The 2020 Holidays Recipe Collection
How you doin’? I love meatballs… do you? Italian, Swedish, Sweet & Sour, Turkish, Spanish and this all-American meatball. This meatball appetizer is a company favorite at my house. It’s meaty, cheesy, spicy and delicious! What else do you have to know?
Meat without bones can be traced to its Italian heritage back to ancient Roman times. Apicius, a collection of recipes thought to have been compiled in the 4th or 5th century, includes several varieties of meatballs made of everything from cuttlefish to chicken. As with many ancient texts, scholars have been unable to definitively identify its origins or author; many believe the recipes seem to have been written by different authors over several decades. So, the true origin of the meatball remains unknown.
One possible reason for the meatball’s ubiquity: It’s an exceptionally accessible dish, simple and affordable. Meatballs can be made with nearly any kind of meat, and since the meat is ground and mixed with herbs and other flavors, cheap cuts of meat can be transformed into something delicious. Meatball recipes are also perfect for the frugal chef, stretching a relatively small amount of meat into a substantial meal by mixing it with bread, egg, or mashed vegetables.
It was exactly this flexibility and affordability that made meatballs so popular and appealing to Italian-American immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of the Italian immigrants who landed in the northeast US came from the impoverished southern regions of their home country (Sicily, Calabria, Campania, Abruzzi, Molise). With very little money, it’s only natural that they turned to their most affordable recipes, so the southern Italian meatball became a staple.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
1 pound bulk mild pork sausage
1 pound package bulk hot pork sausage
1/2 pound shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups biscuit baking mix (such as Bisquick)
ChefSecret: I like to stuff each meatball with about 1/2 ounce of pepper-jack cheese for a little extra zip.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: Why didn’t the sick guy get the joke? It flu over his head. Oh, I’m so ashamed.
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Here is wishing you the very best for the upcoming holidays. To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind welcoming in the holiday season. If you have a little extra in your pockets to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America.
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2020
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