13 November 2007

meatless meatballs

this is one of my favorite recipes that i've been making for years. a friend i used to know, sarah, gave it to me and can be used for so many things. meatballs, veggie burgers, or even meatloaf. the original recipe is wonderful on its own. something about it reminds me of fall, but normally i substitute a few things, making this completely different. the original recipe goes:

+ 1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
+ 4 cups ground cracker crumbs (like saltine crackers)
+ 1 large chopped onion
+ 6 eggs, beaten
+ 1 cup chopped walnuts

mix together and season with sage (or thyme, or cumin, or oregano). make into small balls the size of walnuts. roll in flour. brown in oil (sarah uses a pan and fries them, turning them so they get even).


when i make this recipe, i usually half the cheese and crackers. i use one pack of saltines and that's always enough. instead of walnuts, i use one portobello mushroom, chopped finely in a food processor. sometimes i add some chopped walnuts to give my dish extra protein. because of the extra moisture in the mushrooms, i find i only need to use 1-3 eggs. add 1 egg at a time until the mixture sticks together and can be formed into balls, patties, or loaves.

i also find it helps to refrigerate the mixture a little while. the cheese will melt slower and you have less chance of cheese escaping the wall of browned flour coating and burning on your pan. the meatloaf of this recipe also goes very well with sarah's special mashed potatoes (recipe coming soon!)

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