Who else remembers Porcupine Meatballs, the meatballs with "quills" of rice sticking out? I mixed up a quick batch recently for the first time in years, decades probably, and was surprised how delicious they tasted with a just a few contemporary updates. Let's make it a retro revival ...
Retro recipes from the 1960s and 1970s may tickle a nostalgic fancy but some times, taste-wise, they no longer measure up. Our palates have become sophisticated, our experiences with food more worldly.
But with a few contemporary touches, these Mini Porcupine Meatballs from my childhood kinda knocked me over with grownup goodness.
What makes these mini meatballs “Porcupine” Meatballs? In the oven, the rice “quills” swell out of the meatballs. The idea of eating a porcupine was amusing to my twelve-year old self, this is one of the very first recipes I ever copied onto a 3x5 card.
MINI PORCUPINE MEATBALLS
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
Makes 24 small meatballs, about 6 servings
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup uncooked rice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced poblano pepper
- 1 cup spaghetti sauce, homemade or from a jar
Preheat oven to 350F.
With your hands, combine ground beef, rice, salt, pepper, onion and poblano, working gently so not to compress the meat. Form meatballs and arrange in a single layer in an oven-safe baking dish. (To bake later, stop here, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake, preferably the same day.)
Cover with spaghetti sauce. Cover with foil and bake for an hour.
PRESSURE COOKER That old recipe card includes my mom's instructions for a pressure cooker, which are gaining traction again in certain circles. "Cook 10 minutes at 10 pounds," they say. My pressure cooker is buried at the back of a cupboard so honestly, I have little idea if these are good or bad or would even work. Any ideas, pressure cooker owners?
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