December 13, 2010

Hors d'oeuvres = Appetizers Meatballs

In our home we say appetizer, what we mean by that is snacks...small plates..informal type pre-dinner food. We also have many juvenile sayings that we use. App-a-teasers, whores-De-vores, ors-DA-voo-vray's (Someone, whom I cannot mention said it this way once, and we laugh about it to this day...because they were as serious as a heat attack when they said it!)

This past Friday night we had a group of good friends over for an Appetizer Buffet. We each made two or three appetizers and had ourselves a feast. This is my favorite way to eat. Grazing. All night long eating a little bit of this a little bit of that. This week I thought I would share with you some of my tried and true appetizers. Starting with these meatballs. The recipe is from a past co-worker, she brought it to an office potluck. They are fabulous, festive and always a hit.

Cranberries, sauerkraut, brown sugar....sweet and sour is one of my favorite flavor combinations! I often make these meat balls weeks in advance and freeze them, so I am ready for any last minute Christmas get together or visitors.

Drain 1 pound of sauerkraut in a strainer, squeeze juice out with the back of a spoon.

Add 1 can of whole berry Cranberries, the drained sauerkraut, 1 cup brown sugar, and a 12ounce bottle of chili sauce in a sauce pan.

Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, at low boil, remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While your sauce is cooling, you can begin making the meatballs. Combine 2 pounds of lean ground beef, 1 package onion soup mix, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, 2 eggs, and 1 cup of plain bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl.

Squishing raw meat between my bare naked fingers gags me out. So I wear these handy dandy food grade gloves. Squish, Squish...combine all of the meatball ingredients together until everything is completely incorporated.

There's the squished raw meat...time to make the meat-a-balz-a!

Be careful not to make these meatballs too big. They are appetizer meatballs, they should be eaten in 1 maybe 2 bites. I use an Ikea kiddy spoon...just the right size to make bite sized balls. The meatballs will shrink up a bit while baking. Makes 70-80 meatballs.

Put on some good jams and roll out some balls! You should be able to fit them all in a 9x13 baking dish.

Spoon the sauce over the meatballs.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, then turn up the temp to 400 and bake for 15 minutes longer.

My mouth is watering. I still have a few leftovers from Friday night I think I might need to have them for lunch. Salivating heavily....not attractive.

Aren't they pretty on a plate, little cranberry, delicate strings of sauerkraut.

After I partook of a few, and the rest were cooled I placed them in a 1 gallon sized bag and froze them, for just such a time as Friday nights semi last minute gathering. (We planned it on Tuesday, but I didn't stress, because I knew I had the meatballs in the bag...Hee hee.)

I labeled them with my elegant writing, my eight year old has better penmanship than I do!

I learned the hard way...reheat the meatballs on stove top before putting in crock pot. Unless of course you remove them from your freezer early enough for them to thaw and then put them in your crock pot. Which is a organized and novel idea, of which I did not do. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get Christmas shopping done, forgot to take them out of the freezer, came home tried to cram them in the crock pot, and realized "Hmmm this ain't gonna work!".

Confession: So you see even though I planned ahead, I still did not plan ahead......ARG!

So I quickly tossed them in a pan, with about 1/2 cup water, reheated them on low with cover on for 30 minutes, then placed them in crock pot. Presto Chang-O fab Appetizer Meatballs!

Appetizer Meatballs
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 package dry onion mix
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
1 cup plain bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1 pound can whole berry cranberries
1 pound can sauerkraut drained
1 cup brown sugar
1 12 ounce jar chili sauce

What are some of your "go to" HOrs-Day-voo-vrays? And do you say appetizer, or hors d'oeuvres? I would really like to know!


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  1. I love recipes like this.... can be made ahead and are perfect for holiday entertaining. I'm bookmarking this one now. Thanks for sharing! have a great day.

  2. Too funny, I have won many "appetizer cook offs" with this here recipe!!!
    Kristen Vanlaecke

  3. Kristen, I actually had that in the post initially, but then took it out. Maybe I should rename these meatballs Kristens Award Winning meat-a-balz!

  4. Sheila these are so good! I did cheat and use frozen meatballs! Wow are they great!


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