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Meatballs and Wine

by Dixie Haag | Posted on Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Wine bottle in Victory Circle at Sonoma Raceway — Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher

The IndyCar Series finishes its season today at Sonoma Raceway. It will be a showdown between Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.  (I’ll be rooting for Helio.  I loved watching him compete in Dancing with the Stars.  He has a great personality!)  As we watch the finale of a super exciting season, we can eat and drink like we are there. Sonoma always means wine to me, so I’ll be sipping some of my favorite Sonoma red. Today I’ll be having Vindicated by Dry Creek Vineyard.  What I found to pair it with is a fun little snack called meatball shooters. The Got Balls Meatball Factory will be serving up some of their tasty items at the track today, so I thought I’d try to make some myself. The mobile eatery serves all kinds of meat options around the Glen Ellen, California area. I thought shooters would be perfect for today. Admittedly, I haven’t had the pleasure of trying Got Balls Meatball Factory’s version of the Meatball shooter, but here’s a fun recipe that will work for today’s race watching. 

Cheese Crisp Meatball Shooters

For the Sauce
2 T. olive oil
½ c. onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. salt
2 T. tomato paste
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. oregano
½ t. sugar
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 can (28 oz.) tomatoe puree

For the Meatballs
2 lb. meatloaf mix (a combination of beef, pork and veal)
¾ c. breadcrumbs
½ t. black pepper
1½ t. salt
1½ t. garlic powder
1½ t. oregano
1½ t. dried basil
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
3 eggs, beaten

For the Cheese Cups
8 oz. shredded Castello® Havarti Herb & Spice cheese

Start by making the marinara sauce.

Add the oil to a medium sized pot and heat over medium heat.
Once the oil is warm, add the diced onion and cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes.
Next add in the minced garlic and salt and stir for another minute.
Stir in the oregano, garlic powder, sugar and tomato paste and let cook for 2 minutes.
Pour in the 2 cans of tomatoes and stir well.
Partially cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Then, make the meatballs

Add all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and mix well to combine.
Make golf ball sized meatballs with your hands and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes until the meatballs are just cooked through in the center.
Take the meatballs out and cover with foil to keep warm.

Finally, make the cheese cups

Place a fresh piece of parchment down on the baking sheet.
Place 2 T. mounds of the shredded havarti on the baking sheet. These will spread so you’ll want to space them out, I only did 6 per sheet.
Bake for 6 minutes then take out and let cool for one minute.
Using a spatula, carefully lift up a cheese crisp and place it in on a muffin tin upside down to cool. Using your fingers, slightly press the cheese around the muffin tin to form a cup.
Let cool for 5 minutes then repeat with the next batch.
Assemble the cups by placing one meatball in each cheese cup and topping with a spoonful of the sauce and some grated parmesan cheese.


Cheese Crisp Meatball Shooters

About the Author

Dixie Haag is married to Mike Haag. She is a mother to two fantastic young people and a life-long educator.

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