Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Meatballs with Rosemary and Parmesan

It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a week since Thanksgiving, and there are barely more than two weeks until Christmas! With the holidays falling the way they have, we have just one weekend in December without any gatherings or family celebrations, and it was this past weekend. We took advantage of the downtime to do some cleaning and organizing around the house, and enjoy a few meals that didn’t consist of leftover turkey and stuffing, or ham and mashed potatoes. I had pulled some ground chicken out of the freezer to make these meatballs – but when I surveyed the contents of the fridge, I thought I’d try to come up with a new recipe… and it turned out mighty delicious, I must say!

Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Meatballs with Rosemary and Parmesan

Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Meatballs with Rosemary and Parmesan
serves 4

1 pound ground chicken (a mix of white and dark meat is best)
1 T minced fresh rosemary
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
3 T heavy cream
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup (or more) bread crumbs (Italian seasoned or plain)
3/4 cup grated parmesan, divided
olive oil
3 oz mozzarella, cut into small (1/2″) cubes (about 20)

1.) Preheat your oven to 325°. In a large bowl, add your rosemary, shallot, garlic, egg, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the grated parmesan. Whisk everything together well.

2.) Add the ground chicken to the bowl, and use your hands to combine everything well, being careful not to over-mix. Add the bread crumbs to the meat mixture, and combine – you want the mixture to remain very moist, but be able to hold its shape when rolled into a ball. You can add some more breadcrumbs if the mixture is still too wet after adding the 1/3 cup.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Meatballs with Rosemary and Parmesan

3.) Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Take a small handful of the meatball mixture, and press it into a flat round in your hand. Place a cube of mozzarella into the center, and gently fold the chicken around the cube. Use your hands to roll it into a neat ball, and place it on the baking sheet.

4.) Repeat with the remaining meat; I ended up with about 20 meatballs, that were roughly the size of golf balls, once they had the mozzarella in the middle. Sprinkle the meatballs with the remaining parmesan, and drizzle or spray a touch of olive oil on top of each one.

5.) Bake the meatballs for 25-30 minutes, until they’re cooked through. There will likely be a few meatballs with some mozzarella oozing out (that’s why you lined the baking sheet), but that’s no big deal. You can finish them under the broiler to achieve a nice, brown crust!

Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Meatballs with Rosemary and Parmesan

These meatballs are gooey, cheesy, and delicious! The cracked black pepper and rosemary make them savory and herbacious – and who can resist a melty cheese center?? I served these meatballs with some simple lemon garlic green beans, which made for a quick but satisfying dinner. I also intend to use them in the future as appetizers – make them slightly smaller, pop them on to toothpicks, and serve with some marinara for dipping. They’d also be great on a meatball sub!

Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Meatballs with Rosemary and Parmesan

We love meatballs,

Mexican Meatball Subs

A couple weeks ago, I had put beef tacos and chorizo stuffed poblano peppers on my menu for the week. I had picked up a pound of ground sirloin, and a half pound of Mexican chorizo – and then when it came time to make dinner one night, neither of those options sounded particularly appealing. So, rather than order a pizza, or eat a random plate of snacks for dinner, I decided to come up with something new… and Mexican Meatball Subs were born!

Mexican Meatball Subs

These subs are a nice change from traditional Mexican fare (tacos, enchiladas, and the like), and also an interesting riff on something that’s traditionally Italian (the meatball sub). Overall, they were a refreshing change to our typical weeknight meals!

Mexican Meatball Subs
makes 4-6, depending on size

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Mexican chorizo
1 small shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T minced cilantro
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
3 T heavy cream
1 egg
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
olive oil

For the subs:
6 rolls of your choice, toasted
sour cream or greek yogurt
8 ounces of monterey jack cheese, grated
one large, sweet onion, sliced thinly
pickled jalapeños, diced

Mexican Meatball Subs

1.) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the shallot, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, heavy cream, and egg. Make sure everything is well-combined.

2.) Add the beef and chorizo to the bowl, breaking it up as you add it in. Use your hands to gently combine the meats with the shallot and garlic mixture; make sure everything is evenly distributed, but be careful not to overwork the meat!

3.) Use your hands to roll meatballs, aiming to make them about 1.5″ in diameter. You should end up with about 25-30 meatballs.

Mexican Meatball Subs

4.) Heat two large skillets over medium heat. Add about one tablespoon each of olive oil and butter to each skillet. In one, place your meatballs (making sure to give them some space – you’ll probably need to cook them in two separate batches), and in the other, saute your onions.

