TODAY | October 11, 2012
>>> this morning on cooking with giada today, meatballs, chefs whipping up thousands of them for an event tonight called giada 's meatball madness. part of the new york city wine and food festival . what makes a perfect meatball ? giada is here to show us. good morning. nice to see you.
>> thank you.
>> what makes you besides the fact you're italian and a chef the perfect judge for a contest?
>> you would think it's out of the box for me. but quite frankly, i grew up on a lot of meatballs, and i think i know my stuff.
>> is this a family recipe?
>> sort of.
>> you've changed a little bit.
>> because classic italian meatballs are made with three different types of meat.
>> none of that in here. talk to me about the ingredients.
>> basically i'm going to use turkey all around. and i know most people think --
>> three different kinds.
>> two different kinds. we're going to use dark meat turkey , ground, dark meat turkey , and a spicy italian turkey sausage.
>> let's get started on this. my sort of tip for making meatballs, the number one tip is to mix all your seasoning in first before you add the meat.
>> the reason for that is.
>> so you get these light and fluffy and melt-in-your mouth --
>> so you're not working with it too much --
>> a lot of people like to dump everything on top of the meat.
>> tell me exactly what you start with in there.
>> bread crumbs .
>> normal bread crumbs ?
>> yep. tomato paste. i'm going to dump the basil and parsley, a little color, a little fresh herb, parmesan cheese , egg.
>> all of it?
>> the basics are in here. two eggs, everybody's got their own little mix, but the basics is that. the eggs keep it altogether. a little milk, and a little bit of salt. all the milk to keep it nice and moist.
>> great. and the last thing you do is add your turkey .
>> mix that all together really well to break up those eggs. go, go. have you ever made meatballs before?
>> i didn't think so.
>> so you've got a pound of dark meat turkey and it's got to be dark meat because you need the fat in it. all the fat you would get from beef and pork, i'm going to add a pound of --
>> there you go.
>> of spicy italian turkey meatball sausage.
>> would you work this with your hands?
>> i want to make sure because it wasn't working with the rubber spatula.
>> what we're going to do is mix it all with your hands because you can kind of feel it and understand when it's all mixed really well.
>> all right. when you're going to actually form your meatballs, you have this ice cream scoop?
>> i'm going to wash my hands and guide you from over here.
>> i take an ice cream scoop so that way all the meatballs are the same size and cook evenly.
>> you're putting these in the oven. you could also brown these, couldn't you?
>> in a simmering liquid. you know, to poach them, brown them in a pan with butter or oil or bake them in the oven. my whole thing is about making these flavorful.
>> you make a lot of them because you can actually put them in the freezer and serve them later. they're a little more rustic, more country style than yours.
>> not really.
>> here's the meatball . thousand do you freeze these?
>> cook them off, i make a bunch to have leftover, and i put them in the freezer for about half an hour. you want to freeze them before you put them in the baggy.
>> otherwise they all mush together.
>> becomes one big clump. and i like to portion them out. you pull this out, defrost and cook them.
>> how long in the freezer?
>> weeks and weeks.
>> fine. now you can take the ones you've made out in advance. how would you use those?
>> i like to -- this is what i'm going to make tonight at the meatball madness. we do a little bit of sauce. and why don't we -- here, cut a meatball for me.
>> here we go.
>> there we go. cut the meatball , we're going to add some red onion . and here's the meatball fan over here. and a little bit of red pepper flakes. we're making this just for you, al. a little bit of provolone.
>> smells a little strong, doesn't it?
>> but it's good. it's spicy.
>> okay. and here's what it looks like. press it, melt it altogether.
>> you've got skewers, pizza here.
>> i can do anything with