Sunday, June 10, 2007

Meatballs in gravy with caramelized vegetables

I still feel pretty rough so I've recruited Rachel, my 14 year old stepdaughter, to help cook dinner. She did a great job, too!

Tonight's dinner is meatballs in gravy, noodles, caramelized vegetables made with vegetables pulled this morning from the garden, and salad left from Friday night.

Honestly, other than Swedish meatballs, which we love, and one disastrous attempt at spaghetti & meatballs over 20 years ago, I haven't made the things. These turned out pretty well but were a little dry. They were served in a bowl of gravy (after all, this IS east Texas!) but still, they really needed to be more moist.

To make them I just used eight crushed saltine crackers, an egg, green onion, and some spices and mixed it all up. Then I formed it into balls, placed them on the broiler pan and baked them at 350 until they were done. Two eggs might have been better or maybe I should have added some milk.

I made some gravy and put the meatballs in the gravy and we had them over the noodles. Even though they weren't fantastic, they went over well.

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The caramelized vegetables are so easy to make.

Thinly slice about 3 lbs of vegetables (we like onion, yellow squash, zucchini and mushroom) and put them in the slow cooker. Add up to 1/4 cup oil/butter/margarine (the original recipe said 1/2 cup but to me that is way too much). I add about 2 Tbsp maximum of oil but the amount of oil will depend on the vegetables you use and how much oil you want to use. Add seasoning if you want but trust me, it isn't necessary. For tonight's dish, I added garlic powder and Cook's Choice Gourmet Steak Seasoning.

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Cook on low from 12 to 24 hours keeping 1/2 an eye on it after 12 hours, keeping in mind that temperature and time vary from cooker to cooker.

These come out tasting terrific. They aren't crispy but they possess a terrific flavor and texture.

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And here's the finished product. I know, not as pretty but oh, they're scrumptious! Some of the family likes to put gravy over the vegetables, other members just like them plain. Either way, they're fantastic and even kids who don't like vegetables will often eat these.

All in all it was a good dinner and Rachel was a great help. I'm exhausted now, though, so it's off to bed to rest. But if you have a good meatball recipe, I'd love to know it!

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