About a month ago I was watching Rachael Ray's talk show and saw these two guys talking about meatballs. Of course, I perked up and started paying closer attention. The first thing I noticed was that they were not Italian...but they are experts in meatballs and have a restaurant called The Meatballs shop. How cool is that?!?! I watched them make Buffalo Chicken Mini Meatballs and I thought that it would such a great appetizer for New Year's Eve or Superbowl or anytime we are getting people together. A few weeks went by and I forgot all about these guys until I was doing some Christmas Shopping and came across their cookbook. I did a quick flip through and saw so many nontraditional meatball recipes that caught my eye. The Spaniard - pork chorizo and manchego, Mediterranean Lamb balls - which have raisins, walnuts and mint and Gobble Gobble balls that are made with turkey, garlic croutons and dried cranberries are just a few that interested me. Of course, I bought the book and so I tried the Buffalo Chicken Balls first. They were a big hit and I loved them. I brought them to a party already prepared but not cooked and didn't bring the cookbook with me. I realize now that I should have had the oven at 450 instead of 400 which is why they didn't get as dark as the ones in the cookbook photo but that's okay. They still tasted great!
Speaking of photos what do you think of my photo of the meatballs? Hopefully it's better than what you're used to seeing here because I got a brand new camera for Christmas! I still need to learn how to use it properly but I can already see a difference.
Buffalo Chicken Mini Meatballs
From The Meatball Shop Cookbook
by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup Franks’s Redhot sauce
1 pound ground chicken, preferably thigh meat
1 large egg
½ celery stalk, minced
¾ cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Drizzle the vegetable oil into a 9x13 inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.
Combine the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
Combine the hot sauce mixture, ground chicken, egg, celery, bread crumbs, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Roll the mixture into round, ¾ inch balls, making sure the pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.
Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.
Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.