January 8, 2014 in Food

Spicy meatballs perfect for game-day munching

Susan Selasky McClatchy-Tribune
 

Step up your food game for the playoffs with treats such as sweet and spicy Southwest meatballs.
(Full-size photo)

Be ready to cheer on the next gridiron event with a game plan: Have your snacks made in advance.

These mini roast beef wraps are an easy appetizer to whip together: just chill, slice and serve. Fans will love them for their flavor and cooks will love them for their ease. And meatballs are a slow-cooker favorite; these have sweet and spicy, crowd-pleasing flavors.

Sweet and Spicy Southwest Meatballs

2 1/2 pounds ground chuck or round

1/2 cup finely chopped white onion

1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper

1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped, optional

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons smoked or Spanish paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper to taste

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups panko bread crumbs or fresh bread crumbs as needed

For the sauce:

1 jar (16 ounces) grape jelly

1 bottle (12 ounces) favorite hot red pepper sauce (a thicker one such as Frank’s Hot Red Pepper sauce is best)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Line two sided baking sheets with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all the meatball ingredients, adding enough bread crumbs so the mixture holds together when shaped into balls. Using about a 1-tablespoon measure, shape the meat mixture into balls. You should get about 60. Place them on the baking sheet as you make them.

Once they are all made, chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the meatballs for about 15 minutes or until crispy on the outside and cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the grape jelly, hot sauce and Dijon. Bring just to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened.

Remove the meatballs from the oven and transfer to a slow cooker or baking dish. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and return to the oven or place in a slow cooker to keep warm. The sauce will continue to thicken.

Yield: 60 meatballs

Analysis per meatball: 62 calories (38 percent from fat), 3 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 6 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 207 milligrams sodium, 19 milligrams cholesterol, 7 milligrams calcium, 0 grams fiber.

Roast Beef Wraps

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise (regular, reduced or nonfat)

1/2 cup horseradish, white or red

1 package large (at least 10 inches in diameter or more) lavash bread (6-8 pieces) or favorite flatbread

1 pound Monterey jack cheese, very thinly sliced

1 1/2 pounds good-quality medium-rare roast beef, sliced thin

2 large red bell peppers, chopped

1-2 packages alfalfa sprouts

In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise and horseradish until combined.

Place one lavash on a clean, flat surface. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture over the bread, especially on the uppermost edge. (This is the glue that holds the lavash together after it has been rolled.) Place about 2 slices of the cheese on half of the lavash. Repeat with the roast beef.

Sprinkle red peppers over the beef and place a hearty line of sprouts on top of the beef along the outer edge. (This will end up in the center of the wrap.)

Begin rolling from the outer edge, using your fingers to keep the filling in place. The last roll should contain no filling. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill 2 hours before slicing. When ready to slice, place the roll seam side down on a cutting board and cut the lavash into about 1-inch slices on the diagonal. Repeat with the remaining lavash slices.

Makes about 40 or more appetizers, depending on the bread diameter; analysis based on 1 appetizer with regular mayonnaise.

Yield: 40

Nutrition information: 153 calories (67 percent from fat), 11 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 5 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams protein, 154 milligrams sodium, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 96 milligrams calcium, trace of fiber.

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