Recipe for: Herby Fontina-Stuffed Meatballs in Romesco
|For the meatballs:|
|1 Tbs||olive oil|
|1 small||shallot, minced|
|2 medium||garlic cloves, minced|
|1/2 tsp||crushed red pepper flakes|
|1 lb||ground beef|
|1 large||egg, beaten|
|1/3 cup||fine dried breadcrumbs|
|1 Tbs||fresh mint, chopped|
|1 Tbs||fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)|
|2 tsb||dried oregano|
|3 oz||fontina cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes|
|4 tbs||neutral oil (e.g. vegetable, grapeseed, or sunflower) for searing|
|Kosher salt and coarse black pepper|
|For the Romesco sauce:|
|3 medium||garlic cloves|
|1 cup||roasted red peppers|
|1/2 cup||fire-roasted tomatoes|
|1/3 cup||sherry vinegar (or substitute red wine vinegar)|
|1 1/2 tsp||paprika|
|1/2 cup||olive oil|
|kosher salt and coarse ground pepper|
1. In a small skillet, toast the almonds over medium-low heat, tossing frequently, until lightly toasted and very fragrant (about five minutes).
2. In a food processor, combine the almonds, garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Pulse a few times until the nuts are broken down. Add the roasted red peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes, vinegar, and paprika. Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
3. With the motor running, slowly stream in several tablespoons of the olive oil. Keep pouring until the mixture is smooth but still has some texture to it. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm on the stove over low heat.
4. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the shallot, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until the shallot is translucent (one to two minutes). Transfer to a large bowl to cool to room temperature.
5. Once cooled, add the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, mint, parsley, oregano, one teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Gently fold the mixture together. Using a ¼-cup scoop, form each meatball around a cheese cube. You should end up with eight to 10 equally-sized meatballs.
6. In a large nonstick skillet, heat two tablespoons of the neutral oil over medium-high. Add as many meatballs as you can without crowding the pan. Working in batches, sear the sides of the meatballs until a golden-brown crust forms all over (30 to 45 seconds per side). Add more oil as needed.
7. Place the cooked meatballs into the warm romesco sauce, and cover so they’re completely immersed. Cover the pot, and simmer over low heat until the meatballs are cooked through (15 to 20 minutes). Garnish with the chopped parsley, and serve with crusty bread or grilled naan.
About The Chef
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast with a passion for storytelling and licking the plate. She recently won The Rachael Ray Great American Cookbook Competition, has become a regular guest on The Rachael Ray Show, and has been featured in Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. She shoots playful cooking videos for recipe development partners and tip segments for her local CBS station. Her company Fanfare specializes in recipe development, food writing, and sassy social media eats. Fanny cooks “comfort foods in a tuxedo” — eclectic twists on familiar favorites. Get your Fanny in the kitchen at @fannyslater. (Photo courtesy of The Rachael Ray Show)