Tis the season to be jolly. And I’ve been jolly! It’s not especially good for my figure nor my blog because I’m not cooking as much…but it’s oh-so-good for my spirit. I’ve already gone to a couple of holiday parties and tomorrow night I’m excited to be going to the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival where I’ll be tasting food from some of South Florida’s top chefs. In fact, my calendar is quite full between now and the end of the year so I will have plenty of festivities to share with you as we approach 2012.
Tonight, however, I stayed in and cooked. This is a variant on the universally-loved spaghetti and meatballs.
After dinner, as I set out to write this post, I decided to look up what part of “the boot” spaghetti and meatballs came from. I didn’t know, but now I do. It’s not traditional Italian cooking. I found this interesting 4-year-old post which tells a slightly different history than I imagined.
Whatever its origin, it is decidedly Italian-influenced. I’m sure even this variant has been done in some form or another, but I “winged it” adding a few FOODalogue touches (see*) to this more-Mediterranean-than-specifically-Italian dish.
1 lb. ground lamb
1 clove garlic minced
*handful mint chopped
1 egg beaten
whole wheat panko crumbs to bind
*feta cheese crumbled
Baked at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. Yields about 10 palm-sized.
The Eggplant Sauce
Although I’m not much of a sweet (meaning dessert) eater, I do like a hint of sweet in savory dishes. Agrodolce, generally made by mixing vinegar and sugar, appears in a lot of my dishes, especially eggplant for some reason; however, I take an easy and sure-proof way by using Balsamic Glaze. It’s thick and syrupy and just a little creates the perfect balance. I also include raisins.
1 eggplant finely chopped
1 clove garlic minced
8 grape tomatoes chopped
1/4 sweet onion minced
dry seasonings including red chili flakes
splash of chicken broth
olive oil (generous amount)
fresh herbs (rosemary and mint)
I sauteed the vegetables and raisins in olive oil, cooking them until they were really soft on medium low. When the oil got absorbed, I added a splash of chicken broth to continue cooking. When that cooked down, I drizzled the glaze and tossed in the herbs and let it cook down again.