Amani’s MeatBulbs

Music Pairing: Juice WRLD, Lucid Dreams

Story

Our youngest son Amani has always appreciated a variety of foods.  As a toddler, he went for braised broccoli dipped in soy sauce, basil omelettes and cherry tomato as snacks.  Unlike both of us, he also has a real appreciation for meaty dishes.  To this date, he comes up with ideas for new things to try and recipes to sample.  One such idea was something we would never think to make ourselves: the “meat bulbs”.  His suggested line of thinking was that on a colder day, a more substantial concentration of meat sounded tasty.  But unlike many, in this fully Amani-designed recipe, the sauce presence is much more sparse and delicate…it is really about the “bulb”.  The name came from an early experiment with this classic, when Amani thought that the meat balls could be shaped a bit more like “bulbs” to make them stand out.  We think of it as a taste sensation, in that, when you get into the juicy center, a sort of a light bulb goes off, activated by various sensory experiences brought about by the spices.  When we travel back to visit Nana (Afa’s mom) in Baku, there is an absolutely delicious and aesthetically perfect vision of this dish awaiting Amani.  On this page, we will share one of Amani’s go-to versions, to enjoy on a cooler night! And for a different sound…one of his current favorite tunes of today by Juice WRLD.

Recipe

  • 1/2 lbs of ground sirloin beef
  • 1/2 red onion (medium)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 T salt
  • 1T Adobo seasoning
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 3 oz fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 slice of Ezekiel bread
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • olive oil spray
  • 2 T olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine the onion, parsley, 2 of the garlic cloves and a slightly wet Ezekiel slice (minus crusts) in a food processor.  Grind the mixture until smooth, then add to the meat.  Mix in the 1/2 the salt (1T), adobo and pepper.  Thoroughly clean your food processor, as you will need it for the sauce.
  2. Place your tomatoes in a bowl filled with hot water and set aside.  Having created a clean prep surface, begin shaping the bulbs:).
  3. Beat the egg white and gently roll each of the bulbs in it, to help the texture.
  4. In a medium saucepan, spray the bottom generously with olive oil spray and start heating it gently.  Add the bulbs and cover.  Stir gently periodically, to ensure that they cook through but not burn, for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Check on your tomatoes: their surface should have cracked by now, making it very easy to gently peel the skin off.  Cut the tomatoes into half chunks and place them into the food processor.  Add 2 of the remaining garlic cloves and grind the mixture gently (only for about 20 seconds).
  6. In a separate saucepan, heat 2 T olive oil, add the tomato/garlic mix and remaining salt (1T).  Sauté gently, covered, for about 10 minutes. Pour the sauce on top of the bulbs and cook together for another 15 minutes.
  7. Serve with your favorite pasta (Amani favors fusilli or penne).

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