly did not try it because it freaked me out a bit... but I gave it to my brother so we'll see how he reacts.. heh.

Here's the fritto misto all fried up!

Other dishes of the day ingluded Fagiolini con L'Orore di Vaniglia (Haricots Vert with a shallot, parsley, celery mixture, all sauteed in chicken stock and tomato puree). This bean dish was finished with a touch of vanilla extract..interesante!

Zucchini in Scapece (Zuchini fried and served with a drizzle of white wine vinegar and a sprinkle of fresh mint):

Kim made this polenta dish, which was my absolute favorite! Polenta con Sugo di Porri (Soft polenta topped with an Italian sausage and leek ragu):
Nora made this extra dish, which I looooved. It's basically like the gnocchi we made last week, except with a variety of fresh herbs. I loved the fresh flavor of all herbs (especially the mint). She served it with a browned butter sauce:

There was one more dish today that I didn't get a picture of!!!! Minestrone Milanese! Maybe I didn't take a picture because I tasted it and it burnt my tongue so bad. I was probably avoiding it the rest of the afternoon. I'm sure it tasted great (couldn't tell because it burnt off my taste buds). I brought some home though so I'll be sure to have some tomorrow!

Oi, I'm exhausted! To bed early tonight!


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