Wednesday, August 8, 2018

1970s Hometown Cookbook: Dave Cooks All the Recipes. Part 6: Rice Meatballs.


Recipe Count: 5 of 156 Complete.



In Part 3: Golden Glazed Chicken I mentioned that there are "church cookbook tropes."

Specific to each era are ingredients, techniques, recipe names, artwork, "jokes,"  etc... that you will see repeated over and over. As a subtext during my "Favorite Recipes" journey I will attempt to highlight these tropes.

"Golden Glazed Chicken" piqued my interest because the Jello glaze is something I can't remember seeing in any other recipe. Tonight's selection, "Rice Meatballs," is a variation on a theme firmly attested across decades of church cookbook cookery.

Rice as a filler in meatballs is an effective method to stretch your protein. Here, one pound of ground beef serves 6.

Pat Gallachi's "Rice Meatballs" is a spare interpretation of the method. In other books you will see these recipes named "porcupine meatballs" in more complicated (often "sweet and sour") variations.

I halved the proportions as I have no need to feed 6. Obtained the beef from McCarroll's at the 4 Corners (throbbing heart of Delmar).


**BONUS** A historical McCarroll's advert I have. **BONUS**


Grating onion is a forgotten process.  With the box grater you have a pulverized mush and juice. This adds nostalgic onion flavor to the meat that is missed when you chop or dice.


The accidental artistry of making meatballs. Ingredients in a bowl.


Here we have very loose/wet meatball.


Have to be careful when browning lest they disintegrate.


The minute rice absorbs the liquid during the cooking process and you are left with a dry and sauceless meatball.


When the grains of rice begin to protrude from the balls like tiny larva you know you are almost there.

Pat Gallachi provided us with scant instructions in her "Rice Meatballs" recipe. I try to intuit things and imagine preparing this as part of a fleshed out dinner time. Leaving the meatballs covered near the heat for 15 or 20 minutes post suggested cook time makes sense. Of course you have to set the table and prepare your side dishes. Give the rice in those balls a minute to relax in a steamy environment and get tender.


Don't depend on a sauce with "Rice Meatballs." The rice soaks up the liquid and the balls are left kissed with a congealed tomato juice coating. The way odd bits of rice detach from the balls and become part of the coating is a feature rather than a bug.

Notes on Taste:

Remember the meatballs from Chef Boyardee's spaghetti and meatballs? "Rice Meatballs" is almost there. The balls are loose textured and have a similar umami punch from the reduced tomato juice (and that trademark tinned tomato twang). All in all a bit dryer/crumblier, but you get the idea.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it. The rice is off putting. I won't say that as you chew your mind conjures images of meatballs infected by wriggling larva, but I also won't not say it...

There will be a **LEFTOVERS REVIEW** to follow. I'm going to try to get this over on my children tomorrow.




1 comment:

  1. Yeah, they pretty much look like larvae crawling out.

    ReplyDelete

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