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By Belly Buddy Alton Brown
Why do so many recipes call for cooking meatballs in liquid? Don’t they know that they’re just mini meatloaves? Cooking meatballs in a mini muffin pan ensures even browning and doneness–and excess fat drips down into the well where it can do no harm.
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the spinach in a strainer and allow it to thaw, squeezing it to remove any remaining liquid. Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl and add the ground pork, ground lamb, ground round, Parmesan, eggs, basil, parsley, garlic powder, red pepper, salt, and 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs. Use your hands to mix everything together.
Using a #70 ice cream disher (its bowl holds just under 1/2 ounce), scoop portions of the meat mixture and shape into balls. Place some breadcrumbs in the bottom of a coffee cup and roll the meatballs in the crumbs, 1 meatball at a time, to coat well. Replenish the breadcrumbs as needed.
Place the meatballs in the muffin tins–one per cup–and bake, shaking the tins a couple of times, for 15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
Yield: About 48 meatballs.
Grill-Friendly Pizza Dough
By Belly Buddy Alton Brown
Everybody loves pizza from a wood-fired oven, but not too many people have them. They do, however, have grills. Toppings could include pepperoni, grated Parmesan, tomato sauce, caramelized onions, artichoke hearts…
1 packet instant yeast
Combine the yeast, flour, sugar, and salt, in that order, in a large mixing bowl. In a small mixing bowl combine the water and olive oil and then stir into the flour mixture with a large wooden spoon until a dough starts to form. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes, or until the dough develops a silky texture.
Oil the surface of the dough and place it in another large metal mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Divide the dough in half and with a rolling pin roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Heat grill to medium-low, Cook the dough on one side until firm and lightly browned, then turn, add your favorite toppings, and cook until lightly browned on the other side.
Yield: Two 12-inch pizzas
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Recipes courtesy Alton Brown and Stewart, Tabori & Chang.