If there’s one thing I haven’t gotten the knack of in my 5+ years (!!!) of blogging, it’s staging food to look as good as it possibly can.
Sometimes, I get it right. Like the pictures I took of that steak salad with chimichurri dressing? Gorgeous. Other times, it’s seemingly impossible. Do you know how hard it is to take a good looking picture of meatloaf? Virtually impossible. I’ve had a recipe in the can for months now of an Italian Meatloaf with gremolata, but other than the small pop of color from the parsley—it still looks very much like a terd. Yeah. Poop.
Other things are also hard to photograph: burritos and sandwiches. With burritos, you can slice them in half and hope for the best, like I did with my cauliflower and bean burritos. That only works about 45% of the time, though. For sandwiches, just give up. Give up right now. You can try to do it open-faced style, but I can’t make any promises.
It would probably help out my cause to get a good camera, and a better lighting set up and some more staging equipment. For now, I take pictures on a small table near my ONLY window in this apartment—and I use my phone. The iPhone X is great for taking pictures, but the quality would still be better with a Canon DSLR. One can only dream…
For things like this, I tried to get crafty with the pictures, but still ended up with a less than stellar picture of this incredibly delicious dish. It’s so hard to make food look as good as it tastes! These meatballs were everything, but I over toasted the cheese so the white didn’t come out on the photos—and the grease.
There was so much grease!
That’s a mistake I made on my part, though. I used really fatty beef (80/20) and didn’t drain before putting it in the oven. Darn. I spooned off as much grease as I could and had a lovely dinner of the meatball parmesan with a side salad.
I tried staging a single serving of the meatball parmesan, as you can see in one photo, but it just looked like a blob. Some fresh cheese and basil probably would’ve helped de-blob it. Sorry.
So look past the photos and trust in the process. These meatballs are a winner, and would be great for any meal.
Cheesy baked meatballs in marinara sauce, perfect for topping pasta or serving by themselves.
- 2 lbs. hamburger meat
- 1 TBS. dried parsley
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 TBS. garlic powder
- 1 TBS. dried minced onion
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 TBS. olive oil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together meat, parsley, parmesan, red pepper flakes, almond flour, oregano, garlic powder, minced onion, eggs, and water. Use your hands to mix it together well. Form into balls.
- Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add meatballs and sear on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Drain grease off of meat. Add marinara sauce and top each meatball with a pile of cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together meat, parsley, parmesan, red pepper flakes, almond flour, oregano, garlic powder, minced onion, eggs, and water. Use your hands to mix it together well.
Form into balls.
Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add meatballs and sear on all sides, about 3 minutes per side.
Drain grease off of meat. Add marinara sauce and top each meatball with a pile of cheese.
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