Cooking is one of my Happy Places – it’s something that always brings me joy. I enjoy the opportunity to create in the kitchen, but it’s also a time for me to just relax, reflect, and be completely at peace in my environment.
So tonight I made the Tower of Meatballs. Eating together is a time of sharing and building memories, so I was excited to make these when my husband said he wanted meatballs. With this recipe, there’s no need for pasta, rice, or potatoes as a side. We decided to go simple with just the meatballs (and I added a little flare with the sauce and broccoli – it’s really hard for me to resist a good sauce).
16oz Mild Italian Sausage
1 1/2 LB Ground Beef
1/2 Large Onion, chopped & diced
28oz Petite Diced Tomatoes
Himalayan Pink Salt
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1 Large Egg
I started by dicing 1/2 onion and lightly sauteeing them with 1 tablespoon olive oil over med-low heat in a saucepan. Move them around frequently. Once onions are translucent remove them from the pan and set aside.
In a small boiling pot, bring about 3 cups water and 1/2 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt to a simmer. Then, turn to a low heat, and remove lid (this is to keep the water at a med-high heat without the simmer).
In a saucepan add 1 can petite diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and a pinch of black pepper. Simmer on medium heat for a few minutes, then turn to low heat and let marinate. Make sure to stir the marinade with a spatula every so often to keep it agile and the flavors speaking to one another. We’re going for a hearty and subtly sweet marinade here. Yummy!
In another saucepan, add 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt. Add 1 cup broccoli (use crowns). Simmer on low heat for a few minutes. Remove when the broccoli reaches a soft, yet vibrant green color.
In a large bowl, combine Italian Sausage, ground beef, 1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and a pinch lemon pepper seasoning. Use your hands to combine well. Add 1 large egg and combine well. Make a pit in the meat and add 1/2 of the sauteed onions. Combine, then add 1/2 of remaining sauteed onions (set the final remainder aside). Portion meat into large to medium-sized meatballs.
Add remaining sauteed onions to your hearty tomato marinade and continue low simmer. Keep up with the stirring every so often.
Prepare cast iron skillet with 1 cup cooking oil (Canola, Vegetable, Peanut, or another with a high enough smoke point). For my recipe, I used Peanut Oil and an 8-inch cast iron skillet. You can also use a Dutch oven, deep fryer, or a saucepan). This recipe is best to “fry” the meatball in semi-shallow oil, and a cast iron skillet helps it produce that beautiful outer crust.
The beauty of these next two steps is a tender and juicy meatball having a delectable outer crust.
One at a time, add each meatball to the simmering salt water mixture for about 10 seconds making sure all sides are submerged. Remove from water and place in a strainer to allow water to drain (this is so you don’t get oil that pops up because droplets of water dripping into hot oil during the next step).
Place a few meatballs in skillet and cook, making sure to flip to get an even cook and color without burning the meat. Grab yourself a cooking thermometer if you’d like to monitor the heat of the meatballs – it’ll need to be about 145 degrees to safely pull ’em out.
Set the finished meatballs on plate or paper towels to drain off any excess oil. With everything done, create a tower of meatballs, and pile ’em high! Top your “tower” with your tasty tomato marinade and garnish your plate with that vibrant green broccoli. You’ll be sure to inspire – and enjoy a Happy meal together!
Leftovers? Pack them up for a tasty treat later, or chop things up and add them to tomorrow’s omelette! 🤗
P.S., Kaye Howard