Sunday, October 11, 2015

Slow Cooker Meal: Tasty's Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs

Lately I've been suffering from waking up during odd hours at night. Not too sure if it's insomnia since I get to sleep by 9 or 10 pm. The bad part is I usually wake up at 2 am and not feel even a lil bit sleepy until after a couple of hours. So what do I do with that time? After I get to check on my fave sites, I try to be productive by scouring the net for fun, healthy, yummy and (hopefully) affordable meals I can prepare for the family.


I guess it was just my luck to have seen a slow cooker meal featured by Tasty. Just one look at the video and I knew I just had to make it! I was really pining for it for almost a week so I'm really glad we got the time to buy the ingredients needed when we dropped by Rockwell's Rustan's Supermarket.


Mommy Meowmeow's Verdict


My verdict? This meatball dish is the bomb!!! And every bite just feels like heaven... At first I was scared what would come out of it but now I'm so glad I took the risk. Absolutely goes right away to the top of my hall of fame list for easy and super delicious meals!



And since we made it using my mom's slow-cooker, I'm convinced more than ever that we should go get our own :) 

In the grocery bag

So here's the list of ingredients including how much it costs in the Philippines:

1 pound ground beef                 = 139.67 [Ground Sirloin]
1 pound hot Italian sausage       = 400.39 [Italian sausage we just peeled the casing]
1/2 tsp garlic powder               = 5.00
2 tsp salt                                       
1 tsp black pepper                     
1 cup bread crumbs                  = 15.25 [Nan Yuan]
1/4 cup parmesan cheese             = 201.00
1 pack mozzarella cheese            = 259.00
2 eggs                              = 30.67
1/2 cup whole milk                  = 28.00
1/2 cup chopped parsley             = 31.86
tomato sauce                        = 77.25 [We used 1 kg Clara Ole Sweet Style Spaghetti Sauce]

RECIPE from Tasty
1. Cut the mozzarella cheese into 3/4 inch cubes cubes. Store in refrigerator while preparing the meat.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the above-mentioned ingredients (except for the mozzarella and tomato sauce)



3. Roll golf ball sized balls with the meat mixture. Squish mozzarella cube into the center and pull the edges of the meat ball around it until it’s a new ball again. [I now realize what an important step this is if you don't want the mozzarella to "escape" the meatball]


4. Arrange meatballs in slow cooker and cover in tomato sauce. 
5. Cook on high for 2 to 2.5 hours.



So all in all it cost us around PHP 1,188.09 or roughly USD 26.40 --> I know! It's not exactly in the affordable category but it just tastes so good I'll probably still do this every so often! :p I wasn't able to make a count of the total meatballs but from memory it would be something from 15-18 medium balls. 



Tips to make it more affordable: If you notice the Italian sausage is the runaway super expensive ingredient. If you're up to it you might want to substitute a local sausage variant (e.g. longganisang lucban, etc.) but the taste would definitely change a lot! The Italian sausage is actually the anchor or base taste of this dish. Parmesan and mozzarella are also not on the cheap side here in the Philippines; maybe you could change it to Quickmelt cheddar cheese or kesong puti perhaps? Again, proceed with caution! :) Oh and of course, the total cost might go down a bit depending on where you purchase the goods..methinks I have to do more research on quality and affordable sources :)

Over-all

1. I really (really, really, really!!!!) love this! :) I'll definitely splurge on this comfort food at least once a month.
2. Note to self: must learn more Italian recipes...and slow cooker meals!
3. Must buy our Crock-Pot Slow Cooker !! The slow cooker is such an encouraging cooking device! It makes me feel like I can be a "pro" in the kitchen. The results are just fantastic!



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