Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

It’s a little funny that I chose to do a frozen food themed month right now.  In theory, these meals should all be prepared when you are not busy, so that when you are up to your eyeballs in an endless list of assignments, you don’t have to worry about making dinner.  But for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to stock my freezer during my busiest month!  I just couldn’t resist the alliteration…I toyed around with calling it March [freezer] Madness, but I’m really not into sports, and it felt a bit forced. 

So we find ourselves in February.  Freezing things.  Things like meatballs stuffed with mozzarella!  Yes, just when you thought meatballs couldn’t get any better, Thomas Keller swoops in like a genius and puts gooey cheese in the middle of them.  Of course, being the perfectionist that he is, TK recommends that you grind all of the meat yourself.  But don’t worry, the recipe I have posted below is for those of us who don’t own our own meat grinders.  I served them with papardelle and the best tomato sauce in the world

To freeze, let the meatballs cool and then put them in the freezer while still on the cooling rack (don't let them touch or they will all stick together).  Once they have frozen through, you can transfer them to a plastic bag. 

serves 4-6
from Ad Hoc at Home
Click here to print

olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
4 cloves minced garlic
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oz ground beef sirloin
12 oz ground beef chuck
8 oz ground pork
8 oz ground veal
¼ dried bread crumbs
3 tablespoon minced parsley
1 large egg
4 oz fresh mozzarella

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft but not brown.  Remove from heat.  In a large bowl, add all of the ground meat and use your hands to combine.  Add the bread crumbs, egg, sautéed vegetables, and parsley and mix gently until evenly incorporated.  Divide into 12 equal balls (just less than ½ cup each).  Cut the mozzarella into 12 equal cubes.  Shape the meatballs and place a piece of cheese inside each.  Place a cooling rack on top of a foil covered cookie sheet and put the meatballs on top. This lets them brown nicely without getting mushy on the bottom.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and bake meatballs for 15 to 18 minutes.  Let rest a few minutes before serving.

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