There was an article in the food section of The New York Times this week about using leftover meat mixed with raw meat to make meatballs. I don’t know about that, but the idea of meatballs made from leftover meat lingered. And, somewhere in the recesses of my brain, it met up with all the pork and cabbage dishes I’d seen around the blogosphere New Year’s weekend — and the idea for this dish was born.
I was longing for meatballs. I had a yen for cabbage. And there’s always room on my plate for pasta. So, why not?
I defrosted my packet of leftover Christmas Day ham and ran out to the market to pick up a savoy cabbage. And a very fancy bag of imported pasta. (Not intentionally but I couldn’t resist; see below.)
Ham + Cannellini Meatballs
1 cup minced ham
1/2 cup cooked white beans
1/2 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs*
1 egg beaten
1 tbs fresh orange zest
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Baked at 375 degrees for about 1/2 hour.
Makes about 8 (ice cream scoop size).
*It was a little difficult to hold together when I started forming balls so I added some more bread crumbs.
Still difficult but better. Use your own good sense.
(1) Because ham is salty, no seasoning was added except freshly ground black pepper.
(2) Ham pairs well with fruit so I thought a little orange zest would help balance it out too.
Pasta e Cavolo (Cabbage)
1/2 head savoy cabbage shredded
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbs fennel seed
1 clove garlic minced
1 pat of unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
This dried pici calls for 22 minutes cooking time. I cooked it about 20 minutes and then tossed it with the cabbage over heat for about another minute. [Note: I did not thoroughly drain it so that a little of the starchy pasta water helped create the sauce.]
Finishing Touch: Grated cheese, more black pepper and a few more orange zests.
I have some meatballs left over. I’m thinking they’d make a good stuffing for peppers, but I’m not really feeling that. Also thinking about a fritatta.
Anyone have any other suggestions???
A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!
I've always been a culinary improvisor which means I get my kicks out of recipe development. In the FOODalogue kitchen each meal is an adventure and the journey is as exciting as the destination. My favorite kitchen tools are imagination and intuition. I rarely look at a recipe, not even my own!
On these pages, I suggest food pairings and techniques to be experimented with...in your own kitchen...to your own spice levels...and to your preferred portion sizes.