Kotlety (Meatballs)

Whatever you call them – Kotlety, Meatballs, Fleischpfanzerl (I shit you not – this is the German name for these yummy things!), they exist in pretty much every meat-eating culture.  They may vary in size, additives and condiments, but the main ingredient will always be MEAT.  Easy to make, filling and tasty, they are everybody’s favorite comfort food at its best (unless you are a fucking vegan, of course, in which case I am already condemned and burning in the version of meatless hell you made for me).

There are shitloads of recipes of how to make kotlety – some people add garlic, others don’t.  Some cringe at the mention of adding bread to them (good luck to those fuckers with trying to make them fluffy and tasty!), others don’t believe in eggs in their kotlety.  Whatever rocks your boat – I am not here to judge.  I am sharing MY recipe of kotlety, the tried and tasted way to make you happy on that cold and rainy day when you are feeling lonely. 

In my world, kotlety is a food equivalent of a hug.

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 gr of mixed minced meat (beef & pork).  Those shying away from pork can, of course, take just minced beef, but when your kotlety turn out dry as fuck, you will have no one to blame, but yourself!
  • 2 slices of toast bread, soaked in a little bit of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, chopped and fried till golden.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION

Making kotlety is easy-peasy, but there are several tiny tricks.

  • Chop the onion (if you don’t like crying your fucking eyes out in the process, get a mouthful of water and keep it there, while you chop.  It sounds weird, but it works!), and fry it in a little bit of cooking oil until golden.  Don’t burn the fucker!  Do NOT under any circumstances mix raw onion with the meat.  This will make your kotlety fucking disgusting.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the mined meat with the bread soaked up in milk.  This will ensure the fluffiness.  Fluffiness is an extremely important quality when it comes to kotlety, and this is what distinguishes them from meatballs, Fleischpfanzerl, and every other impostor.  Don’t get your panties in a wad, and mix the bread in.  Use your fucking hands for that – nothing else will work.
  • Mix the raw egg in – this will work as a binding agent, and will ensure that your kotlety don’t fall apart when you are cooking them.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and mix again.

COOKING

  • Heat up a big frying pan (the heavier, the better – cast iron skillet would be perfect!), add a little bit of cooking oil.
  • Wet your hands (this way the meat will not stick to them), and take a handful of meat mix from the bowl.  Shape it into a slightly flattened ball, and place in a hot pan.  Repeat until the bowl is empty and all kotlety are happily cooking in the pan.
  • Cook on medium heat, checking every now and then, and flip onto the other side, when one gets brown.  There is nothing more disgusting than pale kotlety – they look like malnourished children’s asses, and are a disgrace to any cook producing them!  Make sure your kotlety are evenly browned, and flip them over.  However, don’t get tricked – when the other side gets brown as well, your kotlety are NOT fucking ready!  They are still ass-raw inside.  Don’t worry, though – we are getting close to the finish!  Keep flipping them around, and when they look ready from the outside, fuck a big cup of hot water into the pan, and cover it with a lid to allow your kotlety to steam through.
  • When the water evaporates, your kotlety should be ready.  The easiest way to check their readiness, is to split one in half – if the meat is cooked through, you can start your feast!

SERVING

Serve with anything: potatoes (mashed, boiled or fried), rice, noodles, or even fucking polenta!  They are also delicious all on their own – turn on the TV, find a good film, put the whole frying pan in front of you and eat the fuck away!

Chicken Asparagus Risotto

Enough with the exotic shit that nobody can pronounce and might be afraid to try! Here’s a good old Italian Risotto, with some colorful additions of green and white asparagus.  It is the asparagus season in Europe now, and it would be a fucking shame to ignore this tasty vegetable.  By the way, is Asparagus even a vegetable?…  Never mind.  It is fucking delicious!

INGREDIENTS

This what you need for 2 people.  Double if you are really fucking hungry.  If you have only one type of asparagus and not both – don’t sweat it, it’ll do as well.  If you can’t find my secret chicken spice ingredient – use something else. 

  • 1 chicken breast, sliced into ~2.5 cm chunks
  • 1 tablespoon chicken spice (I use the one on the picture below and it is fucking AMAZING! No idea when you can buy it these days – I stocked up back at home, when I realized how great it was.)
  • 125 gr risotto rice (yes, there is a fucking difference – forget your basmatis, and nondescript rices from the supermarket.  Go and buy the proper rice, it costs the fucking same!)
  • 4 green asparagus stalks, peeled
  • 4 white asparagus stalks, peeled (if you have more of both – throw that shit in, you can’t spoil the risotto with asparagus!)
  • 2 shallots, finely diced (and yes, there is a difference between shallots and fucking onions)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ~750 ml good quality chicken stock (as with Ramen, do yourselves a favor, and cough up a couple of pennies for a proper one!  No powder shit will ever compare.)
  • ~200 ml white wine
  • Butter, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION

Every risotto is different, and you can technically add whatever you fucking want into it, as long as you cook the rice properly. The rice is the key!

  • Season the chicken pieces with chicken spice, salt and pepper.  Heat a good tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, fry the chicken until golden and set the fuck aside.
  • Boil the asparagus stalks whole for about 10 min (check with the fucking fork for readiness).  The green ones will be ready sooner, the fat white ones will need a bit more time.  Drain out, cool down and chop into ~2 cm pieces.
  • Melt a good chunk of butter and a little bit of oil in a big deep frying pan, and fry the shallots and garlic until translucent.
  • Add the rice and stir until it is all coated in butter & oil, and cook over medium heat for 2-3 min until the rice husks split.
  • Pour in the wine and cook until the alcohol has been burned off, then add a ladle of chicken stock to the mixture.  Once it has all been absorbed, add another one.  Repeat this shit until the stock runs out, and the risotto starts taking shape.
  • Add the chicken and asparagus chunks, mix all shit up carefully without breaking up the asparagus pieces.
  • To finish, stir in a good chunk of butter, and as much grated Parmesan as your fucking soul desires!
Your risotto is fucking served!