(Rice-Free) Jambalaya

Inspiration: I’ve always loved the flavors of jambalaya and consider it one of my favorite dishes (…I say that way too often, don’t I?). For the past several years at Mardi Gras time, I’ve been trying to concoct the perfect recipe for us – which isn’t a traditional one by any means. We always skip the celery and green peppers because we don’t prefer their flavors, and we skip the rice. But I’ve never quite gotten a version that we love just right – until now.

What we Loved: One of the reasons that I love jambalaya in any form is because there is so much going on. Bacon, chicken, sausage, shrimp – what a great variety. Another reason that I love it is because of the heat. This is a spicy dish that pairs well with a nice tall glass of ice water. This particular recipe had both of those components, and then some. After cooking for a few hours, the resulting sauce was amazing. It was rich and somewhat thick, with a perfect blend of seasonings (Cajun spices, peppers and onions that seemed to have melted away, bacon fat, salt, and the juices from all of the meats) that formed a solid backbone for the dish. And I also want to note how much we loved the chicken in this dish. It was the first thing that Brandon mentioned – that the chicken was ridiculously tender. As you can see in the photos, it started shredded apart all on its own. And the pieces themselves were some of the most tender pieces of chicken that I’ve ever tasted. We both truly adored everything about this meal.

Helpful Hints: This is a very spicy dish, so you might want to use less seasonings to suit your preferences if you don’t love really spicy foods. The serrano, cayenne, chili powder, and Cajun seasoning all lend quite a bit of heat, so you could leave some of these out if you’d like (though not the Cajun seasoning, because that flavor is pretty essential to the dish). 

Rice-Free Jambalaya
Source: Adapted from Guilty Kitchen

Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
6 slices bacon, diced
3 links Andouille sausage, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
Kosher salt, to taste
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed

1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil. Sprinkle the chicken well with Cajun seasoning, then add it to the pan. Cook until the chicken is just browned on the outsides. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the bacon to the pan, and saute until beginning to crisp. Add the andouille sausage and cook for a few minutes longer until the sausage begins to brown. Return the chicken to the pan.

3. Add the onions, red peppers, and serrano peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes more, until softened. Mix in all of the spices, stirring well to coat.

4. Pour in the tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cook until thickened, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

5. Stir in the shrimp and cook until just barely cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve.

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Cajun Shrimp in Andouille Cream Sauce over Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Shrimp with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Andouille Cream

Inspiration: Though I’ve never been to New Orleans (I will make it there one day!), I’m somewhat fascinated by the culture of the city. The people, the food, the drinks, the celebration - it all holds a certain magnetic quality. That being said, when Mardi Gras season rolls around every year, I like to cook about a week’s worth of New Orleans-inspired food. There’s no better way to celebrate a culture from afar than to enjoy its food, right? I do the same for St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo….there sure are a whole lot of great cultures out there and a whole lot of great foods.

What we Loved: I obviously only share recipes on my blog that we both enjoyed (and boy it’s the worst when I get good photos of a meal that’s just not blog-worthy), but this is one of those recipes that stands out above the rest. A lot. If you know me, you’ll know that this is exactly the kind of food that I love best, so I knew that I would enjoy this recipe going into it. But still. The sweet potatoes have the perfect creamy texture, with a wonderfully sweet cinnamon flavor. The andouille cream is rich and complex, with notes of garlic and spicy sausage. And the shrimp are fresh and buttery, coated in a fantastic spicy seasoning mix that has just the right amount of heat. All together, these three components of the meal really play off of each other and create the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Not to overstate the case for how much we loved this, but we just might have to eat it every day from now on. :)

Helpful Hints: With blackening seasoning, you can get a nice black crust if you use very high heat, don’t flip the meat other than just once, and cook for just the right amount of time. Shrimp are so delicate and very easy to overcook, so I just coated them in the seasoning and sauteed them for a few minutes. Still delicious, and I won’t change that method the next time that I make this.

Shrimp with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Andouille Cream
Source: Adapted from Antony Field via Food Network

Sweet Potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Bake the potatoes at 350 degrees until tender, about an hour.

2. Remove the skins from the potatoes. Place them in a small sauce pan, and then add the butter, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine. Keep warm over low heat.

Andouille Cream
Extra virgin olive oil
3 slices onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 link andouille sausage, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon butter

1. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a sauce pan. Add the onions, and cook until softened. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute.

