Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
As I sat on the couch during the Super Bowl power outage I realized how incredibly dangerous championship sporting events are to spectators such as myself. I mean, we root, cheer, hoot and holler for all our favorite players, but sometimes they let us down; we get wrapped up in their personal lives and feel entitled to explanations when they let us down; they burn off the calories we consume as we sit idly screaming on the couch (such loyal fans). It’s just not fair.
The Huffington Post published an article about the typical calories consumed at a Super Bowl party and the amount of exercise required to burn off the consumption. I stopped eating immediately. Okay, so I may have an advantage when it comes to avoiding calories from dips and cheesy things, but I made up for that in other ways – i.e. beer-candied bacon (recipe coming soon but pictured above!), copious amounts of guacamole with non-gmo corn chips, and my very own meatballs. I created a special Super Bowl Meatball that can, obviously, be used for any gathering. They are especially crucial for when you don’t have much time and/or just want to socialize with friends rather than slave away in the kitchen. #winning! The meatballs seemed to be a hit and they are so easy that I wanted share.
Super Bowl Meatballs
Makes 34 meatballs
For the balls:2 lbs veal/pork/beef mixture 4 strips nitrate-free bacon, chopped 1/4 C red onion, finely chopped 3/4 C lemon pepper panko crumbs 1/4 C spinach, finely chopped 1 tbsp italian parsely, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 1/8 tsp paprika 1/4 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper 2 eggs 1/4 C water
For Sauce:1 – 32oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic) 1/4 C red wine 1 tbsp olive oil 3/4 C chopped yellow onions 1 tbsp oregano 1 tbsp basil 1 tbsp brown sugar
– It is best to start these the night prior to your party – it will only take 15 minutes of prep for infinitely less stress. With hands, gently combine the meat, bacon and red onion together in large bowl. Make sure not to handle the meat too much or else it will become tough when cooked.
– In a separate bowl, combine water, panko, spinach, parsley, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper to form a paste.
– Add paste and eggs to meat and loosely mix together with hands
– Shape into golf ball sized meatballs and set aside in refrigerator overnight. Allowing the balls to set over night allows the mixture to congeal so that when they are cooked they won’t fall apart.
– In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the meat balls in the oven, top rack, for 10 minutes (5 min each side). Do not worry about making sure they are cooked fully because the crock pot will finish the job.
– Place balls in crock pot with sauce and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours. They may not be the best looking food to photograph, but they are delicious.