Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mammoth Meatball Sub Sliders with Fried Mozzarella Sticks, Pepperoni Sauce, Pesto Mayo, & Smoked Provolone

Obviously by the title, the word mammoth means... MAMMOTH, like huge. It's actually an oxymoron. I mean "mammoth" & "slider" should not go in the same sentence. They completely contradict each other. But these are truly ridiculous. I placed a huge meatball onto a mini roll, and then stacked them with a slather of pesto mayo, fried mozzarella stick, homemade pepperoni sauce, and a slice of smoked provolone cheese. That was probably too much at one time, so lemme break it down for ya. The meatballs are classic and made with beef, pork, and veal, which is the perfect combination for a tender & juicy texture. Then I bought some mozzarella and cut them into blocks, breaded them in Italian Panko breadcrumbs, and fried them until golden brown & delicious. Now for the best component, the pepperoni sauce. Why would I put a classic tomato sauce, when I can put on a pepperoni sauce? Exactly... discussion ended. It's practically pureed pepperoni with a hint of tomato flavor, but it adds so much more meatier dimensions. This sauce would be good on a sandwich, pizza, or maybe chicken parmesan... so many options. And to finish it all off, I added a yummy pesto mayo and delicious smoked provolone (just in case there wasn't enough cheese for you already). These meatball sub sliders were awesome, and I'm so glad we made them for our Super Bowl party tonight. Some other recipes that I made were Candied Bacon Wrapped Smoked Sausages in a Blanket with Apricot-Mustard & Pomegranate-Ketchup, Buffalo Bleu Cheese Fritters, Beer Battered Fried Oreos with Creme Anglaise, and Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. Sounds unreal right? Well it was. And who cares if we gained about a million pounds... it was totally worth it. So check back the rest of this week for those other recipes. I hope everyone is having an awesome Super Bowl Party!! Enjoy :)
Three Mammoth Meatball Sub Sliders
Dont'cha Wanna Take A Bite?!?
Up Close & Personal of Our Sliders
Mammoth Meatball Sub Sliders with Fried Mozzarella Sticks,  Pepperoni Sauce, Pesto Mayo, & Smoked Provolone
For the Meatballs:
1lb Ground Beef
½lb Ground Veal
½lb Ground Pork
4 Slices of White Bread, Crusts Removed & Made into Breadcrumbs
¼C Italian Bread Crumbs
2T Fresh Parsley, Chopped
½C Fresh Parmesan, Grated
¼t Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
1 Extra-Large Egg, Beaten
¾C Warm Water
Oil, For Frying

For the Fried Mozzarella:
1 8oz Package of Mozzarella Cheese, Cut into Blocks
½C AP Flour
¼C Cornstarch
2 Eggs, Beaten
¼C Milk
1 ½C Italian Panko Breadcrumbs
Oil, For Frying
Salt & Pepper, For Sprinkling
For the Pepperoni Sauce:
3T Olive Oil
1 Small Sweet Onion, Finely Chopped
5 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1t Red Pepper Flakes & Fennel Seeds
1lb Pepperoni, Finely Chopped or Sliced
8oz of San Marzano Plum Tomatoes, Chopped
1 ½C Chicken Stock
1 Fresh Bay Leaf

For the Pesto Mayo:
2T Pesto
2T Mayo
1t Fresh Basil, Minced
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Sandwiches:
Small Hawaiian Bread Rolls, Buttered & Toasted
Fried Meatballs, Whole or Sliced in Half
Prepared Pepperoni Sauce
Prepared Pesto Mayo
Fried Mozzarella
Slices of Smoked Provolone

1. To Make the Pepperoni Sauce: Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Once hot, sauté the onions until tender, about 2 minutes, and then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds, and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the chopped pepperoni and let it sweat for 2-3 minutes on low. Add in the tomatoes and chicken stock, and cook the mixture for 45 minutes or until the pepperoni gets soft and moist. After softening, puree the mixture until a smooth sauce is formed. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Set it aside until ready to use on the sandwich.
2. To Make the Pesto Mayo: In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients until incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. To Make the Meatballs: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, seasonings, egg, and warm water into a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 10-12 large meatballs. In a deep skillet, heat your oil to medium heat. In batches, cool the meatballs and brown them well on all sides, roughly 10 minutes. Remove the cooked meatballs to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through. Set them aside until ready to stack on the sandwich.
4. To Make the Fried Mozzarella: In a deep fryer, heat the oil to 365 degrees. Meanwhile, set up a battering station. I use 3 pie tins. For the first station, I mix the flour and cornstarch. For the second station, I whisk together the eggs and milk. For the third station, pour the contents of one box of Panko breadcrumbs. Now, place the blocks of mozzarella into the flour mixture, then into the egg wash, and finally the panko (making sure they are completely covered). Put the breaded slices on a tin foil-lined baking sheet with a cooling rack on top, and then put the pan into the refrigerator and let the cheese rest for about 15-30 minutes. In a medium sauté pan, heat about 2 inches of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil has heated, fry the breaded mozzarella for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove the fried cheese to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Immediately layer them onto the sandwich.
5. To Assemble the Sandwiches: Spread the toasted slider buns with the pesto mayo. On top of the pesto mayo, lay down the fried mozzarella medallions in an even layer. Spoon on a layer of the pepperoni sauce and top that with the meatball halves. Add more pepperoni sauce on top, so that there is a thick layer. Lay slices of smoked provolone cheese on top of the sauced meatballs and place onto a baking sheet. Broil the sandwich until the provolone is just melted & slightly toasted.
6. Enjoy while the sliders are still hot!

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