Italian Meatball Tortes

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Italian Meatball Tortes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:31 pm

Italian Meatball Tortes

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115)
3/4 cup warm milk (110 to 115)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup crushed saltines
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 pounds ground beef

1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, shortening, egg, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, oats, saltines, onion, celery and seasonings. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook meatballs in batches until no longer pink.

Meanwhile, place tomatoes and onion in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, herbs and salt.

Punch dough down. Divide into three portions. Roll two portions into 11-in. circles; line the bottoms and press partially up the sides of two greased 9-in. springform pans. Roll third portion into a 12-in. x 10-in. rectangle; cut into twelve 10-in. x 1-in. strips.

Place meatballs in prepared crusts; top with tomato mixture and mozzarella cheese. Make lattice crusts with strips of dough; trim and seal edges. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges. Makes 2 tortes (6 servings each).


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