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Meatballs can be on the menu when cooking for a crowd

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Hamburger accounts for about 50 percent of all the beef consumed in the United States and has replaced steak as the most popular meat. This is because of its lower price and, more important, its versatility. Much of it goes between hamburger buns. It is also the basis for meat loaves, meat sauce, chili con carne and meatballs, one of the most profitable ways to use ground meat.

If you always prepare them in the same old way as appetizers or with Italian spaghetti, you may be interested to learn that from 6 pounds of hamburger, using 1 pound per recipe, it is possible to prepare a half dozen different main-dish meatball meals, none of which duplicates the other. This is possible adding other ingredients to the meat, by using different seasonings, and by cooking them in or with a variety of sauces.

When there is a sale on hamburger, buy in quantity and make several batches of different kinds of meatballs. Serve what you need for one meal and freeze the rest as the basis for some exciting dinners. They will keep up to two or three months in the freezer.

Here are some very distinctive meatball recipes for meals that will whet the appetites of family and guests.

The first is for an economical and hearty Meatball Soup. It requires only 1 pound of beef; the meatballs cook right in the pot without pre-browning; it cooks in 35 minutes and makes about 6 servings. Meatball Soup 1 quart beef broth 1 pound lean ground beef 1 egg 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 10 scallions with tops, cut in 1/2-inch pieces 1 cup thinly sliced celery 1 cup thinly sliced carrots 1/2 of small head cabbage, shredded 2 tomatoes, peeled and cut in eighths 1/2 cup rice 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon basil 2 to 3 tablspoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons minced parsley

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