Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I used to work at a cooking school, assisting the teaching chefs. 

My favorite chef actually used to have her own cooking school in the 70's and continued to teach at other schools after she retired.  Her name was Lois Lee and she had the best, most simple recipes. I use so many of her recipes on a regular basis and this classic meatball recipe is one of our favorites.

I'm going to write it with the few changes I made.  Mainly, I cook the onions and garlic before they go into the meatballs because if you don't, their flavor will revisit you all night in the form of big, stinky burps :)  Also, I roast them in the oven.  It only takes about 15 minutes and it requires less "babysitting" than pan-frying them.

One tip:  buy the $15 wedge of Parmesan.  It makes such a difference.  Even though I'm always looking for ways to cut my grocery bill (hello, Aldi!), I won't give up the good Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Lois Lee's Meatballs

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic ,finely chopped
l lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (I use crushed saltines....about 1/2 of a sleeve)
1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- enough water to make mixture soft (about 1/2 cup)

1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes; cool.

3.  Combine cooled onion mixture and remaining ingredients together lightly (I use clean hands).  Form into small, golf ball-sized balls and place on prepared baking sheet.  

4.  Bake in 450 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once, until browned and cooked through.

Cardinal rule of meatballs (and any meat)?  BROWNING.  I let mine get quite crusty, but not overdone.  The Parmesan really helps this and really adds to the flavor.

I make Italian Wedding Soup with these, too.....I just make them much smaller. 

I hope you like Lois' meatballs as much as Zuddy and I do!


Michelle said...

You're blogging so much lately! I love it!

We usually use Pauline's meatball recipe, but I'll have to try this one. I am totally with you on roasting meatballs--so much easier and less splattering of grease.

Thirkellgirl said...

We're having meatballs tonight, too, but they're bagged ones from the grocery store. They aren't bad. And they're no trouble. :) But I'll make them from scratch when the kids are home from college, because I'm trying to remind them that Food Is Love. :)

Maureen said...

Thank you for this recipe, sounds good, unfussy but good!

Kim said...

nummy, num, num....

High five from another Aldi girl :)

Martha said...

Ooo...Michelle! Does Pippi make good meatballs?

Thirks, I love the frozen bagged meatballs, too! Especially the ones from Ikea, with that pkg or cream sauce. Love it. MJ would freak out at us if she knew this :)

Hey, Maureen! Thanks for visiting!! Love your art (I checked your blog) :)

Kim...I'm new to Aldi, but I can't believe how good some of their stuff is! Their take and bake meat pizza is mine and Zuddy's fave and it's only $5!! And their Greek yogurt is yummy. Oh! And their chocolate covered biscuit cookies? The knock-off of the LU butter biscuit ones? YUM.

jilly said...

I have been waiting for this! Thanks, making them this weekend, Scott thanks you as well as his dad and my dad. I think I am going to double it to freeze half. You are the best!

MJ said...

Martha, I'm freaking out. I can't even speak about the Hamburger Helper.