2. Add the sausage and thyme, and cook for a few minutes more.

3. Add the cream, and bring to a low simmer. Cook until reduced by half and thickened.

4. Add the cajun seasoning and butter. Keep warm over low heat.

Shrimp
Extra virgin olive oil
Butter
1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
Cajun blackening seasoning
Kosher salt

1. Place the shrimp in a bowl, and coat completely in blackening seasoning. Sprinkle with Kosher salt.

2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil and a pat of butter in a saute pan. Add the shrimp, and saute until just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.

3. Serve the sweet potatoes topped with the cream and shrimp. 

Smoky Zucchini, Mushroom, and Chorizo Taco Filling

Inspiration: For the Superbowl this year, Brandon and I had a taco salad bar with a nice Mexican spread. We had a somewhat involved menu – this recipe; standard ground bison taco meat; goat, sharp cheddar, and pepperjack cheeses; romaine hearts; sour cream; black olives; pickled red onions; tomatillo guacamole, and pico de gallo. It really was an awesome spread and a fun meal! I’ll be sharing some of the recipes in the next few weeks.

What we Loved: What a wonderful dish! I say it every time that I make something from Rick Bayless, but it deserves repeating – the man is a genius with Mexican recipes. And this one is no exception. Brandon and I both loved the dark, smoky flavor of this dish (which is due to the chipotle peppers), and we also loved the flavor contrast of the rich, salty chorizo and the crisp, fresh vegetables. As I said, we used this filling atop chopped romaine hearts and with other vegetables and toppings for taco salads, and it was truly wonderful served that way. I also want to mention that fresh goat cheese is a fabulous and perfect pairing for this. I may be biased because I adore goat cheese possibly above any other food, but that creamy cheese melting down into this dish was absolutely wonderful.

Helpful Hints: If you can’t find fire-roasted tomatoes with chipotle peppers, just buy a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and a can of chipotles in adobo sauce separately. This is what the original recipe calls for (adding 1 chile and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sauce to the tomatoes). I was so happy to find them together, though, because it meant that I wouldn’t have a ton of leftover chipotle peppers!

Smoky Zucchini, Mushroom, and Chorizo Taco Filling
Source: Adapted from Rick Bayless, Mexican Everyday

1/2 lb fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed
1 onion, diced
1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes with chipotle peppers
2 small zuchinni, cut into cubes
Kosher salt

1. Pour the tomatoes into a food processor, and process until smooth.

2. Crumble the chorizo into a saute pan, and saute until cooked through.

3. Add the onion, and cook until softened, stirring often.

4. Add the mushrooms, and cook a few minutes more, until they are starting to brown.

4. Add the tomato puree, and cook until the mixture has thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the zucchini, and cook until the zucchini is cooked through but still a little crisp, about 8-10 minutes.

5. Season to taste with salt, and transfer to a serving bowl.

Tuscan Frittata

Inspiration: Frittatas are really a lovely dish that I don’t prepare enough. You could go all over the place with them, right? They’re good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can always act as the main dish, as they’re a good source of protein. You can use up pretty much any vegetables, meats, or cheeses that you have in the fridge. They really are a vehicle for a lot of creativity. I’m hoping to concoct several more frittata recipes in the coming weeks using our gorgeous CSA eggs.

What we Loved: This frittata was almost like a pizza (which is always a plus in my book)! The spicy Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, and sweet onions added wonderful flavors and complexity to the fluffy eggs, which had a wonderful, just slightly browned flavor on the bottom. When I first saw this recipe, what really drew me to it was the idea of the tomato sauce and gooey, fresh mozzarella on top. I just love that!

Helpful Hints: The only change that I would make to this recipe would be to use marinara sauce instead of plain crushed tomatoes on top. I thought that the plain crushed tomatoes could use a little something (which is why I added oregano and Italian pizza seasoning with the leftovers, as shown above - and that really was the finishing touch!). I would still recommend using marinara, though, because I think it would make the recipe perfect. I’ve replaced the crushed tomatoes with marinara below.

***As an aside, please research where your eggs (and all of your food, really) come from. Eggs from chickens that have been properly raised are a whole different nutritional (and flavor/texure) story than those that you can buy in a typical grocery store,  and what we do to factory farmed chickens on an ethical level is horrifying at best.***

Tuscan Frittata
Source: Adapted (slightly) from The Galley Gourmet, originally from Williams Sonoma

10 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and black pepper
8 oz Italian sausage
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup marinara sauce
6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
Dried oregano and/or Italian pizza seasoning

1. Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan, and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper.

2. Cook the sausage in a large saute pan until browned. Set aside.

3. In the same pan, saute the onion and red pepper until softened. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute.

