I know a lot of you buy your meatballs at the grocery store. It’s convenient, I know. There are many brands that have turkey and lean beef and they are quite tasty. I don’t tend to buy pre-packaged meatballs, though. Why?
(Broken record in 5, 4, 3, 2…) Well first off, because I like my cooking better! Secondly, because meatballs are something we only eat when we’re in the mood for them. And sometimes there’s a stretch between when the mood hits us. And while the food industry has gotten really good at improving their packaging, somehow I can’t seem to escape freezer fuzz with my meatballs!
Besides the fact that my recipe comes out cheaper than store bought meatballs (thanks Aldi!). Oh, yeah, and there’s the magic part. Yes, they are magic meatballs. What makes them magical? Well, to me, good magic is very unassuming. It’s a surprise where you never expected it to be. Something that looks like nothing but is really something.
Such is the case with my meatballs. They look like regular meatballs with regular meatball stats. But then you eat one and not only is there a surprise inside, but there’s a surprise in the stats. So…without further adieu…I present…
Nik’s Magic Meatballs
1 lb. lean meat (turkey, beef, whatever…)
1 package onion soup mix
1/2 c. Textured Vegetable Protein (if you’re going, “what’s that?” click here)
2 light mozzarella string cheese sticks, cut into 6 equal pieces
1 extra large egg, beaten
Ok…so that’s not a lot of ingredients right? Let’s make the magic happen. First off…string cheese? Yep, string cheese! Who wants to take a crack at what that means? It means my meatballs are STUFFED.
I saw on some Bobby Flay cooking show (he has a million of ’em) a recipe for stuffed hamburgers. Well me and hamburgers don’t get along so I decided to try to stuff something else. For me, the choice was clear. I was stuffing my meatball. So here’s how it goes down.
In a bowl you combine the meat and the TVP and let it sit for a minute or two. The TVP will soak up excess moisture in the meat. If you use super lean meat, add a litte milk to the mixture to keep some moisture. I usually go for a nice 85/15 ratio myself.
After that add the onion soup mix and the egg and mix it very thoroughly. Now…here comes the fun part. Scoop up a bit of meat in your hand and form into a little half moon shape and then stick a piece of the cheese in the middle and surround it with meat, like so: