The Ultimate California Mozzarella Meatball Salad
Recipe courtesy of Chef Jay Smith
Sponsor: California Milk Advisory Board
Mozzarella-stuffed chicken meatballs served with mini grilled Real California cheese croutons over chickpeas, grilled corn, Fresno chiles, avocado, and a kale salad with a salsa verde vinaigrette.
California Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Meatballs: (Yield 72)
- 6 lb Ground chicken
- 2 lb Finely chopped bacon
- 8 oz Red bell peppers, 1/4 in dice
- 4 oz Green onions, finely chopped
- 4 oz Jalapeños, 1/4 in dice
- 4 oz Sundried tomatoes, 1/4 in dice
- 8 oz Grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 oz Finely chopped parsley
- 1 oz Salt
- ½ oz Black pepper
- ½ cup Water
- 2 ea Eggs
- 1 cup Breadcrumbs
- 4 ½ lb Real California Mozzarella cheese, cut ½ in x 1 in x 1 in (or .33 oz each)
Mini Grilled Cheese Croutons: (Yield 24 orders)
- 48 slices White bread, crust removed
- 24 slices Real California Mozzarella cheese, 2 mm slices, 3 in x 4 in
The Ultimate Mozzarella Meatball Salad: (Yield 24 orders)
- 72 each Chicken Meatballs
- As Needed Melted Real California butter
- 24 each Mozzarella sandwiches
- 24 cups Red kale or kale, cut in 1-in pieces
- 24 cups Cooked, drained chickpeas
- 12 cups Grilled corn kernels
- 48 each Grape tomatoes, halved
- 9 cups Salsa Verde Vinaigrette
- 12 each Avocado, sliced ¼ in thick
- 144 slices Fresno chiles, sliced ¼ in on bias
- 1 bunch Cilantro
- For the meatballs: Blend all the ingredients except mozzarella in a mixer with a paddle for 1 minute or until well blended. Place meatball mixture into walk-in for 30 minutes to chill before stuffing and shaping.
- Portion mix using a #16 scoop onto a sheet pan. Stuff a piece of mozzarella into the center of each meatball and make sure the cheese is fully covered to prevent leakage. Cover and refrigerate.
- For the grilled cheese croutons: Build bread and mozzarella to order or ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate until service.
- For the salad (per serving): Place 3 chicken meatballs in fryer at 350 degrees F for 2 minutes and then in a 350 degree oven for 2 minutes.
- Butter the exterior of 1 grilled cheese and place on a flat top or nonstick pan over medium heat and cook until golden brown on both sides. Cut each sandwich into sixths by splitting lengthwise and then into thirds.
- While meatballs and sandwich are cooking, place 1 cup kale, 1 cup chickpeas, ½ cup corn, 4 tomato halves, and 6 Tbsp vinaigrette into a bowl and toss. Arrange in a serving bowl and then top with the fanned slices of ½ avocado in the center and the meatballs on the avocado. Surround the meatballs with the mini mozzarella croutons, 6 slices of Fresno chile and some cilantro leaves. Top the meatballs with additional Salsa Verde Vinaigrette.
Project Management: Summit F&B
From the Best of Flavor 2022 issue of Flavor & The Menu, for chefs and menu developers. Read full issue online.