4. Return the sausage to the pan, and pour in the egg mixture. Transfer the pan to the oven, and bake until the eggs are just barely set, about 15 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the oven. Spread the marinara over the eggs, and arrange the mozzarella on top. Bake or broil for 3-5 minutes more, until the cheese is melted (and beginning to brown, if you use the broiler).

6. Sprinkle with oregano and/or Italian pizza seasoning, and serve.

Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Avocado and Cilantro

Inspiration: I love making homemade soups. Since we receive two chickens per month in our CSA share, we make a ton of stock, and we like to use it to make soups to take to work for lunches throughout the week. Do you know what I hate, though? Pureeing soups in a food processor. What a giant pain. I was so happy this year when Brandon surprised me on my birthday with an immersion blender and two new soup cookbooks! Hurray!

What we Loved: This is one of the best soups that I’ve ever made, and it’s my favorite soup that we’ve had since the pork hock and 15 bean soup back in November. The flavor of the soup is really outstanding, with a nice southwestern feel. With the rich black beans and tomatoes, the spicy sausage and cumin, and the fresh complements of avocado and cilantro, there really are a lot of great things going on. The base of the soup is so smooth and creamy (with some nice added texture from the sausage), and it’s nice and filling since it’s so packed full of protein. I really can’t say enough about how much we loved this recipe!

Helpful Hints: I ate some of the leftovers with bleu cheese crumbles on top instead of avocado and cilantro, and that was a great pairing as well!

Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Avocado and Cilantro
Source: Adapted from The Daily Soup Cookbook

1 lb pork sausage
1 onion
1 habanero, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground thyme
2 bay leaves
1 lb black beans, soaked overnight
6 cups chicken stock
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
1 avocado
Handful cilantro, chopped

1. Crumble the sausage into a soup pot, and saute until cooked through. Remove to a bowl.

2. In the same pot, add the onion, and cook until softened. Add the habanero and the garlic, and cook for an additional minute.

3. Add the cumin, thyme, and bay leaves, and stir to coat the vegetables.

4. Stir in the black beans, chicken stock, tomatoes, pepper, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and partially cover. Simmer 1-2 hours, until the beans are tender.

5. Puree the soup with a food processor or an immersion blender.

6. Season to taste with Kosher salt. Add the sausage back into the pot, mix to combine, and bring everything to a simmer again for a few additional minutes.

7. Peel, pit, and dice the avocado. Mix with a handful of cilantro and a good sprinkle of Kosher salt.

8. Serve the soup topped with the avocado mixture.

Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Italian Sausage and Peppers

*Photos updated October 2011*

Inspiration: This meal was inspired by a meal that I had a long time ago (on the night that Brandon proposed way back in 2005, actually) when we first went to our now favorite restaurant. I ordered a spicy pasta dish that came with garlic sausage, capocolla ham, sliced hot peppers, olive oil, and romano cheese. When we had some extra spaghetti squash, Brandon suggested recreating a similar dish.

What we Loved: What I like most about this recipe is the spiciness. With the Italian sausage, pepper strips, and plenty of crushed red pepper flakes, the dish is really defined by the nice spicy kick. Second to the spiciness, I love the flavor of the olive oil. Rather than being used for sauteeing or cooking, the oil is mixed into the finished dish purely for the flavor. Since spaghetti squash has such a delicate, mild flavor, you can really taste the olive oil and the nutty, cheesy Parmesan. All around, this is a nice light supper with some good memories attached :)

Helpful Hints: I used finely sliced pancetta in this recipe, but I thought that it ended up getting lost in the final dish. I would suggest using bacon or cubed ham instead. Also, I’d suggest using a nice olive oil and plenty of it, because its flavor is important to the dish.

Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Italian Sausage and Peppers
Source: Original recipe, inspired by The Earle

1 small spaghetti squash
1/2 lb Italian sausage
6 oz pancetta, diced (Alternatively, I would recommend 5-6 slices of diced bacon or about 1/2 cup diced ham)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
3 anaheim peppers, seeded and sliced
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or more to preference), plus more for serving
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
Dried oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes

1. Poke the spaghetti squash all over with a fork, and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, slice the squash in half, remove the seeds, and scrape the strands into a bowl.

2. Add the pancetta or bacon (if using) to a deep saute pan, and saute until the fat is rendered and the pancetta/bacon is browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.

3. In the same pan, add the Italian sausage (& ham, if you are using it instead of pancetta/bacon) and cook until browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.

