Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hunger Games and Little Chicken Meatballs

Trendy I am not, eccentric I've been called, but not trendy, so for me
to end up at one of the most "trending" movies of its time was quite an overwhelming
experience.  My sweet little 17 year old cousin took us to the The Hunger Games.


It took 2 hours and few glasses of wine with dinner to get my
heart to beat at its normal rhythm. 

 Now, you have to know that I 
have only a 19" screen t.v. at home which I use to watch movies and football.  

So to be in a huge theater, dead center, thank you Tree, with surround sound, HD
and whatever else they've added in the past years was equivalent to being on a roller coaster
at Six Flaggs.

Along with the story line, setting and deeper premise......
needless to say it prompted some great dinner table conversation.

I'm still not sure how I feel.

On a lighter note, and here is where the eccentric comes in,
I saw a picture of Matzoh ball soup in a magazine and it made me think
of these incredible little turkey meatballs Peter had made one day at Lily's for a
pasta salad out of one of Giada's cookbooks.  Immediately I wanted to 
make a lovely light broth soup with delicious little meatballs in it, spring veggies
a bit of parmesan cheese.

Here's what I came up with.  Very delicious I must say and you'll have extra meatballs left over
that you can make a pasta dish with tomorrow night

Little Chicken Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken (best quality you can afford)
1 cup breadcrumbs ( I used Udi's GF bread)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 large cloves garlic, minced
4 T chopped chives (mine are just coming up in the garden)
2 extra large eggs, whisked to blend
1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2-3 T olive oil

Blend all ingredients gently to combine.  Don't over mix or the
meatballs will be tough, so use a gentle hand
form into 1/2 inch meatballs, you should get about 50-55

Heat 2 T oil in desired small pot, add meatballs in batches to brown on all sides
They don't have to be cooked through, you will do that later in the soup.
Set aside when all are browned

If this was a magazine these would be perfect and round, as you can see I don't worry too much about that
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 large rib of celery 1/2" slices (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2" rounds (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
5 cups best quality chicken stock - really makes a difference in this soup
2 cups water
3/4 cup small pasta (I used Tinkyada GF shells)
3 good size scallions, sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
25 little chicken meatballs
3 T chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

In the same pot that you browned the meatballs in, heat another T of olive oil, add the onion
carrots and celery and sauté until just getting shiny and softening, 5- 6 minutes.  Add garlic slices and
cook another minute, pour in stock and water and season to taste.  My stock isn't salted so I
needed a good teaspoon or more of salt to start.
Bring to boil and add pasta, cook for 8 minutes.
Add scallions, spinach and meatballs, simmer another 3 minutes or so until
spinach is wilted and meatballs are cooked through.
Stir in parsley and parmesan cheese.
Season again with salt and pepper to taste if necessary

Eat pronto, you want it fresh and light.
Serves approximately 4 people

Enjoy! And,  "May the odds be ever in your favor"

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