Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Johnny's Meatball Subs

I got an email last week and it went something like this"

“Sis? Can I order one of your meatball subs for this weekend? I will bring the beer. Nice talk”

Yes, this was an email from my brother-in-law last week. He put in his ‘order’.

While I don’t run a restaurant…sometimes I feel like I do. OK it’s really more like a soup kitchen because I don’t get paid in money…I get paid in reward by my family’s gratitude.

I found this recipe of all places: 30-Minute Meals by Rachel Ray. While I know some don’t show the love for Rachel Ray, I happen to like her. Plus, if you have ever looked at the Forbes top money makers (for TV)…she ranked at #16 in 2007. You have to hand it to someone like her, not formally food trained i.e. she isn’t a trained chef, to make it this far as a cook on the Food Network (not to mention all the other endorsements she probably gets!). In addition to that, anything I have chosen to make from her show has always tasted great. (Ah-hem…stepping off my soap box….)

So back to these subs! So we already know they are simple and fast because they are from the 30-minute meal series. PLUS, they are SOOOO good! My spin is using ground beef and getting these rolls called “Papa Sticks” they are from a local market, Papa Joe, and have a lot of flavor themselves so you just can’t go wrong with these subs. But…be warned…these things are FILLING!!!
And yes, I named these Subs Johnny’s subs because my husband Johnny says he ‘invented’ using the papa roll…(are you rolling your eyes like I am? Moving on…)

Make too much? Make Leftovers! I used the leftover meatballs, added some sauce and added some cooked whole wheat penne pasta, and topped it with shredded mozzarella. In the broiler for 10 minutes it went. I used the left over rolls, by slathering olive oil, crushed garlic, parsley and parmesan on the top and popping those in the broiler as well. It was serious good!!! Beat that Rachel….it took me 20 minutes!!

Yummy meatball subs, with my Bells Oberon in the background!

Ingredients....all laid out

Meatball Subs Recipe:
1 ½ pounds ground Beef (ground sirloin) (Rachel used ground Chicken)
1T. grill seasoning blend (she recommended Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
1 egg
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
Good drizzle of olive oil to moisten the mix
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ t red pepper flakes
1 can crushed tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
1 cup chicken stock
10 leafs fresh basil, torn
4 crusty sub rolls
1 ½ shredded fontina cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl add ground beef, grill seasoning, egg, half of the grated cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, and the olive oil. Mix the meat with your hands and form 12 large meatballs into mini meatloaves. Bake the meatballs for 10-15 minutes (depending on how you like your beef cooked). Pull out the meatballs and turn the broiler on.

Meat before meatball /Meatball shape

While the meatballs are cooking, in a small sauce pan over medium heat add olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, cook for about 30 second. Add tomatoes and chicken stock, stir. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then, stir in basil.

Tomato sauce

Prepare the rolls: hollow out the sub rolls to make room for the meatballs. Put buns under the broiler to get lightly toasted. Then, fill rolls with meatballs and sauce, top with fontina cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano and return the subs back to the broiler to melt the cheese until golden.
Hollow out the rolls

After toasting, add the sauce and meatballs

Top with cheese

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