JOPLIN, Mo. —
For this year's Super Bowl party, why not freshen things up a bit? Instead of shoveling chips into your mouth, how about using a slab of roasted potato skin for dipping?
Or how about a meatball that tastes good and satisfies the soul?
The simplest southern sausage meatball recipe has three ingredients: bulk hot breakfast sausage, cheddar cheese and Bisquick. They are so easy to make that even someone who can't boil water can figure it out. All you need is a bowl and a fork (or clean hands) to mix everything together and a baking sheet to cook them on.
If you don't like spicy foods you can leave out the cayenne pepper, but use the sharpest cheddar you can find. If you prefer Italian flavors you can adapt the recipe and use bulk hot Italian sausage, then substitute 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for 1/4 pound of the cheddar.
Spicy sausage meatballs
You can prepare this recipe in advance. Follow through the step of forming the meat mixture into balls, then arrange them on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, store in plastic bags. Cook frozen meatballs as directed, but increase oven time to 35 minutes.
Start to finish: 40 minutes (15 minutes active)
Servings: 36 meatballs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound loose spicy sausage meat
Heat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, butter, garlic and cayenne. Set aside.
In a second large bowl, use your hands to mix together the cheese, sausage and eggs until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix for several minutes to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pinch off about 1/4 cup of the mixture and roll into 11/2-inch meatballs. Arrange the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve hot.
Nutrition information per meatball: 110 calories; 60 calories from fat (55 percent of total calories); 7 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 35 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 6 g protein; 220 mg sodium.
Seven-layer potato skins
To create the seven-layer potato skins, start with some of the traditional toppings for potato skins: bacon, scallions and cheese. From there, add crumbled sausage (more pig!), a garlicky sour cream and caramelized onions. OK, so they're more like over-stuffed, almost twice-baked potatoes. But with party food this delicious, who cares?
Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)
8 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 large yellow onions, diced
Salt and ground black pepper
8 ounces loose sausage meat, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 scallions, sliced
Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then coat with cooking spray.
Poke the potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave on high until tender, 10 to 12 minutes depending on the wattage of your microwave. Allow to cool until easily handled.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onions and cook until softened and browned, 15 to 18 minutes.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half. Scoop out and reserve the insides, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick wall of potato flesh on the skin. Arrange the halves skin sides down on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the potatoes with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crisped and browned.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together the reserved potato flesh and the sausage. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and garlic. Set aside.
Once the potato skins have baked, start layering them. Spoon a bit of the caramelized onions into the bottom of each shell. Top with the sausage-potato mixture. This should mostly fill the shell. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the potatoes, followed by cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes. Top with a dollop of the garlic sour cream and sprinkle with the scallions. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 160 calories; 70 calories from fat (44 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 7 g protein; 210 mg sodium.