HOW GOOD DOES THAT LOOK? Of course you are agreeing with me. ItalianAmerican style Stuffed FRIED Meatballs, but here’s the thing, these are not simmered in sauce after frying. These are filled, breaded, then fried. Served on their own or on a bed of Sugo di Pomodoro (ok, I’m getting European here, that means Tomato Sauce). At Easter dinner hosted by my sister Joann and her family she made a version of these for the antipasto. Delicious. I took that idea and put some A FOOD OBSESSION touches into the mix and made them a week later. Big hit. And….they are great for entertaining. Party apps or Antipasto for a dinner. You can even use them as an Entree’. So my version of my sister’s POLPETTE FRITTE RIPIENE contain ground beef, ground pork, Red Wine, Garlic, Soaked breadcrumbs, parsley, eggs, lots of grated Pecorino Romano, black pepper, a cube of either Scamorza (my preference) or mozzarella in the center. Let’s stop here, if you follow me on Social media you know I love to use Scamorza cheese. For those who are unfamiliar with it Scamorza is a Southern Italian cheese which starts its life out the same as mozzarella. Mozzarella is eaten fresh. Scamorza is aged for a minimum of around 2 weeks and it becomes sort of the consistency of a Gouda cheese. Yet it’s mild like mozzarella. It’s actually the cheese that Southern Italians use in many “al forno” or baked dishes the way Italian Americans use Mozzarella. It’s low in moisture and melts beautifully. It’s perfect for these meatballs but mozzarella works too. Scamorza looks like a small bag and it’s slightly yellow/gold in color. Lasts a while in the fridge. So thanks to a great meal and idea from my sister here’s my version of Fried Stuffed Meatballs.
FOR 24 MEATBALLS TIME: 1 3/4 HOURS
1 LB. GROUND CHUCK
1/4 LB. GROUND PORK
2 BEATEN EGGS
1 1/2 CUPS STALE BREAD CUBES, OR 1/2 CUP PLAIN ITALIAN BREADCRUMBS, SOAKED IN MILK OR WATER, THEN SQUEEZE THE LIQUID OUT IF USING THE BREAD, OR JUST ADD ENOUGH MILK, CREAM, OR WATER TO HYDRATE THE CRUMBS AND LET THEM REST FOR 8 MINUTES.
1 1/2 CUPS GRATED PECORINO ROMANO CHEESE
2 TBS MINCED FLAT LEAF ITALIAN PARSLEY
2 FINELY MINCED CLOVES OF GARLIC
2 TBS. ITALIAN RED WINE
1/2 TSP. KOSHER SALT
1/2 TSP. GROUND BLACK PEPPER
24 SMALL CUBES OF SCAMORZA CHEESE, LOW MOISTURE MOZZARELLA, OR DAY OLD FRESH MOZZARELLA. (TIP…USING FRESH MOZZARELLA THE SAME DAY IT’S MADE WILL RELEASE TOO MUCH LIQUID, USE IT ONE DAY LATER)
1 CUP SIFTED FLOUR
1 CUP PLAIN ITALIAN BREADCRUMBS MIXED WITH 1 CUP PECORINO ROMANO AND 1 TBS. FINELY MINCED ITALIAN FLAT LEAF PARSLEY, SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
3 BEATEN EGGS WITH 1 TBS MILK
OLIVE OIL FOR FRYING (YES YOU CAN FRY WITH OLIVE OIL)
MARINARA SAUCE, OPTIONAL
Finely mince the garlic and parsley. In a large bowl, add the beaten eggs, the soaked bread/breadcrumbs, the wine, the grated cheese. Blend well. Now add the meats and blend well. Let this sit for 10 minutes. Now make 24 -26 meatballs slightly bigger than a golf ball. Insert a cube of the cheese into each one carefully making sure that you cover it well with the meat. Roll the meatballs in the flour, then the egg/milk mixture, draining of the excess. Then coat with the breadcrumb/grated cheese mixture. Place all the completed balls on a tray and chill for 10 minutes. Using a heavy frying pan heat up 1/4 inch of Olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs in batches keeping the heat on medium. You want these to cook full so don’t have the oil so hot that the crumbs will burn and the insides stay raw. Gently roll the balls until all sides are toasty golden. Drain on paper towels. Should take 10 minutes. Don’t over crowd…the oil temp drops and you will have steamed soggy meatballs. They can be made ahead of time too and then gently reheated in a moderate oven for 10 minutes. As a serving suggestion, you can plate them or serve them with Warm Marinara sauce. Personally I love them as they are but I know many of you enjoy the sauce idea so serve them however you want. HAPPY COOKING!!!