Monday, March 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs

Sometimes the best part about food is how fun it is to eat. Spaghetti is just so slimy and entertaining to twirl and slurp, and sushi is fun because you're ALLOWED to eat with your hands! One of my favorite things to eat based on both its flavor and it's amusement is little foods like cocktail meatballs. Not only are they satisfying and simple, they have a great "homey" taste to them which nobody could ever NOT like. I use the same, basic recipe that I do for large meatballs but just make them super small and cook them on low for about 6-8 hours in the crock pot. Dumb a few cans of plain tomato sauce, add your favorite seasonings, and you've made a definite crowd (and tummy!) pleaser with these great little meatballs.

What you'll need:
1/2 lb. each lean ground beef and ground turkey (organic, please!)
1 tbs. chopped fresh Italian parsley (the flat kind)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese
2 tbs. fat free milk (you can leave out, but it makes them SUPER moist!)
1 egg, beaten
1 large onion, grated
1/2 tsp. kosher salt and pepper
2 large cans plain marinara sauce

1. Place the meats in a very large bowl and break them up a little bit.

2. Chop the parsley and the garlic  and add them to bowl.

3. Grate the onion with a cheese grater (EYE BURNING ALERT!!! Wear glasses or goggles or something because this totally releases all of the acidity in the onions that makes us cry.) and add to the bowl.
4. Next, add the parmesan, bread crumbs, ricotta, egg, milk, salt, and pepper and mix everything together, making sure its mixed VERY well (but not TOO much, it'll make the meat tough!)

5. Make the meatballs into about the size of quarters, and drop them into the crock pot.

6. Make sure there is enough sauce to cover them all fully (you want plain sauce here, people. Sauce with flavor will totally overpower the meatballs and there will be too many tastes fighting in your mouth) and cook on low for 6-8 hours (check at 6, but NO longer than 8).
7. Serve with some basil leaves up on top and some toothpicks for taking.

enjoy :)

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