Versatile Meatballs — Freeze up a batch and use them in a variety of ways.

This may not look like a meatball -
but it is! See details below —
Meatball Slicers on mini Sesame Buns.
Diane Litke served as Cafeteria Manager at Abilene High School during some of the same years that I taught there. She was always so willing to provide opportunities for my students to use commercial equipment, assist with quantity food preparation, and help sponsor field trips and projects. Diane also shared recipes such as this one for meatballs.
Although Diane often prepares BBQ Meatballs (recipe follows), she wrote, “Our daughter likes these meatballs so I make just a batch, cook and freeze them, then she fixes them however she likes.”
And, that’s what I do – make up a batch of basic meatballs, freeze them and then use them in a variety of ways . . . 

Basic Meatballs       Makes about 35 meatballs or 45 - 50
Diane uses a #30 dipper (equivalent to 2 1/5 Tbsp. or 1 to 1½ oz.) for a yield of 35 meatballs. For really large meatballs, she uses a #16 dipper (1/4 cup capacity or 2 to 2. ½ oz.). I use a #40 dipper (equivalent to 1 ½ Tbsp. or ¾ oz.) for a yield of 45 to 50.

1½ lbs. lean ground beef 
1 small (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 cup regular or quick oats
1 egg
½ cup finely chopped onion
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder

1.     Combine all ingredients and mix together  (avoid over mixing).
2.     Shape into balls.
3.     Place meatballs on a cookie sheet and insert in the freezer, just until frozen; remove frozen balls from cookie sheet and put in freezer proof bags and freeze until ready to use.
Shaped meatballs ready to go into freezer. I cover them with foil.
Once frozen, add the meatballs to a freezer bag -- the frozen balls will
retain their shape.
Be sure to label meatballs and add the date.
4.     Before Cooking:  arrange meatballs in baking dish and allow to thaw in refrigerator. 

Serve BBQ Meatballs as a main
dishor or as party fare!
Diane’s BBQ Meatballs
1 cup ketchup
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup finely chopped onion
Meatballs, thawed (see recipe above)

1.     Mix sauce ingredients together; stir until sugar is dissolved. 
2.     Pour over meatballs and bake 45 to 60 minutes at 350°. Although Diane's recipe doesn't mention this, I like to brown the meatballs in a little canola oil prior to adding the sauce and baking them (baking time can then be reduced to about 30 to 40 minutes).

Meatball Sliders – although you can certainly just use ground beef to make mini hamburger patties, seasoned meatball sliders are really packed with flavor.
Simply thaw as many meatballs (recipe above) as needed, and flatten on top of a hot grill. Cook until caramelized on one side; flip and caramelize remaining side. Keep warm until ready to serve. Serve on Sesame Seed Slider Buns.
Barry grills meatball sliders on a flat top grill.
Of course there are many other ways to use these meatballs . . . and I'll post some more or our favorite uses for them in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment