David Theiss: Meatballs are the perfect game day snack

Meatball on a stick

Meatball on a stick

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I am often asked, “what’s easy to make and delicious for an appetizer?” My answer is usually meatballs.

Meatballs are known in almost all cultures in one form or another. After more research I found meatballs have been made out of most kinds of meat. Among the meats suggested were: lamb, alligator, chicken, duck, fish, porcupine — these were not made from porcupine but beef and pork with rice added — and elk to name a few.

A good friend of mine made elk meatballs for a party once, and to my great surprise were tasty. Meatballs have been around and enjoyed for centuries and as I understand, there’s a Roman cookbook still around with meatball recipes in it.

Meatballs, while good for appetizers, also steal the show for main coarse dishes. Being versatile, they are in many of your favorite dishes. Spaghetti, Swedish meatballs, barbecue sauce and meatballs, meatball sandwiches, meatball kabobs, ravioli and meatballs, meatball pot pies, meatball soup, and it’s a great pizza topping. The recipe I have today is simple and it can be modified with the flavors you like. It’s a good basic start.

Basic meatballs

1 pound Ground chuck

3/4 pound ground pork

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix thoroughly. Meatball sizes are a personal preference, I like a larger meatball. Use a quarter-cup measuring cup and pack it full and then remove and roll in to a ball. Place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

For smaller meatballs reduce the baking time. You’re looking for 160 degrees internal temperature.

Cold or warm, place meatballs in a crockpot for reheating and add your favorite barbecue sauce and stir for a simple appetizer.

Double or triple the recipe to make more than you need. They freeze well for your next meatball adventure. If meatballs sound like a lot of work to make, we have them available all the time.

David Theiss owns Butler Gourmet Meats in Carson City


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