Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Baked Chicken Meatballs

These are probably the best meatballs I have ever made or eaten.  The boys just loved them but who doesn't love bacon.  Even if it is Italian bacon (better known as Pancetta).  Bacon does make everything taste better.  I have seen another meatball recipe that uses American style bacon.  I'm probably going to have to try that one, too.  The author of this recipe says you can use Canadian bacon if you can't find Pancetta but I don't think that would work for me.  Too much like ham.  She also said you could probably render the Pancetta and then cook the onion and garlic in the fat from that instead of the olive oil.  I didn't but I'm sure the meatballs would have tasted even better that way.  

Baked Chicken Meatballs
by Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4, or more as appetizers or sliders
3 slices Italian bread, torn into small bits (1 cup)
1/3 cup milk
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large egg
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl until softened, about four minutes.

Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in one tablespoon oil with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Cool slightly.

Squeeze bread to remove excess milk, then discard milk. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, pancetta mixture, bread, and parsley. Form 12 meatballs and arrange in another 4-sided sheet pan or a 9×13 roasting dish.

Stir together remaining tablespoons of tomato paste and oil and brush over meatballs, then bake in upper third of oven until meatballs are just cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.


The Creative Cook

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Milk & Honey Bread

Milk & Honey Bread

Milk & Honey Bread

I just got a bread maker.  It isn't a new bread maker but it is new to me.  It is an Oster ExpressBake Bread Maker Model #5838.  Therefore, I'm learning how to use it.  The first thing I did was bake a loaf of basic white bread that came out great except it sank.  I was disappointed so I decided to stay up late (for me) and make another loaf before I went to bed.  I tried this Milk & Honey Bread recipe.  It came out perfectly except that it was a little dark.  Next time I make it, I will try it on the "light" setting.  I found out that you shouldn't use quick rise yeast when you bake bread in a bread maker.  If you do, you should use a bit less of the yeast.  I also learned that all your ingredients, and I do mean all your ingredients must be room temperature or use a cooking thermometer to make sure they are whatever temperature suggested in the recipe.  The next trick is to let the dough knead and mix in the machine for about 10 minutes, then open the lid and touch the dough.  If it is moist and firm but does not stick to your finger, it is perfect.  Otherwise, if it is too sticky add one tablespoon of flour then let it mix for a minute and check again. If it is too dry, then add a bit of water or mist the dough with water.  I used King Arthur All-Purpose Flour which worked fine but in the future I will use bread flour.

Milk & Honey Bread
Makes 1 Loaf


  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk (room temperature-let stand 20 minutes on counter)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoon melted butter (room temperature)
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  1. Add ingredients to the bread machine pan in the order recommended by your bread machine manufacturer.
  2. Use Basic and Medium crust setting.

The Creative Cook