Sometimes I can't decide what to eat - it's the age-old, "salty or sweet" question, which is often solved by either a literal or metaphorical (in terms of taste combinations) chocolate covered pretzel.
But a woman cannot live on chocolate pretzels alone. Trust me, I've tried. You need some more nutrients.
And, being Italian, what better thing to supplement chocolate covered pretzels with than meatballs? Yes - meatballs! Now, it being July 4th, you may be wracking your brains for various foodstuffs that you can throw on the grill. For me, I've always found that time awaiting the grill to be sufficiently heated a bit tedious.
Myself and my guests might like munchies. Snackables. Whatever you wanna call it.
Enter MEATBALLS. These are mini bison meatballs with dill and fresh parsley. You can throw tiny toothpicks in them and serve them with a side of this yogurt dipping sauce.
makes about 20 mini meatballs - for more, double the recipe!
What You Need:
1/2 lb ground bison meat
4 small fingerling potatoes, boiled and peeled
4 scallions, chopped (white parts only!)
fresh dill - chopped (as much as you like)
fresh parsley - chopped (as much as you like)
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and black pepper to taste
What To Do:
Remove the potato skins andbBoil the potatoes in a pot of water until they are very soft when pierced with a fork. Remove them from the water and set aside to cool.
Place the ground bison meat in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, the crushed red pepper flakes, the dill and the scallions
Add the cooled potatoes, crushing them with your fingers as you add them to the meat.
Drop in the two eggs.
Now it's time to get dirty. Use your hands, people! That's why you've got 'em. Mix and mash all this wonderful gooey-ness together until it's holding.
Is it holding together? Good. Now, still using your hands, roll them into small balls and place them on a platter. Roll it all! You will be a master by the time this is over.
Heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.
Drop in your meatballs, one at a time. Turn them around occassionally so that they brown evenly on all sides. Bison meat can be pink on the inside, but you are the master of your meatballs. Do you like them rare? Medium? Well done? For rare, I like to cook about 2 minutes on each side. I know meatballs don't really have a "side" being round, but just make it up.
Now keep in mind, bison meat has a lower fat content than beef. That means is will cook FASTER (also good for parties as your guests are HUNGRY people, I know they are). Because of this, bison tastes best at rare and medium cooked levels. It can dry out when it's well done. If you really like your meatballs well done, lower the heat and cook them slowly for a longer period of time.
Also, use tongs to rotate your meatballs...a fork will pierce them and then all the tasty juices will run away. Which is sad, especially when you've done so much work. Also, it's best to let the little guys rest for a few minutes before you throw 'em in your meatball hole. They like to settle, they've been through a lot in that skillet.
Now, I know I mentioned chocolate covered pretzels before, but instead I made muffins. You know that guests that ate all your meatballs? Well, they probably drank all your beer too. And they might be sleeping in your bathtub - watch out when you go in there in the morning!
To be a nice host, you may want to offer them something in the morning. Something...healthy. With antioxidants. Heaven knows they need 'em.
Enter Goji Berry Oatmeal Muffins. They have lots of good grains, and Goji berries for antioxidant quality. If your guests choose to slather them with butter, just turn a blind eye. The bathtub is not the most comfortable place to sleep, after all. Here is the recipe:
Makes about 12 muffins
What You Need:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (the real stuff, if you can)
1/2 all-purpose flour (you can also use millet flour if you want to be healthier. I find it has a nice sweet taste)
1/3 cup dried Goji berries, soaked in hot water to rehydrate
1/2 cup salted pistachios
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (optional, but they're really good for you)
3/4 cup soy milk (you can also use regular milk)
1 egg and 1 egg white
4 tablespoons of butter - at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Drizzle of honey - to equal about 1/8 of a cup
What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin, or those fancy silicone muffin cups (I have them and I love them).
Soak the dried Goji berries in hot water for about 10 minutes.
While the berries are soaking, pull out your food processor, and throw in all your flours and the oats and the flaz seeds if you're using them. Give it a pulse or two to combine.
Add in the baking powder, baking soda and salt and pulse again.
Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until it is incorporated into the dry ingredients. The mixture should resemble a coarse meal, holding together in very small balls.
Now it's time to add the wet ingredients. Pour in the milk (soy or regular), the eggs and the honey. Blend until well combined.
Drain your goji berries and add them, along with the pistachios to the batter. Blend just a tiny bit. You don't want to mash up the pistachios too much, it's nice to get a good CRUNCH in there.
If your batter is a little thick, you can add more milk.
Fill the muffin cups 3/4 of the way to the top. You can sprinkle the tops with a few oats for decoration. It does look nice that way...
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Now wait for the bathtub sleepers to surface...
And if you're still looking for things to throw on the grill, may we suggest PIZZA? We just can't help ourselves.
Just a few of our options...