Culinary Extraordinaire Aida Mollenkamp launched her very first cookbook this week. It is called the “Keys to the Kitchen- The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook ”. I feel like Aida has really aimed to recreate the traditional cookbook, because in addition to the 300 recipes (!!) she has also added tons of resources, ingredient and technique information, and an amazing amount of tips on how to NOT cook exactly from a recipe. She calls this “cooking from the hip” and I think it is a real service to people who are still getting comfortable in the kitchen.
Her incredibly informative and creative cookbook breathes new life into cooking for a younger generation. Every recipe is more interesting than the last, and none of them are basic. They are all packed with unique flavor combinations and ingredients that while easy to find, I had often not thought to use together. Very cool, and certainly inspiring.
After I was invited to the Keys to the Kitchen Virtual DInner Party (lucky me!) Pete and I went through the huge book, and I let him choose a few recipes that made his tummy rumble, and then I got final say. I had to go for these meatballs. If you add some spaghetti and tomato sauce, than this is a TOP COMFORT FOOD of all time for me!! They just looked to dang good. And guess what? They actually blew-my-mind. I ate two right away and Pia ate one. (Please keep in mind that they are the size of a baseball.) I really couldn’t help myself. They were so flavorful and so tender, but with a little bit of crispiness on the bottom.
After Pia and scarffed them down in the afternoon, I reheated them up later that evening with spaghetti and tomato sauce and served everything with a generous portion of grated parmesan. Amazing.
I actually was so incredibly thrilled with this recipe that I am going to buy a copy of this book for one of you guys.
If you would like to enter to win a copy of Aida Mollenkamp’s “Keys to the Kitchen”, please leave a comment on this post about what your favorite comfort food is.
**The giveaway is open until Tuesday, October 30th at 11:59 p.m. MST. The giveaway is only open to USA residents. Be sure a valid email address is included with your comment. Winner will be chosen randomly (random.org) and announced on this post Wednesday, October 31st in the morning. I will email the winner and if the winner doesn’t respond in 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!
THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED!!!
The winner is #13:
Submitted on 2012/10/25 at 6:23 am
“These look delicious! I would say my favorite comfort food is any kind of quickbread.”
To make these meatballs, this is what you do:
Heat the oven to 375 degrees and arrange a rack in the middle.
Add the onion, cheese, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic and eggs to a food processor and pulse until very smooth.
Transfer to a large bowl along with beef, pork, bread crumbs, parsley and oregano and gently mix together until everything is thoroughly combined.
Divide the meat into 12 parts and roll between your palms until you have a ball. (Keep in mind these are HUGE meatballs, about the size of a baseball!) Put the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until the meatballs are firm and just cooked through, 25-30 minutes.
Eat alone or eat with tomato sauce or with spaghetti.
Recipe: “Itai” Meatballs
- -½ red onion, finely chopped
- -½ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (plus more for serving)
- -3 Tbs toasted pine nuts
- -3 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes, minced
- -1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- -2 ½ tsp kosher salt
- -1 ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- -4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- -2 large eggs
- -1 lb ground chuck beef, chilled
- -1 lb ground pork, chilled
- -2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- -¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- -2 Tbs minced fresh oregano
- 1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and arrange a rack in the middle.
- 2. Add the onion, cheese, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic and eggs to a food processor until very smooth.
- 3. Transfer to a large bowl along with beef, pork, bread crumbs, parsley and oregano and gently mix together until everything is thoroughly combined.
- 4. Divide the meat into 12 parts and roll between your palms until you have a ball. (Keep in mind these are HUGE meatballs, about the size of a baseball!) Put the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet.
- 5. Bake until the meatballs are firm and just cooked through, 25-30 minutes. Eat alone or eat with tomato sauce or with spaghetti.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12