By Barbara Beltrami
Think about it. There’s hardly a Super Bowl menu that doesn’t have at least one snack made from ground meat. Everything from chili to sliders, from meatballs to lasagna and beyond calls upon ground meat as a main ingredient. I have some of my own ideas for such recipes for the big day. There are buffalo chicken meatballs, beef sliders and football meatloaf, for instance. Fans will love these dishes and you’ll score big time! Just be sure to have similarly flavored veggie burgers on hand for the vegetarians and vegans and lots of chips and dips and crudités to accompany the ground meat dish.
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2/3 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 celery rib with leaves
½ pound ground chicken breast
½ pound ground chicken thighs
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove, finely minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup Buffalo hot sauce
½ cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In small bowl combine yogurt, breadcrumbs and egg. Let sit 5 minutes. Grate one carrot and one celery rib, chop celery leaves and add all three plus the chicken, half the scallions, the parsley, garlic, cayenne and salt and pepper to the yogurt mixture. Mix thoroughly and shape into tiny meatballs about the size of an olive or a grape.
Place on baking sheet and bake, turning once, until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. In a large pot over medium to high heat, melt butter, add remaining scallions, chicken broth, hot sauce and ketchup; stir, bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until sauce thickens a little, about 8 minutes; add meatballs and simmer another 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm with celery and carrot sticks and blue cheese dip.
Beef Sliders with Blue Cheese and Celery
YIELD: Makes 12 sliders.
Nonstick cooking spray
1½ pounds ground chuck or sirloin
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz blue cheese, divided into 12 equal portions
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon minced onion
12 slider buns
1 celery rib , minced
12 pickle slices
Spray grill with nonstick cooking spray, then preheat to hot. Divide ground meat into 12 equal portions; season with salt and pepper and press into ½-inch-thick patties. Grill on one side 2 to 2½ minutes, flip, place blue cheese on top and cook another 2 to 2½ minutes, until cheese is melted. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, mustard and onion. Spread 12 bun halves on platter, spread with ketchup mixture, then add slider, celery and a pickle slice. Top with remaining bun halves and serve immediately with cole slaw and french fries.
YIELD: Makes 8 to 12 servings.
3 onions, finely chopped and sauteed until transparent
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ cup beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 pounds ground chuck
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup tomato sauce
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch strips
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl combine onions, parsley, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, broth, tomato paste, meat and eggs and mix well. Place mixture in a mound in shallow roasting pan and pat into a football shape. Bake until top is brown, about 20 to 30 minutes, then pour tomato sauce over it and bake till sauce is bubbly, about 20 to 30 minutes more. Remove from oven, smear any extra sauce over meatloaf and let sit 10 minutes. Arrange carrot pieces on top with one long piece vertically down the middle and 6 or 8 short pieces going horizontally to resemble lacing on a football. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with mustard, ketchup and potato rolls.