so, when I cook,
I do it with a heart full of love –
for to do it without joy in my heart
is akin to courting disaster.
I don’t get to cook often. Because of the time constraints brought upon me by my working schedule and the fact that I still have to get my own baking equipment, it is very rare that I get the time to buy the kind of ingredients I want to concoct into a dish my family would love. But, when the opportunity presents itself, I throw myself into cooking with the same passion that I show towards my poetry, my writing and my art.
The most recent dish I cooked for my family was my Cheesy Meatballs with Creamy Tomato and Onion Sauce. Although inspired by Giada de Laurentiis’ Classic Italian turkey meatball recipe I saw on Food Network, the dish was entirely my own. I can confidently say this because it had ingredients and a twist to it that made it uniquely my own, personal recipe.
For you to know the difference, you can view the recipe for Giada’s meatballs here, while below is my own meatball recipe:
Cheesy Meatballs with Creamy Tomato and Onion Sauce
For the Meatballs
1 kilogram ground beef
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large garlic, minced
½ block of quickmelt cheese, cut into small cubes
For the Sauce
1 large can of diced tomatoes
2 large white onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 stick of butter
1/2 block quickmelt cheese, grated
*Both mixtures need a dash of salt and pepper for flavor and a sprinkling of dried basil and oregano leaves for aroma.
For the Meatballs
In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, minced garlic and onions together before adding the two eggs that will bind everything with love. Then, add a dash of salt and pepper to bring some flavor into the mixture. A sprinkling of dried basil and oregano leaves will not only infuse some aroma into the preparation, but also into the senses of the people you are planning to feed your food to.
Before you fry the meatballs into the hot pan of life drizzled liberally with olive oil, make sure you add some cheesiness into the mixture, to bring a burst of melting surprise into the palate of your loved ones. You can do this by placing a small cube of quickmelt cheese into the center of the meatballs, the size of a baby’s fist. Pat the balls gently to seal it with care, so all of the cheesy goodness will land on the eater’s mouth and not on the pan.
Cook the meatballs from side to side within three to four minutes. Then, place them on a napkin-covered plate and set it aside.
For the Sauce
On a sauce pan drizzled lightly with olive oil, place the stick of butter and allow it to melt like an ice cream stick left under the warm sun. As soon as the butter has completely melted, add in the minced garlic and chopped onions and sauté them with joy. Once the smell of garlic has permeated the air and the onions have sweated and turned transparent in color, place in the diced tomatoes along with its juices. Stirring everything lightly, add a dash of salt and pepper for flavor as well as a sprinkling of dried oregano and basil for more color.
Allow the garlic, onions, tomatoes, and herbs to come to a simmer before bringing the grated cheese and cooked meatballs into the mix. Then, let them all simmer gaily together until all of their flavors have been infused together.
Serve on a platter with love and a basket of sliced baguettes fresh from the bakery oven.
My own version of Giada de Laurentiis’s meatballs was a success and devoured by my family with nothing, but pure enjoyment on their faces. Their happiness tugged at my heartstrings and made me wish that I could cook for them more often. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this one.