Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Tonight's Menu

  • "cocktail" meatballs
  • steamed basmati rice
  • steamed broccoli
Ack! Sorry for the dearth of posts last week. I'm feeling totally uninspired, food-wise. Grilled burgers and chops, sauteed trout, and various leftovers made up the bulk of our dinners for the past week.

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!


Jaye Joseph said...

My mom used to make these too! And she also did the same thing, but with little smokies. And also? She'd make those Bisquick cheese and sausage balls. I loved those.

Badger said...

Oh yeah, I STILL love those Bisquick things. And, um. I make them. Occasionally.

BabelBabe said...

um, badge? that sauce sounds revolting. is it?
my word verif is fucwife. hmmm.