- When I make meatballs, I usually eyeball the salt, pepper, and other spices. The easiest way to do this is to spread the meat out on a cookie tray in a layer the thickness of a hamburger and salt and pepper the top as you would your own cooked food. This goes for the other spices, breadcrumbs, etc. as well. I teach my kids this trick as everyone knows how to salt and pepper their own food at the dinner table, so this is a way to take cooking larger amounts and make it more accessible. Once you get a hang of this, you can eyeball ground meat in a bowl and know how much salt to put. If it's a measurement, it's probably about 1 tsp. kosher salt to one pound of ground meat, but I still have to test this ratio out to be sure.
- Before I roll the meat into balls, I cook a small test sample in a skillet and taste the mixture first. That way, if I want to adjust the seasonings or the texture of the meatball, I can do it easily.
- With the ground chicken meatballs, you want the mixture to be on the moist and sticky side. This will make them harder to roll, but they will stay moist during the cooking process. Be sure to wet our oil your hands so the mixture doesn't stick. Otherwise, your meatballs will look like porcupine balls.
2 cups basil leaves, picked from their stems and loosely packed
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 extra virgin olive oil or more
Rinse basil thoroughly to rid it of any dirt. I use my salad spinner to do this and/or I soak the basil in a large bowl of water so the dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the basil and blanche, cooking less than a minute or so, or until the color turns a little darker. Cool immediately in an ice water bath or under cold running water.
Use the salad spinner to dry the blanched basil and or wrap in a dishtowel remove any excess water.
Blend the basil and the rest of the ingredients except for the oil in a mini-food processor or blender. Slowly drizzle in the oil until a paste forms.
TO TOAST PINE NUTS: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring, until you can start smelling the nuts and they get a little brown. Keep an eye on the nuts and stir as they can burn.