Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Meat Balls


I'm moving this week and let me just get this out there, moving with a baby is hard!  It makes me grateful for loving family and amazing friends. It's stressful times like these, moving or exams or welcoming a baby, when having frozen food can be so helpful. Frozen food just eliminates the stress of having to cook food! And any stress gone is a good thing.


So as I sit in a coffee shop, writing this blog post, since I don't have internet at my new place yet, I am grateful for these yummy meat balls in my freezer. Here's how you can make them too!

Tip on how to wash ground beef thoroughly - Put the meat in a large bowl and fill it with water until all the meat is separated. Shake it around and loosen all the particles, make sure water gets everywhere. Line a colander with 3 or 4 sheets of paper towels and pour in the meat. Let it strain for a few minutes and gently squeeze the paper towels so all the water drains out. Repeat until you think the meat is clean enough to your liking (for me one good rinse and drain is enough). This method is long but it gets all the icky blood out without getting little meat pieces stuck in your strainer!


Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Meat Balls
(Makes around 12-16)

1 lb ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp paprika
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1-2 tbsp water (as needed)

2 Mozzarella sticks (string cheese)
3 tbs olive oil
1 jar pasta sauce
boiled pasta

Cut the mozzarella sticks into 8 pieces each.

Mix together the first set of ingredients until fully combined. Don't be afraid to use your hands! Add water only if necessary if the mixture is too dry to shape into balls.

Next is a sweet trick on making same sized meatballs and shaping them easily. Spread the mixture into a rectangular shape. Cut 12-16 squares out of it. Press a cheese piece into the mixture. Now just roll each square into a ball! (Here is when you can freeze the meatballs. To use them, just defrost in the fridge overnight and then continue on to the next steps). 

Heat oil in a large skillet and cook meatballs on each side until fully browned, around 10 minutes. Add in the pasta sauce and simmer while covered for an additional 15 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked through. Don't worry if some cheese leaks out at this point! It's not the end of the world if it does. :)

Serve over boiled pasta and enjoy!

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