we all know that french cuisine is pretty much where it's at. book after book i come across french techniques and dishes that likely taste as beautiful as they sound. the two very best restaurants i ate at in san francisco were french bistros.
portage parmentier, bifteck saute au beurre, puree de pommes de terre a l'ail, boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin. don't all of those sound absolutely amazing? they probably taste wonderful but i have no idea what they are!
well, that is not entirely true. i can use the ol' context clues and photographs and descriptions help as well. but that isn't good enough. i want to KNOW what all of these dishes are just by reading the name.
so, i signed up for a french class. beginning french 101.
so far i can tell you who i am, (je m'appelle erratic epicurean), how i'm doing (je vais tres bien, merci!) and what time it is (il est neuf heure moins le quart).
whew. learning french is difficult. a friend suggested i practice speaking it with fluidity and to avoid sounding guttural. i told her i was guttural by nature but i'd do my best.
now onto something that isn't french but rather italian. spaghetti and meatballs. well, maybe that is more an american spin a la chef boyardee but i'm rolling with it.
i've been eating a lot of spaghetti. why? it is cheap. very cheap. i can cook up some noodles and make my sauce from scratch for less that $5 and eat it all week. do i enjoy doing this all the time? no. of course not. but frugality is climbing higher and higher up on my list of priorities.
so, spaghetti it is. i thought to spice things up a little i'd make some meatballs. mmmmm. i had some ground beef and i picked up some ground pork as well.
some saturday mornings i tune into america's test kitchen on PBS and i learned a little trick regarding moist, delicious hamburgers. i thought i would employ it with meatballs and after surfing the interwebs for a few recipes i discovered that several others were onto this trick - milk.
i mixed up about 1/2 c. milk and 1/2 c. breadcrumbs and put it aside while i chopped some onions and parsley. i added the chopped veggies, the meat and some salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the thick milky bread mix. then i rolled lil' meatballs.
some recipes fried the meatballs on the stove top in a lil' oil and others baked them in the oven. i decided to try both ways.
i quickly learned that like all frying this caused a mess. a mess i did not feel like dealing with. i stuck the remaining meatballs in the oven.
i made my sauce - you've seen it before - and added about 7 or 8 meatballs to it once they had cooked about 30 minutes in the oven. i kept them in the sauce on low for about 10 more minutes.
then i boiled some acme brand angel hair pasta and toasted a lil' bread and voila!