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Award Winning Poker Meatballs

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There’s a reason why I call these Poker Meatballs. You see, tonight, we had our monthly poker tournament. The theme for those who wanted to bring a dish to pass, was meatballs. I really needed all of the extra points I could get in order to make the Final Table of the season, so I found an easy recipe for meatballs that looked right up my alley…

Because they are CHEESE stuffed!

My meatballs took first place! This gave me an extra $200 in poker chips. Although, those extra chips didn’t help me win… But, they are so incredibly easy to make that I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Award Winning Cheese-Stuffed Poker Meatballs

*Adapted from and inspired by Mr. Food

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (I believe the #1 secret to a great meatball is high quality meat.)
  • 3/4 cup panko (Substitute plain bread crumbs if you wish.)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (Yes, the stuff in the green can is fine!)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herb such as parsley, basil or rosemary
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp garlic salt (The #2 secret to a great meatball is proper seasoning! If you decide to use garlic powder, just be sure to add a little salt, too.)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz block of mozzarella cheese, cut into 20 cubed pieces

Method:

  • Preheat your over to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil.
  • Combine all ingredients except for the mozzarella cheese in a large bowl and mix with your hands to evenly distribute the ingredients.
  • Divide the mixture into fourths. Each fourth will make 5 meatballs! Divide the meat into 5 pieces the same size, although forming it into a nice, completely uniform ball is not necessary quite yet. Do this until you have 20 pieces of meat approximately all of the same size.
  • Form a meatball around each piece of mozzarella cheese and place them on the baking sheet.
  • Bake 18 to 20  minutes or until cooked through.

Cheese may leak out, but that’s okay! They will still taste yummy. While these taste moist and fabulous on their own, you can serve your favorite pasta sauce for dipping as an appetizer. Or, make a meal by serving the meatballs and sauce over pasta or spaghetti squash. They reheat nicely, too.

Sorry, I have no photo because these were gobbled up too quickly. And quite frankly, I didn’t think about photographing these balls pre-poker. I had no idea that they would taste so good, nor that they would take first place! There is a photo on the website from which this recipe was adapted.

Variations: Make your own variation by changing the flavor profile. For example, make Mexican meatballs with taco seasoning and stuffing with Mexican cheese. I’m anxious to try to make these into blue cheese meatballs. Hey, maybe I’ll use hot sauce as my seasoning! Oh, all the options! And I still can’t get over how easy these were to make.

As Biz would say, these are AMAZEBALLS! (Tee hee. I love it when she says that!)

What is your favorite type of meatball?

Cheers~
Carrie

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