Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shhh, there's Spinach in my kitchen.

Frozen chopped spinach was way less scary than I thought.

Today's recipe is Chicken Soup with Stars & Meatballs from Epicurious.

Chicken Soup with Meatballs & Stars

2/3 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan
3/4 pound ground turkey or lean ground beef
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup cooked, squeezed dry, and chopped spinach
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces star-shape pasta (or any small pasta, such as orzo)
4 cups chicken stock or broth
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1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Set aside 4 tablespoons of the cheese.
3. Combine the ground meat, onion, bread crumbs, spinach, egg, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining cheese in a medium bowl. Shape into 30 meatballs, each 1 inch in diameter.
4. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to medium-low; add the meatballs and cook, turning, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a large saucepan.
5. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions; drain.
6. Add the chicken stock to the browned meatballs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the meatballs are just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta and salt to taste.
7. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the reserved cheese.

I used about a pound and a quarter of meat. Good thing too, I don't know if the ingredients would have stuck together or not.  I thought it looked like an awful lot of spinach... I used Bullion Cubes instead of Stock since its just cheaper and what I had. Along with standard Italian Breadcrumbs that you'll always find in my meager cooking arsenal.

I forgot to add the salt to the meat mixture but they still tasted great. I was too busy messing with the camera to even notice at the time. I think next time I'll try not browning the meatballs in the oil though, as per one reader's suggestion.  Soup was more oily than I expected.  The soup is still awesome, especially since I've never really made soup before! My toddler ate two bowls full. Go me.  I'll definitely make sure to have company soon to share. Grandpa [Pops] always wants to stop over, maybe we'll send some home with him.  There is NO-WAY Hubs and I will finish all this on our own!  If we're not totally sick of it, I'll make it again and scale down.

I made too much pasta. But we ate it anyway.

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