Make these game-day nibbles your Super Bowl spread centerpiece
Crowd pleaser: These sliders are great for serving a big crowd. They're economical and easy to prepare since they are baked, and not fried. Colorful toothpicks add a festive touch. (Yvonne Duivenvoorden/TMS Photo)
Most of us think of sliders as tiny burgers with grilled onions served on little buns. I thought it would be fun to use meatballs instead -- the result might be an improvement over the traditionalslider.
At the least, it's a great alternative. I love serving these for a big crowd because they are economical and easy to prepare since they are baked, rather than fried. Colorful toothpicks add a party touch.
The meatballs are incredibly moist and flavorful. They fit right into a small hamburger bun, Hawaiian bread roll or small Parmesan rolls. A robust red wine or chilled beer is a perfect companion.
Prep: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Makes: about 60 (2-inch) meatballs; serves 15-20
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 leeks, light green and white part only, finely chopped
2 carrots, shredded, or 1 cup shredded carrots
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup chili sauce
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fine dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound lean ground veal
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
2 jars (26 ounces each) marinara sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
60 mini-buns or slider rolls
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the leeks. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the carrots; cook, 1 minute. Add the garlic; cook, 1 minute. Cool.
2. Transfer cooled vegetables to a large mixing bowl; add the eggs, chili sauce, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, mustard, seasoning salt and pepper. Blend well with a large spoon or your hands. Add the meat; mix to blend all ingredients equally.
3. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Gently roll the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Place on foil-lined baking sheets; bake until cooked through, about 35 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat the tomato sauce in a large Dutch oven, big enough for the meatballs to fit into. Add the herbs and balsamic. Heat to a simmer; cook, 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add the meatballs to the sauce; cook until the sauce coats the meatballs, about 15 minutes.
5 Place 1 meatball inside each bun; serve sliders on a large platter.
Per serving: calories, g fat, g saturated fat, mg cholesterol, g carbohydrates, g protein, mg sodium, g fiber.