Planning appetizers for my husband’s “guys’ nights” is sometimes difficult. Take poker night, for example…you have to have food that is manly enough for them to eat (aka no little cheesecake tarts) but the food also has to be “non-messy” because they don’t want to get the cards and poker chips greasy and messy. Short of chips and dip, finding non-messy guy food can be quite a challenge.
Poker night can be difficult. Football game gatherings, on the other hand, have a whole different set of rules. The food must be manly, filling and the messier the better! The guys must be able to get a plate full at the beginning of the game, at halftime and at the end. In addition to these simple requirements, the very first plate needs to seem as fresh as the last.
I use my Crockpot more during football season than I do at other times during the year. It is the perfect small kitchen appliance for cooking that messy food in and then keeping it hot and fresh throughout the game. Saucy hot chicken wings, cheesy Mexican dip, chili cheese dip…the Crockpot saves the day when it comes to football gatherings.
One recipe I like to make for football games is saucy meatballs. Most guys expect the barbecue meatballs, but I like to change things up by creating meatballs with a sweet Asian sauce. What I like about this recipe is that you can make it all ahead of time. After the meatballs are cooked and mixed into the sauce, you can cool them off and then place them on a cookie sheet and flash freeze. Once they are frozen, place them into a Ziploc bag or container until you are ready to use them. On the morning of game day, take them out, place them in the Crockpot and heat them until thawed and warm throughout. Keep your Crockpot on low during the game and let them dig in all day long. Double the sauce for extra saucy meatballs and you have all the requirements of game day covered…manly food, filling and messy!
Game Day Meatballs in a Sweet Asian Sauce
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup dry bread crumbs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon oil
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce (sodium reduced)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Put meat in a bowl and break it up. With your hands, blend the meat, bread crumbs, onion, milk, eggs and salt.
3. Shape meat mixture into one inch balls. Place in a single layer on a jelly roll pan and bake about 10-12 minutes. Drain any extra grease off the meatballs.
4. Add oil to saucepan and sauté garlic until soft. Add the ketchup, honey, brown sugar and soy sauce. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about ten minutes. Add the meatballs to your sauce bring back to a boil and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, until sauce glazes meatballs. Stir sauce and meatballs occasionally so they don't stick.