Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I am a huge Pinterest fan, fell in love with it the moment I wandered around. Recently I'd seen a recipe for “Smokey Mesquite BBQ Meatball Sliders,” a very interesting looking meatball sandwich on a slider size King roll. Of course, I almost never make a recipe exactly the way it's written.

So, Tuesday, I decided to make BBQ Meatball Sandwiches from my own recipe, adding a little bit of healthy ingredients to the mix. I was also feeling a little inspired and used the French bread recipe to make slider size buns! I have been using that bread recipe for like everything. I’ve also discovered that unless I get a bigger KitchenAid mixer, making a double recipe is out of the question. 

Sandwiches seem to need no side dishes, but I still feel you need to include some vegetables into the mix somewhere, so why not add them right in the sandwich? I grated mine and mixed them right in with the meat mix. This is especially handy if you know they will get ignored or, in the case of some children, fed to the dog.

My apologies for a blurry picture!

Even if you decide to use hamburger buns, these are easy and quick once you have all the ingredients together. Also, it takes only minutes to make your own BBQ sauce and make this completely your own.

Homemade BBQ Meatball Sliders
1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 lb. Beef, very lean, if steak, mince fine
1 cup TVP, dry
1 small Yellow Squash, grated & squeezed dry
1 small Zucchini, grated & squeezed dry
2 Eggs (cracked into a small bowl before adding)
1 Tbsp. Hickory Smoke Seasoning
2 Tbsp. Molasses
1 tsp. each Salt & Black Pepper
4 Green Onions, finely chopped
1/3 of a can Tomato Paste
Homemade BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
12 slices American Cheese (or your preference)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray drip pan with cooking spray.

If your beef is steak, mince fine. Combine everything together and blend completely. If you are mixing this by hand, chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before shaping into large meatballs.

I mixed my ingredients in my mixer, giving it only couple gentle turns after each addition, then I was able to shape my meatballs right after mixing. I made 12 meatballs about the size of tennis balls. You could make smaller ones if you want to make subs.

Spread one tsp. BBQ sauce over the top of each meatball and bake for 15 minutes at 375. Remove from oven, flip meatballs over, spread another tsp. of sauce over the tops and return to the oven for 20 minutes more.

Once the meatballs come out of the oven, while they rest, top each one with a slice of American cheese, it will melt while they rest.

*note: be sure you have squeezed as much moisture out of your squashes as possible, otherwise, these will be really soft and may fall apart. You could also use any other grated vegetable you like: carrots, celery, radish, etc. Just be sure to squeeze out as much water as possible, or increase the TVP by a ¼ cup to absorb the extra liquid. TVP is textured vegetable protein, basically soy. You could use another absorbent filler. I need to keep the protein higher than the carbs. Also, leaner meats reduce the grease.

I made the bread dough well before time to bake everything. Instead of shaping dough into loaves, I made them into tennis ball size rounds and let them do their final rise on the baking sheets. I baked them 12 minutes then flipped the trays and baked them 12 minutes more, then buttered the tops to keep them soft.

Homemade BBQ Sauce
Remaining 2/3 can Tomato Paste
2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Spicy Brown Mustard
2 Tbsp. Molasses
1 tsp. Capers, finely chopped
1 tsp. Hickory Smoke Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
Hot Water

Combine all ingredients together and just enough hot water to make smooth. Adjust seasonings to your tastes.Use in meatball recipe above.

My husband likes the bread recipe so much, I have a hard time keeping the bread in any form around for a meal. I planned a head and made a couple smaller ones for him to snack on, otherwise I might have not had enough buns!

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