Wednesday, January 13, 2010

dreaming of eating solid foods again - recipe: meatballs stuffed with applewood smoked bacon & bocconcini mozzarella

For the past several days, I’ve been dreaming about the quintessential steak meal: a rib eye, grilled medium rare, served up with a side of crispy fried shallots, sautéed garlic mushrooms and baked potatoes with butter, chives and sour cream.

I suppose it’s not so unusual for a foodie to have dreams with an epicurean focus. However, I think it’s because I’m not really eating much right now. No, no, I’m not on a diet. It’s because I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed last week.

It had to be done, and I’m so glad that it’s over. For a scaredy-cat like me, the anticipation of the surgery was almost as difficult as the recovery.

I’ve been downing soup and shakes, shakes and soup, for several days while watching my husband eat seemingly everything under the sun.

To make matters worse, I’ve been teasing myself by watching the Food Network. Last night, “Big Daddy” Aaron McCargo Jr. made a mouthwatering Italianesque feast — spaghetti with bacon and bocconcini meatballs, cheesy garlic bread and antipasto salad with Parmesan cheese and fried eggplant “croutons”.

The amount of cheese, olive oil, butter, bacon and deep frying that went on in this episode would normally disturb me, but not so much as I listened to my stomach rumble. In addition to watching more Food Network programming, I’m flipping through cookbooks trying to narrow down which dishes I’ll make once I recover.

As I write this, I have yet to decide what those dishes will be, but I will definitely be making these meatballs before spring arrives.

I haven’t tested the recipe yet but the recipe has been rated five stars (the highest) by many of the 47 cooks who have tried it.

"Big Daddy" Aaron McCargo Jr.'s meatballs stuffed with applewood smoked bacon & bocconcini mozzarella

Serve the meatballs with spaghetti and your favourite marinara sauce, or use them to make meatball subs.


  • 8 slices applewood smoked bacon (or use regular bacon)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 package onion soup mix
    (note: this can be reduced to a half-package if you are concerned about sodium/saltiness)
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon beef stock or water
  • 8 to 10 mini bocconcini mozzarella balls


  • Preheat the oven to 400º F.
  • Arrange the bacon slices on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put in the oven and bake until bacon is crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan to a cutting board and chop. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the beef, Worcestershire sauce, onion soup mix, bread crumbs, black pepper, stock or water and the chopped bacon.
  • Form portions of the meat around the bocconcini to make smooth balls. Arrange the meatballs on a sheet pan with a rack and bake until thoroughly cooked and browned, about 12 to 20 minutes.

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