“Potato Meatballs”

On the long, long list of things I love (especially edible things), potatoes are very high on that list.

So, naturally, foods that involve potatoes make me exceedingly happy. This especially includes koftet batates, or potato meatballs as I shall henceforth call them. This recipe is not traditional in that I bake rather than fry, and thus bypass the flour and egg steps.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not the healthiest of eaters by a long shot, but if I’m eating potato for dinner I try to at least lessen the damage. Happy medium, if you will.

As it stands, they are somewhat reminiscent of tiny shepherd’s pie-balls. (That sounds so wrong).

Onwards!

Potato Meatballs

  • 5-6 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1/3 lb ground beef (Chuck)
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (roughly)
  1. start off by washing your potatoes very well. You will be boiling your potatoes WITH THE SKIN (humor me), so you want them good and scrubbed.
  2. boil the potatoes in a large pot of water with a pinch of salt for 15-20 minutes until tender. Take them out of the water and let them cool down.
  3. While the potatoes cool, saute the onions with a teaspoon of olive oil, then add ground beef and cook thoroughly. Strain any fat, and set the ground beef aside.
  4. After the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes carefully, avoiding peeling off any of the potato with the skin. The reason we boil with the skin in the first place is so that the potatoes are more starchy, thus better able to keep their shape.
  5. Cut the peeled potatoes and mash them using your choice of a masher, food processor, or potato ricer. I am generally a proponent of the ricer, but this time opted for old-school mashing so I could shape the balls easily. (I’m setting myself up for jokes, I know. )
  6. Shape your potatoes into ovular balls, then create a large dent with your finger. Fill the dent with the ground beef, leaving out any onions.  20140408_16474620140408_164750
  7. Fold the mashed potato over the dent again. Once you have balls stuffed with beef, put your breadcrumbs in a bowl and toss each ball in until coated on all sides. (If you feel like making it fun, roll the ball around in the bowl to make sure you get every last bit)20140408_170145 20140408_172022
  8. Line the balls up on a baking sheet, cooking at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then on broil for another ten.

And voilà! Potato meatballs galore.

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On Style, Seriousness, and Success

I read a wonderfully thought-provoking piece by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie today (though it was published more than a month ago, shame on me) for ELLE, and it brought to mind a question that has long troubled me:

Why is it that somehow being interested in appearance or fashion is at odds with being taken seriously?

Conversely, why is it that being entirely uninterested in appearance also hinders women?

As is the case in so many instances, we are fed contradicting thoughts and beliefs about what it entails to be a successful woman, one who wields intellect and commands respect.

Being a lover of “frilly” fashion–so-called femininity–takes away from our credibility apparently, yet being unkempt is a far greater sin for the professional woman than it is for a man. We are expected to care just enough, but never too much. Too much, and we are shallow, we become trivial, not someone to be taken seriously nor esteemed. Too little and we are slovenly, lazy, somehow less of a woman for our lack of vanity.

As is so often the case, we are presented with a lose-lose situation in which being too “feminine” (which is in itself a construct) is a problem, yet not being feminine enough is equally problematic.

So, what about Adichie’s question, then? Why can’t a smart woman love fashion? Then again, why must a woman love fashion?

Why is it that we are treated as part of an overarching structure rather than individuals? Why can’t I love fashion as much as I love my books, what is wrong with the fact that I collect shoes as readily as I do novels?

Granted, there is a utilitarian purpose for my books–but is there not for fashion? Why must I defend my love of clothing and beauty products as self-expression? Why does it require defending in the first place? In reality, it’s absurd. It makes me no less of an intellectual, and no more of a woman, that I love shoes and lipstick and elaborate jewelry. They bear no correlation.

This is not meant as preaching, but as a challenge. These ways of thought need to be challenged, to be confronted and called out on their absurdity, on the sexist, patronizing system that instill these ways of thought.

With that, I leave you.