Saturday, January 17, 2015

Chorizo Meatballs Tapas Style

It's meatball season! Seriously, not only did my Global Meatballs cookbook come out on bookshelves and kindle this week, (buy it here!) but I have been seeing meatballs everywhere. On magazine covers, menus and all over twitter. Even my favorite Parisian chocolate king David Lebovitz is making meatballs this week.

Meatballs are economical comfort food, they both feed a crowd and make good leftovers. Meatballs are a canvas, easy to try some funky and try new things, but not too far out of a comfort zone.

In keeping with Sunday Night Football and the day when many of you make food for those who sit back and watch the AFC Championship, I give you these Spanish Chorizo meatballs. The meatballs are bite sized, use toothpicks or fingers, no forks necessary. They have a country style chunky texture and a smoky flavor that pairs well with chips, guacamole, wings and other game day foods.

The meat you will likely need to go to a store for, but all the other ingredients are simple and likely in most pantries. White wine, bread, paprika, parsley, salt, pepper. And an egg.  Note- you could use a light beer in place of the wine with good results!

I laid out all the ingredients today and then realized the egg carton was empty! What a nasty trick, an empty egg carton in the fridge, and I had just been to the store. I heaved a sigh and pulled on winter boots, enormous parka complete with fuzzy hood, and mittens. In the 15° sunshine I walked down the road to my aunt's house to buy some of her chicken eggs. I found her chickens in a barn door  huddled from the wind and basking in a slice of strong sunshine.

Eggs resupplied, onward I moved with meatball making. 2 slices of bread soaked in white wine. All bread is good, but best to stay away from seeded bread here, and if the crusts are very tough, omit them. This time I used white gluten free white bread from Canyon Bakehouse and it worked great! Mince parsley and garlic. Crack in one egg and measure salt, paprika, and pepper. To this, add ground pork and chorizo removed from the casings.

Roll into balls smaller than golf balls, about 1 inch across, like a ping pong ball. After I roll about 8 balls the meat gets sticky on my palms. I find a brief rinse of my hands in cool water will stop the stickiness from happening.

As they are made, place onto a baking tray or two. Parchment paper or foil makes for easy cleanup, but is not necessary to avoid sticking while baking.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes.

When done the meatballs will sizzle on the pan, they will have tightened up, taken on a golden color, and an internal temperature of at least 160°.

Pile onto a serving platter with napkins and toothpicks nearby and watch them be enjoyed. I like a glass of crisp white wine with mine, but beer would is just as good, if not more appropriate for the Patriots vs. Colts and the Seahawks vs. Packers playoff games. It will be a tense afternoon.

Stay tuned for two opposing meatball recipes for Superbowl Sunday!

Chorizo Tapas Style Meatballs

  • 2 slices bread (regular or gluten free)
  • 1/3 cup white wine or light beer
  • 4-6 ounces uncooked chorizo sausage 
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°

Soak the bread in the wine for 10 minutes.

Mince garlic and parsley. Mix in a bowl with the egg, paprika, salt, black pepper and mushy bread and wine mixture.

Remove the chorizo sausage from their casings. Add the sausage meat and ground pork to the bowl as well. Using a hand, squeeze everything together over and over to combine it very well.  Bread, herbs, and meat should we well mixed, yes you can see the independent parts but they are evenly distributed.

Roll into ping pong sized balls (1 - 1.5 inches) place on a baking tray, bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350°. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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