Last month's Everyday Food magazine shared a great way to make your meatballs literally burst with cheese. It's easy to do, and while they recommend using ground chicken for a different take on chicken Parmesan, you can choose whatever meatball you like best. Here's their simple technique: Form your meatballs, flatten them into discs, and top with a few small pieces of fresh mozzarella. Then simply reform into a ball, enclosing the cheese within the meat. Then roll in fine breadcrumbs and fry. Finish in the oven until meat is cooked through.
So crazy delicious.
You can make the meatballs and form them with the cheese, and keep them in the freezer until ready to fry. They keep their shape best if they're quite cold.
Be non-discriminating when it comes to choosing the type of meat with which to stuff some cheese. Mozzarella's great for this, but I think fontina would be amazing with pork, or feta with lamb. Blue cheese could work on the inside of a beef meatball, almost akin to a blue cheese burger. Other great melty cheeses to try here: cheddar, munster, gruyere, raclette, or emmenthaler. Just be sure that the pieces are small enough to melt thoroughly.
Everyday Food makes the meatballs pretty large, best to crown a hefty plate of pasta. But I don't see why you couldn't make them a bit smaller and sit them atop a bun, for a different take on a burger. Or you could form them bite-sized for sliders, just as long as the cheese is really well-enclosed by the meat.
In short, the possibilities are countless when it comes to a melty middle for your meatball.
→ Get the recipe: at Chicken Parmesan Meatballs, where you can also see a tutorial video.
Nora Singley used to be a cheesemonger and the Director of Education at Murray's Cheese Shop. Until recently she was a TV Chef on The Martha Stewart Show. She is currently a freelance food stylist and private chef in New York City.
Related: Recipe: Totally Tender Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
(Images: Nora Singley)