Once-a-month cooking... or twice!

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Aug 25

Using ground meat for once-a-month cooking

I like the versatility of ground meat for once-a-month cooking. It can be used in hamburgers, pasta sauce, pastry fillings, etc. It freezes also well. Plus, kids love it and it’s cheap. For these reasons, I usually include several dishes using minced meat in my meal plans. I want to share here with you a polpetine (Italian meat ball) recipe for once-a-month cooking:


Base for Italian meatballs (polpetine) (OAMC)

Yield: about 7 lb
Source: Once-a-month cooking… or twice http://once-a-month-cooking.tumblr.com

4 lb ground beef
9 slice bread - remove rim, make bread crumbs in blender
1/2 cup milk
9 egg
9 garlic clove - chopped or crushed
1/2 lb parmesan - grated
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

Assembly:
Soak the breadcrumbs with milk. Press the breadcrumbs mixture between both hands to remove the extra milk and add to the ground beef. Add all the other ingredients. Knead like bread until it is well mixed.

You can use half of the recipe quantity to make hamburgers for 8, 2/3 of the remaining for meatball pasta and the rest for meatball soup.

Exported from Shop’NCook Pro 3.4.2

This recipe base can be used for a number of dishes. Here are three examples below.


Alphabet soup with meatballs (OAMC)

Yield: 8 servings
Food cost per portion: $0.36
Source: Once-a-month cooking… or twice http://once-a-month-cooking.tumblr.com

1 lb Base for Italian meatballs (polpetine) (OAMC)
8 cups vegetable stock
1/4 lb alphabet pasta

Assembly:
Put some oil on the hands and shape the meat in 1/2 inch-diameter meatballs.
Lay them on a waxed paper. You can suppoerpose several layers separated by waxed paper. Make sure the meatballs are not in contact with each others. Put in a bag, vacuum with a straw and seal. Freeze.

Cooking:
Bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Add the frozen meatballs one by one. Add the alphabet pasta and cook.


Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 152kcal; Protein 11g (22%); Total Fat 5g (8%)(Sat. 2g (12%)); Chol. 58mg (19%); Carb. 14g (5%); Fiber 1g (3%); Sugars 0g; Calcium 66mg (7%); Iron 1mg (7%)
—————

Hamburger with polpetine base (OAMC)

Yield: 8 servings of 1 hamburger
Food cost per portion: $1.19
Source: Once-a-month cooking… or twice http://once-a-month-cooking.tumblr.com

3 1/2 lb Base for Italian meatballs (polpetine)
-(OAMC)
4 tbsp oil
Assembly:
Put some oil on the hands and shape the meat in 8 hamburgers.
Lay the hamburgers on several layers separated by waxed paper. Make sure the hamburger are not in contact with each others. Put in a bag, vacuum with a straw and seal.
Freeze.

Cooking:
Make the hamburger according to the polpetine recipe. Remove from freezer the day before cooking.
Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet. Fry the hamburgers.
Serve with:
1 cup ketchup


Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 442kcal; Protein 33g (67%); Total Fat 26g (39%)(Sat. 8g (42%)); Chol. 202mg (67%); Carb. 19g (6%); Fiber 1g (3%); Sugars 8g; Calcium 228mg (23%); Iron 4mg (22%)
—————

Spaghetti with Italian meatballs

Yield: 8 servings
Food cost per portion: $1.49
Source: Once-a-month cooking… or twice http://once-a-month-cooking.tumblr.com

2 1/2 lb Base for Italian meatballs (polpetine)
-(OAMC)
6 cups tomato sauce
4 tbsp oil
2 1/2 lb spaghetti
1/4 lb grated parmesan

Assembly:
Put some oil on the hands and shape the meat in 2-inch diameter meatballs.
Heat the tomato sauce in a pan.
Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet. Fry the meatballs until they take color. Add to the tomato sauce. Cook over low heat half an hour.
Remove from heat and wait the sauce cools down.
Transfer to a freezer bag, vacuum with a straw and seal. Freeze.
Alternatively, the raw meatballs can be frozen and cooked ijn the tomato sauce the day they are eaten.

Cooking:
Remove from freezer one day before eating. While bringing the water for the pasta to a boil, heat the sauce and cook over low heat. Cook the spaghetti al dente. Serve with the parmesan.


Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 951kcal; Protein 50g (99%); Total Fat 27g (41%)(Sat. 9g (45%)); Chol. 157mg (52%); Carb. 127g (42%); Fiber 8g (31%); Sugars 11g; Calcium 363mg (36%); Iron 7mg (36%)

Exported from Shop’NCook Pro 3.4.2

Once the work, three delicious dishes. That’s what I love with once-a-month cooking!

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