Cuisine Manager

The primary purpose of Cuisine Manager is to provide some great stories about our lives that revolve around food and culminate with a great recipe. We have written a cookbook with stories that might make you happy or might make you sad but they will certainly move you. We are hoping to get our book (Recipes with Life Lessons) published in 2010 so look for it later in the year! We want you to get motivated about food and cooking to create your own family memories. Getting your family and children involved will surely facilitate the process. We have scoured the internet to provide you with the best cooking links possible.
We should be posting new stories each week, we welcome your comments and any suggestions that you may have. Check out our archive for earlier stories.
Bon Appetit

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Men of Intrigue and Great Meatballs

Recipes with Life Lessons

Outer Banks, NC Pine Knoll Shores

Stuffed Italian Meatballs.

Cuisine Manager's recipe for stuff meatballs comes from a retired NYC homicide cop. He also had a 20 year stint in the Navy and was a chef at an Italian Restaurant in NYC. Joe is only 5’7” but he is tough and colorful to say the least, he has a hard New York accent and peppers his language with four letter words like it is nobody's business.
                      Joe with My Daughter Sophie!

My father was a retired spy for the military. He worked for the Counter Intelligence Corp (CIC) before it became the CIA and fought in both WWII and the Korean War. He was one of the most gregarious men I have ever met. He had a story for everyone and he was full of life lessons. After he retired from his third career I asked him what he was planning to do and he responded by saying it was his job to meet and to get to know people.

   The Spy with his lovely wife Betty and his Daughter           in Law Tarja!

A trip to Wal-Mart with him was a three or four hour adventure, he knew everyone in town and everyone really liked my Dad. He could get people to talk about themselves or their families in a heartbeat. He would listen with great enthusiasm.
Then Joe from NY the retired homicide detective moved next door to my Dad. To say that Joe and Dad had a lot in common is an understatement. I would sit on my Dad’s deck and listen to these two tell stories for hours on end. They would laugh and tell stories of meeting Presidents. Dad had a picture of himself on the beach with Douglas MacArthur; Joe had classified pictures of high profiles murder cases from NYC. The pictures were marked Property of the NY Police Department / Confidential. It was hard to tell who told the best stories; it was hard to tell who laughed louder or harder. It really didn’t matter because my time on that deck drinking coffee with two of the most interesting men on the planet was magical.
Dad passed away a few years ago at 88 and Joe is still going strong, still living at the beach next to my Dad’s house, he is 83. He still loves to go fishing most days.
My take away from the two of them is, enjoy life, and laugh with a friend whenever possible. Laugh as loud and hard as you can. Get to know people and have a genuine interest in others. Have at least one good friend that you can tell anything to. Go fishing whenever you can. Also “don’t trust your memory when it comes to cooking”
My wife and I were at the beach when Joe invited us over for dinner. As soon as we walked into the house we knew we were in for something special. Joe was standing in the kitchen all 5'7" of him with a grin from ear to ear wearing his customary baseball hat with a white kitchen towel wrapped around his waste like an apron. The house smelled like a dynamite Italian Restaurant and he served up killer meatballs, with pasta in a tomato sauce with great crusty Italian bread. Of course he was more than happy to relinquish the recipe.

Recipe courtesy of Joe Gibney
1/3 cup of milk
1 cup of bread crumbs
1 lb each of ground pork, veal and beef. You can use all ground beef if necessary
1/3 cup of minced fresh flat leaf parsley
3 eggs lightly beaten
3 Cloves garlic, minced
1 & ¾ tps of kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/3 lb of mozzarella or provolone cheese, cut into ½ inch squares
Olive oil for frying
With or without tomato sauce

In a large bowl mix milk and breadcrumbs. Add meats, parsley, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix briefly with hands, mix just enough to incorporate everything together. Too much mixing will make the meat tough.
Form into 2 inch balls and place a cube of cheese in the center of each meatball.
Heat ½ inch of oil until almost smoking. Brown meatballs 1 minute per side. Transfer to paper towel lined plate.
Discard oil in pan. Pour tomato sauce into pan bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Add meatballs, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until cooked through about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 minutes more. Serve over pasta. Serves about 10 people. Meatballs are even better the next day on a loaf of Italian bread.

   Joe, shrimping at Pine Knoll Shores, Atlantic Beach NC

Sounds like a lot of work but it’s not once you get the hang of it.
“Don’t trust your memory when it comes to cooking”.


  1. I want to see a picture of Joe! I have this image in my head and I want to see how cloe I am.

  2. You can smell the meatballs - great story! Can't wait to try the recipe.

  3. How sweet that he made you his special meatball dish -- at age 83, no less! Just shows that cooking and sharing a meal is a lifelong passion that never ceases to bring joy in life.

  4. I loved reading the backstory to these meatballs! Such a sweet tribute.

    These meatballs sound delicious. Like they are so chock full of flavor.

  5. You are right, men love good meatballs (ok, we women do, too). GREAT story, love it.

  6. love your writing. thanks for sharing this great story.



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