M is For Meatball

18 07 2010

As a result of living in Astoria, one of the things I’ve come to love is a nice, juicy meatball.

No, I am not talking about Italian men.

I’ve come to enjoy meatballs because they’re easy to make and pretty uncomplicated. Plus, a batch of ground meat weighing anywhere between 1.3 – 1.7 lbs lasts me for days and doesn’t go over $5. Factoring in an additional cost of eggs, breadcrumbs, and dry seasonings, it’s a great thing to make when the bills are higher than usual. There’s a ton of ways to liven up ground meat, so if you’re stuck eating them for a few weeks in a row, you don’t have to be bored.

And, who doesn’t love meat shaped like a ball?

I wouldn’t lose this if someone sneezed.

As of late, I’ve been noshing on a spin of New Jersey housewife Caroline Manzo’s “Mama Manzo’s Miraculous Meatball” recipe- a beef, pork, and veal fried to juicy perfection. While I’ve also eaten baked balls, these healthy versions don’t have the same ooomph as a fried meatball. Other variations are turkey/pork combinations or just straight turkey; while they are lighter and pretty easy on the digestion, they don’t have the same decadence that comes from eating the beef, pork, and veal combo.

Another favorite is a lambic-beer marinated lamb meatball, fried to perfection and carrying a slightly boozy, hearty taste.

Am I a meatball-and-tomato-sauce-type? Nope. I’m not terribly fond of tomato sauce and meatballs together. I concede that it could be because I have not yet had a combination that makes me want to copy the recipe in that instance, but it isn’t my preference. I like my meatballs hot, juicy, and with a little cheese. (No, I’m not talking about guys from Astoria. Really.)

And, just because I miss the fish balls I ate as a child, I’m on a current quest to see if it’s possible to make a seafood meatball. I’ve seen a couple recipes involving shrimp and scallops, and another one for swordfish. But, so far, I haven’t come across any definite ways of making that seafood meatball.

But, in the meanwhile, I’ve got my sights set on this fun little restaurant: The Meatball Shop. A Lower East Side hangout entirely devoted to meatballs, I can’t wait to make someone go with me for this jaunt.

Suggestions? Meatball tips? I’m open.

Perfect to snack on at IKEA.