Jan's Endless Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground chicken or turkey
11/2 cups fine, dry bread crumbs
2/3 cup freshly grated good-quality Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion
5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
All purpose flour
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Combine the beef, pork and chicken in a large mixing bowl. Add the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, onion and garlic. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, Worcestershire, salt and black pepper. Pour this mixture over the meat mixture and combine with clean hands until evenly blended (but don't over-work the mixture). Shape the meat mixture into 1- to 11/2-inch balls.

Dredge the meatballs in the flour until lightly but evenly coated. Heat the olive oil and vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Slip enough meatballs into the skillet to fill the pan without crowding. Fry, turning as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 8 or 9 minutes. Remove the meatballs as they brown, adding remaining meatballs to the skillet. Makes 37 to 40 meatballs.

No-frying, no-mess approach: An alternate cooking method is to bake in the oven. Eliminate the flour coating. Arrange them on baking sheets (leave about 1/4— to 1/2-inch space between them) and bake in a 400-degree F. oven for about 25 to 30 minutes (they will feel firm to the touch). Turn them once midway through the cooking to brown evenly.

For traveling: Make a big batch of these tasty meatballs before your trip, then freeze in a single layer on baking sheets in the freezer and pack into freezer bags to have on hand for any number of spinoff meals: a quick pasta dinner; heated with barbecue sauce then packed into a thermos for meatball sandwiches on the trail; as a basis for meatball soup; or even as party fare, heated up with your favorite barbecue or spaghetti sauce in a chafing dish.


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