Little balls of success

I’ve always been under this weird impression that making meatballs is fairly complex.  Staying true to my word and trying something new, I chose a recipe for some ginger meatballs for dinner last night.  A couple of nights ago, I chopped an onion perfectly (yay!) so I was on a confidence high when prep time arrived.  I managed to get all of my ingredients prepped and ready before I began, which is usually my first roadblock whenever I set out to cook a meal.  Huge accomplishment.  If only you knew.

Mise en place. (Yeah, I learned a new vocab term.)

As I said, I had thought meatballs were complicated to make.  Then again, I tend to believe anything I haven’t ever cooked is complicated.  Bacon, for instance.  I still need to tackle bacon.  But imagine my surprise when I discovered there is nothing more to meatballs than:  1) Mix ingredients and 2) Roll mixture into balls and bake.  As I began to shape the meat into balls, I second-guessed myself.  I thought, There’s no way it can be this easy.  I have to be missing something vital.  But a triple review of the steps told me otherwise, so I crossed my fingers and slid the pan into the oven.

Raw talent.

Meanwhile…

The recipe for these meatballs included steps for rice noodles with stir-fried veggies.  If there’s one thing I know I can handle in the kitchen, it’s stir-frying veggies.  The rice noodles, on the other hand–they’re a whole new species to me.  I’ve eaten my fair share at Thai restaurants, but I’ve never cooked with them.  Hell, I had trouble finding them in the grocery store.  When the time came to prepare them, I became stuck.  The recipe says, “Cook noodles according to package directions.”  Out of four brands of rice noodles on the store shelves, I picked the package that didn’t have any directions on how to cook them.  Go figure.  But thank goodness for Google, right?

Wrong!  After a Google search for “how to cook rice noodles,” I’d gathered a melting pot of methods and no idea which one to choose.  One was to boil them like you would any other noodle.  Another was to place the noodles in a bowl and soak them in boiling-hot water.  A third option was to soak the noodles in water of any temperature.  All of these methods seemed to carry the risk of gooey, sticky, clumpy noodles.  From what I read, it seemed like no matter how you choose to cook rice noodles, they’re easy to screw up.  I debated the methods and finally chose to try the method of pouring boiling-hot water over a bowl of dry noodles.  Ten minutes later, they were still stiff and crunchy and the water had become cool.  Talk about disheartening.  So, I went with my gut instinct.  I tossed the noodles and the water into a pot and boiled them like I would spaghetti.  After a few minutes they were nice and soft.  I rinsed them in cold water and tossed them into the pan with the veggies, and although they were slightly gooey, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared.

Success!

Advertisements

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s