PARTNER POST: Get ready to feed a crowd with appetizer recipes paired perfectly with food-friendly Cavit wines.
Perfect for a winter party, this impressive appetizer can be made ahead, or can be served as a sumptuous dinner, served over fluffy cous cous, rice or quinoa. Pair with a red wine and you are set.
Hi friends, hope this finds you well and rested. Just one more celebration to go! You can do it! Here is a little appetizer inspiration for New Years Eve – a big hit in our catering business. Festive Moroccan Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze – sumptuous and flavorful and best of all, these easy guys can be made ahead, then reheated in the oven right before your guests arrive. They also make a delicious holiday dinner, served over fluffy cous cous, quinoa or even over a bed of seasoned lentils. Make them with ground lamb or beef, your choice – here I used lamb. For the glaze, Pomegranate juice is simply reduced down into a deep and tangy sauce, seasoned with a whisper of allspice. There is something truly special about cooking with pomegranate that makes your soul come alive. They are so vibrant, potent, artful and healing.
If cooking for one or two, know these will freeze well, so save half for later. I promise you won’t forget about them in your freezer, they are that good.
Cavit Wines partnered with us here, and their bold, rich, red blend, hailing from the town of Trentino, in Northern Italy was the perfect match. Trentino and neighboring town, Alto Adige form the northernmost region of the country, overlooking a long, narrow beautiful valley, surrounded by the dramatic Dolomite mountains. Brian, a mountain guy, has been wanting to visit here for years. The high altitude in the mountainous regions creates a wide range in temperature from day to night and it’s this extreme change in temperature that creates the fresh, delicate bouquet of the wines along with their complexity and character. So tasty!
To make the meatballs, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until well combined. EASY right?
Using wet hands form ping-pong sized balls and set aside. Heat a little oil in a skillet and brown on all sides lightly over medium heat. Reduce the pomegranate juice at the same time ( it takes about 15 mins).
Pour the warm glaze over the meatballs, garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and herbs and serve as an appetizer with mini forks.
These also make a beautiful and sumptuous main course- think holidays or even Valentines Day.
Serve over fluffy cous cous, or quinoa.
For another easy appetizer, try these trout bites. Recipe here.
- 1 shallot very finely chopped- reserve ? for sauce.
- 1 lb. ground lamb or beef or chicken(I prefer lamb)
- 4-5 large garlic cloves, minced or crushed through a press
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup chopped herbs - flat leaf parsley, mint or cilantro or a blend
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, more to taste
- ¼ cup to ½ cup toasted bread crumbs ( feel free to use gluten free bread crumbs)
- ? shallot - finely chopped
- 1 ½ cup pomegranate juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey.
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- pinch salt and pepper
- ? teaspoon ground allspice
- Place meatball ingredients in a medium bowl and using hands, combine well, adding enough breadcrumbs to make them easy to roll into balls. Cook a "tester". Taste, adjust salt.
- Using wet hands, roll into ping-pong sized balls ( about 1 ¾- 2 inches in diameter) and set set aside. You should have about 12-16.
- Start the glaze. In a small saute pan or pot, saute shallot in a drizzle of olive oil, over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until tender. Add pomegranate juice, pinch salt and pepper, maple and allspice.
- Bring to a simmer, turn heat to medium, then simmer uncovered for 15 mins or until it reduces to ½ cup. Turn heat off.
- While glaze is reducing, cook the meat balls. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Working in batches ( don't over crowd) brown the meat balls, giving the skillet a little shake now and then to roll them around a bit and cook the edges. Place in an oven proof dish, pour glaze over top and keep warm until ready to serve, or refrigerate and reheat.
- Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and herbs.