5.) Cook the meatballs for about 10-12 minutes total, flipping 3 times. Tent the pan with foil in between flips, so the meatballs will cook through more evenly. Continually stir your onions in the other skillet, until they are golden brown and caramelized.

Mexican Meatball Subs

6.) Once your meatballs are cooked and your onions are caramelized, it’s time to assemble your subs! Spread your sour cream or greek yogurt on to the bottom half of the bun or roll; top with caramelized onions, then halved meatballs, and then shredded cheese. Pop the subs under a broiler set to high for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned.

7.) Remove the subs from the broiler, sprinkle them with the cilantro and jalapeños, and top with the top half of your bun. Serve immediately.

*Just a side note: to reduce your standing-over-the-stove time, you could absolutely make these meatballs a little bigger, quickly pan-sear them on 2 sides, and then bake them (in a covered baking dish) for about 15 minutes at 350°. The main reason I cooked them entirely on the stove top is because until about 3 days ago, I had not had a working oven for 2 months, so I had to get a little creative to make certain dishes work out!

Mexican Meatball Subs

These meatball subs were delicious. The combination of the beef and chorizo was great – lots of spice, and a bit of a kick, from the chorizo, which really livened the meatballs up. The pickled jalapeños add a great crunch, and a little bit of acid, which cuts through the richness of the meat and cheese.

I think the next time I make these meatballs, I’ll definitely be making them as an appetizer. I’ll either make slightly bigger meatballs, and serve them as sliders – or slightly smaller meatballs, and serve them on toothpicks (with a pickled jalapeño slice skewered on top of the meatball). You could also form the meat mixture into burger patties, and throw them on the grill. Any which way, I think they’d be a hit!

I guess not adhering to my meal plan worked in my favor this time,

chipotle-bbq meatballs.

Aside from the feta-black bean salsa, the biggest hit at the Rotary social last week was these meatballs. People raved about them! I had to laugh because not only were these easy as can be, but it was the first time I’d actually tried the recipe. So it was a bit of a test to see how they would turn out. Fortunately for me, it sealed my place as #1 Social Chair (or maybe that’s not what I should strive for…).

Because I was making meatballs for 40, I used three bags of meatballs but only doubled the sauce. As you can see, it’s a good thing I didn’t try to triple the sauce as I was mostly out of room.

These will work well for upcoming Christmas parties, or for a tailgate. And don’t let them fool you: people preach whole foods all the live long day, but put some of these preservative-full treats in front of them and they will be ALL OVER THEM.

Chipotle-BBQ Meatballs
via My Recipes

1 (28-oz.) bottle barbecue sauce
1 (18-oz.) jar cherry preserves
3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, undrained
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from can
1 (32-oz.) package frozen meatballs

Whisk together first 4 ingredients and 1 1/2 cups water in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add meatballs; return to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 40 to 45 minutes. (Sauce will thicken.)

Serve in a slow cooker on warm.

Didn’t you know Gators wear jorts? GO COCKS,

lamb meatballs and orzo.

Y’all. If you’re a Gamecock, can you even believe Saturday happened? What a day. From Gameday Saturday morning  to a lovely afternoon (eh, a bit warm) of tailgating,  to a crazy, crazy game! It’s great to be a Gamecock.  I asked Tina last night whether Michigan had even played Saturday, and if so, did they win… and, well, I hope she’s speaking to me right now. It’s hard to say. (they did win. Go Blue.)

Anyway. Y’all know we like to make meatballs around here. We’ve made quite a few actually. So when I came across this recipe for lamb meatballs on Cooking Light this summer, I knew I’d be making them at the first sign of cooler weather. This is certainly nothing fancy, though you could up the culinary ante by making your own marinara, but it’s a distinct and delicious change from ground beef or poultry.

Lamb Meatballs with Orzo.
Cooking Light

2 cups hot cooked orzo
1/3 cup panko
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 pound lean ground lamb
1 garlic clove, minced
1.5 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 large egg whites
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups jarred marinara sauce
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 375°. Cook orzo according to package directions; drain. Keep warm.

Combine panko and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl; stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley. Add egg whites, stirring mixture until just combined. Mixture will be very wet. Shape mixture into 12 meatballs; cover and chill meatballs 5 minutes.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs to pan; cook 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Drain well; wipe pan clean with paper towels. Return meatballs to pan. Spoon marinara sauce over meatballs; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375° for 11 minutes or until meatballs are done. Serve over orzo.