Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders

on December 27, 2014

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Is it just me, or does everybody love great #meatballs? Well I guess I can answer that question. I brought these beauties to a party recently and they disappeared really quickly. Then having them on Hawaiian rolls, well need I say more….The sauce I made for this dish is my own recipe. Low and slow simmered all day. The star however are my mozzarella stuffed meatball.

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Let’s start with this delicious gravy that the meatball are going to bathe in. I have the stove set on med heat and add some olive oil to a heavy bottom pot. I toss in some red pepper flakes. Next diced onion and minced garlic. To that some tomato paste, letting all that bloom in the hot oil. Now some low sodium chicken broth that I let reduce down to a couple of tablespoons or so. I dump in two cans of crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, and brown sugar to cut the acid in the tomatoes. I also add a small small jar of Piquillo peppers, that have been processed (into what looks like a chunky puree) in a mini food processor. The peppers give a nice sweetness  and a bright red color to the sauce. I let this sauce come up to a bubble on med heat, then I reduce it to a simmer. I continue to simmer the sauce on med low for 2-3 hours before adding in the meatballs. Well, now while the sauce is simmering away, I’m going to start on these delicious little meatballs.

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First I sauteed a little onion and garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes in some olive oil until they were soft but not brown. I let them cool a bit before adding them to the meatball mixture. In a large bowl I have heavy cream, parsley, dried oregano, Kosher salt, pepper, ricotta cheese, Worcestershire sauce, cooked, and cooled onion and garlic mixture, 2 large eggs, and Panko bread crumbs. Once this is all mixed together, then I add in 2-1/2 pounds of ground pork. Mixing both together, just until the flavorings are combined through the meat. This meatball mixture will give you 24 golf ball size meatballs. You want to be sure not to over mix the meat.

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Next I’ve cubed up some low moisture Mozzarella cheese that I wrap inside of the meatballs. Then I lay them out on some parchment paper. Place them in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until they are nice and brown on the outside. You could do this in a frying pan, but I find this way to be a lot easier and quicker. See, while you have the sauce simmering away on top of the stove, the meatballs are browning off in the oven. You don’t have to do them in batches in a frying pan. You know turning them one at a time and all.  So now after the 30 minutes, take the meatballs out of the oven and place them right into the simmering sauce.

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Let the meatballs simmer in that delicious sauce for another hour. I then turn the heat off and add in some fresh torn basil leaves and stir them through. Place a lid on the pot to keep everything warm until you are ready to make the mini sliders.

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Slice those little sweet Hawaiian buns in half and place those meatballs right in there. Bring these wonderful beauties to any party, or just have them at home. You won’t be able to eat just one.

Prep time: 30-40 minutes
Total cooking time: 4 hours
Yields: 24 meatballs
Oven temperature: 375 degrees

Ingredients for sauce:
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1 diced onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves

Ingredients for meatballs”
2-1/2 pounds of ground pork ( or whatever ground meat you choose)
1/4 diced chopped onions and 2 cloves of minced garlic (cooked and cooled)
24- 1/4 inch diced low sodium Mozzarella cheese
1/2 a cup of heavy cream
1/2 a cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian leaf parsley, dried is fine too
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1-1/4 cups of Panko bread crumbs
2 packages of mini Hawaiian buns

Start tomato sauce on the stove first. While tomato sauce is simmering for 2-3 hours, prepare the meatballs  with the Mozzarella cheese inside each one, and start them browning off. After the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce to simmer for another hour. Turn the heat off and add the fresh chopped basil leaves. Slice the Hawaiian buns in half and place a meatball into each bun and serve.

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