User Friendly Meatballs

User Friendly Meatballs

I posted the recipe for this on Recipezaar. I adapted it from a Food and Family magazine recipe. Mine is even easier and more versatile. And very freezer friendly!

35 minutes prep, 4 servings

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 10 saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup Italian salad dressing, divided
  • 1 beef bouillon cube, dissolved in 1/2 c. boiling water
  1. Mix ground beef, cracker crumbs, and half salad dressing until well blended. Roll into 32 one inch balls.
  2. Heat the rest of the dressing in a non stick skillet on medium high heat. Add meatballs to skillet. Cook, turning occaisionally, about 8 minutes, or until brown. Add bouillon. Simmer about 5 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
  3. At this point, you can bag them and freeze, or add sauce. Pasta sauce of all kinds is good, so is a can of cream of mushroom soup, thinned out with milk.

While I was at the store earlier, I priced frozen meatballs: $3.50/lb! and those are the cheapest, most horribly bland ones that HAVE to be simmered in a good red sauce for at least 20 minutes to be worth eating. Mine taste great on their own, and only cost $5 – for 4 batches (a little more than a pound each)!

Asian User Friendly Meatballs03.22 Dinner

Last night I tried making one batch up as a bento box practice.  They were made exactly the same, but an Asian Sesame flavored salad dressing instead of the Italian. Then I tried to make an onigiri around them. They worked really well, but I want an onigiri mold now.  Or maybe an ice cream sandwich mold.  That way I can use it to make shaped hard boiled eggs.  Who knew you could mold a hard boiled egg??

Anyway, I made the meatballs early in the afternoon, 3 batches of regular and 1 batch asian flavored. The regular got cooled and put into labeled bags in the freezer and the asian got divided in two groups. The meatballs recipe usually makes 32 meatballs (I made one with larger balls for meatball subs, it made about 24), but the asian ones I rolled really small, about 1/2″ to 3/4″ in diameter so they would fit in the onigiri better, so it made FORTY NINE! I was not going to be making that much rice, I do not have a rice cooker. So 29 of them got flash frozen so I can make more onigiri in a few months, and 20 of them got made into onigiri yesterday (some got squirrelled away to make my first bento). They ended up being about and inch and a half in diameter with the rice. DH wants them smaller so they’re not so unwieldy with chopsticks. I told him to make them himself. 😛 I also made onigiri with chopped dried cherries and apricots mixed with honey (those are the big flat round ones with the nori wrappers), and a noodle salad:

Asian Carrot Noodle Salad
25 minutes prep, 1 hr. refrigerate, 6 servings

  • 2 ounces long thin noodles (about 1 c. cooked)
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Depending on your noodles, you may need to start cooking them before or after you slice the carrots. Mine only take 5 minutes so I did them afterwards. Regardless start boiling your water for them now.
  2. Wash and peel your carrots. With your vegetable peeler make long carrot “noodles”. This is the bulk of the prep time. If I find an easier way to do this, I will amend this recipe.
  3. Sprinkle the carrot peels with salt to draw out moisture. In a few minutes they will be quite limp (like cooked noodles). If you are using fast cooking noodles, now would be the time to cook them.
  4. Mix the last three ingredients.
  5. Mix the limp carrot strips, the cooked and drained noodles, and the sauce mixture.
  6. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving, but can be made as much as 24 hours ahead of time.
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