Mini Buffalo Chicken Meatballs: A perfect gameday treat

Image

With the busy holiday season over it is time to get back to regular blogging.  The one upside of the holiday season was that it gave me an opportunity to cook a lot and spend good quality time with my wife.  Also, Christmas brought me some new cookbooks that give me the opportunity to try some new recipes and share them with all of you.

In honor of my love of football and sports in general, I give you a true gameday treat.  These meatballs include all of the delicious flavors of chicken wings without needing a fryer or have any of the usual mess.  If you are planning on hosting a game day party in the near future, whether it be the college national championship game or the superbowl, these mini meatballs are low maintenance and can be prepped in advance so you can enjoy the sports excitement as well.

Image

A few cut ups of the recipe that I need to mention: first of all, I used chicken breast meat.  After cooking, I was a little disappointed with the color and crispiness of the final product as you will see below.  The first thing you might do to fix this is (like the recipe recommends) use ground thigh meat.  Also, I am going to try when eating the leftovers, crisping the meatballs in a frying pan to get a little crunch on the outside.

Image

Mini Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce of your choice ( I used Frank’s)
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 stalk of minced celery
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with the vegetable oil using your hands and set aside.
  2. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter in the hot sauce until everything is well incorporated and allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the hot sauce mixture, chicken, celery, salt, breadcrumbs, and egg and mix until well incorporated
  4. Roll the mixture into small 3/4 inch meatballs and arrange in the pan in a grid pattern, making sure that the meatballs are touching each other.
  5. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 165 degrees. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before enjoying.

This recipe comes courtesy of my wife’s Christmas present for me, “The Meatball Shop Cookbook” by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow.

Advertisements

Pasta Fagioli: A hot soup for a cold winter night

Image

So I must apologize for not posting over the weekend and yesterday.  With the holidays upon us the frenzy of shopping and then ultimately gift wrapping has taken up much of my time.  Also, we have had some crazy weather these last few days as well, there was about half an inch of snow on the ground this morning and caused a little road havoc from what I understand.  But now that those tasks are done, I am back to being focused on this and look forward to the next few posts that I have in store.

The post for today is really perfect to be writing with dark clouds in the sky and water/ melting snow all around.  This is a soup that will warm you from the inside.  It has a nice spice and a great Italian flavor.  When the weather outside is frightful and you live in a home with no fireplace, sometimes the soup is what needs to be delightful.

Image

The cut ups in this recipe are minimal.  My wife found it online somewhere, likely from another food blog.  The one major change that I made was to use chicken sausage as opposed to pork.  It is a little healthier and when dropped in a soup and lean meat can often be really nice.  Also, if you are someone who thinks that adding pepper flakes to a dish is a bad idea you need to resist leaving it out in this case.  This soup is supposed to have a little zip and it really rounds out the dish well.  Also, if you shop at a basic grocery store like I do, you may find it difficult to find 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes, they often only come in the 28 oz variety.  I remedied the situation by using a can of diced tomatoes and running them through the small food processor I have.  It serves the purpose and you don’t have an excess of crushed tomatoes lying around needing to be used.

Image

Pasta Fagioli

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 lb. chicken Italian sausage
  • 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook until it just begins to soften.  Add the carrots and celery and cook until everything is tender.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add the sausage and crumble as it cooks.  Cook until well browned.  Add the pepper flakes and Italian seasoning and cook until you can smell both, about thirty seconds.  Add the tomatoes and stock
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the beans and pasta.  Simmer for about 8 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  5. SERVE AND ENJOY

IMGP0209