Hey, remember me? Have you ever had one of those months where everything fell into place? Where you had plenty of time to do anything you set out to do and nothing unexpected jumped into your path?
With laundry piling up, dust bunnies nipping at my heels and Passover suddenly only two weeks away, this month almost slipped right by me. I think this has been the first time I skipped so much time. Even when I was dealing with theDaughter's chemo treatments and wedding planning PLUS my book deadline (yes, New Reader, simultaneously), I never vanished, recipe-wise, from my posts. So I was very VERY lucky to have a great blog as this month's Secret Recipe Club assignment. Michaela's An Affair from the Heart really rescued me! Her Porcupine Meatballs were easy to make, and delicious! I'm very proud to share her recipe with you, Dear Reader!
Michaela is a stay-at-home mom of four, who loves to entertain, spending time with friends and family. And posts recipes with a twist. Such as porcupine meatballs. Their cute name comes from the way the rice, used in place of breadcrumbs, manages to peek out a bit, kinda-sorta like porcupine quills.
The first time I tasted meatballs made with rice was about a 100 or so years ago (give or take) when my cousin made a batch. She basically went into her cupboard and pulled out whatever wasn't nailed down, tossing a bit of this and a touch of that into the ground beef. The result was delicious, but since she didn't use a recipe (and I didn't think to write anything down along the way) the recipe was lost into history. No idea if Michaela's version is close, but they are very tasty. The sauce pretty much wowed me. This was the first time I used canned tomato soup as the base for a sauce, and will definitely be trying it again in the near future!
The only ingredient I had to change was the brand of rice. Growing up, mine was a Minute Rice family. I really didn't like Minute Rice, and still don't now. I much preferred going to my grandparents' place, where Carolina was King. So my recipe below uses the slightly longer cooking-type rice, adapting the quantity and directions to compensate for the change. My family was quite pleased with the result, and I was happy to have another weeknight recipe for my collection. Thanks, Michaela!
Porcupine Meatballs - Easy
Adapted from An Affair from the Heart
Yield: 6-8 Servings
2 lbs ground beef
2 medium or large eggs
1/2 cup regular (long grain) rice, uncooked
2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce, divided
2 cans tomato soup (dairy-free)
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup water
Cooked spaghetti or additional rice, enough for your family
With (preferably clean) hands, gently combine beef with eggs, 1 teaspoon of the Worcestershire Sauce, and rice in a large mixing bowl.
Form into balls about a generous inch in diameter. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir together soup, remaining teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce, and water in a 2 quart measuring cup or medium mixing bowl with a spout.
Place meatballs in heated skillet. Pour sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle with dry parsley, salt and pepper.
Bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Continue to simmer 20-25 minutes, turning meatballs occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through (no longer pink remains in center) and rice has softened.
Serve as an appetizer or main course straight from the pot, or ladle meatballs and sauce over cooked rice or spaghetti.