Respectfully submitted by League member Liz Bornwasser
‘Tis the season to be jolly. Fa la la la la! La la la la! The holiday season is in its home stretch, so this week’s entry perfectly highlights the entertaining foods and drinks in Bluegrass Gatherings. I took both the Buffalo and Blue Meatballs and the Sidelined Cider to a party and received rave reviews. Perfect for your next festive occasion or even just a more relaxed night at home.
Buffalo and Blue Meatballs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup hot red pepper sauce
1 pound ground chicken, preferably thighs
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cool an 8×8-inch baking dish evenly with the vegetable oil. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until hot, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Combine the chicken, egg, celery, bread crumbs, celery salt, paprika, salt, and hot sauce mixture in a bowl and mix well with clean hands. Chill for 30 minutes. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and fit snugly into the prepared baking dish. Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 20 minutes or until firm and cooked through. Cool for 5 minutes before serving with the blue cheese dipping sauce.
Liz’s Tips: Soft bread crumbs are made by running bread through a food processor. Add extra hot sauce for more heat. You may also serve the meatballs with store-bought ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing.
4 (12-ounce) bottles lager, chilled
1 (25-ounce) bottle sparkling apple cider, chilled
1 cup cranberry juice
Pour the beer into a pitcher slowly. Add the sparkling cider and the cranberry juice gradually. Pour into frosted glasses and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6
Liz’s Tip: For a more festive drink or different flavor, you may use 1 bottle of dry white wine or champagne instead of the beer.
Interested in learning more about the League or wanting to purchase Bluegrass Gatherings, or one of the League’s other wonderful cookbooks? Contact a League member or check out the JLL website.