Feb 072012

I know I’m supposed to care that the Giants won the Super Bowl yesterday, and I guess I do, but what I REALLY care about is how awesome our game day snacks were.  When I heard that the Meatball Shop (one of my favorite spots in NYC) had a recipe for Mini Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, I knew that I had to have them.  They turned out to be the highlight of our spread, and had all the kick of buff chick wings without all the mess.  Pretty sure you could stay it was a touchdown.  

And what do you do if your boyfriend’s birthday falls on the Super Bowl?  You make a giant football shaped oatmeal chocolate chip cookie cake with sugar cookie letters on top.  

Nutritional highlights: The super bowl is about a lot of things–sports, friends, commercials, food–but not so much about being healthy.  We sit for 4 hours straight (5 if you count the Voice afterward) and eat constantly for that entire time.  But these meatballs were at least made with lean  ground chicken, and were served with plenty of carrots and celery to fill you up without all the calories.  Great addition to your game day spread if you’re looking for a change from your run of the mill wings.  

Mini Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
adapted from The Meatball Shop Cookbook

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter (I used half butter half olive oil to cut saturated fat)
1/3 cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce or any other favorite hot sauce (extra if you like it hot!)
1 pound ground chicken
1 large egg
½ celery stalk, minced
¾ cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt

Low fat blue cheese dressing, carrots, and celery for serving

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the vegetable oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.
  • Combine the butter/oil and hot sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
    Combine the hot sauce mixture, ground chicken, egg, celery, bread crumbs, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
    Roll the mixture into round, ¾ -inch balls, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.
    Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.
    Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.  Drizzle on more Redhot sauce if you’re crazy like me.  Serve with carrot and celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.  
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