>The Meatsaballs…Subs.

>This Thursday’s dinner feature was definitely a learning experiment. Delicious, but there were definitely a few bumps along the way.


This recipe comes from Rachael Ray’s 2, 4, 6, 8 Cookbook, and is one of her “meals for 4” recipes. It was a little involved, so let’s jump in.


Chicken Parm Meatball Subs
As you can probably tell from the name, these are not your average meatball subs. The lovely Ms. Ray has combined Chicken Parm and Meatballs for a DELICIOUS and man-approved meal…that’s really pretty healthy, if you consider it! (Shh, don’t tell the men.)


Another quick side note, one thing I love about Rachael’s recipes are that she writes them like she would tell you how to do them, so any commentary within the ingredients/directions is Rachael. My comments will be in purple.


Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 tbsp grill seasoning, such as McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs (I didn’t have Italian-style, so I’ll confess that I used plain breadcrumbs and just added a couple shakes of Italian seasoning. I know, I’m terrible.)
  • handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tbsp EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), plus some for liberal drizzling (If you ever follow R.R. recipes, you know that she tends not to specify amounts of EVOO. So since she actually specified 3 tbsp…I stuck to it.)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, cracked from their skins and split
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, a couple of healthy pinches
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, San Marzanos if available
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and black pepper
  • 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded (My indoor herb garden has been temporarily reduced until I get can get everything re-seeded, and I refuse to buy fresh basil in the store because it’s so expensive, so I just liberally used dried basil. I’m sure fresh basil would have been fantastic though.)
  • 4 6- to 8-inch crusty sub rolls (I guarantee you, you will need more than this. Try six, at least.)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Provolone (If you can find shredded Provolone cheese in your supermarket, I’ll be impressed. We just used a shredded Italian blend.)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the chicken in a bowl and season it with the grill seasoning. Add the egg, half of the grated cheese, the bread crumbs, parsley, and a serious drizzle of EVOO. Combine the mixture and form 12 large meatballs, placing them on a baking sheet. Squish the balls to flatten them a bit – like mini oval meat loaves. Be careful not to form the balls wider than your bread. The flattened balls will stay put on your sub – no roll-aways! 

Meatsaballs!
Mmm. Mini oval meat loaves.
Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, or until golden and firm. Switch the broiler on.


While the chicken balls bake, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the 3 tbsp of EVOO and the garlic and cook them for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic, add the red pepper flakes and the tomatoes, then stir in the chicken stock.

Before we get to pictures of this step, we’re going to take a brief moment and review this step. If any of you follow me on Twitter/Facebook, this would be the recipe that caused a minor volcanic eruption in my kitchen. And by minor, I mean the entire kitchen was covered in tomato and oil splatters. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the 30-second eruption, but I have witnesses. Witnesses that were deeply involved in a video game and actually jumped up and ran over in concern after they heard the explosion. By the grace of God I escaped without third-degree burns, and I want you to have the same good fortune so pay careful attention to my re-phrasing of this portion of the recipe.

“While the chicken balls bake, heat a medium skillet over MEDIUM-LOW heat. Add the 3 tbsp of EVOO and the garlic and cook them for 5 minutes. REMOVE PAN FROM HEAT and let the oil cool for a minute or two. Then…THEN, discard your garlic and add your red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and chicken stock.”

Okay…back to your regularly scheduled programming. This has been a Public Safety Announcement from Megs. Cook wisely my friends.

One of my favorite things: garlic. 
Warning sign #1, my garlic was getting way too browned.

 Season the sauce with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste and stir in the basil. Use a thin spatula to loosen the chicken balls from the baking sheet and add them to the sauce, turning the meatballs to coat.

Post-explosion, and simmering like it should be, looking delicious.

Cut the sub rolls, making the bottom a little deeper than the top. Hollow out a little of the bread and lightly toast the sub rolls under the broiler.

Fill the bottoms of the breads with the sauced meatballs. Combine the Provolone and the remaining Parmigiano cheese. Cover the meatballs with cheese and return to the broiler to melt the cheese until it’s golden.

Set the roll tops in place. Pour any leftover sauce into a bowl and serve at the table for dipping.

Oh MAN. Cheesy, meatsabally goodness!

My guinea pigs, and meatball-eruption-rescuers.  Think they were happy?

So…there you go. With the exception of the tomato-eruption, the recipe was really easy to follow and not that complicated. Great for if you have a lot of hungry men in the house. The only downside I can think of is that it doesn’t make for great leftovers, since so much of it is a broiling/toasting process. Scott had one the next day that we just put in the bun in the toaster, but it wasn’t quite the same. 


Also note that this recipe made four more more meatballs than you see in the photos, which would make about 6 subs. There was MORE than enough sauce for all the subs/dipping.


Now go, and make meatsaballs! And don’t have a repeat of my tomato incident.

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