Cheesing hardcore...the Claes4.

Monday, January 2, 2012

1/2/12 - Mexican meatballs with maple pecan sweet potatoes

Christmas plates rock!

I like using what I have on hand to make a meal.  It has to be a big occasion or a serious craving for me to go out and buy special ingredients.  So tonight I used to 1 pound chub of lite sausage I had to make Mexican meatballs.

I normally would have just browned it and used it in a meat sauce for pasta but my daughters have had Italian or tomato based foods 3 days in a row and I figured they would revolt if they had more sauce or pasta.  I seasoned the meat with sea salt, ground black pepper, fresh garlic, onion, comino (my power spice), chili powder, unsweetened apple sauce (my secret ingredient in all my ground meat dishes) and the leftover "innards" from the New Year's Eve stuffed mushrooms I made (seasoning, mushroom stems, garlic, a little cream cheese, mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs all mixed and chopped together). I made a little test patty to see if the seasoning was OK and remembered that the lite sausage I buy is on the spicy end.  How to take some of the heat out so my taste bud compromised daughters would like it?  I added more breadcrumbs, applesauce AND real maple syrup.  I did another test patty and I liked the way it came out so I made some meatballs and put them in the oven to cook.  Cooked on 400° on a foil lined and sprayed cookie sheet for about 12 minutes, turned and then cooked on 325 ° for another 10-12 minutes till done.

While the meatballs were doing their thing I peeled some "on the good side of bad" sweet potatoes and cut them in small wedges.  I then threw the wedges on one of my new heavy-duty cookie sheets and drizzled olive oil over them and added a little sea salt and ground black pepper.  Cooked on 400° for about 5 minutes, turned and then cooked on 325 ° for another 10-12 minutes. Checked one last time and added some leftover plain and sugar coated pecans and some of the real maple syrup to time tie the flavors of the meatballs in.  A little of the maple syrup goes a long way.

Finished things off with a green salad with lots of veggies, tortillas for the girls to eat their meatballs in, and a little smashed avocado (and sour cream for the little blonde one).

Verdict:  They ate it!  Sean and I ate the meatballs over the salad and had the sweet potatoes on the side.  The girls ate theirs as pictured.  First time for the girls to actually eat sweet potatoes so I was stoked.  I will try this meal again but I will either make my own sausage so the seasoning is to our taste or I will just use hamburger or turkey meat from the start.

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