Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Porcupine Meatballs

Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat? That’s bad for you!
–Tommy Smothers

Today's recipe is one of my childhood favorites. It is simple, but filling and tasty. This was the first time I've made it for the Little Bugs, and as usual they were pretty picky about it :rolleyes:. Grasshopper was trying to use The Force on me to let him eat pizza every night for dinner. The following conversation ensued:

Grasshopper: You will let me eat pizza for dinner every night.
Me: Your Jedi mind tricks don't work on me.
Grasshopper: You will let me eat pizza for dinner every night.
Me: Mr. Bug, did you hear something?
Mr. Bug: Nope.
Grasshopper: You will let me eat pizza for dinner every night.
Mr. Bug: I sense a great disturbance in The Force. I hear the voices of a thousand parents crying out in disbelief.
Me: :lol:
Mr. Bug has a great sense of humor. :vader: And in the end, the Little Bugs did eat their meatballs. I love dinner time at our house.

Porcupine Meatballs
1 lb. lean ground beef
½ cup uncooked rice
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 egg
¼ cup crushed potato chips
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 cans {14.5 oz. each} petite diced Italian stewed tomatoes
½ cup water

• In a medium mixing bowl, thoroughly combine beef, rice, onions, garlic, egg, potato chip crumbs, salt and pepper. Form into balls a little bit smaller than a ping-pong ball. A #60 scoop works well for this.
• Heat the olive oil a 10" skillet on medium-high heat and add the meatballs; brown on two sides.
• When you have finished browning the meatballs {they will not be cooked all the way through}, add the tomatoes with their juices and the water to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
• Remove the cover from the skillet and simmer over medium heat for 10—15 minutes, to allow the sauce to thicken. Serve over Savory Rice.

Makes about 40 meatballs

• These are called porcupine meatballs because as the rice cooks, it puffs up and and when the meatballs come out, the rice is sticking out in all directions kind of like the spines on a porcupine. I love this dinner simply for the awesome name.
• My favorite pototao chip crumbs are Veggie Straw. One-1 oz. {about 38 straws} serving makes ½ cup. I put them in a sandwich zippered bag and smash them to dust using a meat tenerizer. They make meatballs {and meatloaf} come out incredibly tender.
• My mom used to make these in the pressure cooker. The skillet method above makes more dense meatballs. If you have a pressure cooker {and know how to use it :wink:}, your meatballs will cook faster and come out more tender. Instructions below:
• For a traditional stove-top pressure cooker, once the meatballs are browned, remove them from the skillet and place them in the pressure cooker along with the tomatoes and their juices. Omit the water. Bring to high pressure and cook for 8 minutes on high heat at high pressure. Allow the steam to release naturally; about 12 minutes.
• For an electric pressure cooker, if there is a setting to brown, place the raw meatballs in the electric pressure cooker and use that feature. If not, brown the meatballs in a skillet as above, then add them to the pressure cooker along with the tomatoes and their juices and cook for 10 minutes on high. Allow the pressure to release naturally; about 10 minutes.


Quiet Quilter said...

Ah, yes,,,the pressure cooker,,,yesterdays microwave...with tastier results..

Sarah Craig said...

Oh my goodness, I thought these were just something my mom made up! It was one of the few edible things she could make, and I loved them!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe....

Shay said...

You have to give Grasshopper points for trying. Tell him to use tougher strength mind control next time!

I may have to try porcupine meatballs!

Jennifer Lovell said...

Looks really yummy! I'll be trying this recipe for dinner tonight. By the way, I made Chicken with Awesome sauce last week, and I thought it was great! Thanks for the recipes, they're always great when coming from you.

Mom said...

Oh way to go now dad wants me to make porcupine meatballs for supper. I do supose we'll fit them in some evening before the next week comes to an end. We do love them too! By the way did the kids eat/like them?

Angie said...

I have one that tried the Jedi mind tricks on me...then he discovered that I am Yoda. ;)