4. Drain all but a few tablespoons of grease from the pan. Add the peppers and onions to the pan. Cook until softened and slightly browned. Add the garlic, and cook for one minute more.

5. Add the sausage and pancetta/ham back into the pan. Mix in the squash and Parmesan. Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix to combine.

6. Serve topped with shaved Parmesan and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Sausage and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Portabella Mushrooms with Sausage and Bacon

Portabella Mushrooms with Sausage and Bacon

*Photo and Recipe Updated December 2012*

Inspiration: These are the kinds of meals that I love to eat when the weather is nice. It has been gorgeous around here for the past few days. We opened up every window in the house last night for the first time this year, just letting the sunshine soak in and the breeze fly through, and this was the perfect, light meal for such a day. The avocados at the store started tasting really, really unbelievably good recently, so I’ve been shoveling them into my cart every week like it’s my job. Avocados are one of my favorite foods, right up there with goat cheese and almond butter and chocolate. I mixed them up here into a chopped guacamole salad for such a great side dish.

What we Loved: We first used the basic idea of the stuffing for this recipe when we made cubanelle peppers stuffed with bison and bacon. Brandon came up with that great flavor combo, and we’ve been using it as a stock recipe for stuffing peppers and mushrooms ever since. Bacon, onions, garlic, salt and pepper, chihuahua cheese, and meat of choice. It’s really an incredibly flavorful, crispy, salty, cheesy combination that we just love. And this recipe was no different. It was hearty and satisfying, and it paired perfectly with the guacamole salad.

Helpful Hints: I really prefer chihuahua cheese as a melting cheese when I’m making dishes like this, because it really has a great, creamy texture when it melts. If you can’t find it, though, pepper jack or monteray jack would be good substitutes for this meal.

Portabella Mushrooms with Sausage and Bacon
Source: Original Recipe

Butter
2 large portabella mushrooms
2 slices bacon, diced
1/3 lb pork sausage
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 oz chihuahua cheese, shredded

1. Clean the mushrooms, and cut off the stems. Chop the stems into small pieces, and set aside.

2. Heat just a pat of butter in a saute pan over medium low heat. Add the two mushroom caps, and cook for 5-6 minutes per side, allowing the moisture to be released from the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms in a baking dish.

3. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan or saute pan, saute the bacon until it’s crispy. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the sausage, onions, and mushroom stems to the pan, and saute until everything is cooked through and starting to brown. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and turn off the heat. Mix in about 2/3 of the cheese.

4. Fill the mushroom caps with the sausage mixture. Distribute the remaining cheese atop the mushrooms.

6. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until everything is warmed through and the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Broil for a few minutes at the end if you’d like additional browning on the cheese.

Italian Sausage Dip

Inspiration: If there’s a perfect day for a decadent, cheesy dip, it’s definitely Superbowl Sunday! This one was on our snack menu for the big game.

What we Loved: Creamy cheese, spicy sausage, and sweet tomatoes? Count me in! I always feel like cream cheese makes the best dips, and this dip was no exception.  It had the rich, velvety texture of cream cheese, and I really enjoyed the spicy layers of flavor and the little kick of heat that the Italian sausage added.  The third ingredient, tomatoes, added a nice sweetness and such a lovely color! And on top of how much I loved the taste of this dip, it was easy to prepare, and it tasted great served warm or at room temperature.

Helpful Hints: This makes a lot of dip, so be prepared for leftovers if you aren’t serving a crowd. I’ve still got a sizable amount in the fridge waiting to be eaten. I left the hot sauce out of this dip, but if you’d like a lot of spice, definitely add it in! I found that the Italian sausage had a little bit of spice on its own, which was nice and made for a very mildly spicy dip.

Italian Sausage Dip
Source: My Baking Addiction

Here’s the recipe as I made it, without the hot sauce.

16 oz Italian sausage
15 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chiles, undrained
2 8 oz packages cream cheese

1. Saute the sausage in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through and browned.

2. Reduce the heat to low, and stir in the tomatoes and cream cheese until blended. Cook until just heated through.

3. Serve warm.

Pork, Chorizo, and Mushroom Stew

Inspiration: B bought me the most fabulous slow cooker for Christmas. My last slow cooker, which I really loved, was a really nice (or so I thought!) Kitchenaid slow cooker whose ceramic pot cracked all the way down the middle one day while I was cooking a nice pot roast. And after only 10-15 uses! Needless to say, I was really upset with the fact that it broke and with Kitchenaid’s customer service, and I had to resort to using my old, pretty terrible crockpot for at least a year because I didn’t want to spend the money to replace my nice one. So this past Christmas, B hooked me up with a fabulous All-Clad cooker that has an aluminum insert that’s also safe to use on the stovetop and in the oven, which means crock pot cooking all in one pot, with no worry of a cracking ceramic insert! I didn’t even know such a thing existed, and I’m still unnaturally excited about it :) B showed me this recipe on the Williams Sonoma site that made use of the all-in-one pot functionality, so we spent a nice Sunday afternoon changing the recipe to suit our tastes and creating a lovely, Sunday night stew.

