Saturday, January 31, 2015

Italian Meatball Subs Sandwiches for Superbowl Sunday!

There are three kinds of people who get excited about Superbowl Sunday. Firstly, the football fans, those who watch every game and get excited by reading stats all season are in the same camp this weekend with the fairweather-playoff-only-fans. Secondly, there are those people who save all their attention for the commercials, with the football footage as a moment to go to the bathroom or read twitter. Thirdly, there are those of us who are happy hunkering down in the kitchen, excited to have a reason to make guacamole, nachos, meatballs and and whatever else. 

Can you tell I am a happy member of the snack-food-making group? I support my Pats and am pro-football watching for everybody else. I just can not keep my attention on that game for more than 2 minutes. My mind wanders and then I am like "...what is happening? Don't I have something else to do?" That is the story of me and football. I will make sure to visit the living room during half time to catch Katy Perry.
So what are we making for the SUPERBOWL? 
MEATBALL SUBS! They epitomize football for me, messy, greasy, cheesy, total guy food, with bold flavors. They are a favorite of my husband, and both the subs and the meatballs themselves are totally easy to put together. This is my recipe from Global Meatballs, my brand new cookbook! 

Firstly, we need ground beef, onion, eggs, milk, bread crumbs, oregano, chili flakes (or powder because I cant find the flakes), parsley, garlic powder (you don't even need to use fresh garlic!) It's dead easy. Remember to get some sort of sub roll, all I could find at TJ's was the baguette, which is a good substitute ;)  And cheese, don't forget the provolone.

Friends, I recommend always making you stuff from scratch, like tomato sauce. And 95% of the time I do. Making marinara sauce isn't hard, especially with canned tomatoes. But sometimes we all have busy days. For those days, keep a jar of a good quality organic marinara sauce in you cupboard. An organic one without preservatives or added junk. Put that in a pan to warm on the stove, if you are using jarred sauce a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of sugar can do wonders to freshen it up. And chili flakes if you roll that way. 

Mince up a yellow onion, saute it in olive oil until softened. Mix bread crumbs, milk, salt, spices and herbs. Add the eggs, ground meat, parsley. Preheat the oven to 400°.
Mix by hand, incorporating all the ingredients together. If things feel dry, add a splash more milk, this is what makes them tender. I like to let the mixture fall through your fingers, sort of sorting it over and over, rather than kneading and massaging it. This will keep the breadcrumbs light and fluffy, helping the meatball to stay tender. 

When you are pleased with the mixture, rinse your hands. Get out two sheet pans to bake the meatballs on. To roll nice smooth balls, moisten your hands under cool water occasionally. I find it makes the process go much faster. I make my meatballs golf ball size. I know some people like really big meatballs in their subs, so ok, just cook them longer. 

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When done they will be sizzling, cooked though, and crispy on the bottom. Don't fuss over crisping all sides, they all get smothered in sauce. 

Use a thin spatula to remove them from the sheet pans. Deposit them into the red sauce. turning to coat. Set aside. 

Get out the bread and cheese.
slice that bread crosswise, sandwich ends connected. (Hard baguette problems? Pssst...put in it in microwave, makes it all soft.) And LAYER up that cheese. 

Is your oven still hot? No, ok, turn on your broiler for a moment while we melt this. Looking good! And a little line of meatballs, with extra sauce.

Some grated parmesan cheese makes it a pretty picture. 

Enjoy the game, in whatever way you like it. Ill be there making meatball sub sandwiches talking over all the important parts. Here is a good story you can distract people with. Did you know that meatball subs are a totally American food? Subs, hoagies, grinders, or whatever you call them where you are from have only been around for like 100 years or less. I have read they were developed sometime between the year 1900 and 1940. The exact New England city is not known, somewhere between Maine and Pennsylvania lies the home of the sub sandwich. What better thing to eat while our New England Patriots go and crush Seattle! (No offense Seattle, you have cool people in your city.) Cheers to a fun weekend! 

Meatball Sub Sandwiches

for the meatballs:

  • 2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspons dried oregano
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

For sandwich making:

  • Sub rolls or french bread
  • marinara sauce
  • provolone cheese
  • (mozzarella and parmesan cheese optional)

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