Tuesday, December 21, 2021

on the menu for tomorrow

In the hopes of getting rid of stuff in my fridge and freezer, I've decided to serve spaghetti and meatballs tomorrow. To this end, I needed to purchase material for sauce and meatballs. I had been saving a mess of skirt steak for my own use (specifically, for a carnivore day), and I also had a bagful of frozen spaghetti sauce in the freezer. There wasn't enough frozen sauce for four people; I knew I'd have to bulk it up. To that end, I bought some extra passata and a pack of oyster mushrooms, herbed and seasoned everything, and created some extra sauce into which I dumped my frozen sauce. The frozen sauce, being a leftover from a previous batch made months ago, had meat in it, so as the frozen sauce melted into the new sauce, all that meat was released into the larger mix. Delicioso. And now I had sauce for four.

For the meatball component, I bought some ground pork, took out my frozen skirt steak, ground the beef up with my trusty KitchenAid assembly, added in the pork, then dumped in some eggs, cream, herbs, and seasonings (including some chipotle for its smokiness even though that's more of a Mexican ingredient). Thus did I create meatballs. (No bread crumbs! I'm not a fan. Why? Because I'm not making meatloaf. My binder is normally just cheese, which I used in this case, but this time around, I also added the aforementioned eggs plus some heavy cream.) I cooked the meatballs about two-thirds of the way through, and tomorrow, as I'm reheating the sauce, I'll toss the meatballs in and let them cook the rest of the way. So, yes: I plan to serve the office crew a spaghetti-with-meatballs meal tomorrow. All in service of getting rid of extra stuff in my fridge. 

The last thing I'll do tonight is make some garlic butter. In the morning, I'll buy a shitty baguette from the downstairs Paris Baguette in my building. I'll cut the baguette into 95% slices so all the pieces are still barely joined at the bottom, butter all exposed surfaces, wrap the bread in foil, then bake until I have the 1970s-era non-Italian housewife's notion of "Italian bread." This is what I grew up with. It's wrong, but good.

So tomorrow's meal will be kind of low-rent (I'll be taking along some parmesan cheese instead of real Parmigiano Reggiano), but maybe I'll bring a cup of wine to dump into my sauce so as to fancy it up a tiny bit. Grownups like their food to be slightly boozy, right? Beer in your chili, rum in your cake, and wine in your not-quite-bolognese.

My coworker's wife dropped the ball. After promising to make beef on Weck "for Christmas week," she has asked to reschedule food service to next week (December is supposed to be her month, but I'll have served food twice, and she'll have served food only once). She's a great cook, but she apparently needs help managing time. I thought you learned time management in cooking school—how to do everything more efficiently.

The meatballs are smaller than usual: I normally make 80-gram monsters, but this time, I went with 60 grams so as to have more meatballs. Ended up with twenty-one. There are four of us in the office, so that's five meatballs for three of us and six for one of us.

Am also thinking of making a quick berry sauce for Korean cheesecake, which is sold downstairs at the bakery where I work. We'll see, we'll see.

UPDATE: there are but twenty meatballs now. I had to sample one. But at least we four office staffers can now have an even five meatballs each at lunch.

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