What we Loved: What didn’t we love about this stew? It was incredible. It made our home smell so delicious and hearty all day long as it cooked, and the end result was an intensely flavorful stew with fall-apart pork pieces, ridiculously tender chorizo pieces, and a rich and earthy sauce. The sauce was particularly enjoyable because it contained all of the flavor from the vegetables and garlic, as well as all of the juices and fats from the three different types of meats that cooked in it. And I just loved the rich red color! We put the whole cloves from a entire head of garlic in the stew, and they ended up with a softened, roasted garlic flavor that I really enjoyed. A clove on my spoon with a bit of the sauce was a little piece of heaven! I was also very surprised by the chorizo, which was more tender than I ever thought it could be. All-in-all, this was a very meaty, filling, and wonderful stew that was so perfect for a cold Sunday evening.

Helpful Hints: As B was cooking the bacon, which is the first step of the process and which renders the fat in which to cook the pork and vegetables, we realized that our bacon wasn’t very fatty (as far as bacon goes, anyway) and wasn’t rendering enough fat. So, we added some of the discarded pork fat to the pot with the bacon, and this browned up wonderfully and added plenty of extra fat and flavor to the pot.

Pork, Chorizo, and Mushroom Stew
Source: Adapted from Williams Sonoma

We used the cassoulet recipe as a base and changed it to suit our preferences and make a stew. Here’s what we did.

4 oz bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
2-3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (I used a picnic roast), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 medium yellow onions, chopped
24 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 28 oz can peeled Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 cups chicken broth
24 oz Spanish chorizo links, sliced
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled

1. Add the bacon pieces to a saute pan or dutch oven (I used the stovetop-safe insert of my crockpot). Heat over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned, approximately 7-8 minutes. Remove the bacon  from the pot and set aside.

2. Add half of the pork to the pot and brown it on all sides, approximately 7-8 minutes total. Transfer the cooked pork to a platter, and repeat with the remaining pork.

3. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pot. Cook until all of the water releases from the mushrooms and evaporates, approximately 15-20 minutes.

4. When the mushrooms have started to brown, add the wine, and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, and broth.

5. Remove the pot from the heat, and add the pork, chorizo, garlic cloves, and reserved bacon.

6. If you aren’t using a stovetop-safe crockpot insert, transfer the contents of the pot to your crockpot insert. Cook on low for 9-10 hours, until the pork pulls apart with a fork.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Inspiration: I thought that these meatballs would go great with an appetizer-only dinner that we recently had. And as a bonus, I knew that there would be plenty of extra to freeze for future meals. I see them served with marinara sauce in the future!

What we Loved: I’ve always loved spaghetti and meatballs, meatball sandwiches, and meatball appetizers. But what made these meatballs even better than others that I’ve had was the cheesy mozzarella center. It was the perfect added touch! I also loved the crispy brown coating, which added a nice crunch and which may have been my favorite aspect of the dish. As for the flavor, the fact that this recipe used both ground beef and Italian sausage resulted in a wonderful, spicy depth. I’m going to keep the recipe as my standard meatball recipe from now on.

Helpful Hints: This recipe made about thirty meatballs, for reference. If you don’t want to use mozzarella, I think that nearly any cheese would work in its place. Mozzarella is very mild, so if you’d like something with more flavor, a pepperjack or even a cheddar would work great.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Source: Adapted from Mark’s Daily Apple

1 lb ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage (I used spicy)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 cup almond meal
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
A few grinds of black pepper
Approximately 3 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
Extra virgin olive oil

1. Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined. Using your hands works well.

2. Roll the mixture into meatballs, placing the mozzarella cubes into the center of the meatballs as you roll them. Try to enclose the mozzarella completely.

3. Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a saute pan, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the meatballs, and cook until the first side is nicely browned. Turn the meatballs, browning on all sides.

4. Place the meatballs on a foil-lined sheet into a 350 degree oven and cook for about 15 minutes longer, until they’re cooked through.