I used to really like spaghetti and meatballs. what kid doesn't, right? well, over the years, as my tastes changed and I sought out more flavorful and interesting dishes, this one seemed to go by the wayside. I would always think about making it, but for some reason would change my mind or make something that I thought more interesting. It wasn't until earlier this week when I told wife that I was going to make pasta and she requested meat sauce (we usually have veggie tom. sauce) that I really wanted to try and make a stellar version, with tiny meatballs instead of a meat sauce. The problem I had run into before, was the meatball. I had tried browning them in olive oil and then finishing them off in the sauce, but this proved to be really greasy and they would break apart if left in long enough to flavor the sauce well. I had also tried to put them straight in the sauce from a raw state, but that was an even bigger flop. So, this time I put the meatballs on a sheet pan and broiled them until done, then into the sauce. I think that this was the clear winner. they held together really well, and flavored the sauce well, without breaking up at all. wow, sorry that was really wordy, anyway...
I have this theory about curries: You should not hurry a curry, that's when things get furry. no, seriously. It seems that curries are the sort of thing that are better the less you pay attention to them (like kitties!). I have tried to speed them up in the past, but they never get those rich layers of flavor that you expect from a curry. My advice: whack everything into a big pot, bring to a simmer, and then cover it and turn to low, then walk away...just walk away. come back in an hour or so. it'll be worth it.
Lastly, I made some potato leek soup last night. It was pretty delicious. I wasn't expecting it to taste so rich and creamy with hardly any cream (just a splash) in it. This was another slow dish. there are under ten ingredients in this soup. I like that. It's comforting to know that you can get a lot out of so little. pieces.
Cuisinart stick blender: very handy for making blended soups and/or sauces. I really like that you can just jam this baby into the pot and blend it up right there, because who wants to ladle a pot's worth of something into a regular blender and blend it in batches? not you? not me either.
Potato leek soup:
2 pieces bacon
4 medium yukon Gold potatoes
salt and peps
2 tbs butter
olive oil chick broth
fry bacon until crisp, set aside. Drain all but 1 tbs of rendered fat. add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add leeks, butter, and a drizz of olive oil, cook for about 5 minutes more, do not brown (this will make your soup darker then you want it to), this is called "sweating" your aromatics. don't fret, there's little worrying or exercise involved (that's another recipe). Add potatoes, broth, salt and pepper. cook until potatoes are really tender and have no resistance when pierced with a knife. mash the solids in the soup with a potato masher, then blend. add a a splash or two of cream. stir. garnish with crispy bacon bits and the tiniest drizzles of cream. make squigglies with a toothpick, feel awesome. Serve with a crusty bread like, pain de campagne.