Sunday, 27 September 2009

Meatball Subs on Homemade Kaisers

This weekend I made Peter Reinhart's kaiser rolls as part of The Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge. These were a joy to work with as the dough was light and tender and not at all weighed down with the half whole wheat flour that I used. A preferment is made the night before and refrigerated overnight. The next day the rest of the dough is kneaded together, rises for two hours, and gets shaped into kaiser forms - in my case by rolling into snakes and knotting twice, there is actually a kaiser stamp but sadly I do not own one. Sniff.
Anyway, the knotted rolls now rise for 45 minutes, get flipped over and rise for another half hour and then bake until golden. They came out beautifully, I am so impressed with the lift I got from the dough. You can find the recipe here, on Google Books.
One thing I have noticed in the last few months of baking Peter's breads is that he uses a lot of spray oil. I am not against oil at all, but I don't like the taste of the stuff in the spray cans - which I have since learned is largely propellant. I have invested about ten bucks into an oil mister, in which I can pour my own pantry olive oil and just have to pump it a few times to get a nice mist. I am much happier with the flavour of it and consider it ten bucks well spent.

This weekend my son asked me to make him meatball subs, so I thought that would be a great way to showcase my kaisers. I know they aren't traditional sub buns, but one look at their gorgeousness and all is forgiven. I used a Rachel Ray recipe, below, for the meatballs, jarred marinara sauce, and a lovely topping of caramelized onions and beet greens.
I thought of this topping in the eleventh hour, it added a nice adult touch to our subs, very tasty indeed.

Caramelized Onions and Beet Greens - for 2
can be multiplied
1 white onion
1 red onion
olive oil
1 bunch beet greens, washed and sliced into a wide chiffonade
balsamic vinegar
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

In a well seasoned cast iron pan, plop in some olive oil and butter and heat on medium to medium low. Add onions and cook slowly until well caramelized and shrunken. Don't let them cook too fast. Just over halfway through, add beet greens, balsamic, salt and pepper. Continue to cook on low until soft. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Meatball Subs
adapted from Rachael Ray
30 Minute Meals, Classic Cravings, Food Network

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup (3 handfuls), Italian bread crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons (several drops) Worcestershire sauce,
1/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) grated Parmigiano or Romano
Coarse salt and black pepper

1 jar marinara sauce
4 large rolls
shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place ground beef in a large mixing bowl and punch a well into the center of meat. Fill well with the egg, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire, parsley, cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Mix up meatball ingredients until well combined, yet not over-mixed. Divide mix into 4 equal parts, roll each part into 4 balls and space equally onto a nonstick baking sheet. Place meatballs in oven and roast about 12 minutes. Break a meatball open and make sure meat is cooked through before removing from the oven.
I use a meatballer, and bake mine for longer - I like a firm meatball.
When the meatballs are cooked, throw them in a pan - like the one that had your onions in it - add the marinara and keep stirring until totally heated through.
Pile meatballs onto kaisers, toasted if you wish, and top with cheese and onion mixture. Delish!

I served the subs with a simple salad of mixed greens, little garden tomatoes and a buttermilk blue cheese dressing from Mr. Tyler Florence. It was a nice foil to the richness of the sammies.

Cherry Tomatoes with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing
Tyler Florence, Tyler's Ultimate, Ultimate Fried Chicken, Food Network
I served my garden baby tomatoes on a bed of greens with this light and delicious dressing.

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh chives, minced
2 pints yellow cherry tomatoes, or red grape tomatoes, or both
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the dressing, place the blue cheese, buttermilk, and olive oil in a medium bowl and stir together with a fork, mashing a little to break up the cheese. Season with the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chives. Set aside.
Wash the tomatoes, and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice each tomato in half lengthwise and season with a pinch of salt. Add the tomatoes to the dressing mixture and toss to combine then garnish with freshly ground pepper, to taste.

You are going to need napkins... lots of napkins.
Sammies and salad for Souper Sundays!
These kaisers have been Yeastspotted!