Thursday, June 14, 2007

Good Food On Rachael Ray? How Did THAT Happen?

What a surprise!!! The recipe on Rachael Ray's Show this morning was actually good, more than was great.

The part that WASN'T a surprise was that SHE didn't do the cooking. Kitchen warrior Mario Batali did - with actress Kristin Davis. They were promoting a online cookbook by Barilla that benefited Second Harvest. The only problem is that the show was a repeat, the cookbook is longer available AND THE RECIPE IS IN LOCKDOWN SOMEWHERE. When you go to Rachael's web site, they say you can't have THAT recipe, but try this one of Rachael's instead. NO THANK YOU. I want THAT one.

I watched the show frame by frame to work out the recipe. It wasn't easy, because they were rather fuzzy on some of the details. After I had completed my recipe re-creation, I did one last search and guess what?? I found the actual recipe for the meatballs AND the sauce. (And I'm quite proud of myself, the only thing I got wrong was that I low-balled the amount of bread).

Mario says, "one of the big problems that most Americans have" when they make a meatball mixture "is that they put too much meat in it, so it's never extended, so it's never tender and soft. It's always too firm and too hard." We certainly don't want that. He also soaks the bread before adding it, which gives the meatballs an incomparable fluffy texture.

Now why do I say this is so superior to any of Rachael's recipes? Here are 2 examples. In HER recipe that they're pushing on her website, she makes her meatballs and then drops them into the simmering sauce WITHOUT browning them first. That's basically like steaming your meatballs. It's just wrong. Another thing...Mario CARAMELISES the onion, which is the base for the sauce. So before he adds another thing to it, he already has a lot of flavor going on.

Mario is a masterful chef and this recipe could easily become a family favorite. Click on the sauce recipe too. It's good. Buon appetito!:

Mario Batali's Version of Kristin Davis's Mother's Spaghetti and Meatballs (Got that?)

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