Thursday, May 3, 2012

Slow Cooker Meatball Heaven

Slow Cooker Heaven
I love, love, love, love my slow cooker!  I’ll say it again I LOVE MY SLOW COOKER!  Three days a week I work until 10 o’clock at night.  The last thing I want to do is come home and cook dinner.  My slow cooker makes a hot and fresh meal totally doable on a busy night.  So Monday is my slow cooker day here at Misadventures in Homemaking.  Every Monday I’ll post my favorite recipes for slow cookers. 
Today’s slow cooker delight is meatballs!  I love meatballs.  There is so much you can do to make them unique.  Seriously you could eat meatballs everyday for a month and never have the same meal twice.  Plus you get to talk about rolling and eating balls. :-D
Today I have a couple of terrific meatballs that go over great at my house!  I use ground turkey because it’s cheaper in my grocery store, but ground beef works too.  I also like to buy a medium fat package, around 85% lean (hint: grind your own meat for extra saving.)  The extra fat keeps the meatballs moist and holds them together.  On that note, if you’re meatballs should fall apart, no worries.  They’ll taste the same.  Just pretend like you meant for it happen.
Savory South of the Border Turkey Chorizo Balls
This recipe makes roughly 24-1 inch meatballs.  Make them whatever size you want.  Also note that some might consider it a little spicy of if heat is problem for you cut back a bit on the cayenne and chili powder. 
1 lb ground turkey
½ lb ground chorizo
2 Tbsp. of cocoa powder
1 tsp. of sugar
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp cayenne powder
1 tsp. Mexican chili powder (Mexican chili powder is the hot kind.  Use Sweet or mild chili powder if you’re not into spicy stuff.)
4 c water (more or less to cover the balls in the slow cooker)
Oil for browning

 1.   Mix the turkey and chorizo together in a bowl
2. Divide into meatballs (make them any size you want)
3. Lightly coat the bottom of a large pan with oil and heat over medium high heat
4. Brown the meatballs on all sides and transfer to the slow cooker
5. In a couple of cups of hot water dissolve the dry ingredients and pour over the balls
6. Add more water to cover the balls. 7. Cook on low for at least 4 hours
 I like to serve these along with some brown rice or quinoa mixed with black beans, frozen corn (thawed obviously) and salsa.  Top it all off with a little sour cream, guacamole, and cheese.
Note: Michael has suggested I add cinnamon to the spice mix, but as I’ve not yet had a chance to try it I haven’t worked out the amount.  I think it sounds good.  If you’re daring leave a note in the comments and let us know how much you used and how it worked out.

Smoky BBQ Balls
These are without a doubt my favorite meatball recipe.  I love BBQ!  I make these a bit on the spicy side, but that’s easy to fix by using less red pepper flakes and using a less spicy BBQ sauce.  The sauces listed are my preferred, but use whatever you like or make your own!\
Recipe yields around 18-20 1-inch balls.
1 lb Ground Turkey
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp Chipotle Powder
2 Tbsp McCormick’s BBQ blend (that’s the one I use, but any you like will do just fine.)
2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
¼ c Kraft Chipotle BBQ Sauce
¼ c Kraft Smoky BBQ Sauce
4 c Water (Enough to cover the meatballs)
Oil for Frying

   1.    Mix turkey, chipotle powder, BBQ blend, and garlic powder and form balls.   
 2. Lightly cover a large pan with oil and heat over medium high.
  3.   Fry balls on all sides (just enough to brown the outside) and transfer to the Slow Cooker
4. Mix the BBQ sauces in about 2 c. of warm water and pour over balls
5. Add more water to the slow cooker to just cover the meatballs
6. Cook on low for around 4 hours (longer is fine)

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