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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Grilled Meatball and Mozzarella Sandwiches

As I've said before, I eat most of the leftovers around here.  I reheat some leftovers, such as chili, hot dogs, and mashed potatoes, but I will eat leftover chicken, pizza, pasta, steak, and a whole mess of other things cold right out of the fridge.

Pretty much the only leftovers I just don't like to eat are meatballs because they just don't taste good cold or reheated, unless you take the time to reheat them on the stove, and I never seem to have leftover pasta so I have to cook fresh pasta to eat the leftovers.  The only way I can get Aaron to eat leftover anything is to use it in a different way.  We use leftover chicken from dinner to make sandwiches or quesadillas for example.

That's how I came up with the idea for these meatball sandwiches.  They're a cross between a grilled cheese and a meatball sub.  They're especially good on Italian bread, but I can eat them on plain white bread just as easily.  I've even made them on leftover sandwich buns (the trick is to turn the bun inside out so the flat sides get grilled in the pan) and they turned out pretty darn delicious.

The ingredient amounts are listed per sandwich (obviously) but a lot of it is estimates anyway.  If you like it saucy, use more sauce.  If you like lots of meat, add more meatballs.  Personally I like a lot of cheese so I use 2 slices but if you like it less cheesy you could go with one, or sprinkle some Parmesan on it and leave out the mozzarella altogether.

Grilled Meatball and Mozzarella Sandwiches

2 slices bread (you can use plain white or wheat bread like I did today, but it's even better with a nice, sturdy, crusty Italian bread)
butter, butter or margarine spread, or olive oil spray (I use olive oil spray)
2-3 leftover meatballs
1-2 Tbsp leftover marinara sauce (from the meatballs)
2 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese (the sandwich slices)

Warm the meatballs and sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat until they are warmed through.  You could heat them in the microwave to save time, I just prefer not to microwave leftover meat.

Once the meatballs are warm, place a skillet on the stove on medium heat.

I don't know how you butter your bread for a grilled cheese, but just do it however you normally would.  My Nana melts the butter in the pan and then uses the bread to soak it up, my Mom spreads margarine spread on the bread, and I spray olive oil spray on it.  Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Place the first slice butter side down in the pan.

Put one slice of cheese on the bread.  Slice the meatballs into 3 or 4 slices depending on the size.  You want them about 1/4 inch thick.  Layer the sliced meatballs on the cheese and spoon a bit of sauce over them.

Place the other slice of cheese over the meatballs and top with the remaining slice of bread.  I didn't have any sliced mozzarella today so I just cut some slices off of a big block.

When the bottom of the sandwich is golden brown and the bottom cheese is beginning to melt flip it over.

When both sides are golden brown transfer the sandwich to a plate and serve it warm.

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