YOU GUYS. Football season is almost here! The first Ducks game is three weeks from Saturday. OH MY FREAKIN' GOSH. I can't even believe it. And now I'm so antsy for it to get here that I have to do something football-related in the meantime... and so this is officially football-prep month at A Duck's Oven.
I've had the idea for football-shaped meatballs floating around in my head for a long time. The other day I bought hamburger buns and some ground beef, simply intending to make burgers, when this idea came sneaking back into my head. And so the "football marinara" was born. Do you get it?! Like meatball marinara... but since they're shaped like footballs, it's football marinara! I just crack myself up.
Like I said, I had hamburger buns on hand so I decided to go with those for the sandwiches. And here's my trick. I'm feeding two people, here. We certainly don't need eight burger buns. So...
I used one of the buns for the bread that went into the meatballs!
Just dice it up into roughly 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch chunks. You're gonna smash it up, so size doesn't matter too much- just so long as it's smashable.
Throw the bread chunks in a bowl and pour some buttermilk over them. Looks appetizing, huh? Let it sit for a few minutes so the milk can soak in.
Separate the yolk from an egg and discard the white. Or if you feel like being resourceful, you could save it for breakfast the next day.
Add the yolk, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, parmesan, minced garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper to the bread chunks. Stir it around and smash it up. Smash it up better than I did.
Add one pound of ground beef (or you could totally use pork, chicken, venison, elk, whatever floats your boat) and mix it all up. I highly recommend using your hands for this, but if you're too squeamish you could use a spoon. But just suck it up! I stuck this in the fridge for a little while before shaping- it's a little easier when the meat is cold.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Roll out balls of meat that are about 2 1/2 inches (ish... very ish) across and shape them into a football. This was way harder than you'd think it would be. My strategy was to roll them into a ball, squish them down slightly, then pinch the edges together.
Pop 'em in the oven at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until just cooked through. When they were almost done, I laid little strips of mozzarella on top to mimic football laces.
Then toast a bun, layer on some more cheese, top with sauce and a meatball, and ta da! You have football marinara. Easy, cute, and super delicious.
You may notice the football-countdown on the right of my blog... just in case you need help remembering :) More football recipes to come!