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Author Notes: These little cocktail meatballs are spicy, juicy, and tender. I tweaked these from a meatloaf recipe I found online, added some toothpicks, and boom--perfect appetizer for a casual party or game-day get-together. Instead of breadcrumbs, these meatballs use crushed-up tortilla chips, which gives them a nice cornmeal sweetness (and, incidentally, makes them gluten-free!). You can crush the chips by hand, but I found that a food processor produces finer crumbs, which leads to a better texture. —ieatthepeach
Makes about 3 dozen small meatballs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large egg
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 10 ounces Mexican (soft) chorizo, removed from casing
- 1 cup finely crushed tortilla chips (preferably unsalted, but salted will work too)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted chips, increase to 1 tsp)
- In a large skillet, heat oil or butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and starting to turn golden. Add scallions and garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, or until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat egg thoroughly. Add the cooled onion mixture, ground chicken, chorizo, tortilla chips, smoked paprika, and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the mixture firm up a bit.
- Preheat the oven to 325º F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Use lightly damp hands to shape the mixture into 1-inch meatballs. (You will likely need to wash off your hands and re-dampen them several times during the process.) Lay the meatballs out on the baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain (they’ll start sticking to the foil as they cool, so work quickly). After a few seconds on the paper, transfer the meatballs to a serving platter. Serve warm, with toothpicks or cocktail forks for easy eating.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Appetizer to Share with Friends