- "cocktail" meatballs
- steamed basmati rice
- steamed broccoli
Tonight, however, I was in the mood for my mom's cocktail meatballs. If you grew up in the '70s, particularly in the midwest, you have no doubt eaten this exact dish -- meatballs in a sauce made from grape jelly and bottled chili sauce. My mom usually made this in the crockpot on "card club night" and served the meatballs/sauce on their own, but you add a little rice underneath and that's a MEAL, baby!
Incidentally, if you want to make meatballs from scratch but are afraid it will be a huge pain in the ass, fear not! The way I make them is dead easy. Just take a pound of ground meat (I use beef, but you could do turkey or whatever) and mix it up with the usual breadcrumbs, egg, seasonings, etc. I use a gallon-sized plastic zipper bag to mix everything -- just dump in the ingredients, press out the air (very important!), seal it and knead the hell out of it until all the ingredients are mixed. Then I use a little cookie scoop thing, like a miniature ice-cream scoop, to form the mixture into balls right from the bag. Line a baking sheet (one with a rim around the sides) with tin foil, shiny side DOWN (or use Reynold's Release -- I freakin' LOVE that stuff), stick the meatballs on it and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes. Super easy with no messy hands or grease spatters from a skillet! You can make these way ahead of time and freeze them for later use, if you want.
The sauce, as I said, is just grape jelly (6 to 8 ounces) and a bottle of chili sauce (like the Heinz stuff they sell next to the ketchup). Heat them together in either a large pot or a crockpot until the jelly melts, dump in the meatballs and heat them through, and you're done!