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Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Last Meatball

I posted several things about meatballs over the summer, which I bitterly refer to as the wettest of all seasons. Whatever you choose to call it, weather-wise, this summer was a definite wash out. Perhaps this will be the last post concerning meatballs, but I can't promise. Baby and I were just given a side of venison and all sorts of ideas of what to make with it have sprung forth. For all I know, venison meatballs may just be in our future, to fuel us in the cooler months.

Sadly I have to accept the fact that we may only have a few days of Indian Summer left over, so before I let it go, I'd like to reminisce for a moment on how we dispensed with some of our leftovers (including meatballs) over the summer before I put a cap on the whole damp thing.

George Carlin made a joke, as another witty friend reminded me, about leftovers and why they make you feel good twice: first for being thrifty, and again when you save your life by throwing them out.

But we didn't throw our leftovers out! In our own home, our perhaps Top Chef-inspired Kitchen Challenge was to make dinner from ingredients we already had on hand, which included some leftovers that of course, were still fresh or frozen and perfectly good.

Shrimp Pesto Pasta was created from a bag of frozen jumbo shrimp that we first thawed in a quick rinse under cold water, then grilled on our All-Clad panini press (yes! it's not just for panini!) with a little olive oil. We further poached the shrimp in a pork stock that Baby had made and froze from some of the borczek left over from our Eastern European dinner earlier in the summer. We also could have just subbed chicken or fish bouillon for this. Whole wheat pasta staring at us from the cupboard was tossed with pesto (we already had the pine nuts and olive oil, I just grabbed a fistful of basil from the roofdeck communal stash). Borczek made another appearance, thawed, cubed, sauteed and tossed in. It was delicious.

Another evening this summer, we had made Marian Curcio's Meatballs and we made so many that we had some leftovers--five fine, juicy orbs to be exact. We were in a quandry of whether or not to freeze them (they are great to freeze, by the way, if not even better, we discovered after heating up a more recent batch) for a later date, but decided just to eat them a few days later. But what to serve with? I considered the zucchini from a friend's city garden that would have perished if we didn't use it soon. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls were in our fridge, still in the tube, so I knocked it on the counter to free the dough and spread the whole thing out on a cookie sheet, made an onion and garlic balsamic jam (sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until yellow and softened, deglaze with balsamic vinegar, turn off heat and add honey to thicken) to spread on the dough, topped with shaved zucchini (let drain in a colander first for 30 minutes) and placed it in a 425 degree oven until browned (about 17 minutes or so) to make zucchini pizza. If you have any petulant cheeses lurking about, such as gruyere, grate that on as well before baking.

As there were only five meatballs left, we each had two. When it came to seconds, naturally I let Baby have the last meatball.

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