January 12, 2012

Two Awesome Party Recipes: Meatballs + Carrots

I know it's well past party season. That's the trouble will having your big holiday party when everyone else has thrown out their Christmas tree. You blog too late.  But these, they are so good and versatile, that I am sure you'll find some other occasion to eat them.

I don't have my own pictures of these recipes, but I just have to tell you: they're amazing, and amazingly easy. They also, probably, could not be farther from each other; one fresh and lively and healthy, the other cheesy and satisfying. But they go well together, actually, and are shockingly easy. The carrots can be assembled a few days in advance; the meatballs can be prepped the morning of your party, but should be back right before serving.

And yes. My Christmas tree is still up. What? I've been busy.

adapted from Marissa McClellan on Serious Eats

1 1/2 pounds carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbls garlic infused olive oil*
3 tbls white balsamic or good white wine vinegar
3 tbls chopped mint
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat a water in a saucepan large enough to hold all the carrots. Peel the carrots and chop into nice thick rounds.  Throw them in the water for about 5 minutes: till slightly tender and brightly colored.

Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining ingredients.  Taste it to make sure its nice and tangy, and add more vinegar if needed.

Drain the carrots and quickly toss with the vinaigrette. Let them sit till cool.  Serve on a platter with a bowl of toothpicks handy.  

This can be made several days in advance; just make sure to drain the carrots from the vinaigrette, which intesifies over time, before storing.

*As the link says, homemade garlic olive oil can breed botulism, however, you can make a quick infusion for purposes here. Or you can go to World Market, which sells a nice brand of garlic oil. Or you can add 1 clove of garlic, finely minced, as the original recipe indicates.

adapted from Dagny Syversen.

Because of dietary restrictions, I had to make these gluten free, pork free, and cow's milk free. If you have none of those concerns, pop over to Dagny's blog to find her perfect recipe.  This is an incredibly simple recipe, and took well to the adaptations. And they are the perfect party food: the greasiness is the perfect compliment to any fizzy alcohol. They are baked rather than fried, so they are less heavy (and, yes, slightly better for you) than expected; and people love them.  

1 1/4 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups grated goat's milk cheddar
1 lb Italian turkey sausage, bulk or casings removed
1/2 large yellow onion, grated on large holes of a box grater
3 tbls unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and baking powder. Add cheddar and toss to coat. Add sausage, onion, and butter. (It is messy to grate an onion through a cheese-grater, but this is an essential step: the liquid helps bind the meatballs together. Don't use a food processor for this.) 

With your hands, mix until well combined and roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Place balls, 1/2 inch apart, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until meatballs are golden and cooked through, 25 minutes. Serve warm (though they are good room temperature, too.)

You can prepare these ahead of time, and simply pop them into the oven 25 minutes before you want to serve them.  If you are going to prepare them well in advance, arrange them on the cookie sheets, and then cover the meatballs in plastic wrap and leave them in the fridge. Allow for an extra couple of minutes in the oven, if they have been refrigerated.


  1. It's STILL CHRISTMAS! Keep that tree up :D And those recipes look awesome...

  2. So glad you liked them! I will have to try the gluten free version out, thanks for the tip :)