Just when I began to have thoughts of spring break slowly approaching the Chicago winter jolts me back to reality with a blizzard. I should have known better. It’s really too soon to hope for spring. The visions I was having of swaying palm trees switched to visions of branches way too heavy with snow that they knock down electrical wires and shut off our power. Not as relaxing of an image.
My main reason to be a tad ‘cranky’ over the timing of this blizzard is my rescheduled St. Mark’s housewives night is due right when the blizzard is estimated to be in full force. Lovely! So it looks like, yet again, that will be delayed. Time to organize plan C.
All right, moving on. Let’s make the best of this…with food! If I’m going to be stuck at home, I’m going to be cooking and baking. I made sure to be adequately prepared with plenty of supplies on hand. I’m thinking brown bag apple pie for a dear friend (I WILL get it to her) and chocolate chip walnut cookies for the cookie jar. For dinner, warm and comforting meatball subs to be eaten by the fire in my favorite J Crew flannel. That should, somehow, take away the hard edge of the blizzard’s effects.
These subs are great. They are one of my ‘go to’ recipes for comfort food. I’ve found that I have made them a lot when M’s friends are over for football, or for when my dad comes by for dinner. Somehow ‘subs’ and ‘meatballs’ just go hand in hand with guys and comfort food. A bonus is that these are actually ‘figure friendly’ subs as they are made from ground chicken and are baked instead of fried. Shhh…don’t tell the men!
- 1 lbs ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup good parmesan
- 1 TBS grill seasoning
- 3 TBS freshly chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- splash of tabasco
- salt and pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic, removed from the skins and cracked
- 3 TBS good olive oil
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, use a good quality for a good sauce
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- basil, julienned
- more parmesan cheese, for the tops
Preheat over to 425 degrees.
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and mix together with a splash of olive oil. Form the meatballs, you should have about 12 good sized ones. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, work on the sauce. Warm the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium low heat. Let the cracked garlic gloves hang out for a few minutes, to infuse the oil with more flavor. Remove cloves. Add the pinch of red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil at the end.
When the meatballs are done cooking, add them to the sauce and switch your broiler on high. Take large sub rolls, split in half, and remove the bread from the bottom half so the meatballs will ‘sit’ in the rolls better. Top meatballs with more sauce, cheese, and brown in the oven for a minute or two. Remove, add more julienned basil and enjoy!
I’m writing this next to the fire with L laying on my legs. So that night wasn’t all bad after all.