RECIPE #184, DAY #219
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Cherry Coke and Jalapeno Meatballs” from 365 Slow Cooker Suppers, by Stephanie O’Dea*
TIMING: 6 hours
DIFFICULTY: Very easy
TOOLS: A crockpot/slow cooker
COOK TYPE: Crockpot/slow cooker
HEALTH: Meatballs are a fine meat for sometimes. These definitely have added sugar, but I wouldn’t consider them too bad, especially for a party appetizer. They are high in protein, and lower in fat than something like potato chips.
EXPERIENCE: We usually have family plans on Sunday, so there is not coming home and scrounging a late lunch. Grandma makes it for us. But this week, Grandma is on a cruise and Aunt is entertaining in-laws, so we were on our own for once. And since our church service puts us back home at almost 1pm, I knew we would want supper right away.
This is the magic of slow cookers, and why I have been trying so hard to incorporate their use into my life.
You can’t get much easier than this recipe, although you do have to settle for frozen meatballs. (Well, let’s face it, you could make your own and then continue, but I didn’t do that.) My kids really enjoyed it for lunch with rice, but they really would be best serve with toothpicks for a finger-food setting, like an old-style cocktail party.
NOTES: I could not find a natural cherry cola, so I used 1/2 cola and 1/2 cherry creme soda. This worked fine. You could also use 100% cherry cola. Also, the original recipe only called for 1/2 cup total, but I thought this was silly. You might as well pour a lot more in and let the meatballs be more immersed in the sauce as they cook.
If you want to make the sauce into a dip, move to a pan and simmer hard until reduced and syrupy.
- In the insert of a slow cooker, mix together 2 pounds frozen meatballs, 3 whole jalapenos, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 can cola, 1 can cherry (or cherry vanilla) soda, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- Cook on low-medium for 6 hours. Serve warm, garnished with the jalapeno for the more adventurous guests.
Serve with bamboo cocktail forks and an assortment of finger foods, like crackers and dips and crudites.
*Recipe changed from the original.