appetizers & recipes: men and cheese balls
This is the time of year where football fans are either disheartened and disgusted or elated. Unfortunately, I fall into the disheartened and disgusted category, which I should be used to by now. You see, I come from a long line of New York Jets fans. Having admitted that let me add humiliated to disheartened and disgusted. The last time the NY Jets won a super bowl was the year I was born. Humiliated, disheartened, disgusted and not getting any younger, I often wonder if they might win a super bowl during my lifetime. The other set of football fans are those that are elated. They fall into two categories: (a) confident and elated (Green Bay Packer fans) or (b) finger nail biting elated (New York Giants fans). I have a friend who is a Packer’s fan and while he doesn’t brag for that would be bad luck, the air of confidence is there. I have a husband who is going to be praying and screaming the next time the Giants play, hoping they can pull off a win that keeps propelling them closer to the super bowl so that he can scream at the TV and pray again the next week. For those of us in the category of disillusioned fan the only thing for us to cheer about now is the fun food we get to eat during playoffs and then the super bowl. There is plenty of this food available as the true fans of the teams playing are usually too tense to eat, leaving more for the rest of us. There is a method to our madness. Our teams are out of the running so we can eat without the threat of heartburn. I love, love, love, football season food. There are hot wings, sliders, chips, dips, cheesy, gooey, yummy comfort foods in miniature, bite sized portions. What’s not to love! This past week I tried out a recipe as an alternative to jalapeno poppers. I made Paula Deen’s “Sizzlin’ Jalapeno Sausage Balls” (which happen to be 4 words that my husband feels should not be said in the same breath). Despite the name the recipe was well received which was good because it produced a lot of jalapeno sausage balls (about 60). If you have extra they do freeze well and reheat in the oven nicely.
Sizzlin’ Jalapeno Sausage Balls Ingredients 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed 3 cups Bisquick 2 ½ cups grated sharp Cheddar 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small bits 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped Dip: 1 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon mustard Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with parchment. 2. Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl. Mix well with your fingers. If the mixture feels too crumbly add 1 to 2 tablespoons water as needed to bring the mixture together. Form mixture into 1 inch balls, squeezing the mixture so it holds together, then rolling it between the palms of your hands to form balls. 3. Place the balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 4. To make the dip, combine the mayonnaise and mustard. Serve with sausage balls.