Walking through a warehouse store the other day, a package of frozen meatballs caught my attention. I said to my wife, “I wonder how many people actually buy these?” A small discussion between her and I, surrounding this topic, ensued. I love meatballs in pasta dishes, sandwiches, soups, stews, and other applications, but I would never dream of buying them premade.
There is obviously a place in the market for convenience foods, I get that. And although my comment above was made partially in jest, I do realize that people have busy lives and making food from scratch probably does not sit high on their priority lists. However, there is probably a percentage of the population that perhaps, just doesn’t know how to make good meatballs from scratch. So for the culinary adventurous, and the culinary curious, I give you my “base” recipe for meatballs that can be flavoured to suit any cuisine application.
Review the recipe ingredients below and you will see that I list “1 tablespoon of dried herbs and/or spices”. This can be any dry herb, or any dry ground spice (or a combination of both) that will suit your application. For example, if you wanted to create an Asian cuisine type meatball, I would suggest using 1 tbsp of Chinese 5-spice powder; if you wanted an Italian cuisine type meatball I would suggest using 1 tbsp of dried basil; or if an Indian cuisine type meat ball was preferred I would suggest using 1 tbsp of ground garam masala or curry powder (or a combination of both). Can you see where I am going with this? It’s quite simple really. Use your spice rack as myriad of flavour profile combinations; experiment and have fun.
Ground chuck, by the way, is beef but much better in flavour than the standard ground beef you buy at a grocery store. Ground chuck can be purchased from your local butcher shop and has a stronger, better beef flavour to make the best meatball possible in combination with the ground pork.
Now grab life by the meatballs and don’t ever assume that you must be taken prisoner by frozen convenience foods.
Chef Dez Meatballs for any occasion!
“Combining two different types of meat gives the meatballs more complex flavour. Customize them for any application with one tablespoon of your desired dried herbs/spices.”
- 1 pound (454g) ground chuck
- 1 pound (454g) lean ground pork
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 2 tbsp finely crushed or minced garlic
- 1 tbsp dried herbs and/or spices (see column above for examples)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with baking spray and set aside (or alternatively line a baking sheet with parchment paper).
- In a large bowl, combine the chuck, pork, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, herbs/spices, salt & the pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined into a homogenous mixture. Roll bits of the mixture into small meatballs approximately 3/4 (three quarter) inch in size and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should have approximately 45 to 50 meatballs. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until their internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius).
- Place the cooked meatballs on paper towel temporarily to remove some of the fat. Add to your desired recipe application.
Makes 45 to 50, 3/4 inch meatballs
Cooking Around the World with chef Dez
I am excited to announce the release of my new cookbook: Cooking Around the World with Chef Dez, with over 130 recipes. It has been 4 years since the release of my last cookbook (The Best In Your Kitchen) so it was about time to offer up another bound edition of my recipes.
My Zoom Cooking Classes are the recent catalyst in the creation of this cookbook. Pretty much since the pandemic started, I went virtual with my cooking classes, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. This switch allowed people from all over the world to tune in and find out what the Chef Dez experience was all about. Through the cooking adventures of these classes, many recipes were created and perfected. One of the most popular series of classes I am doing is the Chinese Take-Out Series and this new book containers a full chapter of these take-out favourites. There are also many other chapters that cover all the subjects from appetizers through to desserts, and beyond.
One of my regular viewers, who discovered me through these Zoom classes, wrote to me and I have quoted her in part on the back cover of my book, as follows:
Thank you for your cooking classes and your recipe books. Best recipes we’ve ever tried. I find most recipes from cookbooks, magazines, Pinterest, etc. are always lacking in flavour, or that “wow” factor. Every recipe I have tried from your classes, and recipe books, have been simply amazing!! So full of Flavour, and always have that “wow” factor. They are also easy to follow with no crazy ingredients, or measurements. I have been cooking for 30 years and have gone through many, many recipe books. Yours have blown me away. Thanks so much, and I look forward to learning more.”
~ Karen F.,
Langley, BC, Canada
Autographed “pre-order” copies are available to purchase through www.chefdez.com for an introductory price of only $14.95 (plus tax & shipping) for a limited time only, and shipping will commence approximately July 9th. Unsigned copies are also being offered through Amazon worldwide.
With over 220 pages, these recipes are packed full of flavour, easy to follow, and don’t call for any obscure ingredients. Over the 18 years of my culinary career, I have helped literally thousands of people to rekindle their love for cooking and I know that this latest cookbook will continue to do so.
The one question people always ask me about my books, is “which recipe is your favourite?” And although that question is always tough to answer, in this book I would have to say my Chicken Marbella recipe. Chicken Marbella is a recipe of chicken legs that are marinated for 1 to 2 days with prunes, olives, and a myriad of other ingredients. Then the whole works get dumped onto a sheet pan and baked off in the oven. The result is wonderfully juicy chicken that has been infused with both sweet and savoury flavours and lots of sauce. It’s very simple but tastes very complex.
Order your copy today. I know you will enjoy it.