Summer Kitchen Meatballs, photographed in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. (Mark DuFrene/Staff)
Summer Kitchen Meatballs, photographed in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. (Mark DuFrene/Staff) ( Mark DuFrene )

Summer Kitchen Meatballs

Serves 20

4 cups panko breadcrumbs

2 cups buttermilk

2 medium onions, diced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch chopped parsley

1 bunch chopped oregano

5 cloves chopped garlic

5 pounds Hearst Ranch grass-fed ground beef, or an all-beef chuck 80/20 blend

5 eggs

2 cups grated Grana Padano cheese

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and buttermilk, stirring to form a paste consistency. This mixture is referred to as a panade. Reserve this mixture.

2. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and onions. Cook onions until soft, about 2 minutes. Add parsley, oregano and chopped garlic. Remove pan from the heat; let cool for about 5 minutes.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, cooked onion-garlic mixture, breadcrumb-buttermilk mixture, eggs and cheese. Using your hands, mix ingredients thoroughly and evenly. Mix in salt and pepper.

4. Using a small ice cream scoop or a large kitchen spoon, form meatballs that are 1 to 2 ounces each. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, as is, or combine with marinara sauce and serve.

-- Paul Arenstam, Summer Kitchen+Bake Shop