Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Apricot Meatballs

These were a highlight at our impromptu cocktail party last night. I've prepared them countless times, they never disappoint and are always devoured! The apricot sauce is luscious and so complementing with the flavorful meatballs. They can be prepared in advance ... pop them in the oven just before guests arrive.
Tidbits for perfection: I typically don’t buy store bought salad dressing, but I stumbled upon Annie’s Naturals brand and particularly like the French dressing, it’s all natural, organic and authentic tasting. I also Love the company’s philosophy. I recommend using a good quality preserve like Bonne Maman. Simply Organic makes a wonderful French Onion Dip Mix. The Simply Organic® brand is currently available at Whole Foods Market® and other natural foods stores, as well as mainstream supermarkets nationwide. The meatballs and apricot sauce may be prepared in advance; combine the two, however, just before baking.
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole-wheat herb flavored bread crumbs
2 pounds ground chuck
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with salt, add bread crumbs and whisk until well combined. Add ground chuck and fresh ground black pepper, mix thoroughly. Shape into desired size balls. In a sauté pan, over moderate heat, brown the meatballs evenly on all sides. Transfer to a baking dish to accommodate, allow to cool.
Apricot Sauce
One 8-ounce bottle French dressing
1 cup apricot preserves
1 package French Onion Dip Mix
In a medium bowl, combine French dressing, apricot preserves and French onion dip mix. Pour over meatballs, gently stir. Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Yield: About 60-70 bite size or 30-35 large meatballs.