The small market in my village surprises me on a regular basis, despite the fact that I shop there two or three times every week. On the day I found both a locally made habañero salsa and a spice mix used in the sauce for Rhode Island's famous New York System weiners, I knew I had to pair the two in a recipe. At first I'd planned to fold the salsa into the meatball mixture, but it buried the taste of the spices, so the salsa became the dipping sauce, and the weiner spices really shine in these meatballs. If you don't live in Rhode Island, you can make your own weiner spice mix. The key ingredient, celery salt, gives these meatballs a distinctly Ocean State flavor. The meatballs make a great appetizer, or you can toss them with pasta or serve on a pizza, as we did in our Rhode Island Recipes cookbook. Make a double batch and stash some in the freezer.
Rhode Island weiner spice meatballs
Makes 28 1-1/2 inch meatballs.
For the wiener spice mix:
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika or pimentón dulce (sweet smoked paprika)
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp red chile powder
2 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp of allspice
2 tsp kosher salt
For the meatballs:
1-1/4 lb chopped sirloin or extra-lean beef (I use 94% fat-free) or lean ground turkey
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 large egg
1 Tbsp wiener spice mix
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat (silicone mat) or aluminum foil, and set aside.
In a small jar, combine ingredients for the wiener spice mix. Shake to combine.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs.
Heat a small nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Fry 1 tablespoon of the meatball mixture, and taste for seasoning. Adjust to your taste with hot sauce, salt and pepper, if needed.
Form the meat into 1-1/2 inch meatballs, and set them on the baking sheet.
Bake at 425F for 18-20 minutes.
Serve with toothpicks and your favorite salsa for dipping.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Bacon-wrapped sweet and sour meatballs, from Cooking On the Side
Turkey meatballs with Romano cheese and herbs, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Bourbon and cider glazed turkey meatballs, from I Breathe... I'm Hungry...
Saucy Asian meatballs, from Gimme Some Oven
Mini meatballs in Pinot Noir sauce, from Eat Live Run
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