Suffice to say that when I'm done talking to my washing machine for the day, the next place I spend the most time in is my kitchen. When I am in my kitchen, I do my best to find a way to feed my family great (reasonably) healthy food, that doesn't take all day to make. I've got other important things to do, like post pictures to twitter and think of funny things to say on facebook.
Lets start off by saying, the idea that follows (which wasn't my idea, but one I adopted after hearing about it a few years ago) may challenge the way you think about meat, and meat shapes. But it's time we started confronting food shapism and give alternate shapes a chance to flourish in our kitchens.
So, I know how many of you wake up in the morning and say, "I'd love to make meatballs for dinner, but they just take sooo much time."
You're correct in saying making meatballs takes a lot of time, and really it's quite gross, all that meat handling. But making meatsquares, or perchance you'd like to call them meat pillows if you like to talk fancy, is a fantastic time-saving alternative.
Here's how you make it happen:
Take your favourite meatball recipe,(mine involves chucking all the ingredients in my mixer equipped with my dough hook,) mix the dickens out of it, and slap it all in a bar pan/cookie sheet with sides. It works best if you fill the bar pan, side to side - though not to the rim! I have found my bar pans hold about 3 lbs of ground beef comfortably. Coincidentally, my stomach can almost hold half a pound of cooked meat squares comfortably.
Once your meat is laying there like a dead cow, you score it into little squares, using a pizza wheel, nylon knife or kitchen utensil of choice - I'm totally open to whatever kitchen equipment you want to use on this, remember, we're aren't shapist around here.
|The halfway point|
Pop it in your preheated oven and set your timer for half the baking time suggested. When your time goes, pull out your meatsquares and re-score. Finish baking till done, and not a minute less. Remove from oven, score one last time with feeling, and you're done! I like to move mine to a cooling rack and/or my mouth at this point, but again - you do whatever works for you.
|I call it: Tasty little squares of goodness on a greasy pan. Not coming to an art show near you|
Total time for this lovely exercise in embracing a variety of shapes in my kitchen: 30 minutes from the first flip of the switch on my mixer till they were done on a cooling rack. And now I have the main part of dinner for tonight done, plus enough to freeze for another day.
Gross? Maybe, but the whole fam-damily loves the taste of meatballs, and this ensures they get to enjoy one of their favourites far more often.
Oh, and one more thing. If you see one of these cow creamers. Please buy it. It just makes your day better. Guaranteed.