Cheesy Meatballs*

You'll have more meatballs than this- i just forgot to take a picture until they were already snacked on.

You'll have more meatballs than this- i just forgot to take a picture until they were already snacked on.

We don't really eat a lot of meat around here in the Recipe Box kitchen- partly because it just doesn't occur to me to cook it all that often and partly because meat in Scotland is loads more expensive than vegetables and grains, and since I don't mind a lack of meat and I'm the one who does most of the meal planning and cooking, here we are. And when we have a party? The only meat I usually bother with is charcuterie.

When it comes to ground beef, I probably only eat it four times a year when it's chili season or I'm somewhere with top-notch beef tartare (fun fact: I was a vegetarian for five years, and didn't eat ground beef for probably another three after that). Even as a kid, I didn't like meatballs (or spaghetti), but luckily I've outgrown that. So when we threw a party recently, I knew I had to make these cheesy meatballs- the perfect hot snack during a dreary Scottish winter.

They're easy, delicious, bite-size (so they're easy to eat standing up at a party) and if you manage to have any leftover, they reheat like a dream so you can snack on them late at night when your guests have all made it into their cabs and headed home. If you're cooking for people with dietary restrictions, though, a word of warning: these contain meat (obviously), dairy, gluten, wheat AND eggs... so nearly anyone with allergies or other restrictions is going to have to pass.

*This also doubles as a great nickname for whatever pet you might own!


The verdict:

4 spoons out of five. These are perfect party food and look especially nice served in the skillet they were cooked in, if you have an attractive one. I'm only knocking off a spoon because the cheese got so melty when they cooked that I had to drain off the juices before I served them, which was unexpected but not the end of the world.

One year ago: crazy crust apple pie
two years ago: Happy New Year!

the recipe:

Cheesy Meatballs

the directions:

If cooking immediately, preheat oven to 175C/350F.
Combine all ingredients and mix well (using your hands works best).
Shape into small balls (approx. 1-inch round).
At this point, you can store them for up to 48 hours before using in the refrigerator, covered tightly in plastic wrap, which makes them a perfect make-ahead party food.
When ready to cook, place the meatballs in a cast-iron skillet or other oven-safe serveware (a decorative pie plate works well) and bake 10-12 minutes until very brown and cooked through.
May be served directly from the skillet.

Yields approximately 36 bite-size meatballs.

the ingredients:

1 lb (500g) ground beef
1 c (114g) cheddar cheese, grated
¼ c (30g) dry bread crumbs
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp minced onion (or ½ tsp onion powder)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 egg