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~ Veal Cocktail Meatballs w/Apricot-Mustard Glaze ~

PICT0095This is what I refer to as a "bonus blog post".  In the scheme of my holiday blogging agenda, this yummy recipe was not on cue for today. Occasionally, as per today, what I decide to post is born out of practicality:  or what happens in my "real" daily life.  Earlier this week, my friend Scott asked me to show him how I make parmigiana.  So, on Tuesday, we got together early in the afternoon and had a great time making my recipe for ~ "Not Your Mama's Parmigiana" (Chicken or Veal) ~, which I, of course, took the opportunity to turn into a blog post on Wednesday.  You can find that recipe in Categories 3, 11, 12 or 19. From that kitchen encounter, I have six beautiful veal cutlets leftover, so, I've decided to spend today, a relaxing Friday afternoon, right here in my kitchen showing you how to make one my favorite recipes for cocktail meatballs.  After all, everyone loves meatballs, everyone really loves cocktail meatballs, and this super easy-to-make recipe is perfect for any festive celebration!

PICT2306Back in May, I posted my recipe for ~ Apricot Mustard Sauce:  For Dipping or Drizzling ~, found in Categories 8, 10 or 22.  I almost always have a container or two of this flavorful condiment on hand in my refrigerator or freezer.  This easy-to-make sauce/glaze instantly turns an ordinary grilled chicken breast or braised pork chop into a decadent feast.  Just wait until you taste what it is going to do to these not-so-ordinary veal meatballs!

PICT00391  pound very lean veal, cut into chunks

1  ounce saltine crackers (10 saltines)

1  teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2  teaspoon each:  sugar, sea salt and white pepper

1  jumbo egg, at room temperature

PICT0043~ Step 1.  In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, coarsely grind the veal, using about 15-20 rapid on-off pulses.  Place the veal in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.  In the same work bowl:

PICT0048Process the crackers, dried thyme, sugar, salt and pepper to a fine mixture, but not a powder, about 15 seconds.  Add the egg and process to a paste.

PICT0058~ Step 2.  Add the flavorful cracker mixture/paste to the ground veal, and, using your hands, combine thoroughly.  Trust me, there is only one way to do this, and it is with your hands.







~ Step 3.  Using a 1" ice cream scoop , portion the meat and place it on a baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper.  Using a light touch, roll between the palms of your hands to form balls.  Don't overwork the meat or try to compress.  No matter how many times I make this recipe, I always seem to get 4 dozen meatballs!

PICT0071~ Step 4.  Bake on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool, in pan, about 10 minutes prior to...

... skewering with "frilly" toothpicks, dipping into warm apricot-mustard sauce and plating.  Serve warm or at room temperature:



Veal Cocktail Meatballs w/Apricot-Mustard Glaze:  Recipe yields 4 dozen cocktail meatballs and 2 cups of sauce.

Special Equipment List: cutting board, chef's knife; food processor; 12 1/2" x 8 3/4" baking pan; parchment paper; 2-4 dozen toothpicks

Cook's Note:  Both the sauce and the meatballs can be prepared in advance and frozen separately.  Freeze the sauce in 2, small, 1-cup size food storage containers.  Temporarily freeze the meatballs on the baking pan, then, after they are frozen, transfer to a food storage bag, seal and store in the freezer until you want to serve them.  Thaw the meatballs completely. Wrap in aluminum foil and reheat in a moderate 325 degree oven, about 10-15 minutes.  Dip into warm sauce and serve as directed above.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)


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