Friday, October 27, 2006

Sweet & Spicy Chipotle Mini Meatballs

We are heading into holiday party season so I think it's time for a new appetizer. A guilty food pleasure of mine is cocktail meatballs - but often when I ask for the recipe at a party, it involves frozen balls and jarred sauce or an expensive caterer. Not a bad thing in either case - I'm not a food snob and have a healthy respect for convenience - but something about homemade meatballs just dresses up the whole meatball-eating experience.

So, using a basic meatloaf/meatball recipe and improvising with a sweet-spicy tomato sauce, I made my own and it worked! You could make bigger balls and serve over rice or pasta for a main entree too.

Warning...these are very spicy and very good...

Chipotle Mini Meatballs:
(makes about 30 small meatballs or about 15-20 entree-sized balls)

1 lb twice-ground beef
1 lb twice-ground pork
2 cups white sourdough bread, cut into chunks (no crust)
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 large onion, minced finely, divided
8 cloves garlic, minced finely, divided
2 28 oz cans whole, peeled tomatoes in sauce, roughly chopped
1 can chipotle chilis in adobo, roughly chopped (or to taste)
1/2 c water
1/2 c apricot preserves
4-6 tbs olive oil, or as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix first 6 ingredients with half the garlic and onion and salt and pepper. Don't overmix - mixture will be wet. Divide into mini meatballs and lay on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate.

Next, saute the other half of the onion and garlic until softened in a tbs of olive oil, then add chipotles and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cover.

Next, saute meatballs quickly in olive oil, just until browned. Don't cook the meat all the way through or your meatballs may be tough. Once browned, add the meatballs to the chipotle-tomato sauce.

Add about 1/2 cup water if needed to the sauce to make it thin enough to simmer (covered) and completely cook the meatballs. (10 minutes) Uncover, add apricot preserves and continue to simmer until sauce is thickened (30-40 minutes). Serve immediately or let cool and store in refrigerator, reheating before serving.


peabody said...

My husband will be all over this.

Kirsten said...

Yes, definitely guy-friendly! A little heartier than normal canapes or appetizers. :)

Sarah said...

David and I both loved these!