Thursday, 13 October 2011

Grilled Cheese-Stuffed Meatball Sliders from I Love Meatballs!

Let's face it - meatballs are fun. They are cute and they make you smile. They were also named Dish of the Year by Bon Appetit magazine. That's right, bacon's time is over. It's meatball time. And if you are thinking you can only have meatballs on top of spaghetti or in a bun (although those are both awesome) - Rick Rodgers is here to expand your meatball repertoire.

The recipes are the best the globe has to offer, including such tasty morsels as: Persian Meatballs in Pomegranate Walnut Sauce; Curried Koftas with Tomato Raita; Lemongrass-Chicken Meatballs on Rice Vermicelli; Lamb Meatballs in Spinach-Coriander Sauce; Turkey Meatball Subs with Cranberry-Chipotle Mayonnaise; and Chinese Rice-Crusted Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Dip.

50 recipes in all, including classic meatball sandwiches and meatballs with pasta. Because they are classics for a reason. ☺

This is a fun little book, with 30 bright, colourful photos and enough meatball recipes to have you meatballing all year. My son voted this his favourite cookbook - so you know it has the 20 year-old vote of approval as well.

Time to make some meatballs! Serve these fun and ultra-cute Grilled Cheese-Stuffed Meatball Sliders to your guests this weekend. They are bound to get smiles!

 I Love Meatballs!
by Rick Rodgers

Hardcover, 7½ x 7½ in., 176 pages

Chapters Include:
* Meatballs to Start * Meatballs in Your Soup * Meatballs Between Bread * Saucy Meatballs * Meatballs on the Grill * Meatballs and Pasta * Metric Conversions and Equivalents *

Grilled Cheese-Stuffed Meatball Sliders
from I Love Meatballs!

Here is the all-American cheeseburger, transformed into a meatball. As miniature versions of a bigger food item, sliders could share “the cute factor” with cupcakes. Adorability aside, I appreciate how they deliver so many elements in a couple of bites– meat, bun, and more in a compact and delicious package.

makes 12 sliders, 4 servings

1 pound ground round (85 percent lean)
1/3 cup dried plain bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 (1/2-inch) cubes sharp Cheddar cheese, cut from brick cheese
12 store-bought slider buns or small Parker House rolls, split
2 leaves red-leaf lettuce, torn into 12 pieces
12 dill pickle slices (optional)
Tomato ketchup

 1. To make the meatball sliders, mix the ground round, bread crumbs, egg, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.

2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in an outdoor grill. Using your wet hands rinsed under cold water, shape the meat mixture into 12 equal meatballs. One at a time, flatten a ball slightly in your palms and completely wrap a cheese cube in the meat mixture. Transfer to a plate.

3. Scoop out some of the crumb from each bun to make more room for the meatballs. (Save the crumbs for another use, such as using in meatball recipes.) Set the buns aside.

4. To grill the meatballs with a basket, lightly oil the molds (a pump sprayer works best). Place the meatballs in the basket and close it. Place the basket on the cooking grate and cover. Grill the meatballs until the undersides are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Flip the basket over and grill until the other sides are lightly browned and the meatballs are medium-rare, about 3 minutes more. Remove the meatballs from the basket. Transfer to a platter.

(To grill the meatballs without the basket, lightly oil the cooking grate. Place the meatballs on the grill and cover. Grill until the undersides are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Flip the meatballs and grill until the other sides are lightly browned and the meatballs are medium-rare, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter.)

5. Place the buns on the grill and grill, turning once, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. For each slider, place a meatball on a bun bottom and top with a piece of lettuce and a pickle slice. Add a dollop of ketchup. Add the bun top and serve warm.
Inside view of I Love Meatballs - Fried Olive Meatballs recipe