Sunday, September 25, 2011

Versatile Make Ahead Meatballs

I just put a batch of meatballs in the oven. I love these meatballs because they are so versatile. The seasoning is mild, so they go well in a variety of dishes. Keep them in the freezer and take out as many as you need for a meal. They are great in spaghetti and meatballs, Swedish meatballs, meatball sandwiches, sweet and sour meatballs, cocktail meatballs, and served up plain alongside rice or mashed potatoes. I've included 2 of my recipes.

Make Ahead Meatballs

4 eggs
2 C dry bread crumbs or oatmeal, or a combination
1/2 C finely chopped onion
1 TB salt
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
4 pounds lean ground beef

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the next 5 ingredients. Mix well. Add ground beef and mix well with your hands. Shape into 1 inch meatballs, about 1 TB per meatball. Of course, if you like larger meatballs, make them bigger. Place on a baking sheet. I like to line mine with parchment to make clean up easier. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 min. until no longer pink. Drain on a paper towel lined pan and cool. This makes about 5 batches of 30 meatballs each. Today it yielded 5 1/2 batches.

Pack in freezer bags of 30 each. It is so easy to pull out what you need for a quick week night dinner, no need to thaw, but takes a little longer for them to heat up. Delicious!

Here is my Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe, adapted from Taste of Home.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1- 20 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained, liquid reserved
water as needed
1/3 C water
3 TB vinegar
1 TB soy sauce
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3 TB cornstarch
1/2 green pepper, cut into chunks
1 C zucchini, quartered and cubed
1 batch of 30 meatballs (I usually use 24 meatballs)
Hot cooked rice

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add water to juice to make 1 cup and pour into a large skillet. Add 1/3 C water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch and stir until smooth. Cook over Med. heat stirring constantly. Add the pineapple and meatballs, green pepper and zucchini. Simmer, uncovered for 15min. or until heated through. Serve over rice. Serves 6.

My cocktail meatballs are popular and are an easy appetizer to serve at a gathering.

Cocktail Meatballs

2 batches of 30 meatballs
1-12 oz. bottle chili sauce
1- 12 oz. jar grape jelly
2 TB lemon juice.

Combine sauce ingredients in chafing dish or electric skillet. Add meatballs and simmer until heated through. Keep on warm and serve with toothpicks.

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