Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Prenuptial Meat Patties

My friend, Kimberly Edwards, spent a number of years living in Italy. She was recently cleaning out her cookbooks and offered them to a good home. I took a couple, including this one...

I love to read cookbooks. I really learned a lot about the history of this region and it's cooking traditions. One recipe that caught my eye was "Prenuptial Meat Patties". Doesn't just make your mouth water, does it? But it's a great story. 

Traditionally, the mother of the groom cooks these the night before the wedding. She invites the future bride over and says something like, "Daughter-in-law, may you be the joy of my home. Do you bring discord or union?" Obviously, the bride should answer union! Then she gets to eat these yummy meatballs.  

When I found out the theme for our April Mixing Bowls Cookbook Club was "Italian", I immediately knew what I was taking!

The recipe I am giving you is DOUBLED. It made 72 meatballs.

Preheat oven to 375. Weigh out about 4 ounces of stale french bread. Sandwich bread would work, too.

Pour 1 cup of milk in a bowl.

Cut off crusts.

Cube bread.

Add bread cubes to milk.

Mix well and let it sit to absorb the milk. This is called a "panade". It keeps the meat tender and moist. 

Mix one pound each of lean ground beef, chicken and pork.

Chop four ounces prosciutto. (You could use bacon if you had to.)

Squeeze the milk out of the bread and add bread to meat.

I used my fingers to strain out the last bits of bread.

Grate a large onion.

I grated it onto a plate so I could leave the juice that comes out.

Add two beaten eggs, two teaspoons dried marjoram, zest of one lemon, 4 teaspoons salt, and black pepper to taste.

Before getting your hands messy, line baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Mix well without compacting meat.

Form into small egg-shaped meatballs.

Place on parchment-lined baking sheets.

I baked these about 20-25 minutes or until they started to brown. They will be mostly done, but will finish cooking in the sauce.

I still had to wash my pans, but it sure helped to absorb the grease.

Place meatballs in crockpot.

I LOVE these tomatoes. They are about $3.60 a can, but they are soooooo worth it. Once you try these, you will not want another brand. Rinse your can and save it. I'll show you why soon.

I picked out any leaves and trimmed the stem end. Chop the tomatoes and save the juice. I used two cans.

Add to a saucepan with 4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced. Add 4 tablespoons EVOO, one teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. I added a big pinch of red pepper flakes, but it wasn't called for.

Bring to a boil...

Reduce to simmer.

Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes until is begins to thicken.

Pour over meatballs in crockpot. I made them about 2:00 that afternoon. I turned the crockpot on high for about 30 minutes so it would heat quickly, then turned it down to low. We ate them about 7:00. 

I served them on a beautiful blue platter I found years ago at Big Lots. It just looked Italian to me!

I got three meals out of this...mixing bowls cookbook club on Thursday, lunch on Friday, and dinner on Saturday night! These are the best meatballs I have EVER had. You must try these.

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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