Football Party Kick-Off

Everyone loves meatballs! Make and freeze with or without tomato sauce for options to use with a different sauce. Form smaller meatballs for game-time skewering then choose tomato or plum BBQ sauce.

Super Bowl Sunday 2013 

The 47th Super Bowl will take place in New Orleans, LA at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3rd. After two years of prepping and sprucing up, New Orleans will host Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 — right smack in the middle of its Carnival season. Carnival got rolling January 25 with parades and parties and ends on Mardi Gras Day, which this year is February 1st.

For only the second time ever, two major events — the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras — are about to collide in this city, drawing more than 1 million visitors, 5,000 media members, 100 million viewers worldwide and a nearly $1 billion economic windfall. Even for a city used to throwing big parties, it's a monster — and a chance for the city to show the world how far it's come since the 2005 floods during Hurricane Katrina left the city in ruins. source http://www.usatoday.com Anticipate a lot of cheering and screaming from this party loving city; a very special event!

For those who will be watching this exciting event, you will probably need party food you can prepare ahead to add to the pleasure of the day. Here are some of my ideas:


2 pounds of chopped beef chuck or sirloin

1 cup of fresh Italian bread crumbs or store-bought (to convert to gluten-free add 1 cup of food-processed vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, onion, or roasted tomatoes)

3/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley

2 or 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine

2 or 3 eggs, depending on their size

3/4 cup of grated Parmigiano cheese

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Canola oil

Amelia's Italian Tomato Sauce

Prepare the recipe for tomato sauce.

Put beef in a large bowl and break up with a fork. Mix bread crumbs with water in a small bowl until soaked. Add to the beef. Chop parsley and add with the garlic, eggs, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Stir and blend with a fork until all ingredients are distributed. Before shaping meatballs, fry a tiny meatball to test for seasoning. Season the mix before proceeding.

Place a piece of waxed paper on a sheet pan. Scoop a tablespoon of beef mixture into your hands and form a ball. Place on pan. Continue until all the meatball mixture is used up. Meatballs can be covered and refrigerated until ready to cook.

Have a sheet pan covered with paper towels ready. In a heavy skillet, over medium-high flame, heat about 1 inch or more of Canola oil until hot, 375o. Add just enough meatballs so you will be able to turn them without breaking the other ones and the oil remains at high temperature. Fry quickly until golden brown and place on paper towel lined sheet pan. Alternatively, meatballs can be broiled on a foil lined sheet pan until browned; about 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.

At this point you can choose to place meatballs in an airtight container and freeze; defrost in refrigerator before adding to sauce.

If making both of the recipes below Meatball Sliders in Italian Tomato Sauce and/or Slow-Cooker Plum Meatball and Sausage Skewers, you will need half of the Meatball recipe for each recipe so be sure to set half of the meatballs aside and place the other half in the tomato sauce.

Tip: Cool cooking oil and pour into an empty tomato can or container. Place the paper towels used to drain the meatballs into the oil to absorb and make it less liquidy for discarding.

Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine or some of the simmering tomato sauce, heating and stirring to pick up the flavors. Add this to the tomato sauce.

The bonus of doing this is that you won't have to scrub the pan!

Add the browned meatballs to Amelia's Italian Tomato Sauce and allow them to cook a while before stirring. Simmer sauce on medium heat stirring occasionally, semi-covered for about 1 hour. Serve with your favorite pasta, crusty bread or in the recipes below. Leftover sauce can be placed in airtight containers or small freezer bags, labeled and frozen.

Tip: A 1-inch meatball equals 1-ounce. Therefore, approximately 24 (1-inch) meatballs per pound (16 oz) which includes breadcrumbs and other ingredients.


Make a full batch of meatballs using 2 pounds of chopped meat. Use half a Amelia's Italian Meatballs recipe to make Meatball Sliders in Amelia's Italian Tomato Sauce and the other half to make Slow-Cooker Plum Meatball and Sausage Skewers.


1/2 recipe of Amelia's Italian Meatballs

Amelia's Italian Tomato Sauce as needed

Parmigiano cheese

8-ounces of mozzarella cheese, grated

Cocktail buns, slider rolls

Place a cooked, sauced meatball on a cocktail bun, top with a teaspoon of Parmigiano or your favorite grated cheese and a tablespoon of grated mozzarella. Insert a large toothpick or skewer through the top of the bun into the meatball and bottom half of bun and serve while hot. Sliders can be placed in a 170-200 degree oven to keep warm for 15-20 minutes.


½ recipe of Amelia’s Italian Meatballs

½ pound of good quality Italian sausage, hot or sweet, browned in a heavy skillet then sliced into 1-inch chunks

1 (10 to 12-ounce) jar plum jam or preserves

1 (18-ounce bottle) (1-2/3 cups) barbecue sauce, any type

Decorative toothpicks or small skewers

For sauce: in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine the jam and barbecue sauce. Add the sausage and fresh or defrosted meatballs, stirring to coat with sauce.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. To serve at a buffet, keep warm on slow-cooker’s low-heat setting for up to 2 hours. Serve with plenty of decorative toothpicks nearby. Makes 16 servings


Decorative toothpicks or small skewers

Brasciole Sliders: 2 thinly cut round steaks or pork cutlets, pounded thin with a meat mallet. In a small bowl add 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon parsley, and 1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano cheese. Salt and pepper the steaks or cutlets and spread the garlic mixture over the brasciole.

Roll up like a jelly roll; tie with butcher string. Brown in a hot skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and finish to cook in Amelia's Italian Tomato Sauce alone or with meatballs until tender. When cooked slice into 1-inch pieces, remove the string and place on cocktail buns with a spoon of tomato sauce a sprinkle of grated Parmigiano and grated mozzarella or provolone cheese

Insert a large toothpick or skewer through the top of the bun into the brasciole and bottom half of bun and serve while hot.

Brasciole slices can also be served without the bun in tomato sauce with party skewers.


Brasciole slices can also be served in tomato sauce with party skewers. 

Classes are filling up quickly!

The Greenwich Adult Continuing Ed Spring Catalogue is out and classes will begin Feb. 20, 6:30pm to 8:30pm. See the schedule and register for the new Spring series, "The Secrets of Italian Cooking" classes at www.greenwichace.com/coursecatalog

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John January 31, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Canola oil can be toxic when heated at high temperatures. Better off using vegetable oil or olive oil. I do not know what canola oil is either to tell you the truth!
John January 31, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Isn't canola oil toxic when heated at high temperatures. Better off using vegetable oil or olive oil. I do not know what canola oil is either to tell you the truth!
eatingdogfood January 31, 2013 at 09:10 PM
Canola oil can be toxic when heated at high temperatures. Better off using vegetable oil or olive oil. I do not know what canola oil is either to tell you the truth!
Amelia Bonacorso January 31, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Thank you William!
Amelia Bonacorso February 01, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Thank you William! Enjoy the game and the food!


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