Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pouty with a Plate of Meatballs

While I knew that food photography would be a tricky hobby to pick up, I never expected it would cause me to reach an about-to-bash-my-face-into-the-kitchen-window level of frustration. Like I almost did while attempting to take pictures of these meatball hoagies.

No matter what I tried—flash, no flash, white background, wooden background, on a plate, on a pan—they. would not. look. appealing! Finally, I decided I'd just mess around in Photoshop and make some text that would hopefully distract viewers from the harsh appearance of these cheesy, delicious bundles of fun. (Did it work??? No??? Darn.) I suppose I'm going to have to chalk it up to experience, read even MORE photography tutorials, and do better next time. Can't get anywhere without a few bumps in the road, right?

The hoagies were really tasty, by the way! The extra time that was needed to bake the homemade meatballs was worth it, and the cheese was reeeeeeal bubbly and nice when it came out of the broiler. Yumnumnum.

Meatball Hoagies
From Let's Dish.
For the meatballs
1 pound ground beef
1 pound hot Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1-2 teaspoons olive oil

For the sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 (28 oz. cans) crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup water

For the sandwiches
6-8 hoagie rolls
Sliced provolone or mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375°. To make the meatballs, combine the ground beef, sausage, and spices in a large bowl. Finely chop the onion and add to the meat and spices. Add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg, along with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Combine the mixture thoroughly with your hands. Form into meatballs, about the size of a walnut, adding more olive oil as needed to hold meatballs together. Place meatballs on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add water a little bit at a time until sauce reaches desired consistency. Add the cooked meatballs to sauce and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

To make the subs, preheat oven to 400°. Place open hoagie rolls on a large baking sheet. Spoon 3-4 meatballs into each roll, along with sauce. Top with sliced cheese and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the rolls are toasty and the cheese is browned and bubbly. Enjoy!

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