Meatballs with a Surprise
So, everywhere I look I’m seeing meatballs that have been made with a small chunk of those individually wrapped cheese sticks tucked in the middle. Now, those sticks are convenient & the Tornado loves them, but there’s such better cheese out there! Namely… ciliegine: fresh, little balls of soft, creamy, smooth Italian deliciousness. This cheese is just heaven on your tongue when mixed with some roughly chopped tomatoes, fresh basil chiffonade, a tad of olive oil, and some sea salt… Give me a second to compose myself… Okay. Though it sounds very exotic, this cheese is not particularly hard to find. Look in the refrigerated specialty cheese section of your local grocery store & you may be surprised – I even found it at the Ingles in little old Barnesville, GA! However, if you can’t find it, please continue with the recipe using a small block (dice sized) of whatever cheese you love! Provolone, pepper jack, Swiss, brie… it’s cheese, folks. You can’t really screw it up.
Okay, on top of the individually packaged cheese stick weirdness, all ‘normal’ meatball recipes call for the standard 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs, which just doesn’t fit in with my way of eating. So, I set out to create a recipe for a savory Cheese Stuffed Meatballs that isn’t too dense, would stick together while cooking, would hold in a melted ball of cheese, would be 5g of net carbs or less, and would actually be spectacular to eat.
I found that using 80% lean ground beef with a tad of heavy whipping cream and an egg left my meatballs incredibly moist, while the addition of Parmesan cheese and almond flour gave the balls enough density to hold together during both the pan frying (browning) phase and the simmer in the tomato sauce. Now, if you’re worried about fat content, feel free to use a leaner version of the ground beef, and if you’re worried about carbs, make sure to use a low-carb tomato sauce… Though, I ate 4 of these bad boys and probably only consumed about 1 TBLS of tomato sauce, total, so don’t stress too much about carbs.
As for herbs, I simply used fresh rosemary, but please, don’t let me keep you from using whatever herbs you love. This would be awesome with parsley, basil, oregano, marjoram, garlic, nutmeg, onion powder, or any other manner of piquant herb. Feel free to rock on with your herb-y self.
If you try these, please let me know what you think; I thoroughly enjoyed both cooking and eating these meatballs. I even opted NOT to share them with my kids. Mostly because I wanted leftovers.