Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Meatballs a la Pizzaiola
Frying is definitely not my specialty, so when I started this recipe I was a little nervous. I have ruined a few things because I tried to fry them. But I asked for an oil thermometer from Santa Claus and it made it so much easier to control the heat. I was using a meat thermometer before and it didn't register high enough temps to fry food. I did burn the first few meatballs, (oops) but the rest of them were delish and I served them with a side of marinara sauce. I also made them a little bigger than appetizer size but still served them as an app. Denis ate the left-overs later in the week and they still tasted great.
Giada De Laurentiis
Makes 35-38 Meatballs
8 ounces smoked mozzarella
2 large shallots, chopped
1/4 cup (5 to 6) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds beef chuck (80% lean)
1 pound ground pork
Olive oil, for frying
Vegetable oil, for frying
Marinara sauce, warmed, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Dice the smoked mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, pulse the shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until blended. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the beef and pork and, using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until combined. Form into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs. Insert 1 cube smoked mozzarella into the center of each meatball and form the meat around it, enclosing the cheese.
3. In a large heavy-buttoned saucepan, pour equal parts olive oil and vegetable oil to fill the pan halfway. Heat over medium-high heat until deep-fry thermometer reaches 350 degrees. In batches, fry the meatballs until dark brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
4. Place the fried meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put in the oven and bake until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve immediately with marinara sauce, if desired.