Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cheese Stuffed Meatball Sliders

My little brother lives in California and I live in Chicago, but he likes to send me recipes anyway, and then ask me how they turned out... somehow, he is eating vicariously through this blog!  He sent me a picture of a meatball slider one day, so this post is in ode to him.  Thanks Lee!

20 slider size meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground turkey
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 eggs
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup dried bread crumb
2 tablespoons basil leaves
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
4 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
Slider or dinner rolls
1 cup pasta sauce, jarred or homemade

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a bowl, place meats, egg, parmesan, breadcrumbs, garlic, and seasonings.  Mix until combined.  Spray one or two baking sheets with non-stick spray.

Take a large tablespoon of the meat mixture and one of the mozzarella chunks.  Wrap the meat around the mozzarella, rolling to seal.  Each meatball should be approximately golf ball sized.

Once all of the meatballs have been set on the tray(s), place in the oven.  The meatballs should bake for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees.  Turn them once, halfway through, so that both sides get browned.

I was worried that the cheese would pour out during the cooking process, but that didn't happen at all.  Some of the smaller balls leaked a bit, but for the most part the cheese stayed encased within the meatballs.

So, the meatballs are out of the oven... and you're probably wondering, what do I do now?  The answer is obvious - add more cheese, of course!  Take the shredded mozzarella and sprinkle it over the meatballs.  If it does not seem to be melting easily, you can put them back in the still warm oven, or use a microwave to melt the cheese.

Time to serve!  I recommend toasting the buns so the sandwiches don't get soggy.  After that, add one hot meatball to the bun, drench in marinara sauce, and add the basil garnish.  Delicious!  Enjoy!

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