Last night, at 7:30 pm I was at the supermarket hoping that I wouldn't have a botched dinner. At 9 pm after my first bite of these meatballs I was smiling like a goon, theses meatballs were anything but botched. Wholehearted, goonish smiles are one of my favorite things; seriously, if there is one thing I love more than good food, it’s smiles. They say that if you smile for long enough, no matter how low you are feeling, eventually the physical action of smiling will translate into smiley thoughts and eventually into a smiley state of being. So if it's food (that I made) that makes me smile so wide, it's kind of the best of win-win scenarios. Not only am I pleased with my work, but I also get a dinner out of it.
I know that TBD does mean The Best Dishes, so you should expect that, but I hope you don't think that everything is always perfect in my kitchen, it's not, I guess I have just been on a little bit of a roll recently. So, I know that I always say that these recipes must be made right away and I really hate to be predictable, but...make these. Actually, make these as soon as possible. How about tonight? You’ll thank me.
Baked Chicken Meatballs
(adapted from Gourmet)
makes 12, 1.5" meatballs
1 lb. ground chicken
1 c. ground almonds
1 tbsp chipotle hot sauce or 1 chipotle in adobo, minced (add more of less depending on how much heat you like)
1 slice of bacon, chopped small
2 shallots, minced
1/4 c. salsa
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat up a pan over medium heat and add the bacon. When the bacon has rendered off a good amount of it’s fat, about 3-4 minutes, add the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions and bacon are golden, another 5 minutes or so.
2) Place the chicken, almonds, egg and chipotle sauce. Spoon the bacon and onion mixture in, leaving the rendered fat in the pan (if you're going to use it).
3) Mix the whole thing with your hands, until it is well combined. This is going to be a very wet mixture. Form into 12, 1.5” meatballs and place in a 9 x 13” baking dish.
4) Spoon about a teaspoon of salsa over each meatball. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
• If you're feeling decadent, use the rendered bacon fat in the pan to sautee some vegetables to serve alongside, I like spinach.
• I hesitate to specify how many this will serve, I live with one girl so a serving is about 3 meatballs each, I imagine that for boys that number goes up that would go up to 5 or 6. Either way, this recipe is very easy to double (or triple).
• If you don't have a 9 x 13" baking dish, an aluminum lined baking sheet would also work.