Tis the season for appetizer, small bite, tapas gatherings. My favorite kind of parties.
I’m sure this post finds you hustling and bustling and enjoying the Holiday time of year. This week has been a whirlwind in our world. It started last Saturday with our office party. A wonderful traditional Italian meal at a co-worker’s home. Then an ornament exchange party at my friend Heather’s. Her table was filled with wonderful food and I thought the highlight was her spicy glazed ham = omg. Then there was that Thursday Night Bronco game….boo-hoo, the Grinch came early to Denver. And of course there’s that shopping “thing”. Friday night found us glued to the television saddened and horrified for our community, watching yet another school shooting incident unfold, and so very close to home. I was less than a mile away and watched as the army of police vehicles, ambulances, swat team crews, and television stations rushed up University Boulevard in an impressive response.
I’ve had no time to blog. And for this I thank the December Secret Recipe Club Deadline to get me back in my therapeutic kitchen and doing what I love, cooking and writing about it.
This month I was assigned to carouse around on Shelley’s blog, C Mom Cook. Shelley loves food, and everything involved with it…preparing it, eating it, sharing it. She’s a stay at home mom to two wonderful children and her goal is to share this love of food and the appreciation of the process with them as they grow. And it’s obvious she loves the process. She’s fearless in the kitchen, bakes a lot of beautiful breads, and tackles some impressive projects like Chicken Ballotine, where she took the time to debone a whole chicken, stuff, roll, and truss it.
Being in a Holiday party frame of mind, I stopped in my tracks when I saw these meatballs and went no further into the selection process. I had meatballs like this at a bridal shower about ten years ago. It’s one of those dishes that you can’t stop eating and when I asked the host for the recipe, her comment was a dismissal of “oh, it’s just made with grape jelly.” Grape Jelly? Well, that’s pretty darn intriguing. I kept pushing for a better description, and I soon realized she was “one of those” who didn’t share.
I was thrilled to find this recipe Shelley, and they’re just as good as I remember. It was part of a Meatballs From Around the World post. You should head over and take a look for lots of good meatball recipes.
- 1 jar (12 oz) (340 gm) chili sauce
- 1 jar 12 oz) (340 gm) grape jelly (jam)
- Juice of one lemon
- In a large pot, combine the chili sauce, grape jelly and lemon juice.
- Heat this mixture over medium heat until the jelly melts and everything begins to incorporate.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for at least 30 minutes, until the meatballs are heated through
- This recipe is very, very adaptable. If you don’t have chili sauce, use ketchup. Or cocktail sauce. Don’t have a lemon? Use a lime! Want some added kick? Add a splash or two of teriyaki sauce (yum. I promise.). Be adventurous with your flavor of jam, if you want. You can also choose to cook the meatballs in the sauce rather than adding them in after they are cooked – whatever you choose. We always served these over rice, but they make great appetizer meatballs, or can be served however you prefer.
I used my basic meatball recipe:
- 3 pounds extra lean ground beef
- 13 ounces evaporated milk
- 2 wholes eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ t. pepper
- 1 t. salt
- 2 C. saltine crackers, crushed or 2 C. Old Fashioned Oats
- 1 whole onion, fine diced
- ½ clove garlic, fine diced
- 2 t. chili powder
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and form into meatballs. Bake on a cookie sheet treated with non-stick spray. 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Makes about 40 meatballs.
Sweet and Sour, Grape Jelly Meatballs…They’re what’s for an Appetizer.