It is rearing towards the last bit of fall. The last bit of fall means one thing here in Iowa. Colder weather!
Yup, the high for today is 27 degrees. I am even watching some flurries fall from the sky as I am typing this. I have officially busted out my sweaters, winter coats, and scarves.
Actually, to a lot of people the fall season means football season. Although football is not a big event in our household, I know it is a favorite pastime for many.
Although football is not my area of expertise-how the heck did they score a point? The football didn’t make it through the huge white thingy!-food obviously is. If there is one thing I do know about football, it is that there is always food at these gatherings. That is usually the reason I occasionally go to a football party, to eat food, and to talk to people who also don’t watch the game.
I have a great appetizer recipe that football fans and non-football fans alike will scarf down!
Buffalo Meatballs with Blue Cheese Sauce. Seriously guys, these little gems are made in just 30 minutes, and they are totally impressive. Plus they are gluten-free. I used quinoa in place of bread crumbs. No one will ever notice the difference.
The best part is that they can be made ahead of time and kept warm in a crock pot. That way they are ready to go when guests arrive.
These little guys are meaty, saucy, and spicy and served with a side of cooling, luscious, tangy blue cheese sauce.
Guess what, you can make everything yourself, even the buffalo sauce. It is so stinking easy to make; once you do you will never buy the pre-bottled stuff again. Same goes for the blue cheese sauce.
But the buffalo sauce is conveniently in a bottle. All I have to do is pour, why would I want to make my own?
Thank you for asking. Have you looked at the ingredients label on bottled buffalo sauce? It has “natural butter type flavor” in it, among other things. No thanks, I want real butter.
It is so simple to make. It is merely some hot sauce, a few spices, and some butter melted in a sauce pot. It would take you longer to peel off the plastic from the bottled stuff than it would to make your own.
Same goes for the blue cheese salad dressing. Add ingredients into a bowl, smash the cheese, and mix. Done!
Plus, homemade always, always tastes better. Trust me, your guests will notice the difference.
This appetizer isn’t just for football. It would be great for any type of gathering, such as a very big one coming up soon here, ahem.
Thanksgiving! Yes, this is a duo recipe. It is great for a fall football gathering because what’s better than a spicy buffalo meatball while that football is being thrown around?
But, it would also be a great appetizer for Thanksgiving. It can keep your guests out of the kitchen while you are mashing those potatoes and basting that turkey.
Whether you make these for a football game or Thanksgiving, they are a huge crowd-pleaser. They are like buffalo chicken wings, only less messy. No buffalo sauce fingerprints on your couch.
- For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ cup white or yellow onion, grated
- ¼ cup white quinoa, cooked and cooled
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Pinch of pepper
- For the blue cheese sauce:
- ¼ to ½ cup fresh blue cheese
- 1 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt (can use no-fat, but it won’t have as thick of a consistency)
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- For the buffalo sauce:
- ⅓ cup hot sauce
- 1 to 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch or arrow root powder mixed with 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- ½ stick butter
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional depending on preference of spiciness)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 2 large baking sheets lined with foil and with a drying rack.
- Place all of the ingredients for the meatballs into a medium-sized bowl. Use your hands to gently mix the ingredients together. Try not to handle the meatballs too much; the warmth of your hands melts the fat which affects the texture of the meatball.
- Gently roll the meat mixture into balls that are roughly 2 tablespoons in size. I use a small ice cream scoop/cookie dough scoop to help me keep the balls all the same size. Place the balls onto the drying rack part of the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned and cooked all the way through, with no pink. Remove the meatballs and allow them to rest for 3 to 5 minutes before handling.
- Meanwhile prepare the blue cheese sauce. Using a fork mash the fresh blue cheese against the side of a small mixing bowl until the cheese is mostly in small crumbles with a few larger chunks. Add the remainder of the ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- To prepare the buffalo sauce heat a small sauce pan over low heat. Add the hot sauce, butter, white wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard, and corn starch and hot sauce mixture. Allow the liquid to come to a simmer and whisk in the butter as it melts. Once the butter has melted whisk in the cumin, garlic powder, sea salt, and cayenne pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
- Toss the cooked meatballs into the buffalo sauce. Serve immediately with the blue cheese sauce on the side for dipping.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week. Gently reheat the meatballs and buffalo sauce, stirring occasionally. The butter will separate from the hot sauce.
These meatballs would freeze beautifully if you want to make them ahead of time and simply reheat them in the oven for a few minutes and whip up the buffalo sauce and the blue cheese sauce.