Tags Posts tagged with "South of the Border Meatballs"

South of the Border Meatballs

Cocktail meatballs. Metro photo

By Barbara Beltrami

Whether you’re watching the 56th Super Bowl or the Winter Olympics with a couple of ice cold beers or having a romantic and cozy Valentine’s Day with a couple of glasses of bubbly, cocktail meatballs with surprise centers are the perfect accompaniment. All of them are easy to make ahead of time, then refrigerate  and re-heat which leaves you lots of time for being a spectator or someone’s special Valentine.

South of the Border Meatballs

YIELD: Makes about 50 bite-size meatballs


2 1/2 pounds ground beef

3/4 cup unflavored bread crumbs

1/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon fresh coriander

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, minced

2 eggs

1/2 pound pepper jack cheese, diced into half-inch cubes


Preheat oven to 425 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the beef, bread crumbs milk, cilantro, parsley, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper, garlic, shallot, and eggs. Divide mixture into 50 to 60 equal portions, place on baking sheets, poke a piece of the cheese into the center and roll into balls; bake, gently turning once, until brown on all sides, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm with tortilla chips, sour cream, salsa and guacamole.

Dinah’s Cocktail Meatballs

YIELD: Makes about two dozen meatballs


1 pound ground beef

1 egg

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs

1/2 onion, grated

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 to 3 scallions, sliced into 1/2” pieces

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar


Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine beef, egg, cheese, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, two thirds of the mustard, the Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Form into tiny 1 1/2” meatballs, poke, a scallion slice inside, cover and place on baking sheet.  In a small bowl, thoroughly combine the remaining third of the mustard, ketchup and brown sugar; brush on top of meatballs, then bake them until they are lightly browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm with crudités.

Buffalo Meatballs

YIELD: Makes 16 to 20 meatballs


3 tablespoons neutral oil

1 small onion, diced

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 slice white sandwich bread, doused with warm water, then torn into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons + 1 cup  Frank’s hot sauce

1 pound ground chicken or turkey

1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs

1 large egg

2/3 cup diced celery

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Nonstick cooking spray

4 ounces blue, Roquefort or gorgonzola cheese, cut into 16 cubes

6 ounces unsalted butter

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/3 cup barbecue sauce


Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat; add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden, about 5 or 6 minutes; set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, bread, 2 tablespoons hot sauce and whisk into a paste. Add chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, celery and salt and pepper; mix well, then cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 450 F; line a shallow baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Roll mixture into 16 balls, poke a hole with your finger and insert a cheese cube in center, then cover with meat mixture. Place on aluminum foil and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, melt butter, add maple syrup, remaining cup hot sauce and barbecue sauce, stir and cook until heated through. Place meatballs on platter or in bowl; pour sauce over them and serve hot or warm with celery and more blue cheese.