Backyard parsley in the morning garden light.
Happy Monday! On one hand, time changes suck. But on the other… it means we get more daylight, and more daylight makes both my edible garden and my backyard chickens very, very happy. We’re all very much looking forward to spring.
So let’s geek out over meatballs for a minute.
In my bowl of pasta, I like them large, savory, and bathed in a tangy marinara sauce. In fact, my favorite part about a bowl of spaghetti is breaking down my meatball so I get a bit in each bite. It’s an appropriate form of playing with my food.
Cocktail party meatballs are different. I like them small, so I don’t have to gnaw them into pieces while trying to mingle with others. I like them sweet to keep my appetite going. And I like them spicy to complement my beverage, usually an ice cold beer.
In either scenario, they have to be tender and flavorful.
It took me a good year to figure this one out because internet searches for “cocktail meatball recipe” didn’t yield much of interest. Most cocktail meatball recipes used not much more than a crock pot and a jar of grape jelly. For the record, I have nothing against crock pots (I own three), but I was never able to make perfect, tender, succulent, spicy, sweet, tangy, and juicy meatballs using one exclusively.
Previous attempts used too much bread crumb… Then not enough. Too much egg…. Then not enough. Some of them were gooey, and some of them dry; one batched melted into a pool of sauce (that I later converted to a bolognese), and another shriveled into something a lot like kitten poop. #sorry
I almost gave up altogether.
But then I spent all weekend testing recipes for next Sunday’s big jazz gig at the house, and I was determined to get it right.
And now we have it, just 374 days later… the best. cocktail. party. meatballs. ever. They’re just the way I like ’em, and definitely going on the hors d’oeuvres list. Please consider these little beauties for your next batch of party meatballs!
Bistro Eats is a collection of recipes we think could work in a bistro setting, i.e. the brick and mortar Rustic Garden Bistro. Click on this category to see a snippet of what the menu may look like.