Meatball appetizer ideas.

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I am going to have a few friends over for Halloween and most of what I will make will be simple cold appetizers. I did want to have one nice hot app. and was thinking of making small meatballs. For the sauce I didn't want to go with a red sauce or a mornay. I was thinking, either something like a browned butter and sage, or possibly a bechamel with sage, garlic, and a little sour cream? I want to avoid them coming off as greasy. Any thoughts or recommendations from experience?
 
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Make small firm meatballs, put them on a short skewer, 2 per.
Accompany with greek yogurt dipping sauce.
Contains greek yogurt, dill, grated persian cucumbers, mint, etc.
Exact recipes can easily be found online.
 
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Just do Swedish meatballs. They can be kept heated in the sauce ready for the party just like the tomato sauce version.

By the way, I totally thought you were talking about an application on your phone called "meatball". I thought it's a new cooking app or something.
 
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Sorry.. I'm a software developer so believe me when I typed "app" I was thinking.. hmm well I'm sure they'll get it. Haha.

I really wanted to do something beyond the classics.. being swedish, italian, or even BBQ (like with the little smokies.. but I'm a fiend for those) .. would browned butter, caramelized onions, sage, and garlic work? I have a feeling it would all just sink to the bottom.. which is why I thought a thicker sauce might work. Honestly with the addition of sour cream I'm basically back at the swedish meatball.. although sage and garlic might be just the thing to make it unique.
 
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I like your idea for the "sauce"...sage is one of my favorites and a classic fall herb.
You could maybe even sneak a few oz per lb of a spicy ground pork into the meat mix.
Use a shallow dish and when the first is empty switch out for a fresh one (transferring the leftovers to new dish).
This will avoid the appearance of sinkage as well as remove the risk of the aromatic blend breaking and running the risk of a greasy mouthfeel.
Keeping the buffet dish covered as much as possible will help with the life of the dish as well.

mimi
 

pete

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Your brown butter idea sounds like it would be tasty, but the broken nature of it will contribute to the taste/look of your meatballs being too greasy. I do like the idea of sage and garlic sauce made from a béchamel. If doing that, then FFG's idea about adding a bit of Italian sausage would be a great addition to your meatballs.

Another idea, if making sausage meatballs is to do something apple based, if you don't mind a sweeter sauce (very appropriate for this time of year. I would caramelize some onions, deglaze with hard cider, add some sweet cider and just a touch of cream, thicken with a roux and finish with sage, salt and pepper.
 
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eastshores eastshores I changed the title of this thread which read "thoughts on meatball app". My first thought was a smart phone app for meatballs (ha ha).

Enough people thought that.. maybe we need to make a meatball app.. we could push content to it from cheftalk from over the years.. lol ad supported isn't as crazy as it seems
 
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Another idea, if making sausage meatballs is to do something apple based, if you don't mind a sweeter sauce (very appropriate for this time of year. I would caramelize some onions, deglaze with hard cider, add some sweet cider and just a touch of cream, thicken with a roux and finish with sage, salt and pepper.

That is a really cool idea.. it would definitely give it a fall feel. Personally I stray away from sweet and savory but that's never stopped me from chowing down on some general tsos chicken after a few too many drinks.
 
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Oh a general tso meatball now that would be interesting!

Are you looking to do just one meatball app or several? I really like the bechamel idea minus the sour cream. I've never had that but I would love to try it. In my opinion if you do that I would grate some tomato into the meatball mixture. The sweet acidity would help balance out the unctious heaviness of the bechamel.

Another idea would be to make spicy sausage and kielbasa meatballs on a bed of cole slaw. Or pork and sage meatballs with caramelized apple onion sauce. Or meatloaf balls with smoky ketchup. Or lamb meatballs with tzatziki. Or chicken meatballs in a pommegranate glaze.

There is also a dish we make in Greece that is quite turkish in nature. It's called soutzoukakia and they are meatballs (shaped like quenelles) that are seared then poached in fresh tomato sauce seasoned with cinnamon, garlic, cloves, and allspice. It's a great alternative to the standard italian meatball.
 
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Not sure what sort of quantity you are considering, but perhaps something like this might be a possibility.

shepards.jpg

Bread rounds stuffed into mini muffin tins, baked a bit, then filled with a blob of whatever. These were lamb with onion, garlic and fresh mint.

mjb.
 
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Sweet and hot Italian sausage wrapped around green and black olives then deep fried... could also make some with bits of different cheeses inside(small cube cheese, wrap with sausage). Serve with a good marinara as a dipping sauce.I would use slices of garlic toast as a plate to serve them on, bread will soak up excess sauce!
 
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Thanks for all of the replies and ideas! I will definitely incorporate some of them into this. I'm excited because I ordered my first chaffing pan so the meatballs can stay nice and hot. For the little ones...

Icfj1Lh.jpg
 
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Maybe something with a pumpkin based sauce? Like some pumpkin puree, apple and a little hot chili paste to round it out. Some herb(s) to balance it out you'd have to play with it to nail the flavor.

If you went the tzatziki route Mix some pork, or lamb in with the beef unless you are using ready made meatballs. (No crime there BTW . . . nod nod wink wink . . .)
 
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They canceled trick or treating in my town. Everything is torn up to put in new water and sewer and it is to dangerous for the little ones. Walk into an open 9' deep trench... my front yard looks like a battle zone!
 
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They canceled trick or treating in my town. Everything is torn up to put in new water and sewer and it is to dangerous for the little ones. Walk into an open 9' deep trench... my front yard looks like a battle zone!
That's so sad my little one would be devastated! What about the local malls, they must have something planned.
 
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Sorry to hear about that Mary.. hopefully like KK said there are some safe places for the little ones to go romp around.

mike9 mike9 I like where you guys are headed with the fall flavors, I think I'll keep that in mind for a "Thanksgiving" gathering where I can concentrate a little more on those fall flavors. We just got our first cooler day of the year here in Florida so we have plenty of time!

I did a test run of the bechamel idea and it turned out pretty good. What I learned from it is the sage wasn't as potent as I had thought so I could probably double up on it, or eliminate the thyme and go with only sage. Here's what I did for the test:

about equal parts butter and olive oil, minced a little garlic, sage, and bloomed that along with some thyme. Good amounts of salt and pepper (I've learned to over season some because once it's spread out you need that). Added some flour and cooked the roux a little and started adding a little milk. I'll probably use cream but I didn't have any this morning. Finished with a little ground nutmeg and some more pepper.

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Follow up question. I have never used a chafer pan to keep something like this hot. Is there any danger of my sauce breaking? I am hoping not considering it has a water pan.. but I've also never used a sterno and I have no idea how you go about controlling the heat?
 
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It’s not ideal but béchamel doesn’t really split. I would err on the side of caution and make it a looser sauce because it tends to tighten as it cooks.
 
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