Thursday, February 6, 2014

Project Gryffindor

I'm excited to share with you all a new project I am working on--Project Gryffindor! What is Project Gryffindor, you may ask? Well, it's only the be-all, end-all of cooking projects!

A few years ago, my oldest brother bought me the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook for Christmas. I think I made maybe one recipe, then forgot about it. At the time, I was way too into Pinterest, and way to intimidated by the recipes, to cook anything else. Like all of my other cookbooks, it sat on the bookshelf collecting dust. 

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Until recently. 

Now that I've been cooking for a few years, and have a little bit more experience, I am no longer so scared by those lengthy recipes in cookbooks. In fact, at the beginning of this year, I formed a loose resolution (in my head, because I don't usually bother with writing those things down) to cook more recipes from actual cookbooks, and not from Pinterest. This past week, after making a delicious beef casserole from the HP cookbook, I thought "why not focus solely on making the recipes our hero HP knew and loved during his time at Hogwarts?"

Project Gryffindor was born--called thus because this title sounded the coolest, out of all the other Harry Potter phrases I could have potentially used. 

And now, I will share with you the very first recipe I made--Molly Weasley's meatballs with onion gravy (the first recipe I made, the beef casserole, is fantastic, but I will have to make it again to share with you all so I actually have pictures to document the process). 

Let's get this train wreck started!

Molly's Meatballs with Onion Sauce
Adapted from the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookboook

First things first: Assemble your ingredients.
Meatballs
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup fresh or dry bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley (I used dried parsley, and it worked just as well)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 T oil (I happened to have some special Tuscan olive oil, which I think added a little kick of flavor)
Onion Sauce
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 T all purpose flour
  • 1 14 oz can chicken broth (however, the can I had in my pantry was 12 oz, and it didn't destroy the recipe, so you decide)
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Directions
1.Go ahead and chop up that onion, so you can get your tears out of the way (btw, we got a Martha Stewart onion chopper as a wedding gift, and we've never looked back).

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2. Next, combine the beef, bread crumbs, egg, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. I suppose you could use some sort of spatula, but for the best results, just use your hands.

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3. Form the meat mixture into...well...meatball sized balls, whatever your preference may be. Stick them on a dinner plate or some parchment paper to get ready to fry them.

4. Heat the oil in a skillet. Working in batches, fry the balls on each side until well browned (about four minutes, give or take). Once cooked, move the meatballs over to a dinner plate so you can make room for more in the skillet.

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5. Once you've finished cooking the meatballs, it's time to move on to the onion sauce! Heat another 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet and add the chopped onion. Cook over medium heat and stir occasionally, until golden brown. Add the flour and stir to combine, then add the can of chicken broth. Stir that up constantly until your sauce gets thick and bubbly. (Here's where I forgot to take pictures--hey, I can only multitask so much in the kitchen.)

6. Finally, add those finished meatballs to the onion sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve over whatever floats your boat, but we found it to be very tasty with some buttered egg noodles.

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Tips: The recipe actually calls for 2 onions (which I totally missed at first, and had to get my friend to bring an onion with her when she came for dinner). However, you could probably make do with one large onion, and divide it up between the meat mixture and the sauce.

Lastly, pair it with a glass of Cab Sauv and finish it off with some chocolate chip salted caramel bars.

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My first (official) Project Gryffindor recipe was a success! In the next few weeks, I'm planning to make some hot rolls, cauldron cakes (pancakes), Irish soda bread, and beef and Guinness stew. I'm convinced that once I finish all of the recipes (which I do not imagine will happen in 2014), the Sword of Gryffindor will be mine. When that happens, you may refer to me as "the Heiress of Gryffindor" and nothing else.

linking up with Nicole for Treat Yo Self Thursday
All Love,

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